New Music – Hallan | Fast Trains | Jim McHugh | Gender Roles

Cover sleeves for Hallan, Fast Trains, Jim McHugh and Gender Roles

New releases – Hallan, Fast Trains, Jim McHugh, Gender Roles 

Hallan – Hands Up (single)

First of two in this week’s pick from the burgeoning Portsmouth music scene, Hallan release new single Hands Up today. A celebration of the best bits of post-punk pushing through swinging cowboy saloon doors, the track manages to capture the essence of the current spoken word vocal and mix it with swaggering riffs and eminently accessible beats for the alternative dancefloor. The influence of a certain Mr Mark E Smith is undeniable and it’s good to see this head more towards an Eat Y’self Fitter feel than the more often emulated darker side of The Fall. Give this one a spin to liven up your day. 

Hands Up is available now on Nice Swan Records; forthcoming EP Reporting from the Living Room Floor can be pre-ordered here.



Fast Trains – I Work in Lies (single)

Continuing the coastal takeover, the latest single from Fast Trains is also released today. I Work in Lies is another link in the Fast Trains’ chain of melodies with a message. Each song brings something new to the table, this time the 80s’ feel is definitely there with a leaning towards the sense of foreboding that comes with the less commercial tunes of OMD and XTC (possibly other 3 letter bands as well but none spring to mind). Having tackled the subject of men’s mental health in previous single The English Way, the focus here is on the British tabloids and their propensity for shock headlines at any cost. Forthcoming EP ourWorld Volume 1 is shaping up to be a beautifully constructed piece of work that takes on the real world on its own terms; very much worth your listening time.

I Work in Lies is available now on Bandcamp and the Fast Trains website.

Fast Trains


Jim McHugh – Dave (single)

Ahead of his third album Pretending to Wake Up due for release in May, Monaghan singer-songwriter Jim McHugh drops lead single Dave today. Belying the quiet intro, Dave soon breaks into full rock mode, though the subtleties of Jim’s folk nuances are perhaps still simmering in the background. Despite having talents playing multiple instruments himself, the album brings a full band project for added impact. Dave is the story of a misspent youth and, as such, a welcome reminder of life outside lockdown, something we could all use right now. Dust off your air guitar and play along below.

Pretending to Wake Up is available for pre-order now.

Jim McHugh


Gender Roles – Dead or Alive / So Useless (single)

Good to see Brighton’s Gender Roles continuing to make new music; a band best savoured live but all in good time. Latest release out digitally this week is double A side Dead or Alive / So Useless. Embracing the punchier side of grunge, the band have polished their sound to proffer ridiculously catchy tunes full of huge riffs and frenetic drumming. This release will make you want to run down the beach crying out for a socially distanced mosh pit. The weekend starts here… enjoy. 

Dead or Alive / So Useless is available to download now; a vinyl release is set for 26th March.

Gender Roles


Words by Siobhan

5th February 2021