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There are very few worlds that can quantify this moment, so please bear with me.

It’s taken 14 [damn] years, but today we f-i-n-a-l-l-y get to hear the first insight into D’Angelo’s much anticipated, much dreamed about, often forsaken new album – which we know now to be titled Black Messiah. Courtesy of Red Bull’s 20before15 project ‘Sugah Daddy’ is available to stream and download for the first 1,000 listeners (I was #965) and is as rich and thick in detail as you’d hope; you know, given the guy has been living in near solitude for the past decade and half.

Voodoo fans will be happy – I know many of them were unjustly concerned (heathens) for reasons I’m still confused by (“will it be too freeform?”, “my expectations are too high”, “what if it’s not as good as Voodoo…”), but more importantly long-standing D’Angelo fans will be elated. ‘Sugah Daddy’ isn’t self-indulgent nor stagnant – it perfectly represents the prodigal sons thought process and wonderfully tracks smutty funk, creole soul and Dirty Mind harmonies.

Listen to ‘Sugah Daddy’ via 20before15 now.

Update: stream the track via D’Angelo’s official soundcloud player now.

Update #2: It has been confirmed that Black Messiah will be released on iTunes at midnight (EST) tonight! Get ready, only a few hours to go!

Behold, a Christmas miracle!!!

D’Angelo has just announced the title of his long-awaited, near-mythical new album – the followup to 2000’s magnum opus Voodoo.

Appropriately titled Black Messiah, the LP is officially credited to D’Angelo and the Vanguard. The announcement is marked by short teaser which presumably featurs a snippet of new music off the album. Furthermore, an event chaired by Nelson George and sponsored by Red Bull Music Acedemy and Afropunk will debut the project in New York this Sunday (!!). Posters of the Black Messiah artwork have been spotted around the city…

D hits London town in February as part of his new European tour, so expect to hear fully formed new songs… you’ll find us somewhere near the front losing our minds (again).

Now excuse us while we go clean our brains off the ceiling… #ohmygod.

Update: It has been confirmed that Black Messiah will be released on iTunes tonight at midnight (EST)! Get ready, only a few hours to go!

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TDE’s first lady returns with a woozy new track produced by Thundercat, Chris Calor, Cody, LoveDragon and Sounwave, seemingly featuring an obscure sample (astutely observed) from Welsh producer Ifan Dafydd’s ‘Treehouse’ – which we first gushed about back in 2011. ‘Sobriety’ finds SZA pouring her unfiltered heart out, colourfully swooning about past loves and strained relationships. Produced, arranged and performed beautifully by all involved the track is another exciting prospect from the St. Louis native. Hopefully we’ll get that full project soon.

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.

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Tinashe’s contribution to the Lorde-curated Hunger Games soundtrack takes shape as ‘The Leap’, a woozy down-tempo full of breathy vocals, and a slyly crisp beat. Soundtracks can always be a bit dodgy, but ‘The Leap\ sounds likes a track left over from Aquarius, Tinashe’s recently released, well received debut album and so feels like a song that belongs to her.

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.

Rochelle Jordan

2014 has certainly produced its fair share of promising R&B. Tineshe’s debut album Aquarius entered the mainstream thanks to its clever pop-crossover, while Teyana Taylor’s less compromised new LP VII released on Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music label has been pleasing muso ears since debuting last week.

But the one I’ve really been waiting for was released yesterday.

Toronto’s Rochelle Jordan first piqued our interest sometime back in 2011 when she – alongside some other early innovators – began unleashing a futuristic view on a genre many had long given up on; it’s easy to forget now how soiled the word “R&B” was before this period. Since then she released Pressurea “mixtape” stronger than most albums, along with a number of loose tracks and singles that lead her up 1021.

Together with her long-time collaborator KLSH, Jordan’s new album is a cascade of sentimental lyricism, swirling vocals, lush harmonies and pristine productions. And by “pristine” I really mean they knock effin’ hard. The influences are clearly there and easily traceable, but compared to the aforementioned artists/albums referenced above 1021 stands out as the most authentic and visionary. This album couldn’t exist in any other period of time but now and for that it already gets my vote as one of the best LP’s of the year.

1021 is out now on iTunes and available to stream on Spotify.

A couple of weeks ago, South London’s TÁLÁ shared her latest single ‘Alchemy‘, and we loved it. Today, the singer/producer gives us a visual glimpse into her Middle Eastern roots in the track’s accompanying music video directed by Kate Moross. Amongst shots of sand dunes, snakes and other insects are clips of breathtaking landscapes with the odd snap of TÁLÁ herself.

London via New York newcomer Oyinda follows up the bass heavy ‘What Still Remains‘, with her latest single, ‘The Devil’s Gonna Keep Me’. This new one continues to showcase the singer’s gorgeous tones as percussive clanks and sharp keys give the track its dark and moody aesthetic. Listen to the song below; it’s brilliant!

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As Rochelle Jordan prepares the release of her debut album  1 0 2 1, she unloads yet another killer single titled ‘Playa 4 Life’ featuring Bay area rapper/producer IamSu! The track solid insight into Jordan’s mind state and again confirms to us that she remains the most exciting figure in underground R&B. It’s only a matter of time until the wider consciousness catches on. And while there has been a couple notable debuts this year, most notably Tinashe’s new Aquarius LP, there’s only one I’m genuinely waiting on and thats this lady’s.

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