Tracks of the Week: Buggs, Carmody, Wil Owen, Amber Jay & Chartreuse

Buggs (Credit: Jody Evans)

Another Friday? Yep, you guessed it - we've got another five good'uns for your listening pleasure. In this week's 'Tracks of the Week' the doom and gloom of a British autumn bleeds into our listening habits, and with that comes some real warm and comforting tracks loaded with a good old dose of melancholy.

There's the angst of London outfit Buggs and their new cut 'Flaws', the truly breathtaking soundscapes of Carmody and her forthcoming debut album, familiar softness from Wil Owen, bouncy dark-pop from Liverpool riser Amber Jay and the warming world of Chartreuse.

Dig in below.

Buggs - 'Flaws'

London outfit Buggs channel their paranoia into a new single 'Flaws'. Served alongside an almost eery visual, the comeback track sees the four-piece transform their anxieties and angst into a rather charming slice of woozy indie.

“I wrote Flaws about spending too much time chipping away at yourself in the mirror - obsessing over all of your faults and insecurities, thinking back over and over over things you’ve done or said, and becoming paranoid that your friends and family think you’re a bad person. Flaws is about my favourite activity during lockdown - self loathing.” tells Alice.

“As much as I have no desire for anyone to experience any level of self loathing I also am aware that feelings of insecurity and paranoia are one of the things that unite us all as human beings, and I think to hear about someone else feeling what you’re feeling can be comforting.”

Carmody - 'Replace'

Carmody has collaborated with Tom Misch, Alfa Mist, Laura Misch and more on her forthcoming debut album 'Imperfect Constellations'. Announced this week, the eagerly awaited full length comes with the breathtaking 'Replace' - an exemplary piece of dark-pop laced with brooding atmosphere.

"'Replace' is about the chaos of grief and the realisation that you cannot recreate someone once they have disappeared." tells Carmody. "It explores the multiple forms grieving can take - questioning relationships, exploring spirituality, substance abuse, depression and a yearning to grow as you are forced to become someone you no longer recognise. Initially it was written like a stream of consciousness. Without thinking too much about it, Patrick James Pearson and I both wrote down random images that could fit the melody. By making them non-linear it felt as if we were reflecting the inconsistent and unpredictable shape grief takes. The chorus is then quite stark and repetitive with the only certainty - that the person you love cannot be replaced."

Wil Owen - 'After Dark'

Wil Owen's timeless melancholy arrives more goosebump-inducing than ever on 'After Dark', the latest single to be taken from the Bristol songwriter's forthcoming debut EP. Produced by Tamu Massif, the stripped back track allows Owen's soft vocals to do all of the talking, with glorious results.

“After Dark is a song that started out as an image: a crowd of people in a room, completely isolated from each other. I was thinking a lot about our inner lives, how we’re so absorbed by our own thoughts that we sometimes obfuscate our responsibility for them. That’s a hard line to navigate,” Wil explains.

“The song is essentially an inner monologue, a stream of consciousness reaction to all the shit we say when we’re sad and loose and feeling vulnerable. It ends up affording a moment of reflection, of honesty,”

Amber Jay - 'Equal'

Liverpool bedroom-pop riser Amber Jay's genre-bending sound takes a new direction with the building intensity of 'Equal'. A captivating display of her growth across 2021, its bouncing electro-beats met with Jay's lyrical themes on social norms make for truly impressive listening.

“‘Equal’ is about feeling inferior because of who you are but being frustrated at the fact, you know you only think that through consuming societal norms your entire life. This then affects your opinion of yourself, which I think is so sad and one of humankind’s biggest failings. Within this shared frustration across so many minorities is power. ‘Equal’ also encompasses a feeling of unity and hope that between us we can at least find power within each other.” explains Amber Jay.

Chartreuse - 'Swedish Water'

Black Country quartet Chartreuse have never been strangers to beguiling songwriting, so its no surprise that new single 'Swedish Water' embraces its listener in a warm, meditative atmosphere. The track is taken from a new EP, 'Is It Autumn Already?' due 19th November via Communion - which no doubt will be the perfect soundtrack for the forthcoming gloomy weather.

“This song is for people who find themselves away from the people they love. it's about working through the frustrations of a long-distance relationship although there are difficult parts of the song it is essentially a love song about wanting to be with the person you love.

A few years ago, I took a short trip to Stockholm to visit my girlfriend who was working over there at the time. There's a lot of water that runs through the centre of Stockholm, it moved in a certain way and looked different, different enough to notice. I think it was something to do with the summer light, it looked like oil moving around swelling up and down it was something special. This being something precious i decided to put into words as a snapshot of my life at the time.

I had just watched Wim Wenders Wings of Desire which follows the journey of angels on earth so i guess i was walking around in that world for quite a while. This inspired me to search online for the definition of an angel ’a person of exemplary conduct or virtue’ these references fed into the opening of the song.”