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Inspirer Radar: 5 Top Tunes from August 2017


Inspirer Radar: 5 Top Tunes from August 2017

There have been a lot of wicked releases this month. We’ve had Tori Amos coming back with a vengeance, Taylor Swift showed her face, and there are songs that you just have to hear.

That’s where the Inspirer Radar comes in!

I’m going to serve up five of my favorite tracks I’ve heard recently to kick off the brutal beginning of each month. With so many albums on the way — Tori, Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton, St. Vincent, Wolf Alice — this fall is gonna blow us all out of the water as far as music goes.

Without further Ado — not adieu — I present to you: August’s Inspirer Radar.

L.A. WITCH – Baby in Blue Jeans

Take Banksy’s Kissing Policemen then turn it into a metaphor for a Tarantino soundtrack and a David Lynch score and you’ve got the song Baby in Blue Jeans by L.A. WITCH. Twin Peaks: the Return could’ve used this at the Roadhouse. It’s that suited. This is a track makes for a promising album from the Los Angeles trio, coming to us all in like a week’s time. I can also tell you officially, it’s an album as fantastic as “Baby in Blue Jeans”. I’d say “Don’t tell”, but do. Loudly and proudly. With L.A. WITCH, you get a dirty street after a midnight matinée of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; you get a walk of shame across the Marble Arch intersection — not that I’m speaking from experience or anything — with an open collar and no shoes. L.A. WITCH is a band you should keep an ear out for.

Best listened to: On a crowded bus as the sun disappears over the horizon.

Bully – Feel the Same

Nashville’s Bully, to me, have the kind of sound of the stuff I used to listen to in the early noughties. Look, I was too young in the ’90s to truly appreciate Thurston Moore. The thundering drums are kinda Dinosaur Jr. the bass is Sonic Youth, the vocals are Breeders-y, and the guitar solo is like J. Mascis-goes-Nick Valensi, which is basically the stuff you’d throw into a cauldron to conjure me up. With a heavy dose of hair bleach. I can easily see myself jumping around in the pit to this, even at the ripe old age of I’m Still 21, Shut Up and Let Me Live. I would marry Alicia Bognanno and her production skills in a heartbeat, so spread the word and the word for the upcoming album.

Best listened to: On the dance floor of a semi-crowded venue where everyone is sweaty and bumping into one another.

HINDS – Caribbean Moon

I first heard Spanish band HINDS on the Steve Lamacq show on Radio 6 under their old moniker, “Deers” with the amazing “Bamboo” that I’m still obsessed with to this day. Radio 6 has been my go to for “music I could listen to” for years now. HINDS have the kind of sixties surfer vibe going for them like you’re on benzos without being on benzos or recapturing the nostalgia of your youth by a swimming pool in the middle of summer, which I’m always all about. Give talented women instruments making music that makes me feel and you’ve got a fan in me. Give me a pink flamingo float and a water fight and HINDS’ cover of Kevin Ayers’ “Caribbean Moon” as my soundtrack and I’m yours.

Best listened to: On a deep midsummer afternoon with a piña colada & straw in hand.

The Blow – The Greatest Love of All

“I believe that children are the future,” croon The Blow, in a decidedly unique approach to the Whitney song. The Blow has had the spaciously atmospheric electro-market covered since I first heard of them. The Brooklyn outfit still ticks all the boxes eight years later. Band members Melissa Dyne and Khaela Maricich return with their latest album, “Brand New Abyss” on September 22. If this Whitney cover and “Get Up” are anything to go by, I’m sensing my Totally Legit Psychic Find-My-Infomercial-on TV-at 3 am Prediction that fall is gonna be an amazing season for female-led bands and artists is gonna score me a slot on Lifetime any day now with how right I was. Oh and the chorus on this cover? It’s everything.

Best listened to: On a mixtape that I will make you if you ask nicely, sandwiched neatly between Russian Red & YACHT.

Stars – Real Thing

The Holy Trinity of Canada in the Chapter of the Broken Social Scene are now all going to have released material this year. Feist, Emily Haines, and now Amy Millan of Stars have all been contributing factors to the sound of 2017 and, if you’re lucky, you’re one of the people who know it. Haines’ and the Soft Skeleton’s “Choir of the Mind” is to be released on September 15 via Last Gang Records, Feist’s “Pleasure” came out in April, and Stars’ “There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light” is due to be released on October 13. Stars have always been brilliant in mixing layered pop melodies in a way that’s distinctly their own. “Real Thing” just backs up the fact that that’s fucking great at it.

Best listened to: Right after a long overdue reunion between you and one of your best friends.

What tracks have you been digging this past month? Come tell us on Twitter!



A proudly queer, freelance music journalist, Em splits her time between Durham and London. When she’s not at a gig, mouth-agape, she’ll be camped outside of a Parisian bistro taking photographs of strangers.

The little pleasures in life are the most meaningful to her: Her dog, family-and-extended, and Milkybar buttons.

Her motto — a snippet from Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man — is, “hope springs eternal.”

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