20 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/3/2014)
Peace’s debut ‘In Love’ was full psychedelic indie pop, but don’t expect album number two to sound the same. On ‘World Pleasure’ frontman Harry Koisser steps way out of his comfort zone to have a go at rapping, boasting “Maybe I wasn’t born brave/I was born good looking”. His brother Sam, meanwhile, has his finest moment in the band so far – a bass solo that bridges the gap between slinky funk and classic rock. Cheeky, inventive and cool.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
Last time Julian Casablancas went solo, it was with the synth-heavy sound and ’80s pop gloss of 2009's 'Phrazes For The Young'. This track – premiered live in the week of South By Southwest – is something quite different, with stark, Cramps-like verses followed by thrashing, screaming choruses and, later, bursts of Strokes-like
guitar arpeggios. Wonder if he knows a New York deathcore band beat him to the titular vampire pun?
Dan Stubbs, News Editor
As a songwriter for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Eminem and Katy Perry and a singer for Zero 7, David Guetta and Flo Rida, Sia's music has been filling the charts for years. She decided to keep ‘Chandelier’, the first track from her upcoming sixth album, to herself. Good decision. It’s mid-tempo pop that erupts suddenly into the most ludicrously euphoric chorus of the year. Bring on the album.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
Techno trio The Acid reckon they're an "unknown entity, a force in itself," which all sounds very airy-fairy until you hear what they're capable of. 'Creeper' is a brutal minimalist attack, pared back to depth-charge bass, piercing hi-hat and a machine-gun judder that increases in manic intensity. It's topped off by psycho whispers – "I wanna break you with a Molotov" – summoning up the bucolic bliss of the apocalypse. Listen with the lights on.
Matthew Horton, writer
This unfinished track from the sessions for Childish Gambino’s 2013 album, ‘Because The Internet’, was illegally being sold on iTunes. Rightly considering that to be “wack”, Gambino has stuck it on his SoundCloud as a free download. It’s well worth a listen – a very Frank Ocean-like heart-on-sleeve ballad that sounds good stripped-back and rough. There’s just guitar, verses sung and rapped, and even a flash of sonic interference, making for an interesting effect, rather than a disturbance.
Phil Hebblethwaite, writer
Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis is a master at unerringly picking apart the facades of failed relationships and bluffs of manipulative exes. No surprises, then, that her cover of Josie And The Pussycats’ ‘Just Pretend To Be Nice’ exposes something darker lurking underneath the original’s sugarcoated pop. “He disappears for a week at a time/And then he shows up just like everything’s fine”, she sings bitterly over a fuzzy, stripped-down arrangement, as if trying to spit the disappointment from her mouth.
Ben Hewitt, writer
Baltimore’s Jenn Wasner is one of American indie’s most prolific new voices – since 2011, she’s released albums fronting grungey brooders Wye Oak, post-Cocteau dream-poppers Flock Of Dimes and dancey ’90s throwback Dungeonesse. This new single from the former sounds like a collision of all of the above, ditching guitars for breathy synths and retro bass. “I watch the clock as it turns backwards”, Wasner howls in reverby falsetto; ‘Glory’ is forward-thinking indie pop at its finest.
Al Horner, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
Ratking and King Krule are united in disaffection, and this woozy ride shines a light on their inner-city youth-hoods in New York and London respectively. Archy Marshall’s hook lollops over stoned but erudite verses, while Wiki and Hak showcase electric lyrical prowess. “My tongue rip, burns holes through pockets and drawers”, Hak shrugs, before this gritty beat fades into a tired groan. There’s plenty to boast about here, if they can be bothered.
Ben Homewood, writer
The first single from the Wu’s upcoming ‘A Better Tomorrow’ album, ‘Keep Watch’ isn’t exactly about to turn rap on its head, but thanks to those familiar voices and that distinctive Shaolin stomp, it is hip-hop comfort food of the most satisfying kind. Method Man, in particular, sounds more energised and inspired than many buzzed-
about MCs half his age: his propulsive opening verse is as head-spinning as anything he dropped in the mid-‘90s.
Joe Madden, writer
Released as part of a split album with tour buddies Milk Music and Destruction Unit for Record Store Day, 'Figured Out' sees Carson Cox going the full Morrissey on the US band's most Smiths-like tune yet. "Now you're back, like you ain't sneaking around", he sings over breezy guitars that belie this song's moody undercurrent. It all builds to a point of self-combustion, boding incredibly well for the band's new album, due later this year on 4AD.
David Renshaw, News Reporter
You've just invented a time machine but where do you go? Germany 1933 to kill Hitler? Hamburg 1961 to discover The Beatles? Or, like Texan psych fuzzsters The Black Angels, San Francisco 1968 to play them 'How Soon Is Now?' and totally fry the acid-blended hippy brains of an entire generation? 'Diamond Eyes' is as set in psych-era aspic as the Temples album, but you really should consider, in your more addled moments, letting it be your
Mark Beaumont, writer
From music stage to movie screen, Swedish songwriter Lykke Li is branching out. She stars in new Swedish crime thriller Tommy – which sadly has ne’er a hint of a pinball wizard about it – and has contributed ‘Du Är Den Ende’ (‘You Are The Only’) to its soundtrack. Coming on like the world’s saddest Bond theme, and sung in her native tongue, Li’s solemn vocal punctuates a melancholy mix of guitar, shimmering percussion and a haunting choir. It’s wonderfully depressing.
Hayley Avron, writer
A fairly notable stumble in 2010 (see their self-titled fourth album) seems to have done little to dispel the excitement that surrounds Interpol’s return. ‘Anywhere’ is the first taste of what’s yet to come, debuted at a warm-up gig for their NME Awards tour slot. As sharp guitar arpeggios cushion Paul Banks’ gloomy croon, you realise that Interpol haven’t changed at all. The perfect excuse to wear nothing but black this summer.
James Balmont, writer
At some point during the recording of Slow Club’s third album, someone appears to have robbed the former twee-folk band of their acoustic guitars and flowered headbands and replaced them with a disco mixtape and a pair of sparkly hotpants. Subsequently, ‘Complete Surrender’ is the best thing Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor have ever done – a breathy, heady dancefloor beast.
Lisa Wright, writer
Written for the soundtrack to upcoming biblical epic and Hollywood blockbuster Noah, Patti Smith's collaboration with Kronos Quartet is as disquieting as you'd expect from the godmother of punk pairing with the neoclassical experimentalists to tackle the oh-so-light matter of the end of the world. Smith's adopted a mournful growl for the occasion as she prophesises on the post-apocalyptic "healing wind that whispers as you sleep". Beautiful.
Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor
Despite no sign of the album he declared finished two years ago, Jay Electronica dropped this sublime orchestral track from it after a fan tweeted him at SXSW. Over samples of Nation Of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, The Wizard Of Oz and dreamy strings, Jay rhymes: “The work is on the outside, staring out the window is for love songs and houseflies” before LaTonya Givens comes in with some serious vocals. Now can we have the rest please?
Hazel Sheffield, writer
The first song to appear from The Black Keys’ upcoming eighth album is not quite the bluesy juggernauting we’ve come to expect. Instead, ‘Fever’ fairly loafs along with a sort of bleating, Beaker-off-The-Muppets electric organ that sounds like the machine making it may be low on both batteries and self esteem, while Dan Auerbach adds a layer of soulful melodrama: “Fever got me guilty, just go ahead and kill me”. A rattler and a roller, rather than a shaker.
JJ Dunning, writer
New York production duo Sean C and LV are the brains behind this third track to appear from upcoming mixtape ‘Loud Dreams Vol 1’, which is being released on March 25 by Pusha T’s streetwear brand Play Cloths. The Clipse man does his always-solid street hussler thing, and keeps the pace steady so ASAP Ferg can fly off the handle. His rhymes hit a peak when he squeezes in a Mary Poppins reference to describe himself as “Supercalifragilisticexpiout of my doseage”.
Tom Howard, Reviews Editor
Anton Newcombe’s psych crew already announced their live comeback earlier this year but now they’ve revealed their first new music since 2012 album ‘Aufheben’. ‘What You Isn’t’ is five and a half minutes of mid-paced lysergic stomp with Newcombe setting out his steps to success: “You’ve got to wake up and be a man and make a plan/You’re gonna win it/You’ve got to do everything I said until you’re dead”.
Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor
Following last year’s debut single ‘Utmost Good’, Liverpudlian trio and self-professed “Bee Gees on Diazepam” All We Are have returned equipped with more Gibb-influenced falsetto harmonies than you can shake a pair of 70s flares at. ‘Feel Safe’, however, treads a subtler path than its disco forefathers. All flickering Foals guitars, low-slung grooves and innocent vocals reminiscent of
Bombay Bicycle Club and Lucy Rose, it’s dancefloor-friendly in the most understated of ways.
Lisa Wright, writer
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