FKA twigs follows up the her vivid ‘Two Weeks‘ single with ‘Pendulum’, the second track from her hotly anticipated debut album LP1 (out August 11 via Young Turks). Twigs shrouds her typically leftist production with dreamy vocal of hers. Big love to Jesse Kanda too, who shares some of the bizarrely beautiful shots of Twigs in hero latest video. Beautiful use of FKA’s falsetto towards the end - divine…
As promised, Worcestershire based producer astronomyy has just released his debut There For U EP, via his own Lunar Surf label, and if you hadn’t guessed already, it’s pretty good. Whilst ‘U Make Me Feel Good‘ was a smooth and beautiful offering, it’s the EP’s title track (demo form here) which really stands out. Everything from the lush vocals to the mellow down production is vastly on point. There’s also a pretty trippy stream of the entire EP over at his website, check it out.
I must admit I wasn’t expecting to love Common’s new album Nobody’s Smiling (out now) as much as I do. Because as much as I loved Lonnie’s Kanye-era (Be still stands), I grew a little tired by The Dreamer / The Believer and I’ve been a die-hard Common fan since Can I Borrow a Dollar, not to mention I belong to the minority group that considers both Electric Circus and Universal Mind Control among the most underrated albums of his career. Yeah, I said it.
Anyways, turns out Common and No I.D still have mad chemistry because Nobody’s Smiling is fire from top to bottom. The LP’s second single ‘Diamonds’ which features an infectious hook and confident verse from Big Sean is a strong example of the richly produced beats and affected flow that both producer and emcee bring to the table. Welcome back sir.
With just a couple singles under his belt, Spooky Black has already become a divisive, meme-worthy character within the digital music sphere. His much talked about debut video ‘Without You’ was met with cynicism and ridicule in equal measure. While some tastemakers fobbed it off as nothing more than a mockery, others were more defiant and appreciated his oddball approach. Personally I found it difficult to make up my mind. “Alternative R&B” has become such an easy sub-genre for artists with minimal talent to hide behind. Voluminous synths, clouded drums and a shit load of reverb makes for the perfect camouflage for mediocracy – especially amongst singers.
Well Spooky was clearly listening to his critics because he’s just pulled something pretty special out of his do-rag. His new single ‘Reason’ is helmed by The Weeknd’s producer Doc McKinney – considered by many as one of the foremost producers of contemporary R&B – unsurprisingly then that the track is wonderfully crafted and sounds amazing. And to his credit Spooky’s performance is strangely charismatic, albeit far from perfect. Clearly not the most gifted singer, the faulty afflictions in his vocals are unavoidable and at times distracting – but yet still there’s something fascinating here. Is this another case of a producer masking the limitations of a singer or is Spooky Black offering something totally unique? Take a listen…
We Are Shining show up in a corner shop to perform their afrofuturisic new funk-opera ‘Hot Love’ while hypnotic beauty and rising model Adwoa Aboah loses herself on the desolate streets of North-East London. The duo (formally known as The Shining), made up of Morgan Zarate and Acyde, create a cacophony of juxtaposed sounds melding the worlds of fusion-jazz, gospel, and bluesy-electronica into their own warped version of reality. You’ll be singing this all day.
Our beloved home girl Jessie Ware comes through with the second single taken off her forthcoming sophomore album titled ‘Share It All’. The sultry ballad, co-written by Romy Madley-Croft of The xx, sees Ware apply her airy vocals tenderly around a soft bed of padded drums and muted synths. Most excitingly though is that it feels like ‘Share It All’ further shows off Jessie’s growing confidence, her vocals on this record feel more beautiful and poised than ever.
SBTRKT has finally revealed details on the follow to his shifting self-titled debut album; Released on September 22nd, the new album will be titled Wonder Where We Land. The albums first single ‘New Dorp. New York’ (above) is an ode to the Big Apple and features Vampire Weekend front-man Ezra Koeing – and what a way to kick things off - you hear that funk?
The new record boasts a pretty star-studded line up with contributions from Sampha, Jessie Ware, A$AP Ferg, Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek, Denai Moore and Raury amongst others. Full tracklisting after the jump.
South London producer/singer Palmistry recently released ‘Protector SE5′ his second Mixpak single, and now goes his video for it. The bouncy jitters in the tracks production juxtapose the clip’s slow-mo vibe.
Having melted our hearts with her debut single ‘Touch‘ earlier this year, Shura returns with ‘Just Once’. The songs warm, endearing tones are softened by its simplistic and fluid production; it really feels like a perfect pop song.
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 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.