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Music

Lady Wray – I Do

Lady Wray released her long-awaited album Piece Of Me last week, and thankfully it’s a banger, the only drawback being that if you’ve kept up with the run of singles over the last couple of years, you’ve already heard half of it, including a lot of the best tracks. There’s still some previously unreleased gold in there though like opener I Do, and if you’re completely new to her music you’re in for an intensely soulful treat.

https://ladywray.bandcamp.com/album/piece-of-me

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Music

Ehiorobo – Maker

I’ve listened to Ehiorobo’s album Joltjacket a few times since it came out in December, and it’s really a very impressive and incredibly creative body of work. At times it cane be a big jarring: like he’s trying to cram just a few too many disparate ideas, rhythms and textures into too narrow a space, but you can’t argue with the level of artistry on show. He’s managed to carve a pretty peerless space for himself: his music reminds me a little of Choker – but even more freewheeling. Maker is the final track, and a clear highlight from an album that definitely deserves more attention than it’s received so far.

https://daily.bandcamp.com/album-of-the-day/ehiorobo-joltjacket-review

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Music

Tierra Whack – Sorry

“It’s Whack History Month. Any month I’m dropping back-to-back, it’s Whack History Month, so that’s what we’re doing,” So says Tierra Whack, who today released her third EP in as many weeks, following up previous drops Rap? and Pop? with R&B? – a three track which concludes with this spellbindingly sorrowful gem directly out of the Drake manual of reflective morosity.

https://twitter.com/TierraWhack

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Music

Lady Wray – Thank You

“My goal is always to help and to heal people with singing” says Lady Wray of her latest single, Thank You. “Part of that is to try and bring back real music, real singing, so people can feel something again.” Worked on me! Thank You is without question her most powerful, moving single since Piece Of Me.

The only thing that slightly bothers me about this is that Thank You is already the fifth single to be released from her new album Piece Of Me due out in January. It’s kinda sad that the way the industry is currently beholden to Spotify et al., we will have been exposed to nearly half the album before it lands. Albums are a sacred format – at least to me – and I’d much rather listen to one in its entirety not knowing what’s coming next, rather than already being overly familiar with it. Sufjan’s Beginners Mind suffered from exactly this problem earlier this year: six singles had been released ahead of the album – pretty much all the strongest records on there – which led to a slightly underwhelming album release day.

But then that’s just me. I expect lots of people will just enjoy this without fretting about it so much.

https://www.instagram.com/ladynicolewray

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Music

Gabriels – Stranger

Gabriels’ Jacob Lusk has never sounded better than on Stranger, one of the four tracks on the LA-based soul group’s second EP Bloodline, which ebbs and flows between sombre reflection and full-on, string-led, orchestral bombast. An extremely assured next step on an increasingly impressive path: widespread recognition is surely on the horizon.

https://gabriels.bandcamp.com

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Music

Yvy Maraey & Mike Nasa – A Família (ft. Noah Slee)

This is the debut single from Brazilian artist Yvy Maraey, working in collaboration with Berlin-based US rapper Mike Nasa. Incorporating elements of Bossa nova, hip hop, rnb and soul, A Família sits somewhere between Solange and Buscabulla, with a slow, chugging beat providing an earthy base for her sublime vocal. One to watch, for sure.

https://soundcloud.com/yvy-maraey

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Music

Ehiorobo – Pool

It’s a tough thing in 2021 to make music that comes even vaguely close to being unique. Rob Brydon made this point more than a decade ago in The Trip: “Everything has been done before. All you can do is do something someone’s done before, but do it better, or differently”. True dat. But at least there are people trying to break the mould, one of whom is Ehiorobo, who, while treading a similar path to better known artists like Frank Ocean, is doing so with such commitment and freewheeling creativity that his music absolutely stands out. Pool is gorgeous, subdued, dreamy r&b that’s so chill it pretty much dissolves into itself by the end. And if you like this there’s an album landing in December, so watch out for that.

https://soundcloud.com/ehiorobo

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Music

Lady Wray – Through It All

Atlanta R&B queen Lady Wray drops her brilliant new single Through It All, a dusty, soulful gem to power us all through a dreary Monday, and the latest stepping stone on the path to her new album Piece Of Me which lands in January. If you haven’t yet heard the title track, it’s absolutely incredible, so expectations are high for this one.

https://twitter.com/Ladynicolewray

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Music

PinkPantheress – Nineteen

The 20 year old UK artist PinkPantheress broke through on TikTok, which goes some way to explaining why I’ve never heard of her despite many of her songs having hundreds of millions of plays across various streaming platforms. Her MO seems to be: take a small part of a song that was probably released in the 90s, loop a section of it, then sing, sweetly and earnestly over the top. The result should be cheap and gimmicky, and, well, maybe you think it is, but I don’t ok! Take the 90 second Break it off (included on the new album as a bonus track) that loops Adam F’s seminal Circles under a naively bouncy vocal: obviously it reminds you how fucking brilliant Circles is, but it also works in its own right. Nineteen is as close as she gets to a ballad on to hell with it, and very lovely it is too.

https://soundcloud.com/pinkpantheress

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Music

Ngaiire – Glitter

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.

http://www.ngaiire.com