What's on the NME Stereo this week, including The Killers, Arcade Fire and Blood Orange
The Killers – ‘Shot At The Night’
If you weren’t already convinced that Brandon Flowers is a sentimental man, here’s something to change your mind. Monday (September 16) marked the 10th anniversary of The Killers’ first gig outside of North America, when they appeared fourth on the bill in the tiny enclave of Camden’s Dublin Castle. That night they played a short six-song set, including versions of tracks that would go on to become some of their biggest hits (‘Mr Brightside’, ‘Somebody Told Me’). Since then they’ve become one of the most mammoth bands in the world, headlining Wembley Stadium, selling over 20million records and racking up four Number One albums in the UK alone. Yet that first show in the capital still remains close to the band’s heart. So close, in fact, they’re celebrating it with a brand new song, featuring M83’s Anthony Gonzalez, called ‘Shot At The Night’. One of two fresh tracks to feature on forthcoming greatest hits compilation ‘Direct Hits’, it’s a fittingly triumphant mix of Gonzalez’s glittering synth-pop and The Killers’ own huge-hearted bombast, and sees the group enter their next chapter in style. Brandon calls out “once in a lifetime” over skipping beats before launching into a euphoric chorus that’s as reminiscent of ’80s power-pop as the anthemic indie that Nevada’s finest have become renowned for. Here’s to another 10 years.
Rhian Daly, writer
Blood Orange – ‘Chamakay’
Last year he transformed Solange into more than just Beyoncé’s sister. Now, Dev Hynes returns with a heartfelt ballad soaked in bass and steel pan flourishes and bolstered by a guest appearance from Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek. More evidence that Hynes is one of music’s most intriguing chameleons.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Arcade Fire – ‘Reflektor’
Poor Daft Punk, languishing on their plush disco thrones only for this to turn up. Not only is it 7:42 of James Murphy-primed four-to-the-floor with Win and Régine sounding far too urgently sexy for new parents, it’s got a) David Bowie; b) a message about living in the moment. This one’s theirs.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
Active Child feat. Mikky Ekko – ‘Subtle’
Auditioning for the role of The New Michael Jackson, welcome Rihanna sidekick Mikky Ekko, moonwalking over the ‘Beat It’ beats, afro drums and tinny horns of Active Child’s syrup-tronic ‘Subtle’ to “NA-NA-NAW!” in his best lovechild-shunning falsetto. Presumably while briefly cupping himself while standing on his toes.
Mark Beaumont, writer
Lulu James – ‘Sweetest Thing’
South Shields lass Lulu sounds totally smitten on this new single, purring, “We’ll be together until the end of time.” It could easily have been smug and cheesy, a bit like Michael Bublé’s face. But thanks to some cool electro-soul production and an effortlessly catchy chorus, it comes off proper classy.
Nick Levine, writer
Jacco Gardner – ‘The End Of August’
Most likely to be seen stealing kaftans from Temples’ dressing rooms, Dutch folk minstrel Jacco Gardner shows exactly what he’s capable of on this new single. While by my watch it’s about a month late, it’s big on Beatles-y bass, Tame Impala keys and the more flowery aspects of the ‘Nuggets’ compilations.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
Cate Le Bon – ‘Are You With Me Now?’
The second track to be taken from Cate’s upcoming second album ‘Mug Museum’ following her collaboration with Perfume Genius, this keeps within her glorious psych-folk blanket, her Nico-esque velvet vocals gliding over a grizzly guitar riff that evokes Janis Joplin and Fairport Convention in the same swing.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
FKA Twigs – ‘Papi Pacify’
The artist formerly known as Twigs is back with a new EP (and a new moniker). This is a textured and typically sepulchral track that recalls Aaliyah, a futuristic Sade and Bristol trip-hop. ‘Papi Pacify’ builds like a tropical storm to create something really special.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
Glass Animals – ‘Psylla’
I’m making up a genre called ‘nature indie’. Glass Animals make the sexiest nature indie since Wild Beasts with music that sounds like it emanates from humming trees in Oxfordshire woodlands. ‘Psylla’ is a life-sucking louse, which makes sense once you’ve fallen victim to a chorus that will asphyxiate you with its rhythmic rapture.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
Sky Ferreira – ‘You’re Not The One’
She’s had more styles than Gaga’s had costume changes, but Sky Ferreira may have realised that the Dev Hynes-penned ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ was the one worth sticking with. This track borrows its cavernous ’80s drums and synths but sacrifices its downbeat feel for a chorus Katy Perry might belt out. The battle for Ferreira’s soul is on.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor