Blending pop, R&B, soul and at times some fairly experimental electronica on her latest album 3, Sydney-based artist Ngaiire certainly can’t be accused of playing it safe, and the album is a constantly shifting joy that seems to delight in playing with your expectations of how a polished ‘pop’ album should sound, then gleefully doing something else entirely. Unapologetically sincere and packed full of infectious rhythms, highlights are many – the awesome Shiver also deserves a mention – but Glitter gets the nod from me for being an absolute banger.
TPW favourite Quinton Barnes drops his latest single Arouse today, further establishing himself as an incredibly sexy and talented motherfucker. Haunting synths sit comfortably alongside his trademark hard-hitting drums and woozy flows – the entire thing is just fantastic and deserves to be listened to at an outrageously volume, preferably while receiving a massage.
Atlanta-based R&B artist Mariah the Scientist completely blew me – and lots of other people – away with her 2018 album MASTER, especially the song Reminders which I maintain is one of the most underrated tracks of that year. Released today is the follow up RY RY WORLD which on the first couple of listens at least sounds even better than its predecessor, and All For Me – with its delicate pads, retro drums and gorgeous chord changes – is an instant classic.
Erika De Casier has now released two albums that sound like nothing else out there. Despite wearing their 90s r&b influences proudly on their sleeves, both 2019’s Essentials and the newly released Sensational (how’s that for a pair of chest-beating titles?) manage to forge new paths for the kind of introspective, moody but ultimately easily accessible pop that I am bang into. Make My Day is an early highlight – that haunting little synthy wail at the start of every bar, I mean come ON! – but it’s all ultimately brilliant.
Arriving as the third single from her forthcoming album Man Made which lands next month, Dingaling is about as chill and vibey as R&B gets. As Greentea herself says early on and repeats throughout, “Here in lies your fortune / In the shape of a good tune” and at the moment this is exactly the kind of straightforward simplicity I’m after.
It’s Friday. Which is enough of an excuse for us all to embrace Ray BLK’s breezy new banger Dark Skinned. Not sure I’m going to say anything else about this one, except that it’s the latest in an increasing number of songs making me feel vaguely positive about our ability to have actual fun this summer. Thanks Ray!
Absolutely nothing I write here is going to do justice to how overwhelmingly brilliant this song is, so I’m not going to try, just go and listen to it. Track of the year contender for sure, taken from her new album Second Line. On my fourth straight listen and it just made me cry. Fucking hell, it’s amazing.
The latest single from UK producer L E M F R E C K is markedly different from some of his earlier work. As the grime/r&b artist told Gigsoup earlier this month, “I was deep into nihilism/depression. I had no plan of releasing music after the single ‘Sinners’, and that was it for me.” We’re grateful he stuck with it, as Falling is just brilliant: rooted in melancholy, but with a hopeful yearning that suggests he’s made peace with it. Greatness beckons for this former BBC Introducing artist.
The opening track on Starrah’s debut album The Longest Interlude, Miss This perfectly sets the scene for what followers: namely, 30 minutes or so of woozy, atmospheric r&b ripe for summer nights. Reminiscent of both 070 Shake and Tierra Whack in its finer moment, I expect I’ll be spending quite a lot of time with it over the coming months.