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 (24/03/2013)
The Child Of Lov, Gabriel Bruce and Jessie Ware are on repeat in the NME office this week...
The Child Of Lov - 'Fly'
Details were scant at first. The Child Of Lov seemed to be just a chopped-and-screwed photo of some guy releasing gigantic soul tracks that deserved way more than anonymity. ‘Heal’ sounded like Robert Plant fronting The Isley Brothers at their fiercest; ‘Give Me’ was the kind of dirty, exciting funk Prince might still be making if anyone had the courage to tell him that three and a half minutes was quite enough jamming time, thanks. Then the pressures of promotion got the upper hand and we discovered that Lov is… Cole Williams, a nomad who travels between London, Paris and Amsterdam and a bedroom soul auteur with studio support from pop polymath Damon Albarn. Williams’ debut album ‘The Child Of Lov’ comes out on May 6, and it’s trailed by new single ‘Fly’, another great, whomping, meaty soul-funk cut. Given Williams’ wafer-thin frame, it’s all the more surprising to hear his voice as he comes on like Barry White, rumbling over crater-forming beats and electro-accordion loops and taking us “down to the river Jordan” like a hellfire preacher. This track lies somewhere between Alabama 3’s ‘Woke Up This Morning’ (used as the theme for The Sopranos) and Jamie Lidell (without the furry hat-wearing spectre of Jamiroquai circling) and it’s as righteous as an Al Green sermon.
Matthew Horton, writer
Swim Deep - 'She Changes The Weather'
Since trailing Peace out of the West Madlands, Swim Deep have earned themselves a reputation as jokers. That’s what makes this new track so surprising, but also so very good. It’s serious, it’s grand, it’s got mighty guitar squalls and lead singer/heartthrob Austin Williams cooing like a lovestruck Romeo.
Emelie Joy, writer
Chvrches - 'ZVVL'
Think this will be another slightly sad but ultimately euphoric Lauren Mayberry special? Then think again. Glasgow’s Chvrches are ringing in the changes on this EP track as she hands the microphone over to her male counterparts and lets them mine new pits of electro-despair.
Justine Matthews, writer
Spectrals - 'Milky Way'
Since we last heard from him, Leeds lad Louis Jones has learned to sing, and we mean really sing. ‘Milky Way’ sees him donning a newfound confident drawl, reminiscent of Edwyn Collins at his most dashing. Not just a step out of the shadows, this song puts Spectrals right into the limelight.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Gabriel Bruce - 'Greedy Little Heart'
After months of uncertainty and delays, Gabriel Bruce’s debut is finally being released – great news considering ‘Greedy Little Heart’ suggests it’s going to be a gloriously dramatic listen. Taking up his role as the disco Bruce Springsteen, Gabe goes from smooth crooning to shrieking mania with impressive, electrifying ease.
Rhian Daly, writer
No Joy - 'Lunar Phobia'
Montreal pair Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd used to be all about intense, roaring layers of shoegaze feedback, but their return sees them adding layers of keyboards and drum programming to those hazy guitars. The result is calmer and warmer, like taking a hot bath on a sun-kissed beach in heaven.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.com
Kendrick Lamar Feat. Jay-Z - 'Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe'
So much for Jay-Z dissociating himself from the word ‘bitch’ after the birth of Blue Ivy. He’s obviously changed his mind since then, but his verse on this remix is more than a bonus, it’s a great big slab of classic quick-rhyme that shows why Hov has been “on a wave for 20 years straight”.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.com
Hyetal - 'Northwest Passage'
This new cut from Bristol’s Hyetal – taken from his second album ‘Modern Worship’ – is like a late-night drive through an empty city. Drums hammer like an engine, the synths buzz and hum and Gwilym Gold howls over the top. Fresher than a Magic Tree hanging from the rear-view mirror.
Siân Rowe, Assistant Reviews Editor
Splashh - 'Sun Kissed Bliss'
Despite being pegged as (admittedly awesome) grunge revivalists, Splashh amp up their college-rock guitar churn into something far more euphorically primal here. It’s like Bobby Gillespie flicking disco biscuits into J Mascis’ mouth across Stephen Malkmus’ kitchen table.
Jamie Fullerton, Features Editor
Jessie Ware - 'Imagine It Was Us'
Finally some new solo material from south London’s darling. Regrouping for another winning collaboration with hot producer Julio Bashmore, this slinky ’90s-style club track is the soul singer at her most fun. But it still retains her signature sophistication, because Jessie Ware is pure class.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
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