Rochelle Jordan

For me at least, Rochelle Jordan is the very definition of R&B futurism. I don’t think any other artist has captured the genre’s avant-garde quite like she and her producer KLSH. And although there are some noteworthy contenders (Tinashe, Jhene Aiko, Teyana Taylor, Tink G), Jordan leads the way each time. In fact it kills me to know how many people missed or slept on her P R E S S U R E album, which stands unquestionably, as one of my favourite R&B albums, period.

Her latest single, following on from ‘Lowkey‘, is ‘Back in the Day’ which once again offers another look into of her near-flawless delivery. KLSH’s pristine post-Timbaland production thaws exquisitely around Jordan’s honey-cool vocals. I guess I’ve gushed enough – listen below.

P.s Rochelle also features on Cyril Hahn’s new single ‘Slow’ – listen to that here.

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Shabazz Palaces produced one of my favourite hip hop album of recent years with 2011′s Black Up; An album that represented what I felt many hip hop albums have lacked – genuine experimentalism and creativity. Following their acclaimed debut album Ishmael Butler (of the legendary Digable Planets) and multi-instrumental genius Tendai Maraire have returned to the fore with their much anticipated sophomore effort titled Lese Majesty. Released next week, the album is available to stream now via NPR, and marks an exciting second chapter in this wonderful duo’s musical exploits.

Tuck in over at NPR now.

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The internets have been waiting on this collaborative extended player for some time now, and excuse us for being a couple days late in bringing it to your attention.

When two mutually respectful worlds align to create something new in the way Shlohmo & Jeremih have, it can rarely been seen as a disappointment. In fact it should be celebrated. And regardless of whether you feel this joint project is better or worse than each of their solo offerings, you have to respect their gusto - it’s easy to forget how much of a dirty word “R&B” was just a few years ago, especially in the electronic community. And who knew Jeremih would swing back after that meme-inducing chart topper?!

For the most part No More is a convincing release, it pushes forward with the current understanding of what contemporary R&B is – a genre no longer stagnant in the shadow of its golden era. It is for the most part however carried by Shlohmo’s productions which are wonderfully industrial and appropriately gully. Jeremih’s vocals unfortunately slip key far too often and his Weeknd-esque wailing at times is a little indulgent.

That said there are gems in here, pay particular attention to ‘The End’ and an extended version of ‘Fuck You All The Time’.

Download No More for free here.

‘Cigarette Song’ is the latest track to surface from Atlanta wonderkid Raury, whose really made a name for himself over the past few months. Driven by an elegant guitar melody, the song (co-produced by Daytrip) sees the teen command the song in way beyond his years and exhibiting his talents as a singer, rapper and producer.

Still just a teen, Swedish rapper Yung Lean first caught our attention a year ago when he dropped his stellar debut mixtape Unknown Death 2002. Since then, he’s continued to deliver the goods, most recently ‘re-charge’. A mellow, slow burning beat holds things together as Lean reflects on life. Listen up.

R&B crooner PARTYNEXTDOOR teams up with Drake on ‘Recognize’, which is lifted off his forthcoming project, PARTYNEXTDOOR Two out dropping July 29. With a smooth, melodic vibe and an infectiously catchy hook (“You got niggas and I got bitches“), the track sees both Canadians go in on the moody, atmospheric beat. There’s more on the way, stay tuned.

If you aren’t already, familiarise yourself with Worcestershire-based songsmith astronomyy, and his own refreshing brand of R&B. It’s been a year since his delectable debut ‘Don’t Need U‘ graced the internet, but his latest track, ‘U Make Me Feel Good’ is equally vibey. The rich guitar tones and that silky soft voice are real smooth. Look out for There For U, the debut EP out July 28.

London trio JUCE come out with ‘Burning Up’, a delightfully vibrant summer jam dedicated to sun soaked days in the city. Having recently signed to Island Records, the group present a colourful soundbed of gloriously groovy melodies and catchy lyrics in an ode to the summertime in London. These girls, just don’t disappoint!

Haim are currently working on the follow up to 2012′s Days Are Gone, but while we wait, the sisters have shared a reworking of ‘My Song 5′ which features the Trap Lord himself, A$AP Ferg. The clattery instrumentation and menacing drums are given a refreshing edge as Ferg’s verse gives it that extra kick. Give it a spin below!

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Usher teams up with Pharrell once again to deliver yet another showstopper, named this time as ‘She Came to Give It To You’. It’s no ‘U Don’t Have to Call’ – which is a real shame - this is a smoother, more refined and even more MJ-inspired affair (lest we forget ‘U Don’t Have to Call’ was originally penned for the King of Pop). Raymond’s performance once again proves that while others wane, some vocalists only get better and better with time. ‘She Came to Give It to You’ features a solid verse from Nicki Minaj – you know when’s not singing those ridiculous tween hooks, she’s a beast. Listen up. 

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