UK artists take the lead on NME Radio this week. Little Simz returns with breathtaking new single ‘Introvert’, Wolf Alice share another track from their upcoming album ‘Blue Weekend’, and Scottish trio CHVRCHES are back with a powerful new anthem ‘He Said She Said’.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
Fusing majestic orchestral arrangements with slick production, Little Simz’s ‘Introvert’ powerfully examines identity and injustice. A poignant statement apt for our troubled world, it’s further evidence that she’s one of British hip-hop’s brightest talents. – JX Soo
Cranked-up bass fuzz and alt-rock stylings galore, Wolf Alice’s latest release ‘Smile’ reprises the intensity of 2017’s ‘Yuk Foo’, as a scowling Ellie Roswell delivers an empowering ode defying categorisation by others: “I wear my feelings on my sleeve, I suggested it / It serves me better than to swallow in a sedative / I am what I am and I’m good at it.” – JXS
On the B List
‘He Said She Said’
Scottish pop trio CHVRCHES have returned with brand-new single ‘He Said She Said’. The song, which the band have been teasing since the start of April, reflects on vocalist Lauren Mayberry’s experiences as a woman in the music industry. “All the verse lines are tongue-in-cheek or paraphrased versions of things that have actually been said to me by men in my life,” she explained. “Being a woman is fucking exhausting and it felt better to scream it into a pop song than scream it into the void.”
Featuring an upbeat synth-driven production, the song opens with Mayberry recalling the cutting remarks she has received from men throughout her career. “He said, ‘You need to be fеd’ / ‘But keep an eye on your waistline’,” she sings, later adding: “I feel like I’m losin’ my mind.”
‘The First Day’
Conor O’Brien’s latest as Villagers is a delightfully warm indie-rock moment that transcends grey realities. On ‘The First Day’, the Dubliner invites you under a comforting blanket of laid-back basslines, roomy drums and triumphant brass, in a mesmerising taste of Villagers’ fifth record, ‘Fever Dreams’, that’ll be released later this year. – JXS
The Dublin that Kojaque knows isn’t always pretty: “I just got my head kicked in / Tryna buy a bit of smoke / Cause my face didn’t look the way it should have when I paid him,” he grimly opens on ‘Town’s Dead’. But the Irish MC’s latest is far from a downer. Instead he presents a battle against gentrification and a grittily authentic portrait of Dublin, its dealers, bookies and all, as the punk energy of a Girl Band sample collides into jazz-inflected sax runs and thumping beats. – JXS
Lenzman & Danny Sanchez
‘Gimmie A Sec’
The latest from Amsterdam drum & bass producer Lenzman is a bubbling dose of funk goodness. Riding on Lenzman’s shuffling breakbeats and mellow keys, South London crooner Danny Sanchez’s rapid-fire verses pine for all eyes on him; but it’s the soulful hook that’s the real earworm: “Gimme just a second of your time / Show you somethin’ different / Show you somethin’ new / Show you what you been missin’” he soulfully pleads. – JXS
On the C List
It’s no secret that Biig Piig has a silky smooth voice – but the musician born Jess Smyth has reached new ASMR levels on latest single ‘Lavender’. Her voice barely rises above a husky bedroom whisper on the seductive track: “Bought some new lace, I’d like you to see it,” she murmurs on the intimate preview of her upcoming EP ‘The Sky Is Bleeding’, out May 21.
‘Seize The Day’ ft. Phoebe Bridgers
Phoebe Bridgers puts her own spin on Paul McCartney’s ‘Seize The Day’, a cut off Macca’s latest solo album ‘McCartney III’. For her cover, the Californian singer transforms the moving track into something more low-key. The rousing guitars of the original make way for a more haunting and dramatic beat, courtesy of Bridgers’ ‘Punisher’ collaborators Ethan Gruska and Tony Berg; but the song’s optimistic message is still conveyed as she croons on the chorus: “And we’ll wish that we had / Held on to the day / Seize the day.”
‘Hot & Heavy’
Lucy Dacus has come a long way; and ‘Hot & Heavy’, the lead single of upcoming album ‘Home Video’, takes listeners down memory lane with her. Riding chugging guitars that power her irresistibly catchy indie rock, the boygenius member wrestles with her past conceptions, fighting the tides of change and growth. – JXS
IDER are readying their second album ‘Shame’ for release this year, and from the sounds of lead single ‘Cross Yourself’, it’ll offer dark, lyrical alt-pop. Over a trip-hop-laced beat, the duo blend religious allusions with 21st century musings, in an exciting glimpse of what’s to come.