This Week in Records (25/4/2021) – Wolf Alice, The Weeknd and Villagers

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With end-of-year assignments looming on the horizon, sometimes it’s nice to sit back, zone out for a while and put on some cracking new tunes to rock out to. Check out my thoughts on this weeks newest tracks down below.

TUNE OF THE WEEK: Wolf Alice – ‘Smile’

Wolf Alice‘s ‘Smile’ has just re-proven to me everything that I absolutely adore about this band. From the raging opening, heavy backing drum beat and over-edited bass, Ellie Roswell’s laidback spoken-word style delivery, and the kiss-my-ass vibe of the lyrics, this just overall an absolute banger of a track. I am absolutely obsessed with Roswell’s delivery here; she sounds like she’s straight out of the Riot Grrl movement of the 90s, a sickly sweet lilt to her voice that gives way to a complete punch of a belt at the end of certain lines and verses. It feels ANGRY, and angry in the best possible way. It’s the kind of song I want as a backing track to a film about world domination, it’s that kind of vibe. It’s unapologetic (one of my favourite lines in the whole track is ”And you don’t like me, well that isn’t fucking relevant”), and clearly a feminist banger; Roswell rants that she hates being called ‘cute’, as she sees it as a challenge to her own independent power. The title, ‘Smile’, in the context of the rest of the songs lyrics make me think it’s a reference to the classic cat-calling line ”Give us a smile”, which makes me love it even more. It’s a rockin’ track and makes me even more excited for Wolf Alice’s upcoming album, Blue Weekend.

‘Smile’ is available to listen to now via Dirty Hit. Blue Weekend is set to be released on the 1st of June.

The Weeknd ft. Ariana Grande – ‘Save Your Tears [Remix]’

‘Save Your Tears’ gives me a major 80s vibe. It’s got that new wave-esque bouncing bass beat in the background, a bunch of different synths and layered voices; it could easily have come straight out of a 1985 Top of the Pops episode. Naturally, The Weeknd‘s vocals slap, as they always do, and I’m loving Grande‘s lower register with her feature on this track. I will say, the lyrics are nothing to write home about, but everyone loves some ‘Oh Oh Oh’s, and this song has plenty. Also, Grande’s little ‘Mr. Sandman’ vibe ”bum bum bum”s did make me smile a fair bit (honestly a very underrated music trope in my opinion). Overall, this is a good pop song, and nothing that I wouldn’t expect from either of the artists featured on it.

‘Save Your Tears [Remix]’ is available to listen to now via UMG Recordings.

Villagers – ‘The First Day’

I fell in love with Villagers way back when they had a feature on the Big Little Lies soundtrack, providing a cover of Elvis’ ‘The Wonder of You’. ‘The First Day’ has far more electronic influences than this previously mentioned track, and they work brilliantly; the whole song has a very strong Glass Animals and The Neighbourhood vibe, with the higher vocals paired against the heavy backbeats. Honestly, the backing track is the real winner of this song; the journey it takes you on is massively enjoyable, and I love any chorus with backing trumpets, especially when paired with the overly edited snare drum and xylophone that accompanies it. The lyrics are sweet, speaking of a new love comparable to starting the ‘first day of the rest of your life’; it’s a happy vibe, especially with the gospel chorus at the end. It sounds like there’s too much going on in this track when written down on paper, but it just WORKS. I’d definitely recommend giving this a listen for 4 minutes of pure good vibes.

‘The First Day’ is available to listen to now via Domino Recording Co. Ltd.

Hayley Williams – ‘Colour Me In’

Call me old-fashioned, or just clinging to my emo days, but God I miss Paramore. I love Hayley Williams, don’t get me wrong, but her discography just doesn’t cut it for me, especially when you hold it against the magnificence that is the works of Paramore. ‘Colour Me In’ just gave me more of what I have come to expect from Williams; layered vocals that stand out against a simpler backing beat, introspective lyrics of a metaphorical nature, and an oddly eerie vibe. Albeit, I did enjoy the use of what I assume to be a harpsichord here; I thought that was a lot of fun, and different from the overly repetitive lo-fi beats of FLOWERS for VASES / descansos. Sure, ‘Colour Me In’ is an alright track, but once again, I find myself kind of bored by yet another solo release from Williams.

‘Colour Me In’ is available to listen to now via Atlantic Recordings.

Gorgon City – ‘Tell Me It’s True’

‘Tell Me It’s True’ is a summer clubbing track if I’ve heard one. The repeating piano tune, the heavy synths, the floating lyrics and the drop; it all just has that peak summer vibe. I can only imagine what that feeling is going to be like in a nightclub when the bass drops at the beginning of the track following that steady buildup of an opening. The beat is fantastic, one that you can’t not dance along to, which is honestly just what I’ve come to expect at this point from the electronica duo. Gorgon City once again have delivered another perfect night out track.

‘Tell Me It’s True’ is available to listen to now via Universal Music Operations.

Other Selected Releases

SINGLES

Weezer – ‘I Need Some of That’

Avelino – ‘Demons’

Bugzy Malone – ‘Salvador’

Chemical Brothers – ‘The Darkness that you Fear’

David Keenan – ‘Peter O’Toole’s Drinking Stories’

Sports Team – ‘Happy’

Ben Platt – ‘Imagine’

Hunna – ‘Bad Place’

Jorja Smith – ‘Gone’

Lilhuddy – ‘America’

ALBUMS

Field Music – Flat White Moon

Motorhead – Louder Than Noise

Snoop Dogg – From Tha Streets 2 Tha Suites

This Week In Records: Playlist Edition

Need a weekly music fix of all the songs you should care about?  We’ve made a super handy playlist of all of this week’s biggest releases, so just sit back and listen to the good stuff.  Updated every Friday.

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records editor 2020/21 !! 3rd year film and english student. can be often found arguing about costuming in the avenue cafe or crying into a beefy novel in hartley

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