Have we not been telling you about MNEK? See now, this is why…
Our boy, whose refixes have been tearing things down over the past two years, has at long last unearthed his official debut single titled ‘Every Little Word’. Having witnessed this guys star steadily rise it is to no surprise (to us) that ‘Every Little Word’ is the complete and utter smash that it is. Funnelling his influences to a near science and refining his own bewildering talents to a tee, ‘Every Little Word’ demonstrates the perfect pop-formula – serving Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown and MNEK realness.
TDE’s first lady SZA released her wonderful new EP today – in other words, today is a good day. The 10 track expended player (album?) includes collaborations with label mates Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, as well as the previously released single with Chance the Rapper and is filled to the brim with the textures, colours and mood structures SZA has used to gain her dedicated and wide-reaching following. There are a lot of female singers riding the spacey-R&B-wave at the moment (and we’re not complaining) but SZA applies a subtle, but explicit edge that sets her apart from a lot of them. Sink into this one via Spotify after the jump or purchase it in full from iTunes.
Who hasn’t been obsessed with Warpaint’s debut album? We’ve been enamoured with them since way (way) back when. Take a look at the girls’ new 8-minute double video for their singles ‘Disco//Very’ and ‘Keep It Healthy’ – both of which serve as awesome singles and subsequent videos. Love.
Converse continue their impressive residency at 100 Club with the announcement that How To Dress Well will headline a show, supported by Koreless, on April 23rd. As like Converse’s packed-out shows with A$AP Ferg and Blood Orange earlier this year, tickets for HTDW’s show will be free via their official website from today (April 8). Make sure you get yours.
In case you missed it, take a listen to How To Dress Well’s fabulous new single ‘Repeat Pleasure’ lifted off his forthcoming new LP What Is This Heart? due out June 23rd.
It’s a little early to tell but RATKING may have released one of my favourite albums of 2014 so far. Their debut album, So it Goes, was released on XL Records today and to launch proceedings they release a new video for the LP’s lead single ‘Canal’. Watch up top and get that album.
We expressed our opinion on the release of Michael Jackson’s posthumous new album Xscape when news of a D’Angelo produced contribution was announced, so its only fair we follow up with new developments…
The albums title track has hit the web and unlike most of the crap Sony has churned out since MJ’s passing – this is actually pretty passable as a legit posthumous release. My feelings on releasing unfinished music remains the same, but as far as ‘Xscape’ goes as a single – it sounds like it could have very easily been a part of Invincible – Jackson’s last solo record. Depending on what side of the fence you sit on with that album – you’ll either love this or hate it. I personally love hearing Michael’s voice like this – powerful, defined and pissed off – but like near enough most of the up-tempos on Invincible, the production feels far too forced and mechanical – a problem I’ve had with Darkchild’s production for years now. That aside though, this is a surprisingly promising start.
You’ll remember we featured London singer/producer Bayou and his single ‘Varsity Jacket’ back in June ’11. Today he releases a new number called ‘Airlock’, a far less fragile follow up to its predecessor, the song is punctured with staccato hi-hats, acoustic chords and foggy electronic synths. Like ‘Varsity Jacket’ though the new single features Bayou’s delicate and warm falsetto.
Despite finishing his takeover world tour just last week Drake is clearly not keen on slowing things down. This week has already seen the release a new Lauryn Hill-sampling freestyle called ‘Draft Day’ and now today, he lets loose another new cut titled ‘Days in the East’. Produced by fellow Canadian PARTYNEXTDOOR, the new slow jam features Aubrey’s astute melodic word play that this time even sees him shouting out our beloved Erykah Badu (“remember one night i went to to Erykah Badu house, she made tea for me, we talked about love and what life could really be for me”). Take a listen.
XL Recordings’ RATKING has offered up a full stream of their debut album So It Goes ahead of its April 8th release. The new album builds on the bands already acclaimed New York grime-rap sound and features previous singles ‘So Sick Stories’ featuring King Krule and ‘Canal’. RATKING’s approach to stuttered beats is met with unapologetically hardened verses. Listen up – this is beautiful.
Head over to NPR to listen to So It Goes in full.
Even three years after his passing the power of Gil-Scott Heron on record is still palpable. ‘Alien (Hold On To Your Dreams)’ is the first single taken off Heron’s forthcoming posthumous album Nothing New which will be released by XL Recordings on Record Store Day (April 19th). The album will consist of material recorded during the I’m New Here sessions in 2008. The LP will consist of stripped-down renditions of some of Heron’s best known tracks and will be packaged with personal notes from XL Recordings founder Richard Russell. Only 3,000 copies will be available to buy on the day, so if you want one you’ll need to be quick… And herein lies the difference between good and bad posthumous releases.
As for the track – just listen, you don’t need me to tell you how awesome it is.