“I was lightning before the thunder.”

“Thunder” by Imagine Dragons | I’m not really up to date with new music of a particular persuasion these days, so I am writing about this new Imagine Dragons tracks a month behind. I am irritated by this song. Quite irritated. I don’t know why either. Imagine Dragons are a band I never loved or hated, but rather have learned to tolerate, but never further. I never sought out their songs, never was compelled to listen to them (despite what I wrote here) and have learned to live without them. But then I hear this song, which seems well-intentioned, but strikes me as a group of guys taking the piss off everyone with a riff that is, well, quite irritating. “Thunder!” like you’re being mocked. Luckily, I can move on. [NB]

“Might as well borrow someone else’s dreams.”

“Stars” by the Money War | I was driving back home last Sunday night when this song went on – I just finished a Tears for Fears sing-along and so was feeling a little raw, throat-wise, and this plodded along quite well, fun, like a fuzzy 70s dream with a touch of the Beatles’ “Revolution”. That was a long first sentence, but this song makes me do that. The band is called the Money War; they’re from Perth, but it all began for them on a trip to the United States, where a bunch of demos led to a chance encounter with some producers, and now, they’re being pegged as one of this year’s new buzz bands from down under (although really, it all began for them last year). Last month they released their debut EP, filled with similarly fuzzy delights that sit back and let you do the chilling. Again, good for a drive – and kept me awake long enough to get home (it was past eleven). [NB]

“How do your thoughts feel when they are drowning?”

“In Colour” by Wooing | “You know Rachel Trachtenberg?” Jeany asked me during one of our chats this week. Now I realize I have mistaken her for Michelle Trachtenberg. Jeany and I are of the same age but our references are quite different, understandably. At least me saying Rachel is an actress isn’t false. (Whew.) We were talking about her new band Wooing, another reference lost to me because now it’s clear I have not heard of Rachel before, but “In Colour”, off their just released EP DayDream Time Machine, is a boozy, woozy thing that drives while bending. I would drive fast to this but then the road would buckle and I would be upside down the next moment, with my tires still on the road. Quite interesting, this. Now, to get both our references straight. [NB]

“How do I look now? Am I a beauty?”

“Girlhood” by the Preatures | Proof that I am woefully out of the loop lately: I missed this. The Preatures – my other favorite Aussie band, but then again there are many – have returned with a track that focuses squarely on their revving sound, but still has that romp through rock history that they did the first time. But listening to this right now, as I write this, makes me harried. I have lots of work to do and I am rushing this to post because I actually scheduled nothing. Again. Here we go. Again. How do I look now? Am I clearly harangued? [NB]

“I lost my mind. I don’t mind.”

“Bellyache” by Billie Eilish | Spot the theme? Well, perhaps it’s all in my mind, that one about today’s song and yesterday’s having titles that start with a B and evoke a narrative of overconsumption and its aftermath. And then there’s me finally catching up on my recording of Triple J’s Good Az Friday this week – it’s been sitting on my queue for weeks, and I finally got to listen to their annual stand-up comedy special a couple of nights ago, with this song in between. I’ve read about how Billie will supposedly set the world on fire considering she’s just 15, but then, that’s hyperbole of the sort you often see from the spin cycle. That’s not to discount her; “Bellyache” is actually quite good, the way it starts from a warm guitar-led bit before going all trap on us. (Is it really trap? I am 28, I was never cool, and I can never be cool.) Like yesterday’s song it also wriggles its way into your head, but in a sublime way. And sparse, like most western pop seems to be these days. The aesthetic just feels so vaguely American. [NB]