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20 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (25/6/2014)

20 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (25/6/2014)

Josh Homme - Villains Of Circumstance
The last Queens Of The Stone Age record, 2013’s ‘…Like Clockwork’, was notable for the occasional moments of delicate introspection from bandleader Josh Homme. He exposed his soft side, and invited you to treat it gently. ‘Villains Of Circumstance’ does the same – a feeling enhanced by it being performed acoustically at the Meltdown festival – and lyrics like “I’ve got a hole in my pocket where I lose my mind” take listeners on a similar journey into the bleakest boltholes of his brilliant brain.




Tom Howard, Assistant Editor


The Earth - Baby Bones
Former Catatonia guitarist Mark Roberts and Super Furry Animal Dafydd Ieuan have ditched the old quirkiness to hitch up with sometime backing vocalist Dionne Bennett – a singer of real soul heft – and deliver this serious, thrumming grower. Building from an Oasis-like chug, 'Baby Bones' adds phased synths and Bennett's impassioned, cautionary turn to come up with an intense rock monster of genuine power. "Let the Earth decide," they say.


Matthew Horton, writer


Adult Jazz - Hum
These Leeds experimentalists revel in complication and, stretched across just over seven minutes, 'Hum' is a demanding listen. Positioning it as the opener on their debut album 'Gist Is' is a brave, if not unsurprising move – Auto-Tuned vocals straight out of Bon Iver's shed introduce beats that sound like an elephant yawning. Then comes an elongated sequence of brass, buzzing keys and, eventually, yodelling. You couldn't hum it if you tried.


Ben Homewood, writer


Julia Holter - Don’t Make Me Over
The 1962 Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition ‘Don’t Make Me Over’ was Dionne Warwick’s first release as an artist in her own right. It’s a classic song that Julia Holter has been playing live for a while and is now included on a double A-side with another cover, Barbara Lewis’ ‘Hello Stranger’, which first appeared on Holter’s last album, ‘Loud City Song’. Her take on ‘Don’t Make Me Over’ is terrific – a sonic update, but still true to the original’s naivety and weepy charm.




Phil Hebblethwaite, writer


Aphex Twin - Mumbly
There are many unanswered questions about Aphex Twin's 'Caustic Window', recorded in 1994 but only now being heard for the first time. Most critics have been asking why such an accomplished album has been mothballed for so long. I'm asking the big question: isn't he clearly sampling Mumbly's snicker from underground ’70s classic //The Mumbly Cartoon Show// on this sinister slab of devil-dog fuzztronica, rather than the previously reported Muttley, his better known cousin from //Wacky Races//? The truth will out, Richard D James.




Kevin EG Perry, writer


White Fence - Like That
The pairing of flower power-y psych-folkers White Fence and frequent collaborator Ty Segall is never less than a match made in garage-rock heaven, and the return of Why-Ty here is as joyous a thing as ever. All summery guitars, falsetto vocals and ’60s bounce, it bobs along with carefree abandon before breaking into a brief but brilliant guitar wig-out because... well why the hell not? Welcome back, guys.




Lisa Wright, writer


Real Estate - White Light
Real Estate haven't long released their second album, 'Atlas', but they're already dropping new songs into live performances. This one, which they promise will be a future B-side, was performed at a session for La Blogothèque. It's every bit as sweetly melodic as anything on that third album, with Martin Courtney's ever-so-angelic voice singing of a blissful-sounding "white light in the morning", followed by a "yellow afternoon" and the "golden evening" when his love comes home from work. Colourful day, there.




Andy Welch, writer


MNEK - Wrote A Song About You
MNEK continues his quest towards becoming don of the chart-dwelling house scene with this new single, a meta-lyrical ode to the object of the London-based writer/producer's affections: ''//I wrote a song about you last night/And it went… La, la, la you broke my heart in two//''. The 19-year-old's honeyed vocals ride R&B melodies over the top of a pulsating beat similar to his previous work with Gorgon City and Rudimental while the middle-eight brings some much needed grit – whoever the song is about has really got under his skin.




David Renshaw, News Reporter


Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Speak Out
'Speak Out' is the first cut from Finnish dream-popper and part-time tram driver Jaakko Eino Kalevi's new 'Yin Yang Theatre' EP. For six dopey, brilliant minutes, he mixes faraway vocals with Caribou-style synth motifs and disco drums. It'd be a banger if it wasn't so sleepily off-kilter. With songs as tranquilising as this swimming around his head, you worry he'll fall asleep at the wheel of his tram one day.




Ben Homewood, writer


The Vaselines - One Lost Year
‘One Lost Year’ might refer to any one of the 20-odd lost years between The Vaselines’ 1989 debut album ‘Dum-Dum’ and 2010 follow-up ‘Sex With An X’. Yet the iconic Glaswegian duo sound every bit the darlings that Kurt Cobain fell for on this new single. Though Eugene Kelly’s voice has deepened, the upbeat punk dynamic has not aged, and with playful, bouncing guitars The Vaselines show that their affable indie charm is still in bloom.




James Balmont, writer


Mutual Benefit - Auburn Epitaphs
A newly remastered version of the opening track from Jordan Lee's 2011 'The Cowboy's Prayer' EP – ahead of a re-release set for the coming months – 'Auburn Epitaphs' is a swooning, buoyant wobble of sonics. Sliding from simple, freak-folk summer sonnet into experimental woozy-synth jam out, it's a veritable cloud of a song, coated in Lemon Jelly-esque unicorn-friendly electronica and perfect for hazy picnics, should sunshine ever return to these shores.




Leonie Cooper, writer


Years & Years - Take Shelter
Years & Years may actually be three hipsters from London, but ‘Take Shelter’ sounds like the work of a distinctly tropical trio, like stumbling upon some late-night beach romp in the steamier corners of Jamaica. Underpinned by a sexual, swaggering dancehall groove and doused in sun-drenched Balearic dance vibes and smooth vocal tones, it’s the shimmering sound of summer dreamed up from a dreary corner of the big smoke.




Lisa Wright, writer


Blonde Redhead - No More Honey
Blonde Redhead’s glorious 2007 album '23' saw them mould their once rickety no-wave into lusher pop melodies. The first track from their new album is no grand departure from the sombre majesty they've done so well thus far, but the lucid vocals and jagged guitar riffs bring a more distorted melancholy that hint at a darker undercurrent to this new album.




Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor


Mike Will Made It - Buy The World (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne and Future)
Fresh from wishing he had an appendage the size of the Eiffel Tower, apparently now Kendrick Lamar just wants to purchase our planet outright. Teaming up with producer Mike Will, the man behind Miley Cyrus' recent transition from Disney princess to pop provocateur, Lil Wayne and Auto-Tune king Future also join in on this sleek posse cut. Will's new album, 'Est. In 1989 – Pt 3' is due out later this year, expect more big names to be on board.




David Renshaw, News Reporter


Bleached - For The Feel
‘For The Feel’ is the first new track from sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin since the release of their debut album ‘Ride Your Heart’ last year. Originally intended to be included on that record, they say it was inspired by The Kinks and that proto-Britpop influence is all over its fuzzy guitar hooks. It’s their most rollicking, sunny cut so far – as they sing themselves, “these days we’re doing it for the feel.”




Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor


Machinedrum - Want Me
'Want Me' is one of those evocative tracks that immediately makes you think you're dancing half-naked at a Solstice rave in Joshua Tree rather than sitting at a desk eating a crumby egg sandwich in the UK. It's got trippy old-school rave keys, snaky synths, woozy dubstep beats and a hazy, catchy vocal tied up so effortlessly by Berlin-based Machinedrum. Let's hope a follow-up to 'Vapor City' is round the corner.




Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM


MO - Dance On My Own
If sampling Sweet Female Attitude’s ‘Flowers’ didn’t make it blindingly clear, London trio MO are dialling UK R&B back to the turn of the millennium. The follow-up to ‘For A Minute’, ‘Dance On My Own’ is one more triumphant step in their plan to become the 21st century British answer to TLC. They’ve certainly got the attitude, telling someone who’s no good for them “won’t be waiting on your love no more/Won’t waste my time crying for you like before”.




Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor


By The Sea - I See A Crystal Sky
While their earlier material had a hazy, lost-soul vibe to it, Wirral's By The Sea return having presumably listened to nothing but early New Order and Echo & The Bunnymen for the past 12 months. 'I See A Crystal Sky' still brims with the kind of schoolboy charm that made them so promising previously though, only now it's been amped up by a huge barrage of synths and a vocal line that's stubborn, loud and just a bit anthemic.




Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor


Honeyblood - Super Rat
“I thought he was just a rat,” said Audrey Hepburn as the disillusioned, jaded Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany's. “But he was a SUPER rat, all along!” Honeyblood’s latest and best song would have been a perfect alternative to Henry Mancini’s soundtrack were Breakfast At Tiffany's set in Seattle in 1992 and Holly was played by then indie postergirl, Winona Ryder. “Unsuspecting mice, they don’t have to think twice/You are the smartest rat in the sewer,” sings frontwoman Stina Tweeddale. Such a sweet suckerpunch.




Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor


Hiss Golden Messenger - Saturday Song
The first song to be taken from Hiss Golden Messenger's fifth album – and first for Merge – is an ode to Saturday nights: losing yourself, getting a little crazy, downing a few whiskies. "Yeah, when Saturday comes I'm gonna lose myself," sings MC Taylor over sunbaked duelling acoustic guitars and bar room piano, though his melancholy caw make it seem less like cause for sodden celebration than brief, sweet relief from the other six days a week.




Laura Snapes, Features Editor

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