Just under two weeks ago, Taylor Swift announced her surprise new album ‘Folklore’. Written during lockdown, her eighth record eschewed her usual, meticulously planned promotional campaign, and instead it dropped less than 24 hours after it was announced. And it’s not just its prompt release that’s different, for ‘Folklore’ Swift found a new sound. Teaming up with Bon Iver and The National’s Aaron Dessner, alongside long-time collaborator Jack Antonoff, ‘Folklore’ is an astonishing collection of indie-folk songs, that couple Swift’s distinctive song writing and lyricism with soaring melodies and lush instrumentation. We’ve chosen the lead single, ‘Cardigan’, for this week’s NME Radio A List.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
This slow-burning ballad, filled with hurt and yearning, is folk-rock beauty from Taylor Swift. Heart-wrenching lyrics are complemented by melancholy strings and earnest vocals, in a song that’ll dramatically soundtrack you burning that box you’ve got of your awful ex’s stuff.
‘I Wonder Why (feat. Loyle Carner)’
“Sometimes I don’t know how I feel till I write it down and this seemed to be one of those time,” Joesef explained of his gorgeous new tune, “I think I was avoiding addressing that I was a bit fucked up at the start of the year because of a situation, so this tune sort of put a line under it.” A sun-drenched cut of soulful R&B, ‘I Wonder Why’ beautifully conveys the pain of losing someone.
On the B List
Phoebe Green’s killer new single is painfully relatable. Accompanied by ‘80s flecked instrumentation and foot stomping drums, she pithily conveys the unsettling awkwardness of feeling like you don’t belong and changing yourself to fit in, and it’s pure brilliance.
‘Rari (feat. Future)’
The first track from Octavian’s anticipated debut album – which is set to be executively produced by Skepta – sees the rapper team up with Future. Fusing intriguing, experimental production (courtesy of Jim-E Stack) with slick vocals, it’s an exciting glimpse of what’s to come.
On the C List
‘Wherever You Go (feat. Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry & CLYPSO)’
The Avalanches’ have formed a bit of a supergroup for their latest single ‘Wherever You Go’. With co-production by Jamie XX, and vocals from CLYPSO and the legendary Neneh Cherry, it’s a poignant anthem that celebrates the power that music and love can have.
‘BRB (feat. Pink Sweat$)’
For this reworking of Mahalia’s ‘BRB’ she’s teamed up with Pink Sweat$, for a vocal match made in heaven.
All strutting Balearic beats and glitchy vocals, ‘Sage’ is an electronic beauty from Yumi Zouma.
‘Guilty Conscience (Tame Impala Remix)’
Last up on the playlist this week Tame Impala remixes 070 Shake. This new version of ‘Guilty Conscience’ infuses it with a healthy dose of psychedelia, swapping the icy skittering production of the original with woozy synths and stomping drums, and it’s absolutely excellent.