Fontaines D.C. – Cello Song
It’s rare for a lead track on this playlist to be a cover, but this week’s release of ‘Cello Song’ by Fontaines D.C. – taken from compilation album The Endless Coloured Ways: The Songs of Nick Drake, out 7 July – was too good to ignore. Cutting the roughness of the Irish band’s distinctive guitar playing with the beauty inherent in Drake’s songs, it’s an all-too tantalising reminder that we want new music from Fontaines, following their recent Grammy win and stellar Skinty Fia last year (our favourite album of 2022).
Slowthai – Tourniquet
Slowthai dropped his new album UGLY today, and it’s a brutally raw reminder of both his no-fucks-given, punk spirit and some of his best music to date. Starting like something out of space, ‘Tourniquet’ soon comes crashing back down into the kind of despair that punctuates the album. It’s demanding, angry and, with an unnerving piano lurking beneath, quite beautiful.
Kali Uchis – Moral Conscience
The astrology-based title of Kali Uchis’ new album, Red Moon In Venus, is a reference to both the rare, blood-red lunar eclipse and the planet which is also closely associated with divine femininity. This overall feel comes across on the album, as Uchis sings about love – having it, wanting it, losing it, and every shade in-between – with her recognisable vocals being as sultry as ever.
Dry Cleaning – Hot Penny Day (Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul remix)
When it comes to lyrics, Brixton’s Dry Cleaning and Belgian duo Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul are unlikely soulmates. Topical Dancer, the latter’s brilliant dance record from last year, had such unforgettable lyrics as “Siri, can you tell me where I belong?” (‘Blenda’) and “How to flirt with food in four steps” (‘It Hit Me’); the kind of wonderfully bizarre refrains that are only really matched by Dry Cleaning at present. To see the two outfits collaborate for a remix of ‘Hot Penny Day’, from last year’s Stumpwork, is the quirky get-together I’m all here for.
Matt Maltese – Museum
Featuring backing vocals from Sorry’s Asha Lorenz, ‘Museum’ is the latest release ahead of the prolific songwriter Matt Maltese’s’ fourth album Driving Just To Drive, out 28 April via Nettwerk. I would harp on about it, but much better you spend your time reading our interview with him instead, which delves into the new record, the singer’s love of Leonard Cohen and how being dropped by a major label became an enormous source of creative freedom for him.
Avalon Emerson – Hot Evening
Avalon Emerson heralded the news of her indie-leaning debut album (at long last) with the release of bright and breezy electronic tune ‘Hot Evening’. The inspiration of her longtime favourites Cocteau Twins and The Magnetic Fields is easily discernible on this new track, without it sounding pastiche. It bodes well for the full self-titled project, created with her new & The Charm project that consists of London producer Nathan Jenkins (aka Bullion), wife Hunter Lombard and friend Keivon Hobeheidar. It’s set for release on 28 April via Another Dove, a new label being launched by Emerson with AD 93 founder Nic Tasker.
Tlya X An – Daddy
Israeli-British Tlya X An announced her debut EP, TXN, this week, set for release on 28 April via Bristol-based label Spinny Nights. The producer and singer marked the news by the release of pounding, experimental pop single ‘Daddy’, which she says expresses “wanting more from life and the dark sides that come with that ambition”. The new track follows ‘Holy J’, released earlier this year, which saw support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music. Indeed, it’s little wonder ambition is now on her mind as she continues to garner attention.
The Lathums – Land and Sky
The Lathums have carved a beautifully honest path for themselves since the release of their heart-on-their-sleeves, chart-topping debut How Beautiful Life Can Be. With their follow-up out today, our review describes ‘Land and Sky’ as the record’s best tune; one where the Wigan outfit come across as “untethered from the myopia of self-perception and self-restraint, they soar. It is this album’s ‘Artificial Screens’ [the penultimate tune on their debut] and it’s, quite simply, brilliant.” Read our interview with The Lathums’ frontman Alex Moore about the making of the album, among other things.
Unflirt – Anywhere
Reminiscent of the dreamy vocals and delicacy of Beabadoobee (who she’s soon to go out on tour with), ‘Anywhere’ is the latest offering from West London’s Unflirt. This arresting love song comes ahead of the Unflirt’s debut EP, out 5 April – a project that’s eagerly-awaited given she’s already accrued more than two million streams prior to having any label backing.
Terri Walker – Finally over you
For anyone feeling a little lovelorn, acclaimed UK RnB and soulstress Terri Walker has today released her brand new track to soothe such matters. Simple, subtle and sonically beautiful, it precedes a string of singles leading up to the release of the singer-songwriters’ highly-anticipated forthcoming album, My Love Story (out 14 April), which will arrive 20 years to the day of her debut release: 2003’s critically-acclaimed Untitled project.