Here are the best new songs we’ve heard in the past week, tried, tested and ready for your ears.
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The Oldham artist Keeley Forsyth is a new name to me but I always pay attention to music on The Leaf Label going back to the start of this site over 10 years ago.
‘Photograph’ is a brooding and intense song, with deeply felt synthesizer and orchestral sounds with Forsyth’s vocals akin to the brittle beauty of Ahnoni.
The single from a Photograph EP (November 20th) which follows on from an album entitled Debris released this year.
“I always work from home. This time, the isolation had a new influence on my lyrical ideas. I was contemplating the idea of homesickness within the home; when life is lived on the domestic grid, in rooms and in tasks. I was looking to reframe the day, to give sound to the picture.”
Work Out Tonight
Ultraflex is an new Icelandic / Norwegian duo made of Special-K of Icelandic rap group Reykjavikurdaetur & Farao of Norway. Their upcoming album Visions Of Ultraflex trades in electro-pop and boogie music, and lead single ‘Work Out Tonight’, is a fun song about sweating bodies and intimate pleasure, that’s certainly not about your favourite sports team.
London trio PVA are new to the roster of Big Dada, and ‘Talks’ is a fun percussive bop with ’80s Bowie guitar vibes and spoken word vocals, and is a first for me, inspired by the fictional relationship between John and Abigail Marston of the game Red Dead Redemption.
Dan Carey of Speedy Wunderground (black midi, Bat For Lashes, Fontaines D.C.) produced the track and it’s from an EP that will feature remixes from Mura Masa, Lynks and Daniel Fox of Girl Band.
Arp Frique, Americo Brico
Minima Bem Li
Arp Frique is the moniker of Niels Nieuborg, who delves into funky disco synthesizer vibes with nods to Caribbean and Cape Verdean styles as heard on an album Welcome To The Colorful World of Arp Frique released on Rush Hour.
‘Minina Bem Li’ with Cape Verdean Americo Brito is a tight synth disco track perfect for setting any disco scene. An EP is released on Friday.
Anna B Savage
A Common Tern
The London artist Anna B Savage dives into monochrome spatial songwriting. There’s a overwhelming weight to proceedings, despite the minimal arrangement. ‘A Common Tern’ addresses toxicity of the self and in a relationship, with the song’s lyrics coming from seeing a tern bird while on a fishing trip with her ex.
“When I saw the terns, I was pretty amazed: they really did seem like they were just suspended, dangling on the bottom of a thread. Something about that seeming captivity, being on the end of an invisible line, then breaking free. They were at once familiar and yet so strange and weird. I don’t think I entirely grasped the relevance while I was writing it but now it seems very, very frickin obvious. I spent a year and a half after the tern incident trying to extricate myself from the relationship, bit by bit, section by section. It was fuckin hard work, and I did do a lot of apologising. For me, a common turn means the common moment where you decide you just don’t/ can’t love someone any more, and there’s nothing any of you can do about it.”
Savage’s forthcoming album A Common Turn is set for release January 29th via City Slang.
Better Off Alone
The Canadian duo could do an album of ’90s dance hits like this Alice Deejay one. It suits them
I’ve barely written about Mansur Brown this year, such is the nature of how I’ve heard and brought his music into my daily existence. Originally heard via Benji B’s show, the 21 year-old guitarist’s blends of guitar licks and trap-style ambience have been a constant throughout 2020, soothing, transportive and eerie in the way that Flying Lotus’ earliest material was. It’s music that takes you somewhere in a year when you’re actively discouraged to leave the house.
Known to most as the soul artist New Zealand-born London-based Jordan Rakei, Dan Kye takes a turn towards the dancefloor on a new album released via Bradley Zero’s Rhythm Section INTL in November. Smart dancing music.
London duo Nancy Andersen and Jamie Travis aka Babeheaven lean into the laidback of soulful guitar music, teasing a debut album Home For Now, out November 20th.
Even My Cigarettes Taste Like You
Bryan Kessler is a musician, producer, DJ and poet from Cologne and ‘Even My Cigarettes Taste Like You’ goes hard with synth stabs, big percussion and big room vibes. The song is released on Man Power’s label.