This Week In Records: Robbie Williams, Nick Murphy & Kungs (04/11/2016)

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Everything is cold. Everything is miserable. It took me an hour to get from Highfield Campus to central Southampton last night, and then my walk through Guildhall Square was derailed by a Christmas tree being erected even though the pumpkins of Monday are still all reasonably fresh. Even worse?

Here, though, it’s too early for all that festive nonsense – we’re far too busy welcoming the reborn Chet Faker and partying like oligarchs with Robbie Williams and EastEnders gangsters. If you’d like to see your upcoming release featured on these pages, email us at records@theedgesusu.co.uk.

Robbie Williams – The Heavy Entertainment Show

Robbie Williams hasn’t released an album (or, really, done much of musical note bar an Avicii collaboration) since Swings Both Ways in late 2013. Here’s a brief summary of what you might have missed.

  • He’s on a new label. Here are some words from a press release: “The team at Sony are professional, incredibly hungry, and have a great energy. They’re inspired, I’m inspired. I’m more ready than I ever have been and I’m totally convinced I’m in the right place. I look forward to working on this album, which is an album I’m immensely proud of, in this exciting new partnership with Sony Music.”
  • Sergei Prokofiev has a writing credit thanks to the sampling of that melody you probably know best from The Apprentice in ode to hedonism ‘Party Like A Russian.’
  • ‘Party Like A Russian’ is the first lead single in his now 11-strong collection to have not charted in the top 10 in the UK. It reached 68.
  • On announcement, it was called Heavy Entertainment Show. Presumably The came into play when they realised he’s now a mature artiste who’s making music a bit too niche for radio to fondle with a bargepole.
  • One of its songs (‘Mixed Signals’) has five writers: The Killers and Steve “Hopefully The Steve McFadden Who Plays Phil Mitchell In EastEnders” McFadden. Seriously.
  • That song sounds like a cast-off from Day & Age.
  • The standard edition has two tracks labelled as explicit.
  • The first of those is called ‘Motherfucker.’

Nick Murphy – ‘Stop Me (Stop You)’

Back at Lovebox in July, Chet Faker’s final show on British shores figured as a hot and sweaty disco-heavy component of a majestic day of live music that ranged from This Week In Records regular SG Lewis to a superb set from LCD Soundsystem in the headline slot. Fortunately, he’s not gone that far away – on Wednesday evening he will play a sold-out night at the O2 Academy in Brixton under his new, more personal Nick Murphy banner, and that regeneration comes with eight raw and gorgeous minutes that will reassure you that not much beyond the nomenclature has changed from the Built On Glass days.

Kungs – Layers

If you’ve been anywhere near a radio, TV, or general thing-that-can-output-music since May, you’ll be quite familiar with what a French teen by the name of Kungs did to ‘This Girl,’ a 2009 track by Cookin’ On 3 Burners – “Australia’s hardest hitting Hammond Organ Trio” – and Kylie Auldist. His follow-up with Jamie N Commons, however, didn’t quite match up – perhaps due to Commons’ indecipherable mumbles, perhaps due to Kungs’ sharp but unchanging sound. Now, still only 19, Layers brings you a fresh batch of that same pure sound that you can probably thank his childhood Djembe eduction for, including the new single ‘I Feel So Bad,’ which doesn’t sound “so bad.”

Sigma feat. Birdy – ‘Find Me’

Having burst from the drum and bass underground with a chart-topping Kanye bootleg early in 2014, Sigma launched a string of approachable singles – seven over two years, in fact – that blurred into December’s Life, but the journey towards album two appears to be taking a far more intriguing path. May’s ‘Cry‘ kicked off the sojourn towards Radio 2 ballads, and now Birdy’s shown up for even more well-executed drama, lip-synced with anguished aplomb in the video by Millie Bobby Brown from that Stranger Things show that you all won’t stop raving about.

The Chainsmokers – Collage EP

54 weeks ago, Drew Taggart and Alex Pall put out Bouquet, their first collection of original tracks as The Chainsmokers. Now, after one track from it (‘Roses’) sparked a renaissance (‘Don’t Let Me Down,’ ‘Closer’) that helped us to ignore their ‘#SELFIE’ days, their brand is one of the strongest in global pop-dance hybrids. These days (when they’re not busy feuding with Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson) they’re often found in the studio working with Chris Martin, Bono, Ryan Tedder, his Aston Martin, and Bono, however the new Collage EP keeps things a little more grounded in terms of companions, if not commercial ambition, with today’s final release from it featuring brother/sister duo XYLØ on ‘Setting Fires,’ a punchy cut that mercifully doesn’t feature Taggart on vocal duty.

Felix Snow & Lil Uzi Vert – ‘Love’

“I want to fuck formulas up as much as I can,” says Felix Snow, and his infectious disregard for linguistic structures when working on ‘Gold,’ the hit standout from Kiiara’s low kii savage EP of earlier this year, highlighted him as a very interesting producer person – and that was before I discovered the rest of that EP and his work alongside SZA, Young Thug, and Gallant. ‘Love,’ a surprisingly potent straight collaboration with young Philadelphia rapper and XXL Freshman Lil Uzi Vert, takes things a little further to the unconventional, clocking in at under two minutes and being build around the vocal and a single drum sound.

Selected Other Releases

Albums

Alicia Keys – HERE
Bon Jovi – This House Is Not For Sale
Common – Black America Again
JAWS – Simplicity
Liv Dawson – Open Your Eyes EP
Michael Ball & Alfie Boe – Together
Queen – On Air
Palace – So Long Forever
The Fray – Through The Years: The Best Of
Tinashe – Nightride

Singles

Aanysa & Snakehips – ‘Burn Break Crash’
Betsy – ‘Wanted More’
Beyoncé feat. The Dixie Chicks – ‘Daddy Lessons’
Bonobo – ‘Kerala’
Bridget Mendler – ‘Do You Miss Me At All’
Bruno Mars – ‘Versace On The Floor’
Calvin Harris – ‘My Way’ (Tiësto Remix)
Day Wave – ‘Wasting Time’
DNCE – ‘Good Day’
Donae’o feat. JME & Dizzee Rascal – ‘Black’
Dragonette – ‘Royal Blues’
gnash feat. Johnny Yukon – ‘home’
Kiiara feat. Ashley All Day – ‘Dopemang’
Laura Mvula – ‘Ready Or Not’
Maggie Rogers – ‘Dog Years’
Mahalia – ‘I Remember’
Mallory Knox – ‘Giving It Up’
Marshmello feat. Wrabel – ‘Ritual’
Matthew Koma – ‘Kisses Back’
Mike Mago & Dragonette – ‘Secret Stash’
MK feat. A*M*E – ‘My Love 4 U’
Mr. Tophat feat. Robyn – ‘Trust Me’
Niall Horan – ‘This Town’ (Tiësto Remix)
Noonie Bao – ‘Sorry Not Sorry’
Olly Murs – ‘Back Around’
P Money feat. JME & Wiley – ‘Gunfingers’
Pnau – ‘Chameleon’
Rat Boy – ‘Lovers Law’
RL Grime, What So Not & Skrillex – ‘Waiting’
Stevie Wonder feat. Ariana Grande – ‘Faith’
TENDER – ‘Oracle’
The Chemical Brothers – ‘C-h-e-m-i-c-a-l’
The Japanese House – ‘Good Side In’
Vicetone feat. Grace Grundy – ‘Kaleidoscope’
You Me At Six – ‘Give’
Zak Abel – ‘Unstable’

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Official email person, rambly music writer, and former Records Editor at The Edge. Often found playing pop music too loud on Surge Radio.

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