Kasabian – Eez-Eh
Kasabian’s comeback single is pure ’90s rave. “Tired of taking orders/Coping with disorders”, spits Tom Meighan, so up in your grill that you can practically feel his fag-breath on your face. Later, he snarls, “I’ve got the feeling that I’m gonna keep you up all night” in an off-putting way that makes you hope he’s going to be trying out his power tools in the spare room, rather than actually touching anybody. All ‘Eez-Eh’ lacks is a donk.
TRACK COMING SOON JJ Dunning, writer
Little Dragon – Paris
When Little Dragon told NME at SXSW that new album ‘Nabuma Rubberband’ would be darker than predecessor ‘Ritual Union’, they weren’t kidding. Though not quite as abrasive as first new cut ‘Klapp Klapp’, things are far from ‘Paris’ in the springtime here. Yukimi Nagano strikes a melancholic tone amid sharp, punchy synths and harsh, chrome production, but this brooding number from the Swedes is still catchy as hell.
Simon Jay Catling, writer
HSY – Cyber Bully
“Loud, blood thinning, temper temper, sludge, crash,” reads the description on Toronto punk band HSY’s (pronounced ‘hussy’) Facebook page. The quartet’s debut UK release is three and a half minutes of gloomy, industrial-tinged noise, the piercing howls making it even more chaotic and brutal. They head to these shores next week, and judging by this they’ll be leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
Lana Del Rey – West Coast
Lana Del Rey makes her long-awaited return by ditching the Twin Peaks-style melodrama for something altogether (soft) rockier. Produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, ‘West Coast’ is packed with pulsing guitars and delicate blues riffs. She’s still banging on the ‘faded glamour of Hollywood’ drum – “Down on the West Coast, they got their icons, their silver starlets” – but now it sounds confident and threatening instead of vulnerable and wounded.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Foxygen – Untitled
The world’s most destructive indie band made a welcome return at Coachella, playing their first big shows since frontman Sam France broke his leg falling offstage last year, and debuting two untitled new tracks. The first of those – which opened the set – was the pick of the bunch, a Stones-indebted, major-chord ramble that sees the band bolstered by three go-go backing singers, allowing France to live out all his inner-Jagger dreams.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
Sigur Rós – The Rains Of Castamere
Iceland’s premier exporters of falsetto-toned orchestral pop might not be the most obvious choice to soundtrack a TV programme famous for its constant copulation, but Sigur Rós’ Game Of Thrones track makes for a surprisingly good fit. Brooding, atmospheric and restrained, ‘The Rains Of Castamere’ finds Jónsi not only singing in English, but sounding pretty damn depressed about it too. Maybe someone told him the end-of-series spoiler.
Lisa Wright, writer
Eyedress – Luna Llena
This is one of the 12 tracks on 23-year-old Filipino producer Idris Vicuna’s new ‘Hearing Colors’ mixtape, and it comes with a nice big slice of Zomby’s menacing ambience. Eyedress’ pal Skint Eastwood – also from the Philippines – adds to the unease with a soft vocal full of hard truths: “You’re good at pushing everyone away/When you need them the most is when you say you’re OK/But you’re alone again”.
Tom Howard, Assistant Editor
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Coming Down (feat. Matt Berninger)
It’s been three years since Philadelphia’s Clap Your Hands Say Yeah last put out a full-length record (2011’s ‘Hysterical’), and ‘Coming Down’ marks their return to the long-player. The first track to be taken from June’s ‘Only Run’ has frontman Alec Ounsworth doing his best impression of a cheerful Ian Curtis before The National’s Matt Berninger chimes in with his baritone.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
The Black Keys – Turn Blue
The Iggy Pop song ‘Turn Blue’ is about heroin, and although there’s nothing to suggest this new Black Keys track of the same name is a drug song, it certainly concerns, as Dan Auerbach sings, “losing control” and “hell below”. It’s the title track from their eighth LP (due May 12), and like ‘Fever’, which the two-piece have already posted online, it’s a soulful, psychedelic groove, doubtless influenced by the album’s co-producer, Danger Mouse.
Phil Hebblethwaite, writer
Daphni & Owen Pallett – Julia
You’ll need sharp ears – or decent headphones – to hear the distant rumble of ribcage-rattling bass that drives through the middle of the latest Daphni collaboration. ‘Julia’ is one of two tracks that Dan Snaith has made with Owen Pallett for his Jiaolong label. Built from Pallett’s violin stabs, Snaith’s beats and syncopated rhythms that seem to come from a deconstructed drumkit, the bass is still the thing that will get to you on repeated listens.
Hazel Sheffield, writer
Charli XCX – Boom Clap
Despite a title that makes it sound like a gonorrhea awareness campaign, Charli XCX’s new single is a concise piece of punchy electropop. She hasn’t lost her way around a hook since the globe-straddling success of the XCX-penned Icona Pop’s ‘I Love It’, and this song – from the soundtrack to the film adaptation of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars – cements her progression from hitmaker to pop star.
Kevin EG Perry, writer
Kwabs – Something Right
In 4AD producer Sohn, Kwabena Sarkodee has found a partner in misery. Their third collaboration, taken from Kwabs’ new ‘Pray For Love’ EP, is wracked with turbulent sadness. The 23-year-old singer’s voice is ostensibly a post-Lighthouse Family, commercially viable caress, but his damaged lyrics and Sohn’s frigid beats quake in such a way that they whip up a freezing, doom-heavy feeling. “Killing myself just to feel like I’ve been here”, Kwabs sobs near the end. Poor guy.
Ben Homewood, writer
Ought – Habit
Over the six minutes of ‘Habit’, Ought’s Tim Beeler sings about how we pledge hope of salvation in something as intangible as belief. Salvation never arrives, but he starts to feel it, a transformation marked by his vocal performance: from skittish brashness to tremulous rapture, like Tom Verlaine as a preacher. Meanwhile the Montreal band ply a steady line in wiry melancholy that subtly builds to a roiling climax. Wu Lyf mourners, take note.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
Mutual Benefit – Terraform
Lefse Records’ ‘Space Project’ compilation has already borne some tantalising cosmic fruits from Spiritualized, Beach House and Youth Lagoon. Mutual Benefit’s manipulation of NASA space-probe recordings is no less enterprising. Twinkling stars and shimmering sci-fi synths mark this
far-out folk number – an intergalactic love story that glides and whirrs, glowing like a lonely spirit.
James Balmont, writer
Disclosure – The Mechanism
Their first album only came out last June but it already feels like summer’s not summer without a housey banger from Disclosure. ‘The Mechanism’ sees the Lawrence brothers team up with pal Friend Within. With a soulful, distorted-preacher vocal sample, sprightly rhythms and face-scrunching whoomps, it suggests they’ve still got loads more magic to come, post-‘Settle’.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
Slow Club – Number One
As a curtain-raiser for third album ‘Complete Surrender’ – out in July – ‘Number One’ is a subdued affair. The version previewed on the Mahogany Sessions is stripped back to just resonant piano and Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor’s rough, affecting harmonies, its rawness the perfect setting for picking over an old relationship. “You don’t have to feel like shit and say it’s OK”, sings Watson, and he bluntly heals the wounds.
Matthew Horton, writer
Girl Band – The Cha Cha Cha
There are three times as many words in this review as there are seconds in Girl Band’s new single, which flips the premise of Sam Cooke’s ‘Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha’ from unctuous come-on to point-and-laugh ridicule. We’d call it a raspberry blown in the face of some nameless, overconfident jerk, but the Dublin quartet imbue it with such fury and savagery, a pneumatic drill might be a more apt comparison.
Barry Nicolson, writer
Wolf Alice – Storms
Wolf Alice have previously looked to Britpop cool kids Elastica for inspiration. Here, on a cut from new EP ‘Creature Songs’, it’s Elastica’s transatlantic peers Garbage who provide the blueprint. ‘Storms’ has thrusting industrial guitars, grungy basslines and Ellie Rowsell’s sweet-and-sour vocals. If you’ve ever written them off as a bit wet, think again: this is meatier than cow pie washed down with Bovril.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
Paul Weller – Brand New Toy
This is a new track from Paul Weller’s just-announced second Best Of, ‘More Modern Classics’, also available as part of Record Store Day. The bouncing piano is a giant doff of the feathercut to Bowie’s ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’, while the rest of the track has a jovial swing you might associate with his heroes The Small Faces. Despite that, it’s still unmistakably Weller. Expect volume three of the Greatest Hits to follow in another 16 years.
Andy Welch, writer
A$AP Rocky – Untitled
“I ain’t really into throwin’ shots, but these motherfuckers better give me props”, complains Rakim Mayers (aka A$AP Rocky) on his latest snippet of new music, debuted at A$AP Mob accomplice Ferg’s Coachella set last weekend. He’s got a point: since his 2011 mixtape ‘Live.Love.A$AP’, plenty have mimicked his cloud-rap sound and esoteric fashion sense. Sniping at copycats over a woozy beat, Rocky wants credit where it’s due.