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 (08/06/2013)
Ten songs on repeat in the NME office this week, from Fuck Buttons and Joey Bada$$ to Angel Haze and Goat
As anyone who’s seen a Fuck Buttons live show will tell you, they’re a duo whose music has a very physical effect on people. Despite looking like they’re just pressing buttons and twiddling knobs onstage, Ben Power and Andrew Hung are capable of battering audiences with emotion, making you feel like you’re heading for a cardiac arrest. On the first track from the Londoners’ upcoming third album ‘Slow Focus’ they repeat the trick. Nasty grooves, grizzled noises, muscular jungle groans and unsettling chimes all suggest that Fuck Buttons have listened back to 2009 track ‘Surf Solar’ (which was played at the start of last summer’s Olympic Opening Ceremony) and decided to make something just as direct. “It has a sense of fear and of loneliness, as if deserted in an abandoned city,” says Power of ‘The Red Wing’. “The feeling of malevolence is something we hadn’t really explored in our music”. And doesn’t that sound mind-meltingly inappropriate for their slot headlining the Park Stage on Saturday night at Glastonbury? Just make sure you’re as up for it as they are. “We’re looking forward to it hugely,” says Andrew Hung. “I’m hoping the Glastonbury crowd will be up for being raucous.”
Siân Rowe, Assistant Reviews Editor
Joey Bada$$, 'Word Is Bond'
Seeing as everything Kanye puts out right now sounds like it’s been produced by angry robots, it’s nectar for the ears hearing Joey Bada$$ drop a track with a piano intro and some old-school scratching. The 18-year-old harks back to the best bits of 1994 hip-hop, and ‘Word Is Bond’ bodes outrageously well for his ‘Summer Knights’ mixtape in June.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
Surfer Blood, Gravity
Frustrated that Weezer keep on making weird albums in Japanese and would rather play their old albums on a boat than write perfect alt-pop songs? Me too. Don’t worry, because Surfer Blood are here to save the day, and ‘Gravity’ is more ‘Green Album’-era Rivers Cuomo than a pair of NHS specs and a hash pipe.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Angel Haze, No Bueno
This writer is not usually a fan of strings on rap music, but the fiddle on this track adds something special to Angel Haze spitting fire. Is ‘No Bueno’ about the loss of her hazelnut cream-filled wafer with a tasty chocolate covering? Probably not.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
David Byrne & St Vincent, Cissus
Cissus is a tropical plant that cures malaria. It is also a previously unreleased gift from David Byrne and St Vincent’s ‘Love This Giant’ sessions that soothes any wet summer blues away with harmonic clarinets and Annie Clark’s effortlessly cool vocals.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
White Lies - Getting Even
White Lies have gone all Muse for their bombastic comeback single. Check out frontman Harry McVeigh dramatically wailing, “I can forgive and we can forget, you’re getting even” over synths and clomping guitar riffs. The album is named ‘Big TV’, but they’re clearly aiming for big venues.
Damian Jones, writer
Arthur Beatrice, Carter
Missing Wild Beasts? Fret not, London’s Arthur Beatrice more than fill the void. Having been away for a year honing their debut album, the four-piece return sounding more beguiling than ever. Co-vocalist Ella Girardot takes charge on this one – fraught as ever, rattling off lyrics concerned with fate, trust and
“the dust unsettling”.
Matt Wilkinson, writer
Boards Of Canada, Reach For The Dead
Graphic design boys the planet over shuddered a reedy note of pleasure at the oh-so-long-awaited return of Boards Of Canada, but there are those who’d argue they’ve spelled the first word of their name wrong. To you we say: loosen those shoulders! Relax into the pulsebeats building smoothly, the synth washes. You are licensed to chill.
Duncan Gillespie, writer
On 2012 album ‘Endless Flowers’ the San Diego noiseniks rubbed off some of their earlier sonic silt for something
a bit shinier. The first track from its follow-up, due this summer, is another slick garage-pop affair complete with a dreamy Doors-esque organ solo that would make the late Ray Manzarek proud.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
Less than a year after the release of debut album ‘World Music’, Sweden’s pagan psych-rockers Goat are back with a non-album single. ‘Stonegoat’ follows the band’s penchant for including the word ‘goat’ in song titles – and for issuing wah-wah pedal freak-outs.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality
A still-vital John Lydon rages towards retirement on a saucy, scuzzy new album
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