In times gone by Coi Leray’s No More Parties would sound more like a hungover pep talk delivered to yourself after yet another write-off of a Sunday than a grim prediction of just how little fun we’ll be having this year, but regardless: it’s still really fun and I really like it, and lyrics like “I’m only doing shit that’s gonna make me elevate / Only want people around that’s gonna make me better” is making me feel significantly more motivated to Get Shit Done than 1000 ham-fisted open letters from our utter fucking moron of a leader ever could.
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!
I’ve always associated Father and Awful Records with a certain kind of drug-fuelled hedonism that seems to spark both creativity and extreme levels of lethargy, probably in large part due to that Boiler Room documentary where they all sit around in a pretty run-down house, talking about music, religion and getting extremely fucked up. His music has always been fairly tongue-in-cheek and hazily delivered, but Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You – the title track from his latest LP – sounds almost sincere and, well, romantic? Maybe that’s taking things a little too far, especially given some of the lyrical content, but regardless, it’s a welcome return.
There’s a little chord change about halfway through simmerDown that absolutely destroys me: crushingly melancholic but simultaneously optimistic and hopeful, it’s everything I love about this kind of lo-fi, heartfelt r&b, and as it only happens once and the track’s less than two minutes long, I’ve probably clocked up 20 listens on this already today. Man, it’s great, and hopefully after a string of singles this year we might see an album in 2021. That would be lovely.
Quinton Barnes is just absolutely fucking brilliant. Not only did he put out one of our favourite albums of the year with Aarupa, he recently announced a new LP As A Motherfucker which will be landing in January to buoy us all when we’re skint and miserable after one of the weirdest festive periods of our lives. What a dude. Switch is stripped-back but punchy as hell replete with eerie pads and crisp drums, and further reinforces the fact that he’s a thoughtful, outrageously talented artist surely destined for greatness.
HIRA is one of the artists that has come up through Jai Paul and A. K. Paul’s Paul Institute, something that will come as no surprise to anyone who listened to Eclipses: an achingly chill R&B cut that bears a striking resemblance to much of the Pauls’ respective bodies of work. Sparse and downbeat with fleeting shimmers of guitar and occasional drums providing a skeletal backing for HIRA’s gorgeous falsetto, Eclipses is so confident in its own ability to beguile it barely needs to bother trying.
It’s not even December yet. Christmas songs of any kind should get in the bin for another few weeks at least, ideally indefinitely.
Tinache just released a Christmas album packed full of stone-cold bangers, so stop being so miserable, crack open the Baileys and embrace the festive ridiculousness.
It’s been a long old time since I was still up and about at 3AM , but I think I remember it: usually drunk passed wasted and towards a kinda weird sobriety, vaguely thinking about what I have to do the next day, surreptitiously checking to see just how ridiculous the surge prices are at the moment. And while I may be showing my age with a lot of this, and there have been moments I’ve been having the absolute time of my life at 3AM in an ohmygodIcan’tfuckingbelievehowgoodthistuneis way, I definitely don’t remember it being as chill or sexy a time as Amaarae is making it out to be. Maybe I need to get up and wander round the grainily-lit, deserted streets, or be trying to seduce someone (LOL!), but either way, this record is lush and I love it.
Emotional R&B for you today courtesy of UK artist Kimani. Bad News is slick and syrupy in the best possible way, and vocally reminds me of DVSN’s Daniel Daley: delicate, heartfelt and seemingly constantly on the verge of breaking down into tears. Backed up by understated background melodies and muted percussion, it’s a real, lovelorn treat of a record.