As we draw in to darker days inching one step closer to Christmas, we take a look at a few picks from this weeks’ New Music Friday (18/11). Hopefully, some in here should be cosy enough to tide you over with your cuppa.

The riffage of rap and hip-hop rules the airwaves this Friday, with Stormzy‘s third album This Is What I Mean dominating talks with his triumphant return next week. Meanwhile across the pond, the likes of Travis Scott and Chance The Rapper return with follow-ups, Down in Atlanta and YAH I Know as welter-weight collaborators invest in partaking with Pharrell Williams. Both singles follow high anticipation of two albums to follow for both rappers, as we brave the road to Star Line Gallery and cautious Utopia which may / may not be coming.

In the world of rock, The Smashing Pumpkins conjure up 2022’s ATUM – A Rock Opera in Three Acts, a spiritual concept album layered with psychedelic euphoria and swirling tension. Enter Shikari continue their partnership with a collaborative affair of an album with Bull, featuring everyone’s favourite Northern Irish punkist, Cody Frost. This comes after they worked alongside brutal duo, WARGASM for The Void Stares Back. Meanwhile, post-punk outfit shame are entering a new, surreal landscape with their third studio album, Food For Worms. The momentous occasion has begun already with the release of Fingers of Steel, an unrelenting sermon on the frailty of an uncertain life. Deemed as “the Lamborghini of shame records”, this is one to watch out for.

For something a bit more festive to our cosy Christmas, Phoebe Bridgers has reached into her pocket of lyrical gemstones and conjured up a sadly beautiful collective of songs perfect for the Christmas season. Although far too sorrowful for a joyous occasion, it’s storytelling from the heart and is pretty powerful stuff, all the same. If We Make It Through December and So Much Wine are stand-outs as Phoebe charters her inner Folklore. Capturing intense movie romantics in the art-form of soundscapes is something that Cigarettes After Sex have been doing for five years now, ever since their self-titled was sent out in 2017. Since then, their bottled moments of late-night levitation have been captivating audiences with the likes of Apolcalypse and Sunsetz. Now, they share their 2022 return with Pistol.

Some favourites of mine are Barry Can’t Swim with Like The Old Days, BROCKHAMPTON’s TM, Nosa’s regret island and The Wombats’ tongue-twister EP, Is This What It Feels Like To Feel Like This?


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