1. Lady Gaga – ‘Yoü & I’ (Wild Beasts remix)
“It’s like the bohemian going to a porn movie!” jokes Wild Beasts’ silky throated singer Hayden Thorpe of his unlikely union with Lady Gaga – or “sleeping with the enemy”, as he puts it. After all, if there are two acts more polarised in the way they perceive and portray sex and sensuality, it’s this pair. If Gaga is the greasy Hooters titty bar who hardly stops short of giving away the farm (and wearing it to boot), Wild Beasts are the arty peepshow exposing only the barest of details, but while this remix is a flummoxing concept, the result is bedframe-rattling brilliance. ‘Yoü & I’ is by far the worst song on ‘Born This Way’, what with its sub-Coyote Ugly tales of bar-room bawdiness and Brian May spaffing guitar all over it.
Hayden’s version could hardly be further removed from the original; the molten hum of ‘Smother’ transfused into a tremulous, sadly euphoric dream that contrasts dramatically with Gaga’s FM-primed caw. He’s stripped its clunky Nebraskan narrative down to just a few phrases, simply, “You and I… make love”, which flare ghostly as a lone nightclub strobe. It comes as a surprise, then, to realise that everything here – save for a sample of Hayden’s voice moaning beguilingly – comes from the original song, May’s yowling guitar and all. Turns out you really can polish a turd.
Laura Snapes, Assistant Reviews Editor
2. Feist – ‘How Come You Never Go There?’
Feist’s new album may be called ‘Metals’ but the track that heralds it is of a far softer element, that oaky-smoky voice gently chiding a lax lover as her band cradle your ears in sleepy swing and gentle brass reminiscent of ‘The Greatest’-era Cat Power.
Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor
3. Mint Julep – ‘Aviary’
The super limited 2008 debut album by this Boston, Massachusetts husband-and-wife team was entitled ‘Songs About Snow’, which tells you a lot about what they sound like. Sure enough, this free sample from their next album ‘Save Your Season’ is yet more beautifully layered, melodically sophisticated dream-pop.
Hamish MacBain, Assistant Editor
4. Joe Goddard feat. Valentina – ‘Gabriel’
Siphoning ’80s Madonna into the kind of Balearic, beat-swaddled party number that conjures up a 5am Berlin dancefloor packed with topless boys with smooth waxed chests is a neat trick if you can do it. Hot Chip man Joe Goddard can. Consider us suitably impressed.
Leonie Cooper, Deputy News Editor
5. Brett Anderson – ‘Unsung’
While Brett continues to be a pricktease about the possibility of a new Suede album, we continue to make do with another solo record. To be fair, the fact that this sounds exactly like ‘The Wild Ones’ with less silly words makes that far more thrilling than expected.
Krissi Murison, Editor
6. Trailer Trash Tracys – ‘Dies In 55’
TTTs can make low-ended, doomed Valentines in their sleep, but ‘Dies In 55’ is something else entirely. Bass and drum machines crackle like the tiny heart-shaped explosions in the sky, the musical equivalent of staring at the sun while eating fistfuls of Fizz Wizz.
Priya Elan, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
7. Beach House – ‘Untitled’
Initially debuted as a live “experiment” back in May, this untitled newie has come on leaps and bounds since then, and has now grown into a fully formed choral beauty. Shock! It sounds exactly like it could have been on ‘Teen Dream’ too. And there’s nothing bad about that at all.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
8. Dirty Beaches – ‘Lone Runner’
Coming forth with the most sinister basement growl heard since we last locked Nick Cave in a cupboard, Alex Zhang Hungtai brings the gravelly ambience with this creepy/cool ditty.
We don’t know whether to give him a hug in appreciation or ram a wooden stake through his heart.
Jamie Fullerton, Features Editor
9. The Rapture – ‘It Takes Time To Be A Man’
An unexpected but beautiful, mellow jam from NYC’s disco punks that sees them slow it down and reflect on the slow process that is maturing into adulthood, pianos looping lazily and sax breaks taking their cue from ’80s soft rock (or Gayngs) rather than James Chance, for a change.
Tim Chester, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
10. Zola Jesus – ‘Avalanche’
No surprises here. End of the world synths, massive nasal bellow, sleeves so floaty they could swaddle an entire playgroup. Yup, if this peek at new Zola Jesus LP ‘Conatus’ is a marker, Nika Danilova is reading from the same old script. It’s a bit Go Compare in places, but so brilliantly brassy we’ll let her off.
Mike Williams, Deputy Editor
This article appears in the August 20th issue of NME