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20 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (30/7/2014)

20 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (30/7/2014)

Foxygen - How Can You Really
Foxygen have been busy since January 2013’s ‘…21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic’ album. In March they cancelled a tour to “preserve their creative health”. Later, back on tour, frontman Sam France broke his leg. Their rock’n’roll is the shambolic kind. ‘How Can You Really’ is sloppy but pretty, half-arsed but charming – three minutes of casual trumpets, dancing piano and a solo that sings.





Tom Howard, Assistant Editor


Iceage - The Lord's Favorite
Iceage have gone to the rodeo. This new single from Copenhagen's fiercest is a rock'n'roller with a rickety guitar riff and jive drums that are a world away from the rasping punk we're used to. Smoking and drinking cocktails on an American church pulpit in the hilarious video, Elias Bender Ronnenfelt sings more clearly than ever before. "I'm positively God's favourite one," he cries as a drag queen massages his shoulders. A curveball.



Ben Homewood, writer


Neon Waltz - Bare Wood Aisles
Caithness teens Neon Waltz have been getting those in the know talking with their shoegaze-tinged psych gems and Deerhunter covers. ‘Bare Wood Aisles’ is their latest original offering, coming on like Temples experiencing a severe bout of lethargy. Warm organ whirrs puncture laidback staccato guitar as singer Jordan Shearer blissfully describes “Clouds in the azure skies/All I see is vapour lines”. A piece of dreamy perfection.




Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor


Tops - Way To Be Loved
Canadian band Tops return with their second album, 'Picture You Staring', in September and 'Way To Be Loved' is the latest taste of the record. The Arbutus Records (Grimes, Majical Cloudz) band's hazy take on pop remains as strong as ever, with singer Jane Penny whispering tales of "The man who turns the lights on, the lover who never has to choose/The girl he has set his sights on lacing up her shoes" over guitarist David Carriere's intricate but low-key fretwork.




David Renshaw, News Reporter


The Weeknd - King Of The Fall
When you hear Abel Tesfaye spending the last 30 seconds of 'King Of The Fall' chanting "I make all of them swallow" over and over again, you know he's not planning on making new friends any time soon. Casual misogyny aside (I know, I know), the new track cooks up a fresh genre – aggressive slow jams – with Tesfaye dishing out a stream of consciousness about how he's "gonna shake shit up" over delicious warped electronica.




Matthew Horton, writer


Frankie & The Heartstrings - Stand On The Horizon
Franz Ferdinand have enlisted Sunderland’s premier Postcard Record fans Frankie & The Heartstrings to cover their forthcoming single ‘Stand On The Horizon’. With the Heartstrings now featuring Futurehead Ross Millard on guitar and shoehorning in a cheeky line about “Sunderland central station”, all it needs is a tote bag and a floppy fringe to win the title of 'Indiest Thing Ever'.




Lisa Wright, writer


SBTRKT - New Dorp, New York (feat Ezra Koenig)
For the first single from his second album ‘Wonder Where We Land’, London-based producer Aaron Jerome's enlisted the help of Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig to join the cast of artists who've paid tribute to New York City. Lyrically, Koenig almost raps his observations about the streets filled with "baseball bats that never hit home runs" over a Manhattan cocktail of roadwork drum drills, bleeping electronics and clattering beats. Brilliant.




Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor


Jessie Ware - Share It All
After 'Tough Love', Jessie's back to reassure her man that everything's fine on 'Share It All'. Opening with steely notes that evoke a more overcast and downtrodden take on Jamie xx's 'Far Nearer', the Brixton singer does some telepathic communicating with her other half: "I can see that you want to but the words don't come easy to ya/I want you to know I already know." Mind-reading never sounded so divine.



Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor


Joanna Gruesome - Jerome (Liar)
By the time Joanna Gruesome follow up last year's excellent 'Weird Sister', I selfishly hope the emphasis is on the 'screaming frenzy' aspect of their sound over their (still great) more whimsical tendencies. Taken from a forthcoming split with Bristol's Trust Fund, 'Jerome (Liar)' errs towards the latter end but is no less enjoyable for it, showcasing a mellower side to Alanna McArdle's vocals and an impish riff from Owen Williams.



Laura Snapes, Features Editor


Redinho - Playing With Fire
Redinho, the secret weapon of Glasgow's Numbers collective, counts Hudson Mohawke, Jessie Ware and Mark Ronson as fans but has never released a full album. Finally we have a date for his self-titled debut (due September 22) and 'Playing With Fire' is the first cut. It's a futuristic, sultry strut that puts Redinho's treated R&B-style vocals to the fore and the upcoming release to the top of my wish-list.




Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM


Courtney Barnett - Pickles From The Jar
Courtney, I'm with you; there really is NO other way to enjoy pickles than straight from the jar. See, the Aussie singer-songwriter just gets it. ‘Pickles From The Jar’ – an acoustic blinder recorded for a compilation on her own Milk! label – is about two opposite people, brilliantly formed of paired lyrics like “I say Hugh/You say Grant/I say pot/You say plant”. Funny, catchy, soul-affirming and smart.




Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor


Years & Years - Breathe
Having already established Blu Cantrell’s R&B anthem as a crowd-pleasing addition to their live set, rising electro-pop darlings Years & Years now reveal a studio version as the B-side to latest single ‘Take Shelter’. It shows the best of what the trio has to offer: placid synth chords and rolling bass lurk beneath hand claps and light percussion on this gentle rework, but it’s Olly Alexander’s soulful lullaby vocal that takes all the applause.




James Bentley, writer


Hooray For Earth - Racy
Returning with the follow-up to 2011's 'True Loves', New York's Hooray For Earth have hooked up with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Beach House producer Chris Coady to realise their big, spectral rock ambition. Its name implies titillation, but the title track to album number two is earnest rather than flirtatious, placing the band somewhere between Diiv's washed-out stoner rock and the chipper power pop of the recently returned Weezer.




Dan Stubbs, News Editor


Low - I'm On Fire
In covering this Springsteen classic Low join a long list of artists who've done the same. Where their effort differs from those by the likes of Johnny Cash, Bat For Lashes and Waylon Jennings, and indeed The Boss himself, is in just how haunting their version is. With simple piano notes, ethereal harmonies and the ever-present grind of an overdriven guitar, Low elevate something already beautiful to another plain entirely.




Andy Welch, writer


2:54 - Orion
Colette and Hannah Thurlow's first album as 2:54 was veiled in black by weighty Melvins-influenced guitars and doomy menace. 'Orion', from their second, out on Bella Union this year, changes the focus. Piercing guitars bleed from a thunderous opening, building a persuasive monster that mirrors Dum Dum Girls' shift from lo-fi to a sleek, seductive sound. They're confident you'll like it too: ''Oh, I know you can love me'', Colette sings.




Ben Homewood, writer


The Growlers - Good Advice
Californian bedsit hippies The Growlers take a step into the future with 'Good Advice'. For them, however, this means it's now 1973. Their Wurlitzer organ screes mix with a glam stomp as frontman Brooks Nielsen attempts to do agony aunts and therapists the world over out of a job. "There's nothing as depressing as good advice/Nobody wants to hear how to live their lives", he sighs.




Leonie Cooper, writer


Shura - Just Once
“Have you ever been lost?/We could get lost/I wanna get lost”, purrs Moscow-born, London-based singer Shura over clipped, fragile beats and glistening, smooth synths. “Maybe I just need time on my own”, she posits after recalling a series of fights with a lover, and it’s that heartache and despair that she effortlessly pours into this follow-up from debut single ‘Touch’. Pop to soothe the soul.




Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor


Banks - Beggin For Thread
Rising Los Angeles talent Banks' latest teaser for upcoming debut album 'Goddess' keeps the breathy melodrama and murky R&B echoes of breakout singles 'Warm Water' and 'This Is What It Feels Like' but ups the ante with its massive pop hooks. "I got some dirt on my shoes/My words can come out as a pistol", she warns like a vampiric Rihanna over smouldering keys. Big things surely await.




Al Horner, Assistant Editor, NME.COM


Hudson Mohawke - Chimes
Since Hudson Mohawke and Lunice put their TNGHT collaboration on ice in December, it was only a matter of time before we’d get to hear some solo output from the Warp signee. This one’s a crowd pleaser: ‘Chimes’ has been kicking about on the internet for a while but now sees a proper release as the title track to HudMo’s next EP. Expect glassy synths, thuggish grunting and some glorious ‘Higher Ground’ horns.




Hazel Sheffield, writer


Becky Hill - Caution To The Wind
Becky Hill appeared on BBC bore-fest The Voice, but this debut single positions her closer to Jessie Ware than Jessie J. Produced by Ware collaborator Two Inch Punch, it's a slow-burning slice of plinky-plonky hipster R&B over which Hill's soulful voice – recently heard on club-friendly Number One hit 'Gecko (Overdrive)' – glides effortlessly. When she sings, "I’m finding my feet in this rat race, I’m just trying to succeed", she sounds like she really means it, too.




Nick Levine, writer

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