NME Radio Roundup 30 August 2022: Self Esteem, The National and Aitch

Last week, pop emancipator Self Esteem returned with the ‘Block Them Edit’ for the brilliant ‘F***ing Wizardry’ off her standout 2021 album, ‘Prioritise Pleasure’. The unapologetic confessional’s update is a welcome reminder of Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s effortless ability to pen modern-day anthems, which has ultimately made her a nominee for next month’s Mercury Prize awards.

In NME’s four-star review of ‘Prioritise Pleasure’, we were won over by Taylor’s ability to detail “the fear, uneasiness and anger of being a woman”, while “make us laugh at the sheer absurdity of being forced to navigate a world that has, quite unbelievably, normalised misogyny”.

The ‘Block Them Edit’ of ‘F***ing Wizardry’ is our latest addition to the NME Radio A List, in addition to other new tracks including The National’s comeback single with Bon Iver, a highlight off Aitch’s debut album, and new tunes from Låpsley, Willow Kayne, Chloe Moriondo and more.

Check out the newest additions to NME Radio 1 and 2 below:

On the A List:

Self Esteem

‘F***ing Wizardry – Block Them Edit’

The second track off Self Esteem’s 2021’s dazzling LP ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ is given a fresh update with the ‘Block Them Edit’. Taylor, being ever “captivated by the brilliant absurdity of pop music”, ensures the track receives the recognition it deserves by making the track even bigger than it already was with bigger vocals, deeper bass, punchier drums.

In true Self Esteem fashion, Taylor ensures that even the biggest party-starter doesn’t escape the reach of her own agenda. “It’s a song about trusting and believing in what you already know,” she said of the new edit. “If it feels like someone is taking the piss, they usually are.” – Eli Ordonez

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List:

The National

‘Weird Goodbyes (feat. Bon Iver)’

After three busy years of contributing to film soundtracks, featuring on pop megastars’ albums or providing Grammy-winning production work for them, indie rock luminaries The National have reunited for ‘Weird Goodbyes’, their first single since their 2019 full-length ‘I Am Easy To Find’, with one Justin Vernon in tow. It seems the band are ready to embrace a new sonic palette: anxious drumming has been switched out for calm electronic beats, and guitar riffage has been swapped for an elegant piano-and-strings arrangement. Nonetheless, Matt Berninger’s signature vocals remain as he ruminates with Vernon on the heartbreaking present: The grief it gets me, the weird goodbyes / My car is creepin’, I think it’s dyin’” – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Aitch

‘Bring It Back’

Manchester rap phenom Aitch hits hard on ‘Bring It Back’, off his major label debut LP ‘Close To Home’. Having come a long way from Stormzy co-signs and Ed Sheeran collaborations, the 22-year-old proves he can hold his own perfectly well, as the rapper plays with words like they were toys to jaw-dropping effect: “Big taps, big belly, flip back, I sip Henny / Aim straight, click-clack, kill Kenny”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Låpsley

‘Dial Two Seven’

York’s Låpsley has released ‘Dial Two Seven’, the second preview of her upcoming third full-length release ‘Cautionary Tales of Youth’. A reference to South Africa’s area code, the singer recounts her time locked down in the country at the height of the pandemic. Over refreshing afrobeat-inspired production, she conveys the excitement of relocating to a new city with understated confidence: “Dial two seven in the AM / It’s north to the Cape by the PM / Ride Uber to see him in the East End / It’s sex in the city for the weekend”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Willow Kayne

‘Rat Race’

Willow Kayne is caught in an “existential crisis” in ‘Rat Race’, her third single since releasing debut EP ‘Playground Antics’. The NME 100 alum ponders her place in society’s never-ending rat race, her first words confronting the issue head-on: “I don’t have a clue what is going on / Where I’m trying to go, if I need to run”. Meanwhile, the track toggles between sun-kissed guitars and a claustrophobic beat at breakneck pace, as if to mirror the frenetic pace of modern life. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List:

Chloe Moriondo

‘Fruity’

Chloe Moriondo has dropped her sugary new single, ‘Fruity’, the first preview of her upcoming third full-length album ‘Suckerpunch’. The track brims with delightful hyperpop-adjacent energy, employing saccharine 2010s pop while exaggerating key aspects of it, from glitchy auto-tune to cutesy lyrical declarations (“Super cutie, fresh and fruity!”). Ironic or not, ‘Fruity’ is out to get your heart racing. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Röyksopp

‘Oh, Lover (feat. Susanne Sundfør)’

Norwegian electronic veterans Röyksopp have returned with ‘Oh, Lover’, off the newly-released second instalment of their ‘Profound Mysteries’ series of albums. The six-minute slow-burn proves the effectiveness of simplicity; the song’s languid beat is only accompanied by an array of ‘80s-inspired instrumentation, from a fat arpeggiated bass, to breezy guitars and spare synth flourishes. Singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør also graces the track with haunting vocals to boot.

In NME’s four-star review, we called ‘Profound Mysteries II’ a “smooth and consistent journey through nostalgia”, declaring it and its first instalment “as latter-day career triumphs for Röyksopp”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Red Hot Chili Peppers

‘Tippa My Tongue’

After shocking the world with the announcement of a new album, ‘Return Of The Dream Canteen’, hot off the heels of April’s ‘Unlimited Love’, LA legends Red Hot Chili Peppers have returned with the album’s first preview, ‘Tippa My Tongue’. The track delivers on classic Chili Peppers terms; with Chad Smith’s bouncy yet propulsive beat, Flea’s indelibly funky basslines, Anthony Kiedis’ loose bars and intermittent riffage from prodigal son John Fruisciante, it is clear that ‘Unlimited Love’ was not enough to exhaust the reunited group’s momentum. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Julia Jacklin

‘Be Careful With Yourself’

Off her outstanding album ‘Pre Pleasure’, Julia Jacklin ponders a life of stability with a partner in ‘Be Careful With Yourself’. Against a simple backbeat and jangly guitars, she dispenses line after line of reminders for an unnamed lover, leaving no room for her genuine concern to be misunderstood: “When you go driving, would you stick to the limit? / I’m making plans for my future and I plan on you being in it”. The song reaches a crushing end as she taps into her existential dread, singing, “Oh, from now on, in you I put my trust / Now that I know there’s nobody coming to save us” – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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