Rising star Beabadoobee is NME’s latest cover star – and with her heart-on-sleeve debut album ‘Fake It Flowers’, Bea Kristi joins the ranks of UK artists who’ve put out stellar records in this cursed year. That list includes Headie One (with the chart-topping ‘Edna’) and Fontaines D.C. (sullen sophomore effort ‘A Hero’s Death’), who are also in this week’s raft of additions to the NME Radio playlist.
Also not to be missed – Yungblud’s ‘Cotton Candy’, from his upcoming album ‘Weird!’, Mogwai’s chilly remix of The Ninth Wave’s ‘I’m Only Going To Hurt You’, and ‘Before’, the title track of James Blake’s brand-new EP.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
The ’90s come back to life on Beabadoobee’s debut album, ‘Fake It Flowers’, but nowhere more so than on the fifth single ‘Together’. A little grungy, a little alt rock, it’s all held together with an explosive, crunchy chorus: “’Cause I’m not waiting for you / But I don’t want to hurt you / Guess that’s how my life will go / At least we’re together though.”
Miguel has brought back his 2019 electro-driven romp, which he calls the beginning of a “new, lush chapter in my artistry”, with a brand-new video, shot by Savage x Fenty creative director Philippa Price and Nina McNeely. ‘Funeral’ is the title track of the R&B artist’s upcoming EP, which will explore “darker tones and themes” and serve as the follow-up to his 2017 album ‘War & Leisure’.
On the B List
Yungblud celebrates sexual liberation on his delectable new pop punk offering ‘Cotton Candy’: “Sexual interaction should not be shamed, it should be celebrated,” he declared in an accompanying statement. It’s the latest from his upcoming sophomore album ‘Weird!’, following ‘God Save Me, But Don’t Drown Me Out’, ‘Weird!’ and ‘Strawberry Lipstick’.
‘Try Me’ feat. Skepta
The UK heavyweights have teamed up once again for another ferocious anthem. On ‘Try Me’, the follow-up to their 2019 collab ‘Back To Basics’, Headie One and Skepta spit razor-sharp bars over icy production, and it’s brilliant.
‘Skate Depot’ can be summed up in one word: groovy. Named after a skating rink in Cerritos, California where the producer got his first job, the track is a preview of Channel Tres’ upcoming mixtape ‘I Can’t Go Outside’. And if this chilled-out teaser is anything to go by, then expect Channel Tres to dole out plenty more summery bangers to keep us warm throughout the coming months.
The Ninth Wave
‘I’m Only Going To Hurt You’ (Mogwai remix)’
On this remix, Mogwai transform The Ninth Wave’s post-punk single from EP ‘Happy Days!’ into a spiky slice of coldwave, Hadyn Park-Patterson’s melodramatic lyrics mutating into garbled club chants. This track was the first of The Ninth Wave’s weekly drop of remixes – a hell of a way to kick it off.
On the C List
The English producer has returned with his first project since 2019’s critically acclaimed album, ‘Assume Form’. On the title track of his latest four-track EP ‘Before’, James Blake blends melancholic club beats with sleek pop production to create a devastatingly romantic ballad that’s equally suited for the bedroom and the dancefloor.
‘Eye Of The Storm’
The buoyant ‘Eye Of The Storm’ is Millie Turner’s second single of the year. Over feather-light percussion and bubbly synths, the East London artist sings about keeping her cool and seizing the day. ‘Eye Of The Storm’ grows steadily more anthemic as it progresses – a pop song that doesn’t give up its secrets easily.
Earlier this month, Future Islands returned with their sixth studio album ‘As Long As You Are’, featuring the mournful track ‘The Painter’. Over a slow-swirling synth pop soundscape, frontman Samuel T. Herring resignedly sings of loss and abrupt disconnection. “Fear has made you shallow / Hiding in your tomb,” he declares. “I’m screaming at the dust, ‘Is this good by you?’”
‘A Lucid Dream’
“Ah, you’re all prone to being anyone else other than you,” Grian Chatten mumbles when the roaring post-punk machine that is Fontaines D.C. quiets on ‘A Lucid Dream’, before giving voice to his inner doubts: “Are you all prone? Does anyone know?” It’s a prime example, NME’s Will Richards wrote in a four-star review of second album ‘A Hero’s Death’, of how “the inner turmoil that festered in the wake of the band’s outward success spat out with venom”.