Here are the best new songs we’ve heard in the past week, tried, tested and ready for your ears.
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Up in the Air
London-based Hong-Kong-born bedroom pop artist Ashley Grace aka bb sway impresses with ‘Up In The Air’, a song about uncertainty in an uncertain time that has present atmospheric lo-fi vibes with a strong hook.
“Up in the Air is about being in a time of uncertainty: feeling unstable when we are unsure as to how the future will unfold. In times like these it’s important to be kind to ourselves, to be patient. It’s a song that encourages self-care and self-love during a time of uncertainty.”
Wake Up Love (feat. IMAN)
An early highlight from Teyana Taylor’s sprawling 77-minute 23-track The Album, which the artist says is the long-form release she’s always wanted to put out. It features Erykah Badu, Rick Ross, Quavo, Kehlani, Future, Missy Elliott and kore.
I Can’t Breathe
R&B musician H.E.R.’s new song ‘I Can’t Breathe’ is a song for now – seeking justice and calls out discrimination on a micro and macro level. Gabi Wilson also released a timely song called ‘I’m Not OK’ last week.
Starting a war, screaming “Peace” at the same time
All the corruption, injustice, the same crimes
Always a problem if we do or don’t fight
And we die, we don’t have the same right
UNTITLED (Black Is), the new album from the anonymous UK band comes out like a burst of proud black energy in response to recent events in the world with titles like ‘Don’t Shoot Guns Down’ , ‘Us’ and ‘Sorry Ain’t Enough’. Michael Kiwanuka features too.
The music is fuzzy soul and funk, and ‘Wildfires’ is a way in to this viscerally-felt world.
Dutch producer upsammy dropped an album of Aphex ambient-style electronica called Zoom a couple of weeks back that is both charmingly retro and up-to-date.
.Paak responds to the killings on the streets of black Americans by police and the riots in the aftermath. Jay Rock’s verse, only on the video, is great – “Knee on our necks, bullets in backs / Stimulus checks strictly for blacks.”
Mountains (Joey Negro Live And Direct Extended Mix)
The Vision come through again, with a clutch of superb remixes of ‘Mountains’ from Joey Negro, Patchouli Brothers and Paul Woolford. They’re all good but today I’m partial to Joey Negro’s Live And Direct Extended Mix.
Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun
It’s hard to cover the Beastie Boys generally, unless you focus on their rockier sound as Atlanta rock band lead by Mattiel Brown did on this cover of a classic from 1989’s Paul’s Boutique. They also covered The Clash’s ‘Guns Of Brixton’.
Together We Stand
A Jungle-vocal-esque track on Ed Banger
Flesh & Blood
A highlight from Franc Moody’s recent album Dream In Colour received a video this week and it reminded me of its charm.