What's on the NME Stereo this week, including Jake Bugg, Superfood and SBTRKT
Jake Bugg, ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’
Well what the fuck would you do if you were Jake Bugg? You’re 19. Last year your self-titled debut album full of dusty acoustic numbers about love and scuffles in and around Nottingham went to Number One in the UK. This year at Glastonbury you pulled the largest Pyramid Stage crowd outside of the headliners. You’ve toured with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Legendary producer Rick Rubin wants a piece of you, and your tiny frame and his giant beard look just perfect together. It’s not time to hot-foot it back to the Midlands to pump out more of the same, is it? Might as well fly yourself out to Rubin’s studio in Malibu, get a band together – drummer, bassist, second guitarist – and go electric. And ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’, the first cut from Bugg’s upcoming second album ‘Shangri La’, is 124 seconds of first-album-era Arctic Monkeys indie ruckus. He even has a stab at Alex Turner’s rapid delivery style as he spittles through stories about getting robbed (“They hit him hard he doubles up they take his money”) and dumped (“I couldn’t face the world without her eyes/I never knew it until she disappeared”). They both end the same way: “All I can do is watch them go”. So the guy’s still on about love and scuffles (they are the two pillars of teenage existence, after all), but this time he’s fronting a rock’n’roll band. See that coming, did ya?
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
‘Bubbles’ might be written about “saying something for the sake of it” (says frontman Dominic Ganderton), but that doesn’t reflect Superfood’s approach to music. Only the third song to emerge from their quality-controlled clutches, this is all baggy riffs and Ganderton sighing “You always get away with words” as the song enters its softer final throes.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
Tinie Tempah, ‘Children Of The Sun’
“Both hands on the Bible, I’m next in line for that title”, spits Tinie on this track from forthcoming album ‘Demonstration’. Alright, so his second coming probably won’t inspire religious devotion, but this is a simmering slice of Brit-hop full of blockbuster hooks and aspirational rhymes. Preach, Tinie, preach.
Al Horner, writer
Connan Mockasin, ‘I’m The Man, That Will Find You’
Connan Mockasin as sexy soul man? It sounds about as plausible as Scientology, but this first taste of new album ‘Caramel’ convinces with its snaky guitar grooves and Stylistics harmonies. Mind you, his oily, saccharine delivery suggests there’s a covert threat in that title. Better hide.
Matthew Horton, writer
Swearin’, ‘Watered Down’
After signing Waxahatchee earlier this year, now Wichita have snagged the other Crutchfield twin, Allison, and her ace band Swearin’. Their 2012 debut was full of pop-punk gems, but the forthcoming ‘Surfing Strange’ is made of grittier stuff: ‘Watered Down’ sees Allison and Kyle Gilbride trade a hopeless duet about a couple trying to give each other the slip.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
An unmastered studio cut that is “in memory of my brother Daniel”, says SBTRKT on the YouTube post of the song. He doesn’t elaborate. ‘IMO’ is a beautifully impatient soundscape of synth cascades and rickety beats that’ll keep us all quiet as we await the follow-up to the producer’s brilliant 2011 debut.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
Azealia Banks, Count Contessa
It looks like her debut album is finally out in January, but this track won’t be on it. Instead, this is a teaser for a new mixtape Azealia is planning for next July (!), so it’s lucky it sounds built to last with its ’90s house beats and classic Banks sass. “Stamp-to-the-pede”? Oh, alright then…
Nick Levine, writer
Normally found geeing up crowds as one fifth of The Maccabees, Felix White is now striking out on his own. ‘Yalla’, the first taste of his new EP, features euphoric vocals provided by Jack Peñate and Jessie Ware. “We’re the masters of what we want”, they tell us, like an indie take on a motivational self-help group.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Sleigh Bells, ‘You Don’t Get Me Twice’
Sleigh Bells’ debut was full of brain-bursting riffs, but there’s no such apocalyptic fun to be had on this sample from the duo’s third album. It’s remarkably pop and polite, but its guitars churn, stomp and twangle with just as much zombie-Prince impact. A skipping song for schoolkids on the rampage.
Mark Beaumont, writer
Beck Hansen has spent most of his life working through various sounds, genres and instruments – and, presumably because he’s been going alphabetically, he has now arrived at ‘xylophone electronica’. This standalone single is a chopped and screwed slice of pop invention, but I’m looking forward to him getting to ‘yacht rock’.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM