One of the most eventful months for music fans, we’ve seen the likes of HAIM, Declan McKenna and Lana Del Rey all release new records plus the likes of Latitude, NOS Alive, Mad Cool, Bilbao BBK, Lollapalooza Paris and many more festivals stun festival goers with the diversity and strength of artists and sets. This week sees the incredible Arcade Fire releases their fifth record Everything Now, which is a cosmic blend of indie, disco and many more elements. Alongside the Canadian band’s album are a selection of stunning new tracks, all of the best have been reviewed by us at The Music Radar UK. Here are our Tracks of the Week with in depth reviews.
Track of the Week: joan – “love somebody like you”
You might be completely unaware of Arkansas duo joan, but after listening to latest release love somebody like you, there’s every chance that they are going to be your next favourite artist. The track takes 80’s styled synth-pop similar to the likes of The 1975 and The Japanese House. Big beats work alongside shimmering synths and the chorus is nothing short of addictive, pop perfection. According to the duo, the track is a song for someone out of reach that you obsess over yet still take a chance and go after them. This can noticeably be seen in lyrics “Come a bit closer / Ther’s one thing that I’d like to know” which are almost lustful in approach. Such a mature production from individuals of their age, joan are setting themselves up for new heights.
The Killers – “Run For Cover”
Following a lengthy period away, The Killers returned earlier this year with the swaggering disco rock anthem The Man. This week sees them continue their return, but looks back towards their purposeful indie rock sound. Run For Cover is a restless and urgent single with an intelligent Interpol-esque rock introduction. Cosmic guitars and synth pads dominate the track which according to lead singer Brandon Flowers was written partly nine years ago. Flowers’ vocals are cutting and critical, addressing the hypocrisy that surrounds humanity whilst demanding we change our ways. Lyrics “He’s got a big smile, he’s fake news / Just run for cover, you’ve go nothing left to lost” could be construed to be targeting President Donald Trump. It’s yet another anthem from the Vegas band who come out of the covers with one of their most direct track to date.
BØRNS – “Faded Heart”
Michigan artist Garrett Borns aka BØRNS shot to great heights with his platinum selling indie debut and this week sees him return with a Bowie-esque slice of wild, unpredictable space rock. Full of spirit, Faded Heart gets carried by a rolling guitar line alongside a purposeful bass thump which fades into church-like keys, similar to Neon Bible era Arcade Fire. A mixture of LA glam and ’60’s “cool guy” image, Faded Heart uses BØRNS iconic shrill vocals whilst a stalking break down seems more like a church session than a glitzy indie rock track. Without doubt this is a complete success from an artist who’s set to make the coming months something special for us all.
Marsicians – “Too Good”
Since 2014’s debut EP The Chivalry, Leeds based four piece Marsicians have slowly been making a name for themselves in various locations in the UK. As they look set to support Clean Out Kid later on in the year, this week sees them release new track Too Good, a feel-good and dreamy ode to love with soaring vocals similar Sundara Karma’s Oscar Lulu. Soft synths introduce the track before the guitar riff enters the harmony dominated single. A mix between indie rock and left of centre pop, Too Good highlights the addictive nature to the band’s sound with a shuffling drum beat adding a glorious groove to the chorus. There are a lot of brilliant new band’s emerging from the Leeds area, but Marsicians might be leading them all.
Tom Speight – “Rose”
One of our favourite rising singer-songwriters returns with yet another masterpiece of a track. Taken from his latest EP My My My, Rose is a weighted and emotive song outlining a relationship which focuses on lifting both parties up. Opening lyrics “Hey, Rose, I don’t wanna go outside / I wanna see the world only through your eyes” highlight the reliance of Speight on his partner. His vocals remain as honest and pure as ever and combine with an effective use of female harmonisation in the chorus. A continuous guitar rhythm enters the track emitting a folk rock vibe with the combination of piano, vocals and guitar whilst tension building drums develop into a powerful, snare roll based finale. Yet another high-quality production from the rising singer-songwriter, Rose rounds off not just a brilliant EP, but also a brilliant period of music for Speight.
Alvvays – “Dreams Tonite”
Taken as the second single from Toronto synth-pop quarted Alvvays’ second album, Dreams Tonite is a heart-swelling piece of romanticism about the love and caring a person has for someone in which they have fallen apart from. Dreamlike and warm, main chorus line “If I saw you in a dream, would I have you in my thoughts tonite?” is a longing question surrounding a past lover whilst effective lyrics “In fluorescent light / Antisocialites watch a wilting flower” commentate on the withering away of the relationship. Woozy, twinkling synths match the pure vocals of singer Molly Rankin who hides feelings of hurt, confusion and longing. It’s a glorious track showing that romantic songs don’t have to be as clear cut as the charts make you believe.
Ciaran Lavery – “Everything Is Made To Last”
One of Ireland’s most promising singer-songwriters, Ciaran Lavery comes into this week with a new track that looks set to boost his UK fanbase. Everything Made To Last is a gorgeous expression of Lavery’s feelings and fears with lyrics such as “Wonder if they’ll be a change in everything, with everything / We sin everyday because we can / I’m afraid of what I am”. Ben Howard-esque vocals appear on the simple track which first focuses firmly on the effective layering up of acoustic guitar. Elements of Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons are subtly hidden whilst subtle otherworldly electronic synths flutter around the song which livens it up to a folk-rock jam. An impressive piece of music, we’re sure to be keeping an eye on Lavery over the remainder of the year.
DON BROCO – “Technology”
Bedford’s own rock band DON BROCO return this week with the third track from their forthcoming record. Technology is every bit as raucous as you might expect from a DON BROCO track, with electronic drum elements and all the swagger of a Fall Out Boy track. Taking a swipe at social media line “Don’t take a picture hourly” talks of society’s obsession with the constant use of apps and websites. A stripped back bridge of just piano and bass drum builds back up to the seismic chorus and it’s an all-round ferocious rock song that highlight’s the best that the band have to offer.
Jessie Ware – “Midnight”
Following two year’s away from music, the R&B goddess that is Jessie Ware returns this week with the first track from her third album. From the off it’s clear that Midnight is a seductive R&B jam, beginning by leaning on Ware’s sultry falsetto which calls out achingly towards a lover before powerfully switching into a pulsating chord driven chorus, similar to that of Beyonce’s Love On Top. Whilst woozy synths mellow the verses, it’s the calls of desperation from Ware, that see her tackling her true feelings which make the track so special for example in lines “Maybe I love you / Maybe I want to / Maybe I need you.” There’s no question that anybody could say those lyrics, but very few could effectively pull off the delivery as well as Ware and her return is met with huge approval from us.
Declan J Donovan – “Better”
It can be hard to try and standout amongst the ever increasing list of rising British singer-songwriters but at just 19 years old, it seems that Declan J Donovan is doing just that. Latest track Better is a slow moving single with just guitar and subtle background synths before drums come in towards the end of the song. Better is an emotional, heartfelt letter penned to a past lover whom Donovan admits that he let down, as line “Heaven knows I let you down” suggests. Lyrics “I don’t feel like letting you go / But you’re better off alone” are brutally honest and something rarely seen in “breakup” style songs. Donovan’s perfect, raw vocals shine on this farewell track and the heart-wrenching nature of his storytelling is so infectious that it’s hard not to imagine him becoming one of the most in demand singers over the next year or so.
Stereophonics – All In One Night”
Ahead of the release of tenth album Scream Above The Sounds later this year, Welsh rock giants Stereophonics return this week with a track which embraces the big and bold rock songwriting that we’ve grown accustom to. An observational track which follows the events of one night, the track is straightforward, with a melodic guitar line that creates a beautifully soothing tone within the verses. Kelly Jones’ husky vocals are both cutting and conversational whilst stuttering strings pulse occasionally into the chorus. A nostalgic yet rallying call across the country, All In One Night is a classic Stereophonics sounding track. 20 years on from the release of their debut album, the Welsh band are back and better than ever.
Kesha – “Learn To Let Go”
No one can imagine the ordeal that US pop star Kesha has had to endure over the past few years but in recent tracks, we’re slowly learning what life is like for the returning singer. Learn To Let Go is as the title suggests, a song about letting the past go and taking control of your own life. Opening lyric “Been a prisoner of the past” hits out at former producer and alleged abuser Dr. Luke. Whilst previous tracks have been more emotional ballads, Learn To Let Go is an uplifting pop rock track in which line “The past can’t haunt me if I don’t let it” highlights Kesha’s strength of mind. Whilst the lyrics make it clear the monumental strength of mind Kesha now has, the track’s vocal delivery further highlights the strength. Clear and powerful, Kesha blasts her way forward into what hopefully will be a considerably brighter future.
Nick Mulvey – “Mountains To Move”
Warm acoustic led guitar tracks are something you might expect with singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey and this week he’s gifted us another one but one that emphasises something deeper for both Mulvey and listeners. Following a period of self-doubt, Mulvey stated that the track was a signal to look deep within yourself and find a strength to continue. Its gentle folk rhythms develop into something much bigger as the track continues to progress with the feeling almost as if someone is tap dancing along to the beat due to the noticeable rhythmic presence underneath the melody. Brash acoustic strumming from Mulvey contrasts the additional female harmonies which add another layer of warmth and overall it’s a relaxing and pleasant piece of music that allows you to be calm and just think.
Cheat Codes Feat. Nicky Romero – “Sober”
This week sees a new dance giant of a track enter the fray in Sober, a collaboration between American DJ trio Cheat codes and Duth DJ Nicky Romero. The combined talents of the artists has managed to produce a techno pop song with chorus lines “I wouldn’t say it sober / But the truth is coming out” highlighting the core theme of people revealing truths when drunk. A carefree and easy reminder to keep away from your phone after having a few drinks, Sober retains a subtle sense of nostalgia and euphoria.
Other Noticeable Tracks
Gin Wigmore – “Beatnick Trip”: Powerfully raw Paloma Faith-esque vocals dominate this funky, horn filled pop single from New Zealand singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore. Gospel infused organ mixes perfectly with Wogmore’s sultry vocals whilst patches of blues-based guitar trickle in sporadic intervals.
Tom Zanetti Feat. Karen Harding – “More & More”: Huge rap and dance crossover from Leeds artist Tom Zanetti. Addictive electronic beats pulsate alongside Karen Harding’s soulful and rich vocals. A surprisingly catchy beat ready for clubs and festivals, Zanetti seems to have found a sound that will entice listeners in.
Mick Jagger – “Gotta Get A Grip”: Blues based single from the legendary Rolling Stones frontman, whose cutting vocals power over the simple guitar. The first solo single from Jagger in 16 years, there’s still an evident power and sense of hurt running deep in the rock legend.
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Feat David Guetta and Kiiara – “Complicated”: Seductive dance track from Belgian duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike which uses Kiiara’s powerful vocals and David Guetta’s irresistible hooks to create a stunning summer party anthem and a definite chart hit. A certified banger, this one’s definitely for the summer.
Macklemore Feat. Lil Yauchty – “Marmalade”: Playful, high pitched piano keys dominate the latest single from rapper Macklemore, which narrates his lifestyle on the road alone. The repetitive rhythm is both lighthearted and uplifting whilst Seattle rapper Lil Yauchty’s verse is yet another reminder of the talent that rests inside him.
Picture This – “95”: Calm acoustic jaunt from Irish duo Picture This who embrace loving lyrics alongside Kodaline-esque raw vocals. A pleasant breath of fresh air, the track is guaranteed to make you warm and fuzzy.
Lotto Boyzz Feat. Jaykae – “Birmingham (Anthem)”: Brilliant mix of R&B, hip hop, grime and dance from Birmingham duo Lotto Boyzz. An anthem for their home city, the track is dominated by a stunning fast paced percussion line.
Gryffin Feat. Sinead Harnett – “Love In Ruins”: Uplifting club anthem from New York based DJ Dan Griffith aka Gryffin which uses a variety of electronic synths and beats alongside London singer Sinead Harnett’s sultry vocals. An ecstasy filled track ready for long summer nights around the world.
Hips – “Loose Tonight”: ’80’s tinged debut single from soulful Swedish collective hips. Dreamy synths, playful Pharrell Williams styled R&B vocals, hints of cowbell and a funk fuelled breakdown all combine to create a stunning celebration of funk, soul and disco.
James TW – “Please Keep Loving Me”: Serene Ben Howard-esque guitar lays the foundation for the young pop singer songwriter. Subtle strings and off beat percussion come in further into the track, which becomes a spirited and warm pop single.
Skrillez Feat. Poo Bear – “Would You Ever”: Feel good house song from the former dubstep legend which sees Poo Bear’s first appearance as a solo artist. His rich and soaring vocals lift the track to a new dimension whilst the musical production from Skrillex is incredibly mature, making the track a perfect soundtrack to the summer.