Magpie Recommends: new music from Nao, Local Natives and more!
Finding great new music in the digital age is a daunting task, but we’re here to help.
Every Wednesday, we recommend five amazing new releases from across genres for you to check out. Here are this week’s picks!
For All We Know – Nao
Nao, a trained jazz singer, has a rich history in music, with stints as a backing singer for Jarvis Cocker and a ghostwriter for various grime artists, as well as an appearance on the Disclosure track Superego, under her belt.
For All We Know – Nao’s debut album – is one of the most interesting pop records of the year, with 18 tracks of sleek 90s R&B given a modern twist with electro-beats and synthpop flourishes and topped off with unique and stunning vocals.
Check it out now and reap in the hipster cred when everyone and their mum is talking about Nao in a year’s time.
For All We Know is available now on Little Toyko Recordings. The vinyl edition is released on the 16th September.
We Move – James Vincent McMorrow
James Vincent McMorrow has had quite the year, with his cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game scoring the Game of Thrones Season 6 trailer and a backing vocals credit on Drake’s Hype from the ubersmash Views from the 6.
And now, he’s about to release his best album to date. We Move explores personal and social anxiety through a collection of folk-infused synthpop.
McMorrow has previously described wanting to “…write songs like Neil Young but produce them like the Neptunes”, and that’s a fitting description of We Move – a blend of earnest acoustic singer-songwriter material with an almost hip-hop edge.
This isn’t McMorrow’s party record, though. In a post on his website, he said: “In every part of this new album I see myself. I hear it in every lyric and every note. And it’s still f***ing terrifying. But it’s exactly what I needed to make. Because I can’t be the person I want to be, or the musician I want to be, unless I pursue what I hear without hesitation.”
We Move is McMorrow’s most powerful record, yet also his most enjoyable.
We Move is released on 2nd September on Believe Recordings.
Sunlit Youth – Local Natives
Sunlight Youth is the 3rd album from Los Angeles indie rockers Local Natives and sees them expand their influences even further after the slightly downbeat (but still brilliant) Hummingbird.
Building on their trademark three-part harmonies, manic percussion and Fleet Foxes-esque sound, Sunlit Youth adds synthesizers into the mix to produce an anthemic and upbeat sound. Songs like Past Lives and Fountain of Youth are practically aching to be screamed out by a festival crowd next summer.
Lyricially, Sunlit Youth is just as positive, with tracks like Past Lives and Villainy exploring how people fall into destructive cycles of overanalysis and promoting the virtues of living in the moment.
Guitarist/vocalist Ryan Hahn described the theme of Villainy as “…realising that you have the ability to change your situation, that you can start again every day. We applied that to how we made music this time around. We wanted all the new songs to have a different energy, to challenge ourselves to do something different each time.”
Sunlit Youth is released on the 9th September on Infectious Records.
Coming Home – Pain
And now for something a little heavier. Pain is the brainchild of Peter Tägtgren, the legendary multi-instrumentalist and frontman of death metal legends Hypocrisy (and former frontman of the equally legendary Bloodbath).
Fresh from collaborating with Rammstein vocalist Till Lindemann on his debut album, Coming Home is a similar combination of heavy metal and industrial rock.
It’s not all stomping riffs and buzzsaw guitars though, with the addition of acoustic guitars and symphonic arrangements making this more interesting than your average industrial metal record.
If you like Rammstein, Ministry, Fear Factory or anything of that ilk, you’re bound to enjoy this.
Coming Home is released on 9th September on Nuclear Blast
Only in My Mind – Norma Jean Martine
Norma Jean Martine is a New York singer-songwriter based in London who has written huge hit singles for artists on the continent, including top 10 songs by Italian singer Giorgia and German singer Lena. She also wrote the title track from Ronan Keating’s new album and co-wrote Italy’s Eurovision entry this year.
After all that success writing for other people, she’s finally decided to make her own album – and it’s predictably great. The guitar pop of Only in My Mind is accessible yet never boring, with Martine’s powerful vocals (which have a slightly Stevie Nicks tone to them) impressive throughout – songs like the rocker Animals and piano ballad No More Alone demonstrate her range.
If you’re looking for a great pop record but prefer guitars to synthesizers, this is the record for you.
Only in My Mind is released on 9th September by Universal Music
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