Egyptian Hip Hop, Tribes, The xx
Egyptian Hip Hop – ‘SYH’
For anyone who can’t remember 2009 (“if you can remember it, you weren’t doing it properly etc etc”) Egyptian Hip Hop were the faces of the ‘doss pop revolution’. As the name suggests, it was like the revolution that never quite got started. Like offspring of The Klaxons in their geometric smocks, EHH made scrappy THC-heavy guitar songs with just the right amount of electronic scuzz. It’s all very hazy now but we’re pretty sure ‘Radd Pitt’ was one of the best tracks of that year. A debut EP, ‘Some Reptiles Grew Wings’ – produced by Hudson Mohawke thus making them more on it than Kanye – followed in 2010 but then lead singer Alex Hewett pissed off on tour with Aussie soundfreak Connan Mockasin and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The rest of them? Possibly stayed in Manchester grooming those reinforced fringes. That is, until this week. Egyptian Hip Hop are set to release an album on the revived R&S label (also home to James Blake) in October and from the first drum-punch, ‘SYH’ shows the band have a new purpose. This band actually wants to be here; they’ve written a chorus, there’s 2012-fresh clanking percussion The Horrors will be well jealous of AND a Technicolor dance breakdown. Yes, we’re still excited about Egyptian Hip Hop and this time, we’re DEFINITELY going to hear an album.
Tribes – ‘Coming Of Age’
Does the world need a re-recording of Tribes most heart-strained moment yet? Christ, yes: it sounds like the final sequence of a bad US drama in which the tearaway teen finally realises he’s in love with his best mate.
Friendship Friendship – ‘You’re My Best Friend Tonight’
Never heard of Friendship Friendship? Neither had we until Howler’s Jordan Gatesmith bigged them up in Radar. We thought they sounded too good to be true, frankly and we were right. They don’t exist. Or at least, they didn’t until we gave Jordan a right bollocking for lying to us. The result? This track. Guess who wrote it.
Drake and Aaliyah – ‘Enough Said’
Like bankers awarding themselves bonuses, Drake’s got some nerve offering to produce an album of new Aaliyah material and then whacking himself all over the tracks. Fortunately, he does a half decent job, rhyming “telly” with “Balotelli”. Mostly, the sheer joy of hearing new Aaliyah material forgives his cheekiness.
Axewound – ‘Cold’
When Bullet For My Valentine’s Matt Tuck said he was plotting a “metal as fuck” side project, he wasn’t kidding. His ‘supergroup’ with Cancer Bats’ Liam Cormier, have delivered a full-on crusher with ‘Cold’. Powered by a brutal double kick-drum and a righteous chorus, if this is anything to go by, then their debut album will slay.
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Wavves – ‘Hippies Is Punks’
Loved-up life with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast hasn’t stopped Nathan Wavves from riding the snot-punk, erm, wave. “Misery is a fleeting feeling” he snarls over guitar feedback and a swirl of “wooo”s before jumping into a chorus that blasts an ex-girlfriend as a “waste of time”. Ouch.
King Krule – ‘Rock Bottom’
Ed Sheeran hangs out with grime stars. Jake Bugg opens for his heroes The Stone Roses. King Krule? He’s bigging up his jazz guitar inspirations on ‘Rock Bottom’. Its tar-stained sound will wow you, and its lyrics have you floored and crying (for more).
Mumford & Sons – ‘I Will Wait’
Banjos. Violins. Vocals that sound like a man passing a gall stone. The new Mumford & Sons is here and there has been no stylistic leap, no dubstep beats or even an electric guitar. Lyrically, it’s a familiar sentiment – wait for the one you love. Was Mumford inspired by his recent marriage to childhood pen pal Carey Mulligan?
Twigs – ‘Ache’
Hot whispers are circling around mysterious new singer Twigs. They’ll be fired further by this video, where a burly, masked figure dances through the suffocation in an underground carpark, while Twigs’ neat, petite coos tiptoe delicately round a powerful lust, brandishing a flickering beat like a electrical cable whipped across a concrete floor.
The xx – ‘Chained’
If ‘Angels’ was a gentle reintroduction to The xx, ‘Chained’ is a hint at what to expect from the rest of ‘Coexist’. Over bouncing drum skits and synths Romy coos “we used to get closer than this, is it something you miss” proving there will be just as much unbridled sexual tension
This article originally appeared in the August 18th issue of NME