PinkPantheress – Take me home
Alt-pop star PinkPantheress has dropped a new three-track EP, designed as “a Christmas gift for anyone in need of some upbeat music”. As we creep towards Christmas, some of us fatigued after a long year, she delivers just what’s needed; the titular track is positive, fast-paced (bar its spacious, trap-influenced ending) and relatable in its lyricism. The EP caps off another steady year of progress for the 21-year-old, with her list of 2022 collaborators Mura Masa, Beabadoobee and Baby Keem.
Central Cee – Let Go
Sampling Passenger’s enormously catchy 2012 hit ‘Let Her Go’, Central Cee gets emotional for his latest track – the similarly titled ‘LET GO’. Whether you believe him and Madeline Argy breaking up are a publicity stunt or not, nonetheless this is still a more emotional release than Cench has delivered to date.
Little Simz – Angel
The only reason this isn’t the lead track on the list is the fact it was an early week release. Nonetheless, what an album it’s derived from. Just when Simz could have just sat back, kicked her feet up and celebrated a year of BRIT, Mercury and MOBO awards, she goes and delivers some of her best music yet. Subtle, heavenly opener ‘Angel’ – with vocals from frequent collaborator Cleo Sol – is beautiful. As indeed the album is as a whole.
FLO – Losing You
After making history as the first ever group to win the prestigious BRIT Rising Star Award, FLO have dropped ‘Losing You’, another silky-smooth offering from the three-piece. The track has a shimmering, almost Christmassy appeal, as the group continue to revive UK RnB for the 2020s. It’s little wonder the trio have already garnered support from the likes of Kelly Rowland, Missy Elliot and the cult classic Sugababes.
Måneskin – LA FINE
This year might have been Sam Ryder’s when it comes to Eurovision stars, but 2021 winners Måneskin have been kicking on themselves too. Clearcut rock n’ roll tune ‘LA FINE’ is their latest release and comes ahead of a new album, RUSH!, set for release on 20 January 2023 (i.e. a matter of weeks away).
A1 x J1 (feat. SL) – Man On A Mission
A1 and J1 A1 (16-year-old Phineas Waweru and 18-year-old Joshua Somerkun, respectively) have recruited fellow two digit rapper SL for their latest drop, ‘Man On A Mission’. Without a sample, the track is instead a downbeat tune, over a delicate looped piano. Having met through the Houseparty app during lockdown, the youngsters broke through with their track ‘Latest Trends’, and this tune may well indicate the start of them growing up.
Mai Anna – Jupiter
Another sumptuous slice of RnB here, this time from New York-born, Japanese-Puerto Rican artist Mai Anna. Matching Central Cee’s track on the list with its theme of heartbreak and rejection, ‘Jupiter’ follows Mai Anna’s Jazz Café show earlier this month, supporting Odeal. Mai Anna is well worth keeping an eye out for – she doesn’t just sound dreamy, she’s also exceptionally smart. A graduate of Harvard, she also set up her own non-profit organisation when she was 18, providing free one on one tutoring to homeless people in New York.
Angelus – faded in milano
Parisian producer, DJ and pop artist majorette dips into the world of digicore and hyperpop to create something both melodic and refreshing on their brand-new EP, majorette. Penultimate track ‘faded in milano’ is inspired by the highs and lows of fashion week, of which Angelus has first-hand experience of, having walked the Marni and Vaquera FW22 shows in Milan and Paris earlier this year.
Ab-Soul (feat. Joey Bada$$) – Moonshooter
After a six-year absence, TDE and Black Hippy star Ab-Soul returns with an album replete with honest reflections and an upbeat attitude. It’s a welcome return, not least following a candid interview the rapper gave with Rolling Stone earlier this year, opening up about previous suicidal tendencies. ‘MOONSHOOTER’ enlists the likes of fellow long-time rap associate Joey Bada$$ above an eerie, cinematic beat.
Nakhane – You’ve Got Me (Living Again)
Wrapping up with something more emotional, Nakhane’s ‘You’ve Got Me (Living Again)’ has been released alongside announcement of the South African artist’s forthcoming album, Bastard Jargon. Set for release on 3 March, the album already has ample hype by the inclusion of Perfume Genius and Nile Rodgers.
And there you have it. Ten tracks, hopefully to at least warm your spirits amid this bracing cold. Have a good weekend all.