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 (05/09/2013)
What's on repeat in the NME Office, including Sleigh Bells, Best Coast and Natasha Khan
Bringing up Sleigh Bells in conversation is surprisingly risky. Some people consider the duo nothing more than Daphne & Celeste by way of Skrillex – just a load of sickly, boisterous noise. This must not be accepted. Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss didn’t so much come on the scene in 2010 with debut album ‘Treats’ as crash, bang and wallop their way through the creative hubbub of Brooklyn. They terrorised the world’s eardrums with their own noise-pop-punk jihad. They battered headphones with a triple threat of blown-out drum machines, fiercely distorted thrash guitars and Krauss’ cheerleader-on-helium vocals. And then they punctured through venues like a rapid-fire assault rifle. What sort of gutless wimp wouldn’t fancy a bit of that? ‘Bitter Rivals’ is the first taster from the follow-up to their more polished second record ‘Reign Of Terror’. Employing the same shiny, self-contained production of that LP, it channels a riff reminiscent of Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger’ before going all CLAP, WHACK, SHRRILLLLL. The album (also called ‘Bitter Rivals’) will detonate in early October. Which leaves us with T-minus-ZERO time to prepare. Shield yourself at once.
Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor
Radkey - 'Romance Dawn'
The brothers Radkey return in thunderous form ahead of their UK tour supporting Drenge next month. ‘Romance Dawn’ is four and a half minutes of ultra-compressed Ramones glory, drenched in Dee and Isaiah’s gutterpunk Kansas co-snarl.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
Icona Pop Feat. Zebra Katz - 'My Party'
Icona Pop made the wildly fun ‘I Love It’. Zebra Katz made the deeply unsettling ‘Ima Read’. Stick them together on a radical reworking of Leslie Gore’s ’60s hit ‘It’s My Party’ and what do you get? Something that’ll have you simultaneously shaking your ass and shaking in your boots.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.com
MØ Feat. Diplo - 'XXX 88'
Like a Bond theme made for the dance tent, ‘XXX 88’ becomes more dramatic and tense as it goes along. Chants of “hey!” stab away in the background as the beat lolls nicely and Mø, aka Karen Marie Ørsted, delivers a sleek and understated vocal, allowing Diplo to ramp things up in the final minute.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
NYPC - 'Things Like You'
Remember New Rave? Luminous cat suits? Glow sticks? Marvellous. Survivors were few though, and the canniest acts had to adapt. Hence NYPC (formerly New Young Pony Club) return with this synth-pop amalgamation of Friends and Chairlift, its retro sound offset by Tahita Bulmer singing like Mark E Smith.
Mark Beaumont, writer
Danny Brown - 'ODB'
‘ODB’ is the sixth song Brown’s leaked from his upcoming album ‘Old’. He’s in a typically filthy mood – “dick too big, nigga I was stuffed in” – hence the comparisons with Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who we assume the title refers to. Another enjoyable bash of demented Brown.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.com
Best Coast - 'I Don’t Know How'
The first track from a new EP due in October, ‘I Don’t Know How’ finds Bethany Cosentino in reflective mood. “I don’t know why the sun’s in the sky”, she sighs on this Americana-tinged epic that hints her new material is less about a lo-fi weed haze and more in line with Taylor Swift’s more emotional moments.
Rhian Daly, writer
Natasha Khan & Jon Hopkins -'Garden’s Heart'
This spine-tingling collaboration between rising star Hopkins and the artist also known as Bat For Lashes is to accompany a romance film set during the apocalypse, and it does so with a rumbling sense of dread lurking below Khan’s cut-glass vocals. Do a whole album together, please.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
Skream feat. Sam Frank - 'Rollercoaster'
The Magnetic Man man’s explorations of house, disco and funk continue apace. ‘Rollercoaster’ includes: squealing Prince guitars, Daft Punk robot voices, Sam Frank singing like a Chipmunk, nothing that nods to Skream’s other life as a dubstep producer. Man cannot live by dirty stinking bass alone.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
Katy B - '5am'
If Katy’s recent wibbling about ‘growing up’ had you fretting she’d turned into a yawnsome spinster, then here’s bosh-heavy balm: a pulsing, urgent banger that sees our heroine in the middle of a beat-related fidget. “My feet won’t stop, I can’t keep still... That beat’s so sick”. She’s still sounding as dangerous and slick as ever.
Ben Hewitt, writer
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