New Music – Fast Trains | Solidarity Tapes | Van Houten

New releases – Fast Trains, Solidarity Tapes, Van Houten

Fast Trains – The English Way (single)

If you’re wondering how to produce and release music on your own terms, take a closer look at Fast Trains. Eschewing the gargantuan claws of Spotify and aligning the importance of visuals with music, Fast Trains’ material is available exclusively on their website and YouTube. The project has so far seen a range of songs and videos meeting acclaim and an unsurprising rise in interest. New EP ourWorld Volume 1 is due for release next year with lead track The English Way out now confronting the subject of men’s mental health, a topic given much more credence than it once was but still in want of further open discussion. The hard hitting lyrical message is softened with melodic vocals and an understated musical arrangement reminiscent of Radiohead’s High and Dry. In trying times, the parallel society of ourWorld feels like a fine and tranquil place to be, do pay a visit.

The English Way has been released this morning; listen below

(Just going to slip in a reminder here that if things are feeling tough you can talk to CALM and The Samaritans in confidence)

Fast Trains


Solidarity Tapes Volume 1 – End the Hostile Environment (album)

Solidarity Tapes is a new DIY cultural project set up to raise money and awareness for migrant, racial, social and climate justice. Their inaugural release End the Hostile Environment is available now in the shape of a cassette and illustrated zine and it’s packed with an eclectic mix of music from new and established artists of varying genres. Kaputt bring art pop à la Bis with Parsonage Square, Big Joanie offer up discordant punk track Eyes and Italia 90’s Against the Wall is a well fitting addition with the opening line ‘I don’t wanna hear about the power of love when it’s a substitute for real ideology and thought’. Also on the tracklist Goat Girl, PVA and Garden Centre all make an appearance along with many others well worth checking out. Citing their aim as ‘in the spirit of solidarity not charity’, the project offers a platform for artists to present a united front with oppressed groups in a practical way and some great tunes as an added bonus.

Have a listen and make a purchase or donation if you’re able here

Solidarity Tapes


Van Houten – Home Alone (EP)

Out today, Van Houten’s EP Home Alone is brimming with their self-proclaimed ‘slacker pop with a cherry on top’. The Leeds 5 piece have a knack for producing effortlessly breezy dream-pop tunes that belie the complexity of the musical layers involved. Recent singles You and Me and What I Need have a definite vibe of Bill Ryder-Jones and early Childhood and those are heady comparisons not made lightly. The soft focus and melancholy are beautifully executed; listen as you go to sleep and sweet dreams are sure to follow. A couple of planned socially distanced gigs have had to be postponed but, when live shows are a thing again, get yourself along to catch Van Houten if you can, this is definitely a band to keep on your radar. The release comes with a limited run of 50 hand numbered cassettes, available here.

Home Alone is out today via Clue Records, video for What I Need below

Van Houten


Words by Siobhan

13th November 2020