At the end of last month, Wolf Alice broke their years-long hiatus to announce their official return. ‘Blue Weekend’, the follow-up to their 2017 album ‘Visions Of A Life’, is finally on the way, and NME has hailed the first track off the upcoming record ‘The Last Man On Earth’ as a “majestic change of pace”. The spellbinding ballad was a must-add to this week’s NME Radio playlist, alongside songs from Fred again.. & The Blessed Madonna, and Still Woozy.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
‘The Last Man On Earth’
After nearly four years away, the Mercury Prize winners have returned with a fresh single and news of their new album. ‘The Last Man On Earth’ is the first track on their third effort, ‘Blue Weekend’, and it’s gorgeous. The track is a surprising sonic direction for the band, who are known for their grunge-meets-folk material, as they dip their toes into something more atmospheric and dreamy.
On the B List
‘Gasoline’ (feat. Taylor Swift)’
Following the success of Taylor Swift’s Haim-assisted ‘No Body, No Crime’ from her latest album ‘Evermore’, the sister trio have returned the favour with a remix of ‘Gasoline’ featuring the pop star. Adding Swift’s distinctive vocals and building up gorgeous layers of production, it’s joy-filled reworking of the ‘Women In Music Pt. III’ cut’s sultry, slow-rock growl.
‘Jealous’ (feat. Rico Nasty)
Mahalia has made her 2021 return with the throwback single ‘Jealous’, featuring Rico Nasty. On the ‘90s-influenced R&B track the duo swap fierce lines about how jealousy can get the way of friendships, fusing their slick wordplay with icy production and crystalline beats.
Fred again.. & The Blessed Madonna
‘Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)’
Headie One and FKA twigs collaborator Fred again.. has teamed up with The Blessed Madonna (real name Marea Stamper) for a floor-filling new song that mourns the pandemic’s devastating effects on nightlife and club music. The straightforwardly titled ‘Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)’ samples snippets from a conversation between the two DJ-producers, marking the first time The Blessed Madonna has ever lent her vocals to a track.
On the C List
Lava La Rue
‘Lift You Up’ (feat. Karma Kid)
Lava La Rue ends their debut EP ‘Butter-Fly’ with poignant nighttime cut ‘Lift You Up’. Over soft keys, trilling effects and trip-hop percussion, the West Londoner reflects on their journey so far: “I jump from class A flights to packet ramen / Scrumpy nights back to open bars / I said, ‘Shit, man, it’s deffo been a laugh / I guess my first pub deal would be my student grant’.” But it ends on an ambitious statement of intent that hints at greater things to come from Lava La Rue: “This world is for me, it’s my Lavatown.”
Paris Texas don’t pull any punches on their debut single, ‘Heavy Metal’. Over a jarring, overdriven guitar riff, Los Angeles duo Louie Pastel and Felix deliver a mix of unnerving honesty and tongue-in-cheek braggadocio, and it’s pure brilliance.
Wolf Alice image credit: Jordan Hemingway