The Streets Break Down New Mixtape “None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive” Track by Track
Mike Skinner goes deep on his first collection of new songs in nine years.
I saw a tweet recently about a Gen Z-er raving to their parent about some ancient album they’d discovered which, over the course of the tweet, reveals itself to be The Streets’ 2004 LP A Grand Don’t Come for Free. It wasn’t until I read this that it dawned on me just how long it’s been since we’ve heard from Mike Skinner’s cheeky, UK-garage-inspired hip-hop project, which, as it turns out, hasn’t released any new music in nearly a decade.
None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive is here today to change all that—the brand new mixtape compiles nearly forty minutes of fresh material, initially grabbing our attention with early album singles featuring buzz-bands Tame Impala and IDLES. Yet Skinner has always seemed something of a loner, someone who plays against the mainstream. As he details the full LP below, it seems pretty obvious that his collaborations with longtime peers and underground artists that appear later in the record are as—if not more—important than those with chart-topping bands.
NOUAGOOTLA is available to stream now—do so as you read through Mike’s track by track below.
1. “Call My Phone Thinking I’m Doing Nothing Better”
If the album has a theme, then this is it. I didn’t plan any of it out really, I just kept the bits that I liked and binned the stuff that I didn’t. But there are lots of lyrics about not answering the phone or people ignoring me while watching my Insta stories.
2. “None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive”
I liked the idea of it being, like, an action hero thing, but with an existential darkness underneath. Kind of sums me up
3. “I Wish You Loved You as Much as You Love Him”
Another lyric that survived my intense deleting of anything I didn’t like. The video was also huge for me on lockdown. No one left their living room to make it. It was a new skill learned for me, but also useful for work.
4. “You Can’t Afford Me”
I love Ms Banks—she’s so honest because she’s so confident. Shout out to Marks and Spencer as well. Holding up writing musicians since the beginning. Also the hook on this song is my bass player Wayney, who I’ve been trying to get singing on one of my songs for years. Recorded in our dressing room in Germany.
5. “I Know Something You Did”
Jesse James [Solomon] was near the top of my list for ages. He’s a proper rapper but really does the introspection stuff as well.
6. “Eskimo Ice”
I tried to sum up a London house party, and Kasien is the person to do that with. Those guys do up wave life very well! The sort of party where there’s a bicycle in the hallway and people watching videos on YouTube in the bedroom.
7. “Phone Is Always in My Hand”
Dapz [on the Map] and all the Brummies are kind of the reason I’m doing this Streets thing again. So grateful to that lot. Dapz is such an interesting person, a very sensitive person in a not so sensitive world.
8. “The Poison I Take Hoping You Will Suffer”
I’ve watched Oscar [#Worldpeace] literally become a man in front of my eyes. We did a lot of touring with Tonga, so we’ve both been up and down around each other. His song “Mmm” is incredible. I almost want to start Tonga again just to play that.
9. “Same Direction”
Jimothy [Lacoste] is the real deal. Incredibly deep guy, but could also have been a comedian. So glad it came together on this one.
10. “Falling Down
I could chat to Hak Baker all day. In fact, I did do that in a pub instead of recording one day, which didn’t end well! I’m not sure he really knows how important what he is doing is, but if he did it wouldn’t be the same.
11. “Conspiracy Theory Freestyle”
Obviously me and Rob [Harvey] were in a band together, and now he helps me with The Streets live show. This started off as a demo for The D.O.T. [Mike’s band with Rob] I think, but I always had it in a folder for years and years and it felt right to use it for this. He’s a very close friend to me and a proper grafter of a musician, which I have enormous respect for.
12. “Take Me as I Am”
The sort of moment you try and have with every song you write. It just came together like a movie, this one. [Chris Lorenzo] had the bassline and I just wrote a hook and started singing about all the clubs I’ve been in. It kind of wrote itself, to be honest, and then would go crazy whenever we played it, even before it came out. The best thing I’ve been involved with in years, really.