Last week, NME had Rex Orange County on the cover. Alex O’Connor discussed all things related to his stellar new album ‘Who Cares?’ – from his newfound independence in life, to emotional songwriting, to his creative relationship with Tyler, The Creator.
‘Open A Window’, a charming collaboration between Rex Orange County and Tyler from the former’s new record, was a must-add to this week’s NME Radio playlist; and it’s joined by Florence + The Machine’s commanding new single ‘Heaven Is Here’, Sigrid’s fresh pop banger ‘It Gets Dark’ and the solo debut by Oliver Sim of The xx. Dive in.
Here’s what we’ve added to NME 1 and 2 this week.
On the A List:
Florence + the Machine
‘Heaven Is Here’
Florence + the Machine’s resonant single ‘Heaven Is Here’, which will appear on her new album ‘Dance Fever’, evokes Fiona Apple’s freewheeling modern classic ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’ in its emphasis on percussion and unfettered vocal expression. After trilling and hollering, Florence Welch ends the song on a spine-tingling lyrical note: “And every song I wrote became an escape rope / Tied around my neck to pull me up to heaven.” – Karen Gwee
Sad Night Dynamite
‘Black & White’
Sad Night Dynamite’s thrumming new single ‘Black & White’ is “a tale of despair and rebirth”, that was inspired by member Archie Blagden’s visit to Glastonbury when he was 20 years old. Between its snappy beats and otherworldly vocal production, this new track by the Somerset duo makes them a strong candidate for a return to Worthy Farm – but as performers. Watch out for their second mixtape. – KG
On the B List:
‘Teenager’ feat. CHAI & Pi Ja Ma
“Teenager, teenager / I’m gonna grow up to be a teenager.” So goes Superorganism’s new single, a collaboration with former tourmates CHAI and Pi Ja Ma and the first single from their second album ‘World Wide Pop’. True to that title, ‘Teenager’ has a fizzing, whimsical appeal, and is an exciting glimpse of the group’s upcoming record. – KG
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul
‘It Hit Me’
Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul combine avant-pop sensibilities, a love of the club and sharply satirical lyrics on their collaborative album ‘Topical Dancer’. Its fifth track is Soulwax co-write and co-production, ‘It Hit Me’. Over chrome-polished production and in clipped tones, the Belgian duo answer the question: when did it ‘hit you’ that you were an object of sexual attraction? – KG
Released on International Women’s Day, Confidence Man’s latest begins with a spoken-word declaration by Janet Planet. “Don’t call me the spark,” she declares. “I’m the fire and the flame. OK?” The song then explodes into a full-on dance party. This floor-filling single should be all you need to look out for the Aussie duo’s second album ‘TILT’ next month. – KG
‘Hurricane’ begins with a luminous opening verse from The Weeknd and moves into a slithering sequence by Lil Baby before Kanye West even makes his entrance. Throughout, Ye and his cohort of producers keep the sounds tantalisingly skeletal, on this triumph from West’s 2021 album ‘Donda’. – KG
On the C List:
‘Starlight’ is Dave’s first song of 2022 and his first release since 2021 sophomore album ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’. Over stripped-down production that interpolates the melody of Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, the rapper reflects on the world he inhabits now – from the trappings of fame to romantic woes – and the life he left behind. – KG
‘It Gets Dark’
Fresh from winning Best Collaboration with Griff for joint single ‘Head On Fire’ at the BandLab NME Awards 2022, Sigrid has unveiled ‘It Gets Dark’, a towering pop anthem from her new album ‘How To Let Go’. “I believe you need to feel the lows in life to feel the highs, and you have to know what sucks to then properly appreciate the good stuff. ‘It Gets Dark’ is an ode to that,” said the Norwegian singer of her latest release. – KG
Rex Orange County
‘Open A Window’ featuring Tyler, The Creator
NME cover star Rex Orange County teams up with Tyler, The Creator again on ‘Open A Window’. This song, from his brand-new album ‘Who Cares?’, comes five years after Tyler invited the singer-songwriter born Alex O’Connor to guest on his ‘Flower Boy’ album.
“I had 500 followers on SoundCloud at the time when I headed out to LA and nobody really knew who I was,” O’Connor told NME of the impact Tyler’s co-sign had on him. “It made me realise that if I have to believe in myself, then someone like Tyler will believe in me too.” – KG
‘The Mainline Song’
As the sampled sounds of a steam train at its start make clear, ‘The Mainline Song’ is a hell of a ride. The latest preview of Spiritualized’s new album ‘Everything Was Beautiful’ is anthemic, meditative and a little melancholic all at once. – KG
BENEE’s new project ‘Lychee’ features the track ‘Never Ending’, on which the New Zealand pop artist sings about heartbreak over lonely guitars. Just when you brace yourself for a blast of distortion, the 808s kick in, and it’s brilliant. – KG
Rising rockers Horsegirl have announced their debut album ‘Versions of Modern Performance’ with ‘Anti-Glory’, a hypnotic post-punk anthem that came together by accident as the band messed around with an old song while rehearsing. “The song fell into place immediately, and looking back, we have no idea how we wrote it,” the Chicago trio explain. “As always, this song and album are for Chicago, our friends, our friend’s bands, everyone who can play the guitar, and everyone who can’t play the guitar.” – KG
‘Romance With A Memory’
Oliver Sim, the last member of The xx to go solo, has stepped out with debut single ‘Romance With A Memory’. Produced by bandmate Jamie xx, it’s a slinky tune with a chiming piano line and a trancelike hook from a confident Sim. Between this song and Romy’s 2020 solo single ‘Lifetime’, it’s a joy to see all members of The xx come into their own individual musical selves. – KG