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 (03/04/2013)
Primal Scream, Phoenix, Sigur Ros and more in our 10 tracks of the week
Primal Scream - 'It’s Alright, It’s OK'
There are two ways to approach a new Primal Scream record in this day and age. Either you can titter behind your copy of The Lyrics Of Kele Okereke at lines such as “In this asphyxiation culture, there’s no place for the weak”, or you can celebrate the fact that when these middle-aged men take a piss, the steam that comes off it still contains more unfiltered rock’n’roll than the rest of the indie-rock world combined. Increasingly, I’m leaning towards the latter. With its breezy acoustic guitars and balloon-lunged gospel singers, the second track to be lifted from the Scream’s new album ‘More Light’ is very obviously channelling past glories – ‘Screamadelica’ opener ‘Movin’ On Up’ and ‘Give Out But Don’t Give Up’ highlight ‘Jailbird’ spring most readily to mind – but retroism has always sat comfortably next to futurism in the Scream’s arsenal, and this song is no different. Sure, it’s not quite up to the standard of those earlier triumphs, but you can certainly bank on being cajoled into a chorus of “Ooh-la-la” by a passing drunkard when they play it at the festivals. You’ll be glad you were, too. Following on from the rabble-rousing space-rock of ‘2013’, it’s safe to say that ‘It’s Alright, It’s OK’ gives us a slightly clearer idea of where they’re headed with ‘More Light’, and on this evidence, you can count me in, maaaan.
Jaws - 'BreeZe'
The first track from B-Town’s Jaws is kinda epic. ‘BreeZe’ shimmers and soars before breaking into a euphoric bridge, contrasting with lead singer Connor Schofield’s droney voice. “I want it, I need it, yeah”, he sings, sounding like he’s packed up ’90s grunge and taken it to the beach. It’s promising stuff.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
Pure X - 'Someone Else'
Lead singer Nate Grace has a ‘3am karaoke meltdown after a bit too much gin’ moment on ‘Someone Else’, but pulls through to deliver one of the most emotional songs of the year so far. “Make me feel something, I don’t give a fuck” he slurs, sounding completely alone as the lyrics scroll past his glassy eyes. It takes a big heart to sound this broken.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Phoenix - 'Chloroform'
Ace as that hook-up with ex-Sugababes MKS on a remix of ‘Entertainment’ undoubtedly is, Phoenix are pretty handy at making sassy pop all on their own, thanks very much. ‘Chloroform’ is all glassy synths and saucy laziness: “I don’t always tell the truth” purr the Parisians. They’re on to a winner here.
Ben Hewitt, writer
Sigur Rós - 'Brennisteinn'
Sigur Rós are great to listen to on acid because tracks like ‘Starálfur’ sound like a trapdoor to euphoria being opened in your mind. The rumbling industrial guts of ‘Brennisteinn’, by contrast, would give any moon-eyed tripper THE FEAR. It’s still gorgeous, but the Icelanders have discovered their dark side.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
Kingdom Feat. Kelela - 'Bank Head'
LA-based vocalist Kelela releases her debut mixtape in May, but before that she’s teamed up with Night Slugs producer and sometime Rinse FM DJ Kingdom for this spacey slow-jam. It’s like the morning after a party so good that you’re convinced it was all a dream.
Siân Rowe, Assistant Reviews Editor
Deerhunter - 'Monomania'
Monomania: the idea that a mind can be sane in some areas at the same time as being insane in others, often because of a fixation on one idea. Only Bradford Cox knows what he’s currently obsessed with, but judging by the title track from Deerhunter’s first album in three years it’s as noisy and confusing as lunchtime in an asylum and, above all, exciting.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
Majical Cloudz - 'Childhood’s End'
Anyone into Montreal’s Arbutus Records (thanks, Grimes!) will have heard Devon Welsh aka Majical Cloudz before. This first track from forthcoming album ‘Impersonator’ is more melodic and tearjerking than anything he’s done before. You’ll well up at the first cry of “can you see me caving in?”
Emelie Joy, writer
Hooded Fang - 'Graves'
Soon to return with a new album ‘Gravez’, Toronto’s premier garage-rock gang issue a sensibly spelled title track as a teaser. A crashing, thrashing surf-guitar rave-up that’s so joyful an entire verse consists of nothing but “bap bap ba ba” vocals. It’ll remind you what spring is meant to feel like.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
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10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/8/2015)
Oxford's finest flit between gnarly rock and frustrating slickness on an often-brilliant fourth album