Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week
Niki & The Dove, Laura Marling, Wu Lyf
There’s a scene at the end of Terminator where soon-to-be-motherhead of the human rebellion Sarah Connor records a tape for her unborn son. She tells him about his father, Kyle, the man that he must in the future send back to impregnate her so he can be born (don’t think about it too much, we’ll lose the point). Staring hard-eyed into the distance, she explains, “Maybe it’ll help if you know that, in the few hours we had together, we loved a lifetime’s worth.”
That’s what I think of when ribbon-gymnast-of-the-heart Malin Dahlström sings “I swear I love you, yeah I love you like it’s no tomorrow/I got no time for second thoughts now/We got tonight and then I have to go”. Lots of Malin and Gustaf’s best songs seem to be about supercharged, overstuffed moments like this, all about innocently lustful love rushes. Fortunately if their ‘Purple Rain’-drenched synthpop seems to date from roughly the same era as Terminator, it’s less Skynet, more starcloud. With touches of Prince, Kate Bush and Fleetwood Mac at their most spare, spacious and sexy, this sultry, bell-wreathed NME-exclusive track from their forthcoming ‘The Drummer’ EP is heart-in-mouth urgent. And when you’ve heard it once – yes, I am going to – you’ll be back.
Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor
2. Laura Marling - 'Sophia'
“Who’s been touching my skin?” husks a post-Marlboro puffing Marling on the first official cut from her forthcoming new album ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’. Wait for the three-minute mark and listen to Britain’s greatest singer-songwriter transform from Joni Mitchell into Kitty Wells. Remarkable.
Leonie Cooper, Deputy News Editor
3. Ronika - 'In The City'
Calling herself “melodic blip death-pop” has opened the door to many an accusation of pastiche, along with some unfortunate comparisons to Nu Shooz and Shannon. The truth is that ‘In The City’ is a wonderfully fresh, irony-free track about the joys of losing yourself in the darkness of the discotheque.
Priya Elan, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
4. Wu Lyf - 'Brooklyn Girls'
WU LYF recently packed up their chin scarves and headed to the US – and it seems to have calmed them. Here, rather than singer Ellery Roberts’ gurning squawk, we’ve bassist Tom McClung’s tender tones, which are understated enough to make anyone’s knees tremble, whether they’re a lass from NYC’s trendiest borough or not.
Jamie Fullerton, Features Editor
5. Black Devil Disco Club feat. Faris Badwan - 'Distrust'
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled? Bernard Fevre buried his Black Devil project for 28 years, convincing the world he didn’t exist. His newest ruse? Nabbing Faris at the peak of his powers and unleashing his doomy bellow over textbook psychotic disco. Kinda sounds like Soft Cell, in a good way.
Mike Williams, Deputy Editor
6. Spank Rock - 'DFT DADT'
On which ol’ Spanky ditches the ass-tapping and goes minimal electro, filling three minutes with dirty synths, aggro raps and the industrial screeches of Peaches, aided and abetted by producer Zeb Malik. Dark, demented and like nothing we’ve heard from Spank Rock before, which, perversely, is exactly what we’d expect.
Listen/watch the video here
Tim Chester, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
7. Frank Ocean - 'Thinking About You'
Showing the sensitive side of Odd Future (and more recently, the stand-out cameo on Kanye and Jay-Z’s record) is Frank Ocean with his inoffensively sleek, smooth-groove R&B. It’s no longer Tyler who looks most likely to be the LA collective’s breakout star.
Krissi Murison, Editor
8. Race Horses - 'Benidorm'
Race Horses’ debut proved that the four-piece have choruses in bucketloads, and that’s a habit they apparently don’t plan to kick any time soon. “I’m never going home, I’m gonna stay here on my own” they harmonise here in all their warmly-accented glory, amid verses of Sparks-y spike. Glorious stuff.
Laura Snapes, Assistant Reviews Editor
9. Best Coast - 'How They Want Me To Be'
Drew Barrymore or no Drew Barrymore, why did Bethany Cosentino even bother releasing ‘Our Deal’ when she was sitting on this? A woozy girl-group serenade with the sentiment of ‘Killing In The Name’ and the longing of Bacharach, this is quite simply an incredible song. And that’s all you ever really need.
Dan Martin, writer
10. Jens Lenkman - 'An Argument With Myself'
Reppin’ an olympically long-in-the-making new EP, this sonic heart-warming party speedboats along the Scandi-pop contours of Lalaland gargling margarita-guitars, icy synth and – ahem – salty percussion. Story goes: lonesome fella pining for a good old lovers’ tiff potters about arguing with himself while observing punters. Sweet.
Jazz Monroe, writer
This article originally appeared in the August 13th issue of NME
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