London Grammar’s third studio album ‘Californian Soil’ is just a couple of weeks away, and ahead of its release the band have shared ‘How Does It Feel’. The latest taste of the trio’s anticipated record is a beauty. Fusing ethereal vocals with Daft Punk-esque beats, it’s a megawatt pop song, and was a must-add to this week’s NME Radio playlist.
Elsewhere on NME Radio is a jam-packed playlist that includes Dominic Fike’s funky reimagining of Paul McCartney’s ‘The Kiss Of Venus’, Disclosure’s remix of ‘Streets’ by Doja Cat and Mnelia’s ‘Senseless’, an homage to classic noughties R&B.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
‘How Does It Feel’
London Grammar’s new song ‘How Does It Feel’ is an upbeat, dancey take on the group’s usual sound. Frontwoman Hannah Reid explained in a statement that the song “started off as an experiment, and ended up being one of my favourites on the record”.
“Along with our alternative side, [‘How Does It Feel]’ creates a light and shade on our album that I’ve always wanted to achieve.”
On the B List
Paul McCartney & Dominic Fike
‘The Kiss Of Venus’
When Macca released ‘The Kiss Of Venus’ in December as part of ‘McCartney III’, the lilting, acoustic ballad was easily recognised as a product of lockdown. This remake, less so. The gleeful psych-R&B cut led by Dominic Fike is the first of several reinterpretations of ‘McCartney III’, tracks that will be released as ‘McCartney III Reimagined’ next month, and it’s a belter.
Doja Cat & Disclosure
‘Streets (Disclosure Remix)’
One of Disclosure’s specialities is turning other people’s songs into their own. The electronic duo – brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence – work their magic once more on Doja Cat’s ‘Hot Pink’ hit ‘Streets’, transforming the sensual, trap-inflected track into a flirty disco dance-floor filler.
‘Drive In Mind’
“Yung band from Leeds wanting to play some music,” L’Objectif write in their Facebook profile. They’re pretty spot on, but the post-punk quartet’s banging debut single proper is more than just “some music” from a bunch of teens – the blend of angular drum lines, crunchy Foals-style melodies and ferocious riffs is an exciting and promising look at what’s in store for L’Objectif in the near future.
Lucky Daye, Masego & Alex Isley
‘Good & Plenty (Remix)’
Lucky Daye’s remix of ‘Good & Plenty’, which Masego and Alex Isley first released last July, came as naturally as the original did, according to its producer Jack Dine. “Lucky is someone who we all admire and respect as an artist, so it was an easy decision to get him involved,” he said. “This also gave us a chance to revisit it and make this version unique, which we all feel really brings it to another level.”
Mnelia’s latest single ‘Senseless’ recalls classic noughties R&B from the likes of Ashanti and Brandy, but with a modern twist. Produced by frequent collaborator StevieBBeatz, the track hears the UK singer experiencing a love like never before. “I’m not the type of girl to forget how to act / But for you, I’m losin’ all of my senses,” she blushes on the chorus. Speaking to Wonderland, Mnelia said that ‘Senseless’ was the “easiest single” she ever made. “Stevie played me a cut. I played in the guitar sample and then we worked on the drums, structured the beat and then I just wrote!”
‘3am (feat. Thundercat)’
Taken from the extended edition of Haim’s excellent third album ‘Women In Music Pt. III’, the new version of ‘3AM’ sees band of sisters team up with their musical pal, jazz-fusion virtuoso Thundercat. Adding his silky vocals to the R&B-laced tune, his stunning falsetto and the new woozy backing vocals are the perfect addition to song.
On the C List
The Horrors have gone industrial on new EP ‘Lout’, which the band have described as “the nastiest music we’ve made since ‘Strange House’”, their 2007 debut album. ‘Whiplash’ is the clanging closer of the three-track project, which was written and recorded remotely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s the same level of intensity as the 100-miles-an-hour stuff we’ve done in the past but the anger is somehow more channelled,” frontman Faris Badwan explains, adding. “I can’t wait to play these songs live as there’s so much freedom in that kind of chaos.”
English singer Jorja Smith yearns for centerstage on her soulful new single, ‘Addicted’. In a statement, she describes the captivating tune as being about “focusing on wanting the full attention of someone who’s not giving enough (or any) when they should be”. It’s her first solo release of the year, and a welcome return from the artist.
‘This Is Your Life’
“This is your life!” a voice declares agitatedly at the top of ishi vu’s latest single. “Right here, right now! It’s real time! You hear me?” The Stockholm-based artist and producer surrounds this impassioned dialogue with percussive, house-flecked electronics that, while informed by the club, stand apart from it. Reminiscent of Jamie xx’s solo album ‘In Colour’, ‘This Is Your Life’ is a compelling taste of his debut album ‘La Luz’, out on April 30.
‘Birds Fly Free’
Brendan Dyer’s indie rock project MILLY have returned with another preview of their new EP, ‘Wish Goes On’. The second track from the upcoming release, ‘Birds Fly Free’ is a fuzzy, shoegaze number with a hint of sorrow. “I wish I knew how to tell you . Everything in my rainbow,” Dyer sings on the opening. “Like what if this is the last time? / You don’t deserve that shit, I really own up to it.”
‘Against The Tide’
Duo Stubborn Heart are set to return this June, with ‘Made Of Static’, their first album in nearly nine years. With its danceable electro-soul and pulsating breakdown, ‘Against The Tide’ is a haunting, memorable taste of what we can expect from the release.
‘Against The Tide’
On ‘Cheer Up Baby’, Dublin outfit Inhaler are intent on doing what their song claims to do. “It’s a love letter to all our fans who are feeling isolated,” Inhaler told NME. Over an uplifting indie-pop melody of energetic guitars and drums, the band reassure the listener that “you’re not on your own” by erasing any doubts and skepticism, “you’re not on your own“.