The Mic Recommends...

With the light at the end of the tunnel glinting with the announcement of a lockdown exit plan, the bunch of singles rounded up by The Mic’s writers may have to take a close second for the highlight of the week. Nonetheless, read below for new sonic direction from Porridge Radio, Tom Odell, and Arab Strap, alongside the reliable indie sunshine of Alfie Templeman, and more.

‘numb’ – Tom Odell

The English singer-songwriter is best known for stripped-back and achingly cathartic folk-pop that earned great success in the early 2010s. But following a period of great uncertainty, Odell has returned with a more evolved sound, borrowing from bedroom pop and electronic experimentalism, while the track is still driven by his characteristic use of gentle piano. Similarly, lyricism “I hold my hand over the flame / To see if I can feel some pain” demonstrating that his work still remains an outlet for processing the emotional turmoil of life, suggests that, rather than a fleeting project in experimenting with sound, this new direction is deliberately inspired, and hints at changes to come. Louise Dugan

‘Let’s Not Fight!’ – Porridge Radio, Piglet

Experimental yet calming, Porridge Radio’s new track with up-and-coming bedroom pop favorite Piglet is a well-needed serving of lo-fi delight. The voice of lead singer Dana Margolin, paired with Charlie Loane (Piglet) creates gorgeous harmonies to the backdrop of stripped-back beats, guitar, and synth. The track relies on simple lyrical motifs such as “You don’t need to carry me / don’t try to carry me” and reflects the painful reality of not wanting to fight with a loved one. Around the three-minute mark, the song opens up to a dreamy processed horn and vocal layering section; a warming surrounding atmosphere created as the multiple lyrics collide and clash beautifully to the song’s end. Porridge Radio are a lot more laid back in this track compared to their previous and it works perfectly for the feel of the song; sadcore indie angst, delving confidently into the band’s roots. It sets a hopeful precedent for what could next come from the band, perhaps with more synth and beats-focused tracks on the horizon. Rebecca Hyde

‘Here Comes Comus’ – Arab Strap

Glasgow’s Arab Strap release one final teaser from the upcoming album As Days Get Dark, their first full-length effort since 2005. Here Comes Comus has all the ingredients of classic Arab Strap, an ominous guitar line gently unfurling around a pounding drum loop, as Aidan Moffatt details the underbelly of Glaswegian nightlife. Arab Strap have become, if anything, an even leaner, more scathing version of themselves, and Here Comes Comus sets the stage for a triumphant return. Louis Griffin

‘Everybody's Gonna Love Somebody’ – Alfie Templeman

So, I’ll say it, I’m a big fan of Alfie Templeman. To be honest, in my eyes he can do no wrong. Still, I think that it’s impossible to deny that once again he has managed to defy his genre and go above and beyond what was expected with Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody, whilst still maintaining his classic Alfie sound. The track is summery and bright, with a reggae-like beat that would lend itself beautifully to being sat beside the sea (or paddling pool, in my case, as I live maybe as far as you can get from the beach). Be warned, the song is a complete earworm... Even whilst writing this review I can hear my housemates singing from afar. All in all? It’s a banger. Hattie Kilner

‘The Eulogy of You and Me’ – Lil Huddy

Best known for being a part of the ‘Hype House’, a house full of teen influencers and content creators which was established with the purpose of re-creating trending fifteen-second dances, Chase Hudson, better known as Lil Huddy, is no stranger to fame. But while housemates Addison Rae and Daisy Keech were known for their clean-cut image, Lil Huddy rode the ‘e-boy’ wave, with dyed black hair, tattoos, and painted nails. While many TikTokker’s have gone to make music, and in contrast to Dixie D'Amelio’s radio-friendly pop endeavors, it does not come as much of a surprise that Huddy’s efforts borrow from the likes of Blink-182 (with Travis Barker lending a hand on production), 5 Seconds of Summer and All Time Low, in a re-imaging of the accessible angst that was the 00's pop-punk scene. The Eulogy of You and Me is the eighteen-year-old’s second single and explores the ending of a toxic relationship. Louise Dugan

‘Trouble’ – Eli Brown, Talk Show

Eli Brown and Talk Show aren’t, at first glance, the most immediately obvious of collaborators, but Trouble reveals aspects of both that weren’t apparent before. The track takes Talk Show frontman Harrison Swann’s commanding Mancunian snarl, and pairs it with a pounding house beat courtesy of Brown. The result lands somewhere between Underworld in their mid-90s imperial phase, and the more blown-out end of Madchester. It’s a crying shame that we’ll have to wait six months to hear this in a club. Louis Griffin

‘I See You Sometimes’ – Vegyn, Jeshi

Frank Ocean collaborator Vegyn teams up with Jeshi for a twisted, skittering slice of his signature neo-R&B. Their first collaboration since Vegyn’s critically-acclaimed debut Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds, I See You Sometimes finds him in a slightly more focussed mode of output, condensing his loose approach to production into a laser-focused end product. Vegyn remains one of the UK’s most exciting producers working right now, and we’re waiting with bated breath for his next full-length project. Louis Griffin

Edited by: Louise Dugan

Featured image courtesy of Alfie Templeman via Facebook.