It seems as though the music world is giving us more and more as the weeks go on and it’s already time for us again to share our top picks from This Week In Records. As semester one gets well on its way, it’s starting to get pretty serious over here, but it’s not all bad. We’ve got new things from our favourites, Will Joseph Cook and Clean Bandit, whilst Weezer and Stereophonics bring back the old-school indie vibes in their latest albums. Coffee ready? Good, let us begin.
Stereophonics – Scream Above The Sounds
20 years on from their debut album Word Gets Around, Stereophonics return to remind us why we love them with Scream Above The Sounds. There’s much for longtime fans to get sunk into here, with opening track ‘Caught By the Wind’ sounding a bit like if you left 2005 hit ‘Dakota’ to mature in a dry oak barrel for 12 years, whilst a moment of slow intimacy is provided by the rather beautiful ‘Before Anyone Knew Our Name’. Meanwhile, the band show they can fit right into 2017’s meandering synth-rock soundscape with the hypnotic ‘All In One Night’, a track made all the more engaging by it’s just-off repetition that grows and grows towards probably the softest and yet most satisfying crescendo I’ve heard in recent months. Scream Above The Sounds is a tour de force of old-school-indie meets new-school-synth that shows how the Welsh rockstars still have that special something 20 years and nine LPs on from their entry into the UK charts.
Weezer – Pacific Daydream
From one long-time indie chart-topper to another, this time we take a trip across the pond to check out LA outfit Weezer‘s 11th studio album in 23 years. Coming just 18 months after last year’s White Album, Pacific Daydream feels like the last gasp of summer as we approach the chilly thrills of Halloween and beyond. Apt, really, considering the title of lead single ‘Feels Like Summer’, a real bouncy castle of a track with a fantastically catchy chorus that I’m sure will set the festival fields alight (when we get back round to festival season). Anyway, there’s no shortage of summer twilight songs here, from the BBQ-on-the-lawn-like ‘Happy Hour’ to the high school house party that is ‘Mexican Fender’. Pacific Daydream may be different from Stereophonics’ Scream Above The Sounds, but it’s sure to fill that indie-shaped-hole in your heart just as effectively.
Clean Bandit ft. Julia Michaels – ‘I Miss You’
It’s no secret that here at The Edge we’re positively in love with Clean Bandit, so when we heard they were dropping a new single this Friday – featuring vocals from ‘Issues‘ songstress Julia Michaels no less – we were more excited than that dog on the trampoline from last year’s John Lewis advert. That is to say – we were pretty damn buzzing! Fortunately, ‘I Miss You’ delivers on that expectation, providing plenty of catchy dance hooks to lose yourself in as well as some truly heartfelt lyrics (“So I guess that it’s gone / And I just keep lying to myself / I can’t believe it / I miss you, yeah I miss you”) whilst being probably Clean Bandit’s most chilled-out track since Zara Larsson-featuring ‘Symphony’. It’s perfect for that pre-night out buzz as well as for those after-party chills, and only helps cement Clean Bandit as one of our favourite artists of 2017. Also, make sure to check out our interview with the band here!
Pitbull & Fifth Harmony – ‘Por Favor’
Mr Worldwide himself returns with “the beautiful, sexy, sophisticated” Fifth Harmony to brighten our day with a lovely bit of Latin pop in the strangely irresistible ‘Por Favor’. It’s remarkably similar to 2014’s World Cup-headlining track ‘We Are One (Ole Ola)’ – if with fewer bells and whistles (literally) – so if you’re into that kind of dancehall pop-meets-Spanish folk, with a little bit of Pitbull sprinkled in, this track will do it for you. If not, you’re not missing much, but it’s Pitbull and Fifth Harmony, so we have to talk about it. There’s even a ‘Spanglish Version‘ if that tickles your fancy. Anyway. Moving on.
Plan B – ‘Heartbeat’
After Ben Drew aka Plan B‘s disappointing return to the scene early this summer (see ‘In The Name Of Man‘), it seemed as though the days of The Defamation of Strickland Banks were long behind us; the ‘She Said’ singer, well-known for his quick-witted urban persona, had seemingly lost this signifying characteristic with the single falling into the bracket of generic ballad. In his new follow-up track ‘Heartbeat’, we don’t get this back, but there’s a glimmer of hope for us all. The track features Drew’s classic soulful vocals, and with a sound which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Chase & Status album, it’s a pretty pleasant track – it doesn’t give us the sound of Plan B which we fell in love with, but it’s better than his post-hiatus debut.
Will Joseph Cook – If You Want To Make Money EP
Alongside his title track which premiered last week, we’ve been given two new tracks to get our ears listening to from the always wonderful Will Joseph Cook. ‘Hollywood’ and ‘I Wanna Be A Fish’ make up the remainder of If You Want To Make Money, an EP which sees the master of pop retain his penchant for catchy hooks and seductive guitar. ‘Holly Wood’ talks of leaving behind dreams of “making better friends” in the big city, to rather being content with the now. It’s ultimately a pretty lovely and pretty classic WJC track, fitting quite snugly alongside his constantly expanding discography. The final addition, ‘Fish’ aside from the ambiguous title, is three minutes of euphoric melancholy (excuse the oxymoron, but this is the only way to describe it). Tugging at something unconscious, it really shows the capacity of Cook; his uniqueness is so present, yet can fit in tons of different music moulds. I could talk for too long about all things WJC, but his latest EP consolidates the reason why he made it on The List of 2017.
Selected Other Releases
Avelino – NO BULLSHIT
Henry Jamison – The Wilds
Kelly Clarkson – Meaning Of Life
MØ – When I Was Young EP
Rina Sawayama – RINA
Snoop Dogg – Make America Crip Again
Alan Walker ft. Noah Cyrus and Digital Farm Animals – ‘All Falls Down’
DJ Snake ft. Max Frost – ‘Broken Summer’
Fieh – ‘Glu’
First Aid Kit – ‘Postcard’
Franz Ferdinand – ‘Always Ascending’
Himalayas – ‘Sigh On A Hurricane’
KURUPT FM – ‘Suttin Like That’
Kygo ft. John Newman – ‘Never Let You Go’
Lucy Rose – ‘End Up Here’
Marvin Humes & A-Minor – ‘Girls On The Floor’
Mina Rose – ‘Kingdom’
Morrissey – ‘I Wish You Lonely’
Nadia Rose – ‘Big Woman’
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘Fort Knox’
Novo Amor ft. Ed Tullett – ‘Terraform’
Paloma Faith – ‘Guilty’
Rhye – ‘Taste’
Sam Fender – ‘Start Again’
Sam Smith – ‘Burning’
Selena Gomez x Marshmello – ‘Wolves’
Tom Speight – ‘Waiting’
Yungen ft. Mr Eazi – ‘All Night’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
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