Is it too late for Megan Thee Stallion to save 2020? After already giving us all a much-needed boost through this tough ol’ year with her mega Cardi B collaboration ‘WAP’, the Houston hottie delivered more ‘Good News’ earlier this month with the arrival of her debut album. One of its immediate stand-out offerings was Megan’s feisty team-up with SZA on the almighty ‘Freaky Girls’, which now sits proudly on the NME Radio A List.
This week we’ve also added new tracks by the likes of the ever-impressive Arlo Parks and the returning indie heroes The Cribs, as well as dancefloor burners by Shygirl and the dynamic duo of Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa.
Check out what’s new on NME Radio 1 & 2 below.
On The A List:
Megan Thee Stallion
‘Freaky Girls’ (feat. SZA)
SZA lends her powerful vocals to Megan’s ‘Freaky Girls’, a cut from the Houston rapper’s critically acclaimed debut album ‘Good News’. With ’90s-inspired R&B production by the one and only Juicy J, this sex-positive song features raunchy verses from Hot Girl Meg while SZA handles the soulful chorus over a sample of Adina Howard’s 1995 hit ‘Freak Like Me’.
The London singer-songwriter has been steadily drip-feeding fans with new tracks from her forthcoming debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’, and this latest preview is nothing short of exciting. Like previous singles ‘Hurt’ and ‘Green Eyes’, ‘Caroline’ is another showcase of Parks’ flair for storytelling.
On The B List:
‘Screaming In Suburbia’
Better late than never: over a decade after it began life during sessions for The Cribs’ 2007 album ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’, ‘Screaming In Suburbia’ is finally out in the world as part of the Jarman trio’s latest album, ‘Night Network’. “Yeah, if love’s just a sad song, been singing it too long / Far too long,” Gary Jarman proclaims over his brothers’ harmonies. A sad song from The Cribs, though? We’ll take it any day.
‘Prisoner’ (feat. Dua Lipa)
A little disco, a little glam rock but wholly addictive – that’s Miley Cyrus’ ‘Prisoner’, featuring Dua Lipa. Of the song, which interpolates Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit ‘Physical’, NME wrote: “The track gives Dua’s excitably shiny ‘Future Nostalgia’ space to shine without forcing Miley out of the spotlight. They elevate each other rather than competing. If only every collaboration had this balance.”
With his slinky, soulful new single, Joel Culpepper marks himself out as one to watch. With a beautiful falsetto and Prince-like vocal flourishes, the south Londoner glides over twinkly production by Redinho and Swindle, the executive producer of his upcoming debut album ‘Sgt Culpepper’. An ambitious title, perhaps, but we’re confident Culpepper will deliver.
On The C List:
‘Water In The Well’
“And which way is heaven, sir?” Shame frontman Charlie Steen enquires on their latest track ‘Water In The Well’. “We all got lost somehow, I tried to find myself but I lost the map and now I’m all burnt out.” This cathartic new single is the latest preview of the south London post-punks’ second album ‘Drunk Tank Pink’, which will land three years after their barnstorming debut ‘Songs Of Praise’ and process the “silence” that remains “when all of the music stops”.
Shygirl doesn’t hold back on her latest EP ‘Alias’, which NME recently described as “a maximalist joyride”. The versatile London artist’s smooth and sometimes bright vocal delivery is contrasted on ‘Tasty’ by its grimy club vibe and unapologetically raunchy lyrics — and it makes for a delicious prospect.
‘My Own Person’
Built around a smooth electric guitar melody, ‘My Own Person’ is a charming yet slightly sorrowful track about self-discovery. “I just feel like some other version of me,” the Irish bedroom producer croons. Speaking to NME recently, Smoothboi Ezra said the song is “about my own gender identity, being non-binary, and feeling uncomfortable expressing any kind of gender expression… feeling masculine, feminine or androgynous all feels quite alien.”
Psychedelic six-piece Mandrake Handshake have dropped a brain-melting new tune, which was produced by Andy Ramsay of Stereolab. The “flowerkraut” band have described the track as “a song about sheer joy, happiness and freedom for two-and-a-half minutes – can’t be any longer because it’s too much otherwise!” If you’ve found yourself swaying to ‘Gonkulator’, look out for their debut EP dropping next year.
‘Compersion, Pt. 1’
The Scottish duo are back – they may be older and wiser, but they’re still every bit ready to rave. To celebrate their return after a nearly two-decade-long hiatus, Arab Strap have announced their new album ‘As Days Get Dark’ alongside its first single, ‘Compersion, Pt.1’. It’s an enjoyable Arab Strap standard: Aidan Moffat’s sing-speak is juxtaposed against a psychedelic backdrop, bringing you on a mind-bending adventure.