Kahlil Joseph directs the dramatic and utterly riveting new video for muso-darling FKA Twigs‘ single ‘Video Girl’. Shot on gritty black and white film, Joseph’s muse delivers an impassioned performance while witnessing (her lovers?) federal execution. Gorgeously pieced together, the 4:33 film cuts in and out of an uncompromising narrative full of suspense and beautiful tension.

FKA Twigs is up for the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize tonight, lets hope she takes home the gold.

Having mesmerised with their fantastic self-titled EP back in April, Silverdale duo Aquilo return with ‘I Gave It All’ another upstanding ballad. Filling the soundscape with soft piano chords which swell and grow throughout the track, the boys’ perfectly layered vocals come together to create an absolutely heart-rendering experience.

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Keeping on trend with many producers these days, Pearl is releasing music in near-total anonymity; there is at present little to no information on the web about him. What is known however is that he is signed to JMSN’s White Room Records label, and that his new album Open was released very recently. Comprised of 10 tracks, the LP hosts’ a slew of invited guest singers like Nylo, Channy Leaneagh (POLIÇA) and label head JMSN, who interpret Pearl’s obscure, strangely melodic productions in their own eccentric and exciting ways. It’s an interesting, and trippy listen – tuck in below.

And lets ignore that artwork.

Mercury Prize nominee FKA Twigs performed her single ‘Two Weeks’ on Later… With Jools Holland last night – take a look at her ambrosial performance up top. Can’t not love the Rick James hair-homage.

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Introducing London based singer and producer Sakima, and his brilliant debut single ‘Energy’. His deep and endearing vocal seamlessly transitions between the woozy soundscape consisting of powerful percussive inflections and speedy handclaps. ‘Energy’ finds Sakima marrying the introspective electronics of James Blake with SOHN’s empowering vocal depth whilst entailing his own distinct style. Spin the track above, and give its reworking a listen too.

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Willow Smith is making a habit of surprising us. It’s easy to forget how bewildering it was when she first smashed into our consciousness with ‘Whip My Hair’, but since then her team (which already consists of Will Smith, Jay Z and probably President Obama, and L. Rob Hubbard) have been working hard to strategically manoeuvre her ascend into superstardom. Controversial love songs, weird photos, and a couple noteworthy covers have worked well to build an interesting, if not somewhat little freakish, reputation. The girl is still only 13 years old. (Yes, 13).

Anyways – take a listen to her latest, another left-leaning and rather serendipitous cover of King Krule’s ‘Easy Easy’. A cover like this says a lot more than just what a singer can do with their talent – it affirms that she, or her rather her aforementioned team of advisors have their ears very close to the ground and their eyes firmly set on the credible internet underground. Either way, it kind of has to be applauded – it would be much easier (and quicker) for them all to continue to release more ‘Whip My Hair’ singles.

BOOTS has been on a break since releasing his brilliant WinterSpringSummerFall mixtape earlier this summer, but the silence is broken with new number ‘Mercy’. As with previous releases, BOOTS continues to embark on new pastures as he exposes his raw vocal over a soft piano melody before things gradually intensify as strong, electric guitars are joined by thudding drums  around the three-minute mark.

I don’t think anyone can release a better album this year than Shabazz Palaces, at least not for me anyway. Everything about Lese Majesty is supreme – from the endless influences they pack into every inch of their material, to their eccentric themes of tribal afro-futurism – it all works like a wonderfully chaotic symphony. Enter then their new video for ‘#CAKE’, masterfully directed by Hiro Murai – a beautiful post-apocalyptic visual that weaves in and out of kaleidoscopic urban landscapes, desolate locations and performance shots. File this next to their Kahlil Joseph directed ‘Black Up’ video (which incidentally was my favourite music video of 2011).

Only a band like alt-J can make a line like ‘I wanna turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet’ sound so very… appealing. It’s from the trio’s latest tune ‘Every Other Freckle’, taken from their forthcoming full length This Is All Yours out September 22. Once again we’re thrown into a whirlwind of elegant, sophisticated vocal melodies and eclectic instrumentation; and once again, we’re absolutely smitten.

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.

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