NME Radio Roundup 13 December 2021: Grimes, SZA, Phoebe Bridgers and more

Earlier this month we were introduced to Grimes‘Book 1 era’ through new single ‘Player Of Games’. Claire Boucher’s latest release is a brilliant and bold introduction to the musical world of ‘Book 1’, fusing club beats with delicate vocals and vibrant production – and it was a must add to this week’s NME Radio playlist.

Also new to NME Radio this week is an R&B classic in the making from SZA, a Christmas cover from Phoebe Bridgers, and the freshest singles from Blue Hawaii, Tierra Whack and Mitski.

Check out what’s new on NME 1 & 2 below.

On the A List


‘Player Of Games’

‘Player Of Games’ introduces us to the new era of Grimes. The first track of upcoming new project ‘Book 1’, the clubby tune was co-produced by Grimes alongside Canadian producer Illangelo. Layering Grimes’ distinctive vocals over ethereal synths and breakneck beats, it’s a killer introduction to Grimes’ newest musical world.

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List


‘I Hate U’

“And if you wonder if I hate you… I do!” If you’ve been on TikTok in recent months, there’s a high change you’ve heard a low-key demo SZA dropped on SoundCloud, titled ‘I Hate You’. Earlier this month the singer made the release official – with the slightly different title of ‘I Hate U’ – with the earworm tune becoming one of her biggest song debuts on streaming services ever. – Karen Gwee

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Phoebe Bridgers

‘Day After Tomorrow’

For her annual Christmas cover, Phoebe Bridgers has released a poignant rendition of Tom Waits’ 2004 song ‘Day After Tomorrow’. Waits wrote the song in protest of the Iraq War, while proceeds from Bridgers’ rendition will benefit International Institute of Los Angeles, an organisation that provides aid to immigrants, refugees, and survivors of human trafficking. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Tierra Whack

‘Stand Up’

Tierra Whack has yet to properly follow up her 2018 micro-masterpiece ‘Whack World’, but she’s given us not one, but two projects to tide us over: her sister EPs ‘Rap?’ and ‘Pop?’, released a week apart earlier this month. Opening the ‘Rap?’ EP, ‘Stand Up’ is a leisurely reminder from the Philadelphia rapper of her supremacy in the hip-hop game. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Tame Impala

‘No Choice’

Next year, Tame Impala will release a repackaging of 2020 album ‘The Slow Rush’, with new remixes and B-sides added. One of those new tracks is ‘No Choice’, which is filled with groovy, unconventional rhythms – but also lyrics that tell of ennui and existential despair. “Nice and short / There must be something more,” Kevin Parker croons on the chorus. “Life’s a chore / What are we living for?” – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Blue Hawaii


‘L.O.V.E.’, the latest single from Canadian duo Blue Hawaii, is an infectious slice of nu-disco. Raphaelle “Ra” Standell-Preston and Agor “DJ Kirby” Cowan introduce their February 2022 EP ‘My Bestfriend’s House’ with this dancefloor filler, which fans of Jessie Ware and Róisín Murphy’s recent output will enjoy. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Cooper T


Cooper T’s second single is a skeletal post-punk tune about distrust of authority. The duo of Kong and TMNMS, both producers from Manchester, combine a guitar riff Shame or Squid would be jealous of with atmospheric strings and a tripping drumbeat on, on a track that marks Cooper T as an artist on the rise. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List

Finn & India Jordan

‘All About Love’

Finn and India Jordan both dropped EPs earlier this year – ‘A Good Place’ and ‘Watch Out!’, respectively – and have now joined forces for the collaborative two-track release ‘All About Love/Big B’. They’re songs that Jordan has dropped in every set they’ve played since clubs reopened, and they’ve “always gotten a lovely response”. Perfect for reinvigorating your 3am holiday shindigs. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges


After gracing us with the warming rays of ‘Texas Sun’ in 2020, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges will welcome the night with 2022 EP ‘Texas Moon’. Its funky first single is ‘B-Side’ sees Bridges’ falsetto – singing of yearning and love – run over guitar, conga and bongos. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music


‘Heat Lightning’

Mitski continues to unspool her sixth studio album with latest single ‘Heat Lightning’. After the ecstasy of ‘The Only Heartbreaker’ and the malaise of ‘Working For The Knife’ comes an insomniac’s anthem about giving over to the inevitable. “There’s nothing I can do / Not much I can change / I give it up to you / I surrender,” Mitski declares.– KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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