Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (24/04/2013)
The tracks on repeat at NME this week, from Daft Punk to Janelle Monae and Laura Marling to Swim Deep
Daft Punk - 'Get Lucky'
We always knew it would happen: the robots have taken over – and they’ve been toying with us like a cat batting a half-dead mouse around the doormat. Just as Justin Bieber can send Twitter into meltdown by tweeting the word ‘hello’, Daft Punk have had music lovers of a certain stripe on high alert since posting a picture of their helmets (no, not in the Grindr sense) alongside the Columbia logo back in February. Since then, they’ve been teasing us with snippets of info, images, sounds and video relating to forthcoming album ‘Random Access Memories’, which might, or might not, be revealed in May at a country show slap bang in the middle of nowhere: Wee Waa, New South Wales. Last week, the androids finally treated us to a real taste of their new sound – a short clip of new track ‘Get Lucky’, which aired before their mates Phoenix took to the stage at California’s Coachella festival. And then – hallelujah! – the whole track arrived on Friday. So what’s new? Well, everything except the chrome. With vocals from king of cool Pharrell and wicka-wacka guitar from disco don Nile Rodgers, ‘Get Lucky’ is old-school, 1978 D-I-S-C-O with a gut-rumbling Daft Punk bassline and dance-music drops – and then the robots start to sing. Lovers of vocoder vocals and ice-cool pop rejoice: Daft Punk have found their voice again.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
Florence + The Machine - 'Over The Love'
On this slice from the long-awaited The Great Gatsby soundtrack, Florence is at her most dramatic, hollering “Now there’s green light in my eyes” (a lyric about dreams that feature in F Scott Fitzgerald’s original book) at champagne glass-shattering levels. She was made for a job like this.
Siân Rowe, Assistant Reviews Editor
Empire Of The Sun - 'Alive'
Stupid hats and blusher at the ready – Aussie synth dandies Empire Of The Sun are back with some lush electro-pop that’s almost childlike in its wide-eyed wonder at the power of lurrve. Awww. “Say hello to the future!” beams Luke
Steele, and for a moment you’ll feel
all optimistic too.
Matthew Horton, writer
Basement Jaxx - 'Back 2 The Wild'
Basement Jaxx return with a single that proves it’s not just hip things Major Lazer who can make banging dance tunes by fusing frantic drumbeats and sonic distortion. But is all this talk of going back to nature just an excuse for them to tell us to get naked? Almost definitely yes.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
Swim Deep - 'Simmer'
Last year they told us not to be lazy. Now, on balmy new B-side ‘Simmer’, Swim Deep are asking us how it feels “to lie down that much”. At the rate these Birmingham boys are touring their blissfully dazed pop, they’ve probably long forgotten what it’s like to loaf around doing nothing.
Rhian Daly, writer
Janelle Monae Feat. Erykah Badu - 'Q.U.E.E.N.'
On her debut album, Monáe styled herself as ‘The ArchAndroid’, a messianic robot from the future with a thing for sharp, theatrical pop songs. Now she’s ‘The Electric Lady’ and holding court with Erykah Badu on this spacey funk track. It’s powerful, inspiring and should make everyone feel like queens.
Emelie Joy, writer
Polica Feat. Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) - 'Tiff'
Justin Vernon may drop in for a cameo, but the bearded misanthrope is playing second fiddle here, because no-one’s pilfering Poliça’s Channy Leaneagh’s spotlight on ‘Tiff’. It’s the beautifully grubby score to some as yet unwritten film-noir thriller, with Channy the formidable, smoke-voiced femme fatale.
Ben Hewitt, writer
Disclosure Feat. Elize Doolittle - 'You & Me'
Brothers Guy and Howard deliver another hit with the soon-to-be club-dominating ‘You & Me’. Eliza Doolittle may seem like an unlikely collaborator (she hasn’t had a hit since 2010’s ‘Pack Up’), but she delivers a confident vocal on a track that further establishes Disclosure as new kings of the dancefloor.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Laura Marling - 'Master Hunter'
The second cut from the 23-year-old’s upcoming album, and she’s sharpening her claws. “You want a woman who will
call your name? It ain’t me, babe”, she rails over her ever so slightly ‘Led Zeppelin III’ acoustic guitar, “I am a master hunter”. Refreshed. Rejuvenated. Dangerous. Laura Marling in 2013 is gonna tear you to shreds.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs - 'Be Glamorous'
The Strypes might be getting all the retro-rock kudos, but this one from Heavenly Records’ new signings shows that the battle to be kings of old-school guitar heroics in 2013 isn’t a one-horse race. CBATV haven’t been pictured with Noel Gallagher in a stairwell yet, mind.
Jamie Fullerton, Features Editor
The film adaptation of R.L. Stine's classic horror novels is shockingly enjoyable
A defiantly bangerless take-me-seriously-as-an-artist album that reveals new charms every time you spin it
The utterly gripping story of how The Boston Globe exposed child abuse within the Catholic church
Hitmaker-for-hire makes a silk purse out of songs rejected by Rihanna, Adele and others