Fresh New Tracks, Vol. 26 – Eleanor Collides, Future Theory, THE Q’s

April 7, 2023 seems to be a big day for releasing new music, as scores of artists and bands I follow are dropping new singles, EPs or albums today. Because my time and energy are of limited supply, I’m able to only write about a tiny fraction of it. With that in mind, I’ve chosen three new singles for my latest edition of Fresh New Tracks, all by British acts. They are, in alphabetical order, singer-songwriter Eleanor Collides, psychedelic alt-rock band Future Theory, and indie rock band THE Q’s. I’ve previously written about Future Theory many times, whereas Eleanor Collides and THE Q’s are new to me.

Eleanor Collides – “Pantomime”

Eleanor Collides is the solo music project of London-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Nick Ranga. After having written songs for many years, Nick finally decided during one of the Covid lockdowns in March 2021 to start recording them under the moniker Eleanor Collides, the name of his childhood imaginary friend. Working with a group of like-minded London musicians named The MusiCollective, Nick recorded songs with such acts as Pisgah, Colin Tyler, Corporate Drone and Lucoline. That July, he released a four-track EP How to Make Friends, then followed in March 2022 with his debut album People are Taller in Real Life. Since then, he’s released a series of six singles, the latest of which is “Pantomime“. All six singles will be included in his forthcoming second album, due for release later in the year.

Drawing influences from some of his favorite acts like Depeche Mode, Alice in Chains, Hole and Manic Street Preachers, he melds alternative, indie and dream rock with synth pop to create his distinctly melancholic, yet beautiful sound. A great example of his signature sound can be heard on “Lifeboats”, one of my favorite Eleanor Collides songs. His latest single “Pantomime” is even more enchanting, with dreamy atmospheric synths layered over a throbbing bassline and accompanied by gentle percussion and subtle guitar notes. Nick’s smooth vocals are comforting, but with a quiet vulnerability that’s nicely complemented by his own backing falsetto.

He states the song “started life on acoustic guitar, with a four chord loop in the Dorian mode which lends the track a mysterious, melancholy sound, and is about going through the motions and feeling insignificant.” The lyrics describe a couple being driven apart by unseen forces, unsure of how to fix things: “I can be there if you want me. I can give you space if you need time. Floating away on the breeze. Replaying this old pantomime. What time did love arrive? When did affection slip out of the room? But we’re just two people, and what the hell can we do?

Connect with Eleanor Collides:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

Future Theory – “Why”

I’ve been following British alternative psychedelic rock band Future Theory since early 2017, and was immediately impressed by their intelligent songwriting and strong musicianship. Blending elements of alternative and progressive rock, psychedelia, grunge, shoegaze and funk, they fearlessly create arresting music characterized by complex melodies and arrangements, and delivered with lavish instrumentation and mesmerizing vocals. Like many bands, the Lincolnshire-based foursome has experienced changes in lineup over time, and now consists of Max Sander on rhythm guitar and vocals, Chris Moore on lead guitar, Jacob Brookes on bass and Rohan Parrett on drums.

Almost exactly six years ago, I reviewed their superb debut EP Fool’s Dream, and have written about them and their outstanding music many times since. It’s been a pleasure watching them mature and grow as artists, and their music keeps getting better and better. One of their singles “One and the Same”, from their 2022 debut album Future Theory, spent 18 weeks on my Weekly Top 30 chart and ended up ranking #42 on my 100 Best Songs of 2022 list.

Future Theory have been hard at work over the past several months recording a new batch of songs with Corsican producer Yves Altana (Peter Hook & The Light, The Chameleons), and will be releasing a series of singles throughout 2023, as well as touring in Northern England and Scotland in June. The first of these singles is “Why“, a dramatic and powerful song about a dysfunctional relationship that’s breaking apart. And what a spectacular song it is! First off, the jangly and chiming guitars by Chris and Max are breathtaking in their beauty and intricacy. Then there’s Jacob’s deep, resonant bassline, keeping the rhythm in perfect time with Rohan’s muscular drumbeats. Topping it all off are Max’s distinctive, emotion-packed vocals I love so much as he plaintively croons “Say, for me and you there’s really no in-between. We either set sail or crash and burn the dream. Get up before I scream. You’re breaking my heart./ Tell me why, would I lie? Tell me why.” The music builds to an electrifying crescendo of gnarly guitars and explosive percussion that continues to the end of the track. I can’t wait to hear their upcoming singles.

Connect with Future Theory:  Facebook /  Twitter /  Instagram


Last, but certainly not least, are THE Q’s, an indie rock band based in Leeds. Formed in 2014 while they were all in secondary school, the five-piece consists of Leo Grace on lead vocals, Freddie Franchi on rhythm guitar, Dexter Burningham on lead guitar, Mattia Paganelli on drums, and Ben Woolford on bass. Apparently possessing a cheeky sense of humor, the guys released their first single “IN NEUTRAL” on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2021, followed by “TRANQUILO” on Valentine’s Day 2022. Both are really good! Listening to their songs I would generally describe their sound as a happy blend of indie, rock’n’roll, punk and shoegaze.

Now they’re back with their third and latest single “MOVIES“, a sweet, upbeat song about young love, and the trials, tribulations and second-guessing that come with it. I really like the bouncy punk groove, exuberant guitars and snappy drums, and that funky little bass riff in the bridge is terrific. Leo’s vocal are perfect for the song, conveying just the right amount of youthful angst when he sings “But I don’t mind when you make a scene. You make life feel like a movie. And when you’re lying there with me, love life feels like a movie. You’re quite a find. Make life feel like a movie.” But later in the song, he pleads for her to cut him some slack, admitting that he’s partly to blame for their misunderstandings: “Don’t hang up that phone. I know that you’re at home. We’ll sort this out tomorrow, c’mon just let it go. I’m a dickhead, yeah, I know.”

Connect with THE Q’s:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

14 thoughts on “Fresh New Tracks, Vol. 26 – Eleanor Collides, Future Theory, THE Q’s

  1. Marc Schuster

    I love the idea of using a childhood imaginary friend’s name as a stage name! Also cool that Future Theory is working with a producer who also worked with Peter Hook!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jai

    Thanks for introducing me to new (to me) singers and bands. I especially like Eleanor Collides. I couldn’t find the song you mentioned on YouTube, but listened to one named “Chasing Ghosts” I thought was quite good.

    Liked by 1 person

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