The Mic Recommends...

On a glistening Sunday, The Mic is celebrating another batch of fresh music in our ‘The Mic Recommends…’ feature, highlighting the biggest and best new single releases. This week’s instalment of picks, hand-chosen by our team, features singles from IDLES, Dream Wife, Phoebe Bridgers, Connie Constance, Inhaler, Hannah Pickard, The Mysterines and many more. Have a read below!

IDLES - ‘Mr. Motivator’

IDLES are back! The Bristol punks return after a two-year hiatus following 2018’s critically-acclaimed Joy As An Act Of Resistance. The new single, Mr. Motivator is a thunderous anthem, commanding the listener to “Seize the day / All hold hands, chase the pricks away”. In a nod to breakout single Well Done, the lyrics feature numerous nods to ever more ridiculous celebrities, from Frida Kahlo to Conor McGregor. Try not to break into a grin as Joe Talbot tells you again and again that you’re “Joe Cal-fucking-zaghe!” – after a couple of listens, you start to believe him. Louis Griffin

Dream Wife - ‘So When You Gonna…’

One of rock’s major feminist forces return this week with the title track from their eagerly-anticipated sophomore record, set for release in July. The bruising trio extend the continuum of brazen, self-assured feminist rock on their latest single, complete with punk rock sensibilities that flip a middle finger to convention with an uncompromising and refreshing directness. In glorious fashion, the trio promote body autonomy and self-empowerment through lyrics centred on grabbing the moment, communicating desires, promoting wholehearted consent and enjoying the moment where talking is no longer enough. Inspired by Meat Loaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light, the trio’s new ferocious single is a scintillating message of empowerment. Ben Standring

Phoebe Bridgers - ‘I See You’

Phoebe Bridgers has graced us with another dreamy, chilled pop ballad with her newest single I See You, coming from her sophomore album Publisher. The LA singer and her drummer ex-boyfriend wrote the song together about their breakup; not something we see songwriters doing very often. Bridgers’ softly-sung vocals are complemented by glistening instrumentals and her words paint the picture of a crumbling relationship- “I used to light you up, now I can’t even get you to play the drums”. Bridgers has also announced an upcoming ‘virtual world tour’ where she will perform hits on livestream from her kitchen to her bedroom. Rachel Irwin

Connie Constance - ‘Monty Python’

On her first single of the year, Connie Constance welcomes in a new and cohesive sound, one channeling pop’s delicate idiosyncrasies, steering away from the impulsive nature of 2019’s debut LP English Rose which defiantly grabbed listeners by the emotional jugular. Monty Python is a light, atmospheric pop offering drenched in nuance, yet retaining an air of urgency in coy fashion. The singer-songwriter slowly recoils across the track with a raw and ethereal delivery providing an aspect of self-reflection and awareness, as tales of excess and heartbreak are spun atop a backing of lo-fi drums and winding guitars. As the saturated quagmire of equally-striving singer-songwriters persistently swells, Constance’s brutally-honest and often brash take on modern life is a refreshing welcome for the genre. Ben Standring

Lady Gaga (Feat. Ariana Grande) - ‘Rain On Me’

Pop giants Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga have kickstarted the summer with a collaboration none of us knew we needed. Its Ibiza-esque synths and soulful vocals are reminiscent of a track from a late 90s Pacha night, or an early noughties night in Soho. Its groove is untouchable and takes from timeless elements we’ve seen in staple decades, arguably a curveball considering its artists. Yet, it has a flamboyance that only Gaga and Grande could make so classy. It’s refreshingly uplifting and already establishes itself to be a dancefloor staple. Lucy Gray

Inhaler - ‘Falling In’

Following the cascading indie-rock of We Have To Move On, and the jubilant toe-tapper Ice Cream Sundae, Dublin rockers Inhaler return with a blessing of 80s grooves and soaring melodies, showcasing a new sound and structure to the four-piece’s sound. Documenting how their lives have changed over the past year, the track acts as a reflection on the pitfalls of success, with Elijah Hewson’s commanding vocals steering the ship atop recoiling guitars and a myriad of percussive quips. Taken from their upcoming debut record, the former school friends have managed to create their most diverse offering to date, a single that ebbs and flows from its soaring chorus to soothing break. As one of the biggest breakthrough bands in the last year, it is natural for the band’s confidence to seep into their egos, but on Falling In the quartet tackle the issue head-on, with rapturous success. Ben Standring

Hannah Pickard - 'Baby Blue’

Following the release of her debut EP Apricot Cocktails, Nottingham’s own alternative soul-pop singer, Hannah Pickford sets her gentle voice against a relaxed combination of guitar and piano on leading single Baby Blue, a sonic blend which carries the listener’s imagination through a series of intimate and tender images centred around family, love and, most importantly, music. Pickford’s lyrics, pondering on her relationship with her music, grants insight into the ambiguities regarding the creative process, perhaps expressing the abstract nature of inspiration and what it means to use music as a medium for communication. In its simplest form, Baby Blue is a beautiful piece of music that effortlessly lifts its reader into reverie, lets them float for a forgiving three minutes, and gently places them back where they were. A scintillatingly pure release from an EP of mesmerising quality. Matt Andrews

The Mysterines - ‘I Win Every Time’

In Lia Metcalfe, The Mysterines have one of the most engaging figureheads, whose confrontational and visceral demeanour onstage transitions perfectly to new release I Win Every Time. An intoxicating and unhinged battle cry, the Liverpool band’s latest breakneck anthem follows their sold out UK headline tour earlier in the year, and with visceral guitars and pummelling drums, the three-piece have firmly laid the foundations for what could be a breakout year for them. An unstoppable force in the underground rock scene, who have supported the likes of Royal Blood and The Amazons in recent memory, the trio’s latest release is a snarling and visceral statement of intent born to be played on full volume and in front of sweaty crowds. Ben Standring