We were spoiled with new music last week. Khruangbin’s third album ‘Mordechai’ saw the Texan trio continue to push the boundaries with their woozy brand of psych. Jessie Ware returned to the dancefloor with the euphoric, ‘80s influenced ‘What’s Your Pleasure?’, and we were finally gifted Haim’s spectacular ‘Women in Music Pt. III’.
16 songs long, Haim’s third album sees the sisters experiment with their sound more than ever before. ‘I Know Alone’ is imbued with skittering dance beats reminiscent of UK Garage, ‘Man From The Magazine’ – a searing takedown of the sexism the band have received over the years – utilises Joni Mitchell-flecked folk, whilst ‘Another Try’ embraces calypso rhythms and squelchy production. It’s earworm ‘Gasoline’ that we’ve picked for the NME Radio playlist this week though – a slinky cut of sun-drenched indie-rock that’ll be trapped in your head all week.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
With its lilting riffs and warm vocals, ‘Gasoline’ will have you longing for spontaneous road trips with pals.
‘Lockdown’ feels like a piece of history. On it, Anderson .Paak discusses the current Black Lives Matter protests, commenting on “agent provocateurs” attending the protests (“We was tryna protest, then the fires broke out/Look out for the secret agents, they be planted in the crowd”), the effect Covid-19 has had on unemployment and the death of George Floyd (“Killed a man in broad day, might never see a trial”). It’s incredibly powerful – and an essential listen.
Dance Lessons’ latest release is painfully relatable. ‘New Job’, a skipping slice of electronic-flecked pop, is about desperately trying to fill the void left by an ex. “Got a new job, just so I can stay busy/and never have to think about you,” frontwoman Ann sings over twinkling guitar licks in the chorus. We’ve all been there – but Dance Lessons make it sound so much sweeter.
On the B List
‘I Know the End’
Phoebe Bridgers‘ second album ‘Punisher’ is a masterpiece. We’ve gone for the gorgeous ‘I Know the End’ for the playlist. Opening with ethereal, emotional gut-punch verses, it then erupts into pure euphoria midway through, complete with jubilant trumpets and soaring vocals.
Victoria Monét, Khalid & SG Lewis
In just over a minute Noname manages to say more than most artists can in an entire album. Addressing the killing of George Floyd and the murders of trans women worldwide, as well as J. Cole’s rumoured criticism of her, it’s a formidable 70 seconds.
Alapathy, the first single from Fenne Lily‘s upcoming second album ‘BREACH’, is a made-up word merging “apathy” and “allopathic”. The fidgety song mimics the anxiety Lily’s experienced, with its lyrics tackling her experience taking medication to improve her mental health, and how she found it didn’t solve the problems she was going through. Brilliantly honest, the break-neck tune is an exciting glimpse of what’s to come on the rest of the album.
On the C List
With its bouncing beats and Saweetie’s slick vocals, ‘Tap In’ is a stone-cold smasher.
Bring Me The Horizon
Bring Me The Horizon are back with ‘Parasite Eve’ – a wild dystopian offering that fuses rock with whirring electronics, and comes accompanied with semi-terrifying lyrics that about the end of the world.
‘Bow’ (feat. Michael Kiwanuka)
Sault’s latest album, ‘Untitled’, was released to “mark a moment in time where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives”. It’s an important listen – and we’ve selected this collaboration with Michael Kiwanuka for the playlist this week.
‘The Difference’ feat. Toro y Moi (Jon Hopkins Remix)
Finally this week we’ve got Jon Hopkins remixing Flume and Toro y Moi‘s recent collaboration – turning the electronic tune into a techno-laced hit. The only problem? We won’t be able to hear it at 4am in a festival dance tent this summer.