20 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (06/11/2013)
Performing ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ as a tribute to Lou Reed might be the equivalent of doing ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ after Brian May meets his maker, but at least the Arctics just played the song at a recent Liverpool gig and spared us a mawkish eulogy. It’s a classy version, broken up by Turner saying: “You can ‘doo do doo’ a lot louder than that, by the way.” Too right.
Phil Hebblethwaite, writer
Some further so-good-it’s-almost-irritating proof of just how painfully good Arcade Fire really are. The title of ‘I Dreamed A Neil Young Song’ says it all: it’s an acoustic track reminiscent of one the world’s finest songwriters that Win Butler wrote IN HIS SLEEP. Here it’s performed alongside Young, at the Bridge School Benefit in California last week. Everyone else might as well just give up now.
Lisa Wright, writer
Australian pair Simon Ridley and Shane Parsons performed alchemy on last year’s debut album ‘Bloodstreams’, turning the vulgar spit’n’sweat of hard-boozing debauchery into DIY punk-rock gold. But on the preview from their as yet untitled follow-up, they’ve left all that behind for a skyscraper-sized daydream, all gorgeously shuddering guitars and wistful recollections of “Getting lost in future thoughts/ Never learn from what I’m taught”.
Ben Hewitt, writer
If runaway rude-rock bastard ‘Asleep At The Wheel’ is anything to go by, Band Of Skulls’ third album is going to be beastlier than a midnight strip poker session with Satan himself. Like The Black Keys at their meanest, it stomps away before propelling itself into a riff of Black Sabbath standards that could send shivers down the spine of even the sturdiest goth. But remember: Band Of Skulls aren’t actually pure evil, they just sound that way.
Leonie Cooper, writer
The 23-year-old Filipino producer Idris Vicuña introduces himself to the wider world with this intoxicating slice of neon and chrome pop-noir straight from the world of Chromatics. “I don’t give a fuck, I just want to forget everything that’s making me feel bad” coo the nihilistic lyrics, delivered in a haunted, Warpaint-style chant that pulls you in close enough to get stuck in the gloopy and hypnotic beat.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
It’s difficult to know what to make of the Pixies’ new stuff so far. On the one hand ‘Indie Cindy’ is a romping, stomping and vitriolic return to the glory days; on the other are the dull and downbeat tracks that made up the rest of ‘EP1’. This spiky ballad suggests there may be life after Kim Deal, as Black Francis commands “Magdalena just between us woaaaah” like the Pixies of old.
Damian Jones, writer
The most loveable man in rap (the beard, the fact he used to be a chef, that cheeky chubby face) drops a teaser for his ‘Blue Chips 2’ mixtape that, by the time you read this, will be available to download. At the same time grand (the brass instruments in the background) and lazy (Bronson’s easy flow about “blunts”, “chicken parmigiana” and how he likes to “stand on the balcony naked”), ‘Practice’ is the sound of a man enjoying his hip-hop.
Tom Howard, Reviews
Less a song than an intro, ‘Welcome’ is an enticing glimpse of an album we have to wait three months for. Jam Rostron sounds like she’s approaching ‘All Love’s Legal’ with the same disorientating sonics that made 2011’s ‘W’ so intriguing, all pitched-down non-gender-specific vocals and shimmering synths. With the words “Fall in love with whoever you want to”, ‘Welcome’ invites you to get on board with the new Planningtorock manifesto.
Matthew Horton, writer
There’s no religion in The Hunger Games’ universe, leaving the warring characters to strive for belief as their friends die around them. The stakes aren’t so high in The National’s world, but that search for reason forms the backbone of this year’s ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ album, and this contribution to the ‘THG: Catching Fire’ soundtrack. ‘Lean’ is graceful as ‘Pink Rabbits’ and anxious as ‘Anyone’s Ghost’, Matt Berninger clinging to comfort in the face of fatalism.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
“I still feel lonely when you hold me” sighs Wet’s Kelly Zutrau on ‘You’re The Best’. It opens with super-sharp, super-crisp vocals played through a vocoder, and all the early signs point to the trio’s latest offering becoming a resounding tearjerker in the style of Imogen Heap’s ‘Hide & Seek’. But then the jaunty guitars skip in to save the day, instantly brightening the track up with their infectious, tropical vibrancy.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
More introverted than the widescreen Tame Impala original, this scuzz-bucket of bouncy brilliance takes Kevin Parker’s ode to Marc Bolan on a more leftfield journey. Cue some whispered vocals from Wayne Coyne – sounding like he’s on something of a downer – and a cheapass guitar line substituting all those heavy synths. Parker turning up on drums (his best instrument) gives the track the cohesion it needs.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
With pitch-bent keys, slap bass, disco-jangle guitars and vocals that begin each line with a throaty grumble, this track from new album ‘Cupid Deluxe’ is so Prince-like you suspect Dev Hynes may have invested in a lavish purple coat and trademarked a squiggle for future naming use. But being like Prince is rarely a bad thing, and ‘You’re Not Good Enough’ proves Hynes the master of the hipster heartbreak anthem.
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
The title track from Adio Marchant’s second EP as Bipolar Sunshine sees the former Kid British frontman reconcile his past with his present. It features the same soulful and trippy indie-pop sound as June’s debut EP ‘Aesthetics’, plus the ska-tinged rhythms reminiscent of his old band. The result is swirling and soothing, like a collaboration between Santigold and William Orbit recorded just as the Valium’s kicking in.
Nick Levine, writer
Jaakko Eino Kalevi is a part-time tram driver from Helsinki. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s easy to imagine listening to ‘No End’ on a Nordic voyage through pine trees and under the northern lights. A pulsing bassline plus the sultry vocals of guest vocalist Suad Khalifa and a bunch of dreamy synths make for a soporific listen. But as the sax synths get crunchy and wild you realise there’s more to Kalevi than dream pop.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
The other side of their double A-side single ‘Robe For Juda’, ‘Wide At Midnight’ finds Brighton trio The Wytches on softer form. But only for a little while. “Maybe in the morning you can heal my eyesight/Feline eyes wide at midnight”, sings frontman Kristian Bell as the rest of his bandmates restrain their usual barrages, before the track escalates into the band’s familiar guttural roars, psych riffs and battering drums.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
Eminem and Kendrick Lamar are no strangers to the darker side of rap, and are most commonly found exorcising demons about difficult hood upbringings over stormy beats. So it’s sort of weird that their first collaboration, taken from Slim Shady’s upcoming ‘Marshall Mathers LP 2’, finds them swapping goofy rhymes about fellatio and L’Oreal over a breezy beat borrowed from ’60s Brit jangler Wayne Fontana.
Al Horner, writer
The Lawrence Brothers released this big-room banger the day before the Mercury Prize was announced. It suggests they’re having a good time, even though they didn’t win. ‘Apollo’ is all wobble-board synths, slivers of ’90s vocal house fluttering in and out, pew-pewing ray guns and a shuffling four-to-the-floor beat. It’s a progression from ‘Settle’’s exuberant garage-house. The Greek god of music would approve.
Kate Hutchinson, writer
Songs have the power to transport you to another place and time. Within a few bars of the shuffling snare and slacker bassline of La Femme’s ‘Jaded Future – Future Las’, a bonus track from the band’s debut album ‘Psycho Tropical Berlin’, you’ll be driving a convertible along a winding road on the French Riviera with the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin and an impossibly good-looking companion in the passenger seat.
Andy Welch, writer
The teasing for Katy B’s second album ‘Little Red’, due out next year, gets very tantalising indeed on this coquettish little number. So far we’ve heard moodier tracks like the dark, sleek ‘5am’ and the emotional ‘Crying For No Reason’, but Katy hasn’t forgotten the clubs. This collaboration with London producer George Fitzgerald is even more upfront than ‘What Love Is Made Of’, all hot housey bubble and Katy’s coy purrs of “I like you a little bit…”
Emily Mackay, writer
Erol Alkan’s first album production credit was on Mystery Jets’ ‘Twenty One’, which is about as bad a point of comparison for this track as it’s possible to imagine. The first taste of Alkan’s debut solo EP ‘Illumination’ is the opposite of Mystery Jets’ charming indie: it’s a fully fledged acid-melted raver. The only vocal is an insistent female voice telling us to do it “to the rhythm” like a lusty aerobics instructor. It does, as promised, bang.
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
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