Well… I don’t really know what to say apart from this is a bit of quiet This Week In Records, isn’t it. Of course, Taylor Swift‘s new album dominates: the constant stream of singles from the singer/songwriter has kept us all occupied at The Edge since summertime, and now we see the culmination in Reputation, a collection of tracks which are sure to have us all talking. The other exciting release from this week, a brand new single from our indie favourites, The Wombats, makes up the bulk of what we have to offer this time around. Albeit sad and rather disappointing, it still is another This Week In Records and I think it’s time to get into it.
Taylor Swift – Reputation
So what to say about Taylor Swift? A This Week In Records favourite and master at commanding the media spotlight, the pop icon behind hit albums 1989 and Red is sure to have us talking again with her latest record, Reputation. An apt title for her sixth record as that is, of course, something she has repeatedly used to perfection to keep the focus firmly on her in the lead-up to this week’s release: since June, Swift has made her available library available on Spotify again on the same day as long-time rival Katy Perry released fifth album Witness, dominated the MTV Video Music Awards without even showing up simply by debuting the video to Number 1 single ‘Look What You Made Me Do‘, and even had the audacity to keep the full album from streaming services for the next week (hence why there are no new tracks from the pop-star to be seen in our shiny Spotify playlist). All this, despite claiming the victim role in her long-running feuds with Katy Perry and Kanye West, which is frankly rather bizarre but does at least provide us with yet another talking point going into today’s release (god knows she’s got a real talent for producing those).
But what about the songs themselves? Well, due to the aforementioned withholding of songs from streaming services (and as, if you haven’t already sussed out, I’m not a particularly huge Tay-Tay fan, certainly not enough to buy the album outright), I can’t really say. We will have a review up of course (if not from me) but until then, the best I can give you is a preview based off what we know so far from the four singles already out and the inevitable drama that surrounds Swift wherever she goes. Expect a dramatic departure from the pop icon’s country roots – instead look for the heavy basslines and snares more synthesized than an 80s wet dream found in ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, ‘…Ready For It?‘ and, to an extent, ‘Call It What You Want’. Although the “old” Swift isn’t well and truly dead (as dramatically proclaimed in ‘Look What You Made Me Do’) – with tracks like the entrancingly effervescent ‘Gorgeous’ calling back to her 1989 and Red days – Reputation is certainly set to be far more electric than anything we’ve heard from the pop icon in her 11-year career.
I could continue to ramble on and on about my expectations for today’s release or the media controversy surrounding its artist, but to do so would only add to the already ridiculously huge conversation surrounding what is sure to be one of the biggest albums of the year. Instead, I recommend just letting the music do the talking: if you’re already a huge Swift fan, then buy the album and listen to it on repeat; if not, wait for our review and for it to go up on Apple Music or Spotify, then give it your two cents. In any case, Taylor Swift’s dominating sixth album is sure only to add to her already impressive Reputation.
The Wombats – ‘Lemon To A Knife Fight’
The indie trio is back *finally* with their first release since 2015’s Glitterbug, and it’s a bit of a mixed one. Die-hard The Wombats fans (aka me), are likely to listen to any new single from the icons of adolescence and accept it as another great track, but I need to deal with it as any old single on This Week In Records and from that perspective… it’s nothing new. Yes, it has all of the characteristics to make a great Wombats track, and it is great, but for their first single in two years, it’s safe to say I was expecting a bit more. If you love Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy’s unique vocals and Liverpool-tinged sound, then you’ll definitely be satisfied, but don’t be expecting too much from the new track. One exciting thing to come from this release though is the announcement of The Wombats’ new album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life which is set for release on February 9th of next year. Although ‘Lemon To A Knife Fight’ is not the most excited I’ve been for a Wombats track, I’m certainly excited to see what else surfaces in the coming weeks from the classic indie favourites.
Sigrid – ‘Strangers’
On the fast track to big success, Sigrid continues to go from strength to strength in the latest track she is set to add to her discography. ‘Strangers’ has the same intoxicating vocals and the same electro beats which dominate the singer’s sound, yet this is unlike anything she’s released before. With a chorus sound which will literally feel like a punch to the face (but in a good way I promise), this is a song which you really can’t not listen to. It’s gone straight onto my playlist and it needs to go on yours too, seriously.
Pale Waves – ‘New Year’s Eve’
I think I’m one of the only people who are yet to make their mind up about Pale Waves. Their 1975-influenced tunes have brought them a pretty big following considering they only have two – well now three – tracks under their belt with their latest, ‘New Year’s Eve’, serving some top-notch dreamy synth. A rumination about the possibility of being alone when seeing in the New Year (“I don’t wanna be alone on New Year’s Eve, do you even wanna be with me?”), it’s a very millennial topic for a band who sell themselves as a resurrection of the 80s. Although it’s hard to detach this distinctive sound from Matt Healy and co, Pale Waves are definitely trying to in their latest.
Jerry Williams – ‘Grab Life’
Ah Jerry Williams, how we love you. The ‘Mother’ artist is back, this time with a bouncy peach of a track in the form of ‘Grab Life’. It’s more of what we love from Williams – jazzy guitar riffs for days, and a drum beat so summery you’ll be hard-pressed not to be left dreaming of lazy days at the beach – and this time with a clear message: “Grab life / In between the teeth / ’cause soon enough man, you’ll be dead / Don’t watch the sunshine from your bed”. If nothing else, ‘Grab Life’ just cements our view here at The Edge that one of Southampton’s greatest local acts truly has the talent to take the nation, and the world, by storm. It’s good, so listen.
Selected Other Releases
Adam French – Weightless EP
Bleachers – MTV Unplugged
Dan Croll – Tokyo EP
Empire of the Sun – On Our Way Home EP
Quavo – Quality Control Music
Sleigh Bells – Kid Kruschev
WALK THE MOON – What If Nothing
Bastille – ‘World Gone Mad’
EDEN – ‘gold’
Flight Facilities ft. Broods, Reggie Watts, & Saro – ‘Stranded’
Greta Van Fleet – ‘Edge of Darkness’
Harper – ‘Radical Love’
Jae Stephens – ‘Someone Else’
Morrissey – ‘Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage’
Not3s – ‘Notice’
Petit Biscuit ft. Lido – ‘Problems’
Pussy Riot – ‘Police State’
San Scout – ‘Hold Fire’
Sia – ‘Snowman’
Vistas – ‘Retrospect’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Follow our shiny Spotify playlist and all this musical newness will be right there in time for breakfast every Friday morning.