ICYMI: we now have two radio channels live and on the air at NME! You can tune into NME 1 for a selection of stone-cold classics and indie anthems, while NME 2 will bring you the best of the past decade — from alternative bops to grime and leftfield dance.
Each week Team NME carefully handpick a selection of tunes to add to both playlists — and here are the additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists for this week.
On the A List
Rina Sawayama – ‘STFU!’
The Japanese-born Dirty Hit artist is quite rightly done with putting up with microaggressions from idiots. “Have you ever thought about taping your big fat mouth shut?” she snarls on the appropriately titled ‘STFU!’ “‘Cos I have, many times”. This half nu-metal, half-pop hook-filled offering from Sawayama’s upcoming debut album is an unexpected but hugely welcome preview of the record, which is due out in 2020.
She recently told NME that ‘STFU!’ was inspired by having listened to the genre-blending likes of N.E.R.D., Evanescence and t.A.T.u (remember them?) growing up. “That’s the kind of sound I want to hear in the mainstream right now, and I feel like it [isn’t] really there,” she added.
On the B List
Gengahr – ‘Heavenly Maybe’
The London four-piece will help usher in the new decade next month by releasing their third album ‘Sanctuary’, and ‘Heavenly Maybe’ – the third preview of that LP – will certainly equip the record with, at the very least, a groovy interlude. Beneath the funk-tastic bass and insistent drums, though, lies a message of warning: “The song itself is essentially about going out and trying to forget about all of your troubles, and how ultimately problematic that is as a form of release,” the band have helpfully explained. You can consider this important theme while simultaneously enjoying this banger at your local indie club in the 2020s.
Maggie Rogers – ‘Love You For A Long Time’
Rogers is deservedly up for a Grammy at next year’s ceremony in the Best New Artist category, and the Maryland singer/songwriter celebrated the news last week by releasing the upbeat and exceedingly pleasant ‘Love You For A Long Time’. “It’s a song about love in all its forms,” Rogers explained about the single. “Romantic love, the love I feel for my friends, the love I feel for my band, and the love I’ve shared with all of you.” N’aww.
The Japanese House – ‘Chewing Cotton Wool’
We don’t recommend chewing actual cotton wool, but listening to The Japanese House‘s dreamy new single definitely receives an NME Radio stamp-of-approval. The latest track to be taken from Amber Bain’s 2020-set EP, ‘Chewing Cotton Wool’ is further proof of Bain’s talent for making utterly affecting minimalist pop. Maybe use the cotton wool you were planning to nibble on to instead dab your eyes dry after listening to this one.
On the C List
The Big Moon – ‘Take A Piece’
This is not a drill: The Big Moon have gone pop! Even the band were surprised by the end product they created in their rehearsal room with the cooing, indie pop-tastic ‘Take A Piece’. “At first, we weren’t really sure if this could be a Big Moon song, we were on unfamiliar ground… but the idea just stuck around,” Juliette Jackson has explained. “And we kept going back to it, and the more we played with it the more we fell in love with it, and now it couldn’t be more ours.
“And you know what? It’s exciting that as musicians we can do whatever the hell we want!” she continued. “And when we finally recorded it we were like, ‘Gahhh what have we made? Is this a Big Moon song? Can we be this self-indulgent?’ BUT WHY THE HELL NOT?” Couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
Blossoms – ‘The Keeper’
‘Foolish Loving Spaces’, Blossoms’ upcoming third album, is set for release in January – and it’s going to be a truly soppy affair. “It’s a pure celebration of love in all of its splendid and baffling guises, toying with the so-called sins of lust and forbidden infatuation,” the band told NME back in September about the theme of the record. ‘The Keeper’ is an up-tempo, Arcade Fire-doing-their-best-Talking-Heads-impression affair, with bright pianos, subtle bongos rhythms (!) and sing-a-long moments galore.
Rachel Chinouriri – ‘Where Do I Go?’
The rising Croydon artist follows her strong ‘Mama’s Boy’ EP with the soothing and soulful ‘Where Do I Go?’, which features guest drumming from black midi’s Morgan Simpson. Expect even bigger and better things from Chinouriri in 2020 after enjoying a break-out 12 months this term.
Klangstof – ‘Blank Page’
Lastly this week we have Dutch trio Klangstof, who freely admitted recently that they needed to inject a bit more energy into their output. “After two years on the road we all felt that we wanted to have something a bit more up-tempo,” the band recently recalled about writing ‘Blank Page’. “Often during the live set we would look at each other and be like, ‘fuck, this is a slow song too.’
“So for once we put the BPM up to 115 and started jamming out.” It worked out pretty well: ‘Blank Page’ is a shimmering and exciting piece that’ll have people at their gigs shuffling along. Don’t worry if this does happen, lads: people do like to dance at live shows at every now and again…