March 2013 will be almost certainly be remembered for The Month When The Weather Got Ridiculous. Still, if your ears didn’t drop off from frostbite they would have been privy to some pretty amazing new music.
In the same month that our dear Girls Aloud departed the musical universe, there were some big comebacks from Suede, The Strokes, Hurts and Snoop Lion. Meanwhile Beyonce and Phoenix all teased us with new tracks. Hard as it was the choose, we’ve picked out our favourite musical moments from the last month…
Our new favourite member of Odd Future gets in there with a bang (Tyler guest spot included). NME.com Deputy Editor Lucy Jones explains why she’s now “Team Earl”:
Since watching him perform, with Flying Lotus as Captain Murphy as his hype man no less, at SXSW a couple of weeks ago, I’ve joined Team Earl. The baby-faced legend-to-be has a slightly surreal way with words – ‘Whoa’ references Quidditch, venison and kettles – and a talent for quick-fire rhymes. I couldn’t be more excited about his first proper album, ‘Doris’.
Taken from the Gold Edition (mmm, shiny) of ‘Devotion’, this new track sees the soulstress team up with producer Julio Bashmore. NME Deputy Editor Eve Barlow tells it like it is:
I saw it performed at the first of her two sold-out nights at Shepherds Bush Empire. Instantly hit me. It’s the latest of her collaborations with Julio Bashmore. Both have been announced separately for Glastonbury. Let’s pray that a) it’ll be hot and sunny and b) there’ll be a meet-up on one of the stages at some point to deliver this banger.
NME’s New Music Editor Matt Wilkinson basks in the scorched summer vibes of this tune. He says:
How could you not fall head over heels for this? The highlight of the Tampa, Florida newcomers’ ace new EP ‘Totale Nite’, it’s seven minutes of rollicking punk-funk, played with utter confidence by America’s best new band. While everyone is – rightly, perhaps – banging on about how Carson Cox may be the finest frontman of his generation, what people haven’t really mentioned is the genius of guitarist David Vassalotti. Here, he’s utterly shithot.
Vampire Weekend Introduce Us To ‘Diane’
Our favourite Upper West Siders (soz, cast of Gossip Girl), return with ‘Diane Young’, a humdinger of a choon. In her review NME Assistant Reviews Editor Sian Rowe writes:
Vampire Weekend still have energy, ideas and just as many ‘A-Punk’-like hooks, and it’ll only take two listens to have you singing “Diiiaaane Young“.
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JT sold about a squillion copies of his new album, but opinion about the new album has divided the NME office. NME.com News Reporter David Renshaw stands up for the LP.
Justin Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience’ might not have been a critics favourite but if you give yourself over to it it’s a luxurious thing indeed. OK, it’s way too long and if you don’t fancy the mental image of Justin and Jessica Biel consummating their marriage then songs like ‘Strawberry Bubblegum’ might not be for you but you have to applaud the audacity of a man who kept fans waiting 7 years for a new release and then came back with an 8 minute long song like ‘Mirrors’ and turned it into a number one smash. Also worth noting is that this is producer Timbaland’s finest work in a long, long time. I didn’t think I’d ever see him do anything besides producing b-list popstars and pulling confused faces behind Nelly Furtado but his work on ‘Pusher Love Girl’ and ‘Blue Ocean Floor’ proves that there is life in him yet.
The Family Rain In Berlin
These Bath-based brothers are making quite a name for themselves. NME.com Assistant Editor Kevin EG Perry says:
This month I went to visit The Family Rain at Hansa Studios in Berlin and was blown away by tracks like ‘Carnival’. It’s like Kings of Leon if instead of going stadium-mainstream they’d signed up Jack White on guitar.
Savages played their biggest London show at the Camden venue and they slayed. In his live review John Calvert writes:
“What makes Savages special is their mastery over nervous tension. Classic bands from the post-punk era such as Gang Of Four and Wire were defined by tension – between savagery and intellectualism, politics and action, the clashing energies of left and right-wing politics. It’s what pioneers of the genre, Television, called the “friction” that results from “too much contradiction.” And Savages are nothing if not the production of contradiction.”
James Blake’s ‘Digital Lion’ Gives Us Chills
Taken from his second album ‘Overgrown’, James Blake’s Brian Eno collaboration is inspired. In her review, NME Assistant Reviews Editor Sian Rowe writes:
Yes, he still looks sad in his pictures, but James Blake isn’t just mewing any more. That’s a good thing.
Peace Make Us Fall In ‘Love’
NME coverstars, Brummie quartet Peace, squish as many Britpop references as they can into their debut, with winning results. NME Deputy Editor Eve Barlow writes:
If you don’t think Peace are as rejuvenating as a wash of zesty orange juice over a crushing hangover then you’re beyond help.
Sky Ferreira’s Track ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ Is Golden
Sky teamed up with Dev Hynes and Ariel Rechtshaid to produce one the best pop songs of ’13. NME News Editor Dan Stubbs listens on:
Cool, sophisticated pop with a downbeat melody. She’s finally found the right sound – with a little help from Dev Hynes.