This Week In Records: VANT, Off Bloom & Maggie Rogers (17/02/2017)

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Hello there. Normally, you’d probably expect me to kick off with the news that Ed Sheeran has put out another track from ÷, but after the magical gift of last Friday that was a Galantis remix of ‘Shape Of You’ anything would be an incredible disappointment. Indeed, ‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’ is as tricky to understand in the progression of Sheeran releases as its parenthetical portion is to pronounce. (‘Rich Boy,’ the new Galantis single, isn’t that much more exciting either.) Therefore, instead of beginning this week’s rundown with news of Ed and his world domination, here’s a bunch of new acts who are far more worthy of your attention at least this side of the album’s release in early March.

VANT – DUMB BLOOD

GUITARS. CAPITALS EVERYWHERE. LOUD NOISES. MAJOR LABEL SUPPORT. POLITICAL MESSAGES. BACKWARDS LETTEЯS. DAMN CATCHY RIFFS AND WAILS. A BAND NAME THAT COMES FROM THE SURNAME OF ITS FRONTMAN.

THERE’S NO MYSTERY AS TO WHAT MADE VANT ONE OF THE TEN ACTS PICKED BY THE EDGE FOR THE LIST OF 2017. DUMB BLOOD, THEIR DEBUT ALBUM, TOPS OUT AT 22 TRACKS FOR THE DELUXE EDITION, AND A DIP INTO ‘PEACE & LOVE,’ ‘KARMA SEEKER,’ OR THE RAMBUNCTIOUS NEW RE-RELEASE ‘DO YOU KNOW ME?’ WILL SHARPLY SHOW OFF WHAT ALL THE FUSS FROM OUR ROCK-LOVING WRITERS IS ABOUT.

Off Bloom – ‘Falcon Eye’

With gigging season in full swing, support lineups are where you’ll begin to see new acts that labels are delicately carving into bigger things, and Polydor-signed Copenhagen-based trio Off Bloom is one such example, following on from October’s debut single ‘Love To Hate It’ and EP of the same name with imminent spring sojourns alongside Dua Lipa and LANY. Last week, they previewed the fierce ‘Falcon Eye’ at XOYO to warm up for RAYE, and the combination of a brace of electro folks almost vomiting through energetic convulsions with each gleeful button push with a vocalist MØ-like in both delivery and attitude will certainly make my upcoming dashes to the big city all the more rewarding.

Maggie Rogers – Now That The Light Is Fading EP

Speaking of performers in London, Maggie Rogers will make her bow on these shores to close the month with a pair of rather sold-out shows at the shiny new London Bridge venue Omeara. Now That The Light Is Fading, her five-track showcase of the sort of beat-tinged folk that makes Pharrell Williams (and myself) weep with joy (‘Alaska’) and encourages our writers to dole out five stars (‘On + Off‘), adds two new rays (‘Color Song’ and ‘Better’) to her flawless discography.

Cashmere Cat feat. Camila Cabello – ‘Love Incredible’

Singles from Cashmere Cat’s long-awaited Wild Love have thus far appeared to drop at the most opportune times for me to ramble on themes of (at least initial) overwhelming underwhelm: ‘Wild Love‘ itself meandered far too delicately considering its guests The Weeknd and Francis And The Lights, ‘Trust Nobody‘ coupled exemplary production and hints at an enthused if unimaginative Selena Gomez, and ‘Throw Myself A Party’ offered the ideal segue into 2017 to wrap the 8,104-word This Year In Records by being the only thing worth a perusal released on the final Friday of the year and, in 2 Chainz’s verse, being a little bit bonkers. (Come on, there’s nothing not to love about this: “Using my belt for a mistletoe / I used to bet on the telephone / I done made love in a vehicle / This right here, this is your anthem.”)

Whilst Gomez is returning to the tedium of Revival on the tiresomely formulaic ‘It Ain’t Me,’ her new release with the Norwegian feline’s tropically-sparkling compatriot Kygo, he’s gone back to the style of 2015’s stunning Ariana Grande collaboration ‘Adore’ for ‘Love Incredible,’ which borrows Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello to further propel his pristine vision of that most Valentine’s-y of words.

Dutch Uncles – Big Balloon

Most of my music discovery comes in the depths of the night, trawling my emails and across Spotify hunting for all things new to sample, analyse, and promptly playlist or discard. Being, you know, Records Editor does, however, often entail friends and colleagues pestering me to look at their favourite artists, and Alex Smith recently chipped at me enough to take a listen to Dutch Uncles’ fantastic ‘Big Balloon.’ Today, the LP of the same name arrives
with a four-star sprawl of quirky, guitary pop and Alex himself had a chat to frontman Duncan Wallis about crucial things like songwriting and trousers.

Linkin Park & Kiiara – ‘Heavy’

Last night, a roar of ‘Numb’ between karaoke tracks startled me far more than any other dose of Linkin Park ever has: far more than just a doppelgänger for Limp Bizkit in the naming department, each one of Chester Bennington’s rasps was being recited in every direction.

Also last night, the band released ‘Heavy,’ the first single from May’s One More Light, and it may well be the first Linkin Park song I ever intentionally play more than once. Pop songwriting behemoths Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter join the band in the liner notes whilst ‘Gold’ bearer Kiiara makes up for her most recent release ‘Dopemang’ by being very, very good indeed. (“It was awesome before she sang on it, and then it became the no-brainer first single,” said Bennington.)

Selected Other Releases

Albums

Animal Collective – The Painters EP
Bebe Rexha – All Your Fault: Pt. 1 EP
Flume – Skin Companion II EP
Future – Future
Jens Lekman – Life Will See You Now
Jidenna – The Chief
JONES – Acoustic EP
Ryan Adams – Prisoner
Shy Luv – Shock Horror EP
Will Heard – Trust EP

Singles

All Time Low – ‘Dirty Laundry’
Astroid Boys feat. Sonny Double 1 – ‘Foreigners’
Bugzy Malone – ‘Aggy Wid It’
Creeper – ‘Black Rain’
Disciples – ‘On My Mind’
DJ Khaled feat. Beyoncé & Jay-Z – ‘Shining’
Ed Sheeran – ‘How Would You Feel (Paean)’
Electric Guest – ‘See The Light’
Flo Rida feat. Sage The Gemini – ‘Game Time’
Galantis – ‘Rich Boy’
James Blunt – ‘Time Of Our Lives’
James Hersey – ‘Everyone’s Talking’
James TW – ‘Ex’
Jamie Cullum – ‘Work Of Art’
John Legend & Cynthia Erivo feat. yMusic – ‘God Only Knows’
Kygo & Selena Gomez – ‘It Ain’t Me’
Little Cub – ‘Too Much Love’
Little Dragon – ‘High’
Maroon 5 feat. Future – ‘Cold’
Mary J. Blige – ‘U + Me (Love Lesson)’
Maty Noyes – ‘London’
Mike Posner – ‘In The Arms Of A Stranger’ (Grey Remix)
Nelly Furtado – ‘Flatline’
Passion Pit – ‘I’m Perfect’ / ‘Inner Dialogue’ / ‘Somewhere Up There’
Pitbull feat. Stephen Marley – ‘Options’
Pumarosa – ‘Dragonfly’
RITUAL – ‘Exit’
Sam Gellaitry – ‘Jungle Waters’
Snakehips – ‘How(~_~; )U Feel’
Speech Debelle – ‘Strange Ways’
Sub Focus feat. Stylo G – ‘Lingua’
Take That – ‘Giants’
The Amazons – ‘Black Magic’
The Magician & Julian Perretta – ‘Tied Up’
Thundercat – ‘Friend Zone’
Tinie Tempah – ‘Something Special’
Tom Grennan – ‘Praying’
Vanessa White – ‘Good Good’

This Week In Records: Playlist Edition

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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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