After taking a week off last week, Sam & I are back to bring a much-needed update on all of the good (or often not so good) things to come out of the music world this week. There’s a severe lack of albums this week, with Vance Joy‘s Nation of Two making up the best of a dire bunch. As singles go we’ve got a comeback one (if you can call it that) from X Factor alumni, Alexandra Burke, as well as others from Edge favourites Superorganism and an unlikely pairing between Sigala and Paloma Faith. I’ll try not to waffle on too much, let’s get into the actual words about all of the music things out this week.
Alexandra Burke – ‘Shadow’
After her hugely successful singles, ‘Hallejulah’, ‘Bad Boys’ and who can forget ‘Broken Heels’, is there any way Alexandra Burke can match this success in her latest single? If you can’t note my sarcasm here you should be ashamed of yourself – the 2008 X Factor winner’s return is far from exciting. The song is the typical post-breakup anthem but really fails to deliver a powerful chorus. It’s one of those songs that you expect a little more from, but then realise that maybe you were being a little too optimistic. It’s such a shame that to win The X Factor is often worse than running up. The pressure to get that Christmas Number One and live up to the hype is often detrimental to the artist. Anyway, let’s stop my musings on the talent show’s shortcomings, the main thing is that you really don’t want to listen to this one.
Vance Joy – Nation of Two
Austrailian singer-songwriter Vance Joy, best known for his massive indie single ‘Riptide’, charms in his second studio album, Nation of Two. Massive stand-outs in the thirteen song album: ‘Call If You Need Me’ is a painful yet simple track which encompasses you completely as you listen; ‘Lay It On Me’ has the best build up I’ve heard in a while; and ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ features some gorgeous songwriting. Maybe it’s my Achilles heel for an acoustic guitar, but Nation of Two is my ideal kind of album, the one which you can put on and know you’re going to find something great in every track.
The perfect song for sunny Spring days…
Sigala & Paloma Faith – ‘Lullaby’
Another week, another EDM artist teaming up with a hit popstar to try and dominate the charts for the next couple of months. This time it’s the turn of Sigala – of ‘Came Here For Love’ and ‘Sweet Lovin’ fame – to provide the slick synthy backing to Paloma Faith’s alluring vocals. It’s not going to push any boundaries, but as far as these kind of collaborations go, it’s not bad; I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Captial FM still playing it long into spring, or at the many house parties that inevitably start popping up as the evenings start getting longer.
Superorganism – ‘Reflections On The Screen’
With their debut album on the horizon, the far from conventional Superorganism delight in their latest release, ‘Reflections On The Screen’. The divisive eight-piece, featuring members from all over of the globe, deliver another helping of weird pop/indie-ness, something which I’m still not sure I can wrap my head around. Bursting onto the scene last year with ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’, the band instantly had me hooked. Although I’m still not sure exactly why or whether I like it at all, there’s no denying the captivating nature of their music.
I think Sam will be able to add some more thoughts on this one so I’ll hand it over to him now…
And I agree that Superorganism is the sort of band that gets you hooked for no apparent reason. The strange mix of samples and instrumentation that highlights their music certainly adds to their attraction; I’m not quite sure I’ve listened to a band quite like Superorganism before. ‘Reflections On The Screen’ is no different here, although it is notably more chilled than the singles they’ve released ahead of their debut album so far. Each has showcased a different side to their sound: ‘It’s All Good’ is bound to be a festival favourite with its anthemic chorus; ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’ is poppy summer radio goodness; ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’ is just downright befuddling and I love it for it. With their latest single, they’ve demonstrated that their unique musical style can even be somewhat relaxing, making me very excited indeed for Superorganism the album this time next week.
Muse – ‘Thought Contagion’
I can’t help but think that this track would have been better dropped around Halloween. ‘Thought Contagion’ finds Muse at their most gothic since, well, ever – following on from last year’s ‘Dig Down‘, we find the iconic three-piece in the same kind of bass-and-synth-heavy mindset they erupted across 2015’s Drones. ‘Thought Contagion’ isn’t as instantly engaging as ‘Dig Down’, but it’s still a fantastic track to just rock out to; it won’t go down in Muse history as a killer track, but I can imagine this being a real festival thriller. Add in some telling commentary through the lyrics (“You’ve been bitten by someone who’s hungrier than you / You’ve been bitten by a true believer / You’ve been bitten by someone’s false beliefs”) and you’re on for yet another perfectly biting track from the rockers.
Oh, and just watch that video.
Lewis Capaldi ft. Jessie Reyez – ‘Rush’
Get ready to feel everything you felt when you first heard Adele‘s ‘Someone Like You’ come rushing back: two of our picks for big things this year come together for a beautifully stirring single that we really didn’t see coming. Lewis Capaldi is the king of minimalist, emotional ballads; Jessie Reyez is the queen of heartfelt R&B. Together, they have produced something truly special in ‘Rush’, a heartfelt tale of love and loss from the two masters of pulling your heartstrings with perfectly composed lyrics and powerful vocals.
Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign – ‘Psycho’
Oh, Post Malone. Stop teasing us with such sublime music and release your second album already!
Geowulf – Great Big Blue
Lo Moon – Lo Moon
Pale Waves – ALL THE THINGS I NEVER SAID EP
5 Seconds of Summer – ‘Want You Back’
Black Saint ft. Rationale – ‘Ante Up’
Cautious Clay – ‘Blood Type’
CeeLo Green – ‘Brick Road’
Confidence Man – ‘Don’t You Know I’m In a Band’
David Guetta ft. Martin Garrix & Brooks – ‘Like I Do’
DJ Snake – ‘Magenta Riddim’
Father John Misty – ‘Mr. Tillman’
Frank Turner – ‘Be More Kind’
Janelle Monae – ‘Make Me Feel’
Le Galaxie – ‘Day Of The Child’
Lewis Capaldi with Jessie Reyez – ‘Rush’
Little Boots ft. Joyce Muniz – ‘Shadows’
Mabel ft. Not3s – ‘Fine Line (Snakehips Remix)
Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign – ‘Psycho’
RAYE with Mabel & Stefflon Don – ‘Cigarette’
Rhys Lewis – ‘Bad Timing’
Sam Frankl – ‘Patina’
The Aces – ‘Lovin’ is Bible’
The Ninth Wave – ‘New Kind of Ego’
The Pale White – ‘Loveless’
Twin Shadow ft. HAIM – ‘Saturdays’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
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