20 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (20/8/2014)

20 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (20/8/2014)

Alt-J - Every Other Freckle
There’s always been a bubbling, sexual desire lurking under Alt-J’s sheets – you didn’t think ‘Tessellate’ was about their esteem for triangles, did you? New single ‘Every Other Freckle’ is where those yearnings become obvious. “Turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet” purrs Joe Newman, shortly before a scuzzy synth and tin-whistle breakdown kicks in. It’s always the quiet ones.




Greg Cochrane, Editor, NME.COM


LSA - Can’t Be Trusted
LSA stands for Love Stays Alive and you’ll be on top of that optimistic acronym if you’ve been party to the hype building up around this London foursome. Think early Klaxons and Friendly Fires: the siren of a bass riff meeting danceable drums at the start of new single ‘Can’t Be Trusted’ is very ‘Golden Skans’/’On Board’. This second release is even better than their first, so put your arms around your mates and believe in that four-letter word.




Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor


Slaves - Hey
Kentish punk thugs Slaves' new track is just as unforgiving as you'd hope. Like a brutal Friday night out with Oi! scenesetters Sham 69, in which you tear up village pubs, provincial clubs and fish and chip shops, 'Hey' is two and a half minutes of snarling stupidity - in the finest possible way. There's also something of the early Horrors about their thundering menace, from when Faris and the boys prided their Cramps seven-inches over Rick Wakeman.




Leonie Cooper, writer


The Voyeurs - England Sings Rhubarb Rhubarb
Having dropped frontman Charlie Boyer's name, The Voyeurs return with a jagged and abrasive takedown of celebrity culture – namechecking Cheryl Cole as they go. Given that they’ve always seemed like something from a time capsule Lou Reed buried in 1975, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised the band are only just realising that modern fame is mercenary and disposable. However, with tunes as good as this we'll forgive them for raking over old ground.


David Renshaw, News Reporter


Jamie T - Zombie
If the title gives you grisly flashbacks to The Cranberries’ Dolores O'Riordan caterwauling about guns and bombs then you're probably as old as me. You're also in for a pleasant surprise, as Jamie T first wrong-foots us with another 30 seconds of acoustic balladry before launching into a choppy, skanking, ultra-catchy pop belter that packs a spaced-out Beatles-y interlude, horror movie cackles and the admission he's a "sadsack". Not on this evidence, Jimbo.




Matthew Horton, writer


Ibeyi - River
Ibeyi were always going to be interesting: twin sisters with a revered Cuban percussionist for a father, they've been snapped up by XL Recordings. 'River', taken from their debut EP 'Oya', suggests this French-Cuban duo are going to be pretty affecting, too. All looped backing vocals, minimal beats and soulfully sung lyrics dedicated to a river goddess called Oshun, it's a ghostly gospel hymn that really lingers.




Nick Levine, writer


Allison Crutchfield - You
Swearin‘ frontwoman Allison Crutchfield switches from the setting marked 'ferocious punk squall' to marked 'melancholy heartbreak' for 'Lean In To It', a solo EP she recorded at home and stuck straight up on Bandcamp. This lovely tune is the highlight as, over a looping keyboard line, she uses lyrical allusions to Joni Mitchell's perfect break-up song 'River' to recount the tale of her own slowly dying relationship.




Kevin EG Perry, writer


Black Rivers - The Ship
There are still Doves fans who can't come to terms with the band's 'indefinite hiatus'. Jimi Goodwin's solo album earlier this year will have helped fill the gaping hole in their hearts, and now come Black Rivers, aka Doves' brothers Jez and Andy Williams. This isn't a million miles away from 'Kingdom Of Rust': there's talk of the "sea of longing", while the climactic guitars and drumming are exhilarating, but it's The Ship's Can-like pulse that really sets it apart.




Andy Welch, writer


Deptford Goth - The Lovers
'The Lovers' is the first cut from Deptford Goth’s new album ‘Songs’, and the man also known as Daniel Woolhouse move his lyrics and voice to the fore. "Never let a thing go wrong/Oh, you want to be tangled up" he sighs to an anonymous partner, while declaring his love for “mother” and “father”. From the Bon Iver school of misty-eyed sighs, it suggests Woolhouse is opening up more, without neglecting those signature strange rhythms.




Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM


Mazes - Salford
Those looking for a modern update to Euan MacColl's 'Dirty Old Town', taking into account the gentrifying effects of MediaCity and Metrolink on Manchester's neighbour, should look elsewhere. This is a song about Salford by way of The Fall. "I live in Salford, in Salford, in Salford, in Salford, in Salford!" is chanted over driving beats and minimal guitars that bear the hallmarks of Mazes' new association with Parquet Courts' producer Jonathan Schenke.




Dan Stubbs, News Editor


Foxygen - Cannibal Holocaust
'...And Star Power', Foxygen's new album, is 82 minutes long. This piano ballad, lodged just after its halfway point, was debuted by the long-haired Stones worshippers on American radio. A twinkling intro and freaky warbling from Sam France ("Take these ribbons, I don't know why") build to a huge keyboard riff from Jonathan Rado. It gets weirder as Foxygen indulge in soft-rock, France repeating "Stop telling me lies!" until he runs out of breath.




Ben Homewood, writer


Schultz & Forever - Silvia
“Halleluja!” wrote Danish singer-songwriter Jonathan Schultz as he shared new track ‘Silvia’ online this week. It’s a sentiment you’ll be echoing once the final notes of its woozy psych-pop have rung out. Opening with the same slow, smoky guitar licks as found on Connan Mockasin’s ‘Caramel’ LP, it suddenly lurches into life for a glistening chorus that’s the aural equivalent of a day spent on the carousel in the beaming sun.




Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor


Electric Würms - The Bat
When The Flaming Lips – who think that a giant hamster ball is an acceptable form of human transportation – say they’re making a weird side project, you know ‘weird’ is the operative word. ‘The Bat’ is six minutes of warped soundscapes, underwater vocals, pensive beats and the general aura of being trapped in an ominous spaceship. Just another day in the office for Coyne and co.




Lisa Wright, writer


Sundara Karma - Indigo Puff
Reading quartet Sundara Karma take a leaf out of Birmingham band Troumaca’s stoned tropical leanings on their new single ‘Indigo Puff’. Beefing up the pop elements of their sound, they take a lethargic stroll through lilting melodies as singer Oscar Lulu celebrates the object of his desires. “Her passion moves me from within/You’re the one running through my brain” he coos over shimmering riffs that could start a heatwave. Sublime.




Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor


Vic Mensa - Wimmie Nah
Chicago rapper Vic Mensa’s having a swell year. In May he released house tune ‘Down On My Luck’, and it blew up. Now, over a beat from Haitian-born Montreal-based producer Kaytranada - essentially an update on the giant bassline from Dead Prez’s 1999 banger ‘Hip Hop’ - Mensa compares himself to Chi-Town sporting heroes Michael Jordan and Walter Payton, bigging up his new-found adoration in his hometown. He’s just telling it like it is.




Tom Howard, Assistant Editor


Abattoir Blues - Blinded
Plugging straight into the same pissed off and sweaty brand of rock’n'roll that Palma Violets and Eagulls call home, Brighton's Abbatoir Blues come out swinging on new song 'Blinded'. Taken from Leeds-based label Beech Coma's latest compilation, the track is three-and-a-half minutes of gnarled punk nihilism, with the slacker mantra "Why do we even try?" chanted over and over by lead singer Harry Waugh.




David Renshaw, News Reporter


Wiz Khalifa - True Colors (feat. Nicki Minaj)
As anticipation for the new Nicki Minaj album hits fever pitch (everything with her name on it recently has been excellent), you can’t blame Wiz Khalifa for getting in on the action. He's promoting his own ‘Blacc Hollywood’ LP and ‘True Colors’ is the seventh pre-released track from it. A formula has emerged – big pop choruses and great guests. Minaj turns an ordinary song into something bigger.




Phil Hebblethwaite, writer


Bad Breeding - Burn This Flag
Moan about bands not being political enough no longer. Stevenage’s angriest group, Bad Breeding, are here to shake things up in a burst of volatile fury. “If it tastes like ash, it’s probably your future” they growl over brutal punk riffs. The accompanying video makes it clear just who and what they think is the problem with Britain today, flashing up images of David Cameron, the cast of Made In Chelsea, Jeremy Clarkson and more.




Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor


Paul Smith & Peter Brewis - Barcelona (At Eye Level)
Maximo Park's Paul Smith has struggled for his niche recently, releasing an iffy solo album while his band's heyday recedes into the past. But this new project with Field Music's Peter Brewis brings out the best of him: he recites abstract observations from a trip to Barcelona in his melancholy brogue, ressembling the Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan, while Brewis weaves an elegiac arrangement of strings and itchy funk redolent of his full-time gig.




Laura Snapes, Features Editor


Gerard Way - 'No Shows'
Gerard Way has talked about the influence of Blur, Pulp and Sleater-Kinney on his new solo materail, and although this latest track doesn't sound much like those '90s bands, it's a world away from My Chemical Romance's emo pomp. Way's distorted vocals are joined by chunky guitars and a dodgy but loveable sax solo, with the one constant in his career - massive pop hooks - rising to the top.



David Renshaw, News Reporter

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