Ten songs on repeat in the NME office this week, from Swim Deep and Beck to Parquet Courts and Nine Inch Nails
Natasha Khan & Toy, ‘The Bride’
With Bat For Lashes’ mastery of haunting dramatics and Toy’s unerring commitment to creating walls of noise, any collaboration between the two always had the potential to be special. Here, for Natasha Khan’s first new music since 2012’s BFL stunner ‘The Haunted Man’, they join forces for the third release on Speedy Wunderground – a new seven-inch label from producer Dan Carey (who has worked with both acts in the past) – following singles from Steve Mason and Emiliana Torrini, and Archie Bronson Outfit. Reworking ‘Aroos Khanoom’, a track discovered by Toy and Carey on a compilation of pre-revolutionary Iranian psych, the song was recorded in just three takes but sounds as accomplished as anything Khan and east London’s finest new-psych gang have done in the past. Swooping from delicate quiet to howling noise, it pulses with urgency and heartache. Though it opens with elegant piano ripples and Natasha murmuring “Now my heart is singing in my chest with one to confide in”, its restrained start soon gives way to more unbridled emotion, the Bat For Lashes star urging “children don’t throw stones to this broken heart”, as if she’s trying to prevent the havoc she’s about to wreak.
Rhian Daly, writer
Swim Deep, ‘King City’
This was the first song we heard by the Birmingham four-piece last year and here it is again, re-recorded and sounding huge on debut album ‘Where The Heaven Are We’. “With the sun on my back, it’s a nice day”, sings Austin Williams simply over cooed backing vocals and a driving bassline from this summer’s dreamiest band.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Wu-Tang Clan, ‘Family Reunion’
Twenty years since their debut and the Staten Islanders are in a celebratory mood. ‘Family Reunion’ will almost certainly (like the already-heard ‘Execution In Autumn’) end up on the group’s new album ‘A Better Tomorrow’, and it loops an O’Jays song of the same name into an easy summer jam that’s just like “fresh lemonade“.
Phil Hebblethwaite, writer
What would make you ‘defriend’ someone on Facebook? Not hearing their voice since 2008? Finding out they’re a Scientologist? You forgive Beck all that the moment you hear this dreamy electronic ballad with Postal Service beats wafting from your speakers.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
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Half Moon Run, ‘Unofferable’
“Give me an offer unofferable”, says Half Moon Run’s Devon Portielje on this new teaser for their debut album, ‘Dark Eyes’. An understated, heart-wrenching tale of love “like an ugly disease”, the Canadian four-piece use their instrumental fragility and tear-jerking vulnerability to turn that romantic turmoil into a simple stunner.
Justine Matthews, writer
Hot Chip, ‘Dark & Stormy’
Hot Chip (plus This Heat drummer Charles Hayward) are in classic bass-driven, hook-laden, head-noddin’ form on this surprise single, a sign of interesting things to come. Be on earworm alert because the werewolf-style “ooh”s are hard to shake out of your head.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
Parquet Courts, ‘Got Me Wondering Now’
One of three new songs the hotly tipped four-piece recorded for US radio show World Café recently, ‘Got Me Wondering’ brings everything great about Parquet Courts to the fore – from the buzzsaw two-chord CBGB riff, to the sarcastic lyrics (“sunburn’s better than heartburn”) and frenetically brilliant twin guitars.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
Washed Out, ‘It All Feels Right’
Like all of us, Ernest Greene has moved on from chillwave. This dreamy teaser for his second album ‘Paracosm’, due in August, is all about the Beatles-y psych vibes, complete with strings, sitar and the sound of birds chirping. When he sings “it feels alright”, it’s impossible to disagree.
Nick Levine, writer
Bass Drum Of Death, ‘Crawling After You’
Best garage-rock name out there? Definitely. Best song? It does all the right things. Taken from the Mississippi band’s self-titled second album, it’s got wickedly dirty “ahhh ahhh ahhh”s, dive-bombing guitars and a drawl-along chorus that’ll have you falling all over the place the next time they play the UK.
Siân Rowe, Assistant Reviews Editor
Nine Inch Nails, ‘Came Back Haunted’
After four years away, Trent Reznor’s band return with the first single from new album ‘Hesitation Marks’. He’s moved away from the challenging nature of the material he last released under the moniker, back towards a sound that recalls his early-’90s commercial peak.
Alan Woodhouse, Senior Sub-Editor