Judging by its formidable first two singles, Fontaines D.C.’s forthcoming third LP ‘Skinty Fia’ already looks set to be a contender for the best album of the year. Last month’s ‘Jackie Down The Line’ was a brilliantly bruising offering from the ever-impressive Dublin band, while their latest single ‘I Love You’ – which lands straight on the NME Radio A List this week – is another powerful gut punch of a tune that belies its seemingly simplistic title.
Elsewhere on NME Radio this week we’ve added Mahalia’s courageous new track ‘Letter To Ur Ex’, NME 100 2022 alumnus Surya Sen’s stupendously catchy ‘Earn It’ and Future Islands’ groove-tinged ‘King Of Sweden’. Here’s what else we’ve added to NME 1 and 2 this week.
On the A List:
‘I Love You’
This passionate preview of Fontaines’ ‘Skinty Fia’ – set for release in April – has been described by frontman Grian Chatten as “the first overtly political song we’ve written”. The gravity of the track is laid bare by Chatten in his vocals, as he rails against the current political climate and decries historical atrocities in a performance that will stop you dead in your tracks. It’s sure to become a spine-tingling live favourite of the band’s, too.
‘Holiday From Reality’
South London’s Poppy Ajudha is gearing up to release her debut album ‘The Power In Us’ next month, but for now she’s offered us a ‘Holiday From Reality’ – sounds appealing, right? Ajudha’s breezy new single is sure to ease your mind from the woes of the world at least momentarily, which sounds like the perfect tonic for 2022.
On the B List:
‘Letter To Ur Ex’
Mahalia’s soulful ‘Letter To Ur Ex’ has a particularly personal origin story. “Last night, you sent a text to him / Made us have a fight, made a mess of it,” the Leicestershire singer begins on her latest single. “I know you’re his ex, but you can’t do that anymore / Close the door for me.” Mahalia added in a press release: “I think when everybody begins a new relationship, it’s vital that it feels like a fresh start. Like everything before doesn’t really matter and the next journey begins now with only the two of you. I realised through this experience that isn’t always the case.”
Domineering guitars and soaring vocals are the order of the day on the huge-sounding ‘Still’ by Dundalk five-piece Just Mustard. The track is the latest preview of their upcoming second album ‘Heart Under’, which is set to arrive in May, and it serves as a tantalising example of what the Irish band are capable of with their expansive sound.
The Winter Olympics may now be over, but Porij have been inspired enough by the Games to recruit Lynks to take to the ice in ‘Figuring Skating”s accompanying video. The band say that the liquid drum’n’bass and jungle-inspired track is “about intimacy and sensuality in moments that aren’t overtly sexual. It’s appreciating romance in the day to day, not the big dramas or passions but the kind of stuff that’s put in a montage in a film. It’s an insight into a secure relationship and explores the moments that are beautifully average but somehow turn out to be the best bits.”
LA four-piece Momma – led by songwriters Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten – are keeping the rock’n’roll dream alive in 2022. “Etta and I wanted to write a song about making it big, and becoming rockstars,” Weingarten said in a statement. “We didn’t want to take anything too seriously, lyrically or musically. We just wanted the song to sound big.” Judging by ‘Rockstar’: mission accomplished.
On the C List:
‘King Of Sweden’
“I was on the F-Train, thinkin’ bout a holiday / I was on the M-1 dreaming bout my getaway,” Samuel T. Herring yearns on Future Islands’ groovy, synth-led new single – you and us both, Sam. ‘King Of Sweden’ comes ahead of the Baltimore band’s return to these shores next month, and it’s sure to become a highlight of their impassioned live show.
‘Back To The Radio’
Porridge Radio are readying the follow-up to their 2020 breakthrough record ‘Every Bad’, though ‘Back To The Radio’ was actually first written in the lead-up to that album. “The song grew out of a feeling of intense loneliness and being unprepared for what everybody was promising me was about to happen – and a strong desire to escape without knowing what I wanted to escape to,” frontperson Dana Margolin explained recently. “To me, there’s a huge feeling of catharsis in this song, of letting go and letting it sweep you away.”
“Earn It’ is a big moment for me,” Surya Sen – AKA north London-born British/Bengali producer Rana Ali – has said of his peppy latest offering. “It sums up all of the blood, sweat and tears that defined 2021 and the mentality I felt I needed to survive it, over a big distorted bassline.” And what a bassline it is. Good luck getting this one out of your head (especially if your name is Bernard).