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Now Hear This: L Devine, Emotional Oranges, Kano and Marilyn Manson


I’m keeping it brief in this week’s Now Hear This column – there are plenty of great new tracks on the playlist, but here’s a rundown of a few that have really stood out, along with some other stuff that’s been happening in the music world over the past few days. 

The Q Awards at the Roundhouse in London on Wednesday (16 October) was a lively affair: Nadine Shah was a perfect host in that she regularly went off-script and had a brilliant rapport with pretty much everyone else who appeared onstage. I went with the team from Fender, who sponsored the Fender Play award – this year it went to the awesome Anna Calvi. There were great moments with Edwyn Collins, who received the Maverick award, and Kano, who accepted his Outstanding Contribution award from Akala.

Kano’s clearly been busy even after the release of his brilliant album Hoodies All Summer, plus a sold-out tour, and has just released an Abbey Road Studios recording of his grime classic “P’s & Q’s”, which sounds even more dangerous than the original. LA duo Emotional Oranges have released a dreamy new cut, “Sundays”, as they announce their forthcoming project The Juice Vol II. Enjoy the Brandy vibes from their guest singer, V. The UK’s best new pop star, L Devine, samples the Eighties hit “Bette Davis Eyes” for her angsty song “Peachy Keen”.


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The Katy Perry resurgence continues with her new single “Harleys in Hawaii”, which balances the pop star’s ability to throw a touch of silliness into what is otherwise a very sultry song. The National’s Matt Berninger, who just announced his debut solo album Serpentine Prison, has teamed up with Phoebe Bridgers for the gossamer stylings of “Walking on a String”. The track was written for the Netflix film Between Two Ferns: The Movie, in which they perform the song at a dive bar while dressed in some excellent cowboy outfits. It’s a lilting, wintry song – and it’s pretty amusing that the song appears in a film by a guy who made his name in “bro” comedy The Hangover.

Scottish rock band Twin Atlantic are back, having recently signed a new deal with Virgin EMI, and they’re definitely making noise about it. “Novocaine”, the first single off their fourth album Power (out 24 January), is this huge, stadium-sized anthem that unleashes all of frontman Sam McTrusty’s ambition into racing drum beats and massive guitar hooks. And Michael Kiwanuka has released the latest track – the gorgeous “Piano Joint” – from his forthcoming new record Kiwanuka, more on which next week.

Marilyn Manson will make your hairs stand on end with “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”, a raspy rendition of a song famously covered by artists including Odetta Holmes, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Manson’s version first appeared in the 2017 film 24 Hours to Live starring Ethan Hawke and Rutger Hauer. There’s also a really cool video accompanying the release, which shows Manson in a motel room and later digging a grave out in the desert. Obviously.


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