10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week – Slash, LCD Soundsystem, Delorean

1. Happy Birthday – ‘Subliminal Message’
The first single to be lifted from the new self-titled album from Sub Pop’s latest signings is hypnotic to say the least. Frontman Kyle Thomas, sometime member of J Mascis’ outfit Witch, possesses a Brother Danielson-meets-Sleepy Jackson-era-Luke Steele vocal that coaxes you into playing along to Happy Birthday’s every whim. [Ash Dosanjh, Assistant Reviews Editor]
[Free MP3]

2. Slash – ‘By The Sword’
Slash’s forthcoming debut solo album features guest spots from a host of rock legends – plus Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale. Surprisingly, though, his contribution is the most listenable, primarily because it weaves an actual melody in among Slash’s solos. And it’s great, in a leather-kecks-akimbo kind of way – but come on, Slash, wouldn’t you have more fun rejoining Guns for Reading and Leeds? [Luke Lewis, Deputy Editor NME.COM]

3. LCD Soundsystem – ‘Drunk Girls’
More anticipated in certain corners of this place than The Strokes, Klaxons and Libertines comebacks combined, LCD’s return is loaded with the added pressure of being the lead single from their last album ever (or so James Murphy claims). It’s Bowie! It’s Devo! It’s the wry observational lens of ‘Losing My Edge’ turned on the curious mating rituals of the young, tender and incapacitated! It’s basically everything you’d want in a song, ever. [Krissi Murison, Editor]

4. The National – ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’
Having slogged for a decade only to become everyone’s ‘overnight’ critical sensations with ‘Boxer’, The National’s return proves pleasingly unstraightforward. On the face of it this comeback MP3 is an ode to the band’s hometown. Yet ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ is actually a surrealist, regret-tinged reminiscence that somehow manages to be heartbreakingly sad yeteuphorically inspiring between breaths. Gently epic. [Paul Stokes, Associate Editor]
[Free MP3]

5. Delorean – ‘Stay Close’
Relocating from the hotbed of electro talent that is Spain’s Basque country (see also: Crystal Fighters and, erm, that’s it) Delorean decamped to Barcelona to produce more of their Balearic blog house. ‘Stay Close’ picks up where last year’s raved-about ‘Seasun’ left off, which is lying in warm sand absent-mindedly toying with vintage synths. [Tim Chester, Assistant Editor, NME.COM]

6. Harlem –‘Friendly Ghost’
Kudos to Austin’s hardest-working band – still a bunch of messed-up delinquents, thankfully – for coming up trumps with this Dirtbombs-meets-Standells rumpus. We’re dealt guitars so lo-fi they end up sounding like the skew-whiff piano bit from ‘White Light/White Heat’, a wonderful opening
lyric about living in a graveyard and a chorus so singalong it could have been penned by Frank Black two decades ago. [Matt Wilkinson, News Reporter]

7. Frankie & The Heartstrings – ‘Tender’
Disparate things do great pop singles make: an exciting guitar solo, Modern Lovers organ stabs, and a singer – Frankie, of course – who yelps like he’s got his dick stuck in his zipper. OK, so this Sunderland five-piece still haven’t written a song as good as their haircuts – but this is easily as good as their shoes. [James McMahon, Features Editor]

8. I Am Arrows – ‘Nun’
Until Andy Burrows released his solo album in 2008, I for one thought there was little more of worth to come from the Razorlight camp than freak-pointing schadenfreude. ‘The Colour Of My Dreams’ was a low-key surprise, but this shuffly, charming number suggests his new guise will be a more full-blooded affair. With Andy playing all the instruments, it recalls the warm psych-pop of Jim Noir and is really quite special. [Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor]

9. Teenage Fanclub – ‘Baby Lee’
Expecting Teenage Fanclub to make anything other than Beach Boys-siphoning sunny-chorded honey-pop would be like expecting Alice Glass to politely sit on a stool throughout a Crystal Castles show, wouldn’t it. Still, this lead single off new album ‘Shadows’ – their first in five years – ticks all the Fannies-fan boxes with a big neon pen with a smily face on the back end of it, so we’re in. [JF]

10. Rusko – ‘Woo Boost’
The first single from debut ‘OMG’ is ridiculously silly, with a b-line that strides along like the Ghostbusters Marshmallow Man dancing to Black Lace. [JH]