This week’s Tracks of the Week represents five months since The Music Radar UK was founded. In this time, we’ve managed to achieve a huge amount, from keeping everyone up to date with the latest news to highlighting some of the brightest new artists. A feature that has always remained a constant pleasure to bring you is our Tracks of the Week feature. This week sees a wonderful selection of tracks from artists that are both established and upcoming. Have a listen to some of these tracks as there is definitely something for everyone and we look forward to continue bringing you features in the future.
Track of the Week: alt-J – “Adeline”
A week before the highly anticipated release of third album Relaxer, alt-J have released their third single of the year, the swirling five minute track Adeline. Inspired by Hans Zimmer, the track follows a peculiar tale of a Tasmanian Devil falling in love with a woman. Starting with a haze of distortions casting over the delicate and repeating acoustic line, the track is atmospheric with a slightly sinister feeling, one that’s not dark but rather a twisting, mysterious tale that enraptures the listener. A rumble of mopeds and pulsating synths wash across the track which can be said to resemble the hypothetical combination of alt-J and a full concert orchestra. The track is so uniquely alt-J in its production but it’s been propelled to such a proportion that for every layer of instrumentation that joins the track, you feel even more as if you’ve been transported to another dimension. A string section of startling beauty cuts away the residual quirkiness that normally overflows on the trio’s music and the end product is something you’d expect to hear as the focal point in a film. It’s a triumph of immense quality and evidence of the band’s strength in production and originality.
The Districts – “If Before I Wake”
Philadelphia four piece The Districts have slowly grown in the music scene for their striking blend of music, comparison to a mix between The Lumineers and Kings of Leon. New track If Before I Wake is a resounding message of defiance, seeing the band increase almost everything musically which gives their sound a gorgeous blend of atmospheric folk and rock. Combined, folk tinged vocals carry significant weight and tone towards the beginning of the track which sees emphatic guitars soaring in every direction. The use of synthesisers for the band adds a new texture to their music whilst Rob Grote’s Mumford & Sons styled passion see his vocal performance stand out. With the chanting of lines like I’m just a narcissist” there is a slight spiritual depth in the ritualistic chanting that occurs on If Before I Wake. As a complete work, it’s a swirling, more accomplished piece of folk rock that highlights huge development for the band as a whole.
Tom Joshua – “Boys In Cars”
We’ve been fans of Stockton-on-Tees singer songwriter Tom Joshua for a while now, with his beautiful and slightly folk based tracks highlighting the stunning talent he has for lyricism. Latest track Boys in Cars is a gorgeously intimate track led by guitar whilst flourishes of piano fade in and out along various intervals. Halfway through, drums enter the fray and switch the intimate nature of the single to a swirling atmospheric piece that twinkles out in a perfect ending. It’s a beautiful final piece from the rising storyteller and surely deserves to gain Joshua the recognition he deserves.
Low Island – “That Kind of Love”
Shuffling drums cut across the sweeping, serene atmosphere laid down by new Oxford four piece Low Island. The four members come from a rich variety of musical backgrounds which allows them to pool together a plethora of ideas which is noticeable on latest single That Kind of Love, which twists and turns in a variety of directions with little snippets of something new flickering in and out at random intervals. Haunting vocals have a subtle groove within them whilst deep, pulsating synths drive the track to a new level. It’s an incredible single from a band who even more astonishingly only came together a year ago.
Lucy Rose – “No Good At All”
Warwickshire singer-songwriter Lucy Rose has been one of the most admired artists in her genre since she released her debut record five years ago. This week sees Rose release No Good At All, the fourth track from her upcoming third album Something’s Changing. With intimate, twinkling piano setting the atmosphere of the song, Rose tackles the reality of growing up and the implications and new surroundings that that carries with it. Opening line “I’m not the oil painting that you once bought” is an honest and frank statement that she’s both developing personally and musically and the laid back nature of the song alongside Rose’s gorgeously soulful vocals make it a track of sincere enjoyment.
The Magic Gang – “Your Love”
Brighton four piece The Magic Gang have been making huge strides in the last year and despite their third EP being released just two months ago, the band are back this week with another track and following their previous songs, it’s another glorious sunshine anthem ready for the blissful upcoming months. A rousing, indie rock track similar to the likes of Weezer with wonderful melodies, the band take The Beatles’ recognisable jangliness and make it their own. The harmonies of the four piece are of such high quality that they rival some of the world’s biggest and best and the track confirms their potential to be one of Britain’s next great bands.
Wild Youth – “All or Nothing”
Brace yourselves for what could be one of your new favourite bands as Dublin four piece Wild Youth released today their debut single All or Nothing, a song which looks set to launch them when they’ve only just started. Rousing drums and a commanding vocal performance are just two of the elements on the track that stand out from the group, which only came together last year. The spirited chorus sees Kings of Leon-esque guitars being ramped up to sky-scraping proportions the track is quite frankly stunning and what is more mesmorising is the fact that this is just their first single. Watch out for them as they very much could be stars in the future.
Little Mix Feat. Stormzy – “Power”
Showing themselves to be the most important British girl group since the Spice Girls, Little Mix return with their next single, Power, a fierce feminist anthem that holds its own from beginning to end. Perrie Edwards’ strong vocals from the start highlight the direction that the group are going with the track, which has a joyous drop whilst line “You’re the man, but I got the, I got the, I got the power” is amongst the plentitude of references to the dominance of women both sexual and societal. There’s a versatility to the group that is so underrated with moments of real vocal strength whilst parts which are almost rapped with a perfect tone and flow. A brilliant guest verse from Stormzy further highlights female empowerment, a topic which is sometimes hindered by rap, thus making it an ever-more important message. It’s a great track and sees them edging closer to the Spice Girls’ importance in music.
Dave – “100M’s”
Dave Santan, known just as Dave, released his second single of 2017 this week, with 100M’s highlighting the natural talent of London’s next big MC. The stealthy self-produced grime beat sees the rapper looking at his rise over the last year and tackling what’s next to come. With a subtle reference to his hit collaboration with Drake, Dave signals the importance of his roots and the genre with lines “Mandem dream of a MOBO / Don’t you want Oscars and Grammy’s?” showing he’d rather gain praise in his genre than from anywhere else. The confidence of the MC is something to be admired as the verses flow with such ease that you can’t help but love the track.
River Matthews – “Sunshine”
Woking singer songwriter River Matthews has somehow escaped from our radar up until now but the rising singer is someone whom everyone needs to listen to. Latest release Sunshine displays Matthews’ deep and soulful vocals whilst a blend of horns and gospel backing vocals creates a joyfully infectious tune that proves irresistible to clap or dance to. An ode to the summer, Sunshine certainly has put us in a wonderfully blissful mood.
Coldabank – “Lovin’ You”
Having released his debut EP earlier on this year, Joachim Walker aka Coldabank returns this week with new single Lovin’ You. The track is glorious tropical house from the rising London producer and the dominance of tropical chimes within the track add to the infectious vibes that should be present within all great house music. Walker infuses a glorious saxophone line within the single, which adds a final piece of perfection to the irresistible catchy track. There’s no denying the talent of the rising producer and Lovin’ You is a celebratory anthem perfect for when you spend long summer days with friends and loved ones.
Camila Cabello – “I Have Questions”
Just a week after former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello released her debut single Crying in the Club, the singer returns with another track this week with I Have Questions. The track sees the singer tackling her emotions and mind as she struggles to cope with heartbreak. Written during a period of immense hardship for Cabello, there is an obvious note of pain in her voice on the track which gives a small sense of vulnerability and rawness. With a mix of strings and pop, the song is combines a lyrical ballad with a slow moving dance track to produce another well accomplished single.
Bad Sounds – “Zacharia”
Bath five piece Bad Sounds exploded onto our airwaves last year with tracks Avalanche and Wages, the latter of which was made Radio One’s Hottest Record by Annie Mac. This week sees the group return with a gift of a track in Zacharia, an old school dance track based upon a catchy groove and a bass led rhythm. Funky with infectious whistling, it’s a hugely intelligent track which is similar to the inventiveness of Beck during his most experimental phases. Rallying around the bass line, each member provides a complex yet completely addictive layer to the song and we can’t wait to hear more from a band who could very well take the year by storm.
Marika Hackman – “Cigarette”
Hampshire multi-instrumentalist Marika Hackman has been gaining huge acclaim in the alternative world with her unique and diverse music style. Latest track Cigarette is an intimate acoustic track, completely stripped back apart from guitar and vocals plus the subtle yet atmospheric synths towards the end. Line “When did it get so forced / Drunk be the second course” highlights the frustration that comes when relationships move further on in time. Throughout the track there is a distinct unsettlement with the relationship in question and the lo fi production adds an even more intimate effect to what is already a stark proclamation of unhappiness. For us however, it’s a great reminder of Hackman’s natural ability as a musician, a singer and a writer that gains her the respect and praise she deserves.
Martin Garrix Feat. Troye Sivan – “There For You”
Premiered at this year’s Coachella Festival, Dutch DJ Martin Garrix releases the studio version of his collaboration with Australian singer Troye Sivan. There For You, is an uplifting message of love towards the most important people in your life and in a series of tweets, Sivan stated that the track was a dedication to the fans who have stayed with him. Lyrics “Last year took a toll on me / But I made it with you next to me” highlight the singers dedication to tour life but the need for his lover to keep him stable. Martin Garrix puts another addictively infectious beat upon the track, which mixes rising synths with bass to create a perfect summer anthem and a collaboration that we are glad to hear.
Vera Blue – “Mended”
The project of former The Voice Australia contestant Celia Pavey, Mended is an atmospheric, swirling track of electronic folk that compares to the works of Bon Iver. Subtle electronic touches filter across the gorgeous natural vocals of the singer. An emotive ballad about unresolved relationships, the Sydney based artist shines with intriguing glow. Whilst being a folk pop singer on paper, there are a variety of elements on Mended that show to everyone that there is a deeper artistic quality within Vera Blue and together the track is a beautiful reminder of the diverse nature in today’s music industry with artists forever experimenting with new directions and sounds.
Washed Out – “Get Lost”
We were treated to the return of Ernest Greene aka Washed Out this week with the arrival of new single Get Lost. The song is rooted by a repetitive beat that is infectiously driven into the listener, starting a pleasure filled journey from start to end. Psychedelic vocals add a certain lulled and whispered quality to the track whilst old school flickers of jazz licks stay reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem and Formation. Get Lost is a stunning mix of electronic, alternative, dance and hip hop and establishes Greene as someone to watch out for this year.
Halsey Feat. Lauren Jauregui – “Strangers”
Ahead of next weeks second album release, alternative pop star Halsey has given us another track this week, with Strangers, a collaboration between her and Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregui. Electronic and synth heavy, Halsey stated the track is an anthem for the LGBT community that sees two women singing to each other whilst expressing their feelings during the first meeting at a house party. Lines “She doesn’t look me in the eyes anymore / Too scared of what she’ll see, somebody holding me” highlight the issue of coming to terms with your sexuality whilst throughout the track there’s a to and fro of emotional, physical and sexual torment. Reminiscent of La Roux, Strangers is glorious synth pop that confirms Halsey as an artist not afraid to tackle some of the biggest stigmas in society.
Enter Shikari Feat. Big Narstie – “Supercharge”
Hertfordshire rock four piece Enter Shikari are famed for being one of the most incredible rock bands live and this week sees them make a huge return with track Supercharge, featuring Grime MC Big Narstie. The track hints at new sources of inspiration for the band with the tracks strong electronic intro similar to that of The Prodigy in terms of destructive capability. Pulsating synths waver in and out amongst Rou Renolds’ aggressive vocals before a heavier rock riff comes back to deter any thoughts of an electronic shift in direction. Big Narstie’s verse becomes the first ever rap verse to be done by an outsider to the band but its texture and grime origins is oddly refreshing. However, along with the distinctive wavering drums, the mix of electronic and rock brings back traditional sounds of Enter Shikari, a band we are glad to have back.
Other Noticeable Tracks
A$AP Mob Feat. A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert and Frank Ocean – “Raf”: Harlem’s hip-hop collective enlist huge artists for a star-studded collaboration that was first premiered on Frank Ocean’s Blonded radio show on Apple Radio. A signature trap beat mixes with heavyweight hip hop and monotoned lines from Frank Ocean to create a tribute to Belgian fashion designer Raf Simmons.
Charlie Fink – “The Howl”: Folk tinged vocals roll off the tongue in a delicately beautiful and slightly vulnerable new track from the ex Noah and the Whale frontman which fuses intricate guitar ripples and sweeping backing vocals to make a lovely atmospheric single.
Matoma Feat. Faith Evans, The Notorious B.I.G and Snoop Dogg – “Party On The West Coast”: Tropical filled remix of a hip hop classic from Norwegian DJ Matoma, who has remixed The Notorious B.I.G before but this time features vocalist Faith Evans to help celebrate what would have been the iconic rapper’s 45th birthday this week. A fun filled, summer party anthem that remains bright and beautiful throughout.
Klyne – “Sure Thing”: Percussion and synth driven track from electronic group Klyne which unleashes a glisteningly catchy electro-pop chorus.
Bleachers – “I Miss Those Days”: Perfect and rousing indie pop from the side project of former Fun. member Jack Antinoff, which pieces together guitar, piano, chimes, horns and percussion on a jubilant reminiscence of the past.
Noah Cyrus – “I’m Stuck”: Younger sister of global icon Miley Cyrus, Noah releases her second single this week, an intriguing mix of the country folk roots of her father and the pop music of her sister. A bouncing folk pop track from beginning to end, I’m Stuck highlights the eclecticism of Noah Cyrus.
Dagny – “Wearing Nothing”: Funky pop single with a hint of tropical synths from Norwegian singer Dagny confirms her status as one of the most hotly tipped artists in the world.
Rita Ora – “Your Song”: A relaxed, glow of a dance track with restricted tropical synths from returning pop star Rita Ora. Written by Ed Sheeran, Your Song is an uplifting, poppy reminder of how it feels to be in love.
Isaiah Dreads Feat. One Acen – “Hot Spice”: Fast flowing hip hop from Bristol rapper which combines afrobeat and grime with the well-known freestyler’s romantic lyrics whilst also providing a platform for the sensational rising star One Acen who dazzles with both his singing and rapping.
Benjamin Booker – “Believe”: Rasping and husky soul filled vocals lead us along the path of faith and soul searching whilst a blend of guitar and strings provides a delightful and relaxing combination.
Ryan Sheridan – All Of It”: Frenetic finger picking leads the way on the comeback single from Irish singer songwriter Ryan Sheridan. The richness in the string section is a welcome surprise from an artist known to dazzle with guitar and percussion.