Last week The Killers dropped their stellar seventh album ‘Pressure Machine’. Trading in stadium-shaking hooks and roaring riffs for subtler sounds, at NME we described it as “a fascinating, character-driven homecoming”. We’ve picked the excellent ‘In the Car Outside’ for this week’s NME Radio playlist.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
‘In The Car Outside’
The Killers’ new album ‘Pressure Machine’ may be more subdued than the rock band’s usual sound, but ‘In The Car Outside’ is reminiscent of the band’s best chest-thumping anthems. Frontman Brandon Flowers paints a picture of a young husband fighting the urge to cheat with an old flame, his urgent delivery accompanied by melancholic guitar and thumping drums. – Qistina Bumidin
Only adding to her growing discography of elegant pop belters, Joy Crookes’ stunning new effort ‘Skin’ pleads: “Don’t you know the skin that you’re given was made to be lived in?” Delicate and stripped-back, this latest release teases the English singer-songwriter’s anticipated debut album out later this year. – Finlay Holden
With 2020’s ‘Jaguar’ EP and vibrant singles like ‘Experience’ and ‘F.U.C.K.’, Victoria Monét has continuously proven herself to be a versatile and truthful voice in American R&B. Glorious summer vibes aplenty are served up on new track ‘Coastin’’, a fresh yet nostalgic single that shimmers in the August heat. “Baby, if you wanna coast, we can figure it out your way,” she promises with a tempting glisten. – Finlay Holden
On the B List
‘Take My Breath’
Maintaining the captivating funk-infused R&B of his last smash hit album ‘After Hours’, ‘Take My Breath’ is a colourful display showing the Canadian singer continuing to provide defining dancefloor anthems. Offering the first preview at fresh material, a rounded vocal performance flows over an irresistible groove that proves The Weeknd’s dominance is here to stay. – Finlay Holden
A track possessing the sonic bliss to truly “let thе magic unfold”, ‘Silver Lines’ is this year’s first drop from Diana De Brito’s Manchester-based hip-hop project. Revelling in a breezy and euphoric soundscape she’s not flexed previously, the track lets its energy trickle over smooth beats that cement IAMDDB’s position at the forefront of the anything but one-dimensional future of British music.
‘Darkest Hour’ (ft. Poppy Adjudha & Daley)
The soothing voices of Poppy Adjudha and Daley intertwine on ‘Darkest Hour’, the latest single by UK producer Swindle. The duo’s impressive vocals are spun over a retro funk groove, swooning strings, loose handclaps and enthusiastic backing vocals, making for a fine preview of Swindle’s upcoming album, ‘The New World’, out October 29.
‘Hope It’s Not’
Rising bedroom pop powerhouse Stevan’s ‘Hope It’s Not’ is a bittersweet summer anthem.“‘Hope It’s Not’ is about finding the right person at the wrong time,” the Australian artist has said of the song, “And adjusting to the feeling of not being ready for love, to acknowledging your true feelings despite being conflicted.” His vulnerable lyrics, coupled with mellowed synths and summery guitar riffs, capture the emotional rollercoaster that is navigating new love: “So happy since we met I’m scared that I’m falling for you, used to being lonely but now I wanna call you, every single day.” – Qistina Bumidin
‘MIA’ ft. Kaash Paige
Ray BLK has announced her long-awaited debut album ‘Access Denied’ with the smooth DeBarge-sampling track ‘MIA’. Featuring Dallas singer-songwriter Kaash Paige, the laid-back R&B anthem is “about escaping, or being with someone who feels like an escape”, Ray said in a statement, “Like you’re on holiday and just at peace, away from the noise.” The description rings true, especially in its accompanying carefree music video which finds the south London star hosting a house party for her friends and family.
‘Summertime Shootout’ (ft. T-Pain)
‘Summertime Shootout’ is a chill summer anthem, courtesy of AJ Tracey and T-Pain. Taken from the UK rapper’s latest album ‘Flu Game’, the confident track hears Tracey flexing about his success over a nostalgic R&B beat. On the pre-chorus, he emphasises his plans to stay focused on the game: “I can’t let no dumb temptations or irritations bring me down / I won’t let no confrontations, complications, ruin it now.”
On the C List
Dynamic new single ‘Power’ gives us hotly tipped artist TSHA’s second tease of her upcoming EP ‘OnlyL’, due August 27. Following 2020’s kinetic EP ‘Flowers’, it’s clear that London’s next DJ hero is not holding back on unleashing the charged euphoria she finds in her constantly evolving music, and this track is a further example of her power to instill energy in her listeners. – Finlay Holden
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Genre-blending duo Ruban Nielson and Jake Portrait, a decade into a career operating as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, follow-up the epic ‘Weekend Run’ with the squirming guitar lines of ‘That Life’. Straying from psychedelic rock for a more chilled, lofi sound, the group’s latest embraces an energy of appealing eccentricity; one that can be seen manifested in a hypnotic video featuring a blue puppet. The sonics alone radiate enough coolness to make this an essential summer track, though. – Finlay Holden
Released on Monstercat Silk – the latest imprint of the electronic stalwarts Monstercat – ‘Rwanda’ is a dose of chill house from the French duo Angara that conjures up visions of skies at sunset and breathtaking drone shots of nature’s magnificence.
Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine
‘Back To Oz’
Sufjan Stevens has released five new records this year alone – the 49 songs are collectively known as the ambient opus ‘Convocations’ – but he’s not done putting out fresh music. Spending a month writing with his Asthmatic Kitty labelmate Angelo De Augustine in a cabin in upstate New York, while creating they would wind down by watching movies. Those joint cinematic experiences informed their new collaborative album, ‘A Beginner’s Mind’, with latest single ‘Back To Oz’ inspired by the cult movie Return To Oz.