NME Radio Roundup 5 September 2022: Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz and KhakiKid

All the new bangers added to the NME Radio playlist this week

Last week the indomitable Arctic Monkeys released ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’, their first single since 2018 full-length ‘Tranquility Hotel Base & Casino’. The release – given the five-star treatment here at NME – arrives hot on the heels of their momentous third headlining performance at Reading & Leeds, following a string of shows around Europe.

The elegant slow-burner is also our first preview of the group’s seventh studio album, ‘The Car’. Alongside the yet-unreleased ‘I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am’ (which they’ve been road testing in recent shows), ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’ gives us an intriguing look into the next era of the band’s sonic explorations.

‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’ is our latest addition to the NME Radio A List, alongside other new tracks including Gorillaz’ collaboration with Tame Impala and Bootie Brown, a standout track from KhakiKid’s new EP, and the latest jams from I.JORDAN, Crawlers, Special Interest, and more.

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

On the A List:

Arctic Monkeys

‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’

Arctic Monkeys make their grand return to the spotlight with ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’. Following the experimentation of their last studio album, the newly released track finds them not only choosing to double down on their inclination towards slower tempos and lusher instrumentation, but also further refining the sonic formula of ‘Tranquility Base’.

Against jazzy drums, Alex Turner croons about the demise of an intimate connection (“So if you wanna walk me to the car / You oughta know I’ll have a heavy heart”). This romantic mood is elevated to cinematic heights by sweeping strings which take over the final quarter of the song. In NME’s five-star review, we hailed the track “the sound of a band with the headlights on full beam, following their muse to a destination only they can know”.  – Eli Ordonez

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Gorillaz

‘New Gold ft. Tame Impala and Bootie Brown’

Gorillaz singles can themselves serve as blockbuster events considering their knack for assembling unlikely collaborations with some of music’s biggest names. ‘New Gold’, the latest preview of their upcoming full-length album ‘Cracker Island’, certainly delivers on that front, bringing Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and Bootie Brown along for the ride.

The funky disco track turns up the bass with a punchy rhythm section, holding it down for its esteemed guests, as Parker’s vocals float along its hypnotic refrain, and Brown delivers some of the quirkiest rhymes you’ll hear in a while (“Liposuction’s scheduled for granny / She want to save some, add to her nanny girls’ trip”). – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

KhakiKid

‘Babybrown’

Dublin hip-hop newcomer KhakiKid has released groovy new track ‘Babybrown’, off his latest EP ‘Elevator Music’. The bouncy number features the rapper spitting witty lines with a buttery flow and effortless finesse (“Don’t call my phone man I literally don’t pick it up / Get off that shit bro, you really do not live enough”) over a slick, jazzy instrumental. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List:

I. JORDAN

‘Hey Baby’

English house producer I. JORDAN has returned with hard-hitting new track ‘Hey Baby’, one half of a new double A-side they released with ‘I Had The Best of Times’. Swapping out their usual euphoric house formula for a lean techno palette, ‘Hey Baby’ has the producer stripping dance music to its bare essentials: a propulsive kick drum, rigid hi-hats, and an acidic bassline sure to bring any raver to euphoric heights. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Crawlers

‘I Don’t Want It’

Merseyside alt-rockers Crawlers have released their ferocious new single ‘I Don’t Want It’, off their upcoming debut mixtape ‘Loud Without Noise’. Serrated guitars bash away as Holly Minto delivers searing lines that “encompass what it is like to be growing up in the current state of society”, honestly tackling body image (“Would you start to love me if I tried to lose a little weight? / I just want your attention ’til the very next day”) and the crippling humdrum of adulthood (“Cry when we turn twenty-one / ‘Cause life is over, not begun”). – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Special Interest

‘Midnight Legend’

New Orleans dance-punks Special Interest have released ‘Midnight Legend’, the second preview of their upcoming full-length debut ‘Endure’. The track showcases the band’s skill for fusing dance sounds with punk grit. Guitar feedback wails in the background while a post-punk bassline bludgeons away over a chilled-out house beat. Vocalist Ali Logout’s soulful-yet-commanding vocal delivery serves as the cherry on top of their unique sonic mix, imbuing the track with irresistible charisma. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

KYE

‘Bossin’’

Melbourne-based R&B newcomer KYE represents her background at the club with her new single, ‘Bossin’’. Singing in both English and Shona (from her native Zimbabwe), she unabashedly declares herself the life of the party: “I be spendin’ it often / Don’t care what it’s costin’ / Anywhere that I walk in, there’s space for me, no problem”. The delightfully nostalgic garage beat is also guaranteed to take any partygoer back to the glorious ‘90s. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List:

Rina Sawayama

‘Phantom’

Rina Sawayama returns with ‘Phantom’, the latest preview of her upcoming album ‘Hold The Girl’. The cut – with its swinging time signature, acoustic guitars and soaring melodies – is reminiscent of the best 2000s pop balladry, complete with a blazing guitar solo. As per prior singles, the track finds Sawayama demonstrating disarming vulnerability as she confronts the inner child she’s lost trying to please a big and insatiable world: “I don’t want to do this without you / I don’t want to do this if you’re just a ghost in the night / I tried everything to fill up the void that you left me with”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

TSHA

‘Dancing In The Shadows ft. Clementine Douglas’

TSHA brings us another dance banger with her latest single, ‘Dancing In The Shadows’, the third preview of her upcoming Ninja Tune release ‘Capricorn Sun’. The effervescent track sees the London producer running the gamut of UK dance, incorporating elements of garage to acid house, all the while imbuing the mixture with an uplifting energy by way of sweeping strings and anthemic chords. Clementine Douglas’ dreamy vocals grace the track with lyrics about euphoric surrender to the dancefloor: “I’m moving in the dark again / For your love I will endeavour”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Headie One

‘Illegal’

Tottenham rapper Headie One returns with stellar new tune ‘Illegal’. On the track, the drill star continues his streak of hard-hitters, delivering relentless rhymes that recount his past days of hard living before bragging about present successes (“Me, I’m just lookin’ at this top floor penthouse / Wrist so wet, it’s lookin’ like a sea view”). The M1OnTheBeat-headed production ensures Headie’s bars hit with maximum impact, underpinning his delivery with heavy bass and slick hi-hats. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Alaskalaska

‘TV Dinners’

English art-pop collective Alaskalaska take us on an aural voyage on ‘TV Dinners’, the third preview of their upcoming second album, ‘Still Life’. The track builds upon a minimal foundation of a motorik beat and a synth bassline, before slowly introducing more elements which lighten the mood, including glistening synthesisers and delicate acoustic guitars. The track’s refrain finds Lucinda Duarte-Holman hypnotically repeating the lyrics, “Another TV Dinner is nothing new”, reflecting the monotony of a quiet, simple life. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Chet Faker

‘It Could Be Nice’

Australian singer-songwriter Chet Faker has released ‘It Could Be Nice’ – a track originally released as an Amazon Music exclusive – on all platforms. The seductive tune delivers much of what we’ve come to love of the downtempo veteran’s music: moody chords, brooding bass, and Nick Murphy’s fragile vocal delivery wafting through the mix. The song’s refrain finds the singer showcasing his soaring falsetto as he sings, “It could be nice / Wouldn’t you say?” – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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