Radar Roundup – May 1, 2020: The week’s essential new music from MICHELLE, Benee and more

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.

Interviews

Each week we meet the most exciting new names in the game. Here Texas teen Alaina Castillo talks her bilingual new EP, Auckland’s BENEE muses on her TikTok breakout and shoegazers Bdrmm go deep on their intoxicating debut album.

Alaina Castillo

The Texas teen built a fanbase via her ASMR ballads on YouTube, but her new EP ‘the voicenotes’ showcases an emerging artist using her voice in dynamic new ways for the bilingual release. She tells us why she’s pleased with the Spanish-language takeover, and why this release needed to be so damn raw. Read the full interview Thomas Smith

BENEE

Meet the Auckland singer everyone is making a song and dance about. No, seriously. BENEE’s breakout song ‘Supalonely’ has been turned into a TikTok meme, and has garnered over five billion across the platform. Good job she gave up a promising career in Water Polo, then… Read the full interview Sam Higgins

Bdrmm

Bdrmm’s debut album has got a lot going on: lyrics about unplanned pregnancies, samples of Megabus driver and gloomy guitar lines. Above all there’s a determined sense of youth. This might be shoegaze, but bright songs like ‘Happy’ feel more urgent and upbeat than your typical idea of the genre. Read the full interview Rhys Buchanan

Reviews

Never let a killer release fly under the radar – here’s what we made of Dirty Hit signee Gia Ford’s horror-lovin’ new EP and Portsmouth-via-London group Hotel Lux’s ‘Barstool Preaching’

Gia Ford – ‘Murder In The Dark’

‘Murder In The Dark’ has an ambitious concept underlying each of its nine songs – one of lust and blood. The diverse production can sometimes distract from the campy, horror movie theme, but it’s remarkable how Ford can salvage her storyline through sheer presence alone. Key track: ‘Murder In The Dark’ Read the full review Georgia Evans

Hotel Lux – ‘Barstool Preaching’ EP

Portsmouth-via-London quintet Hotel Lux are the latest frayed-around-the-edges rock band to try their hand at this loosely-defined strain of post-punk and spoken word, but their new EP ‘Barstool Preaching’ is a welcome change in approach. Key track: ‘Charades’ Read the full review Luke Cartledge

New Bangers

NME’s New Bangers is our weekly-updated playlist full of the essential new tunes you need in your life. This week, NYC heroes MICHELLE get down and dirty serve up some minimalist rock, Bree Runway goes all ’90s on us and Suffolk’s Kyanos engineer a worthy campaign.

MICHELLE – ‘The Bottom’

We’re aware that this song came out in 2018, but it’s my column so fuck it. MICHELLE’s ‘The Bottom’ got a nice re-release last week accompanying the news that they had signed with Transgressive (Foals, SOPHIE) ahead of some brand new songs. Get acquainted with this highlight from their self-produced debut – it’s a groovy pop smasher with that fearless NYC mentality. What a band. Thomas Smith

Bree Runway – ‘Damn Daniel’

A disclaimer: Bree Runway’s new song ‘Damn Daniel’ has nothing to do with the kid with shiny white trainers in that viral video. In fact, the London star was inspired by ‘90s sitcoms like Martin and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for this new one and it shows. It’s a throwback video for a song with modern edges: think Doja Cat’s playfulness meets Missy Elliot’s ferocity. Thomas Smith

Kyanos – ‘iso.crimson’

The Kyanos lot are good lads. As NHS staff continue their incredible and selfless work on the frontline against COVID-19, vital PPE (personal protection equipment) is at short supply. Some people have started making their own and sending it directly to the staff, but Kyanos have done what they know best: dropped some dreamy AF demos on Bandcamp, and will donate all the profits to key workers. Get the full info here. Thomas Smith

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