Who can believe that we are already halfway through February! We have had a huge amount of great new music so far and with more rumours each day of potential releases from some of the biggest artists in the world, it seems as if we are being specially treated after 2016. As always we have a variety of brilliant new tracks to share with you so here are our tracks of the week alongside in depth reviews.
Track of the Week: The Amazons – “Black Magic”
We have been huge fans of the Reading four piece for over a year now, during this time they’ve released some big tracks but new track Black Magic tops them all. It’s a sporadic, fist pumping anthem with a guitar riff so strong it prowls along the track like an animal. With crashing drums from Joe Emmett and a blistering guitar solo, the track is a huge rock anthem destined for huge success. Lead singer Matt Thomson said previously that the track itself “is about the helplessness you feel when you realise the feelings you have for someone are no longer reciprocated. The despair at the awareness that there is nothing you can do to change the way you feel.” Line “And I can’t shift the way you’re always on my mind” shows the longing that’s still there from the singer. The song shows The Amazons with a matured and tighter sound with the band at their most powerful.
Ed Sheeran – “How Would You Feel (Paean)”
The Yorkshire singer songwriter continues his quest to dominate 2017 with new track How Would You Feel (Paean) released this week as a celebration on his birthday. It’s the third track released from upcoming album Divide and shows the singer at his most romantic. The track is a slow dance, which only uses acoustic guitar, piano and drums. Chorus lyrics “How would you feel / If I told you I loved you” shows Sheeran in full crooner mode celebrating both love and lover. The song is surely set to repeat, if not top, similar track Thinking Out Loud and with similarities to old school ballads like Lionel Richie’s Easy, the track is absolutely beautiful and we are looking forward to his album release on March 3.
Lana Del Rey – “Love”
Unconventionally, Lizzie Grant aka Lana Del Rey returned for the first time since 2015, with track Love released on Saturday rather than Friday. The track is classically Lana Del Rey, an emotional, swirling piece of retro beauty. The singer teased the track in LA with promotional posters put up around the city before the song was released. The track sees Lana connecting with fans’ past and reflecting on youth through them. Lines “You’re part of the past, but now you’re the future / Signals crossing can get confusing” mixes the responsibility that lies ahead in the future with the need to enjoy childhood before it ends. The track gives of a romanticised idea of love and affection and we can’t help falling in love with it.
machineheart – “Speak in Tongues”
Grimes-influenced LA indie art-pop band machineheart are a band to watch for at the moment. They’ve released a few tracks since 2015 but had a quiet year last year. New track Speak in Tongues is an indication that big things are to come this year with the track being dominated by the enchanting vocals of singer and model Stevie Scott. With ghoulish synths layering up the track which is led by a strong guitar pattern, Speak in Tongues is an enticingly exciting track for the upcoming LA band.
Maroon 5 Feat. Future – “Cold”
The US giants return for the first time in 2017 with new R&B influenced track Cold, a continuation of their separation from their original rock sound. With stripped back instrumentation allowing Adam Levine’s vocals to soar, the track has a smooth R&B groove, similar to that of Zayn Malik’s solo work. Cold is written about the breakdown of a relationship and lyrics “Are we taking time or a time out / I can’t take the in-between” show the conflict and fragmentation of a relationship. Rapper Future adds a wonderful and fresh verse nearer the end and with a drum click dominated chorus, the track is rhythmic and catchy and sees an interesting new path for the band.
Linkin Park Feat. Kiiara – “Heavy”
The US rock and metal titans return for the first time since 2014, with a collaboration that spark a complete shift in direction for the band. Heavy centers itself around the emotional weight of fixating on one specific thing that keeps bringing oneself down. Lyrics “And I drive myself crazy / Thinking everything’s about me” show narcissism and the weight that issues carry on people. Musically, the band have stepped away from their heavy, familiar sound, stripping their instrumentation back to synths, guitars and huge sounding drums. It’s essentially a pop song with elements of electro rock and upcoming singer Kiiara’s contribution adds an interesting flavour to the track, with her vocals and the drums giving the track a poppy but still subtle rock sound.
Kygo Feat. Selena Gomez – “It Ain’t Me”
Norwegian tropical house DJ Kygo has teamed up with US star Selena Gomez on a country inspired track similar to the works of Avicii. With Gomez on vocals, the track tells a story of the breakdown of a relationship due to alcoholism. The verses in their chilled nature compare almost to the hit Fun. single Some Nights, whereas the chorus and drop lift all into a euphoric bliss with Gomez’s distorted vocals. Lyrics “You were staying out all night / And I had enough” are rumoured to be about former beau Justin Bieber and the track as a whole is a more mature sound for both artists.
Rocky Nti – “Yours”
The upcoming Milton Keynes singer released new track Yours on Valentines Day earlier this week. It’s a wonderful take on modern day relationships with many references to social media and the lives everybody now live. Yours is a Bloc Party styled indie track, with it’s fast paced drums and subtle bouncing guitar. The phrase “Netflix and Marry Me” might well become a familiar catchphrase for the singer due to its dominance within the song. The track displays a longing attitude towards someone and is humorous in its lyrics. It’s an unconventional love song and one we like a lot.
DJ Khaled Feat. Beyoncé and Jay Z – “Shining”
The legendary US DJ releases the first new track for his next album, which features the power couple that is Beyoncé and Jay Z. The track is predominately sung by Beyoncé, who at times is singing so fast it’s like she’s rapping. The track is synonymous with that of track Formation as well as her early work, showing Beyoncé at the most confident phase in her career. Jay Z’s verse touches on former feud’s with Drake, his success as an artist and the news that he’s going to welcome twins into his family. The track is a celebration of hard work, love and empowerment and is a brilliantly polished track.
Off Bloom – “Falcon Eye”
Danish electro-pop trio Off Bloom are a band with huge potential. Latest release Falcon Eye takes a flavour from the Middle East with it’s distorted synths and layered vocals. The catchy chorus sounds almost like a mashup of various sound effects bound together in exotic bundle. Off Bloom highlight the recent rise in Scandinavian successes with their track very similar to that of fellow Danish artist MO and if they keep releasing tracks like this, it would be hard to see them not reaching the success many believe they could achieve.
Other Noticeable Tracks:
John Legend and Cynthia Erivo – “God Only Knows”
The US singer songwriter teamed up with British Tony award winning actress and singer at this years Grammy’s for the memorandum section. The cover of The Beach Boys classic is stripped back and boosted with a beautiful classical layering which comes over twinkling piano.
The Rhythm Method Feat. Zoee – “Cruel”
South London duo The Rhythm Method are one of the most interesting up and coming bands in the UK. Their calm, half spoken, half rapped lyrics mix with an off beat reggae tune which has guest singer Zoee floating vocals over the top to create a blissed out masterpiece of similar style to The Streets.
Speech Debelle – “Strange Ways”
The 2009 Mercury Music Prize winning rapper returns in 2017 with new track Strange Ways which takes a chilled acoustic guitar pattern and uses the vocals to add to the rhythmic beat that the guitar provides. For a rap track, it’s very stripped back, but its innocence is wonderfully refreshing.
Tom Grennan – “Praying”
The upcoming London singer has been hotly tipped by many for success in 2017 after breaking into the spotlight with Chase & Status collaborated track All Goes Wrong. Grennan’s rich vocals alongside a blues styled guitar line create a track similar to that of John Newman and Rag’n’Bone Man.
Mary J. Blige – “Me + You (Love Lesson)”
The legendary R&B singer returns with an emotional, stripped back song, based on the difficult divorce that’s currently in process. The track is classic Mary J. Blige, a smooth R&B jam that brings all emotions to the forefront.
James TW – “Ex”
Discovered on YouTube by Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes, British pop singer songwriter James TW is one of the most promising solo artists in the country. Latest single Ex is written about the struggle of moving on from a past relationship. It’s a heartfelt track showing the vulnerable side to the singer.
Nav Feat. The Weeknd – “Some Way”
Canadian rapper Nav teams up with fellow countryman The Weeknd aka Abel Tesfaye. The provocative track sees Abel responding to doubters from the past, “I don’t want your apologies”, and also takes a potential swing at Justin Bieber who has made comments since it was announced Tesfaye was dating former beau Selena Gomez. It’s pretty graphic but still a wonderful R&B track.
Little Cub – “Too Much Love”
South London electro trio Little Cub release cynical track Too Much Love. The track explains a lifestyle in which no lessons are learnt and nothing ever changes. It’s a chilled and honest electro pop track, establishing the band as one to watch in the coming weeks.
Sonny – “Princess”
Old school styled track Princess is the first single released by rising soul influenced artist Sonny. The track, with it’s subtly funky groove, tells of a relationship on the verge of breakdown. Despite the sombre nature of the topic, the track is an easy listening masterpiece.
Galantis – “Rich Boy”
Electronic duo Galantis produced some of the biggest dance tracks last year and return in 2017 with new dance anthem Rich Boy. The track, which samples an 8 year old singer, is typically fast paced and has a brilliantly warm summer vibe. It might be February but expect to be hearing this on repeat in June.