Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards last night was pure joy. The duo, who have teamed up under the moniker Silk Sonic, brought their new project to the stage for the first time for a rendition of stellar new single ‘Leave The Door Open’. Oozing soul, with gorgeous vocals and slick choreography, it was a standout performance from the night’s events, and an exciting glimpse of what their forthcoming collaborative album, ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’, could sound like. We’ve added ‘Leave The Door Open’ to the NME A List this week.
Meanwhile, the B List includes NME 100 alumni and previous Big Read cover star Girl In Red, alongside new tracks from AJ Tracey, Blue Lab Beats and Les Loups. Other artists featured on NME Radio this week are Peach Tree Rascals, Genesis Owusu and more.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak)
‘Leave The Door Open’
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak have made their debut as a duo under the moniker Silk Sonic with the groovy new single ‘Leave The Door Open’. The gorgeous tune is the first taste of the pair’s upcoming album ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’, which the duo have described as inspired by “delta swamp blues”.
On the B List
Girl In Red
The latest taste of Girl In Red’s upcoming debut album ‘If I Could Make It Go Quiet’ is the emotional ‘Serotonin’. On the song, which was produced with the help of Billie Eilish’s brother and collaborator FINNEAS, the Norwegian singer-songwriter paints a vivid picture of her mindset, singing: “I get intrusive thoughts like cutting hands off, like jumping in front of a bus, like ‘how do I make this stop’”. It’s hugely powerful stuff.
AJ Tracey’s latest is another belter. His first solo single in over a year is a hard-hitting cut that sees AJ dissect his current position over icy production and slick beats, and it’s excellent.
Blue Lab Beats
‘Blow You Away (Delilah)’ feat. Ghetto Boy
Blue Lab Beats’ first musical release of 2021 is ‘Blow You Away’, which evokes swaying palm trees and summer breezes from the first note. Afrobeats vocalist Ghetto Boy is a perfect match for the duo of producer NK-OK and multi-instrumentalist Mr DM, and together they’ve cooked up an irresistible jam that also serves as the first taste of Blue Lab Beats’ upcoming EP ‘We Will Rise’.
‘Enough’ feat. YOSIE (Feiertag Remix)
Dutch producer Feiertag brings his taste for syncopated rhythms to Les Loups’ 2020 single ‘Enough’, featuring enigmatic singer YOSIE. “The deep groove fits her vocals like a glove,” the Hamburg producer trio proclaimed on Instagram, and it’s true – Feiertag’s version is tailor-made for that woozy moment in the club when night turns to day.
On the C List
Remi Wolf & Dominic Fike
What happens when two of pop’s must-watch stars join forces? An unskippable bop that’ll turn into a certified smash hit in due time. And as if Remi Wolf’s ‘Photo ID’ couldn’t get any more addictive, Dominic Fike adds a fresh rap verse and his jangly guitars completely uplift the slinky pop banger.
‘Drown’ feat. Kirin J. Callinan
Ghanaian-Australian Genesis Owusu’s eclectic new album ‘Smiling With No Teeth’ bubbles over with musical ideas and influences, from jazz to punk and folk. For its part, ‘Drown’ is a slice of danceable, synth-driven indie pop-rock that features fellow Australian (and Genesis’ bandmate) Kirin J. Callinan on the verses.
It’s hard to believe that ‘Slip!’ is only Aziya’s debut song. Her confidence on the rollicking track doesn’t just shine – it glitters and glows. It’s the kind of attitude only an old-timer would’ve been able to carry with such ease, so it’s impressive to hear the 21-year-old BRIT School alumni do so without getting drowned by the music.
Peach Tree Rascals
The Californian collective found internet fame after their 2019 song ‘Mariposa’ went viral on TikTok, and they’ve tried to recreate that same success on their latest single. The verdict? ‘Leave Me’ is an equally joyful sun-kissed jam, albeit with a bittersweet undertone, that’ll find its place on spring party playlists in no time.
If Yehra’s single ‘Daydreaming’ sounds uncommonly mature for a debut release, that’s because the electronic duo of singer Jen Mahon and producer Rasmus Liebst have been collaborating for nearly a decade now. Their first offering is a lush combination of Mahon’s gentle vocals, soft jazzy percussion, satin synths and The xx-evoking guitars. A promising taste of their debut EP out this year.