FLO (feat. Missy Elliott) – Fly Girl
What a year it’s been already for three-piece FLO. The BRITs Rising Star and BBC Sound of 2023 winners – consisting of Jorja Douglas, Stella Quaresma, and Renée Downer – have been ushering in a new era of British RnB. And to cement that step further, they’ve enlisted the help of significant American rapper Missy Elliott.
Lana Del Rey (feat. Jon Batiste) – Candy Necklace
We’ve seen many iterations of Lana Del Rey over the years. On her latest album, the lengthily titled Did you know that there are tunnels under Ocean blvd, released today, she comes across as her most calm, collected self to date – “the queen of honest brutality and realism”, as our review puts it.
Depeche Mode – Soul With Me
Memento Mori might not go down as a Depeche Mode classic, as our review outlines. Still, fans of the pioneering British outfit will simply be happy that Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are back making music in the studio following the sudden death of keyboardist Andy Fletcher last year. Given such a background, it’s near-impossible to listen to the album without that extra poignancy attached to the haunting sound and lyrics, as exhibited more than most on ‘Soul With Me’.
Antony Szmierek – Some Daze
South Manchester’s Antony Szmierek has been writing novels and poetry for years, but it was only during lockdown that he turned his wordsmithery to music, making tunes with the 60-day deadline until his free Ableton software expired. A teacher by trade, his lyrics are rooted in the everyday, so much so that he’s been nicknamed ‘The Manc Mike Skinner’ – not a bad nickname that. Read our full interview with Antony, as part of our series on emerging artists, here.
Songer – Golden (Soul Food)
Fresh from the release of ‘04:59’ – his collaborative track with D Double E released earlier this year – 22-year-old Songer returns with a brand-new track that displays his impressive talent. ‘Golden (Soul Food)’ is both an emotional offering and a display of the Reading rapper’s fiery lyrical flow.
Heartworms – 24 Hours
whynow favourite and Speedy Wunderground signee Heartworms has dropped her debut EP today, A Comforting Notion. Riddled with angst and energy, it’s not only precisely the kind of sound we need in these times but is the first project to stamp the arrival of a genuinely compelling new artist. The EP’s release has been accompanied by news of Heartworms’ biggest show to date, at Village Underground on 21 November – which you can buy tickets here for.
Benny Sings – Take Your Time
Breezy, feel-good pop tunes seem to endlessly pour out of Dutch musician Tim van Berkestijn, better known as Benny Sings. With his eighth studio album, Young Hearts, out today, give his sunny-side-up songs a chance. And have a read of our interview with him here too, while you’re at it.
Ólafur Arnalds (feat. Ella McRobb) – and we’ll leave it there…
‘and we’ll leave it there…’ is the result of an unlikely encounter (and a modern-day collaborative tale via social media) between Grammy-nominated composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds and unsigned singer-songwriter Ella McRobb. After McRobb used one of the Icelandic composer’s improvisations to relay her experiences of heartbreak, Arnalds heard the tune and felt compelled to reach out. “Social media can often feel disingenuous and detached,” Arnalds has said of the reach-out, “but this was one of those moments where I was reminded of the magic that can happen in the digital space.” Amen to that, we say.
BLUEM – moonlight
Ahead of her forthcoming debut album, nou, set for release on 12 May, Sardinian artist BLUEM dropped ‘moonlight’ this week – a track inspired by the legend of the Janas, which recounts the Sardinian tale of small women who lived in tiny houses carved into the rocks (Domus de Janas) and spent their daytime weaving gold to create jewels in filigrana (an old technique to work metals used in the island nation’s culture). It’s such tales that nou is brimming with.
Léa Sen – Luv Him (about u)
23-year-old Parisian-born guitarist, singer-songwriter, and producer Léa Sen shared her new single earlier this week. ‘Luv Him (about u)’ comes ahead of the multi-talented Partisan Records signee’s second EP, You Of Now, Pt. 2, set for release on 21 April. It’s really rather exquisite.