LA songstress and renowned goddess BANKS lends her vocals to ‘Don’t You Love’, the latest song from fellow collaborator Lil Silva’s forthcoming Mabel EP. Silva’s soft musings open the slow-burning atmospherics of the track before BANKS mixes in her own elegant harmonies. This is the first of two tracks the two have conjured up for the EP out August 4, hold tight.
Adult Jazz are perhaps the most exciting band to have burst onto the scene since alt-J, and their debut album, Gist Is, exemplifies why. The four-piece from Leeds begin proceedings with the seven-minute long ‘Hum’, where frontman Harry Surgess enchants with his fluttery voice transcending the spiritual instrumentation.
Over the course of the LP, we see the band spread their wings and take an experimental turn in tracks like ‘Idiot Mantra’ and ‘Be A Girl’ which revert from a straightforward 4×4 beat whilst still maintaining accessibility through the lyrics (“my heart, it is still spinning all over the ground“). The LP is rounded off with ‘Bonedigger’, a smooth and airy number, which brings us back to a more conventional flow.
Gist Is, takes you on an ethereal journey of intricately crafted, forward-thinking compositions, rammed with layer upon layer of sparkling rhythms, magical vocals and introspective songwriting. Stream the entire album over at NPR, before it drops August 4.
Following their recently released single ‘Hot Love’, London’s We Are Shining push forward with another cosmic production – this time in the form of ‘Breaks’, featuring Andrea Balency and written by FKA Twigs. Far more celestial then the exotic influences that warped ‘Hot Love’ into the spectacular that it is, this single serves as slightly more mechanical insight into the multiple layers that comprises this duo.
Next week the PinBoard mob will be heading to Amsterdam once again for Appelsap (August 9th), the cities fast rising festival dedicated to hip hop and electronic music. The one-day event has grown significantly over the years, with this year being no exception. Oosterpark will play host to a healthy mix of local and international talent which includes Glasgow’s very own super producer Hudson Mohawke, Travi$ Scott, FS Green, DJ EZ and a whole host of others.
Tickets are still on sale, so if you’re in Amsterdam on August 9th – get you some.
BANKS continues her slew of dark videos with this new one for ‘Beggin For Thread’, the latest track to have surfaced from her forthcoming debut album Goddess out this September. Shot in stark black and white, the clip captures the track’s intense nature to perfection ; take a look up top!
FKA twigs follows up the her vivid ‘Two Weeks‘ single with ‘Pendulum’, the second track from her hotly anticipated debut album LP1 (out August 11 via Young Turks). Twigs shrouds her typically leftist production with dreamy vocal of hers. Big love to Jesse Kanda too, who shares some of the bizarrely beautiful shots of Twigs in hero latest video. Beautiful use of FKA’s falsetto towards the end - divine…
As promised, Worcestershire based producer astronomyy has just released his debut There For U EP, via his own Lunar Surf label, and if you hadn’t guessed already, it’s pretty good. Whilst ‘U Make Me Feel Good‘ was a smooth and beautiful offering, it’s the EP’s title track (demo form here) which really stands out. Everything from the lush vocals to the mellow down production is vastly on point. There’s also a pretty trippy stream of the entire EP over at his website, check it out.
I must admit I wasn’t expecting to love Common’s new album Nobody’s Smiling (out now) as much as I do. Because as much as I loved Lonnie’s Kanye-era (Be still stands), I grew a little tired by The Dreamer / The Believer and I’ve been a die-hard Common fan since Can I Borrow a Dollar, not to mention I belong to the minority group that considers both Electric Circus and Universal Mind Control among the most underrated albums of his career. Yeah, I said it.
Anyways, turns out Common and No I.D still have mad chemistry because Nobody’s Smiling is fire from top to bottom. The LP’s second single ‘Diamonds’ which features an infectious hook and confident verse from Big Sean is a strong example of the richly produced beats and affected flow that both producer and emcee bring to the table. Welcome back sir.
With just a couple singles under his belt, Spooky Black has already become a divisive, meme-worthy character within the digital music sphere. His much talked about debut video ‘Without You’ was met with cynicism and ridicule in equal measure. While some tastemakers fobbed it off as nothing more than a mockery, others were more defiant and appreciated his oddball approach. Personally I found it difficult to make up my mind. “Alternative R&B” has become such an easy sub-genre for artists with minimal talent to hide behind. Voluminous synths, clouded drums and a shit load of reverb makes for the perfect camouflage for mediocracy – especially amongst singers.
Well Spooky was clearly listening to his critics because he’s just pulled something pretty special out of his do-rag. His new single ‘Reason’ is helmed by The Weeknd’s producer Doc McKinney – considered by many as one of the foremost producers of contemporary R&B – unsurprisingly then that the track is wonderfully crafted and sounds amazing. And to his credit Spooky’s performance is strangely charismatic, albeit far from perfect. Clearly not the most gifted singer, the faulty afflictions in his vocals are unavoidable and at times distracting – but yet still there’s something fascinating here. Is this another case of a producer masking the limitations of a singer or is Spooky Black offering something totally unique? Take a listen…
We Are Shining show up in a corner shop to perform their afrofuturisic new funk-opera ‘Hot Love’ while hypnotic beauty and rising model Adwoa Aboah loses herself on the desolate streets of North-East London. The duo (formally known as The Shining), made up of Morgan Zarate and Acyde, create a cacophony of juxtaposed sounds melding the worlds of fusion-jazz, gospel, and bluesy-electronica into their own warped version of reality. You’ll be singing this all day.