New Music Monday Issue #34

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New Music Monday, NMM, Skepta, James Blake, Radiohead, Music, Kettle Mag, Jamie Doherty
Image: Chris Marchant
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It’s back! Freed from the shackles of other commitments, New Music Monday has risen again from its one week absence – what a week it was to miss?!

Not only did Skepta drop what will probably become the definitive grime album but both James Blake and Radiohead set the internet ablaze with surprise records.

So, without any more delay, here’s all the new music you should be caught up with.

Skepta – Text Me Back

Konnichiwa, the aforementioned latest album from Skepta, has a lot to live up to. As a genre, grime has been steadily growing to the point where it’s now a surprise that it hasn’t yet blown up in the mainstream. As one of grime’s biggest names, Sketpa could easily be the one to ignite that explosion with Konnichiwa.

The album itself is filled with big hitters. As well as cameos from Wiley and Pharrell, there’s a three track run of ‘Man’, ‘Shut Down’, and ‘That’s Not Me’ – back to back to back hits to get your headphones pumping.

The track we’re featuring on New Music Monday, however, isn’t one of the album’s many hits. ‘Text Me Back’ is the final track on the album and a rare moment of introspection; rather than energetic beats, the track is filled with brooding synths and personal lyrics.

Much like ‘Stay Positive’ on The Street’s Original Pirate Material, it’s a change of pace that works well and provides a solid conclusion to what should be one of the biggest albums of the year.

James Blake – I Need A Forest Fire ft. Bon Iver

This one… this one’s magic.

Skepta wasn’t the only British artist to show off big name collaborators on their album this week. In Bon Iver, James Blake has attracted one of the most renowned artists in pop music right now – and it shows.

‘I Need A Forest Fire’ is a beautiful demonstration of the haunting close harmonies that have made Justin Vernon the artist he is. Set to a minimalist, electronic pitta-patter, James Blake has used this collaboration to breath further life into an album that’s already emotionally gripping.

Radiohead – Burn The Witch

So many big hitters to get through, the release of this one even had our editor tweeting about it.

As a band, Radiohead seem to set the internet ablaze like no other. Whilst Lemonade had everyone tweeting gossip, gifs, and download statistics, the release of Radiohead’s latest album had fans on mass tweeting gushy statements like this one;

‘Perhaps their most organic-sounding record yet, an exquisite treasure trove at once emotionally direct and full of hidden pleasures, slowly revealing themselves with each visit’

That’s actually a lie, I asked my friend for a review for me to steal and that’s what he gave me – I think he knew the joke I was after.

The truth is though, Radiohead are a band that exist beyond the usual scope that pop music allows. In order to fully get to grips with their latest material I feel I need about a week in a darkened room – maybe a reading list too, just so I know what I’m supposed to be looking for. It’s a little intimidating, no?

Regardless, it sounds pretty good.

What do you think of our picks this week? Let us know in the comments below!

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UoSheffield physics graduate and former entertainment editor for Liberty Belle.
Writes words concerning pop music, science, and football - the interesting stuff, really.