This Week In Records: Shawn Mendes, Steps & Dua Lipa (21/04/2017)


Hello again, and welcome to another This Week In Records that lands a little bit out of place and is served with a fresh batch of excuses. With it being the Easter weekend and the start of the year’s competitive cricket at the glorious 1st Central County Ground in Hove, I had been hoping to bring together last week’s musical words whilst reclining in a deckchair watching Sussex auspiciously kick off the summer. Instead, rushing together some words horribly early in the new week with only the Coachella stream of Porter Robinson and Madeon‘s penultimate set for company led to a column that really should be buried deep inside an incinerator.

To be frank, last week’s music selection didn’t really encourage much enthusiasm – the only really interesting album release is one that we discuss this time around, and those who follow the Spotify playlist may have noted my plans to give Boyzone’s greatest hits collection one of the paragraphs because things were so slow in that category. Fortunately, today is not the same, and there’s a hashtag to prove it. If you’ve got social media atrocities to alert us to, [email protected] is the email address you need.

Shawn Mendes – ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back’

A little word of advice: never trek to Leicester for a radio conference and forget to pack your laptop charger. When Thursday afternoon came around and I took advantage of a brief lull in proceedings to do some editing and begin hunting the new releases for this very column, the disconnect that I’d had to iTunes et. al. throughout the week meant that I saw a track from Shawn MendesIlluminatewhich James Barker described as “one giant heartbroken whine” – at the top of the charts and assumed that he’d died. Fortunately, the actuality is far merrier, with ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back’ being a sole prefix for the record’s deluxe re-release. It’s also quite good, with the Torontonian warming up for his arena jaunt with a wordier and catchier and enunciated-er ditty than usual.

Steps – Tears On The Dancefloor

Finally, we might have an album capable of shifting enough units in its first seven days to topple Ed Sheeran – he now of 14 weeks atop the singles chart this year – in the album race. And it’s a band that last released an album of original material back when cassettes were a viable way of distributing music on a wide scale. Steps‘ comeback, spearheaded by the Eurovision-ready ‘Scared Of The Dark,’ gives me hope.


Dua Lipa feat. Miguel – ‘Lost In Your Light’

Another week, another strong implication that there’s a debut album from Dua Lipa actually on the way. First, the lukewarm reaction to ‘Hotter Than Hell’ pushed its October launch through to February. By then, she was pretty much everywhere courtesy of collaborations with Martin Garrix and Sean Paul whilst the ‘Be The One’ relaunch finally saw it parade around UK radio. Warner had, of course, shifted the record further to June, and the tracklist confirmed alongside this new (and eighth) single shows off why, with Chris Martin and Miguel now popping up in an effort to salvage something at the end of this two-year journey. Like the many other singles before it, ‘Lost In Your Light’ exhibits her boldly, although it remains firmly second at best in the rankings of Miguel songs that mention ‘Waves.’

Amy Shark – Night Thinker EP

Australia’s a very good place for music, and not just in terms of their output. Every January, the state-owned Triple J radio station invites the people of the world to vote for their favourite tracks of the previous 12 months to be announced in a 100-strong countdown on Australia Day, and the polling results are almost always immaculate. For 2016, Childish Gambino and The Weeknd were the only foreign presences in the top 10 (with Miike Snow and Mura Masa narrowly missing out) as local stars like Peking Duk, Tash Sultana, and Flume made it the most Australian collection since it started out in 1994. Behind only Flume’s ‘Never Be Like You‘ was ‘Adore,’ the gorgeous platinum-certified breakthrough from Queensland’s Amy Shark that was written “in 10 minutes” on, well, sheer adoration. Now, it gets a UK push from RCA to coincide with the release of her full Night Thinker EP, which continues the tone superbly on ‘Weekends’ and ‘Worst Girl.’

Will Joseph Cook – ‘Beach (I Wanna Make You Mine)’ (HONNE Remix)

The main reason these words didn’t appear last week is thanks to the incessant excitement of the preceding Thursday, as Surge Radio took over Abbey Road Studios for a day of live music and radio fun having discovered an ancient EMI tape recorder that may well be the only one of its kind capable of still functioning. One musical guest we welcomed for a few songs was Will Joseph Cook, a member of The List whose debut album was being released across the Pacific as he gave brilliant acoustic renditions of ‘Sweet Dreamer,’ ‘Girls Like Me,’ ‘Take Me Dancing,’ and new re-release ‘Beach (I Wanna Make You Mine).’ Sweet Dreamer in full extends the strength of the singles, with opener ‘Biggest Fan’ and ‘Treat Me Like A Lover’ particular highlights, and today we get an excuse to actually publish that paragraph courtesy of a lively new edit from HONNE.

Brad Paisley – Love And War

I’m not going to pretend to know a thing about country music apart from its album covers having amusing headgear and LANY‘s Paul Klein describing the band as “the antithesis of Nashville,” but I know a good joke when I see it. Prefaced by a song genuinely called ‘selfie#theinternetisforever’ and featuring bonus appearances from Timbaland and Mick Jagger, Love And War is the 11th LP from a Grand Ole Opry member who brought LL Cool J onto an SNL-parodied track called ‘Accidental Racist’ four years ago.

Selected Other Releases


Blackbear – digital druglord
Imelda May – Life Love Flesh Blood
Incubus – 8
Jessie Reyez – Kiddo
Joe Goddard – Electric Lines
Kate Nash – Agenda EP
Maxïmo Park – Risk To Exist
Parov Stelar – The Burning Spider
Ray Davies – Americana
Sheryl Crow – Be Myself
Texas – Jump On Board
While She Sleeps – You Are We
Wilkinson – Hypnotic


Abra Cadabra feat. Sneakbo – ‘My Hood’
Amtrac feat. Meli – ‘True Value’
Avante Black – ‘Make A Mess’
Bleachers – ‘Hate That You Know Me’
Big Boi feat. Adam Levine – ‘Mic Jack’
Big Boi feat. Killer Mike & Jeezy – ‘Kill Jill’
Charlie Puth – ‘Attention’
FRANKIE feat. Marc E. Bassy – ‘Problems Problems’
Friend Within & Kideko – ‘Burnin’ Up’
Hurts – ‘Beautiful Ones’
Kasabian – ‘Are You Looking For Action?’
Kid Ink – ‘Lottery’
Lady Gaga – ‘The Cure’
Lana Del Rey feat. The Weeknd – ‘Lust For Life’
Liv Dawson – ‘Somewhere Good’
London Grammar – ‘Oh Woman Oh Man’
Lucy Rose – ‘Is This Called Home’
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber – ‘Despacito’ (Remix)
Matthew Koma feat. Jai Wolf – ‘Dear Ana’
Mike Perry feat. Imani Williams – ‘Body To Body’
MØ – ‘Nights With You’
Moss Kena feat. Jay Prince – ’48’
Mr. Belt & Wezol – ‘Good Times’
Paramore – ‘Hard Times’
Rex Orange County – ‘Untitled’
RINNGS – ‘Cutting The Cloth’
Ruby Francis – ‘Paranoid’
Sigrid – ‘Plot Twist’
Tash Sultana – ‘Murder To The Mind’
The Amazons – ‘Junk Food Forever’
Wankelmut feat. Charlotte OC – ‘Almost Mine’
Youngr – ‘Monsters’

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The Edge's resident grumpy old man, a final year Web Scientist with a name even his parents couldn’t spell properly. Ask him any question and you’ll probably get the answer of “Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2015 album E•MO•TION,” which might explain why we still can't get rid of him.

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