The ten best tracks rattling around our heads this week
1. Wu Lyf – Dirt
First time we saw WU LYF, they were still playing shows in the dark and using their blogs to rip the piss out of anyone vaguely interested in them who they deemed a suit. Then, at last summer’s MIDI Festival in France, they revealed themselves to be nothing more than everything we initially hoped: four twentysomething Mancunian kids with a bunch of shit-hot songs and a rare desperation to rewrite rock’s current rulebook by not actually kissing every corporate arse possible.
Now, with mere weeks until the release of their self-recorded yet massive-sounding debut album, ‘Go Tell Fire To The Mountain’, they’re getting all tribal on us. ‘Dirt’ is as close to a manifesto as you’ll get from the band – a clarion call-to-arms that starts with 30 seconds of meaty, smack-in-the-mouth drums and ends with singer Ellery Roberts declaring, “No matter what they say, dollar is not your friend” in his bullish, almost incomprehensible drawl. This band, in case you really needed reminding, turned down every record deal under the sun last year. “World unite and I’ll love you forever”, they demand over and over as the song reaches a blistering climax. And you know what? That’s a great piece of advice. Ignore WU LYF at your peril.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
2. Gwilym Gold – Flesh Freeze
GG’s debut solo single may chime with sacrosanct, chilling but luscious beds and beats, but his lyrics are a world of haunting doubt and disbelief in a greater purpose. And it’s being released in a format that produces infinite versions of the song; a fixed recording doesn’t exist. This is, quite possibly, the future.
Laura Snapes, Assistant Reviews Editor
3. Com Truise – Cathode Girls
In what sounds like an elegy to some forgotten ancient city, this track finds the self-proclaimed circuit melter Com Truise meshing together decades of Casiotone wizardry; a Jean Michel Jarre ocean of sound cut and pasted over a regurgitated Arthur Baker beat, to create this deeply resonating, cinematic delve into a world of possibilities.
Priya Elan, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
4. Ronika – Forget Yourself
Nottingham-based Ronika creates her ’80s-indebted electropop slithers of amazingness in her bedroom, with ‘Forget Yourself’ a brilliant amalgam of early Prince, ‘Me Plus One’-era Annie and an effortless, unstudied cool.
Michael Cragg, writer
5. Beirut – Santa Fe
With Beirut currently touring, new songs like this ode to the group’s hometown have been emerging. It’s a breezy mix of accordions, horns and Zach Condon’s floating vocals. Hopefully Beirut’s travels will reach a studio soon.
Paul Stokes, Associate Editor
6. Julian Casablancas – Rave On
One of many sparks of joy from a brilliant forthcoming Buddy Holly tribute, also featuring a sultry ‘Not Fade Away’ from Florence and a frankly terrifying ‘It’s So Easy’ from Macca, this is sexy, twangy and garage-loose.
Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor
7. The History Of Apple Pie – Tug
Delightful bliss-grunge which sounds like every Kill Rock Stars band ever. They’re from London, but may as well be from Portland, such is the slacker pouting insouciance going on here.
Martin Robinson, Deputy Editor
8. PJ Harvey – Lonely Avenue
When covering songs as iconic as this Doc Pomus standard made famous by Ray Charles, it’s best to steer clear of the sincerest form of flattery and do your own thing, lest you sound stupid. A whispered lead vocal and some perfectly judged backing make this sound like Polly’s very own song.
Hamish MacBain, Assistant Editor
9. New Order – Hellbent
The uncaging of this previously unreleased tune on the 31st anniversary of their old Joy Division chum Ian Curtis’ death (May 18) was presumably a tribute rather than cynical marketing for their new compilation ‘Total: From Joy Division To New Order’…
Jamie Fullerton, News Editor
10. Bon Iver – Calgary
Fresh from stirring up Auto-Tuned hedonism with Kanye West, ‘Calgary’ is the first taster from the follow-up to 2007’s ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’. ‘Calgary’ finds Justin cooing “I was only trying to spell a loss” over funereal synths and austere bass, in a cathartic ode to love lost.
Katherine Rodgers, writer
This article originally appeared in the May 28th issue of NME