20 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (19/3/2014)

20 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (19/3/2014)

20 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (19/3/2014)

Tune-Yards – Water Fountain

Merrill Garbus almost left ‘Water Fountain’ off ‘Nikki Nack’, Tune-Yards’ third album, for sounding “like a kids’ song”. Its jump-rope rhythm and physical chaos fit the bill – no bad thing – and like any good nursery rhyme, it puts a bright mask on dark themes: communities struggling to cohere around neglected neighbourhoods; ignoring societal injustice in the name of selfish survival; the conflicting pleasure and shame inherent in sex and food. It couldn’t be anyone else.


Laura Snapes, Features Editor

Brody Dalle – Don’t Mess With Me

Brody Dalle’s latest incarnation has proved to be nothing short of electric so far, merging the best bits of her previous work into one. The warped feline wails and quivering guitar bends of ‘Don’t Mess With Me’ recall Spinnerette’s ‘Ghetto Love’ and ‘Valium Knights’ (no doubt thanks in part to the continued aid of QOTSA collaborator Alain Johannes), while the irked drums zip all the way back to The Distillers. Punk’s hard-bitten majesty has well and truly returned.


James Balmont, writer

Superfood – (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)

Superfood tackled the ’90s on their Blur-influenced debut EP ‘MAM’ earlier this month. Now they’re showing the 1980s some love thanks to this Beastie Boys cover. Where Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA’s 1986 original leapt from the speakers, all bratty and boisterous, the Brummie four-piece’s version is much more mellow and melodic. Nevertheless, it takes a lot of moxie to attempt a cover like this, and even more skill to pull it off.

Andy Welch, writer

Friendly Fires & The Asphodells – Before Your Eyes

So this is what Friendly Fires have been up to. The London three-piece’s first new material since their second album, 2011’s ‘Pala’, is a collaboration with Andrew Weatherall’s band The Asphodells. Not for the first time, the Chairman (as Weatherall is affectionately known) sets the controls to krautrock while Friendly Fire’s frontman Ed McFarlane’s heavily treated vocals are propelled forward by a motorik beat, chugging guitar and pulsing synths. Superb.

Chris Cottingham, writer

Clipping – Work Work

Sub Pop’s trio of LA rappers say they enjoy making harsh productions that push the listener out of their comfort zone and show them how ugly shit can be – making them something of a rap version of Fat White Family, perhaps? That’s all well and good except for one thing: so far, ‘Work Work’ and previous single ‘Bout That’ are peppered with irresistible choruses and head-nodding verses. Think Death Grips’ nails-down-a-chalkboard atmosphere injected with some funky bass. A must-hear.


Eve Barlow, Deputy Editor

Jaws – Think Too Much, Feel Too Little

“We get it, we get it / It’s over”, sighs frontman Connor Schofield on the latest track from B-Town’s most laidback band, Jaws. Funky without committing itself to the dancefloor, maths-y without tackling any equations that might baffle the average Bombay Bicycle Club fan, ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’ nails their trademark insouciance while sounding like the perfect soundtrack to be pumped through the speakers of a homeopathic juice bar.

Track coming soon
Mark Beaumont, writer

Skrillex feat. Chance The Rapper – Coast Is Clear

If you ever meet Chance The Rapper in a bar, remember this: he doesn’t want to know your name, or what your interests are, he just wants to give you a good porking to some lively drum’n’bass. That, at least, is what he implies in this dream team-up for Skrillex’s debut album, which sees the EDM producer slip slivers of feelgood jazz in-between the trappy drum claps and thwacking breakbeat.


Kate Hutchinson, writer

Jacques Greene – No Excuse

Canadian producer Jacques Greene looks set to step things up a notch in 2014, with a new live show planned and a new EP about to drop. ‘No Excuse’ is our first taste from the ‘Phantom Vibrate’ EP, and sees Greene flipping what sounds like a Marques Houston sample over a mutant garage and house beat. Having worked with everyone from Azealia Banks to Radiohead in the past, surely now is Greene’s time to shine.

David Renshaw, News Reporter

Only Real – Cadillac Girl

West Londoner Niall Galvin’s been out in America lately, recording tracks for his debut album. ‘Cadillac Girl’, a re-recorded version of an early demo, is Galvin at his best, worming rubbery guitar around a soft surf melody and murmuring beat poetry about a “lonely teaser” of a girl who’s “so over” him. He doesn’t seem all that bothered, to be honest, happy just to “drive by stars and high-five Martians” – which sounds like a decent day out at least.

Matthew Horton, writer

Frank Ocean, Diplo, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon – Hero

Shoe people Converse continue their Three Artists, One Song series with a track that actually, weirdly, features four artists. Frank Ocean’s vocal and the softened dub sounds usually heard on Diplo’s Major Lazer project dominate, with The Clash’s Mick Jones and Paul Simonon limited to a couple of short, sharp guitar-’n’-bass tear-ups. It’s pretty disjointed, especially when the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir kick in at the two-minute mark, but it’s an intriguing oddity. .

Tom Howard, Reviews Editor

Daft Punk feat. Jay Z – Computerized

While the internet was trying to work out whether this collaboration, which was initially thought to have also included production work by Kanye, was fake or not, you too might have sat back and thought: a fucking aeroplane is missing, who cares? It’s not fake; it’s an old track convincingly dated to ‘Tron’-era Daft Punk (2010) on which Jay gets deep about his technology: “I can’t even tell y’all what’s real, I got an iTouch, but I can’t feel”.

Phil Hebblethwaite, writer

Fucked Up – Paper The House

In 2011, Toronto hardcore punks Fucked Up went on hiatus, with frontman Damien ‘Pink Eyes’ Abraham citing not being able to tour and raise a family at the same time as the motivation for the break. The first track from the group’s ‘Glass Boys’ album, due this summer, seems to tackle those feelings, with Abraham growling, “The way I make a living…” before rattling into a chorus that laments, “Please go, please stay/Just a kid wondering where his dad went”.


Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor

The Horrors – So Now You Know

The latest track from The Horrors’ forthcoming new album ‘Luminous’ has all the cosmic charm of ‘Skying’, but also includes a slicker disco bounce that nods more towards Giorgio Moroder’s ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ than the band’s traditional hazy, psych symphonies. As the album title would suggest, it’s dazzlingly euphoric, marking out the next stage in the band’s ever-evolving sound.


Jenny Stevens, Deputy News Editor

Darlia – Animal Kingdom

Manchester-based scrappers Darlia follow the primal grunge of breakout singles ‘Queen Of Hearts’ and ‘Candyman’ with something sweeter and simpler. “Tiger in my arms/Should I be alarmed/Should I freeze?” growls frontman Nathan Day over fuzzy ‘90s guitar jangles, sliding bass and massive pop-rock drums before a rhino-sized chorus about the raw animalism of attraction crashes in.

Al Horner, Assistant Editor, NME.COM

Hero Fisher – No Ceremony

Spidery early track ‘Fear Not Victorious’ set Hero Fisher up as a brooding student of the PJ Harvey school of tactile atmospherics. ‘No Ceremony’ finds the Londoner adding some serious clout to her sound. “You better kick it in the gut/Disembowel/Throw up/Let’s have a blow-out/Cannibal spree”, she sings in a vicious stream-of-consciousness before kicking into a chorus full of bone-chillingly menacing riffs.

Track coming soon
Lisa Wright, writer

Coldplay – Another’s Arms

“Late night watching TV, wishing you were here beside me /Wishing your arms were around me, your body on my body”, sings Chris Martin here, a man who clearly does not enjoy watching //Family Guy// repeats on his lonesome. Debuted at a recent SXSW show, this is yet another low-key cut from new album ‘Ghost Stories’. The electronic drums and falsetto vocals combine to create something that has Britain’s biggest band sounding familiar, yet also refreshingly alien.


David Renshaw, News Reporter

Arcade Fire – Uptight (Everything’s Alright)

All hail the blockheads. Arcade Fire’s current US tour has a nightly surprise element: a cover version, usually of a song by a local star, performed while Win Butler wears a video-screen-covered cube displaying images of notorious local characters. At Auburn Hills in Metro Detroit, they opted for Stevie Wonder’s ‘Uptight’, complete with Toytown xylophone and pounding Motown beat. Should the recording career ever falter, they’d have a great future as the world’s weirdest wedding band.


Dan Stubbs, News Editor

Fryars – Boys In The Hood

It hasn’t been the smoothest of rides for Fryars (real name Benjamin Garrett). From an early incarnation in the late noughties touting sprightly synth-pop, it took the soloist a couple of years to regroup and come back with something a little more substantial. With ‘Boys In The Hood’, the first cut from Fryars’ forthcoming LP, this trajectory continues: all crooning vocals and minimal electronics, it’s sophisticated proof that perseverance pays off.


Lisa Wright, writer

Johnny Cash – She Used To Love Me A Lot

One of several unreleased cuts discovered by archivists at Legacy Records, ‘She Used To Love Me A Lot’ is the country legend’s look back at lost love. “She just left me standing there/I’ve never been so shocked”, Cash wistfully reminisces over bumpy acoustic guitar lines before the track fades out into the sound of waves gently lapping against the shore.


Rhian Daly, Assistant Reviews Editor

SBTRKT – Highs And Lows

SBTRKT is warming up for a new album this year with three instrumental releases, billed as separate two-song vinyls in a series called ‘Transitions’. ‘Highs And Lows’ is taken from the third and mixes swashbuckling synths cutting into the rhythm in the upper register with squelchy bass holding things together in the second half. This tune’s showstopper tones scream ‘banger’, but the complex melodies prove there are more leftfield intentions at work.

Hazel Sheffield, writer