Radar Guest Column: The Vaccines’ Arni Arnason’s New Music Playlist

In one of NME’s regular new music columns, The Vaccines bassist Arni Arnason singles out his favourite new acts right now. Read why and listen to the lot below.

It might be the laziest comparison I’ve ever made, but Ho99o9’s homage to Bad Brains is just too blatant to overlook. The New Jersey duo’s first single ‘Casey Jones’/‘Cum Rag’ feels like a reference to BB’s ‘Pay To Cum’, and no, not only because of the shared usage of porn terminology, but rather because of its ludicrous B-side. Fortunately, though, more recent EP ‘Mutant Freakx’ renders the attempt at lazy comparisons totally redundant. Ho99o9 somehow marry DC hardcore with brain-melting hip-hop, and the EP’s impeccable production makes it all sound like it’s from a terrifying dystopian future. Oh, and no, I’ve got no idea how you pronounce it [It’s ‘Horror’, Árni – Elocution Ed].

The slightly more blandly named (and considerably more polite) Lois has to be the next in line of Madrid artists to hit the UK, following in the footsteps of Hinds. His first release, ‘Before You’, is a woozy, lo-fi bedroom recording which, even after countless listens, still manages to surprise me. It’s horrendously out-of-tune surf-guitar intro is almost comically misleading, as what follows is a mix of beautiful baritone and soaring falsettos delivered to the beat of a crappy old drum machine – all delivered with the kind of confidence and experience that just shouldn’t be available to someone so young.

‘Rabbit Hole’ by Riothorse Royale is a song that has a certain sense of inevitability to it. It’s perhaps a little folk, or even a bit new wave, but most certainly – at least to my tired ears – an anthemic no-brainer. Its brilliantly minimal arrangement builds slowly and hypnotically, but always leaves ample space for Madi Diaz’s and Emily Greene’s intricate LA vocal harmonies, which are clearly the focal point of RR’s writing. ‘Rabbit Hole’ is the stand out song, but the rest of their EP ‘The Guest House’ is a gorgeous listen.

Since her days with synth-punk outfit Post-Pastel (worth a listen) ended, Jessica Smurphy has been a ridiculously prolific DJ and producer in her native Mexico. She’s now moved to LA, signed to Leaving Records and is about to release her insane new album, ‘A Shapeless Pool Of Lovely Pale Colours Suspended In The Darkness’. It’s a collage of the strangest kind. A trance-inducing noise/trip-hop/techno/psych/dub concoction barely held together by her textural vocals. Beautiful madness.

Ho99o9 – ‘Casey Jones’

Lois – ‘Before You’

Riothorse Royale – ‘Rabbit Hole’

Jessica Smurphy – Smurphy – ‘Missing2MyBB’