It’s been over four years since Alt-J released a new album, but the wait will soon be over: ‘The Dream’, the trio’s fourth studio album, will finally arrive in February. The new record is being led by the single ‘U&ME’, which captures the bliss of friendship and togetherness after months of isolation and pain.
As well as ‘U&ME’, NME Radio has also added plenty of new tunes this week: there’s ‘DiE4u’ by genre chameleons Bring Me The Horizon, the aching ‘Valentine’ by Snail Mail and Pa Salieu‘s high-energy ‘Lit’.
Check out what’s new on NME 1 & 2 below.
On the A List
Summer festival season ended nearly as quickly as it arrived this year, but if you’re not ready to let go just yet then Alt-J’s new single ‘U&ME’ will help soothe your post-festival blues. Keyboardist/vocalist Gus Unger-Hamilton has said that the serene song is “about being at a festival with your best friends, having a good time, togetherness and the feeling in life that nothing could be any better than it is right now”. With its sprawling harmonies and guitar riffs, this woozy track is sure to take you back to that warm, blissful feeling of effervescent summertime fun. – Qistina Bumidin
On the B List
Bring Me The Horizon
Bring Me The Horizon showcase their musical versatility on ‘DiE4U’, kicking off the second phase of the quintet’s series of ‘Post Human’ EPs. The synth-heavy track strays largely away from their deathcore/metalcore days, notwithstanding the occasional screams of frontman Oli Sykes throughout. In a statement, Sykes said the song tackles “toxic obsessions, vices and things you can’t kick”. The band’s signature dark-yet-catchy lyrics are still one trademark that remains unchanged, though: “Let me see my halo, even though it’s painful / I’m prepared to lose / You know that I’d die for, I’d cry for / You know that I’d die for you”. – QB
Snail Mail channels the highly dramatic emotions of teenage break-ups in the cathartic ‘Valentine’. The US indie rocker born Lindsey Jordan expresses her undying devotion for a past lover in a set of cinematic, orchestral verses before erupting into cries of betrayal over angst-fuelled guitar riffs. – QB
‘Keeper’ is the latest preview of Hana Vu’s upcoming debut album ‘Public Storage’. The LA-based artist drifts between tender reflections and soulful frustrations, mirroring the whirlwind distress of loneliness against strobing, hazy synths: “Oh, all the people you hurt for aren’t for you / Oh, all the love that you ask for isn’t for you.” – QB
On the C List
Metronomy x Pinty
‘Half An Inch’
The opening track of Metronomy’s surprise collaborative project ‘Posse EP Volume 1’, ‘Half An Inch’ is an infectious number that sets the project’s eclectic yet cohesive sound. “Being so close yet so far from something – everyone can relate to that,” London rapper and guest artist Pinty has said of the track. “Half an inch off of six foot tall / Does God pity this fool?” he contemplates over Metronomy’s plucky, disco-funk synth. – QB
‘Lit’, taken from Pa Salieu’s new EP ‘Afrikan Rebel’, definitely lives up to its title. The British-Gambian rapper taps into a blend of Ghanaian drill, grime and in-your-face lyrics to create a revolutionary, immersive listening experience. This assertive banger is just more proof of Pa Salieu’s unstoppable rise in the UK rap scene. – QB
Having ‘good vibes only’ is exhausting in our increasingly bleak world, and Self Esteem totally gets it. As she’s said of ‘Moody’, the fourth single from her highly anticipated new album ‘Prioritise Pleasure’: “I’d love to be sweet and happy-go-lucky, but I’m afraid I’m too tired to be most of the time.” Rebecca Lucy Taylor belts out cheeky lyrics (“Sexting you at the mental health talk seems counterproductive”) over a catchy, funky beat here while embracing her inherent ‘moodiness’: “You know I-I-I’ll be moody for life (It’s up to you if you want to try)”. – QB
Glasgow’s very own Joesef is back with a heartfelt, slow-burning banger. In a statement, he explains: “‘Fire’ is about trying to escape the emotional weight that places and people sometimes carry after too much has happened, but realising nothing ever really leaves you in the end anyway.” Over jazz-inspired lo-fi pop beats, Joesef delivers earnest lyricism that tugs at your heartstrings: “That’s why I had to burn my house down just to forget the way / You’d stare at me and say that you could watch me all day”. – QB
‘Royal Morning Blue’
Damon Albarn turns up the tempo on ‘Royal Morning Blue’, the fourth track from his upcoming solo album ‘The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows’. Still keeping to the album’s melancholic and atmospheric theme, the single is backed by a driving drum beat as it shifts between light and dark soundscapes. Much like the album’s motif of “the beauty and chaos in the natural world”, ‘Royal Morning Blue’ continues Albarn’s evocative exploration of the ebb and flow of life. – QB