NME Radio Roundup 26 May: Phoebe Bridgers, IDLES and more

Need an injection of pure positivity? Don’t we all. Thankfully for us, IDLES have gifted us an almighty slab of the stuff with their new tune ‘Mr Motivator’.

Frontman Joe Talbot has explained that the band wanted the song to: “encourage our audience to dance like no-one is watching and plough through these dark times with a two tonne machete of a song and the most beautiful community of scumbags ever assembled.” Basically, they’ve combined their ferocious punk with uplifting lyrics that’ll help you power through the weird new normal we’re living in. Utterly excellent, it was an obvious choice for this week’s NME Radio playlist.

Also new for this week: outstanding new ones from Phoebe Bridgers and Haim, along with a quarantine-banger from Sofi Tukker & Gorgon City.

Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:

On the A List

Phoebe Bridgers

‘I See You’

First up we’ve got the latest from Phoebe Bridgers. On ‘I See You’ she fuses her deeply confessional songwriting with lush Sufjan Stevens-tinted instrumentals. It’s another outstanding preview of the hugely talented artist’s upcoming album ‘Punisher’.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Nation Of Language

‘The Wall & I’

This newbie from Brooklyn synth-pop trio Nation of Language is pure timeless nostalgia, blending ‘80s new-wave and post-punk with chugging indie rock guitars.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List

Crystal Murray

‘Easy Like Before’

All strutting house beats and slick R&B production, Parisian singer-songwriter Crystal Murray’s ‘Easy Like Before’ is the perfect soundtrack to hazy – albeit socially distanced – summer afternoons in the park. TWO METRES!

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music


‘Mr Motivator’

Need some morning motivation? Stick on ‘Mr Motivator’ and let it kick start your day. Trust us – the bridge of “You’re Joe Cal-fucking-zaghe” is going to become your new personal mantra.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music


‘Don’t Wanna’

Haim’s upcoming album, ‘Women In Music Pt. III’, is looking like it’ll be the band’s most exciting, experimental release yet. Across singles so far the band have showcased Lou Reed referencing funk (‘Summer Girl’), 808 beats and wild dance electronics (‘I Know Alone’), and barnstorming country (‘The Steps’). They’ve returned to the latter for latest single ‘Don’t Wanna’ – a strutting belter.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Sofi Tukker & Gorgon City

‘House Arrest’

Combining candid lyrics about the collective anxiety caused by the pandemic with throbbing house beats and massive drops, this wild collab from Sofi Tukker and Gorgon City is perfect for your next Zoom DJ set.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List


‘Falling In’

Inhaler’s ‘Falling In’ depicts how the quartet’s life has changed over the past year as their music career has rapidly taken off. “I think being a young band on tour and seeing our music connect with audiences from different parts of the world has opened our eyes to the excitement and exhilaration of life and being up on stage and feeling wanted and loved can be a very powerful drug,” explains frontman Elijah Hewson. If their upcoming debut album is as good as this massive rock smasher, they’d better get used to that feeling.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Perfume Genius

‘Without You’

All jaunty guitar licks and soaring synth soundscapes, this slice from Perfume Genius’ outstanding fifth album ‘Set My Heart on Fire Immediately’ is a total delight.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Rina Sawayama

‘Bad Friend’

The latest single from Rina Sawayama’s remarkable debut album, ‘SAWAYAMA’, sees the genre-splicing artist grapple with feelings of guilt after falling out of touch with a close friend. With an earworm chorus and painfully relatable lyrics, this is pure pop brilliance.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Lucy Rose

‘Question It All’

Complete with cantering hi-hats and ethereal guitar licks, the new one from Lucy Rose is a chilled out beauty.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music



Last up on the playlist this week we’ve got Squid. Centred around an agitated synth riff that gradually builds into a bombastic crescendo of wild guitars and drums, it’s perfectly organised chaos.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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