Loads of absolutely brilliant music released recently, so there’s only one oldie this week. That oldie is a reissue though, so the details are a bit hazy on whether it actually counts as an oldie. I’ll contact my lawyers. I’ve had NAO’s album on near constant repeat since its release last Friday. Absolutely amazing. Enjoy.


1. ‘THE SPOILS’ – Massive Attack feat. Hope Sandoval


Released alongside another brilliant track featuring Ghostpoet (‘Come Near Me,’) ‘The Spoils’ paints a dreamy landscape, combining beautiful instrumentation with gorgeous vocals provided by Hope Sandoval. The tracks are apparently going to be part of a full-length album that will be released sometime in the near future, and they’ve made me incredibly excited.



I already mentioned that I’ve had NAO’s album For All We Know on near repeat all weekend, and there’s a good reason for that. It was difficult picking one track for the playlist, as they’re all so bloody good. A truly masterful blend of pop, R&B, funk and soul, the East-Londoner has created a piece of work that ensnares you with gorgeous vocal lines and harmonies, then reels you in with top-class songwriting and production. One of my favourites of the year so far.

3. ‘HYPER DARK’ – Sleigh Bells

sleigh bells

I hadn’t heard of New York duo Sleigh Bells until last week, when I heard ‘Hyper Dark’ on the radio, (this seems to happen a lot). The track uses distorted, heavy guitar riffs over more conventional electronic sounds, bringing together two genres that seem to be becoming more entwined than ever. Sleigh Bells have been around since 2008 though, so clearly they’re a couple of trendy trend setters. ‘Hyper Dark’ has a chorus as catchy as they come, and I find Alexis Krauss’ voice enchanting.

4. ‘RIVER IN ME’ – Trentmøller


Jehnny Beth’s voice is instantly recognisable on the latest track from Danish electronic music producer Trentmøller. Her voice is suited to this high-tempo, high-intensity track, which combines elements from a number of different dance sub-genres that I’m not even going to attempt to describe. All I know is that I love this track, and that I’m looking forward to the upcoming album from Trentmøller, released on the 16th of September.

5. ‘UM CHUGGA LAGGA’ – The Pixies


The Pixies are one of those bands whose music I love when I hear it, but whose music I don’t have a great knowledge of. Unsurprising then, that when I heard ‘Um Chugga Lugga,’ I thought it was a track taken from one of their earlier albums. Oh how wrong I was. ‘Um Chugga Lugga’ was released on the 6th of July, and it contains many of the elements you’d expect to hear from an alternative rock track released in the 90s. However, this sound still feels relevant in today’s music market. It’s the head single from another album being released in September that I’m looking forward to.



Another group who have hearkened back to their original sound, Korn have emulated many of their earlier tracks with ‘Rotting in Vain.’ And yes, I like Korn, big shock. Back in the day, I dyed my hair black and had a depressing Bebo theme. I don’t know a lot about the nu-metal scene apart from the big names, and Korn are one of those big names who I’ll always enjoy listening to. Preferably in private though, so nobody can see me pretending I have dreads.

7. ‘STRANGE TIDES’ – Shakes


Another great group from the other side of the world. Those bastards. ‘Strange Tides’ is a catchy, definitively indie track that’s had a lot of buzz on the blogosphere recently. Making great use of classic indie and some psychedelic ideas, Shakes have created an infectious track that’s made me want a whole lot more. Their EP Tambourine Girls is great also, but it’s not enough. Also, the bands’ bio is brilliant.

8. ‘YELLOW MELLOW’ – Ocean Alley

ocean alley

When you learn someone likes Coldplay, you’re often skeptical of what music they recommend; that’s only to be expected. However, redemption can come in many forms, one of them being a recommendation of a track like ‘Yellow Mellow,’ which brilliantly combines elements of reggae, jazz and funk. It’s a laid back track, suited perfectly for the remainder of the summer. Well, perfect if you’re on holiday, or if you live somewhere where the weather doesn’t change its mind every 5 minutes.

9. ‘PHARMA KARMA’ – Sam Sparro feat. Daniel Merriweather & MC Emoni Fela

sam sparro

Sam Sparro found massive fame back in 2008 with the huge hit ‘Black & Gold,’ but after that, he dropped off my radar completely. I haven’t listened to any of his other music that’s been released since, but ‘Pharma Karma’ is a track that I think is going to make me take the dive into his back catalogue. The latest single takes a look at the huge commercialisation of pharmaceuticals in America, and criticises the high prices and lack  of support for those who become addicted to the meds they are prescribed. Bryan Hahn from Mass Appeal interviewed Sparro about the subject, and it’s worth a read.

10. ‘NIGHT ON THE SUN’ – Modest Mouse


Much of Modest Mouse’s music contains an air of fragility and uncertainty, and ‘Night on the Sun’ falls into that category perfectly. After a staggered, somewhat nervous start, the track evolves into a gentle, haunting and beautiful piece that, while not containing catchy hooks, will still stay with you long after you’ve heard it. The Night on the Sun EP was originally released way back in 1999, but was reissued on vinyl (and digital platforms) last Friday. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Ryan Ottley-Booth




2 thoughts on “NEWISH PLAYLIST – 21

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