The Mic Recommends...

As everyone here at The Mic continues to adjust to the confines of working from home, we are happy to provide the sixth edition of our new feature ‘The Mic Recommends….’, a weekly instalment of brand new single reviews hand-picked by our team. Expect a unique selection of tracks to be delivered every weekend to help you stay up-to-date with some of the most exciting new releases. This week’s picks include singles from Protomartyr, Jockstrap, Car Seat Headrest and more. Have a read below!

Walt Disco - ‘Cut Your Hair’

There’s something so irresistible about Walt Disco. Their formula taps into the same appeal that RuPaul’s Drag Race owes its success to; in the arch, camp act of drag, there’s an undeniable allure. It’s exactly the same on Cut Your Hair; when frontman James Potter declares that the band are “young, hard and handsome, darling” listener’s can’t help but grin. Musically, the track is perhaps closest to HMLTD, particularly due to Potter’s wailing 80s vocals. Despite their peers, Walt Disco stand apart from other bands, striking their own, rather camp balance. It’s a thrilling tightrope to watch them walk. Louis Griffin

Luke Combs - ‘Six Feet Apart’

Guided by a gorgeous canopy of acoustic guitars and lathered with an undergrowth of steel, Six Feet Apart is one of the most poignant responses to the current pandemic and a stark reminder of Combs’ undying relevance. “It’s a mystery, I suppose / Just how long this thing goes / But there’ll be crowds and there’ll be shows” he croons in defiance on the hook; evidential proof of the universal relatability of country music when it’s at its best. Combs’ voice has a stop-in-your-tracks emotional range and in 2020 he’s only getting better, as Six Feet Apart captures the frustration, distance and hope of the crisis with Luke’s trademark sincerity. Cameron Chadwick

Souki - ‘Miura’

In 1972, Miles Davis crashed his Lamborghini Miura trying to turn off the West Side Highway in New York. High on cocaine, he broke both of his legs. This writer was not aware of this until they heard the debut single Miura from Coventry band Souki, and looked up the lyrics. It is a clattering beast of a debut track, veering from Krautrock to a screech of a breakdown, replete with horns. Think Black Country, New Road with a splash of Squid. It’s maybe the best debut single so far this year. Thank god for Miles Davis, long live Souki. Louis Griffin

Sea Girls - ‘Do You Really Wanna Know?’

Do You Really Wanna Know? is an indie-pop song which epitomises all that is great about London-based Sea Girls. Despite its instantly catchy chorus, powerful and distinctive vocals and the classic Sea Girls upbeat feel, Henry Camamile’s sombre lyrics juxtapose this joyful vibe. Camamile explores mental health issues, touching on suicide in the lyrics, but is reluctant to burden others with his problems. The release of this song accompanied the announcement of Sea Girls debut album Open Up Your Head, due in August. Widely recognised as a band to watch, 2020 could be their year. Benedict Watson

Jockstrap - ‘The City’

On The City, Jockstrap manage to both have their cake and eat it. It begins as a gorgeous piano ballad, as many Jockstrap tracks do; Georgia Ellery’s haunting voice floating through the chords. But then Taylor Skye, the other half of the band, responsible for production, digs in and the track morphs into something quite different indeed. Ellery’s vocals are twisted into a menacing pad, with huge breakbeats crushing into the composition. It doesn’t take long to realise exactly why the duo are on Warp Records, and why they’re one of the most exciting acts around. Louis Griffin

Protomartyr - ‘Worm In Heaven’

On Worm In Heaven, Protomartyr lean away from the thunderous post-punk they’re best known for. Instead, they embrace a more melancholy air, in what seems to be an ode to the ebb and flow of life and death. The result is one of the most profoundly affecting tracks they’ve ever mad, slowly building into a monumental statement: “I did exist, I did. I was here, I am”. It’s a deafening declaration, the sum parts of raging against the dying of the light. The high water mark that any post-punk band should be measuring themselves against. Louis Griffin

Photo credit: Trevor Naud

Cameron Sinclair Harris - ‘Sharp Shoe Shuffle’

One of Nottingham’s many up-and-coming musical gems, Cameron Sinclair Harris has returned from a year of introspection with an intimate and heartfelt ballad, one which hinges on his notoriously poetic lyricism. Harris’ malleable voice wrestles with the repeated, rusty melody of his guitar, and each time the two sounds collide, an authentic dose of emotion is pulled from the liminal space that he occupies in his music. This single, genuine and provocative in its juxtaposed instrumentation, is an opportunity for contemplation, make use of it. Matt Andrews

Car Seat Headrest - ‘What’s With You Lately’

On latest album, Making A Door Less Open, Car Seat Headrest have pitched a decidedly different angle, cosying up to EDM instead of typical indie accoutrements. So it’s ever so slightly reassuring to find that they’ve put out a genuinely fantastic acoustic ballad in What’s With You Lately. Channelling Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, or perhaps REM, it is a track that washes by with a beautifully melancholic air. Will Toledo is still able to deliver the devastating emotional goods. Louis Griffin

Photo credit: Carlos Cruz