SINGLE REVIEWS: Gang Of Youths, Mabel, San Joseph, Holy Holy, Natalie Imbruglia and BANKS

Gang Of Youths – the angel of 8th ave.

The highly anticipated return of Gang Of Youths is one that people have been speculating would come for a very long time. After a long teaser of announcements, the Sydney based 5 piece have delivered their first single from the long awaited follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘Go Farther In Lightness’. 

‘the angel of 8th ave.’ hears the band delivering their signature indie-rock sound with a big festival ready hook and punchy guitar riff. Citing Joy Division and New Order as key influences to their sound, this track also hears a Bruce Springsteen influence shining through with its 80’s rock polish. Beginning with a 47 second instrumental they ignite into the song with David Le’aupepe’s easily recognisable vocals. With the production maintaining throughout the full duration, they don’t play with any light and shade, and instead just flesh out the production. 

Lyrically this is a love song. It’s all about the youthfulness of falling in love and starting a new life together in the city. It’s hopeful, positive, radiating and has a sense of nostalgia engrained within its poetic foundations. “There is heaven in you now” he sings. 

‘the angel of 8th ave.’ is a very exciting and promising look into this new chapter for Gang Of Youths which they promise will be full of experimentation. 

Mabel – Let Them Know

Mabel knows how to deliver a banger, and off the back of releasing her debut album ‘High Expectations’ she’s ready to do it all over again as she begins the next chapter in her musical journey. ‘Let Them Know’ is a club ready anthem that steers her into more of a dance-pop direction reminiscent of RAYE which is no coincidence really as it was co-written and produced by her and SG Lewis. It’s immediately quite different to anything she’s done before, and you’ll probably need a second listen to really soak it all in as its a little polarising at first. But it really is a HUGE dance floor anthem that I’m excited to hear in clubs and see Drag Queens perform to. 

The playful track is full of sass, confidence and unapologetic energy which is something her music has always endeavoured to embody within tracks like ‘Don’t Call Me Up’ and ‘Boyfriend’. Quickly proclaiming “I got a new man in my business, and he all about his business, and his name ain’t none of your business” she sets the tone perfectly. Exploring finding a new confidence, she makes sure that everyone knows that they can’t come change how she feels about herself, and that’s something we should all learn how to embody. “Cause they can run they mouth, but Imma stand and pose for you. Let them know. Go ahead and flip that switch, no, they can’t beat you down cause baby you’re that, bitch” she sings. 

So yes, in summary, Mabel IS that bitch!

San Joseph – Blink Twice

Introducing himself to the world with his debut single ‘Blink Twice’ after signing to Island Records Australia, San Joseph is ready to inject some boppy alt-pop into our lives. Sonically found somewhere between Dominic Fike and Twenty One Pilots, this track is immediately punchy with its ear worm hook and infectious energy. 

Watching his ex move on with someone else, the Melbourne based singer-songwriter gets the feeling that their smile and positive attitude filtered through social media is fake. Running into them and smelling a perfume that he bought for them he perceives that as a SOS and asks them to give him a signal to save them if they aren’t happy. “Something here don’t feel right. If you’re not fine, give me a sign. I see it in those said eyes. So if I’m right, b-b-blink, blink twice” he sings. 

Finding a contrast between the lyrical hopefulness and the playful SOS vibe, the guitar led production which was produced by Dylan Nash is pulsating and has this natural groove to it which is so joyous to listen to. You really won’t need to blink twice when you listen to it. 

Holy Holy – Believe Anything

Off the back of a huge national tour for their single ‘Port Rd’, Holy Holy have announced the release of their third studio album ‘Hello My Beautiful World’ on August 20. To coincide with the exciting announcement the duo have dropped the brooding and anthemic ‘Believe Anything’.

Soaked in dark synths, string arrangements and gritty guitar riffs, this track has a very strong and realised sound to it which compliments the contrast between previous singles with the hip-hop fusion of ‘Port Rd’ featuring Queen P, and the disco euphoric interpolation of ‘How You Been’. There’s a natural groove to it that guides the listener through the track and creates these really cool peaks and singalong moments that are reminiscent of some of MGMT and Foster The People’s biggest hits.

Written about exactly what the title insinuates, they want to encourage the feeling of being able to believe anything is possible and finding the beauty in that, even when there could be a not so happy ending. “And if it ends up nothing, we felt like something” lead vocalist Tim Carroll sings in the songs final moments. 

Natalie Imbruglia – Build It Better

It’s been 6 years in-between releases for Natalie Imbruglia, and the ‘Torn’ and ‘Shiver’ singer-songwriter is ready to reinstate her spot in the pop world. Her forthcoming sixth studio album ‘Firebird’ will be released on September 24 and hears her returning to her songwriting craft and delivering a body of work that promises to be vulnerable, revealing and confident. 

The accompanying lead single ‘Build It Better’ highlights that honesty in a beautiful and raw way while still managing to capture a strong ear-worm hook that will quickly get stuck in your head. Learning to surrender to the chaos and negativity that sometimes occurs in life and using it to show her how she can grow and evolve, she finds herself becoming content with it all. “I love that you gave my heart a home. The place hasn’t changed, but I’m here alone. I know it’s crazy walking wires, but nothing lasts forever. When it all falls down, gotta build it better” she sings during the empowering hook.

There’s a real uplifting energy to the song as she realises the power of allowing negative things to happen but not getting lost in what it means as she finds a mature shift in perspective. The production compliments that with dark and brooding piano and pop beat driven verses that shift into a slightly brighter hook that highlights the emotions of the song. 

This is a very strong return to the spotlight for Natalie Imbruglia, and you’ll find yourself very excited and intrigued to hear the forthcoming sonical trajectory of ‘Firebird’. 

BANKS – the devil

Continuing to find a growing confidence within her artistry, BANKS is someone who has always been unapologetic to the core. With brooding and dark-pop soundscapes pulsating throughout her discography, the singer, songwriter and producer is ready to take what ‘Fuck With Myself’ and ‘Gimme’ laid down and turn up the heat by 100.

‘the devil’ is the bold and addictive introduction to her forthcoming fourth studio album, and it’s one of her most experimentally charged singles yet. Opening with her her whispering “I’m the devil, did they tell you I’m the devil? Put your faith in another life past” she immediately polarises you with where the song is going to go. Inserting a dark and pulsating synth beat that is reminiscent of ‘Gimme’ she layers a sonical confidence that drives the song. However the production stays in that lane for its full duration and doesn’t have a key change or production burst like you’d expect. Instead it remains moody but assertive in its dominative confidence. 

Check out the #BLEACHED playlist for all of the months top music picks BELOW;