Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
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Enter Shikari, Bon Iver, Jake Bugg
Enter Shikari - Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen Cover) / Juggernauts (Acoustic)
Given they’ve made their name by meshing together crunching hardcore, fluro-tinged electro and metallic guitar riffs, Enter Shikari are quite literally the last band on Earth you’d expect to be able to translate what they do into an acoustic session. But somehow, last week in NME’s own headquarters, they totally pulled it off - with the real curveball being their the cover of chart behemoth Carly Rae Jepsen’s recent Justin Bieber-approved earworm ‘Call Me Maybe’.
While it’s bizarre to see Rou Reynolds cooing rather than lecturing us about the downfall of humanity, him and the boys do a surprisingly good take on the monster hit. Playing it dead straight and keeping the giggles back, the softer tracks on ‘A Flash Flood Of Colour’ have clearly got the noiseniks’ harmonies nicely in tune. Saying all that, they’re unlikely to bring it out during their string of festival sets, so you best check out the video below...
Jessie Ware - 'Wildest Moments'
Momentarily ditching the throbby dance-pop that’s had her dubbed the downbeat Katy B, on ‘Wildest Moments’ Jessie’s so ‘Ceremonials’-style Florence it makes us want to don big white nighties and run round barefoot. And you can’t really argue that this tactic will do anything but fire her straight up to UK pop’s top deck.
Purity Ring - 'Fineshrine'
Beware Purity Ring’s Megan James, all: it may sound like her breathy, sugary voice is cooing innocently in your ear, but she’s dripping poison in there instead. “Get a little closer, let fold/Cut open my sternum and pull”, she coos over a gorgeously glassy chorus. Marvelously twisted stuff.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - 'I’ll Come Back 4 U'
Plenty more treasures are set to come as part of the Adult Swim’s summer singles series, but first up is this disjointed exactly-three-minutes psych-pop beauty, full of Wire-y guitar lines and an insistent, instantly likeable groove.
Chapel Club - 'Sleep Alone [chk!]'
One to file under ‘bands we always wanted to come good, finally coming good’. In the wake of a dreary debut album they sound glad to see the back of, London’s poetic indie folk five piece crank out an eerie, funky and rather irresistible sex jam.
Jake Bugg - 'Taste It'
Notts newcomer Bugg is undoubtedly the best of the bunch in 2012 when it comes to channeling the great lineage of British pop into his own concoctions. ‘Taste It’ is his finest tune yet, beginning with a fine burst of La’s guitar, bass that’s pure Entwistle, Lennon-esque snarl and finally – triumphantly – a Noely G one-note solo. Ya get the picture?
Bon Iver - 'Who Is It (Björk cover)'
Justin Vernon and co have been pedaling this Björk cover live for a while, but now it’s finally available to download as part of a special iTunes EP. It’s not a great departure from the (brilliant) original – but with Vernon’s sultry falsetto over shimmying drum skits, plus the addition of a sax solo, it’s given a snazzy new sheen.
Lucy Rose - 'Watch Over'
Still thinking of Lucy Rose as ‘that folky girl who does pretty backing vocals for Bombay Bicycle Club’? This track from her forthcoming debut ‘Like I Used To’ ought to make you look again. Itchy, playfully rhythmic finger-picking and Lucy’s dreamy vocals range through surprising shifts to climax in charged, not-so-sweet riff-strop.
Joey Bada$$ feat Captain Steez - 'Survival Tactics'
Two minutes into this highlight from the 17-year-old rapper’s mixtape ‘1999’ the beats drop and he delivers some killer lines. “Riding on hoverboards, wiping out motherboards” he flows. “Start spitting fire because my lung is scorched” he adds. Ending with a gunshot, it silenced the NME office, and if you’re a fan of confident swaggering hip-hop inspired by Common and Wu-Tang, you’ll be blown away too.
Yeasayer - 'Longevity'
Yeasayer. Of the ‘Ambling Alp’ PARTY HIT. Yeasayer. Of the bongo drum hippy freak show ‘Sunrise’. Yeasayer, now of the Gold Panda-ey pop ballad with BAAAASS, some little moments inside of it that sound like they’re going backwards, and a cheeky little string section solo. Slow and sticky, like a mudslide.
This article originally appeared in the June 23rd issue of NME
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