Last week was an avalanche of good releases, and things haven’t slowed down much this week. With singles from Taylor Swift and The 1975 that everyone is talking about, as well as a new song from Tegan and Sara, there’s a lot of pop for us to enjoy this week. We’ve also got the latest album from Kaiser Chiefs for some of that indie nostalgia we all love, and a change in direction for Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men. Enjoy!
Kaiser Chiefs – Duck
As one of the leading bands of the heyday of noughties indie, Kaiser Chiefs have always been able to pull off the anthemic energy of that time with tunes like ‘Ruby’ and ‘I Predict a Riot’. With their latest release, Duck, they manage to maintain this sound where so many others have failed. Where other significant bands of the era have left behind this energy, Kaiser Chiefs take us back to another era on this album.
Opening on the upbeat and cheerful ‘People Know How To Love One Another’, Duck proves itself to be a great summer album for fans of indie rock, with its bright instruments and nostalgic lyrics. It’s a happy song, which is exactly what we need to hear. The vocals are almost addictive – you don’t want to stop listening.
Following this is the true anthem of the album, ‘Golden Oldies’. It shows that Kaiser Chiefs haven’t compromised their classic sound or lost their ability to create a catchy tune. It has the same nostalgic tone that’s present throughout the whole record.
The album is full of highlights, like ‘Electric Heart’ and strong finale ‘Kurt vs Frasier (The Battle for Seattle)’. If you’re looking for a classic indie summer album, Kaiser Chiefs have come through with this album.
Kaiser Chiefs’ Duck is out now via Polydor Records.
Of Monsters and Men – Fever Dream
Icelandic indie-folk band Of Monsters and Men have ditched the acoustic guitars for something a bit more experimental in their latest album, Fever Dream. This new chapter came from lead singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdottír feeling like her work on the acoustic was becoming “predictable”. Fever Dream therefore is a celebration of experimental music, playing about with new sounds and putting the emphasis on percussion more than ever.
The opener, ‘Alligator’, is much closer to a dance track than anything we have previously heard from Of Monsters and Men. It’s bright and vibrant, a pop-oriented track that represents the new direction taken by the band. The titular ‘Fever Dream’ takes the same approach, but this in no way defines the album as just having one sound.
Things take a slower and more characteristic turn with ‘Róróró’, a melancholy number that still takes the brand new elements of the band’s musical identity to make something that sounds a little more like the Of Monsters and Men that we all know. The rest of the album generally stays on the slower, more relaxed end of the spectrum, which makes them somewhat less memorable tunes than the high-energy surprise tracks at the beginning of Fever Dream.
Of Monsters and Men’s Fever Dream is out now via Republic Records.
The 1975 – ‘The 1975’
This is…a really weird one, that raised a lot of questions and comments from The Edge committee. Some of these include “Is it even a song?” (Deputy Editor Theo) and “He annoys me too much to even make it into the song” (Film/Culture PR Officer Maddie). Needless to say, we have questions.
First off, of course I support the message of fighting against climate change and the platform they’ve given to Greta Thunberg, the teenage environmental activist who wrote and spoke an essay in this track. My main issue comes from the fact that they called the song ‘The 1975’. When I heard the title I assumed the song would be deeply personal, so I don’t know what they’re going for here. Are they proclaiming themselves leaders of the environmental revolution? I guess we’ll find out in the upcoming album…
The 1975’s ‘The 1975’ is out now via Polydor.
Taylor Swift – ‘The Archer’
I’ve never been one to get madly excited about Taylor Swift, but this is a really lovely song. Musically, it fits right in with her modern, more recent albums. Lyrically, I feel like we’re going back a few years, but I’m not upset about it. It’s personal, emotional and really beautifully written. It feels like one of the most raw and passionate songs that Swift has released in a while. A fantastic listen.
Taylor Swift’s ‘The Archer’ is out now via Taylor Swift.
Tegan and Sara – ‘I’ll Be Back Someday’
I really, really love Tegan and Sara – and I’m buzzing for their upcoming album which is inspired by songs that the twins wrote in high school, mixed with their current style. ‘I’ll Be Back Someday’ is the first song we’ve heard from this album, and it takes us in a little bit of a different direction to their standard synth-dominated pop tracks. This single is more guitar-driven, but it’s a lovely change that demonstrates the range that Tegan and Sara have. I’m not sure how much of the lyrics were taken from their teenage years, but if this is how they were writing songs in high school then I should have really stepped up my game.
Tegan and Sara’s ‘I’ll Be Back Someday’ is out now via Sire.
Other Selected Releases
Bat For Lashes – ‘Feel For You’
Blink-182 – ‘Darkside’
H.E.R – ’21’
Liam Gallagher – ‘Once’
Mabel – ‘Bad Behaviour’
Ross from Friends – ‘The Revolution’
The Chainsmokers with ILLENIUM & Lennon Stella – ‘Takeaway’
YUNGBLOOD – ‘Time In A Bottle’
DJ Snake – Carte Blanche
Juls – Colour
Lykke Li – still sad still sexy EP
Miraa May – Dark
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Have a listen to our handy Spotify playlist for all of these tracks and more, updated every Friday with the best new music.