Firsts: New releases on our stereo this week.

New music, new artists and Hard Of Hearing firsts.


Firsts is a weekly round up of spellbinding new tracks and first features that have occupied the Hard Of Hearing stereo this week. Tracks featured here find their way to our new music playlist on Spotify, which you can follow here here.

Sly Hand
‘Big Pharma’.

Aficionados of Australian psych-licked, post-punk big guns The Drones and The Birthday Party beware, you may have stumbled across their long lost grandchild. Sunderland duo Sly Hand combine recklessly barbed guitar lines with crashing cymbals and drumming with a mesmerising motorik pulse. While ‘Big Pharma’ tears at the worn seams of punk as a genre, it’s the driving guitars in the chorus, chaotic drums fills thereafter and an unhinged lyrical delivery that feeds into a harder, darker side. This duo mean more than business.

‘Figure Me Out’.

Yala! Records signees Caro are a talented threesome. Their latest single ‘Figure Me Out’ is led by piano and is marked by ethereal vocals that soar elegantly within a song structure which is built for festival stages and albums of sweeping, neatly crafted oddball pop. While positive comparisons to fellow Leeds outfit Alt-J will serve to push listeners their way, Caro offer up enough of an off-kilter pop vision of their own to cut a unique path. Instrumentally intricate, with a knack for building haunting layers of sound, it’s the delicacy of the vocal and hypnotic lyricism that deals the killer blow for Caro.

‘Ticket To Paradise’.

Spike is the lo fi bedroom synth pop project of London musician Hannah McLoughlin. ‘Ticket To Paradise’ is a nighttime listen, an intimate journey through sweet synth textures, bubbling sub bass and a gloomy yet somehow euphoric undercurrent. Sounding just as at home in a small festival tent as it would in a sticky floored DIY venue, Spike evoke the spirit of early Crystal Castles with it’s pounding lo fi beats and glitchy, gothic approach to vocals.

Mount Mural

I know so little about Canadian quartet Mount Mural and their new single ‘World’ that it feels strange to feel so connected to their music. There’s a certain majesty about the soundscape they create, driving and breathless one minute to spacious and floating the next. While a comparison to Brooklyn favourites DIIV may go as far as to offer a recognisable comparison of their sound, Mount Mural deal in landscape and architecture. ‘World’ offers an opportunity to daydream, an array of thought-provoking instrumentation and a vocal delivery that glides through lyrics that think big.


Hailing from Hattiesburg, Mississippi MSPAINT sound like America’s answer to IDLES. Their self-titled debut EP has all the hustle, growl and pent-up energy any modern post-punk must offer. ‘Hardwired’ opens with a jarring electronic loop before the band leap into a skull crushing instrumental beat down and addictive vocal hook. Instrumentally tight-knit and equally hard-hitting, ‘Hardwired’ is a mind-bending post-punk groove that offers an insight into the mood of modern day punk in the USA.

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