NME Radio Roundup 9 November 2020: Empress Of, BENEE, Jade Bird and more

The recent US elections brought with them plenty of empowering anthems from pop stars and rock bands alike. While some treated voters to rousing covers, others penned heartfelt, politically driven tracks. Among them is Lorely Rodriguez – aka Empress Of – who lent her voice to the political discussion with uplifting new single titled ‘You Got To Feel’, featuring Amber Mark.

The euphoric ‘You Got To Feel’ was a must add for this week’s NME Radio’s playlist, as were new tunes from BENEE, Jade Bird and Baby Queen. Check out what else is new on the NME 1 & 2 playlists here:

On the A List

Empress Of

‘You’ve Got To Feel’ feat. Amber Mark

Released around the same time as the US elections, ‘You’ve Got To Feel’ is a revolutionary belter that encourages listeners to make their voices heard. Empress Of takes the backseat on her latest track, serving as the producer and lending her vocals to the chorus, while New York singer Amber Mark claims the spotlight to deliver the empowering lyrics: “We got a sickness, capitalism / Root of our symptoms / We been conditioned to think it’s the system / We gotta fix it.”

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List

Malady

‘London, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’

The title says it all, really. Malady’s debut single, all propulsive drums and sleek synths, borrows shamelessly from the LCD Soundsystem classic to reminisce on London’s glory days and express the band’s distaste for the gentrified city (“It’s another high rise, built from greed / Another coffee shop that no one needs”). “The topic of the tune isn’t news to anyone,” band member Charlie Clark acknowledged in a statement, “but it felt necessary to document the confusion and sadness felt by how inaccessible and hostile the city is becoming to live in for most ordinary people who have most, if not all, of their lives here.”

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Baby Queen

‘Want Me’

Who would have guessed that Jodie Comer’s Villanelle from Killing Eve was the subject of Baby Queen’s infectious new indie-pop single, ‘Want Me’? The London-based musician was so enthralled by Comer’s performance that she turned those feelings into a song. “I definitely don’t have the time for any sort of romantic relationship in my life right now, so it kind of suited me to have a stranger as the object of my affection,” Baby Queen said. The result is this quirky, fandom-approved bop.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

BENEE

‘Happen To Me’

Ahead of her much-anticipated debut album, ‘Hey u x’ due out this Friday (November 13), New Zealand pop singer BENEE has released hazy new song, ‘Happen To Me’. The viral sensation sings about the anxiety that comes with isolation over an atmospheric, acoustic guitar-driven melody. The upcoming LP will also feature her breakout TikTok hit ‘Supalonely’ with Gus Dapperton, as well as collaborations with Grimes, Lily Allen, Mallrat and more.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Oscar Lang

‘Antidote To Being Bored’’

True to its title, the riff-heavy title track of Oscar Lang’s upcoming five-track EP ‘Antidote To Being Bored’ will instantly cure any sort of boredom. As the Dirty Hit signee himself said, the song is “an absolute blow the roof off stadium rock banger, and I think it lives up to that”. He’s not wrong.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List

Bakar

‘1st Time’

The London singer-songwriter has returned to deliver a sticky-sweet love song that perfectly encapsulates the rush of finding The One. “The first time / I saw the fire in your eyes / I’d never really been tongue-tied / Until I fell into you,” he croons. ‘1st Time’ is also a sunny and tantalising preview of Bakar’s forthcoming release, the follow-up to his 2018 debut album ‘Badkid’.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard

‘30,000 Megabucks’

If the new Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard track sounds a little bit like AC/DC, don’t worry – that’s not your hearing going. The Welsh band just released ‘30,000 Megabucks’ in October, but they’ve been playing it during soundchecks forever, precisely because it brings to mind mighty AC/DC riffage. (“When we play it live it goes on for like 15 minutes!”) The strutting rock tune is the group’s follow-up to July’s ‘The Non-Stop EP’, which NME’s three-star review praised as “a grin-inducing rock’n’roll pastiche”.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Jade Bird

‘Headstart’

There’s nothing more universal than the feeling of unrequited love, and Jade Bird captures that in her electrifying new single ‘Headstart’. But the song, which is the lead single from her upcoming sophomore album, also goes beyond that – according to the singer in an interview with NME, it’s also a “mantra” going into 2021, for a “more of a positive, optimistic outlook”.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Lokoy & Safario

‘Both Eyes’

When Lasse Lokoy isn’t playing bass as part of Norwegian pop punk revivalists Sløtface, he’s making Gorillaz and Beastie Boys inspired rap music. He’ll soon showcase his solo efforts as Lokoy on his debut album ‘Badminton’, and infectious single ‘Both Eyes’ featuring Norwegian rapper Safario is our first taste of the upcoming release. The duo recorded and mixed the song in just eight hours in an attempt to “make a banger in one day” – we say they succeeded.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Nothing

‘April Ha Ha’

The bleak title of ‘April Ha Ha’ makes no sense out of context – but when you’ve lived through the exhausting year that is 2020, you don’t need it to. The post-shoegaze band marshal distortion and snarling riffs to great effect on the cut from their latest album ‘The Great Dismal’, before it all drops away for a pleasantly surprising guest appearance by (Sandy) Alex G.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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