This Week’s Must Hear New Music Round Up: Kings of Leon, Tove Lo & More
Also featuring: Kings of Leon, Two Door Cinema Club & Sleaford Mods
Kings Of Leon - WALLS
Back when they had long shaggy hair in the early 2000s, the Followill clan released youthful, vibrant, beer-soaked rock. It was fast and fun. Then Only By The Night was released in 2008, and things changed. Kings Of Leon became one of the biggest bands in the world, and they traded the bars and intimacy from their early years in for the biggest arenas across the globe.
They continued to be massively successful, releasing another two albums - Come Around Sundown (2010) and Mechanical Bull (2013) - but have been dogged by a narrative that their music ‘just isn’t what it used to be’. But why would it be the same? What have people been expecting from Kings of Leon all these years - seven different versions of their (still well loved) debut Youth and Young Manhood? What are fans actually looking for?
Huge bands, if they’re good enough to get that far (like Kings of Leon are) face a peculiar challenge at this later stage in their careers. Biffy Clyro are in a similar situation. After a hedonistic, inventive, wildly acclaimed few years, what do you do next?
Both bands went in a new direction, and that change brough about a split within their respective fan bases. Sides were drawn between those that prefer the first few albums, and those that prefer the latter.
With WALLS, their seventh album, Kings of Leon have tried to go back to their roots. The new record still boasts the arena-conquering choruses that many love, but the group seem to have rediscovered the vim and vigour that surged through their earlier records too. WALLS just might be the album that unites Kings of Leon’s fan base. Enjoy below. (Oh, and make sure to replay ‘Conversation Piece’ over and over.)
Two Door Cinema Club - Gameshow
Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club are heading down a new road. In previous years, they’ve torn up festival circuits with their fast-paced, catchy indie. It’s seen them deservedly rise up the ranks, but now the trio are doing something new.
Their third album, Gameshow, sounds like it was made with nightclubs in mind, with its new disco sounds dominating proceedings. Guitars are few and far between on this new record – but it’s a whole lot of fun. It’s streaming below. Check it out.
JoJo - Mad Love
JoJo has just released her first record in almost a decade. As our colleague in the US, Deepa Lakshmin, said: “It's an appropriate title, because she's all about the self-love” in her new mind-set.
JoJo has written about how she has dabbled with dangerous weight loss methods, such as injecting herself with hormones and hoping to develop an easting disorder. We’re pleased to say that that’s all over now, and JoJo is surging forward with her career. She appeared on Wiz Khalifa’s ‘F**k Apologies’ earlier this year, and now she’s here with her great new album, Mad Love. Please allow your eyeballs and mouse cursor to drift down this webpage and click the ‘play’ button.
Solange – ‘Cranes in the Sky’ (KAYTRANADA DJ edit)
Back in May, KAYTRANDA mixed funk, hip-hop, R&B and electronic music together into a revitalising stew. 99.9% is one of 2016’s best albums. The Canadian producer’s debut was a lot of things, but above it all, it was just so much fun. Read more about why we love it here, in our mid-2016 round up of the year’s best albums so far.
Speaking of incredible records, Solange released A Seat At The Table earlier this month. We’re big fans of the funky ‘Junie’, but the standout tracks from a stellar new album were ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’, featuring Sampha, and ‘Cranes in the Sky’. The latter is a gorgeous, measured take on tackling loneliness, and it provided an opportunity for Solange to show us that she can really hit those high notes, too.
So it only made sense that KAYTRANDA and Solange should link up. KAYTRANDA has been using this DJ edit during his sets, but even though this edit wasn’t officially sanctioned by Solange, once the singer heard it, she tweeted her approval.
Check out KAYTRANADA’s edit below.
Tove Lo – ‘True Disaster’
Exciting new pop stars are spoiling us at the moment. Zara Larsson, Dua Lipa and Sweden’s Tove Lo are charging ahead with some of the best the genre has to offer.
Before Lady Wood drops in full on October 28, Tove Lo has blessed us with this effortless, sleek, pulsating new track. Check it below.
Sleaford Mods – ‘I Can Tell’
Sleaford Mods write cutting and very funny lyrics set to thudding, angry beats. The Nottingham duo have an EP out now (released today) on new label Rough Trade, called TCR, and the titular track from that is brilliant. I mean, look at these lyrics:
“Everyone still looks like Ena Sharples and Ray Reardon / People need to move on / That '50s look can do one / Elvis has definitely left the f**king building.”
The latest track from the TCR EP, ‘I Can Tell’, is out now. Vocalist Jason Williamson said of ‘I Can Tell’: “It’s basic politics for the discerning sceptic. The streets are cold, and they’re squeezing us until we pop. Low earners first, then it’s onto the middle lot. We’re f**ked."
Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello - ‘Bad Things’
Fifth Harmony's Camila Cabello, who sings, has sung on a new song. Job done. Machine Gun Kelly takes part too.
Hardwell Ft. Jay Sean – ‘Thinking About You’
Hot off releasing 'No Holding Back' with MTV favourite Craig David (congratulations on the number one album!), Hardwell has now released his latest with Jay Sean.
Little Mix – ‘Shout Out To My Ex’
This isn’t actually out yet. It’s being released after their X Factor performance on Sunday. So there we are. Anyway, here’s a tweet to fill in some blank space on this webpage.
The Vamps & Matoma – ‘All Night’
The Vamps released a song. Matoma made it with them. You should read this bit on Popjustice for more about this song.