I don’t think anyone can release a better album this year than Shabazz Palaces, at least not for me anyway. Everything about Lese Majesty is supreme – from the endless influences they pack into every inch of their material, to their eccentric themes of tribal afro-futurism – it all works like a wonderfully chaotic symphony. Enter then their new video for ‘#CAKE’, masterfully directed by Hiro Murai – a beautiful post-apocalyptic visual that weaves in and out of kaleidoscopic urban landscapes, desolate locations and performance shots. File this next to their Kahlil Joseph directed ‘Black Up’ video (which incidentally was my favourite music video of 2011).
London is gearing up for the biggest and baddest weekend of the year – come rain or shine – and Carnival looms, our girls JUCE have come forth with a beautiful prelude with their new video for ‘Burning Up’. A sun soaked salutation to our glorious city, the video was shot on 16mm at Brixton Splash a couple weeks ago and was directed by Jess Colquhoun, and features a whole host of typically London character portraits. Notting Hill Carnival soon come, but in the mean time – press play and get ready.
With his King of the Fall tour fast approaching, The Weeknd unveils his brand new music video for ‘Often’, marking the third video created with director Sam Pilling. 5 star hotel rooms, beautiful women, girl on girl action – it’s all in there, so perhaps don’t play it in eye shot of your boss. I’ve never considered this to be Abel’s strongest offering but Pilling’s cinematic approach and camera technique builds enough of an atmosphere for me to reconsider my position. Watch up top.
JMR (Joshua Michael Robinson) is blessed with one heck of a voice. ‘Doesn’t Feel Human’, the American’s latest offering serves up a whisper-lead falsetto floating through an interchanging soundscape of warm, pulsating synths and glitchy effects. This is real nice…
Futurist Kelela and hip hip radical Le1f team up for a new spaced out duet titled ‘OICU’ produced by P. Morris. The track pays homage to both their respective styles: Le1f’s fierce baritone cuts through the thickly textured atmosphere, while Kelela’s pristine vocal soars above it – the result of which is a hazey, eccentric melodrama disguised as undercover slow jam.
Watch as Haim take over the (fictional) Dallas Murphy show, hosted by SNL’s Vanessa Bayer, in the music video for ‘My Song 5’ featuring a guest verse from A$AP Ferg. With appearances from Ezra Koenig, Ke$ha, Big Sean, Grimes and even their parents(!), the visual is pretty hilarious with cotton-ball-phobias, mime-fetishes and more. Take a look above!
Master of alt-soul Bilal teams up with Adrian Younge and the great Ali Shaheed Muhammad on ‘Sirens II’ for a sterling new slow burner filled with rich live instruments, lush (and familiar) samples and of course, a vocal odyssey courtesy of one of the best vocalists we have (and no, I don’t consider that an exaggeration). Taken off Bilal’s as yet untitled new album which is due for release early next year – this new one has me buggin’ for whats to come.
Flying Lotus returns with animated and fully psychedelic new album teaser featuring some of the mind-altering new material from his forthcoming album You’re Dead! Dubbed as a pioneer from the get go, it’s rare to see an artist live up to their buzz like FlyLo has and is. Known for fearlessly blending the golden traditions of hip hop, electronica and jazz, this new project feels even fuller and more established than his previous releases – which considering his catalogue is quite the feat already.
Kwabs follows up his Wrong or Right and Pray For Love EPs with ‘Walk’, a brand new, stand-alone single out September 29. Unlike the soulful bursts, electronic glitches and R&B vibes of his previous efforts, this new one will have you head banging with its military-like marching drums carrying Kwabs’ rich tones along. Give it a spin below!
Only a band like alt-J can make a line like ‘I wanna turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet’ sound so very… appealing. It’s from the trio’s latest tune ‘Every Other Freckle’, taken from their forthcoming full length This Is All Yours out September 22. Once again we’re thrown into a whirlwind of elegant, sophisticated vocal melodies and eclectic instrumentation; and once again, we’re absolutely smitten.