NME Radio Roundup 9 August 2021: Billie Eilish, Bleachers, Jungle, Holly Humberstone and more

Last month Billie Eilish dropped her excellent second album ‘Happier Than Ever’ and here at NME we gave it the full five-star treatment. The record establishes the contemporary pop powerhouse as “one of her generation’s most significant pop artists”, and though stacked with killer tunes it’s the sultry ‘Oxytocin’ we’ve selected for this week’s NME Radio A List.

Also new on the NME Radio playlist is an intimate cut from Bleachers, and a charming tune from Jungle, alongside additions from Fred Again.. and Baxter Dury, Holly Humberstone’s soul-baring Matty Healy-produced number, and Ayra Star’s Afropop bounce.

Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:

On the A List

Billie Eilish


The fifth track from Billie Eilish’s excellent sophomore LP ‘Happier Than Ever’, ‘Oxytocin’ channels the pop star’s dark, sensual desires through industrial yet infectious beatscapes. Eilish employs her signature whisper over gloomy grooves, eventually building up into an impassioned performance. “I wanna do bad things to you / I wanna make you yell / I wanna do bad things to you / Don’t wanna treat you well,” she belts over abrasive synths and dissonant guitars. – Isaac Chiew

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List


‘Don’t Go Dark’

“‘Cause you run, run, run / Run with the wild / Then you cry on my shoulder like a little child / Do what you want, just don’t go dark on me,” Jack Antonoff belts on the powerful refrain of this cut from the latest Bleachers album ‘Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night’. ‘Don’t Go Dark’ recounts a tragic end to a relationship with a soaring chorus that’s equal parts melancholic and hopeful, and it’s excellent. – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music



British duo Jungle embrace lo-fi, indie-rock sounds on their latest tune, ‘Truth’. Steady, driving bass anchors the track as lush guitars and warm synths wash over upbeat vocal melodies, and the results are totally charming. – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Fred Again.., Baxter Dury

‘Baxter (These Are My Friends)’

On ‘Baxter (These Are My Friends)’, Baxter Dury’s hypnotic spoken word performance is paired with Fred Again..’s infectious house grooves and impeccable four-on-the-floor beats. Searing strings and funky guitars enter the fray as the track reaches its final quarter as Dury confesses, “I fuckin’ hate ya / Fuck, I don’t mean that actually / I actually really like ya, I got no fuckin’ choice / Now shut up / Sorry.” – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Hayden Thorpe

‘Parallel Kingdom’

Crafting spellbinding soundscapes with buzzing synths, introspective keys and mesmerising falsettos, ex-Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe wrestles with existentialism and his own mortality on ‘Parallel Kingdom’. – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List

Holly Humberstone

‘Please Don’t Leave Just Yet’

Co-written with The 1975’s Matty Healy, Holly Humberstone’s ‘Please Don’t Leave Just Yet’ paints a heartbreaking picture of isolation with its understated synths and confessional lyricism. ”I don’t wanna need your love, your love, anymore / But, I just do, I just do,” the singer-songwriter reveals honestly. – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Ayra Starr 19 & dangerous

Ayra Starr

‘Bloody Samaritan’

A standout track on Ayra Starr’s stunning debut album ‘19 & Dangerous’, ‘Bloody Samaritan’ quickly locks into a satisfying Afropop vibe – perfectly adorned by the rapper’s buttery verses. “’Cause you can never kill my vibe / Got here with no sacrifices / Everything once takеn, still had to make it / Vibe killer, mе I no go take shit,” she asserts with absolute conviction. – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Park Hye Jin

‘Whatchu Doin Later’

“Whatchu doin later?” Park Hye Jin nonchalantly repeats on this new cut. Juxtaposing the track’s bumping trap beat with her idiosyncratic, deadpan delivery and surreal lyricism, the South Korean multihyphenate’s latest is a trance-inducing vibe. – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music


‘Damned and Doomed’

On ‘Damned and Doomed’ bright acoustic guitars, contemplative keys and poignant strings serve as the backdrop to Creeper keyboardist-vocalist Hannah Greenwood’s haunting vocals in a seemingly apocalyptic world. “Let me hold your hand as the world burns / Kiss your lips as it ends / Fumble with your belt as the ice caps melt / All the prettiest boys and girls flirt with death,” she croons on its opening. – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Leek Mali

‘Summer Forever’

A celebration of odds beaten and an ode to the future, Leek Mali’s ‘Summer Forever’ features tight, conscious lyricism over soul-infused beats. The 22-year-old rapper’s delicate flow presents a compelling narrative that’s infused with authenticity. – IC

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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