This Week’s New Music Round-Up: Harry Styles, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Gorillaz & More
Almost everyone, bar Kendrick Lamar, released SOMETHING today...
Harry Styles – ‘Sign Of The Times’
Well this didn’t sound like expected, did it? People might say that pop music is too safe, that artists aren’t afraid to take any risks. But, for better or worse, Harry Styles just launched his solo career with a dramatic, 6-minute slow-burner that absolutely nobody is describing as ‘radio friendly’.
Speaking on Radio 1, Harry said: “I feel like I’ve been hibernating for so long now and you hear it in the safety of the studio and now it’s time to give birth … it’s the song (debut single) I’m most proud of writing.”
The music video, filmed in The Isle Of Skye, Scotland – which, yes, features Harry Styles flying – will drop later this month. Get ready.
KENDRICK LAMAR – ABSENT
WANTED: KENDRICK LAMAR’S NEW SINGLE/ALBUM.
April 7? It’s not the album release date, as everyone on Planet Earth thought; it’s not even the release date for a new single.
So, after all the hype, what actually happened today? The pre-order window for Kendrick’s still-untitled new album, which is actually releasing next week, just opened. Woop. (Kendrick, y u play us. Cry, cry.)
Gorillaz Ft. Mavis Staples & Pusha T - 'Let Me Out'
“Tell me there's a chance for me to make it off the streets / Tell me that I won't die at the hands of the police / Promise me I won't outlive my nephew and my niece,” Pusha T raps on this charged new song, also featuring legendary singer and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples, from Humanz, Gorillaz upcoming album.
Look back over the band’s career, and you’ll see – from Iraq to pollution – that the world’s premier virtual band have never shied from tackling serious issues, despite what some might say.
Thankfully, that’s not about to change anytime soon.
Just like on the Vince Staples-featuring ‘Ascension’, Gorillaz are tackling the social issues of our time, “I'm just playing, baby, this the land of the free / Where you can get a Glock and a gram for the cheap / Where you can live your dreams long as you don't look like me / Be a puppet on a string, hanging from a f*cking tree,” and making ‘bangers’ while they’re at it.
April 28 can’t come soon enough.
Halsey – ‘Now Or Never’
"On its own, [‘Now Or Never’] is about two impatient lovers, but in the context of the hopeless fountain kingdom universe,” Halsey explained. “The stakes are much higher for these two star-crossed lovers."
“I want you to love me now now now now now, now or never” Halsey sings over moody, measured, stripped-back production. It’s refreshing to hear a track with such restraint from an artist so perfectly capable of cranking out hits.
The music video, co-directed by Sing J lee and Halsey (in her directorial debut) features gangs, cars, card readers and an intense shootout to cap it all off.
Tinie Tempah Ft. Jake Bugg – ‘Find Me’
The ‘Unlikeliest Collaborations Hall Of Fame’ has a new entrant. Joining the likes of Joe Jonas and Lil Wayne, as well as Michael Jackson and Eddie Murphy, please say hello to Tinie Tempah’s new song, which features Nottingham’s very own Jake Bugg.
Mount Kimbie ft. James Blake – ‘We Go Home Together’
Stripped-back and (surprisingly) brief, Mount Kimbie’s first new track in four years sees them reunite with “old friend and one-time band member” James Blake for a sparse, thoughtful new taster. (While you’re here, listen to Mount Kimbie’s transatlantic NTS radio residency here. You won’t regret it.)
Beth Ditto – 'Fire'
Five years after Beth Ditto’s group, Gossip, disbanded, the singer is back with a retro, blues-y rocker, ‘Fire’. (Lives up to its name, doesn’t it?) A full solo record, Fake Sugar, is coming in the summer.
Martin Garrix & Brooks - 'Byte'
Teased via cryptic messages that spelled out ‘Byte’ in binary code, Martin Garrix’s new track, featuring Brooks, is playing below.
Desiigner – ‘Up’ & ‘Thank God I Got It’
Desiigner, who’s just 19 years old, dropped two new songs. Happy Friday!
JP Cooper - 'Passport Home'
The former MTV Brand New nominee is back with a new track, a spring in his step and his very own chorus of backing singers.
Astrid S – ‘Bloodstream’
Winner of an MTV EMA for best Norwegian song, Astrid S has just released her new single.
The Blaze – Territory
The Blaze are best known for their mini-movie music videos that tackle family, intimate male friendships and…yep, getting blazed. (#420.) (Kill us.)
At this point, not much is known about The Blaze other than that they’re a French duo. The pair are going down the whole ‘mysterious’ route, at the moment.
The music video for ‘Territory’ - which sees a splintered family reunited, mixing in intimate shots of a son embracing his mum, people searing across a beach and…more smoking - is a must-watch. The visuals even received the best reference of the century from Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight, who said that the ‘Territory’ music video “is THE best piece of art I've seen in 2017 HOT DAMN!”
Joey Bada$$ - All-Amerikkkan Badass
Following the release of the dark, ‘ROCKABYE BABY’ and its Trump-bashing verse, ("If you bout this revolution, please stand up/ We ain't go no one to trust/ Time is running up, feel the burn in my gut/ And if you got the guts, scream 'F*ck Donald Trump”), Joey Bada$$ is here with his second album.
The Chainsmokers - Memories… Do Not Open
The Chainsmokers were one of 2016’s breakout acts, dominating the airwaves, streaming services and every single branch of your local Oceana. Until now, they did that on the back of singles. Will their debut album maintain their momentum?