Opposition is at its best when it not only resists against something, but also stands for another. With that in mind, the largest true opposition party the UK has at the minute is the Scottish National Party, alongside a few city-based Labour rebels, the Liberal fucking Democrats, and Caroline Lucas.

Ultimately, we’re all fucking doomed to watch our elected representatives vote overwhelmingly in favour of triggering Article 50, when the original public vote was merely 52% to Bremain’s 48%, and all the evidence, polling, research, and experts suggest that not only would we vote differently given a second try now, it’ll actually be catastrophic if we do leave the EU. Meanwhile, backbenching-eurosceptic-turned-party-leader Jeremy Corbyn has gotten everything he ever wished for with a cherry on top, as our leading voices in the fightback against more austerity, more scaremongering, and more inequality have willingly gone along with the most economically dangerous and socio-politically alienating move in recent British history by backing Brexit.

Stateside, 45’s current Republican regime continues its reign of terror by filling out his cabinet shitshow with more neo-nazis, investment bankers, and Old White Fuckbags, while labelling any opposition to the administration as “FAKE NEWS”. At least they have an opposition, though artists, charities, and left-leaning media outlets alone are not enough. Actions speak louder than words, and whether it’s petitioning or protesting, rallying or resisting, the fightback must continue; He will not divide us.

Instead of just presenting a ‘Here’s Some Songs We’re Loving This Week’ that no one will give a toss about, here are some inspirational songs that might just carry you through another depressing week on Planet Earth. If you don’t like them then we’ll SEE YOU IN COURT.

Superfood – ‘Double Dutch

Survivors of the great B-town massacre of 2013, Superfood have finally offered up a taster of what they’ve been doing since debut album ‘Don’t Say That‘ was released three years ago. The result is a wonky, synth-heavy curveball by the name of ‘Double Dutch‘, a track as jarring and bemusing as the language it shares a name with.

The song is actually named for the street game of Double Dutch – jumping over two long ropes spinning in opposite directions – and brims with innocent nostalgia for simpler times of childlike wonder and activity. Frontman Dom Ganderton’s cool, effortless vocals overlap with spoken word samples and faraway-sounding harmonies, reigning it all in like the conductor of Superfood’s orchestra while guitars clink around him.

In fairness, it’s the least Superfood-sounding song yet, as the callbacks to Blur and Supergrass are dropped in favour of Eels and Beck; off-kilter yet on-point references for a band awash with nostalgia in all the right ways. Superfood have put their best foot forwards while still keeping the other firmly rooted in the past.

Carmody – Before You Knew Me

Jessica Carmody is readying her first solo EP for release this Spring, but the south-Londoner already has a sound that seems to weathered the stormiest of weather before coming out stronger on the other side.

“Don’t you love who I was before you knew me? // You ran straight through me, you ran straight through me.”

The lyrics are almost Bluesy in their simplicity – and connect with similar passion – but the playful, hand-clapped beat beneath them recall the likes of Lapalux or Oh Wonder. Carmody’s powerful voice is akin to Vera Blue or Charlotte Turnbull, with raw emotion being communicated without the need for vibrato Olympics, and her tone is perfectly complimented with very slight hints of synths, guitars, and even a horn section.

Rightfully so, the song’s closing moments are their most haunting, as the wall of subtle sounds falls away to leave Carmody repeating her final refrain, with a voice we should hope to hear a lot more of very soon. Don’t you love who she is now that you know her?

Nathan Ball – Cold Hands

It’s no surprise that London-based singer-songwriter Nathan Ball has spent a period of his life isolated in the mountains, away from modern-day life, as his music seems destined to be played and enjoyed in the great outdoors. That post-uni trip into the wilderness seems to have served Ball well creatively, as it’s opened up a track like ‘Cold Hands‘ to give it breathing space – something missing in a lot of modern art.

It might be to do with his sugary sweet voice, a tone that sounds almost too nice to be surrounded by reverberating guitar riffs and tribal drum patterns. When he sings “I know we’re getting older but this isn’t over // We still dance like we’re young,” you get the sense that he doesn’t even seem old enough to experience whimsical nostalgia for his past, but isn’t that all of us really? The head-bopping catchiness of ‘Cold Hands‘ visualises an eternal-longing for life of an alternative kind, wondering whether the grass is greener on the other side while secretly hoping it’s actually not.

As the song comes to crescendo, fabulous guitar motifs interlock with one another as the breathy, Sheeran-like vocals soar over mountain tops to promise us, “We could be free“. If freedom feels as good as this sounds, then sign me up.

Marika Hackman – Boyfriend

Ahead of her 25th birthday, Marika Hackman’s newest single ‘Boyfriend’ paints a picture of someone not to be fucked with during the prime of her life.

“‘Boyfriend’ is payback for all those times I’ve been interrupted mid-snog by some seedy wanker asking to join in.”

As glorious a takedown as that is, don’t let the song’s sometimes ambiguous nature lead you astray; Hackman defiantly hits back at a guy – and we all know a guy like this – not taking his girlfriend’s cheating seriously because it’s with another girl. It’s like the exact opposite of ‘I Kissed A Girl’ – empowering, uncompromising, and not taking any of society’s bullshit, and Hackman’s west coast-inspired surf rock is the perfect backdrop.

As with all of the singer-songwriter’s output, the grungy parts are super grungy, and the folky bits are wicked folky. The concurrent theme through both faces of Hackman’s music is her sweet, often-whispered vocals that cruise their way around oohs and aahs like a psychedelic slalom on course for another mega indie-pop chorus about misogyny and homophobia. Definitely not one for you seedy wankers out there.

Hercules & Love Affair ft. Faris Badwan – Controller

Dance music’s most creative rotating cast, Hercules & Love Affair, have recruited The Horrors’ frontman Faris Badwan for vocal duties on new deep-house classic ‘Controller‘. It’s easy to label the new single, out on Moshi Moshi, a “classic” for the many throwbacks to the late ’80s golden era of house music, such as pulsating synths, haunting vocal track, and even the rousing choir that back up the sometimes Cat’s Eyes singer.

The first taste of a follow up to 2014’s ‘The Feast of the Broken Heart‘, H&LA’s inspired choice of collaborators continues, with the project’s previous partners in sound include John Grant and Kele Okereke. This time, it sees the guest contributor perhaps stretching farthest to adapt their own style to that of the NYC-based collective, though not without precedent.

Though it might be a push to consider The Horrors as a band on a path to dancefloor anthemery, their progression from noisy gothpunks to more-colourful psychedeliacs lends itself to an evolution into dance music soon, and DJ Andy Butler seems to have at least helped Badwan discover the raver inside. Give it a year and Southend’s finest will be curating a stage at Lovebox and hosting a residency in Fabric, just you wait.

The Night Cafe – Strange Clothes

Though Liverpudlians by birth, fab foursome The Night Cafe might as well have hailed from New Jersey, such is the Springsteen-like Americana that comes out in spades through new single ‘Strange Clothes‘.

Whether it’s the driving drumbeat that begs to be heard with the top down, or the wailing guitar breakdown towards the end that positively reeks of a Chevy exhaust pipe, The Night Cafe exude the energy of the Gaslight Anthem but without any of the rubbish hats. Strange Clothes indeed, am I right?!?!?!?!?!?!

Anyway, the bright and airy pop-rock presented here – released properly in early March when debut EP ‘Get Away From The Feeling‘ comes out – is frenetic and frantic and all kinds of free-spirited in its nature, joining tourbuddies Sundara Karma and Blaenavon in a competition for who can make me long for my youth the most. Spoiler alert: I’ll never long for my youth again, because it was never as good as these guys make theirs sound.

Rationale – Tethered

Rarely can someone emotionally dig deep enough to create art that is not only cathartic to themselves but also to the consumer regardless of situation or context, but Zimbabe-born Brit Rationale seems to achieve such a feat with relative ease. New offering ‘Tethered‘ rounds off his upcoming ‘Vessels‘ EP nicely, as the Hackney-raised songwriter’s soulful voice echoes around a smooth groove with all the class and clinical brilliance of a man singing from the heart.

His musically rich upbringing – his Mother’s record collection soundtracked his youth – sees a song like ‘Tethered‘ combine laid-back jazz drum shuffling with neo-soul electronics, as descending keyboard riffs serve to underline the incredible range of a voice aching with passion.

Where ‘Tethered‘ tells a story of gritty determination to make a relationship work even when the odds are stacked against you, and that experiential soul-searching lends credence to lyrical contemplation; “Yeah, you got it // I have never needed nobody // Nobody but you.

Through the mountainous roar of his voice and the intrinsic intimacy of his sound, Rationale has most certainly got it; We never needed anybody but him.

In all seriousness, if shit’s got you down then memes, Facebook shares, and petitions aren’t enough. Actions speak louder than words, and I’ve said a lot of bloody words here, so make sure that the actions are as plentiful. As the world races itself to the finishing line of existence by seeing who can fuck up the furthest, your civil liberties and basic fucking human rights are going to be violated, torn up, and pissed on. Here is a list of organisations (h/t Jezabel) that are fighting and doing vital work to ensure that citizens of our planet are treated fairly, legally, democratically, and humanely. If you are able to, please donate whatever you can afford. If you’re unable to, then please try to spread the word. A lot of those organisations operate internationally, or deal with affairs that will greatly affect international policies for years to come – the time for complacency is over, the time for activism is right now.

Good luck, enjoy these perhaps-insignificant mere moments of pop, rock, and pop-rock brilliance and I’ll see you next week.

 

About The Author

Mark Riley

Always pick the Fire starter-Pokemon.