Hey everyone, hope you’re all still safe and well and making the most of the sun. There’s been a ton of great music that has been coming out recently, so excited to get into it! Some of these releases have come out quite a while ago, so apologies I’m only reviewing them now, but when there’s so much music that is coming out and I only include 10 in my weekly roundups, it’s sometimes difficult to keep track. Anyways, let’s get into it!
I May Destroy You: love, trauma and vulnerability in its purest and most human form
inutes after watching the series finale of Michaela Coel’s flawless new masterpiece I May Destroy You, I’m sat in my bed, speechless. There’s not much new I can say about the show that hasn’t been said by many already, but I wanted to say this: this TV show is one of the most profound, beautiful, terrifying, and raw works of art I have ever seen. And trust me, I have watched a lot of TV throughout the years. And it feels weird to say that, because this show was not made for me. I’m a privileged white, straight male. I wasn’t triggered from past traumas at any point throughout the series, and it didn’t bring any deep, personal and difficult memories of my childhood. But from a purely human level, this show made me feel oddly vulnerable at times, reflective, and it reminded me of the importance of love and being there for the people who truly matter to me. Thank you Michaela Coel for that. Read more
Lianne La Havas’ self-titled album is stunning, capturing heart, soul and incredible rhythm throughout 12 incredible tracks
Lianne La Havas’ music is timeless. Despite this new album being her first studio project in over 5 years, it doesn’t feel like it’s long overdue. But her new self-titled album Lianne La Havas has finally arrived, and it is stunning from front-to-back. I’ve always been a fan of her lavish, gorgeous guitar-led melodies and her stunning vocal performances, and this project honestly feels like her most complete body of work to date. It’s a soulful, melodic and utterly mesmeric album that beautifully captures her aura, love and pain throughout the 12 tracks on here. Listening to it I was so immersed I didn’t even notice how far into the album I actually was when I felt like I pressed play just a few minutes ago. Read more
Zara McFarlane’s new album Songs of an Unknown Tongue feels aesthetically raw, intimate and utterly beautiful
She is back again with a brand new album titled Songs of an Unknown Tongue, produced by South London legends Wu-Lu and Kwake Bass. It’s a sprawling, electronic and soul album that brings influences from jazz to hip-hop. Throughout the 10 tracks on the album, Zara McFarlane is able to evoke powerful emotive melodies through her incredible, soothing voice, coupled with a tribal, frantic and energetic soundscape. This makes Songs of an Unknown Tongue an evocative, soulful and spellbinding listen. Read more
Actress – 88
Electronic music legend Actress has released a brand new album titled 88. As one extended track, the incredible London-based producer has created an eclectic, punchy body of work that features swirling synths, incredible beats and a vast, atmospheric soundscape that perfectly captures his style and aesthetic. His ability to create desolate soundscapes that also bring soul and tremendous amounts of emotive moments throughout makes it a special listen. As it’s technically one 50 minute track, it’s difficult for me to break down each musical segment, but what I can say is that it is a magnificent sonic journey that is well worth the listen.
Rago Foot X Ryan Hawaii X Goya Gumbani – Vessel Mentality
London-based artists Rago Foot, Ryan Hawaii and Goya Gumbani have released a short collaborative 4-track EP titled Vessel Mentality. It’s a soulful, drum-heavy project that perfectly captures an engaging, colourful vibe. Produced by Rago Foot, all three artists sound great and focused on these polished and soulful beats, bringing their own personalities to the music. Tracks like “When a king’s palace burns down, the re-built palace is more beautiful” and “Blitzscaling” are incredible, bringing both soulful synths and hard-hitting beats, as they bring introspective raps about their life and experiences. A great body of work, for sure!
devonwho – Offworld
Portland, Oregon producer devonwho has released an excellent new beat tape Offworld. The legendary beatmaker has been making incredible music for a while now and this one here is no exception. With incredible synth-led electronic production, he is able to perfectly capture a cohesive, textured body of work that perfectly embodies his eclectic and funky sound. His ability to create lavish, funky and groove-driven compositions make this an incredible project. Tracks like “queue” and “tricorder” are examples of his more funky, upbeat and dynamic production, perfectly capturing an energy that sounds engaging and super fun to listen to. Overall a great project.
Dengue Dengue Dengue – DNGDNGDNG – Continentes Perdidos
Lima, Peru based band Dengue Dengue Dengue have come through with a phenomenal new EP titled Continentes Perdidos. 5 tracks of pure, tribal, drum-heavy bliss. The incredible energy these guys are able to bring to their music is captivating and utterly mesmeric. The percussion throughout is phenomenal, especially on tracks like “Hiperborea” and “Atlantida.” Each beat pulsates through the atmospheric soundscape brilliantly, capturing this raw aesthetic that is just incredible to listen to. I was hoping it would be longer, because I was so immersed with the overall sound that it was difficult not to be completely transported into their musical world.
Brelstaff – Brelstaff
Edinburgh-based producer Brelstaff has come through with a new self-titled album. I’ve been a fan of this man’s work for a little while, and was pleasantly surprised listening to this one. It’s a gorgeous, soulful instrumental hip-hop album with groovy basslines and funky melodies throughout. Tracks like “EASY PEELER” and “MASTER OF SOME” are examples of his incredible beatmaking abilities. The way he is able to craft his tracks together is really impressive, and he creates this atmospheric, lavish sound that perfectly captures the soulful, textured landscape he is going for.
Ahwlee – VII
This Ahwlee project came out over a month ago, so apologies for reviewing it now, but as per usual, the talented California-based producer has released a thumping new project titled VII. The way his beats just hit, man. The whole tape slaps but the fact that he is able to create just a heavy, thumping sound just makes me listen in awe. Tracks like “layflat” and “shinra(beta)” are incredibly soulful and soothing, but it’s the hard-hitting energy of the beats that does it for me. He’s been consistent for years, and this new project continues to cement his position as one of the greatest producers of his generation.
Earth Boys – Earth Tones LP
Brooklyn duo Earth Boys have come through with a brand new album titled Earth Tones LP. This is the first time listening to this group, and I’m enamored by the incredible rhythms and grooves on this House album. Pulsating, infectious grooves is what they’ve mastered on this album, and they ring through brilliantly throughout the 10-track project. The vocal samples on “I Just Love It” and the percussion on “Earth Tones” are beautiful, especially with the jazzy undertones of the latter track. The whole album is a mesmeric one, and I will definitely have this on repeat for the next few weeks AT LEAST. So go support!
Windows 96 – One Hundred Mornings
I realised this album came out in 2018 but was recently added to Bandcamp, but fuck it, I’ll cover it anyway. Windows 96 is an electronic music project by Brazilian composer and producer Gabriel Eduardo, and he has released an excellent new album titled One Hundred Mornings. Again, first time listening to his music, and I already love the atmospheric, Drive-like soundscape of this project. Layered with synths and incredibly funky grooves, it’s a dynamic, reflective listen that captures this hypnotic tone that’s just great. My favourite tracks include “Caligula”, “Bliss” and “Rituals”. All different, all incredibly well produced, so big up for this release!
Lianne La Havas – Paper Thin (Lianne La Havas)
Lianne La Havas – Seven Times (Lianne La Havas)
Lianne La Havas – Sour Flower (Lianne La Havas)
Zara McFarlane – Saltwater (Songs of an Unknown Tongue)
Zara McFarlane – State of Mind (Songs of an Unknown Tongue)
Zara McFarlane – Roots of Freedom (Songs of an Unknown Tongue)
devonwho – tangent (Offworld)
Ahwlee – layflat (VII)
OthaSoul (Louis VI & Dozer Carter) – That Mood (Single)
Shungu & Pink Siifu – Cement (Single)
Rejjie Snow ft MF DOOM & Cam O’bi – Cookie Chips (Single)
Swarvy – SMiLE (Single)
Windows 96 – Calgula (One Hundred Mornings)
Dengue Dengue Dengue – Atlantida (Continentes Perdidos)
Earth Boys – Earth Tones (Earth Tones)