It’s finally the end of the week, and we have a brand spanking new edition of Tracks - this Friday featuring some of the biggest and best new songs from the past fortnight.
There’s brand new Billie Eilish, another taste of Grimes’ forthcoming new album, plus new numbers from Alfie Templeman, Harry Styles, and a tasty cover from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes plus loads more.
For what we have to say on this fortnight’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.
Billie Eilish - everything i wanted
Following up one of the most exciting debuts of recent years, Billie Eilish further raises the bar with ‘everything i wanted’. Cool, quietly upbeat production helps the track to stand out by taking in house and electronica influences. The lyrics strike a fine balance between reassuring a loved one and intense self-reflection - topped off by vocals as dreamy as they are poignant - in a track that, on repeated listens, already sounds like an instant alternative pop classic. (Dominic Penna)
Grimes - So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth
Grimes has returned with this new single after finally (!) announcing the release date of long-awaited ‘Art Angels’ follow-up, ‘Miss Anthropocene’. It is set to be yet another “concept album about the anthropomorphic goddess of climate change: a psychedelic, space-dwelling demon / beauty queen who relishes the end of the world.” Quite.
Unfortunately, ‘So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth’ doesn’t feel remotely anything like an anthropomorphic goddess of climate Change: it is a song that uses washes of atmosphere and textures to hide some quite dull songwriting. It lacks the pop nous of anything on ‘Art Angels’ and, unlike breakthrough record ‘Visions’, the floating textures don’t add to anything to the track, they just feel like polyfilla deployed by an amateur DIY enthusiast. (Tom Sloman)
Alfie Templeman - Who I Am
Even the most heat-allergic among us must now be struggling to look out the window at the grey and drizzle outside and say they don’t miss the heatwave Blighty experienced a few short months ago. Luckily, Alfie Templeman has dropped a new EP, ‘Don’t Go Wasting Time’, whose lead track, ‘Who I Am’, aims to alleviate seasonal mood dips with its brightly-coloured video, summery guitars, and shimmering synths that recall the Psychedelic Furs. It’s a great treatment for late-autumn blues. (Greg Hyde)
Glass Animals – Tokyo Drifting with Denzel Curry
Breaking their three-year silence, Glass Animals have returned with the biting ‘Tokyo Drifting’, featuring Florida rapper Denzel Curry. With colourful arrangement, trumpet tones and a twisted trap-inspired composition, the track builds towards a distorted verse from Denzel. It’s a change of pace from the band who were once rooted in shimmering indie tunes, but ‘Tokyo Drifting’ has been executed with precision. (Hannah Browne)
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Rounding off a successful year that has seen their third full-length album ‘End of Suffering’ rocket to Top Ten status, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes have continued their journey away from the ex-Gallows frontman’s hardcore punk roots with a cover of Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus’ already classic ‘Nothing Breaks Like a Heart’. Their take on the song has a less expansive, more slow-burning quality to it than the original and you can imagine it being used to soundtrack end-of-series montages in high-end BBC One cop thrillers. (Greg Hyde)
Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar
As he stood on a beach with the rest of 1D ‘back in 2011, you could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the cheeky one with the curly hair wouldn’t necessarily go on to produce anything game-changing. But the other end of the decade finds Harry Styles as one of the most intriguing properties in music, with latest cut ‘Watermelon Sugar’ no exception. A huge vocal performance over infectious guitar riffs, irresistible brass, and the incessant repetition of the song’s title - taken from a postmodern novel, don’t you know - make this another stellar addition to the Styles catalogue. (Dominic Penna)
Lauv ft. LANY - Mean It
This is a collaboration that feels like it was written in the stars - not least because there’s been feverish demand from both outfits’ fans for it. Hazy, emotion-fuelled and seamlessly harmonised, ‘Mean It’ is a unified blend of their two sounds, built for blasting on a West Coast road trip. The collaboration is an exercise in simple but purposeful song writing; bringing out the best of both artists and using them against a moody-yet-catchy indie-pop composition. To put it simply, it’s a vibe. (Hannah Browne)
Boy Azooga - O Silly Me
Miserablists rejoice - indie shapeshifters Boy Azooga are back with a gorgeously downcast number. Frontman Davey Newington is known for expertly mixing genres and ‘O Silly Me’ is no different. He begins by reaching out to anxiety sufferers over a plucked acoustic, warbling ‘It’s been another long night, overthinking everything’. Then, around halfway through, the song shifts as a pleasant drum patter awakens and indie, folk and pop converge. It may be less frenetic than anything on debut ‘1, 2, Kung Fu!’ but is never staid. ‘O Silly Me’ is nourishment for the soul. (Rudi Abdallah)