The tracks on repeat in the NME Office this week, including MGMT, Deap Vally and The Family Rain
MGMT – ‘Alien Days’
Would you want to be a hippy? Sure, of course you would. You’d get to lie around naked in flower-strewn meadows gobbling up all the acid you can lay your hands on and simply get it on in a free-love fashion with all kinds of dudes and chicks hanging around while letting your freak flag dangle. However, on the other hand all your friends would be dirty and constantly smell like patchouli oil. Oh, and let’s not forget it would be almost impossible to get a decent gin and tonic anywhere. But if anything could convince me of the merits of hippydom, it’s this gorgeous new track from MGMT, who seem to be zeroing in on figuring out just exactly who the hell they think there are. Their 2010 freakout record ‘Congratulations’ managed to turn off a few thousand festival fields’ worth of people, as they abandoned the straightforward pop fun of their 2008 debut ‘Oracular Spectacular’. Since then, though, half the musical world seems to have tie-dyed their wardrobe and gone to trippy heaven and the record has become a cult hit (in a good way, not a Charlie Manson way). ‘Alien Days’, a taste of their third record, is the sound of a band with some seriously psychedelic shit going down right now. A naive, childlike vocal intro melts into stoner-paced drums and all kinds of aural tricks and treats along the way. Turn on, tune in, drop out.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
Deap Vally – ‘Baby I Call Hell’
Trust Lindsey and Julie to have the digits of Beelzebub. The devilish duo mark their return in trademark razor-sharp style, boasting the type of blues-pop grooves Jack White used to knock out before breakfast and a chorus begging for a festival singalong. Get behind me, Satan, I was listening to this before you.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Drenge – ‘Necromance Is Dead’
Previous Drenge songs have included ‘People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck’ and ‘I Wanna Break You In Half’, so there probably aren’t lots of cuddles going down in Eoin and Rory Loveless’ house. Instead they’re going head to head in song – all guitar squeals, sludgy breakdowns and riffs they probably dance-battle to.
Siân Rowe, Assistant Reviews Editor
Jagwar Ma – ‘Man I Need’
The luxury of the gap year – intrepid self-discovery and globetrotting, soundtracked by psych-electro and big beat (Röyksopp, The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Marvo Ging’, etc) – is in decline. Young minds must now be expanded by more traditional methods: music. Welcome to Jagwar Ma’s latest single, I hope you enjoy your stay.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
Goat – ‘Dreambuilding’
Korpilombolo’s leading commune-based exponents of psych-tinged Afrobeat – believe me, there’s rabid competition – return with a first taster of their second album, and it’s as tripped out as you’d expect: ritual chants, percussion coming out of its posterior and warped, fuzzy guitars soloing up to the stars (man).
Matthew Horton, writer
Kelis – ‘Jerk Ribs’
Kelis dials things down a notch with this swinging and horn-heavy nu-soul anthem, propelled by the bass-snake of label-manager bod Dave Sitek. A brazen, brassy departure from recent neon EDM anthems, but still as damn danceable as you like, it’s the best thing she’s done since ‘Trick Me’.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
Surfer Blood – ‘Slow Six’
Taken from forthcoming album ‘Pythons’, Florida’s Surfer Blood return with amps turned up to the max on this growling, guitar-heavy rocker. They still sound like Weezer, but that’s no bad thing. Music fact: it’s called ‘Slow Six’ because it’s slow and the time signature is 6/8. Educationally yours, NME.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
Braids – ‘In Kind’
Canadian bloggers’ favourites Braids return with a more mellow take on the glitchy electronica of their 2011 debut. ‘Amends’ expands on the Animal Collective-gone-dreampop vibe of their earlier material with a hazier, post-dubstep feel complete with heartbeat drum punches and Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s immaculate vocals. By this summer, it’ll be everywhere. Guaranteed.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
The Family Rain – ‘Pushing It’
Behold The Family Rain’s latest opus: the bastard, neglected lovechild of Queens Of The Stone Age’s ‘No One Knows’ raised on a diet of scuzzy rock’n’roll and scampish British swagger. “A sign saying closed, but we’re still in business”, howls Will Walter. Too bloody right you are, sir.
Ben Hewitt, writer
Black Sabbath – ‘God Is Dead?’
Nine minutes of old-fashioned Black Sabbath doom-rock to make clear that anything bad you’ve seen or done, Ozzy’s been through worse. Giant Tony Iommi riff after giant Tony Iommi riff. Lyrics about “rivers of evil” and “Satan in my sight”. Ageless Osbourne vocals. It’s absolutely bang on.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor