NME Radio Roundup 7 November 2022: SZA, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Holly Humberstone and more

Last month, R&B sonic shapeshifter SZA returned with the stellar ‘Shirt’. Initially teased on the singer’s Instagram stories in 2020 and again in a livestream performance the following year, the track has finally received an official release, alongside a Tarantino-esque music video featuring actor LaKeith Stanfield.

The singer-songwriter claims to have prepared 100 songs in the five years since her 2017 debut ‘Ctrl’ dropped, and assures that her upcoming second album could drop “any day”. And although we’ll have to remain in the dark about its details for now, her latest track gives us a taste of what we can expect. ‘Shirt’ leads this week’s additions to NME Radio, alongside other new cuts including the first preview of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ upcoming fourth record, the opening song from Holly Humberstone’s recent project ‘Can You Afford To Lose Me?’, and more.

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

On the A List:

SZA

‘Shirt’

SZA is at her wits’ end on ‘Shirt’. Against a backdrop of powerful drums and deep bass, the she dissects the mechanics of a toxic relationship: “Still don’t know my worth, still stressing perfection / Let you all in my mental, got me looking too desperate / Damn.” It’s another stellar offering from the talent, and an exciting glimpse of the artist’s anticipated second album. – Eli Ordonez

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

‘Pretty Boy’

Noel Gallagher returns with the High Flying Birds on ‘Pretty Boy’, the first teaser of the group’s upcoming fourth album. With Johnny Marr in tow, the Mancunian icons jangle away on acoustic guitars over a driving bassline and metronomic drums. Channelling his inner Bowie, Gallagher brings urgent intensity to the track, with the chorus’ shout-along of: “Tell me that you want it, yeah-yeah / Tell me that you need it, yeah-yeah”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List:

Holly Humberstone

‘Can You Afford To Lose Me?’

Holly Humberstone wants you to think twice on ‘Can You Afford To Lose Me?’, the opening cut off her new collection of songs of the same name. The emotive track kicks off modestly, with a wistful piano accompanying Humberstone’s delicate vocals, before retro synthesisers, wiry guitars and a rhythm reminiscent of ‘80s balladry join the fray. As the production slowly builds, it then reaches climax at the euphoric final bridge where Humberstones delivers the gut-punch lyrics: “Can you sleep without me? / Can you breathe without me?”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Rachel Chinouriri

‘I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Trying)’

Indie singer-songwriter Rachel Chinouriri is on a quest for self-acceptance on her latest single,  ‘I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Trying)’. The propulsive track finds juxtaposition between dreamy soundscapes and rollicking drums, with Chinouriri’s delicate voice caught in the middle, floating above the mix as she navigates the tension between her ideals and imperfections: “I’m not perfect, but I’m trying / Pick my moment then I’ll dive in”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Indy

‘Killer’

Incorporating buoyant ‘60s guitars and organs with psychedelic results, the breezy ‘Killer’ has New Zealand artist Indy exorcising her inner demons and coming to grips with her inadequacies: “You want me to be Alexander The Great / The pressure’s on me and I don’t wanna break”. With effortless charisma and a tongue in cheek attitude, it’s an compelling look of what’s to come from the rising talent. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Flaurese

‘Loath To Love ft. Alexandria’

West London producer Flaurese returns with ‘Loath To Love’, off his latest EP ‘Over My Shoulder’. This time, the shape-shifting DJ teams up with fellow beatmaker Alexandria to flirt with deep house textures, mixing a boomy bassline with seductive vocal samples and understated, shuffling drums, and the results are brilliant. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List:

BERWYN

‘Path To Satisfaction’

Rising rapper and Best New UK Act at this year’s BandLab NME Awards BERWYN has returned with his first new single this year, ‘Path To Satisfaction’. Recognising “the change that comes with growth”, the rapper sees himself wrestling with newfound fame and influence, acknowledging its arduous course over a dusty, soulful drum break: “But if I should die on my path to satisfaction / Just say a little prayer for me”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

UPSAHL

‘Into My Body’

UPSAHL wants out of her own head on new earworm ‘Into My Body’. Portraying her own paranoia, she reveals the thoughts of self-doubt which regularly affront her psyche (“What if I can’t be loved? / What if I’m not enough?”), before bursting into the track’s dancefloor-ready hook, replete with an acidic bassline and heavy drums, as she sings: “I wanna get into my body / And let my skin do the talking / I wanna feel like I’m myself again”. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Wizkid

‘Money & Love’

Afrobeat icon Wizkid returns with ‘Money & Love’, the first preview of new album ‘More Love Less Ego’. The sensual number sees the singer-songwriter offer smooth bars to a potential fling over a shuffling beat and fluid keys; in an stellar preview of his upcoming fifth album – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Softcult

‘Drain’

Canadian grunge-pop duo Softcult are back with their latest single, ‘Drain’. Straddling grungy angst and dreamy textures, the track confronts the current state of the world with crushing honesty: “Why should we dare to live forever / If nobody cares to change for the better?” Expressing disdain for the “shameless greed of corporations” in a statement posted to Instagram, the duo offer listeners with a cathartic anthem for the present age. – EO

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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