The songs on repeat in the NME office this week, featuring Arcade Fire, Warpaint and Loom
As confrontational as Danny Dyer on a Friday night Wetherspoons bender, ‘Lice’ is a short-tempered two-minute barrage of rage and riffs. “He’s got a pet that lives in his head”, howls frontman Tarik Badwan in this grunge-adelic ode to headlice. If Kurt Cobain had sung about the scalp-based problems that affect primary school kids instead of nonsense about boxes shaped like hearts, it would have sounded like this.
Leonie Cooper, writer
Haim may have pipped them to the title of LA’s most successful new band, but Warpaint’s return is little short of masterful. Helmed by A-list producer Flood (whose previous clients range from U2 to Smashing Pumpkins), ‘Love Is To Die’ amps up the four-piece’s devotion to all things Cocteau Twins. But it’s the pummelling bass – all Jah Wobble at his dubby best – and Stella Mozgawa’s powerhouse drumming that push it to another level.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
If you wanted to be mean, you could say that Kurt Vile only has one idea. If you’re a fan, you’d counter that it’s a very good one. On ‘Feel My Pain’ the 33-year-old Philadelphia troubadour further refines the hybrid of Neil Young and Sebadoh he sketched out earlier this year on his fourth album, ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’. With its wheeling guitars and Vile’s languid drawl, it’s dreamy stuff.
Chris Cottingham, writer
As that ‘re-’ prefix might suggest, Mogwai offer no surprises here. But if it’s romantic, menacing and brooding slow-burns of chest-swelling intensity you seek, then step right in, pal. This first taste of eighth album ‘Rave Tapes’ has rippling electronics, growling bass and heart-hammering drums in all the right places, the band stretching their mettle after the sombre delicacy of their soundtrack work on The Returned. Well, if your modus is operandi, why fix it?
Emily Mackay, writer
‘24 Hours’ is about the prospect of someone leaving you – maybe to go abroad, maybe to go to jail. “We still have time for 24 hours/For 24 hours you’re still mine”, Ferreira sings on the latest track from her debut album ‘Night Time, My Time’, but don’t let the banal lyrics put you off. It’s a blast of cloudbusting synths, tinkling keys and a bassline that recalls Robyn’s ‘Dancing On My Own’.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
The man from Barcelona whose music perfectly captures getting burnt and battered in a foreign country returns with more of the glorious same. Taken from his recent ‘DJ Kicks’ mix, ‘Without You’ carries on where Talabot’s 2012 ‘Fin’ album left off and pumps highly concentrated bubbles of bliss into each of its five fuzzy minutes. It’s as delicious on the ears as clearing a blockage of seawater.
Kurt Murphy, writer
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After his recent confessional outburst on Instagram, the actor-turned-rapper told NME: “I’m not having a personality crisis, more like a personality burst. I just wanted to be honest.” Now Donald Glover delivers this moving joint from his new album ‘Because The Internet’. It doesn’t delve into the insecurities he’s recently aired, but instead centres on a piston-pumping drop that Kendrick Lamar would be proud of.
Greg Cochrane, Editor, NME.COM
It might not be as instantly arresting as the stupendous ‘Reflektor’, but ‘Afterlife’ definitely has the same DNA: propelled by a tropical disco beat and chord shifts of grand self-importance, it’s a pop song of epic proportions. It finds a band increasingly fixated on the supernatural contemplating the great unknown: “Afterlife – I think I saw what happens next”, sings Win, before not really revealing the answer.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
Glasgow duo Honeyblood want to sock you right between the eyes with new song ‘Kissing On You’, a power-pop ode to being tangled up in a relationship, the knots of which are too tight to loosen. “I’m only interested in kissing on you”, sings Stina Tweeddale over punchy garage-rock guitars and hazy vocals reminiscent of Best Coast by way of The Vaselines. All this and it’s only the B-side of their debut single ‘Bud’.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Taken from a new Raider Klan compilation ‘Tales From The Underground’, this new cut from 4AD’s SpaceGhostPurrp is a fiendish taster track that follows his 2012 debut LP ‘Mysterious Phonk: Chronicles Of SpaceGhostPurrp’. As ever, the man from Miami is tapping the demonic Memphis horrorcore sound made famous by Triple 6 Mafia and fringe figures like Tommy Wright III. It’s a nasty track but in a very good way. Blaze up some petrol and get stuck in.
Phil Hebblethwaite, writer
The third of Enter Shikari’s ‘three singles for 2013’ (following ‘The Paddington Frisk’ and ‘Radiate’) begins with finger-tapping from guitarist Rory Clewlow. The song’s message is obvious: “The purpose of the rat race defeats me/When we’re gone what’s left behind?” And the brass instruments in the background lend hope to a song full of anger at mundane day-to-day existence.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
Perfect Pussy’s debut demo tape ‘I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling’ implies some degree of dead-eyed narcissism, but opener ‘I’ makes it clear that Meredith Graves hasn’t given up on the desire returning. Her desperate voice cuts through the Japandroids/Melt Banana squall like wax through watercolour as she sings with heartbreaking honesty about broken female friendships, forcing herself to find hope and objectivity amid the ruins of betrayal.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
Real Lies are three guys from north London who’ve translated the euphoria of being high at a house party at 3am into a four-minute baggy dance tune. Like labelmates Jagwar Ma they’re not afraid to let their beats get loose, and they’ve also learned from New Order’s textbook for crafting an indie dancefloor filler. The result doesn’t just amphetishise the past, it sounds like the party you want to be at right now.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
“We taking these haters and we’re roughing ’em up/And we lay in the cut like we don’t give a…” Forget Lady Gaga’s never-ending marketing campaign: she’s back with a belter. Lots of ‘Do What U Want’ would be criticised by Simon Cowell on The X Factor for being a “bad habit” – the nose-wrinkling vocals, a guest rap from an R&B crooner and synths as flash as Knight Rider’s dashboard. But hey, if you wanna leave Gaga’s party, there’s the door.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
Diane Coffee is the solo project of Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming. ‘Green’ is taken from debut album ‘My Friend Fish’, which will be released before the end of the year. The fuzzy production, almost doo-wop backing vocals and mournful melody suggest more than a slight admiration of Phil Spector and US West Coast bands such as The Turtles. The name ‘Diane Coffee’ might sound like a club singer from Bolton, but there’s nothing wrong with the music.
Andy Welch, writer
With his debut solo EP ‘Sunburn’, Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio unleashed this dance side project that allows him to cut loose from the intellectual indie of his day job. The second song from the imminent ‘Mira’ EP on Future Classic is a slap of twitchy Chicago house full of echoing piano licks. It’s a 5am triumph.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
More evolution than revolution (a good thing, since CB&TV Mk I were pretty bloody great in the first place), ‘Evil Mothers’ takes the Voyeurs’ Television-gone-glam formula and amps it up a little. Boyer’s strangled “woo-hoo”s are as deadpan as they come, and the effortless swagger of the three-chord guitars that chug around him could not give any less of a fuck. Add some ’70s backing harmonies and this track is anything but evil.
Lisa Wright, writer
Released for Halloween, Crows’ second single is dark enough to raise a glass to the supernatural. It might not come with a slasher-style video, as their debut ‘The Frankish Empire’ did, but there are enough creepy thrills in the music. ‘Silver Tongues’ shudders along, the stomping bassline punctuated by howls and screeches and frontman James Cox purring ominously. Then the whole thing shifts up a gear for one final, ghoulish minute.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
OK, so all we’ve had to go on is some dodgy footage from a recent show in Dallas, Texas, but Jessie has debuted a new track and I had to froth about it. The Brixton girl’s not rewriting her nu-soul rulebook just yet but this is a stunning come-hither serenade about escaping the city and “getting lost forever”, with warm synths purring alongside a laidback guitar groove. Even through the camera-phone fuzz, she sounds better than ever.
Kate Hutchinson, writer
Once more unto the sacrificial drum circle as supermodelrock kicks off. Marika Hackman is a 21-year-old Burberry model who was in a band with Cara Delevingne at school and has now recast herself, with the help of Johnny Flynn and Alt-J producer Charlie Andrew, as a high priestess of pagan worship. “Honey bee, fill me with that sticky stuff”, she summons over doomy drums and a hook seemingly played on a submarine radar.
Mark Beamount, writer