The Mic Recommends...

As spooky season draws to a close, our team have chosen the best singles of the past week to usher in November in style. Have a read below for our thoughts on the latest offerings from Black Country, New Road, Bring Me The Horizon, Sundara Karma, Black Honey, and more.


‘Zombie Prom’ - Kaiser Chiefs

Time to get spooky. In an echo of the Monster Mash the ‘Kaiser Freaks’ are back with their new Halloween track, Zombie Prom, finally dipping their toes into recording music remotely. This is a good one for fans of the Arctic Monkeys, as frontman Ricky Wilson treats us to a Turner-esque vocals in his new hair-raising track. The song is upbeat and catchy, a necessity in such a “Halloween of a year.” It’s obvious that the band haven’t taken themselves too seriously, and instead have strived for fun over all else. All that’s left to do (as so well put by Wilson) is to “rattle your bones and swish your capes to sound of a band who really should be getting out more.” Hattie Kilner


‘Science Fair’ – Black Country, New Road

What is there to say about Black Country, New Road, really, that hasn’t already been endlessly lauded throughout what’s left of the music press? Achieving the kind of cult following that’s usually bestowed on forgotten Sun Records artists, or impossibly rare DFA white labels, the Cambridge experimentalists cast a long shadow. The wait between their second and third singles has been with baited breath – a seemingly more formative gap than that between their debut and sophomore releases. This would be the make-or-break moment – were they the real deal? Or yet another over-hyped Windmill knock-off? They are, dear reader, the real deal.


Science Fair is a strange, at times bewildering, and always captivating beast. Aggressively unlistenable guitar lines give way to a hypnotic rhythm section, as Isaac Wood relays spoken word accounts of the titular fair, sounding likely to undergo a nervous breakdown at any moment. But then, with a typically irreverent “it’s Black Country out there!,” he ushers the track into possibly the most experimental passage the group have yet recorded. The collapse into a Klezmer wig-out is deeply gratifying, and I immediately rewound and listened again. It turns out lightning can strike thrice after all. Louis Griffin

Artifice – Sundara Karma

With dreamy, shimmering opening synths unrecognisable from the indie guitars and drums that dominated their early releases, including 2017’s debut album Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect, Artifice is arguably Sundara Karma’s most experimental release to date. There is a lot going on in the song, but in the best way possible – it is an experimental, exciting, and genre-bending pop track. As the song climaxes with a chorus of auto-tuned, heavily-produced vocals and euphoric, explosive synths, it is clear that Sundara Karma have evolved into something much bigger than the indie band that they once were; a former indie-guitar sensation transformed into a band who are fearless when exploring and pushing genre boundaries. This fearlessness is what has enabled them to craft Artifice arguably one of their biggest and best tracks to date. Gemma Cockrell


‘Velvet Dreams’ – A Boy Named John

A few years since the release of debut album So We Live So We Die, which demonstrated the true versatility of the band, featuring powerful hard rock, to piano and jazz inspired pieces, the New Jersey band have released an exciting new single. The track opens with an isolated sparkly riffing, building with hushed vocals, before exploding into the punches of pounding drumbeats. Throughout, frontman Christian Singh’s vocals bring a sense of control to the chaos in the frenzy of guitars, without loosing the depth of emotion explored lyrically. Marrying the characteristic tension and release of their hometown scene’s style, with a sweeping cinematic freshness, Velvet Dreams is heavily laced with atmosphere, balanced with a distinct sonic palette. With the release of their latest EP, This Is Loss and It Will Pass, in less than a month, listeners won’t have to wait long to see how the track will fit into the band’s wider vision. Louise Dugan

‘BiL (Molten Jets Session)’ – Shame

Shame are a band that were once hailed as “the future of rock.” And, after touring their debut to death, they have final begun to tease the follow-up. First single Alphabet was a perfectly capable entry in their catalogue, but nowhere near matched the fever pitch of excitement around the band’s return. So, the decision to release the second single as a live session is a curveball indeed. Especially when you take into account that the track, BiL, is one of the best they’ve ever turned out. Experience it alongside the live video for maximum effect – Charlie Steen is in grandstanding form, all mic tricks and sweat, while Sean Coyle-Smith steals the show with a guitar line that snakes it way straight into the brain. BiL hits harder and digs deeper than anything Shame have done before, and my only regret is that it wasn’t the lead single. Louis Griffin


‘1x1’ - Bring Me the Horizon ft. Nova Twins

I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for anything Nova Twins do, so it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of their new collaboration with Bring Me the Horizon, 1x1. The song is classic BMTH angry, guitar-laden, and topical, further clouded by the darkness of lockdown. Their tried-and-tested song format twists in brilliantly with the nu-metal influences of the Nova Twins, who are the real stars of the song, - as with the rest of the album, which contains tracks featuring extreme Japanese metal prodigies, BABYMETAL and revolutionary pop-punk favourite Yungblud. Indeed, the Nova Twins give the song a well needed boost, to create a truly heart-wrenching anthem. 1x1 is shaped by guilt - guilt for how we’ve destroyed species and culture for no gain - and is a brilliant collaboration track for an angry generation. Hattie Kilner

I Like The Way You Die – Black Honey

In the wake of the announcement of sophomore record Written & Directed, to be released early in the new year, Brighton rockers Black Honey have released another teaser for their fans. Although they first emerged into the music world with the label of ‘indie band’, I Like The Way You Die is a track full of bite; stomping through three minutes of guitars drenched in fuzz and 90s rock n roll attitude. Accompanied by a suitably spooky Halloween themed music video, featuring front-woman Izzy Phillips revelling in the fierce power of femininity, the band are unapologetically and empoweringly female-led in an industry which seems to be all too complacent in its lack of inclusivity. Louise Dugan


Edited by: Louise Dugan