Wizkid (feat. Skepta and Naira Marley) – Wow
A holy trinity of Nigerian power sees Skepta (fresh from announcing his launch of a record label) and Naira Marley team up with Wizkid for the Afrobeats star’s latest album, More Love, Less Ego, out today. The smooth productions feel as smooth and glossy as the album cover and do the track’s namesake justice. Wow.
Stormzy – Firebabe
Just when the anticipation for Stormzy’s new album, This Is What I Mean, couldn’t be greater, there he comes along and gives us something calm, measured and frankly beautiful as if to turn the temperature down. (Even if it does anything but). This week’s gospel soaked track ‘Firebabe’ follows ‘Mel Made Me Do It’ and ‘Hide & Seek’ and comes after it was announced that Stormzy will be headlining and curating a special event at next year’s All Points East.
BROCKHAMPTON – The Ending
BROCKHAMPTON are another on the list teasing the tantalising prospect of their forthcoming album. Likewise, they’re also doing so with something of a laid-back affair with today’s release, ‘The Ending’. Speaking of endings, BROCKHAMPTON’s new album, The Family, set for release next week, is set to be the Kevin Abstract-led group’s last, after announcing their breakup at the start of the year.
Christine and the Queens – la clairefontaine
Christine and the Queens does have a new album out today: Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles (Redcar the Adorable Stars, for all the non-French speakers). The singer recently came out as a trans man and created the masculine artistic figure of Redcar in the process – named after the red vehicles that began to take on significance for him in the wake of his mother’s sudden death in 2019. It’s a record with plenty of expansive, space-like chords and synths, with that oh-so-luscious French vocals shimmering over the surface. ‘la clairefontaine’, named after the traditional French song, epitomises that.
Run The Jewels – goonies contra E.T.
Run The Jewels, aka RTJ, have dropped a new version of their 2020 album RTJ4, featuring remixes and new versions of tracks made entirely by Latin artists. ‘goonies contra E.T.’ gives a flavour of the certain flair which this approach lends, turning up the moody, piano-inflected salsa and with a worthy refrain from Mexican Sarah La Morena and additions from El Individuo.
spill tab – CRÈME BRÛLÉE!
French-Korean-American dishes up ‘CRÈME BRÛLÉE!’ this week, giving us a flavour of her curious, unexpected alt-pop ways, before concluding with something far less turbulent. Produced with Solomonphonic (Dora Jar, Remi Wolf, Wallows) the track has been gaining recogniting from the likes of Clara Amfo’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’. Big things to come no doubt.
Nas – Thun
This track sees Nas flowing as good as he’s ever been. Behind a very 90s Hit-Boy beat, Nas uses the slang term ‘Thun’ (meaning son) to paint a story of driving around New York as a youth with a gun and liquor before observing how far he has come. “They playin’ Ether on TIDAL,” Nas raps, as a way to signify the brotherhood between him and Jay-Z, before following up with “Sometimes I text Hova like ‘n**** this ain’t over’ laughin’,” in one of the funniest bars on the entire project.
Lila Drew – Selfish
A self-described “pop cynic who makes pop music”, 22-year-old Lila Drew releases her debut album today, All the Places I Could Be. The album might have been written between the ages of 18 and 20, but in truth the London-born, LA-raised artist has been writing and producing since she was 10 – and it shows in a record replete with some very assured and refined songwriting, sung in her beautiful, wispy vocals.
Bilk – Be Someone
Essex lads Bilk have had quite the year, not least playing Reading & Leeds Fest. ‘Be Someone’ packs their typically raucous punch, in a track about ambition and putting the band’s desires to put themselves on the map. That they’re certainly doing, be in no doubt.
Maeve – Can We Just Get High?
Another compelling artist for her idiosyncratic ways, Maeve drops ‘Can We Just Get High?’, with her self-directed music video, which draws inspiration from the likes of The Virgin Suicides, Midsommar and Daisies. Born in the Cayman Islands and now based in London, Maeve is an uncompromising artist in both her music and the fashion world, where she’s already collaborated with the likes of Alexandra Mcqueen and Rankin.