NME Radio Roundup 20 September 2021: Lana Del Rey, The War On Drugs, Sam Fender and more

Next month Lana Del Rey will release ‘Blue Banisters’, her second album of 2021. Originally due for release on July 4, the record still looks set to continue Del Rey’s career-long fascination with the United States of America – if her entrancing single ‘Arcadia’, one of NME Radio’s new additions this week, is anything to go by, anyway.

Also new to our playlists this week is a deeply personal song by Sam Fender, a Radiohead deep cut (released to tease anniversary reissues of ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac’) and a fiery punk blast from Amyl and the Sniffers.

Check out what’s new on NME 1 & 2 below.

On the A List

Lana Del Rey - 'Blue Banisters' artwork

Lana Del Rey


Lana Del Rey’s career has been one long and ever-changing contemplation of her great, complicated love: the United States of America. On ‘Arcadia’, a tender piano ballad adorned with soft horns and sensuous lyrics, she ends up ambivalent: “I’ll pray for ya / But you’ll need a miracle, America.” The latest single from her upcoming album ‘Blue Banisters’, ‘Arcadia’ was co-written and produced by Drew Erickson (and not Jack Antonoff, who famously oversaw previous two albums ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’ and ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell!’). – Karen Gwee

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

The War On Drugs - 'I Don’t Live Here Anymore'

The War On Drugs

‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’

Next month The War On Drugs return with their new LP ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’. If its title track is any indication, the record will be another arena-sized triumph for the Philadelphia rock band. A guitar with spine-tingling tones interjects as frontman Adam Granduciel reminisces about the old days, Bob Dylan and Desolation Row over sparkling keys and backing vocals from pop group Lucius. Another strong addition to The War On Drugs’ catalogue of heartland rock’n’roll. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List

Sam Fender - 'Seventeen Going Under' artwork

Sam Fender

‘Get You Down’

Sam Fender’s latest preview of his forthcoming second album, ‘Seventeen Going Under’, “is about how insecurity has affected my relationships”, with Fender adding that ‘Get You Down’ is “definitely one of the more personal ones”. “I catch myself in a mirror / See a pathetic little boy / Who’s come to get you down,” he howls with frustration over melancholic guitar riffs and a poignant saxophone solo. – Qistina Bumidin

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Yard Act - 'The Overload' artwork

Yard Act

‘The Overload’

Minimalist Leeds quartet Yard Act have shared the sardonic title track from their upcoming full-length debut album ‘The Overload’. Against frenetic, rhythmic percussion and fuzzy guitar riffs, frontman James Smith shifts between speak-singing idiosyncratic verses to lamenting the disappointments of a deeply polarising society. “The overload of discontent / The constant burden of making sense / It won’t relent, it won’t repent / How to remain in dissonance.”  – QB

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music



‘Over You’ (feat. Stefflon Don)

‘Over You’ is the latest track from Ray BLK’s highly anticipated debut album, ‘Access Denied’. Her soulful yet powerful vocals stand out over a catchy hook and an upbeat sample of 2002 dancehall classic ‘Diwali Riddim’. Stefflon Don contributes a grimey verse to this club banger that’s also an anthem to celebrate surviving a break-up: “I found a cure on the dancefloor / No replyin’ when you’re textin’ me”.  QB

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Adeline artwork


‘Stages’ (feat. KAMAUU)

Singer, bassist and producer Adeline returns with a groovy new single, ‘Stages’. Taken from her new EP ‘Adi Oasis’, this feel-good track channels classic ’70s soul with a blend of jazz and R&B over a funky bassline. Completed by the former Escort frontwoman’s buttery vocals and American rapper KAMAUU’s relaxed flow, ‘Stages’ offers a breezy escape from reality. – QB

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Radiohead - 'KID A MNESIA' artwork


‘If You Say The Word’

To preview the upcoming reissue of Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac’ albums, the band have released ‘If You Say The Word’, a previously unheard track from one of their many “half-remembered, half-forgotten” recording sessions. The song itself is unmistakably Radiohead, featuring hazy and spine-tingling production that slowly builds into an epic, euphoric high. – Sofiana Ramli

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

PawPaw Rod - Thin Lines

PawPaw Rod

‘Thin Lines’

US singer-rapper PawPaw Rod croons about the anxieties of adapting to a new environment in the groovy ‘Thin Lines’. This third single off his debut EP, ‘A PawPaw Rod EP’, blends ’60s soul and hip-hop with mellow, infectious harmonies that are accompanied by introspective lyrics. Came here well aware that plans may change, well (Young boy, have you found a reason to live yet?) / Being broken isn’t always a bad thing (Got my heart on my sleeve, what the fuck you want from me?)”. QB

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Metronomy - Posse EP

Metronomy & Biig Piig


Metronomy have collaborated with the LA-based Irish singer and rapper Biig Piig on ‘405’, which is taken from the band’s surprise collaborative project, ‘Posse EP Volume 1’. ‘405’ brings a soft, hypnotic groove that is enhanced by Biig Piig’s silken vocals. “It was so beautiful and brought back so many memories,” Biig Piig said of the instrumental. “I feel like when you hear a piece of music that does that, you know it’s special.” Furthermore, ‘405’ was a moment of realisation that “the love that I was seeking frantically [was] in front of me the whole time”. – QB

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List

Amyl and the Sniffers

Amyl and the Sniffers


Take me to the beach / Take me to the country!” declares Amy Taylor on ‘Hertz’. “Climb in the back seat if you love me!” Believe it or not, Melbourne pub punks Amyl and the Sniffers wrote this raucous single from their new album ‘Comfort To Me’ before the pandemic. But ‘Hertz’ isn’t just a cathartic lockdown anthem, it’s also the band’s unabashed challenge to their fence-sitters. “I want you to love me / Do you love me?” Taylor asks. We certainly do. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves


There are many reasons why ‘Breadwinner’ is one of the highlights of Kacey Musgraves’ latest album ‘Star-Crossed’ – it’s undeniably infectious with an irresistible hook (“He wants a breadwinner / He wants your dinner / Until he ain’t hungry anymore”). But most of all it’s dripping with sass, as the singer takes a jab at the men who’ve become jealous of her success. Over a bouncy synth line, Musgraves warns others of falling for “insecure” partners, singing, “I wish somebody would’ve told me the truth / See, he’s never gonna know what to do / With a woman like you.” SR

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Ones - 'Blessings' artwork



‘Blessings’ is the atmospheric debut single by the mysterious Ones. The gloomy sound design and a subdued vocal line culminate with a haunting account of seeking comfort in a life of loneliness and struggle: “Blessings on the road / Tell me where you go / Tell me I’m the only one / Cuz I don’t wanna talk to much / I just want to feel your love.” – QB

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Sad Night Dynamite - Psychedelic Views (feat. IDK)

Sad Night Dynamite

‘Psychedelic Views’ (feat. IDK)

Trap music meets country-western in Sad Night Dynamite’s new melancholic banger ‘Psychedelic Views’, the first track off their upcoming second mixtape. The Somerset pair sample American country duo The Handsome Family’s ‘Far From Any Road’ and bring on American rapper IDK to supply some gritty verses that enhance the track’s hypnotic soundscape. The band have described ‘Psychedelic Views’ as “a bizarre fantasy built on real experiences” – and it definitely sounds like one. – QB

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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