What's on the NME Stereo this week, including A$AP Rocky, Charli XCX and Yuck
A$AP Rocky, ‘R Cali’
Music has always been a vitally important part of video games, soundtracking shoot-outs, car chases and zombie apocalypses with carefully selected sonics. Few games developers put as much thought or effort into the process as the makers of Grand Theft Auto though, who’ve transformed the art of the accompanying soundtrack into an utterly integral part of the player’s overall gaming experience. Their latest release – Grand Theft Auto V – features a collection of some of the coolest names in music on its 15 in-car radio stations and 240 licensed songs. Want to listen to an exclusive Tyler, The Creator track while you run around nicking virtual cars? Or speed around cities as you delve into a Flying Lotus-created station jam-packed with songs from the likes of Hudson Mohawke and OutKast? Or how about shooting some innocent pedestrians with this delightful new A$AP Rocky track? ‘R Cali’ might only just scrape past the two-minute mark but the Mob leader manages to completely nail the game’s spirit in one central line that hits in the song’s first 30 seconds: “Money, power, the whole enchilada… car-jacking, pistol-packing, motherfucking choppers clapping“, spits Rocky in a lawless fury before namechecking luxury car brands and designer fashion labels over trap beats and an eerie, cyclonic squeal that runs circles around the whole track. You certainly never got that with Super Mario.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
Yuck, ‘Memorial Fields’
It’s a brave man who replaces the walk-out singer of a Pavement-style band, despite boasting a Teenage Fanclub-style voice. Nineties slackerpocalypse! Wisely, Max Bloom convinces the rest of Yuck to go all glacial lagoon-pop on this glorious attempt to make a guitar sound like a stricken trawler, pulling off the smoothest frontman transition since that tribute band singer joined Judas Priest.
Mark Beaumont, writer
Only Real, ‘Lemonade’
For Niall Galvin, life in west London isn’t the puppy and G&T-filled bouncy castle that Binky, Bonky and the rest of the cast of Made In Chelsea lead us to believe. Instead, ‘Lemonade’ tells a tale of drug-fuelled desperation that sounds indebted to King Krule, Jamie-T and any disengaged youth with a mic ever.
Harriet Gibsone, writer
Charli XCX, ‘Superlove’
Fresh from writing for Britney and her smash hit with Icona Pop, Charli XCX is now setting her sights on her own Number One record. ‘Superlove’ suggests her efforts won’t be in vain. “You’re my favourite drug, I smoke you in the club“, she sings in a bouncy burst of fizzy pop that cleverly plays with rhythm and textures.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
The Men, ‘Turn Your Color’
A kindling crack at the start of ‘Turn Your Color’ nods to the campfire sessions that produced The Men’s forthcoming EP, but beyond that there’s no trace of trad tent-side singalongs. Instead, the track stirs up a thick weft of rumbling toms, blurry acoustic drones and twangs, burning gently over six beatific minutes.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
Fryars, ‘The Power’
On this first track from new EP ‘Raw Pwr’, Ben Garrett channels the spirit of late-’90s dreampop duo Joy Zipper by way of French vibe-masters Phoenix. Not sure what “All I wanted was an IRL” means though. You can’t want an ‘In Real Life’. Unless IRL means something else now… Oh I can’t keep up with it all.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
Royal Blood, ‘Out Of The Black’
Royal Blood’s debut track ‘Figure it Out’ arrived in July, shaking up the UK’s A&R fraternity thanks in part to a little endorsement from Arctic Monkeys. Follow-up ‘Out Of The Black’ amps things up even more, sounding like a hybrid of second album-era Muse and QOTSA at their meanest.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
Jon Hopkins feat. Purity Ring, ‘Breathe This Air’
Following his beautifully unsettling collaboration with Bat For Lashes this summer, the Brit producer extraordinaire adds some extra chill to the glitchy electronica of his ‘Immunity’ album by enlisting Purity Ring’s Megan James, after previously reworking the Canadian duo’s ‘Amenamy’ to wondrous effect.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
Swearin’, ‘Dust In The Gold Sack’
This new hint of the Brooklyn nu-punks’ second album ‘Surfing Strange’ starts sweetly enough, Allison Crutchfield breathily describing “the crunch of the black ice” over an acoustic strum. Then it goes bananas. Drums are thrashed by octopus arms, guitars whammed by boxing gloves, leaving a pretty ditty pummelled by a No Age-style assault.
Matthew Horton, writer
MØ, ‘Never Wanna Know’
If you thought MØ was purely here for the party, prepare to be taken aback by the Spector-esque ‘Never Wanna Know’. Like a love letter to The Ronettes, the second track from the Danish star’s ‘Bikini Daze’ EP finds MØ heartbrokenly singing “I never wanna know the name of your new girlfriend” like Robyn at her most desolate.
David Renshaw, News Reporter