Mar 2014 27

Producer and one third of cult-band The xx, Jamie xx, has announced a new single featuring ‘Sleep Sound’ and ‘Girl’, the former of which can be heard up top. The gentle track is build on padded drums, densely layered vocal samples and Jamie’s trademark tropical ethos. ‘Sleep Sound’ builds into a really beautifully sonic venture – but then, when doesn’t Jamie’s productions?

‘Sound Sleep’ and ‘Girl’ will be available on 12″ and download on May 5th via Young Turks. These tracks mark Jamie’s first solo release since the release of his seminal Gil Scott-Heron collaboration We’re New Here in 2011. Pre-order the new single here.

Mar 2014 26

What can’t this guy do? He produces, sings, writes and records everything he does; BOOTS, and his ever growing repertoire of killer tracks. Showing his versatility both as a singer and a producer ‘Ride Ride Ride’ is a spacious ballad with crisp drums, smooth synths and seductive attitude. Whilst ‘Alright’ takes things to another level with its intense, unrelenting soundscape and witty lyrics. ‘Alright’ is his most experimental track to date, BOOTS’ cacophonous flow is broken by a thick jazz intersection that changes the tracks entire persona – he’s pushing his sound. Pick your favourite (if you can) below!

Mar 2014 26

After delivering the dreamy visual to ‘Babylon‘, SZA is back with a brand new track called ‘Child’s Play’ which features a well executed verse from Chance the Rapper. SZA’s sweltering, golden-flow vocals float over the instrumental laid down by producer XXYYXX on his smash single ’About You‘. It almost seems inevitable that these two are on a track together; it works.

Mar 2014 26

Here at PB we’re constantly looking out for progressive artists who want to push boundaries; those who stick their heads out and try something a little different. Someone who is beginning to fill that criteria is Coleman Hell, a Toronto based singer who shakes things up on ‘Venezuela’. Whilst maintaining a straight pop aesthetic, the track challenges itself with a distinct vocal approach and skittering electronics which merge to create a rather surreal soundscape. This is kind of left.

Mar 2014 25

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Drake opened the final leg of his Would You Like a Tour show last night at London with a display of confidence and charisma befitting the superstar he has become. Through a well thought-out, crowd pleasing set list Aubrey reminded us of the journey he’s been on since quietly [relatively speaking] releasing So Far Gone in 2009, the mixtape that first sparked his global grip.

Relying mostly on material from his third and most recent album Nothing Was The Same, Drizzy poured over hit after hit from across his discography and dedicating a section to his extensive feature repertoire: ‘The Language’, ‘Tuscan Leather’, ‘Worst Behaviour’, an extended (if not slightly over indulgent) rendition of ‘Hold On We’re Going Home’, ‘From Time’ assisted by R&B’s rising starlet Jhene Aiko, ‘Take Care’ (sadly sans Rihanna), ‘Over’ and the shows encore ‘Started From the Bottom’.

The overwhelming response to which was: “shit, Drake has hits!” – something that is perhaps a little easy to underestimate between twitter-memes, Drake shake apps and teary eyed tumblr gags that populate timelines and feeds on a hourly basis.

But its undeniable at this stage and has been for a long time now – hip hop’s reigning prince is also one of pop’s biggest superstars; Drake is without question a global artist who can shift huge numbers, balance die-hard fans with casual radio-listeners and sell out stadiums around the world. It wouldn’t take a lot of arguing to assess Drizzy as a poster child by-product of a post-Kanye world (even down to his elaborate, awe-inspiring stage set), but giving credit where credit is due – Drake is sitting confidently at the top of his game with very few competitors eyeing for his spot.

Boy did good.

Mar 2014 25

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Brighton duo IYES first set the blogosphere alight with ‘Til Infinity‘, a slick electro-pop number which sizzled nicely. Today the two get all sexy on us with their airy new single ‘Breathe’. Produced by themselves (with a little help from our boy MNEK), the track plays out as a smooth number with glossy synths and sensuous lyrics. Apparently it’s all about “an image in mind of a naked lady, in a jungle, with a snake wrapped around her” – yeah, cool. That aside – reckon these guys are on to something here, listen up.

Mar 2014 25

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Maryland duo abhi//dijon return with a sweet sounding, lo-fi number called ‘Let You Know’. Following up their former new  single ‘twelve‘, their latest offering is a brooding number filled with snappy electronics and a warm, hazy vocals. You’ll be jamming in no time at all. These guys are fire.

Mar 2014 21

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And so the weekend officially begins.

In lieu of a new D’Angelo album, the heavens have granted us three previously unreleased, entirely glorious new songs from D’s forthcoming re-release of his Live at the Jazz Cafe album. Due for release on March 25th, the newly titled Live at the Jazz Café, London: The Complete Show will feature the entire recording of D’Angelo’s legendary 1996 show – including new renditions of Al Green’s ‘I’m Glad You’re Mine’, Ohio Players’ ‘Sweet Sticky Thing’ and Brown Sugar’s ’Jonz In My Bonz’.

Fuuuuuuck!

via Pitchfork / Billboard / Rolling Stone

Mar 2014 20

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We’ve shown a lot of love to BANKS over the past year or more, and while theres absolutely nothing wrong with this cover of ‘Are You That Somebody’ – it’s actually quite good – I just can’t hide my growing frustration with the amount of Aaliyah covers/samples floating around.

… And as an avid supporter of the shelved Aaliyah/Noah ’40′ Shebib project it has absolutely nothing to do with being “too precious” about Babygirl’s discography and everything to do with the general mindset that the only representation of weird, future-90′s R&B began and ended at Aaliyah. Has everyone forgotten Timbaland produced for everyone during this period – why is no one flipping Destiny’s Child ‘Get on the Bus’ or Nicole Wray’s ‘Make It Hot’?

I know, I’ve digressed. I’m sure Banks has a personal connection to ‘Are You That Somebody’ and had reasons for choosing to cover it and as far as covers go, her ‘Live Lounge’ rendition is befittingly well arranged and performed. I’m just not screaming from the rooftops about it – mainly due to the reasons outlined above.

BANKS also did an acoustic version of her single ‘Brain’ – take a listen here.

Mar 2014 20

17 year-old Atlanta rapper Raury turned heads with his genre-bending debut ‘God’s Whisper’ a few weeks back. Citing the likes of Kid Cudi and Andre 3000 as his influences, Raury manages to blend the raw, rugged flow in his verses with the swooping indie atmospherics to perfection. The accompanying video sees the artist/songwriter/producer at a bonfire in his hometown neighbourhood; donning a nifty, wide-brimmed floppy hat. There’s a full-length long player on its way too, it’s called Indigo Child, watch this space.

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