Having produced for the likes of Mary J. Blige, JAY Z and Aloe Blacc, Jamaican-born British-raised singer/songwriter and producer Knox Brown is going to turn a lot of heads with his solo output. His soul-drenched debut single ‘Harry’s Code’ oozes personality; tapping into the sounds of his motherland he applies a light but unmissable reggae spirit across the songs glorious instrumentation.
Since signing to Terrible/XL Recordings earlier this year, Hip Hop artist LE1F has been absolutely killing it. He dropped a killer debut EP packaged as Hey, made his live debut on American television with David Letterman, and today, blesses with a swaggy music video for ‘Sup’. Badman.
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?
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.
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.
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 Shlohmo, Jeremih, Kelela, Son Lux and Margot.
The leaks from “Michael Jackson’s” new album Xscape keep coming; presumably a convenient marketing ploy from the label to keep interest up. Mission accomplished in part, because here we are discussing ‘Chicago’, the latest track restructured by Timbaland using original vocal recordings from the late King of Pop. The soulful-pop mid-tempo is surprisingly understated, with Timbo giving enough room across production to allows Jackson’s iconic voice to take centre stage. This isn’t a life changing addition to Michael’s discography, but it is good to hear his voice strong like this again.
Introducing New Jersey starlet Blood Cultures, whose latest offering ‘Meavy Hetal’ serves up a dreamy slice of celestial pop. The songs toned down and chilled aesthetic is permeated by its shimmering instrumentation and her warm, floaty vocal. This is pretty cool…
We’re all accustomed to Kwabs’ era-defying vocals and so its pleasant surprise when someone like him is motivated enough to create an equally resonating visual to accompany their music. The Emil Nava directed video for ‘Pray For Love’ produced by Plan B is a wonderfully cinematic affair centred around two children adjusting to their new lives.