NME Radio Roundup 19 April 2021: Doja Cat & SZA, Royal Blood and more

Doja Cat‘s done it again. On latest single ‘Kiss Me More’, a collaboration with the inimitable SZA, she’s created another catchier-than-a-rash pop hit. With its earworm chorus and sizzling vocals, the mega-watt tune was a must-add to this week’s NME Radio Playlist.

Also new to NME Radio this week we’ve got the latest from Royal Blood, a new one from AJ Tracey and another taste of Japanese Breakfast‘s upcoming album.

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

On the A List

Doja Cat

‘Kiss Me More’ feat. SZA

“I wanted to make a song about kissing. I just thought it would be cute. That doesn’t happen too often, but just a song that’s solely about kissing,” Doja Cat told Zane Lowe of her latest single – and first track as a lead artist in over a year – ‘Kiss Me More’. Slinky, sensual vocals by Doja Cat and guest vocalist SZA are underpinned by the same sticky melodies and grooving bass-lines that made her viral breakthrough release ‘Say So’ such a hit. – Charlotte Marston

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Royal Blood

‘Boilermaker’

Gaining traction after the Brighton-based rock duo debuted the track on the live circuit in summer 2019, ‘Boilermaker’ is the fourth glimpse into Royal Blood’s forthcoming album ‘Typhoons’, due April 30. Produced by Queens of the Stone Ages’ Josh Homme, the fan favourite is a ‘what you see is what you get’ rock track, and it’s an absolute belter – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List

Years & Years

‘Starstruck’

Straight off the back of It’s A Sin acclaim, Olly Alexander has offered a first taste of the revamped Years & Years sound with glitzy new track ‘Starstruck’. The disco-flecked floor-filler opens up a new, hyper-optimistic chapter for Alexander, who is now leading Years & Years as a solo project as of last month. “‘Starstruck’ is about the rush you get when you’re with somebody you’re really into, it’s about holding onto a good feeling and not letting it go,” Alexander says of the glistening new track. “Like most of us I’ve spent the past year at home, and I wanted to create something super positive and fun for people (and myself) to bop along to.” – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

India Jordan

‘Only Said Enough’

Made on a train journey to their last gig before lockdown in February 2020, India Jordan’s ‘Only Said Enough’ is full of longing for the pull of a sweaty dancefloor. House-infused rhythms explode into thumping techno mayhem in this exciting glimpse of the DJ and producer’s forthcoming EP ‘Watch Out!’. – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Japanese Breakfast

‘Posing In Bondage’

Michelle Zauner – aka Japanese Breakfast – says her latest single, ‘Posing In Bondage’, is “a ballad about loneliness and longing, a song about two people who want so badly to connect but are never quite able to do so”. Lifted from her upcoming album ‘Jubilee’ (set for release this June), the spacey new song is heartbreaking and exhilarating in equal measure. – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Topaz Jones

‘D.I.A.L.’

There’s money to be made,” New York rapper Topaz Jones proclaims on his latest single. Smoothly framed by liquid guitars and funk basslines, Jones’ powerful verses on ‘D.I.A.L.’ (which stands for “dying is a lifestyle”) reveal his tales of strife and resilience. “Street smarts, always beats encyclopedia wise / Three course meal for dinner, I might eat you alive,” he raps of his hustle through education and incarceration towards success. – JX Soo

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Brockhampton

‘Count On Me’

On ‘Count On Me’, which features guest verses from A$AP Rocky and SoGoneSoFlexy (and uncredited vocals from Shawn Mendes), Brockhampton channel their 2019 hit ‘Sugar’. The results are irresistible yet moody. The ‘Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine’  single opens with Rocky before the gang of Jabari Manwa, Ryan Beatty and Mendes deliver the melodic and assuring chorus: “It’ll be okay, no matter what thеy say about us / You ain’t even need no money, you can count on me.”

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Easy Life

‘Skeletons’

“‘Skeletons’ plays with the idea of a slightly mysterious and potentially terrifying past,” said Murray Matravers of Leicester-based group Easy Life. “Everyone has baggage and everyone has skeletons.” On the high-energy track – extracted from Easy Life’s debut album, due for release June 4 – the melodic five-piece continue to tread the line between synth-driven indie pop and straight-talking R&B. – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Cautious Clay

‘Karma & Friends’

“I know what you’re after / Strawberry Benz / You can’t even expense my love,” Cautious Clay wryly notes on his new single; but a tenderness accompanies these observations. On ‘Karma & Friends’ Clay’s crafted a lush neo-soul tune that encapsulates his conflicting compassion and cynicism – and it’s gorgeous. – JXS

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List

Charlotte Adigéry

‘Bear With Me (and I’ll stand bare before you)’

An intimate distillation of her trademark synthpop minimalism, Charlotte Adigéry’s latest single ‘Bear With Me’ confronts her inner self. Juxtaposed with skeletal disco production, the Belgian-Caribbean artist’s words reveal her struggles as a performer finding a place in landscapes uprooted by 2020’s disruption. “I can’t help feeling so hopeless / Livestreams weren’t part of the dream,” she admits. Forced to adapt to new realities amid lockdown, Adigéry lights up dance-floors out of reach for a world cooped up indoors. – JXS

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

AJ Tracey

‘Little More Love’

Taken from his second studio album ‘Flu Game’ – released last week to a four-star review from NME – AJ Tracey’s latest single ‘Little More Love’ is contagious and club-ready. Merging the West London rapper’s witty lyricism with infectious hooks and a laid-back earworm beat, the track was accompanied by a music video paying tribute to the late DMX. – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Twenty One Pilots

‘Shy Away’

Twenty One Pilots have kicked off their new era with ‘Shy Away’, one of the songs that will appear on their upcoming lockdown album ‘Scaled And Icy’. The song also features an accidental guest: frontman Tyler Joseph’s’s one-year-old daughter Rosie. “You’ll hear this little baby cooing noise and it’s actually because, when I was first working on the song, she was in the room with me,” he told the BBC. “I found myself loving that she had been in some way a part of that creative process – and I actually kept her noise in the beginning of that song.”

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Holly Humberstone

‘Haunted House’

Offering a more stripped-back take on the young singer’s pop-noir sound, Holly Humberstone’s latest song ‘Haunted House’ is an intimate illustration of a crumbling family home. Cobwebby keys blend with the NME 100 alumni’s signature raw lyricism on this cut from her upcoming EP. Speaking of the track, which was accompanied by a music video filmed in her childhood home, Humberstone said in a statement: “With my sisters and I moving out and living separate lives, coming home feels very comforting and one of the only things keeping us all connected. The house is almost falling down around us now though, and we’ve realised that pretty soon we’ll be forced to leave. Loads of people have probably died here in the past but I’ve always felt really safe. It’s like a seventh family member. It’s part of me.” – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Greentea Peng

‘Kali V2’

London-based artist Aria Wells – better known as Greentea Peng – has released the second single from her forthcoming album, ‘Man Made’. Honouring the Hindu goddess Kali Ma, ‘Kali V2’ is a provocative experimental trip into the unknown. “Rid this land free of the rotten crown / I’m ready to make a new sound,” the artist utters in her laidback drawl.

Greentea Peng’s long-anticipated record ‘Man Made is due for release on June 4, and she’s described it as: “a jambalaya of expression” and “an exploration of self and sound. A product of shifting paradigms both inner and outer.” She adds: “This project fits no genre, not to be digested easily by everyone.” – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Ducks Ltd

‘As Big As All Outside’

Duck’s Ltd’s latest fuses glistening riffs, shuffling post-punk rhythms and weightlessly buoyant basslines with vocalist Tom McGreevy’s sighing melodies that provide a window into a life in decline. “Let’s settle in under that wave / Let it pull the both of us to sea again,” he sings with a note of resignation. Concluding with a mist of blooming strings, their debut release on Carpark Records is a shimmering moodpiece perfect for imaginary summer nights outs. – JXS

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

The Black Keys

‘Crawling Kingsnake’

On May 14, The Black Keys will release the blues cover album ‘Delta Kream’, previewed with their rendition of Big Joe Williams’ ‘Crawling Kingsnake’. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney put their own ominous spin on the track popularised by John Lee Hooker, subtly reworking its country blues rhythms. “The session was planned only days in advance and nothing was rehearsed,” Auerbach said of the record. “We recorded the entire album in about 10 hours, over two afternoons.” – CM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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