NME‘s Radar Roundup is your weekly reminder of the rule-breaking rising artists you cannot afford to ignore right now. From interviews to reviews and track recommendations, this is where you’ll met your favourite new artist.
This week, Nubya Garcia talks up the London jazz community, Bree Runway on how she’s turned lockdown into a positive, and Newcastle’s (no, the other one) FRITZ takes us inside her sticky-sweet grunge-pop.
On the nine tracks of ‘Source’, London saxophonist Nubya Garcia is at her most polished. She leads her band on a journey through textured syncopated rhythms which ebb and flow to no destination other than to be present within the grooves. “Source’ maps points around identity and history, connections and collectivism, and grounding ourselves for each other”, she says. This album is about community and unity: a full story with different elements from the beginning, middle to end. Read the full interview Dhruva Balram
The genre-bending Hackney hero had big plans for the year scuppered – but with some ingenuity and a fierce DIY spirit, she’s used lockdown to push her creativity into bold new places. Look no further than the video for ‘Gucci’ a celebration of Black Girl Magic with Bree piloting a kaleidoscopic journey laced with striking and metallic looks, underpinned with luxury and grandeur. It is a song, after all, about designer clobber. Read the full interview Timi Sotire
Each week in First On, we introduce a shit-hot artist you’d have no doubt have seen opening the bill for your favourite bands. For now, here’s the first word on the Newcastle’s (no, the other one) FRITZ, whose GarageBand recordings from the bedroom – sticky-sweet grunge-pop with passion – are resonating worldwide. Read the full interview Jonathan Garrett
Never let a killer release fly under the radar. Here’s NME’s reviews of Nubya Garcia’s brilliant debut solo and Stranger Things’ star Maya Hawke’s debut album, ‘Blush’.
‘Source’ is a reflection of Nubya Garcia’s hometown; a mirror spotlighting London’s skilled musicians and a reminder of how thrilling this scene can be. The project’s urgency is baked in calming undertones, forcing listeners to be meditative and to connect, and a sense of rejuvenation, providing a call towards a larger sense of community. Key track: ‘Pace’ Read the full review Dhruva Balram
‘Blush’ shows the work of a songwriter who, even as something of a rookie, can command your attention and emotions with the most effortless of lines and make you consider your own life and relationships with the gentle encouragement of a close friend. Hold ‘Blush’ close – it’s a special one. Key track: ‘By Myself’ Read the full review Rhian Daly
NME’s New Bangers is our weekly updated playlist full of the essential new tunes you need in your life.
Arlo Parks – ‘Hurt’
Previously with the Londoner’s material, it was the pauses and reflections after a particularly stunning line that proved the most affecting. Here, however, things get a little bit louder (if only slightly) as Arlo commands this ‘In Rainbows’-indebted cut with layered vocals and a direct, shoulder-shaking chorus.
TSHA – ‘Sister’
Inspired by the discovery of an estranged half-sister during lockdown, the London producer’s latest is filled with the joy and inquisition – her most emotional and brilliant moment yet.
Ethan P. Flynn – ‘Are You Doing This To Hurt Me’
Once you hear Flynn’s new single ‘Are You Doing This To Hurt Me’, it’s not hard to imagine what collaborators Vegyn, Slowthai, Black Country, New Road and more saw in his talents – there’s hints of Everything Everything and Jockstrap in this arresting number