NME Radio Roundup 20 December 2021: Sam Fender & Holly Humberstone, Beach House and more

And just like that, we’ve come to the very last NME Radio update of 2021. It’s been a wild, unpredictable year filled with brilliant songs and life-changing albums – which we’ve hopefully captured in our playlists this year.

We’ll be back in January, but before then, here are a few new additions to savour: a spine-tingling duet from Sam Fender and Holly Humberstone, imaginative remixes of St. Vincent and Confidence Man songs, and dream pop reverie from Beach House. Happy holidays!

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

On the A List

Sam Fender & Holly Humberstone

‘Seventeen Going Under’ (Acoustic)

Sam Fender has invited Holly Humberstone to sing with him on a stripped-down rendition of ‘Seventeen Going Under’, the title track of NME’s album of 2021. The duo sing powerfully of the thoughtlessness of youth, masks of masculinity, and an “embryonic love”. It’s an uplifting, chills-inducing duet. – Karen Gwee

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Beach House

‘New Romance’

Give yourself over to Beach House’s ‘New Romance’, a wonder of fine-grained production and transportive songwriting. It appears on the second chapter of the dream pop duo’s 18-song album ‘Once Twice Melody’ (which will be released in full in February) and is an undisputed standout of the project so far. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the B List

St. Vincent

‘Pay Your Way In Pain’ (IDLES Remix)

Now here’s a crossover we didn’t know we needed: IDLES have given St. Vincent’s louche ‘Daddy’s Home’ single ‘Pay Your Way In Pain’ a rework. But it’s not the roaring remix you’d expect from the rowdy Bristolians – they’ve dismantled the melodies, cleaned out the grit and set Annie Clark’s gasps and yelps to a drum machine and synths. A menacing, martial makeover. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

The Cribs

‘Things Could Be Better’

‘Things Could Be Better’ is one of the two final songs from The Cribs’ Sonic Blew Singles Club, which saw the band drop fresh tracks monthly. The latest instalment to the club is a bittersweet listen, spiking down-and-out dejection with small sparks of hope that there’s something to look forward to on the horizon. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Kojey Radical

‘Gangsta’

‘Gangsta’ is a fitting track to close out an album called ‘Reasons To Smile’. The sunny single from East London native Kojey Radical is a celebration of the women in his life and the myriad experiences they’ve been through. “Any time I come to a sense of reasoning or a sense of self, it’s normally because of the advice or presence of women around me, whether that’s my mum, my sisters or the mother to my son,” he said in a statement. “For me, their ability to persevere through everything is the definition of what a gangster actually is.” – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

ABRA & Boys Noize

‘Unlock It’ feat. Playboi Carti

One of two collaborations with producer Boys Noize ABRA released this year, ‘Unlock It’ is a gratifying return to form for the R&B artist after a few quiet years. ABRA sings about new doors and opportunities over a bouncy beat, while Playboi Carti slides through with a classically Carti verse. Here’s to more such triumphs from ABRA in 2022. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

FKA twigs

‘Tears In the Club’ ft. The Weeknd

FKA twigs has teamed up with The Weeknd for the stunning ‘Tears In the Club’, a scintillating slice of electronic R&B. The duo’s ethereal vocals float over earworm hooks and slick production, and the stellar results are an exciting glimpse of FKA twigs’ next musical era – her upcoming “deep, emotional and honest” mixtape. – HM

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

On the C List

Bon Iver

‘Second Nature’

Most of the music-related press around Netflix film Don’t Look Up has been about Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi’s duet ‘Just Look Up’, but what shouldn’t be overlooked is Bon Iver’s contribution to the soundtrack. A buoyant collaboration with the film’s composer Nicholas Britell (also of Moonlight and Succession fame), ‘Second Nature’ also features contributions from members of Wye Oak and yMusic. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Haiku Hands

‘Conclusions’ (feat. Suburban Dark)

Worry only about what you think you can control. That’s the takeaway from Australian dance trio Haiku Hands’ new single ‘Conclusions’, a hypnotic, bassy banger featuring Suburban Dark, which is about how everyone else’s thoughts and opinions fade away once you’re in “the zone”. Pick a good pair of speakers and crank this one loud. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Cloakroom

‘Lost Meaning’

A post-apocalyptic space western about an asteroid miner by day, songwriter by night? Sign us up. That’s the concept of Cloakroom’s next album, ‘Dissolution Wave’, which was informed by heavy, real-life circumstances the Indiana band experienced, including the deaths of multiple friends. Its opening track ‘Lost Meaning’ pulls off a tricky balance of intense distortion and ambient beauty. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Twen

‘HaHaHome’

If you’re back home for the holidays and not having a good time, maybe you’ll enjoy Twen’s new single ‘HaHaHome’. “Home makes me feel so lonely / The sight of something dead,” Jane Fitzsimmons sings on the laconic chorus, wreathed with acoustic guitar jangle, luminous, squiggling leads and bandmate Ian Jones’ vocal harmonies. – KG

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Confidence Man

‘Holiday’ (Erol Alkan rework)

‘Holiday’ was already a certified heater when Confidence Man dropped it in November; but as if to hit the point home, the Aussie dance duo have commissioned two remixes, both by UK acts: Erol Alkan and Bruise. The former’s take on ‘Holiday’ came together in a day, and has been in his sets for a month now. “I knew exactly what I wanted to create within moments of exploring the multi-tracks,” Alkan said in a statement. “Those mixes which come fast are usually my favourites, and this one is definitely one of them.” – KG

Listen: Apple Music

Want to listen to NME Radio? Here’s how you can.