It’s not the first time I’ve said it and it certainly won’t be the last: Lonely The Brave are special. They feel like a secret that only a few of us know about; storytellers that only those in tune with the deep, dark emotion they share can really appreciate.

In advance of the release of the Redux version of their ‘Things Will Matter’ album, they’ve released a new song for the record that wasn’t on the original version and unsurprisingly, it’s beautiful. Dave Jakes’ haunting voice is clear and emotive over simple guitars and we’re reminded how the fragility of his open vulnerability is a gift not a curse. There are few if any others who can convey such emotion through their singing.

A sorrowful tale of friendship and loss conveyed in less than three minutes, it’s an example of what Lonely The Brave do best. They dismiss showmanship for subtlety and let their talent do the talking. My crutch through the darkest of moments and a band I continue to view in awe, while I want to keep them all for myself it’s time the world realises how wonderful they are. They really do matter.

Sometimes all you want is a comeback single that’s loud, fierce and unapologetic. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it’s just got to be something you can – pardon the cliché – rock out to. Marmozets’ latest track ‘Play’ is exactly that, ready to be blasted at full volume and on repeat for hours. With a killer chorus and a determination to get the party started whilst making it clear they aren’t here to mess around, it’s an attention-grabbing noise of pounding drums and riffs straight out of Queens Of The Stone Age’s ‘Little Sister’.

Becca Macintyre’s vocals are strong throughout, superior to what we’ve heard from her previously but not having lost the growls and imperfections that give them a heavier edge. As her presence dominates the video – a presence even more dazzling in a live setting – she’s a role model for women who are interested in making sure they make themselves heard and enjoying it in the process. Leading her troops into battle, she’s a frontwoman for the ages: powerful, polished and just really fucking cool.

If ‘Play’ is anything to by then the future looks exciting. Thank god Marmozets are back —  I couldn’t stand another moment without them.

Enter Shikari are the band that keeps on giving. ‘Live Outside’ is nothing like their other recent releases — the heavy ‘Hoodwinker’ and grime-influenced ‘Supercharge’ — so we’re no closer to understanding what new album ‘The Spark’ is going to sound like but, after all this time, they’re somehow more exciting than ever.

Rou Reynolds’ vocals are as varying as always, ranging from the deep and domineering to the frenzied and spoken. An energetic amalgamation of the electronic and rock elements we’re used to, we’re also thrown a racing ending and synthesizers a-plenty. It’s up to us to decide what meaning we’ll attach to the chorus of “I wanna live outside, live outside of all of this”, but the lyrics of the verse suggest stepping outside of and gaining respite from a never-ending internal monologue and a constant conversation with the world. That’s not in keeping with the video however, which is a warped Orwellian nightmare that takes a Black Mirror turn for the sinister.

Plenty have already complained about a watered down change in sound, but this is Enter Shikari. It’s different to what came before and it’ll be nothing like what comes next, but isn’t that part of the fun?

As Chester Bennington left this world, Linkin Park’s ‘Hybrid Theory’ and ‘Meteora’ blasted out from speakers across the world. For a moment, it seemed that nothing would dull the pain of such a huge loss other than sticking on the albums we all fell in love with – some of us as adults, some of us as kids – and singing along at the top of our voices.

As we start to look forward rather than back, and as we learn from the loss of someone that changed the lives of so many, it can be difficult to remain positive – to not lose yourself in the sadness. To be hopeful in the darkest hours, as Chester has proven, can sometimes be too much. Here’s where ‘Iridescent’ comes in.

Released on 2010’s ‘A Thousand Suns’ album and as part of the ‘Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’ soundtrack, the track slipped under the radar of many. It’s rarely mentioned as anyone’s favourite song by the band and you’re unlikely to search for it buried in the depths of a playlist when there are so many other songs you might choose first. That said, it’s a treasure.

Asking the listener to look within, Chester sings “Do you feel cold and lost in desperation? You build up hope, but failure’s all you know.” You’re not alone, he’s saying. Other people feel the same way. This is a song to remind everyone who feels alone that they most definitely are not; it’s a plea to find comfort in the small things rather than tearing yourself apart.

Nobody would judge if the melody brought a tear to your eye. The group vocals that build to a level of crescendo that 30 Seconds To Mars specialise in, would pull at the heartstrings of the most stoic and chip away at the façade of those with even a Cersei Lannister level of steeliness.

With one last chorus of “Remember all the sadness and frustration. And let it go. Let it go” there’s a sentiment to be found that we can find strength in. Even in a song made for a film franchise, designed for the widest of audiences, the message is deeply personal. Linkin Park wanted us to know there’s a light in the darkness for everyone and if we all stick together we just might be able to find it.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes bands come along just when you need them? Petrol Girls’ Ren Aldridge’s essay for Nasty Women, I later learnt is named after this very song, resonated with me as a woman involved in the ‘alternative’ scene. Reading the chapter on a packed bus in Edinburgh city centre, as the rain lashed down on the window, I was wet, grumpy and deflated but started to feel inspired and excited by the story being told. Here was a voice that had a bigger platform than mine and here was someone with a better way of putting things than me.

Recently, following an incident with a local promoter and venue in which I expressed my disgust at the behaviour of The Dickies and was attacked online by a mob of strangers, I was sick of punk. It had started to feel like it was time to give up on a culture that I’d become a part of, albeit through sub-genres rather than old school ‘punk’ itself, and I was ready to pack it all in after one too many personal digs and moral fights that felt pointless.

Whether it’s always been there and I was fortunate enough not to notice, or more stories are being shared online, or it really is worse than ever, there’s a sickening sexism that’s hanging over music, gigs and attitude that I’m coming across on a daily basis. I’ve recently stopped listening to several bands I like due to their behaviour, I’m bored of songs about how heartbreaking women are and – as a young woman – I can rarely go to gigs without someone behaving inappropriately towards me.

Following their praised performance at 2000 Trees Festival (I will go next year, I will) I popped Petrol Girls’ ‘Touch Me Again’ on for the first time. Here it was: the song I had been waiting for. Angry, defiant, determined and sick of your shit, it’s a repetitive, insistent statement that drills home its point:

“It’s my body and my choice […] Touch me again and I will fucking kill you.” Petrol Girls, you’ve got yourself a fan and an ally.

The Gospel Youth just seem like the kind of guys you’d like to be mates with, and their music ain’t half bad either. The culmination of collective years of effort within various musical projects, it looks like this band is finally going places and rightly so.

‘Moods Like English Weather’, their first release since signing to Rise Records, is the latest track to follow their unbeatable formula. Upbeat melodies + contemplative, sometimes self-deprecating lyrics + Sam Little’s soulful vocals = singalong material.

The song is a little less pop punk and a little more pop rock than some of their previous efforts. ‘Moods Like English Weather’ misses out on the gut-wrenching emotion of ‘Hospital Blues’, the soaring melody of ‘The Miles We Are Apart’ and the build-up of ‘Hurricane’, but it’s strong ad polished and ready for the mainstream success they’re surely destined for.

With a debut full length album on the way (‘Always Lose’ comes out on 14 July) and a stint on the Warped Tour this summer, it’s an exciting time for The Gospel Youth. Let’s just hope they announce a tour here soon.


Announced via a live stream played off as bassist Tom Doyle’s wedding, Don Broco released ‘Pretty’ to a mostly unsuspecting audience.

The track, with just the right amount electronic effects to avoid sounding like Fall Out Boy, isn’t one to be taken seriously. Rob Damiani almost sounds like he’s rapping during the verses, with some harmonious boy band vocals in the bridge. There are even parts that’ll remind you of N.E.R.D’s ‘Lapdance’.

Dividing opinion more than Marmite, Don Broco have taken the criticism in their stride and prove that to be a successful band you don’t have to be moody and mysterious, and can just have a bit of fun.

A party anthem, ‘Pretty’ is going to sound huge when they hit Alexandra Palace at the end of this year.

A flash flood of primary colours, lightning bolts and cartoon lettering, the video for ‘Hard Times’ is a dreamy spectacle. The first release from Paramore since 2013 has seen them head in an entirely new, but not totally unexpected direction.

We’ve seen hints of an experimental pop aesthetic with the candy-coated ‘Still Into You’ and gospel-infused ‘Ain’t It Fun’. Now throwing caution to the wind, the previous pop punkers have morphed into a cool, ‘80s-inspired pop group and half of us want to be Hayley Williams all over again.

The positivity of the upbeat melody contrasts with the lyrics, “Hard times gonna make you wonder why you even try / Hard times gonna take you down and laugh when you cry”. That said, the song seems to wave goodbye to the backlash of the self-titled album and the surrounding dramas.

With a tour in some of the UK’s most majestic venues on the cards for this summer and the newly announced album ‘After Laughter’ on the way, Paramore are set to be one of the most exciting bands of 2017. That’s no mean feat after 13 years of existence and more line-up changes than the most and if this new track is anything to go by, we can’t wait to see what’s in store.

All together now: We. Are. PARAMORE.

I’ve been waiting for an official release of this track, taken from the band’s upcoming album ‘Makes Me Sick’, since they played it during their A Day To Remember support slots. As a long time fan, I’m not the most objective critic when it comes to the band I have named as one of my top ten since I was about 12, but ‘Happy Being Miserable’ is another example of a pop punk song done well.

Considering their extensive back catalogue, it’s surprising they haven’t released a song called ‘Happy Being Miserable’ already, given that two of those words on their own perfectly summarise the pop punk genre. An upbeat melody, easily remembered chorus, and relationship-themed lyrics; what’s not to like?

Another lesson in how to be masters of your craft, New Found Glory’s latest is never going to be everyone’s cup of tea (if you aren’t a fan by now, you probably never will be) but for those of us who are still singing along to the hits that are older than half your average pop punk audience, it’s a welcome sign they’re not giving up yet.