The Mic Recommends...

The university may be striking this week, but The Mic Recommends is not! Read below to find out our writers' thoughts on new tracks from Everything, Everything, Wilkinson and Becky Hill, Caroline Polachek, Sundara Karma and Sharon Van Etten.

Bad Friday - Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything have announced their upcoming album Raw Data Feel with the release of the lead single Bad Friday. The album will arrive on 20th May, but for now, we have been given our first taste of the album, which sets out to revolutionise modern pop music. Frontman Jon Higgs took a unconventional approach, letting technology take control by creating an A.I. programme and feeding it selected information, and using its responses as a basis for the album. This included the terms and conditions of LinkedIn, the poem Beowulf, 4chan forum posts and the teachings of Confucius. This is a very unique and exciting approach, and not only that; they have also signed a book deal with Faber Music for a career spanning lyric and photo book Caps Lock On: Lyrics + Debris 2007-2022, so it is a very exciting time for Everything, Everything indeed. Gemma Cockrell

Here For You - Wilkinson & Becky Hill

Having produced arguably the biggest drum and bass song of all time (it’s Afterglow, as you already know), fans have been anticipating this reunion for 9 years. And after listening, they will be able to say that this duo have done it again. With it’s catchy lyrics, a great hook and excellent production, Here for You is the more relaxed, chilled out younger sister of Afterglow. While the latter is often played as a send-off from the DJ at the end of the rave, this track will be enjoyed at the beginning when they first come on. While the song is indisputably a great track, it will be interesting to see whether it will receive the same incredible reaction as their last collaboration. Regardless, listening to this track will excite listeners for the festival season ahead, where it will inevitably be played by DJs across the nation. Cat Jordan

Billions - Caroline Polachek

The So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings singer teases her sophomore album with second single Billions. Following last year’s hyper-pop number Bunny Is A Rider, this song is every bit as eccentric as we would expect from Polachek. The heavy production and lyrics swathed in metaphor make for an ethereal listening experience. She elevates sexting to the sonnet form ("Sexting sonnets // Under the tables") and conjures an image of a pearl inside an oyster. The accompanying video to the song sees Polachek making wine and then reading a storybook to children, the simplicity of these visuals echoing something of the sublime. Rhianna Greensmith

Oblivion! - Sundara Karma

Indie stalwarts Sundara Karma have kicked off 2022 by releasing a taste of what is coming up on their EP Oblivion!, being released at the start of April. The lead single of the same name has a swaggering, pop-punky undertone that charms throughout the track. The seemingly effortless switch between 1975-like indie-pop and thrashing punk guitars more resemblant of Waterparks is fascinating to unpick, and Oscar Pollock’s lead vocals suit both styles very well. The American Football depicted on the cover is perhaps symbolic of this stylistic change, as American post-punk is definitely a source of inspiration on this track. This sound is very different to either of Sundara’s earlier albums, but this could be the sign of a significant genre-shift of which the band are certainly capable. Blurring the lines between genres and being constantly experimental is what propelled the band to acclaim in the first place, it is a formula that works. Their previous single, Godsend, will also appear on the EP, and again starts introspectively before transforming into a hammering punk-like song, with the heavy drums and powerful guitar riffs complimenting Pollock’s impressive vocal range. Once again, the song is interesting to listen to, but it’s unapologetically un-Sundara Karma. Perhaps fans expecting a reimagining of Ulfilas' Alphabet will be disappointed as it’s such a far cry from that distinctive sound, but ultimately these two singles highlight Sundara’s bravery to delve into pastures unknown. Bring on the EP! Alex Duke

Porta - Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten wrote Porta whilst struggling with anxiety and depression during the pandemic. The result is at the same time uplifting and devastating; the lyrics “think straight, get by” are repeated like a drill to drown out the alternative voice that is beckoning her back into darkness. The powerful pulses of rhythm underscoring this song feels like a recognition of the strength it took to claim her life back from the self-destructive version of herself that was taking over. Yet having said all this, the shimmering 80s synth and buoyant beat makes you want to dance in the street under a lamppost after dark. This masterpiece effortlessly stitches raw emotion and pain into a melody that ultimately fills you with hope. Christi Smith


Edited by: Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Becky Hill via Facebook.