Shura released a new song today, obsession, which comes accompanied by a beautiful video and includes a verse from Rosie Lowe, and everything about this is making me really happy. It’s got a real 80s slow-jam vibe about it, with super-crisp production and both Shu and Lowe on incredible sultry form. Happy fucking Wednesday!
JUNKHEART is – in their own words – “a mixed-race romantic, making gloomy-pop tunes for comic-book nerds and nostalgic rollerbladers”. God I miss rollerblading. Also, Typhoon is apparently for “fans of thinking about stuff too much”, so it’s bascially made for me. It’s just so good: a gloomy pop banger with both hope and heartbreak enough to spare. It’s an incredibly impressive debut, and Typhoon is the first of six track to be released over the coming months, leading up to the EP in summer, so I’m excited to hear where they take us next.
This isn’t the first time I’ve said this, but Quinton Barnes is a truly remarkable artist. Writing, singing, producing, mixing, mastering: he does everything, and at a quite incredible rate. As A Motherfucker is his second album in less than 10 months and it sounds as slick and polished as anything else you’re likely to hear this year. Packed full of big hooks, intricate melodies and propelled by his relentlessly wonderful voice, it’s everything I need from an r&b album. I HEART QUINTON!
Here comes another entry in the “things I completely missed in 2020 but probably shouldn’t have done” canon, this time courtesy of Raven Mahon and Mikey Young aka The Green Child. Low Desk:High Shelf is taken from their second album Shimmering Basset, the recording and themes of which deal with Raven’s relocation to Australia from California. A week ago I would have casually mentioned that the lo-fi, almost naively wonderful electronic opening reminds me of some of John Maus’s best work, but as it turns out even niche musical heroes of mine can trash their own legacy in a single swoop. So instead I’ll say it’s a brilliant, yearning, melancholic, hopeful slice of electronic folk-pop, and leave it at that.
LAMBERT is a London based songwriter, producer and artist with a background in baroque and classical music and now creating some rather striking electronica. one x one is her latest release and pairs her granulated, ethereal vocal alongside starkly beautiful production. The track was produced while “coming to terms with the reality of losing someone close to me”, with LAMBERT aiming to make something that was both painful and beautiful to capture the feelings of that time. She’s undoubtedly succeeded.
Under Me is the latest single from London-based experimental pop artist Rebecca Phillips, who combines Arca-esque production with striking vocals that swerve between hushed background textures and screaming excess. There’s a fine balance of delicate melodics and punishing violence at play here, and it all works extremely well.
Shadi G is a classically trained Swedish songwriter, producer and singer who’s latest single Goddess pt. 1 sits somewhere between contemporary r&b and electro pop. The production is simple but extremely effective, with muted drums and hushed snares providing the perfect bed for her wonderful vocals, which remind me of NAO at times and Empress Of at others.
Considering the kind of completely unclassifiable music Oneohtrix Point Never usually crafts, a schmaltzy, vocoder-infused ballad – with The Weeknd no less – isn’t necessarily something you’d expect to find on his latest album. But then hasn’t this just been a year of the unexpected? No Nightmares is warm and wonderfully reassuring, and crackles with just enough weirdness to ensure you don’t think you’ve stumbled into the final moments of 80s school disco. And if you’re really not into it, you only need take a step in either direction on the album to be confused and slightly unsettled again.
Gabrielle Current new single marks a bit of a departure from her previous glossy pop, and channels 90s R&B aesthetics to very enjoyable effect. Both the vocal and production are hazy and understated, gently rolling along without vying for your attention and creating a quietly beguiling, nostalgic atmosphere as a result.
This is the latest single from Norwegian trio Orions Belte, a band supposedly inspired by “Nigerian 70’s rock, postcards from the French Riviera and Formula 1” and while I’m not an authority on either Nigerian rock or Formula 1, the breezy, heady melodies of Conversations absolutely call to mind sitting on a warm beach gazing out at the gentle swells of the Mediterranean. It’s an intoxicating blend, easily accessible yet with enough of a punch to stay with you for some time afterwards.