New Music Friday – August 26

TGIF and TGFTBHM – that’s ‘thank God for the Bank Holiday Monday’, but you knew that already. With Notting Hill Carnival and Reading & Leeds Festival this weekend, among a plethora of other musical events whilst the summer sun still shines, let’s celebrate with some new music. And revel in the fact we have an extra day to recover from whatever shenanigans we get up to.

New Music Friday

Britney Spears, Elton John – Hold Me Closer

Britney’s first music since she was released from her well-documented, troubling conservatorship, it marks a return after a six-year hiatus. And, frankly, it couldn’t have been done with a kinder man in music. A joyous dance tune, there’s a sense of liberation in the track, which is a reworking of Sir Elton John’s classic 1971 track ‘Tiny Dancer’ and first came about when Spears tweeted her love for the original in 2015. And now, here we are, with a free Britney and a freeing tune.

Ezra Collective (feat. Sampa the Great) – Life Goes On

London’s leading jazz quintet, Ezra Collective, have announced their forthcoming album, Where I’m Meant To Be, set for release on November. And for our pleasure, they’ve released this single featuring Sampa the Great, which nods to the 1972 Fela Kuti record ‘Shakara (Oloje)’. It’s another uplifting track that feels the heat and beat of the summer, just in time for Notting Hill Carnival this weekend.

Jelani Blackman (feat. Moonchild Sanelly, Trillary Banks) – Comfy

Jelanic Blackman’s first release since his critically acclaimed debut mixtape, Unlimited, ‘Comfy’ is yet another carnival-ready tune, with its afro-inspired beat and dancehall edge. Given the title, you might be unsurprised to hear Jelani describe it as being “about feeling comfortable and when you do, how much your energy just radiates out and people catch it.” On a long weekend like this one coming, I hope we can all relate to that.

Margo Price – Been To The Mountain

Margo Price delivers that old, gold classic of American song-writing: authenticity. With “nothing to prove and nothing to sell”, she belts this tune loud and proud. The figure of the mountain has often been used throughout art to symbolise the overcoming of adversity. Well, by the sounds of things, that’s something Margo is certainly embracing, with her describing this track as “the perfect continuation of my search for freedom in my art and freedom in the modern age”.

Muse – Liberation

What is it about the desire for freedom this week? Perhaps, as the world burns, we all crave a final bout of freedom. Muse’s latest album, Will of the People, is a raucous, dramatic, political record, highly reflective of the mood of the times; just take the final track, for instance, ‘We Are Fucking Fucked’. I’m glad someone said it, although I haven’t gone for that one. Instead, here’s ‘Liberation’.

Fauness – Mystery

London singer-songwriter has also announced plans for another brilliantly titled record – The Golden Ass – which is set for release in October and will mark her debut. There’s a myriad of influences at play in ‘Mystery’, the single released ahead of the album, with the singer citing Sandy Denny, Bonnie Raiit and the lesser-known Valerie Carter among her influences. It’s an enjoyable electroacoustic track that only builds anticipation for the full album.

MorMor – Seasons Change

As we can begin to see the end of summer, MorMor’s folktronic ‘Seasons Change’ perfectly captures the mood – an equally hushed and propulsive track reminiscent of the likes of Toro y Moi or Blood Orange. The Toronto artist has described the track as being “about the constraints of time. The sentiment is that if you are to live once why not give into your natural desires.” It’s a long bank holiday weekend, so that’s exactly what we hope to do.

Melody’s Echo Chamber – Unfold

Featuring Melody Echo Chamber’s distinctive falsetto vocals, ‘Unfold’ is one of several tracks to be released as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations since the project’s self-titled debut in 2012, which was co-produced by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker and marked a new wave of psychedelia. In that regard, it’s yet another ideal summer tune; one for listening to by a stream or lying, eyes closed, in a field.

beaux – can’t help but let you down

With the help of a fuzzy guitar solo from his friend, Hugo Silvani of Pale Waves, beaux has put out this alt-bop bop, which sees the singer take a deep look at his life and examine his actions compared to others. “I just want to make sure I’m always there when I’m needed for those who’ve always been there for me,” the 23-year-old has rather sweetly said. This track certainly doesn’t let anyone down – in fact, quite the opposite.

The Lounge Society – People Are Scary

Finally, an emerging band I’m particularly excited by (and had the pleasure of seeing live earlier this week). Their debut album, Tired of , is out today, and was produced by Speedy Wunderground creator Dan Carey – who’s having quite the year with Number 1 albums already with the likes of Wet Leg and Fontaines D.C. Hailing from in and around the Pennine towns of Hebden Bridge and Todmorden in the Calder Valley of West Yorkshire, their debut is another sign-of-the-times type record, full of angst and adrenaline.

That’s all folks – enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend and your well-deserved Mondays off.

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