Years & Years cover Pet Shop Boys’ “It’s A Sin”, and Taylor Swift and Thundercat give HAIM the remix treatment in this week’s Wonderlist.

Olly Alexander from Years & Years covers
Olly Alexander from Years & Years covers

ELIO – “CHARGER (feat. Charli XCX)”

We’ve BEEN loving Ms. ELIO on the Wonderlist for some time, and now she’s only gone and done the unthinkable by collaborating with another one of our mega-faves, Charli XCX. The future-pop forger remixed Elio’s “Charger” – taken from the Can You Hear Me Now? EP – with a slew of her signature spoken-rap lyrics and Pop 2 “Yeahhhh’s!”, which, if you couldn’t tell, have gone down an absolute treat. Girl power is definitely still the vibe.

HAIM – “Gasoline (feat. Taylor Swift” & “3am (feat. Thundercat)”

We didn’t think our favourite trio since Atomic Kitten could beat Women In Music Part III, I mean, the album already has “Now I’m In It’, but they have, and we simply must discuss it. Starting with Taylor Swift, the country doyenne who’s apparently keeping us fed on her tunes like a turkey before Thanksgiving. Swift joins the girls on “Gasoline”, a proverbial hitch-hiker they picked up on a blissful, petrol-guzzling road trip. Then we pivot to the Thundercat featuring “3am”, transporting us to a half-empty Bang Bang Bar (a la Twin Peaks) for a live performance of the track’s slow, moody and blues-infused melodies before heading home drunk as a skunk.

Keni – “Sid & Nancy”

If you’re after dreamy, doom-filled musings on love and loss, Keni’s “Sid & Nancy” is the track for you. “The intention with this song was not to romanticise a toxic relationship like the one Sid and Nancy had, but to use that as a metaphor for that obsessive, can’t live without each other type of love that I was desperately seeking during a certain time,” explains Keni of the song’s title. As for the wonderfully whacky video to accompany her new masterpiece, the LA-based musician takes us through a seven-point presentation on ‘How To Fall In Love’, going through the motions of honeymoon phases and toxicity with a latex pig-head. It’s pretty crazy.

Mehro – “chance with you”

Meet Mehro, the indie wunderkind who’s been touted as the next Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver. Really though, this singer lives in his own lane, carried by vocals so delicate and harrowing you fear they might snap and crumble into a thousand musical pieces before your very ears. Taken from his upcoming sky on fire EP, “chance with you” draws on the more haunting side of modern pop, fusing indie, folk and ambient electronica into his own protective bubble, where only the truth can set him free.

Dardust – “WITHIN ME (feat. Benny Benassi)”

Combining two distinct areas of Italian music, Benny Benassi and Dardust’s latest track is just the type of tune destined to be played in a gigantic warehouse, one that’s cold on the perimeter but a festering ball of sweat once you delve into it’s layers of swarming dancers. It’s minimalist piano compositions and restless beats come together rumble on and on in complete harmony, beckoning us to the dancefloor after what seems like an eternity stuck indoors. May the raving soon come…

Tom Ashbrook – “Start Again”

Liverpool-based producer Tom Ashbrook is another artist tackling the more harrowing of sounds this New Music Friday, February really is getting to us all huh? “Start Again” is the one of many tracks that’ll appear on Ashbrook’s brand new album, Solitudes, which aims to showcase wholly lighter elements of his breathtaking ambient sound. Catch him scoring a film soundtrack near you very soon…

Years & Years – “It’s A Sin”

As Russell T. Davies’ AIDS-centred drama It’s A Sin draws to its heartbreaking yet raw crescendo tonight, Ritchie a.k.a. pop icon Olly Alexander has enlisted Years & Years to help him cover the Pet Shop Boys classic from which the programme took its name. Alexander’s familiar croon emerges over a solemn piano, replacing the tracks searing synth patterns as it lodges a dagger straight into your heart. We’re not crying though, it’s just hayfever…

Lava La Rue – “Butter-Fly”

Closing this week’s Wonderlist are the woozy stylings of Lava La Rue. We were head over heels for “Angel (feat. Deb Never)” just a few weeks ago, and now it’d appear the singer’s entire hazy project has finally dropped. “Butter-Fly” charts Rue’s departure from teenhood, capturing fleeting feelings of love and lust as she figures out the kind of person she wants to be in this world, leaving the baggage and insecurities of those times behind her. Of all the tracks, “Magpie” has to be our favourite of the bunch, chock-full of nostalgic melodies that are both dynamic yet utterly serene like the sonic embodiment of a chef’s kiss. Did someone say best release of the year? We think so too…


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