Autumn is officially here. Its about time to layer up (yay, layers!) with a hot toddy next to a roaring fire, and what better musical accompaniment than the finest and best tracks of the week.? If you’re wondering where on earth you could find such a thing, all together in one convenient place, then oh boy is today your lucky day. These are DIY’s tracks of the week, below - for more new releases head over to the listening hub.
Charli XCX - London Queen
Few pop songs would dare to boast a chant of 'oi, oi ,oi, wank'. Then again, few pop stars right now are as daring as Charli XCX. Charli called it "future Ramones", and that's a pretty fair analysis; in the same way as a faded old leather jacket souped up with a set of new shiny studs and a Shampoo band patch, 'London Queen' as is bubblegum punk as it gets. Presumably Charli is declaring that she is a London Queen, but spare one moment to imagine the actual London Queen herself, Lizzy the Second, having a bob around to this in her beloved Royal Barge, Gloriana. In fact, like the rest of us, the queen was probably so pleased by Charli XCX's new single that she purred. (El Hunt)
Röyksopp - Sordid Affair
If Röyksopp are taking the occasion of ‘The Inevitable End’ - their final album - literally, all signs point to this being a slow, peaceful and oddly beautiful death. The message being that all good things come to an end, but these final bows don’t always have to be tear-soaked or negatively significant. ‘Sordid Affair’ is worthy of a few sodden hankies, mind you. Bringing the Norwegian duo’s delicate production to an extreme, it’s a piece that - despite its softly-softly electronics - goes straight for the gut. Melodically simple, it’s the sound of a group getting their last words out with precision and purpose. (Jamie Milton)
Years & Years - Desire
If previous singles ‘Real’ and ‘Take Shelter’ laid claim to Years and Years’ all-eyes-on-2015 stance, this is them going in for the kill. ‘Desire’ doesn’t hold back for a single second, arriving on the eve of tours with 2014 breakthroughs Clean Bandit and Sam Smith. Make no mistake: Olly Alexander and co. will be top of the pile for next year, a surefire success barring some disaster. ‘Desire’ lacks the invention-first approach of ‘Take Shelter’. Instead, it’s an Ibiza party, end-of-summer send-off and disco triumph rolled into one. Subtlety isn’t its game, but when was that ever going to be the case for a band aiming this high. Like fellow 2015 hopeful Kwabs and his ‘Walk’ single, there’s been a careful streamlining without making too many sacrifices. Alexander remains a compelling vocalist, commanding with a voice that threatens to skew out of place at any given moment. As is the trio’s trademark, his performance is backed by in-out electronics that dictate a near balearic flow. It’s chart-bothering pop with zero qualms about where it’s heading, but it’s still definitively Years and Years. (JM)
The War On Drugs - Tangled Up In Blue (Bob Dylan Cover)
We all know by now that The War On Drugs are less about campaigning against recreational substances, and more about battling other psychedelic bands to sound the bloody druggiest possible. Now, they’ve tackled Dylan’s classic ‘Tangled Up in Blue’, injecting a load of chorus pedals and jangly reverb into the mix of see-sawing drums and piercing melodies. It’s certainly no mean feat giving such a seminal track a crack, but the Philadelphia four-piece pass with flying colours; Adam Granduciel fantastically manages to sound exactly like Dylan, yet the band manage to add their own – albeit subtle - twist to the instrumental side of things. Best is how woozy everything is; it sure lives up to its name, sounding like it’s been recorded and mixed-up in the deepest depths of a turquoise-blue ocean. (Kyle MacNeill)
Deerhoof - Last Fad
Gearing up to release 'La Isla Bonita' on November 3rd, noise-rock-weirdo veterans Deerhoof have sent out the absolutely barmy 'Last Fad' as a little sneak peek. This is the San Francisco band's twelfth album, and to say they're not shy of experimentation is something of an understatement. Satomi wrote on the bonkers riff for this song on her phone, and not only does it sound impossible, it sounds like the Batman theme tune on intravenous sherbet dib-dab. (EH)
TV On The Radio - Careful You
TV on the Radio are the types to put their lyrics at the very forefront, in fancily packaged booklets or, if they’re pushed to do it, they might even upload the bloody words on Songmeanings themselves. There’s a purpose to it all - as life trudges on and the band go through their own personal tragedies, these words cut like a knife. “You’ve done a number on my heart, and things will never be the same,” is the standout on ‘Careful You’, an admittedly indecisive track that defies the pitfalls of a relationship by screaming “I will care for you” until a repeated mantra starts sounding believable. It’s all declared on top of a bulbous, wobbling wall of synth, probably the most formidable delving into electronics they’ve happened upon to date. It’s bold, bellowed out from the off, whether sung in French of the everyday tongue. And ‘Careful You’ is an impressive example of TV on the Radio continuing to experiment - a closing section of the track dives headfirst into blog-friendly dance territory, like Flume’s been invited for a guest spot at the last minute. Lyrics are all well and good - and they barely make a mis-step here - but it’s what’s under the surface that makes ‘Careful You’ a strong contender for ‘Seeds’’ standout track. (JM)
Yumi Zouma - Alena
Yumi Zouma have a smattering of releases to their name now - mainly in the shape of their outstanding debut EP. It was enough evidence for Lorde to pick them out as her support for her big New Zealand homecoming tour, and she's made a discerning selection. Yumi Zouma's latest, 'Alena', hits with a little more immediacy, but the roots are still very much in dream-pop pizazz world - all crammed chorus syllables and hazy, drifting vocals. The Lorde support slot should boost their profile no end, and it'd be no surprise to see Yumi Zouma take the left-field pop world by storm. (EH)
Danny L Harle - In My Dreams
PC Music has a cold heart. That’s the point. Its genre is “advertising”. It’d prefer to advertise energy drinks than cause some kind of emotional reaction. This has been the case until now, where Danny L Harle - quietly going about his business until this week - has pointed, clear as can be, as to exactly where this curious label’s heading in the future. There’s only so many ironic “in the club” rebukes that PC can rinse out. The response, then, is ‘In My Dreams’, a song that brings chipmunk vocals and saw-toothed synths to a more personable level. Sure, it still sounds like an Ibiza trip inverted, a dance with bubblegum-soaked death. But L Harle provokes something different to every other A. G. Cook-stamped moment of madness. (JM)
Tei Shi - Bassically
There's still a lot of silly labelling around, especially when it comes to women being patronisingly referred to as popstrels or songstresses, along with all the other stupid titles that don't really say a jot about their actual music. Tei Shi, a NYC-residing Argentinian, is having none of it. "Is that what you want, like the other boys?/ Someone you can flaunt like the other toys?" asks 'Bassically', propelled by Italo-synths. At the helm of the humid dance-fallout, Tei Shi moves from exposed to cathartic in one single breath, and 'Bassically', this is mesmerisingly good stuff. (EH)
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