45s Of The Week: boygenius, Arlo Parks, Nieve Ella and more!

The tracks you need to hear this week, reviewed by Jenessa Williams


boygenius – ‘Not Strong Enough

Having announced UK shows in London and Halifax, boygenius are keeping the previews for upcoming debut album, ‘The Record‘, coming thick and fast. ‘Not Strong Enough’ is perhaps their happiest valley so far; an upbeat, road-trip rouser still rich in the group’s trademark self-lament; “I don’t know why I am the way I am/ not strong enough to be your man”. Maybe it’s the sweet nostalgia of the video’s footage, but there is something in this song that really feels like friendship, a comforting hand to talk you down during even the roughest of times. 

Arlo Parks – ‘Impurities

We all know and love Arlo Parks for her hyper-specific storytelling and visual observation, but in this new era, she appears to be enjoying a slightly more understated approach. On ‘Impurities’, her message of comfort and safety is simple: “I radiate like a star/when you embrace my impurities/ and I feel clean again”. A meditative hip-hop beat keeps her company, sounding like it might have potentially been inspired by a recent “life-changing” visit to Japan and the Fuji Rocks. Calming and cathartic as ever, it’s definitely one of Park’s more straightforward efforts, but it’s an intriguing brick in the road which leads to ‘My Soft Machine‘’s release in May. 

Scowl  – ‘Shut Down

One of the fastest-rising new names in hardcore punk, Santa Cruz’s Scowl have got a thing or two to say about the toxicity of a stiff upper lip. Bouncing between scrappy growls and Hole-era radio-rock, vocalist Kat Moss embodies the internal battle of vulnerability and bravado, pulling on a history of nuanced punk femininity. At only 1 minute 49 seconds long, this is a band that knows how to pack a no-nonsense punch.  


Nieve Ella – ’19 In A Week

Comparison culture comes for us all but when you’re teetering on the threshold of true adulthood, the pressure can feel especially real. So notes Nieve Ella, crafting a quarter-life crisis anthem for anyone who has ever felt “grown but still in the backseat”. With a mix of poppy “ah-ah” inflectons and more punishing verses (“I dread my birthday every year / I think its cool I get to share it with my dad / But it’s a shame, / He’s not here”), Ella is a whip-sharp one to watch. 

Momma – ‘bang bang

While Nieve Ella was stuck at home in existential dread, Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten from MOMMA were struck down with COVID, using their quarantine as an excuse to pen an ode to the simple thrill of great sex. What results is a scuzzy-90s-inspired go-getter of an indie song, equal parts playful and sincere in its come-hither promise; “We can do it on the phone / All weekend I can be your secret”. If they keep up this pace, Momma definitely won’t be kept hush-hush.

Listen to these and even more of the week’s new releases by following our BRAND NEW playlist, updated every week.