New music, New artists and Hard Of Hearing Firsts.

This week’s discovery issue arrives brimming with new talent.


While the £1.56bn arts rescue package may have arrived just in time for the majority of larger organisations and venues, this week has seen losses of legendary venues in Manchester such as the Deaf Institute and Gorilla, while grassroots venues in Hull, The Welly and The Polar Bear, announced that they would also close for good. As we inch closer to the idea of live music again, whether that’s indoors or outdoors, there’s no shortage of new music on offer to fill those stages when it is safe to do so.

Firsts is a weekly deep search, a collection of intriguing new releases and first features that have occupied the Hard Of Hearing stereo this week. Tracks featured here find their way onto our new music playlist on Spotify, which you can follow below.

Chappaqua Wrestling

Brighton’s Chappaqua Wrestling have released a new single called ‘Football’. It’s a simmering indie tune with guitars that sound like someone scuffing their kickers on the school playground. The lo-fi loving sound might remind of you of the early, and youthful EP’s from Bombay Bicycle Club or perhaps those of Happyness. Restraint and minimalism are two things Chappaqua Wrestling exersize so well on ‘Football’, vocally it’s full of emotion and lyrically picks it’s punches perfectly.

JW Francis
‘New York’

Born in Oklahoma, raised in Paris and living in New York City, meet JW Francis. If you like guitar lines that tie themselves in knots, with enough hooks to rival Captain Birdseye himself, then you’ve just found your go-to-guy. JW Francis has presented us with – in under three minutes – a dreamy and euphoric chorus which displays a love of NYC’s lo-fi sound. Touching on the city’s impressive musical history but turning the brightness up a little, JW Francis is making some of the best, and joyously carefree bedroom pop around. The music video is also excellent..

‘Call You Out’

New Zealand artist deryk, named after her late grandfather who was an early champion of her music, has released her debut in ‘Call You Out’. While instrumentally based around the contrasting intimacy of acoustic guitar and deep and cavernous electronic textures, the Auckland artist finds space for a spine-tingling vocal delivery and lyrical performance that hits you direct in the chest. Her roots are in acoustic music, but with the study of electronic production, deryk has taken the project to frighteningly powerful new heights.


London outfit PLAY DEAD have unleashed their second single ‘Shaun’ via London label Blitzcat Records, and it’s a thrill-seeking joyride. Jam-packed with a raucous punk rock energy and blazing guitar riffs, the band’s second single flies out of the blocks with a hectic call and response delivery and grinds to halt after just two minutes and twenty seconds. On the subject matter PLAY DEAD offer, “It’s a story about Ollie’s nan’s boyfriend, a gentle giant with a short fuse who got arrested for punching a man off his bike”. Let’s just hope everything was cleared up in the end.

‘Be My Friend’

THE GOA EXPRESS have made a rolling start to their career, their recently released second single ‘Be My Friend’ opens at a sprint and doesn’t let up. Based around a spaced-out and driving rock sound tinted with the bright lights of psychedelia, the Manchester outfit lean on a deep-seated bass fuzz and relentless rhythm section to fire taunts at pretenders and anyone else foolish enough to doubt their full throttle approach. If you like what you hear, double back and listen to their classic-sounding, synth-led debut single ‘The Day’.

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