14th

14th return with a new single titled ‘Sweet Lies’, marking the welcome of new band member Jack who they officially describe as a “producer, sound engineer, cellist and all round badman”. Their latest single is a bold, industrial ballad filled with gothic soundscapes and a killer melody from lead singer Tracey Duodu. This certainly feels like a new phase in the bands evolution – lets hope to hear/see more of them in the coming year.

New York duo Lion Babe – who we first flagged back in 2013 – has returned with a video for ‘Jump Hi’, the groups new Nina Simone-sampling single featuring Childish Gambino. Serving as the lead single from their forthcoming Lion Babe EP, the track is unapologetically summer filled, boosted by singer Jillian Hervey’s raw soul vocal and Lucas Goodman’s full production.

Get to know, Jones, a singer from London whose elegant voice is at the forefront of ‘You’, the follow up to her debut single ‘Deep’. Those gorgeous vocals are backed by A.K. Paul’s icy soundscape, comprising of clattery electronics and a light piano chord to give the track a minimal yet captivating feel.

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.

image

Acquaint yourself with Marian Hill, a duo from Philadelphia who’s about to blow your mind with new single ‘Got It’. If you’re not impressed by the near-Neptunian electronics and production, that honeyed falsetto fluttering across the soundscape sure will catch your ear. “Got It” vocalsist Samantha Gongol intones in the chorus, courting and seducing you as the sparse beats cushion that absolutely magical voice of hers. Take a listen below, you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re down and out with this miserable autumn gloom, get loose to Shan Vincent de Paul’s debut single ‘Some Girls’. The Canadian artist/rapper/producer intertwines his provoking rap verses into shimmering electronics that give off a dance-y vibe. ‘Some Girls’ finds the perfect balance between Hip Hop and Pop as SVDP keeps things spicy with those fiery lines.

Having already lent her vocals to SBTRKT‘s Wonder Where We Land cut ‘The Light‘, rising songstress Denai Moore preps the release of her brand new, I Swore EP by sharing its emotional title-track. Produced by XL’s Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, King Krule, Sampha), the song allows the singer’s chilling voice to rise above the echoing piano lines and grand instrumentation. Listen to the record below and look out for the four-track EP (which sees a feature with James Vincent McMorrow) when it drops November 24th.

Mary J Blige roundhouse london itunes festival

With more than 20 years in the game you might be forgiven for thinking that Mary J. Blige’s live shows have calmed down since her high octane days in the 90’s and early 00’s. This of course would be a ridiculous assumption, not only has Blige maintained her energy, she’s gotten even stronger and even more powerful… and lest we not speak of the in-cred-ible shape she’s in.

Taking to the iconic stage at London’s Roundhouse for the iTunes Festival last night, Mary used the first half of her show to remind everybody how it is she’s managed to maintain such a long and successful career – her hits are bewilderingly endless. Covering a substantial amount of ground, she played through her discography and performed fan-favourites like ‘You Remind Me’, ‘Happy’, ‘Real Love’, ‘Family Affair’ and of course the holy-spirit-squat inducing ‘No More Drama’.

But it was clear from the shows introduction that Mary had a bigger agenda than just to indulge in blind nostalgia – she wanted to use her moment to unveil new music from her 13th studio album The London Sessions.

Read more…

French/Cuban sister duo Ibeyi share the studio version of ‘Mama Says’, the song which kick-started their XL journey from earlier this year, following a spellbinding live performance of the aforementioned track last year. ‘Mama Says’ sees the twins slow things down as a soft piano melody is the backbone for the sisters to deliver some stunning vocals.

Willow+Smith+png

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.

Page 1 of 4212345102030