September was pretty a pretty good month for music, wasn’t it? A bounteous crop of new music has sprung up over these past weeks, some of which we didn’t even know existed this time last month: huge albums from big names such as Thom Yorke, Aphex Twin, Gerard Way and Jamie T. But what were the stand-out pieces of new music? Were there other treasures to plunder away from the big-hitters? Of course there were. Here’s team NME on their favourites:
Telegram – ‘Regatta’
Continuing their slow and steady tease, drip-releasing singles at achingly low regularity, Telegram’s newie ‘Regatta’ comes nearly seven months after their last. Thankfully for us and them, the track is a dizzy, three-and-a-half minute whirlwind that scorns the mere notion of slow pace. Swamping their glam stomp in a woozy, drunken outer layer, it takes the band’s knack for careering forward motion and adds an added level of drug-addled decadence. The whole thing is a rush of relentless, confident excitement from start to finish, and the ‘larking around Tokyo’ video makes being in Telegram look like the funnest gig around. Still, less time pissing about in bars and more time in the studio from now on please, lads…
Lisa Wright, NME Writer
Twin Peaks – ‘Wild Onion’
The second record from Communion signings Twin Peaks is one of the most fun garage rock albums I’ve heard all year. It’s definitely too long, coming in at 16 tracks, but you can’t kick a bunch of hard partying 20-year-olds for their carpe diem enthusiasm. And with irresistible tracks like ‘Making Breakfast’ only taking up merely 2 minutes of your time, the Chicagoans are not asking for much from you in return. Besides perhaps a little dance around the kitchen while you pour some milk – and a drop of whiskey – over your Weetabix.
Eve Barlow, NME Deputy Editor
Dad Rocks – ‘Year Of The Flesh’
Just in time for summer’s picturesque fade into autumn, there’s been a tonne of wistful, belly-warming Americana to bask in this month, from North Carolina pair Hiss Golden Messenger’s ‘Lateness of Dancers’ to new sounds from cult hero Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Icelandic-born, Danish-residing troubadour Snævar Njáll Albertsson pips them all for me though, with his sumptuous new album ‘Year of the Flesh’. Weaving hilarious witticisms about the internet age and credit card debt around twanging folk guitars and brassy Sigur Ros-ish orchestral flourishes, its most recent single ‘In The Seine’ is so joyous it’d bring a grin to even the most dedicated of grouch’s face. Check out the song’s brand new video below, and be sure to pick up the album.
Al Horner, NME.com Assistant Editor
Perfume Genius – ‘Too Bright’
Mike Hadreas’ third album is a significant step forward for the singer-songwriter, both musically and personally. Where once he looked inwards and crafted gossamer ballads plucked from the pitch-black well of his past, ‘Too Bright’ is a triumphant strike against society with Portishead’s Adrian Utley on board to assist with the beefed up electronic side of the record. Lead single ‘Queen’ is a great place to start with the Perfume Genius rebirth, complete with the already classic line, “No family is safe, when I sashay.”
David Renshaw, NME Online Reporter
Kevin Morby – ‘Parade’
The announcement of another Kevin Morby record is great news. Formerly of Woods and The Babies, he released one of my favourite records of last year. ‘Harlem River’, his solo debut, was full of slow, patient melodies and vivid stories of death, dirt, love and addiction. He examines undesirable subjects and taps into feelings both grotty and euphoric in a similar way to Cass McCombs or Kurt Vile, setting them to glorious guitar lines. ‘Parade’ is the first single from ‘Still Life’, his new album, which comes out in October. It’s morbid (he’s singing about parading his dead body through a town), but brass and glossier production make it his most serene song yet. I saw him play it live recently and was blown away. You need Kevin in your life. Now!
Ben Homewood, NME Reviews Editor
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Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – ‘Give Us A Kiss’
Nobody writes about love like Nick Cave: in his songs, that four-letter word is twisted and bent into strange, seductive shapes, taking on the form of dark demons or comforting heroines. That’s what makes ‘Give Us A Kiss’ – recorded during the sessions for last album ‘Push The Sky Away’, and released now to coincide with the excellent, and myth-heavy ’20,000 Days On Earth’ – such a slippery little song. “If you want me to burn, I will,” croons Nick over an eerie, unsettling score. Desire, destruction, devotion: they’re all part of the same sphere for the Bad Seeds. What a murky, wonderful world they must live in.
Ben Hewitt, NME writer
Death From Above 1979 – ‘The Physical World’
It’s fair to say that when Death From Above 1979 reconvened in 2011 for a short world tour, it looked like they were just banking a few cheques for the pension fund. Their demeanour on stage didn’t tell us any different. Yet, in their eyes, their was some serious business left unfinished. So, it’s a delight that ‘The Physical World’ exists, and a feeling of ecstasy that it actually kicks ass. Up against the almighty yardstick that is the Canadian duo’s scuzzy 2004 debut ‘You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine’ it was always going to be hard to compete. But following repeat listens – whisper it – this may turn out to be a more lasting artefact.
Greg Cochrane, NME.com Editor