5 Jul 2019

Song Crush: Thom Yorke, NF, Yola

From Song Crush, 4:02 pm on 5 July 2019

Some songs can articulate an experience so well that it feels as if the writers have actually read your mind. The Song Crush team this week have a couple of those songs, from rapper NF, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Yola and more.

Host Kirsten Johnstone is joined by Brad ‘Sticky’ Warrington, Tony Stamp, and Yadana Saw. 

Thom Yorke still from Anima

Thom Yorke still from Anima Photo: PT Anderson/Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke - Dawn Chorus   

Reviews for Thom Yorke’s third solo album Anima have ranged between effusive and disdainful: the New Yorker called it ‘his best album yet’, while Irish public radio station RTE though it sounded ‘anaemic’. 

I’m sitting somewhere in the middle, enjoying the brittle textures, broken beats and introspective lyrics, but I’m left pining for the well-crafted songs that we heard on his 2006 debut Eraser. He even had better songs on last years horror movie soundtrack Suspiria

But it’s a pretty listen, both romantic and bleak at the same time. And who else could make a monotone vocal in the middle of unstable, undulating synth waves so engaging? KJ

NF - The Search 

Michigan rapper NF, aka Nathan Feuerstein, shares a conversation with himself in his new track 'The Search'. The track encapsulates his journey with his mental health. There is a lot to unpack and it's an extremely relatable song for anyone who has been through a similar experience big or small. But in the end hope is always there. 'The Search' is also the name of his album and is due out 26 July. Sticky

Yola - Deep Blue Dream

Yola Carter is the performing name of Bristol native Yolanda Quartey.

Born to an absent Ghanaian father and raised by a mother from the Windrush generation who was not so encouraging of her daughter’s musical aspirations, Yola carved out a music career in secret. Her singing and songwriting has seen her work with artists like Katy Perry and Massive Attack.

Walk Through Fire is her third album and is produced by Black Keys' Dan Auerbach sees Yola finding her musical home in the soul Americana of Nashville.

There are no surprises in this album. It’s comfortable and familiar, executed really well, the retro sonics and instrumentation – key changes, melodies and flourishes – go exactly where you expect them to. But it’s the soul and life in Yola’s voice that brings the authenticity and a grit that grabbed my ears.

Deep Blue Dream is a song that sits where an album takes a reflective pause just after halfway before it builds towards the last dash of the album. YS

Blanck Mass - No Dice 

Disembodied chants, drums that sound like a building being demolished, colossal synth bass… Benjamin John Power throws a lot into his tracks as Blanck Mass, which generally build to a pummelling wall of noise before introducing downright lovely vocal melodies. ‘No Dice’ is no exception. TS

Mungo's Hi Fi, Eva Lazarus Ft. Max Romeo - Babylon Raid 

Glasgow based Mungo's Hi Fi teams up with Eva Lazarus to rework Max Romeo's reggae classic, 'Three Blind Mice'. The track 'Babylon Raid' tells a familiar story of the police shutting down the party. Make no mistake this will have dance floors bouncing and neighbours calling sound control! Mungo's bring their unmistakable low end production style and Eva's flow is effortless - whether she is singing or toasting. This is a match made in dancehall heaven. Look out for Mungo's Hi Fi album More Fyah out in July. Sticky

This episode of Songcrush contains some discussion of mental health/suicide.

Where to get help:

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz

What's Up: online chat (3pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 helpline (12pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)

Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.