Colorado songwriter mixes obscenity and emotional heft with huge pop melodies
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (02/07/2013)
The best tracks of the week from Franz Ferdinand, AlunaGeorge, White Lies and more
If you think teachers have long holidays, consider Franz Ferdinand. With a whopping four years since their last album, the Scottish four-piece have a fair claim to being the slackest band in the business. But maybe it’s with good reason, because things were looking a bit iffy last time around. Their 2009 record, ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’, was just so-so. The class of 2004 were dropping like flies around them. They’d never quite matched the success of ‘Take Me Out’, and common sense said they never would. Fast-forward to 2013 and early reports on the new album sounded equally hit-or-miss, not least because they were working with members of Peter Bjorn & John – themselves a whistling one-hit wonder.
But, lordy lord! Here’s the sort-of title track to forthcoming album ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’, and the band are sounding as spry as Mo Farah after a vitamin injection to the jacksie. It’s got familiar Franz tropes – biting lead guitar, clever lyrics (“Come home, practically all is nearly forgiven” comes from the back of an old postcard Alex Kapranos found) and coyly voiced breakdowns. But there’s also a stomping rhythm reminiscent of Wings at their most thumbs-uppy and a fiddly guitar line fit for an East End knees up. For the big comeback, it’s right time, right place, right song.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
AlunaGeorge - 'Bad Idea'
The London celesti-pop duo confront a lover who is a waste of space on the B-side to next single ‘You Know You Like It’. “I know you get your kicks from your messy life/Don’t follow me with your fuss and strife”, Aluna coos, over George’s web of bloops.
Emelie Joy, writer
Click here to listen.
White Lies - 'There Goes Our Love Again'
Like putting a massive magnifying lens on the sun, ‘There Goes Our Love Again’ focuses White Lies’ overwhelming
synth-rock heat into a pin-point pop laser burning their best tune yet full-force into your melting face. The sentiment is precise and cutting, sheer delectable devastation. There’s nothing little about these Lies.
Mark Beaumont, writer
Scott & Charlene's Wedding - 'Lesbian Wife'
Hooky guitar riffs and luscious melodies accompany Australian expat Craig Dermody’s laconic post-punk drawl on this ode to NYC during Hurricane Sandy. The highlight of forthcoming album ‘Any Port In A Storm’, it’s well worth ignoring the rubbish Neighbours-referencing name.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
Biffy Clyro - 'Wooden Souvenir'
On their most recent albums, The Biff have been happy to plough the fields of rock and harvest arena-sized anthems. This B-side from the Scottish trio’s ‘Opposite’ EP sees them returning to the squalling math-rock furnace from which they were born. Best enjoyed loud, moshing and, of course, shirtless.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
Bloc Party - 'Ratchet'
A bit like hearing your mum say “sick”, it’s kind of wrong that Bloc Party have a song named ‘Ratchet’. Nevertheless, this is a rocket-fuelled new one, with Kele Okereke tackling the fast-paced verses alongside a chugging chorus of “just make it count!”. It’s sure to fit snugly next to ‘Helicopter’ and ‘Flux’ come their headline slot at Latitude this month.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
Drake Feat. Sampha - 'The Motion'
Everyone’s favourite sad-rapper is resigned to the fact that people are moving on. Likely to be one of the slower, more reflective moments on Aubrey’s forthcoming album ‘Nothing Was The Same’, Jessie Ware collaborator Sampha ups the melancholy with a sweet, deep harmony.
Siân Rowe, Assistant Reviews Editor
Florence Welch & Dev Hynes - 'I Love It' (Icona Pop cover)
Dev Hynes has many a muse, including Solange, Sky Ferreira and Mutya Keisha Siobhan. Now a clip of Hynes duetting with Florence Welch last month at a charity gig in New York has slipped online. It’s a stripped-back cover of the Icona Pop smash ‘I Love It’, but witness some fine air-piano work by Flo.
Phil Hebblethwaite, writer
Ellery James Roberts - 'Kerou’s Lament'
On the face of it, it’s hard not to think of WU LYF’s demise when reading the lyrics to Ellery Roberts’ comeback ‘Kerou’s Lament’. “Life in this coma/It’s hard to stay sober”, he growls at one point. But sampling Lil B and Daniel Pinchbeck pushes the track far further off piste than Ellery’s old band ever got.
Danielle Reed, writer
Willis Earl Beal - 'Everything Unwinds'
Beal’s debut album, great though it was, was a difficult beast to get to grips with. The haunting ‘Everything Unwinds’, a subdued soul brooder played by a poltergeist on an acoustic, offers the first real hint that, aided by studio trickery, he’s about to realise all that initial potential on follow-up ‘Nobody Knows’.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (02/10/2015)
Killer Mike and El-P turn their feline-centric joke project into something with genuine artistic clout
Ridley Scott and Matt Damon team up for a space-based drama that’ll make you chuckle
Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes return with more dirty rock 'n' roll