Listen Tracks (Years & Years, Alfie Templeman, Manchester Orchestra & more)

The biggest and best tracks of the past week, rounded up and reviewed.

It’s Friiiiiiday! And while, granted, we don’t quite have as much cause for celebration as we did with Rebecca Black this time last week, it’s still rather nice to know that another week has drawn to a close and we’re still going strong! What’s even better is there’s loads of brilliant new music to get stuck into.

Whether you want to get your weekend off to a somewhat misty-eyed start, with Years & Years’ incredibly powerful cover of Pet Shop Boys’ ‘It’s A Sin’ - proceeds from which will be donated to George House Trust - or if you’d rather fast-forward to summer with the new track from Alfie Templeman, then we’ve got you covered! There’s also gems from the likes of Manchester Orchestra, Wallows and Mahalia and Rico Nasty. Oof!

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Years & Years - It’s A Sin

Not only has Channel 4 series It’s A Sin already been heralded as one of the best shows of the year - the decade, even? - because of its deft and poignant storytelling, but it’s got one hell of a soundtrack to boot. And so, what with Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander playing the show’s Ritchie Tozer, it feels only right that the band would offer up a reworking of the show’s titular theme song. An entire transformation of the original Pet Shop Boys banger, Years & Years’ rendition is instead a more reflective piano-driven offering, that echoes the show’s emotion perfectly. A word to the wise: sobbing post-listen is entirely acceptable. (Sarah Jamieson)

Alfie Templeman - Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody

Charged with an infectious groove that offers a gentle nod towards Modjo’s iconic ‘Lady (Hear Me Tonight)’, young indie-pop prodigy Alfie Templeman is back with his radiant new single ‘Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody’. Fusing hypnotic riffs, 80s funk beats and a catchy chorus, Templeman has effortlessly nailed a dance-pop hit that vastly broadens the scope of any expectation for his forthcoming ‘mini-album’ release. With rose-tinted glasses, ‘Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody’ is a welcome warm escape from reality, igniting that desire for summer time. (Olivia White)

Manchester Orchestra - Bed Head

While Manchester Orchestra may have become known for their explosive riffs and poignant lyricism over the past ten years, it’s on ‘Bed Head’ - the first taste of their forthcoming sixth album ‘The Million Masks of God’ - that they carve out something new. Opening with glitchy effects and weaving in electronics across the opening verses, there’s a new energy to the band, with these flourishes working to amplify the track’s soaring nature perfectly. A reflective rumination of life and death, ‘Bed Head’ yet again shows off Andy Hull’s innate skill for writing potent and insightful lyrics, and it, of course, still packs in their signature guitars. But here, it’s all of the track’s elements - both well-worn and new - that work together in harmony, to create something altogether more powerful. (Sarah Jamieson)

Wallows - Quarterback

Fresh off of the release of their lockdown-made EP ‘Remote’, Wallows have whipped up a deluxe edition with some brand spanking new tracks, unveiling new gem ‘Quarterback’ along the way. Yet more proof of the trio’s knack of crafting irresistible indie-pop tracks, ‘Quarterback’ is an easy, breezy, dazzling pop bop that sees drummer Cole Preston taking over vocal duties. Fun AF and completely captivating, let ‘Quarterback’ soundtrack your sunny days until their second album drops and quickly becomes the only thing we play when the sun comes out. (Elly Watson)

Mahalia feat. Rico Nasty - Jealous

Don’t you love it when some of your faves come together? Well, Mahalia and Rico Nasty have done just that, joining forces for new track ‘Jealous’. A slick and polished collab that sees Mahalia’s crisp vocals gliding effortlessly over the R&B-beat, Rico Nasty flexes her musical muscles, delivering an equally sleek and sizzling verse as opposed to the ferocious rap verses she’s known and loved for. Complete with a hook that’ll be playing in your head all day, what’s not to love? (Elly Watson)

Tags: Alfie Templeman, Mahalia, Manchester Orchestra, Rico Nasty, Wallows, Years & Years, Listen, Features, Tracks

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