Last week Shame dropped their almighty second album ‘Drunk Tank Pink’. A record written after the band finished a gruelling tour in support of their 2018 debut ‘Songs Of Praise’, it tackles the feelings of isolation that going from being surrounded by people 24/7 on the road to alone at home resulted in – emotions that feel particularly pertinent after a year of lockdown and self-isolation. We’ve picked ‘Nigel Hitter’, a Talking Heads imbued belter, for the NME Radio playlist this week.
Also new to the playlist this week we’ve got the title track of Lana Del Rey’s upcoming seventh studio album ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club‘, a taste of Mogwai’s upcoming LP ‘As The Love Continues’, and new songs from Four Tet, Foo Fighters, Vagabon, Kid Kapichi and more.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
Lana Del Rey
‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’
The title track of Del Rey’s seventh studio album is a classic, dreamy Lana Del Rey love song. Co-written and produced by frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, the delicate tune builds on the theme of starting anew established by Del Rey on her previous single ‘Let Me Love You Like a Woman’, and it’s a beauty.
On the B List
On ‘Nigel Hitter’, Shame take drudgery and isolation and channel it into a spiky ’80s post-punk groove. “Will this day ever end? I need a new beginning,” howls frontman Charlie Steen. “It just goes on,” he intones repeatedly. A perfect soundtrack to lockdown gloom, courtesy of the NME cover stars and their triumphant second album ‘Drunk Tank Pink’.
At the end of 2020 – a year that saw him drop his tenth studio album ‘Sixteen Oceans’ in March, a stunning album that provided solace in the early months of lockdown – Four Tet treated us to two Christmas gifts: ‘Parallel’ and ‘871’. The fourth track on the former boasts a delicious blend of liquid textures, springy percussion and wordless yet thoroughly emotive vocal samples – a gorgeous tune that was a must-add to this week’s NME Radio playlist.
The new Mogwai single is inspired by Japanese music icon Ryuichi Sakamoto – well, kind of. Named after a friend’s mispronunciation of the acclaimed composer’s name, the track is a poignant yet anthemic tribute to all the musician friends the Glaswegian band have lost over the years. The second verse is a bittersweet one: “My oldest friend that I barely knew / So much fun hanging around in the dark / You stop time, managed to somehow find a way /Out of here, dagger in everyone’s heart.”
FRITZ – the project of Tilly Murphy from Newcastle, Australia – turns the volume and the reverb up for ‘Die Happily’, her dreamy new single about the power of platonic relationships. It’s the first taste of her sophomore album ‘Pastel’, out next month, which fans of Beach House and Soccer Mommy should look out for.
On the C List
Black Country, New Road
Black Country, New Road’s new single is a romantic one. “I told you I loved you in front of Black Midi,” frontman Isaac Woods sings on ‘Track X’, nodding to the fellow sonic mavericks with whom they performed a recent livestream to fundraise for The Windmill venue in Brixton. Filled with strings and sweet backing vocals, it’s a mellow preview of their new album ‘For The First Time’, out next month on Ninja Tune.
‘Reason to Believe’ feat. Courtney Barnett
Inspired by Karen Dalton’s rendition of Tim Hardin’s ‘Reason to Believe’, Vagabon enlisted the help of Aussie star Courtney Barnett to put their own spin on the 1965 song. The results are nothing short of stunning, with the singers’ gorgeous vocals melting into one another over a delicate country folk melody.
‘What Would Your Mother Say’
Set to appear on Hastings post-punks Kid Kapichi’s forthcoming debut album, gnarly belter ‘What Would Your Mother Say’ is a “tale about the bad decisions made by a small town trouble maker,” co-vocalist and guitarist Ben Beetham says. “You’re invincible until you’re not.”
‘Waiting In Line’
After making their debut last year with ‘Football Money’, Canadian indie-rockers Kiwi Jr. are swiftly returning with their second album, ‘Cooler Returns’, later this week. It’s jangly guitars abound on the final preview, ‘Waiting In Line’, another hands-in-air-and-clap track that deserves to be played loud on a festival stage rather than behind bedroom doors.
‘Waiting On A War’
Off the Foos’ upcoming ‘Medicine At Midnight’ album, ‘Waiting On A War’ is an emotional plea for a better world. It was penned by Dave Grohl for his daughter Harper, who “deserves a future, just as every child does”. The track starts out mellow before it intensifies and rumbles with urgency as the singer wonders out loud: “Just waiting on a war for this and that / There’s got to be more to this than that.”