<em>What's on the NME Stereo this week, including M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys and Wolf Alice</em>
MIA – ‘Come Walk With Me’
A mercurial artist like MIA is most surprising when she tones down the provocation – but the initial bars of ‘Come Walk With Me’ seem genuinely toothless. “There’s a thousand ways to meet you now/There’s a thousand ways to track you down”, she sings, curdling the lighter-waving slow-jam with her pinched caw. “Whatever you said and done, there’s a thousand days to make it count”. It’s a trite message of empowerment, with vague nods to social media accessibility and a gummy message of unity. But then she slips in the kicker so subtly it takes a second listen to pick up on it: “You ain’t gotta throw your hands in the air/’Cos tonight we ain’t acting like we don’t care”. Everything then starts unspooling maniacally, gnashing through dancehall beats, phone-cable bleeps, baby gargles, and, oddly, the sound of Apple’s Photobooth snapping a selfie: exactly the kind of junkyard rave that would provoke what MIA’s just firmly stated we won’t be doing tonight. Although it’d be a stretch to suggest the ensuing lyrics offer much worth caring about, the song does seem to act as a refocusing of MIA’s (and our) attention after all the distracting tittle-tattle that’s followed her around recently. “MIA coming back with power, power!” she declares at the end. Come the release of ‘Matangi’ on November 4, we’ll be able to see how she uses it.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
ANNA CALVI – Sing To Me
This spooky beauty from a new album due in October sounds a bit like PJ Harvey crossed with ‘Felt Mountain’-era Goldfrapp, but there’s an elegant grandeur here that’s all Calvi’s own. As the strings swell sumptuously, the effect is pure cinema – something French and classy though, not Kick-Ass 2.
Nick Levine, writer
PIXIES – Indie Cindy
‘Indie Cindy’ is so ‘Trompe Le Monde’ you wonder whether Pixies actually just had it hidden away all these years, saved for a rainy day. The riff? Pure Santiago Spanish punk rock. The lyrics? Black Francis at his messed up, brooding best. But the best bit? You don’t even notice Kim’s not there.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
ARCTIC MONKEYS – Stop The World I Wanna Get Off With You
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When Oasis released ‘The Masterplan’ in 1998, it was their casual way of announcing that, at the peak of their powers, even their B-sides were better than most bands’ best albums. Don’t be surprised to see a similar Monkeys release before too long, with this snake-hipped slice of seduction taking pride of place.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.com
DIZZEE RASCAL FEAT. WILL.I.AM – Something Really Bad
Despite having a title as loaded as Kelly Osbourne’s ‘Shut Up’, Dizzee’s hook-up with The Voice’s only redeeming star is actually pretty good. OK, he talks about “fucking all night” and it sounds a lot like Far East Movement’s ‘Like A G6’, but that’s what Dizzee is all about these days. Deal with it.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
FUTURE OF THE LEFT – Bread, Cheese, Bow & Arrow
Cardiff-based malcontents Future Of The Left marry chundering noise-rock to great feats of lyrical profundity/absurdity. Guitars crunch, drums beat out a five-legged stagger, and Andy Falkous ponders a diet of rodents and points us round the song: “The chorus ends!” he bellows.
Louis Pattison, writer
EXCLAMATION PONY – Pseudo Individual
There’s nothing quite like a slushy indie romance, is there? Which is why it’s so bloody heartwarming to see Ryan Jarman getting all doe-eyed over his beau and Exclamation Pony bandmate Jen Turner in their scrappy new single, crooning “I don’t have to love myself because she loves me” over an electro-dotted chorus. The new Sonny & Cher, anyone?
Ben Hewitt, writer
RYAN ADAMS – When Pigs Fly
Taking time out from new punk band Pornography, Ryan Adams contributes a song to children’s author Sandra Boynton’s new album ‘Frog Trouble’.
It’s a pretty lullaby scuzzed up by the alt.country star’s whisky-soaked vocals. “Did I hear somebody say dreams are nothing but air?” he sighs. Heartfelt stuff.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
EUROS CHILDS – Tete A Tete
“I want to do so much more than just surviving”, croons former Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci man Euros Child on this first snippet from his forthcoming new album ‘Situation Comedy’. If it’s all as bouncily jovial as the tipsy swing of ‘Tete A Tete’, the NHS might as well start prescribing it instead of Prozac.
Rhian Daly, writer
WOLF ALICE – Blush
In which the London duo ditch the Breeders-meets-Elastica post-grunge screech of debut single ‘Fluffy’ for a lush, after-dark ballad about the struggle to find love and happiness. The title track from their forthcoming EP, it comes complete with a guitar crescendo as eye-stingingly tender as Peace’s ‘California Daze’. Beautiful.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor