Summer is officially here, and with it a fantastic array of new releases – as well as our second This Week In Records of the year (sorry!). As probably my last ever article for The Edge, but also incoming-Records Editor Vicky Greer‘s fist TWIR, we’re taking a look at some of the biggest musical releases that the end of June has to offer. At long last, Mark Ronson’s heavily anticipated Late Night Feelings has arrived – let’s find out if it was really worth the wait. Another notable release is Two Door Cinema Club‘s latest album, False Alarm, along with new singles from Stormzy, Blossoms and The Kooks. What a week! Let’s get started on looking at this week’s new tunes.
Mark Ronson – Late Night Feelings
It feels like we’ve been waiting an age for Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings. Described from the beginning as a collection of ‘sad bangers’ the more melancholy mood of this record came as no surprise. Ronson has teamed up with a team of vocalists, from big names to up-and-coming artists, with collaborations from Miley Cyrus, Camila Cabello and King Princess, to name a few of the names that crop up on Late Night Feelings.
But does it really live up to all the hype? Absolutely, if ‘sad bangers’ sounds like your cup of tea. It’s a perfect mix of chilled-out tunes and more vibrant tracks to get you moving – but either way, you will be crying. This is further proof of Ronson’s ability to create some of the catchiest songs of a generation (Uptown Funk, anyone?) but at the same time hitting you directly in the feelings.
A real highlight of the album is Miley Cyrus’ contribution in ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’, injecting some country vibes into the pop record in a way that keeps it fresh, posibly even overshadowing the singers own recent EP release. Similarly, Camila Cabello’s track ‘Find U Again’ perfectly encapsulates the feeling of heartbreak that is omnipresent in Late Night Feelings. This is definitely a go-to breakup album.
Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings is available now via Sony Music Entertainment.
Two Door Cinema Club – False Alarm
I think it’s fair to say that, over the last couple of years, Two Door Cinema Club have lost their mojo a little bit. Their pivot towards harder electronic beats in 2016 album Gameshow didn’t really come off, producing one or two safe bangers that comfortably found their way into the FIFA 17 soundtrack alongside many more forgettable tunes that failed to reach the heights of their carefree 2011 debut. It was an unfortunate move that seemed destined to take one of my indie guilty pleasures away from my music library for good; when fourth album False Alarm was announced, it was registered with barely a shrug. Would Two Door Cinema Club be able to reclaim their mojo after the disappointment of the last few years?
The answer: kind of. Gone are the darker, moodier tones of Gameshow, but in False Alarm TDCC have shown that they’re not completely done with dance and electronic influences just yet. It makes for an interesting blend of the band’s earlier upbeat indie pop with the kind of dancefloor rhythms that Daft Punk and Parcels are known for creating. It’s certainly an amicale, inoffensive listen – with the opening three tracks of ‘Once’, lead single ‘Talk’ and the Afrofusion outfit Mokoomba-featuring ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ standing out as a loose and lively introduction to the record – but it’s also unfortunately all-to-repetitive to demmand repeat listens. Perhaps the only only track to try and push the boat out a little is the slower, groovier ‘Think’, but even that comes off as Simulation-era Muse at times – not the most flattering comparison. In the end, it leaves False Alarm, and Two Door Cinema Club, floating somewhat aimlessly in the ocean of indie pop and indietronica, neither sinking like Gameshow nor swimming like Tourist History, with no real clue of where to go next.
Two Door Cinema Club’s Tourist History is available now via Prolifica Inc.
The Kooks – ‘So Good Looking’
Is it just me or are The Kooks ripping off their own song here? Who can blame them, when ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ is such a carefree banger, but ‘So Good Looking’ really does sound and feel like that classic 2000’s indie hit. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ became one of the band’s biggest hits for a reason, and its influences lend their hands in a positive way here, giving the new single an appropriately anthemic chorus and infectiously danceable rhythm. But it is a bit of a shame that The Kooks played it so safe with this latest track, with the result being an enjoyable, if uninspiring and forgettable, new tune for the summer.
The Kooks’ ‘So Good Looking’ is available now via AWAL Recordings Ltd.
Blossoms – ‘Your Girlfriend’
‘Your Girlfriend’ is an interesting track from indie band Blossoms. On the one hand, the whole ‘I’m in love with my best friend’s girlfriend’ angsty yet upbeat indie pop track has been done many times before and is getting annoying. And when you hear the line ‘I’m a boy and she’s a girl’ and your mind automatically goes to Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi On the other hand, this tune has a cracking bass line, and that might be enough to save it for me.
Blossoms’ ‘Your Girlfriend’ is available now via Virgin EMI Records.
Stormzy – ‘Crown’
Just ahead of his headline spot at Glastonbury, Stormzy has released a new, emotionally-driven track entitled ‘Crown’. As someone who never really got into grime, I haven’t been paying much attention to Stormzy, but ‘Crown’ really stands out among this week’s new music. It’s a deeply personal song, with hard hitting lyrics that show a lot oof work was put into this piece. ‘Crown’ has been met with a lot of critical acclaim, and rightly so.
Stormzy’s ‘Crown’ is available now via #Merky Records.
Selected Other Releases
The Chemical Brothers – Eve of Destruction EP
Gucci Mane – Delusions of Grandeur
Lil Nas X – 7 EP
The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger
Alma – ‘Lonely Night’
Blink-182 – ‘Generational Divide’
Bugzy Malone ft. Aitch – ‘Kilos’
Chloe & Halle – ‘Who Knew’
Foster the People – ‘Imagination’
Freddie Mercury – ‘Time Waits for No One’
Gerry Cinnamon – ‘Canter’
Imagine Dragons ft. Elisa – ‘Birds’
Jack Savoretti ft. Mika – ‘Youth & Love’
Jonas Brothers – ‘Greenlight’
Metronomy – ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream’
Migos – ‘Stripper Bowl’
Nicki Minaj – ‘Megatron’
Rebecca Black – ‘Do You?’
The S.L.P. – ‘Nobody Else’
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – ‘Senorita’
Zara Larson – ‘All The Time’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Want to listen to all of this musical goodness? Follow our shiny Spotify playlist for The Edge‘s picks of what new music deserves to be on your radar each and every week.