Kick off your summer in the best way possible with our round-up of the best new music around. Aside from tunes fit for your next BBQ playlist, we’ve got the return of an iconic indie band and fresh hits from a pair of British breakthrough stars.
Arctic Monkeys - Four Out Of Five
After a long five years in the wilderness, it’s time to welcome back Arctic Monkeys – but not quite as you may remember them. The lead single from their sixth LP, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, sees the Sheffield rockers reinvent themselves as a cosmic lounge act, taking strong cues from a prolific 70s Bowie.
Like the majority of the album, Four Out Of Five was composed on a piano gifted to frontman Alex Turner – who takes centre stage with a tour de force of lyrical prowess. Wittily covering themes like consumer advertising and gentrification, the band’s new sound may not be as immediate as records gone by, but it’s an increasingly rewarding experience with every repeated listen.
Likely to hear on: Virgin, Absolute, Radio 6 Music
Jorja Smith - February 3rd
Jorja Smith is easily the most exciting talent to come out of the UK in 2018. Having already notched up a load of accolades, including a spot on our Rising Stars list, attention now turns to the Londoner’s stunning debut album.
A highlight from the record, February 3rd is a slow burning R&B tune that showcases Smith’s immense vocal talent. The perfect soundtrack for basking in the summer sunshine, this chilled out ballad is just a taster of what to expect from the gifted singer-songwriter.
Likely to hear on: Kiss, Capital Xtra
Maribou State - Feel Good feat. Khruangbin
Hertfordshire DJ duo, Maribou State, have had the fortune of performing on stages across the globe since their rise to prominence in 2011. Drawing inspiration from these adventures around the world, they’re set to return with their second album this September.
Feel Good, the LP’s first single, is a mesmerising track which takes the listener on a sonic adventure through a collage of distinct musical styles. Enlisting the help of Texan funk trio, Khruangbin, the glitchy song cleverly forges together synthetic sounds and samples with live instrumentation to create a truly unique dynamic.
Likely to hear on: Radio 1
The 1975 - Give Yourself A Try
Off the back of their last album, The 1975 were catapulted from British indie newcomers to world conquering superstars – selling out arena tours in all four corners of the globe. Now, with a staggering weight of expectation on their shoulders, the quartet are back with a taster of album number three.
Maintaining the band’s bashful sound, the track is centred around a soaring guitar riff, while frontman Matty Healy unravels his past – tackling personal issues like anxiety and drug addiction. Though the lyrical content may seem hard-hitting at first, it’s soon flipped on its head with an uplifting message of self-confidence: “Won’t you give yourself a try?”
Likely to hear on: Radio X, Radio 1
J Hus - Dark Vader
Almost a year after releasing his Mercury and Brit nominated debut album, J Hus is back with a three-track EP, Big Spang. Carrying on exactly from where he left off, the London-based 23-year-old’s unique blend of afrobeat, grime and dancehall continues to sit in an exciting category of its own.
Pick of the EP, Dark Vader, is a summer-ready banger – complete with a colourful steelpan beat and a triumphant horn section. But what really sets the track apart is J Hus’ infectious energy, showing exactly what a young musician should be doing: having fun.
Likely to hear on: Radio 1Xtra
If you want to listen to these huge new tunes any time and any place, then we’ve got you sorted with the #PureMustListen Spotify playlist. Enjoy from any device through Bluetooth and Spotify Connect on loads of our digital radios, or take your favourite playlists on the road with a Highway in-car adapter.
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