Last week was a rather good one for Yungblud. Not only did he drop his whirlwind second album ‘weird!’, the Yorkshireman was also the subject of the latest NME Big Read — appearing on the front cover completely daubed in gold paint — where he dropped ample one-liners about Britishness (“I’m literally a Yorkshire Tea bag!”) and his ultimate goals for the record (“I wanted to write my ‘Urban Hymns’ or ‘Back To Black’”).
Carrying the Yungblud celebrations on into a brand new week, we just had to add his poignant song ‘Mars’ to the NME Radio playlist today (November 7). This latest playlist update also sees the addition of ace new tracks by the likes of Rina Sawayama, Jade Bird, IDLES, Berwyn and more.
Check out what’s new on NME Radio 1 & 2 below.
On The A List:
Yungblud wrote ‘Mars’ following an inspiring encounter he had with a trans woman at the 2018 Warped Tour. “She told me how her parents had come to a [Yungblud] show with her, and our community helped them to understand that her coming out as trans wasn’t just a phase — this is who she really was,” the singer recalled to NME. “It made me cry to think that we could have that kind of impact and change people’s perceptions just by being ourselves.”
On The B List:
Last week Rina Sawayama gifted her loyal ‘Pixels’ a deluxe version of her debut album ‘SAWAYAMA’, expanded with an entire second disc of acoustic tracks, live recordings, remixes, a The 1975 cover — and the slice of pop perfection that is ‘Lucid’. Co-written with Lauren Aquilina and produced by Lady Gaga and Grimes collaborator BloodPop, ‘Lucid’ is a soaring club bop so euphoric that you can hardly believe Sawayama kept it secret for two whole years.
‘In Her Eyes’
Bedroom pop artist JEZ_EBEL released the charming five-track ‘Blossom’ EP last week, anchored by its lead single ‘You’ll Get Over It’. On the release’s other standout, ‘In Her Eyes’, the young artist sings about a past turbulent relationship over gently plucked guitars and a sweet bossa nova sway. JEZ_EBEL balances her own self-preservation with an earnest empathy: “And I know that she’s hurting cos she has not been loved before / I want to make it worth it / And I dig my way into the core.”
‘I Won’t Forget’
Logic1000 serves up a hypnotic house tune with ‘I Won’t Forget’ as crystalline percussion meets an emphatic keyboard line and dreamily distorted vocals. It’s the lead single from the Sydney-born, Berlin-based producer’s new EP ‘You’ve Got The Whole Night To Go’, which is out next month on her own imprint Therapy/Because Music.
Recent NME cover star King Princess has billed ‘Pain’ as being “my favourite song I’ve ever written”, adding: “It’s the summation of all my music’s messaging: I can’t help turning my love into pain.” Co-produced by her label head and frequent collaborator Mark Ronson, ‘Pain’ pairs energetic pop production with bittersweet lyrics.
Tigers Jaw vocalist Brianna Collins has described their latest song ‘Lemon Mouth’, a rumbling cut from the band’s forthcoming album ‘I Won’t Care How You Remember Me’, as both “personal” and “introspective”. “Sometimes self-reflection only happens for me when I’m thinking about characteristics that I want to change about myself,” Collins added. “It can look like this sort of scanning of my own habits, things that are so consistent and familiar – but I can’t figure out the reason why I do them.”
On The C List:
Bad Boy Chiller Crew
It may be December, but summer is far from over — well, it’s definitely not whenever you put on the latest outrageous club banger from Bad Boy Chiller Crew, anyway. On the Bradford trio’s latest single ‘Needed You’ they conjure images of chaotic yacht parties, drinks in the sunshine and poolside hangs as an irresistible UK garage-inspired beat brings back those warm, sunny rays.
The Trinidad and Tobago-born UK rapper continues to prove why he’s one to watch on his latest single ‘Vinyl’. Berwyn flexes his lyrical prowess here to gracefully capture the feelings of guilt and regret over smooth and laid-back production. “Sorry that I wasn’t there to clap at your graduation,” he sings. “And you wasn’t there to see as my life was changing.” It’s a heart-wrenching number that’s bound to stick with you for a while.
‘Kill Them With Kindness’
This curious collaboration from IDLES’ latest album ‘Ultra Mono’ begins with a gentle piano refrain which is plonked out by none other than, er, Jamie Cullum. Thankfully, ‘Kill Them With Kindness’ turns out to be a bait-and-switch as it explodes into the roaring agit-rock the Bristol punks do so well — albeit with lyrics that sound like IDLES penning a children’s book: “‘Na na na na na gnaw’, said the beaver to the dam / ’Cause we’re killing with kindness.”
Jade Bird’s clever use of metaphor transforms this simple melancholic track about losing someone into something more profound and heartbreaking. “If they need lessons on leavin’, I’ll send them to you, Houdini,” she croons on the chorus. “I’ve loved the word/concept for a really long time,” Bird explained about the unlikely role that legendary illusionist Harry Houdini played in the creation of the song. “All of a sudden, it seemed to be the perfect metaphor for the figures who had left my life in the past. I had no control or choice on their appearances and disappearances – sort of like the man himself.”
The Swedish post-punks continue to preview their forthcoming second album ‘Welfare Jazz’ with yet another intriguing track. ‘Creatures’, the follow-up to October’s ‘Ain’t Nice’, is a rather apt soundtrack for 2020 as its lyrics paint a picture of a bleak world that reflects the suffocating realities of society today. “Way down under the water / We don’t have jobs, yeah, we don’t bother / To pay our bills or go to work or get to places on time,” frontman Sebastian Murphy sings over a broody, synth-driven melody.