It’s finally the end of the week, and we have a brand spanking new edition of Tracks - our weekly round-up of the biggest and best new tracks around.
There’s the timely collaboration between Yeah Yeah Yeahs mic-slinger and country legend Willie Nelson (and its most unlikely of beginnings), Lily Allen’s guest turn on New Zealand pop sensation BENEE’s latest, another no-longer-hidden gem from down the back of The Kills’ settee, and much more.
For what we have to say on this week’s biggest and most exciting tracks, scroll on! And if you’re itching to check out even more, subscribe to our Essential New Tracks playlist.
Karen O and Willie Nelson - Under Pressure
Never did we think we’d end up thanking Jackass stunt goon Johnny Knoxville on our fair website, and yet here we are, doffing a cap to a man who willingly strapped himself to a rocket for introducing Karen O to country legend Willie Nelson - yep, honestly - for a duet. How that dinner party would go down, we cannot say, but the track - an emotive, stripped-back take on Queen and David Bowie’s bombastic classic - lands as a far more poignant, subtle thing than Knoxville’s likely used to. Recorded in response to the imminent US presidential election, its tone of fear but underlying hope is a more-than-relatable one right now. (Lisa Wright)
BENEE - Plain
Continuing her penchant for making huge pop bops, New Zealand's BENEE is teasing her upcoming debut album 'Hey u x' with her latest sizzler 'Plain'. All about seeing your former flame hanging out with someone new, and with lyrics that could easily be lifted from any group chat, the sleek track also has features from Lily Allen and Flo Milli, giving the lush bop some extra oomph. (Elly Watson)
The Kills - I Put A Spell On You
The second track revealed from the pair's 'Little Bastards' compilation released later this year, 'I Put A Spell On You' harks back to a more stripped-back Kills, the sparse arrangement, with pleasingly erratic guitar stabs from Jamie Hince allowing space for Alison Mosshart's deliciously-unhinged vocal to take centre stage. It's another welcome reminder of what made the pair so irresistible in the first place. (Emma Swann)
Sleaford Mods ft Billy Nomates - Mork n Mindy
For those not in the know, Mork and Mindy was a late-’70s, Robin Williams-starring sitcom in which a lovable hapless alien (Mork) comes to earth and falls in love with human woman Mindy. It was nice. It was comforting. It was the exact opposite of Sleaford Mods’ aggy ranting. And so while the Nottingham duo (and a tense turn from newcomer Billy Nomates) attempt to distil, they say, “the sound of the central heating and the dying smells of Sunday dinner in a house on an estate in 1982”, it is - of course - a bleak presentation of that idea that they give us, with little room for light. Maybe someone needs to tell Sleafords not everything is always quite as awful as their relentlessly irritated manifesto might suggest? (Lisa Wright)
Rose Gray - Save Your Tears
On recent single ‘Same Cloud’, Londoner Rose Gray staked her claim as the 2020 heir to the Madchester throne - all baggy beats, bucket hat energy and club-ready swagger. ‘Save Your Tears’, meanwhile, shows that track was no one-off. Complete with huge ‘90s chorus, powerful belting vocals and the kind of euphoric motif that’s part Primal Scream, part Ultra Naté, it’s like a lost relic from a quarter of a century ago - a much happier time, all in all, so we’ll happily take it. (Lisa Wright)
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It comes ahead of the release of their new album ‘Spare Ribs’.
There’s more than enough here to hopefully switch a new generation onto the main event.