The Mic Recommends...

This week at The Mic we recommend tracks from Nottingham-based artist, hidingthehurt, to TikTok sensation, Huddy. Enjoy your first week into August!

Battery Acid – ZAND

ZAND has warned us of their capabilities ahead of their newest track Battery Acid. It’s a completely different stroke of genius from their self-claimed ‘ugly pop’ style, but now we’re all aware of the span of their genre – it makes us ugly cry too. Battery Acid is an empathetic creation featuring lyrics that merge ZAND’s own experiences with bisexuality, as well as standalone quotes from some of their favourite horror films. It’s a jigsaw puzzle that invites us to rearrange it into our own story. Like most of ZAND’s work, Battery Acid’s relatability to young, queer, and/or marginalised people is what sustains the fandom they’ve harnessed. This was strikingly clear during their performance at 2000Trees which I was fortunate enough to get involved in and scream my heart out to. In fact, I can only imagine how powerful Battery Acid could have been at the forest stage: the deep, orchestic hums at the beginning and throughout the song would transform the already-magical space into a powerful cult of love, pain and pride. ZAND is quickly grabbing the attention they deserve, so don’t wait on ugly crying with us. Roxann Yus

Hope I’m Not Alone – Reignmaker

Having already played support slots at venues with capacities of up to 2000 people, as well as recently announcing a 500-capacity headline show of their own, Liverpool’s newest guitar band Reignmaker have released their debut single Hope I’m Not Alone. With the members of the band bonding over a shared appreciation for artists such as The Night Café, DMA’s, Fontaines DC and The War on Drugs, you can hear these influences on the track, most notably that of The Night Café in the tone of both the guitars and vocals. I can imagine the track’s soaring, catchy chorus being played to a massive crowd of people in a venue like Rock City, following in the footsteps of the indie bands that they have been inspired by and paved the way for their sound. Reignmaker could be the next big thing in the indie world, so if you are a fan of the genre, then they are definitely worth getting a head start on. Gemma Cockrell

All We Are – hidingthehurt

Nottingham-based student Ollie Greenhalgh, who releases music under the moniker hidingthehurt, has released a new single titled All We Are. This follows the success of his previous single Heaven Sent, as well as his latest project, the six-track EP From Fieldfare With Love. Ollie’s genre-bending and unique sound can be hard to pin down or describe, with hyper pop being the core and most noticeable influence, and you enter into each new release eagerly anticipating what he will bring to the table this time. This track sees him explore the lower range of his vocals on the verses over a powerful and moody beat, with higher pitched background vocals in the second half to provide a harmonic contrast. All We Are is one of the artist’s best releases to date, demonstrating him expanding his horizons even further and once again picking the best, most unique beats to compliment his style. Gemma Cockrell

Scars – Within Destruction

Within Destruction are an awesome deathcore band from Slovenia. Their last full length was the impeccable Yōkai back in 2020, and there have been numerous singles released by the band in that time. This is by far my favourite of those releases, with plenty of melody throughout the track whilst also being extremely heavy, especially on the drumming front with some absurdly quick triplets being used on the double bass drums, and naturally some lovely down-tuned action on the guitar for the small breakdown in the middle of the song. The band seem to be gearing up for an album release, and with the explosive brilliance of the previous album, I cannot wait to hear how this will sound. Jake Longhurst

5 Days On (2 Days Off) – Kid Kapichi

Predictability isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, Kid Kapichi’s predictability suits both their punky style of music as well as the perpetual and predictable problems that we face in the UK. This track captures the tediousness of working life: its cyclical averageness and mere purpose to pay the bills, rather than extend our capabilities. This is a theme we expect from the Hastings-based band, following on from new tracks on ‘national pride’, the completely precedented failures of the Tory government, and the fact that salaries aren’t enough to prevent crime in today’s economic climate. I can only imagine that seceding tracks on the upcoming album will discuss other topics within the endless list of problems we face in modern society. And I, for one, look forward to my political stance being soundtracked throughout what lead singer Jack Wilson claims will be an even darker, more turbulent time than before Boris’ resignation. Roxann Yus

Apathy – Michael Aldag

After having heard the track performed live at Meadowlands Festival in Nottingham back in June, it feels like I have been waiting a lifetime to hear the official release of this one. Michael Aldag has been teasing this song relentlessly on TikTok these past few weeks, which is his most popular social media platform, to the point where I feel like I have already heard Apathy many times, but I am somehow not bored of it yet. Michael’s past few releases have been repeatedly and equally strong, with his two previous singles LOML and Teenage Heartbreak being two of my favourite songs of his, and Apathy immediately joins these in this category. The sound of Aldag’s music is hard to describe, as I believe he truly sounds completely different to any other artists in the current musical climate. The charismatic energy he brings to his music is what makes him stand out as a unique artist, alongside his vocal talent and creative, relatable song-writing. Gemma Cockrell

All the Things I Hate About You – Huddy

TIKTOK DRAMA ALERT. Do I care about Lil Huddy and Charli D’Amelio’s relationship? Honestly, not really. However, this Charli D’Amelio diss track is kind of ironically good, I must admit. It hasn’t exactly achieved what Chase Hudson was trying to do, since everyone on TikTok appears to be firmly on Charli’s side, but at least it’s getting him streams I guess. I hope Charli D’Amelio creates a TikTok dance to it and it goes viral. Gemma Cockrell

Omens – Lamb of God

Lamb Of God are bringing the groove with their latest single and the title track of their upcoming album, Omens. The song is about the ignorance of the corrupt and the rich, about how the global elite can afford to ignore the warning signs of global warming, poverty, hunger, and more. It’s also an absolute neck-snapper of a track, with plenty of death metal influence like usual, and somehow even more groove and power than normal. This is not only an amazing Lamb of God song but also a potent warning of what could happen at the logical extent of capitalism, making for a scathing lyrical delivery from the ever-brilliant Randy Blythe. Mark Morton and Willie Adler are also on excellent form on their guitars, John Campbell puts on a beautiful display to hold down the rhythm on bass and Art Cruz is absolutely sending it on his double bass drums, making for a crushing display of the immense power this band has. Jake Longhurst

morethanfriends – sendflowrs

The pop-punk-infused guitar strums of the introduction to morethanfriends sound different to anything that sendflowrs has released before. He is usually the king of sad music, but this song has a more upbeat, uplifting, and almost ‘bouncy’ feel to it than his usual material. There is still a melancholy inflexion to the vocal delivery, so his typical style has not been entirely abandoned, but this track definitely sees him exploring pastures new in terms of his instrumental selection, which also has hints of hyper pop infused into it as the song goes on. A short burst of a track, lasting only 1 minute and 50 seconds, morethanfriends was not what I was expecting from sendflowrs on this release based on the sound of his recent singles like sunchaser and tarnished, but the change in tone was a pleasant and welcome surprise. Gemma Cockrell

No More Tears To Cry – Bullet For My Valentine

Building upon the heaviness of their most recent LP and subsequent singles, No More Tears To Cry mixed the older style of more anthemic and melodic metalcore the band became famous for with the more modern, heavier style of metalcore that they’ve been perfecting of late. The song is about feeling like you’re at the end of your tether, the point where you literally have no more tears to cry, and about the weight suicidal thoughts can put upon your shoulders. With cleaner vocals than most of the band’s recent releases, this is one of the more radio-friendly singles they’ve created, excluding the lyrical content, but there’s still plenty of the new British brand of metalcore hidden inside the track. The bright, sharply distorted guitars so reminiscent of While She Sleeps are still in the mix, and there are still a few growls dotted throughout the track. This is a weaker track than the previous two singles in my opinion, but nonetheless, still worth a listen. Jake Longhurst

Number Five – Ithaca

Ithaca’s new album They Fear Us is a masterpiece that is absolutely already in contention for ‘Album Of The Year’ in my eyes, and this is possibly the strongest track of the lot (although there is massive competition from literally every track on the album). The abrasive guitars that hit you in the face as soon as the song begins are a portent for the rest of the track, and Djamila is on formidable vocal form, giving the song a massive character through her two alternate styles of vocal delivery here, in a Deftones-esque fashion where she goes between screams to a soft croon, and back again just as quickly. The drums are also brilliant, powering through the track and driving it along to give it the sort of power even some of metal’s biggest bands would struggle to muster. Not only was their first album a raging success, but this album also is now one of the best in recent British metal history, so if you haven’t listened then stop what you’re doing right now and get this album up. Jake Longhurst


Edited by: Roxann Yus

Featured image courtesy of ZAND via YouTube.