For those who missed (or didn’t miss) the live stream this week…

Earlier this week D’Angelo sat down for an extremely (extremely) rare live interview with Nelson George as part of Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York. The one hour and twenty-four minute conversation covered an host of topics including the motions behind Brown Sugar and Voodoo, the studio techniques he uses when recording (he records vocals between two speakers in a tipi!); And also saw Mr Archer sharing personal anecdotes about writing and recording ‘U Will Know’ for the Black Men United project, having transcendent conversations with Sly Stone, and the story about how he first came to meet Questlove (told by Questlove).

A lot more was lightly discussed, but disappointingly questions about D’Angelo’s new music were apparently completely off limit – a few things were alluded too, but nothing worth writing home about – a great shame considering, but hey – when D speaks, we listen…

BOOTS shows off his camera skills in a self-directed new video for WinterSpringSummerFall cut ‘EST’. The stunning amalgamation of clips featuring trippy shots of The Eiffel Tower, the calming French countryside and more, giving us a an in-depth perspective into the life of Jordan Asher. He was a key force behind Beyonce’s self-titled LP, he’s dropped an impressive debut mixtape, and now he’s directing his own videos: what can’t this guy do?!

Bursting with groove, ‘Time’, the latest single from London’s elusive outfit JUNGLE, will sprinkle summery vibes into this rather stormy Thursday. Taken from their forthcoming self-titled debut (via XL Recordings), the track infuses all kinds of glorious sounds to form this lusciously layered, super funky jam.

Lying & Deceiving

Take a listen to ‘Lying & Deceiving’ by Florida duo The Loft. Linking the aesthetics of contemporaries like The Weeknd and Julian, the track delves into a silky R&B jam with woozy beats spearheaded by soft drums, crisp claps and simmering synths. Not to mention those foggy, plush vocals. Whilst you’re at it, give ‘Rain‘, their debut single a spin too.

Ben Khan’s glistening soul infused pop is difficult to resist; especially when its back up by a stellar debut EP like 1992. Today, the 21 year-old magician unveiled the BRTHR directed visual to his super vibey single ‘Youth’. Find yourself mesmerised by the graphic but gorgeous aesthetics while a story unfolds in thematic flashes.

Sidenote: We’ve been talking about Ben for nearly a year now, so its exciting to see him beginning to get support from further afield – both online and offline.

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After a premature breakup Diddy’s ex-girls Danity Kane finally reemerge with a new single called ‘Lemonade’ – and it’s hot. It’s easy to ignore the fact that these girls delivered two stand out pop-R&B albums before their boss realised breaking them up would be far more TV-worthy than if they stayed together. Internal dramas aside though, and a member down, ‘Lemonade’ once again brings DK’s sassy, no-nonsense flair to the fore and reminds us just how sparse legit-girl groups are these days. Oh, and recognise that sample?

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The return of Jazmine Sullivan has finally arrived!

She took a break amidst label/industry frustrations, but she’s back and hopefully (seemingly!) in full control of her output. ‘Dumb’ features the raspy, powerhouse voice thats been missing from our collections and reflects the best of her previous material.

Artists like Sullivan often get lost in labels – CEO’s trying desperately to create a commodity that will sell to the masses, while the artist desperately tries to impart genuine reflections of themselves into their material. This struggle is audibly evident across both Jazmine’s first two albums –  projects half filed with sultry bangers like ‘Lions, Tigers & Bears’ and ‘Holding You Down’, next to watered down label-fodder. Hopefully the arrival of ‘Dumb’ marks the dawn of a new day in her career and hopefully she’ll be left to her own musical devices t0 create the body of work we all know she’s capable of producing.

Welcome back.

Bayou’s ‘Loopback’ mixtape is out today

London bedroom producer Bayou has dropped his debut mixtape Loopback, and it’s incredible.  Joining the likes of previously aired tracks ‘Airlock‘ and ‘Thugs‘, are Bayou’s early tracks ‘Varsity Jacket‘ and ‘Cherry Cola’ which had us swooning back in 2012. Once again those lush melodies are embraced by Bayou’s ever so delicate vocals in tracks like  ‘Speakerstax’ and ‘Drones’, whilst ‘Loopback Cotton’ encompasses a more avant-garde aesthetic.  Loopback is available to download, free of charge below:

Since Usher has been taking care of business on The Voice, the landscape for male R&B-pop singers has shifted quite a bit. Granted young guns Chris Brown and even Justin Bieber still have a long way to go before they’re considered genuine threats, but with the return of Justin Timberlake and the universal smash hit ‘Blurred Lines’ was for Robin Thicke – Usher has a lot to contend with. But as ‘Good Kisser’ proves, Raymond has little to be concerned about; Taken off his forthcoming eighth album his new single is every bit the smash we’ve come to expect from one of R&B’s longest reigning frontmen (and yes, we’re purposely ignoring all the Euro-trash shit that came after Confessions). Musically confident, vocally ferocious and generally well put together – everything here signals great things to come from that new album. This is a smash.

Well come back Ursh.

Boots

Having burst onto the scene after writing and producing for Beyonce’s self-titled surprise album, singer/songwriter/producer Boots has been steadily leaking samples of his debut solo project. Released today WinterSpringSummerFall is Jordy Asher formal introduction and like his previous offerings tis a tape full of twists and turns. Like ‘Haunted’ on Beyonce much of WinterSpringSummerFall centres around murky notions of post-naughties R&B – punctured along the way with aching reverb, cascading chords and eccentric production. Joining Beyonce on the tapes featured-artist list are ShlohmoJeremih,  Kelela, Son Lux and Margot.

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