Ten songs that've been on repeat in the NME office this week, including TV On The Radio, Arcade Fire and Manic Street Preachers
TV On The Radio – ‘Mercy’
Looks like nowhere is safe from the gaze of bands looking for new and exciting ways to announce their return. Kanye West did it via a projector on the walls of various buildings around the world. Arcade Fire recently announced they were back in a tweet to a fan. Now, with New York titans TV On The Radio’s surprise re-emergence, Instagram’s usual feed of cats and gourmet burgers has been interrupted to signal Kyp Malone and co’s imminent comeback. While they haven’t announced details of a full LP just yet, ‘Mercy’ gives us a small window of hope that one might soon be on its way, while showing they’ve still got that knack for delivering a killer tune. “I fell in love with professional evil on the day you left my side”, reveals Tunde Adebimpe over jerky, staccato rushes of post-punk guitars, before observing “tons of people looking lost and lethal”. ‘Mercy’ sounds like a group completely refreshed, and ready to pour their energy back onto tape. The results are dripping with urgency and pent-up tension, reminiscent of the fraught magic Bloc Party had when they first arrived with ‘Silent Alarm’. Whether or not a new album follows the track in the coming months, it’s more than enough to reignite our love affair with the Brooklyn band. And if an LP does appear? All signs so far point to it being another cast-iron classic.
Rhian Daly, writer
Manic Street Preachers – ‘Show Me The Wonder’
Don’t let mentions of “exile” and “cruelty” fool you – ‘Show Me The Wonder’ is an unashamedly brilliant pop song with parping horns and a ridiculously catchy chorus that suggests the Welsh band are still going for the radio hits. It’s nothing like the Richard Hawley-helmed track we’ve already heard, but it’s another positive sign for the new album.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
The Weeknd – ‘Love In The Sky’
R&B’s sleaziest, Abel Tesfaye, counts his Air Miles glumly on this rain-soaked, Prince-like guitar slink as he sings, “I’ve been flying around the world/I’ve been killing these shows/But I’m always getting high/’Cos my confidence is low”. You could call it navel-gazing, but we suspect he prefers the sight of something a little lower on his anatomy.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Arcade Fire – ‘Games Without Frontiers’
Every morning I open a window on my Arcade Fire calendar, counting the days until their new record arrives. This faithful cover of a Peter Gabriel tune from a new compilation paying tribute to the Genesis icon is a tasty, glisteningly grand chocolate behind a door – but I wish they’d hurry up with the presents.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
Francis Lung -‘Age Limits’
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The other project of former Wu Lyf bassist Tom McClung (besides Los Porcos) beautifully evokes the nighttime guitar strum of The xx. It’s a swooping ballad that crashes into a screaming crescendo, as beguiling as it is brilliant.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
Cyril Hahn – ‘Raw Cut’
The term ‘guilty pleasure’ should be banned. Cyril Hahn understands that you either like a tune or you don’t – why feel bad? He’s made a name for himself by re-tooling the likes of Mariah Carey and Destiny’s Child for the eye-rolling hipster with the sort of deeply soulful late-night bass that appears on this – finally a creation all of his own.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
Destruction Unit – ‘Bumpy Road’
This Arizona lot were one of the breakout acts at this year’s SXSW, and ‘Bumpy Road’ certifies why. They get loads of love from touring buddies Merchandise and Milk Music – but, crucially, sound nothing like either of them. Instead, they skirt the line between hardcore and psych with a sense of dilapidated DIY perfection.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
Cerebral Ballzy – ‘Another Day’
Let’s forget Beady Eye’s ‘BE’ ever happened and remember the days when everything Dave Sitek did was genius. Now he’s started a record label – Federal Prism – and he’s releasing this masterclass in nailgun-to-the-genitals febrile fuzz-rock from Ballzy on the B-side to their ‘City’s Girl’ single. All is right with the world.
Mark Beaumont, writer
Islet – ‘Tripping Through The Blue Room (Part II)’
Islet’s last album, 2012’s ‘Illuminated People’ was hyperactive enough to provoke extreme bogling. The first single from its follow-up, ‘Released By The Movement’, is much more static – a dank psychedelic creep towards a twisted lullaby that makes your surroundings seem unfamiliar.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
A$AP Ferg – ‘Hood Pope’
Having previously stayed in A$AP Rocky’s shadow, A$AP Ferg is finally making his own claim for glory on ‘Hood Pope’. Shedding the urge to hire collaborators, this is the Harlem rapper fixing the spotlight firmly on himself, firing out lines about “drinking Jesus juice” and being there for his people over whomping bass and gunshot beats.
Justine Matthews, writer