Last week, Fleet Foxes surprise released their stellar fourth album ‘Shore’. Dropping on the Autumnal Equinox, it arrived alongside an accompanying short film of the same name, directed by Kersti Jan Werdal. The 15-track record is a triumph, filled with jubilant harmonies and rousing folk melodies, and we’ve chosen folk-rock belter ‘Can I Believe You’ for this week’s NME Radio playlist.
Also on this week’s playlist we’ve got the return of Royal Blood, the huge new ones from Sunflower Bean and Pixies, plus an ode to New York’s disco scene courtesy of Bonobo and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
‘Can I Believe You’
The wistful ‘Can I Believe You’ sees Fleet Foxes collaborate with a host of their fans. Eschewing typical collaborators, instead the song’s choral backing vocals are made up of over 400 different voice clips from fans, sent to the band via Instagram and then repurposed for the song – and it sounds pretty darn sweet.
Little is known about the mysterious collective that call themselves SAULT, but that hasn’t stopped the group from releasing four stellar albums over the past two years. Their latest release, ‘Untitled (Rise)’, includes the song ‘Free’, a soulful ode to freedom with a funky bassline.
On the B List
‘Moment In The Sun’
Sunflower Bean’s first single of 2020 is a euphoric slice of indie pop perfect for the final days of summer. The followup to their 2019 EP ‘King Of The Dudes’, the band explained: “‘Moment In The Sun’ is about finally recognising what is important in one’s life, the people you decide to spend it with.”
The South London MC holds nothing back on biting new single ‘Unveiled’. The title track of her forthcoming mixtape (out later this year), it sees Flohio spitting confident bars over a hypnotic beat courtesy of hitmaking duo Take A Daytrip, and it’s excellent.
The Brighton duo tease their upcoming third album, the long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s ‘How Did We Get So Dark’, with ‘Trouble’s Coming’, a disco-inflected pop-rock number that draws inspiration from the likes of Daft Punk and AC/DC. “This track was a really pivotal moment for us,” frontman Mike Kerr explains, “We needed something that we genuinely hadn’t done before, and this was the first song that came together.”
Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
On the C List
Just a few seconds into Pixey’s new single and you’ll want to do exactly what the Liverpool singer-songwriter commands: ‘Just Move’. Shimmery guitars, upbeat percussion and Pixey’s charisma combine to make this a slice of pure sunshine.
‘Most Modern Painting’
Earlier this month Sinead O’Brien released her latest EP, ‘Drowning In Blessings’. On the single ‘Most Modern Painting’, the Irish post-punk poet, in a hypnotic chant, diagnoses the ills of our society, from “the dark mirror narcissus” to “soft core addictions” and “mountains out of matter”.
In June, TV Priest told NME they sound like “1/10th of the power of Mark E Smith with an AS Level in Politics and access to fuzz pedals.” Judging by new song ‘Slideshow’, that sounds about right – and that’s not a bad thing. The second single from their debut album ‘Uppers’, which will be out in November, it’s a post-punk smasher.
On bristling single ‘Bleary Eyed’, Exit Kid (the side project of Years & Years’ Emre Türkmen and touring drummer Dylan Bell) take aim at the politicians leading our pandemic-stricken world today. Written “tongue-in-cheek from the perspective of these leaders”, the sarcastic snarling tune evokes Queens of the Stone Age, and absolutely slaps.
‘Hear Me Out’
Pixies new one ‘Hear Me Out’ was recorded during the sessions for their 2019 album ‘Beneath The Eyrie’. Set to be released next month on a 7-inch alongside ‘Mambo Sun’, the band’s bassist Paz Lenchantin explained the song “is about things not turning out the way we hoped, but knowing that it’s going to be OK regardless”.