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 Pressure, a “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.
Listen, when Nicki isn’t making mega-hits for 7 year olds, she’s a beast on the mic who, left to her own devices, normally out shines and out-raps the majority of her male counterparts. Her verse on ‘Monster’ (and pretty much every other song she’s ever featured on) can still prove that. And well, that’s exactly what she manages to do here on her new single ‘Only’ featuring label boss Lil’ Wayne, musical-bae Drake and recent collaborator Chris Brown. Listen to Minaj go in… The others are on top form too of course.
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.
‘How About Now’ was initially leaked on soundcloud, but theres no word on how it found its way online or where/when it’s from. But it’s clearly authentic, so take a listen to Drizzy’s very lyrical, Jodeci-sampled slow burner below. If this is lifted from Views From the 6 – I’m not mad.
Julio Bashmore just premiered a brand new track ‘Rhythm of Auld’, taken off his debut album which is due for release in February on his own Broadwalk Records label. The track, featuring gorgeous vocals from J’Danna, is a beautifully eccentric nu-disco number. Love this.
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.
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.
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!
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.