The second Friday of January gave us another huge selection of wonderful music, this time with new artists gaining the majority of attention from us at The Music Radar UK. Here are our tracks of the week alongside in depth reviews:
The Best of the Week
Track of the Week: The Orwells – “Black Francis”
Oakland five piece The Orwells release their fourth single from upcoming third album, an ode dedicated to influences Pixies and named after their singer Frank Black. It’s a typical Orwells song – classically chaotic and fun with a superbly catchy chorus made for dancing to. Lyrics “Black Frank has got my world in his hands” shows just how grateful the band are to Pixies, a band who have shaped their attitude and sound. It’s another brilliant new release from Mario Cuomo and co ahead of their new album.
The Big Moon – “Hold This”
Hold This is the latest release from upcoming four piece The Big Moon. Flowing with an Arctic Monkey’s drum staccato and guitar combination plus empowering vocals from singer Juliette Jackson, the song is an epic journey with twists and changes throughout. This track adds to the continuing momentum of the band, and as one of the country’s most promising artists, they need to be watched out for in 2017.
The Chainsmokers – “Paris”
The American DJ duo continue on their quest to conquer the world with nostalgic track Paris, a track that captures millennial teenage youth, rebellion and the conflict between reality and fantasy. In comparison with previous hits, Paris is more stripped back, with a heavy bass line the only impactful part of the beginning. Combining The 1975 styled funk guitars, piano and US singer-songwriter Emily Warren, the song reaches boiling point with a euphoric M83 styled drop to end a glorious song ready for the summer.
Declan McKenna – “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home”
The 18 year old, indie troubadour releases a glorious indie rock record in The Kid’s Don’t Wanna Come Home. “I don’t know what I want / If I’m completely honest” starts a song about indecisiveness and the problems for children, whose parents don’t raise them correctly. Lines “Well hey there mother mine / Your kids are sick but they’re gonna be just fine / I said possibly not if you keep raising them this way / You’re just leading them to die, oh your disbelief and dismay,” shows that by telling children they’re going to be fine is the worst thing to do and leads children in the wrong direction. With a wonderful, long guitar solo towards the end, this is the best song so far from the young singer songwriter, with many comparing McKenna to the likes of Jake Bugg.
The xx – “Dangerous”
The opener to The xx’s new album I See You, Dangerous is a sign that the band has changed significantly since 2012’s Coexist. A blare of trumpets brings you into the track, followed by a looping bass line. The product is an xx dance track, helped surely by Jamie xx’s solo album, based around the thrill and danger of a relationship that others might disagree with.
Halsey – “Not Afraid Anymore”
The New York art pop star returns with a dark and gritty track, Not Afraid Anymore, from the Fifty Shades Darker Soundtrack. The song starts with a dark groove before launching into a euphoric sultry chorus. Lyrics “And touch me like you never / And push me like you never” highlight Halsey’s wish to push boundaries. The following verses continue in a emphatic, sexy and sinful direction. It’s a shamefully brilliant song marking the comeback of one of the most original artists in the world.
SOHN – “Rennen”
The title track of SOHN’s second album, Rennen is a beautiful composition, with typical electronic elements completely stripped back. Piano creates the baseline on which the song then builds upon, with a standout vocal performance dancing over the top of the track. The song itself incorporates faith (“Oh Father, release me/ My bones feel like stone”), enlightenment (“It’s obvious, the universe is tryna tell me to let go”) and despair (“And I love you but I really have to go”). It’s a stunning track on what is an excellent album.
Other Noticeable Tracks
Julia Michaels – “Issues”
New wave pop star Julia Michaels’ Issues is an infectiously sweet pop song, detailing a relationship with problems but one that’s worth fighting for. With its chilled string opening and huge pulsing chorus, its one of the best pop songs of 2017 so far.
Tiesto Feat. Bright Sparks – “On My Way”
Fun and bouncy future summer anthem from the legendary Dutch DJ. Lyrics “I ain’t no millionaire, but I’m on my way / Can’t find love, but hell, I’m on my way,” show that we an all remain upbeat despite other issues. It’s an uplifting dance track made for both nightclubs and festival crowds.
Wiley Feat. Devlin – “Bring Them All / Holy Grime”
For grime fans, Bring Them All / Holy Grime is a hugely important song in the genre’s history. It sees two huge UK rappers of the last 15 years in Wiley and Devlin, coming together following a history of arguments and issues. Shout outs to George Best alongside other football puns make the song one of the best on the album, with humour and fast flowing bars mixed together.
Milky Chance – “Doing Good”
The German fold-duo return to the scene with Doing Good, the second song from upcoming album Blossom. With a foals styled guitar intro, the song mixes a funky chorus with stripped back bass groove and tom beats elsewhere. It’s an infectious development from the band and displays the message that we should all try and be grateful for what we have.
Blaenavon – “Orthodox Man”
The latest song from big upcoming band Blaenavon takes influence from The Maccabees and Oscar to create a wonderful indie rock track. Orthodox Man is a tale of a man being completely submissive to his partner. Lines “I’ll be your orthodox man when you call / I’ll be your slave, your pet,” bares all feelings in the song. It’s the band’s most polished song so far and we would encourage you to keep them on your radar.
Bonobo Feat. Nick Murphy – “No Reason”
No Reason is a beautiful electronic record that takes The xx’s haunting vocals and amplifies the bass and synths to create an infectious yet subtle groove. With Nick Murphy’s (formally Chet Faker) gorgeous vocals over the top, the track is one that bares comparison to The xx’s new releases and triumphs alongside them.