Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week - Wu Lyf, Vampire Weekend, Mystery Jets
Wu Lyf, Vampire Weekend, Mystery Jets
1. Wu Lyf – ‘Concrete Gold/Heavy Pop’
The most secretive new band in the country (and most thrilling) finally step out of the shadows. Wu Lyf – that’s World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation – still won’t say exactly what their intentions are, but these two new recordings back up the incredible hype surrounding the still-unsigned Manchester quartet. You can hear both ‘Concrete Gold’ and ‘Heavy Pop’ at Worldunite.org, along with a stunning video made by the band featuring footage of tribal gatherings and religious ceremonies interspersed with volcanoes, toddlers smoking, gang violence and bull-fighting. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the music, which is 100 per cent brutal and completely unlike anything else out there at present. They call their style heavy pop, and the song of the same title is the best of the two, hooked around a chiming guitar and slashed-throat horror show vocals from leader Ellery Roberts.
Goes without saying that the video’s not embeddable anywhere, and – unsurprisingly – you won’t be finding either song on iTunes anytime soon either. So instead you’re gonna have to buy it on limited-edition vinyl from Wulyf.org. But have the band already thrown in the towel? Cryptic Facebook messages suggest that they’re going into hiding. “Baby we done our time,” they write. “We won’t be playing heavy pop in Manchester for a while, we’re going to some place nice where there no mosquitos at.” Wu Lyf don’t play by the rules. But even if they really do hate you, you’ll just end up loving them more.
[Matt Wilkinson, News Reporter]
2. Vampire Weekend – ‘Jonathan Low’
Twilight’s producers wouldn’t have slept if they’d never bagged Vampire Weekend for the soundtrack, so here comes new song ‘Jonathan Low’ for Eclipse. Rather than sounding vampiric, though, the chiming mandolins, swooning strings and ’80s drums on ‘…Low’ actually invoke blue skies and hot days. Forget RPatz, this ought to be the summer’s soundtrack.
[Paul Stokes, Associate Editor]
3. Kurt Vile – ‘Ocean City’
Initially, the opening tune from the ‘Square Shells’ EP seems like a simple, acoustic thing with even simpler words (“Don’t know how/You’ve got a best friend now”), but blink and you’ll miss one of the subtle little twists that makes Kurt Vile such an appealing character.
[Hamish MacBain, Assistant Editor]
4. Flying Lotus – ‘Heave(n)’
FlyLo tweeted this new track with a nonchalant, ‘I forgot to give you this’. Oh sure, downbeat odysseys that feel like the best drugs you’ve ever taken draining from your body are easy to overlook. Swirling chimes and stuttering beats ripple across
a sea of pads that sound like Underground Resistance in ambient mode. Sublime.
[Louise Brailey, writer]
5. Gayngs – ‘Ride’
The Minneapolis supergroup recently released the best soft rock/slow jam melange we’ve heard since some messy early morning Spotify wrestle one early morning, and this penultimate slice of laid-back jazz and whale chorus synths is as good an introduction as any.
[Tim Chester, Assistant Editor, NME.COM]
6. Major Lazer & La Roux – ‘Bulletproof (Nacey Remix ft Matt Hemerlein)’
La Roux is taking the hipster route to stateside success. Like MIA and Santigold before her, she’s released a mixtape collaboration with Diplo (in his Major Lazer guise) as a free download. This minor-key, piano-and-strings overhaul of ‘Bulletproof’ is the highlight, doing for the song what Skream’s remix did for ‘In For The Kill’.
[Luke Lewis, Deputy Editor, NME.COM]
7. Cerebral Ballzy – ‘Insufficient Fare’
Drowning out the sniggers their name causes in the NME office are The Coolest New Hardcore Band In NYC. Harnessing the spirit of the skateboard-bludgeoning scene from Larry Clark’s Kids, here the five-piece make being caught ticketless on the subway sound like war on God.
[Jaimie Hodgson, New Music Editor]
8. Mystery Jets – ‘Dreaming Of Another World (Wooden Shjips Remix)’
Mystery Jets’ return with new album ‘Serotonin’ is very welcome but, like a cherry on top of Blaine Harrison’s sugary synth-rock cake, comes this crunching, droning Wooden Shjips remix of ‘Dreaming Of Another World’. Expanded to an epic six minutes, the final ascent into a soaring, widdling guitar solo worthy of J Mascis makes for one delicious treat.
[David Moynihan, Editor, NME.COM]
9. Stornoway – ‘Ride On Time’
“We thought we’d do a cover for you,” announces Brian Briggs and begins strumming a folk tune. “You’re such a hot temptation/You just walk right in/Walk, walk, walk right in”. Yes, Stornoway are playing a funereal version of Black Box’s ‘Ride On Time’. Next week, they take on ‘DANCE’. Possibly.
[Mark Beaumont, writer]
10. Zola Jesus – ‘Night’
The moment in the video for this heady love potion of a track where Nika Roza Danilova is sucked into a black, liquid mirrorland pretty much sums it up; stylised, lush and self-indulgent. It owes as much to the power ballad as it does to goth or noise, poised between kiss-my-shades cool and heart-on-sleeve melodrama.
[Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor]
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