See the New Music section for full selection of tracks and albums featured this week.
Robyn, Neneh Cherry, Mapei
Neneh Cherry. Robyn. Dev Hynes. Mapei. A recreation of Cherry’s 1988 hit song? Yes, please.
“The first time I saw Robyn live in Stockholm with my daughter Mabel (then a young struggling teenager) she only said two things that night: ‘Hej Stockholm’ and in the middle of a song shouted out ‘MABEL!’ Mabel was so happy I had tears streaming down my cheeks. Robyn gave everything and when she needed a pick-me-up she ate a banana….she stole my heart. I’ve known Robyn for three decades, she is my sister, my friend, my family, a creative inspiration. So to have Robyn doing her version of a new life interpretation of ‘Buffalo Stance’ is an absolute honour…and with Dev Hynes and Mapei, this is what dreams are made of!”Neneh Cherry.
J Smith is set to followup the excellent debut (…) And you chose not to laugh with a four-track Three Dots EP on April 20th that the artist says is a folk pop record along the lines of Elliot Smith and Ben Howard.
‘Skipping Stones’ is the first track from it, is a song that speaks of family, distance and experiencing both sides of fatherhood.
“On a walk with my wife I was overcome with a thought that I might never write another song about my father again, and it spurred the creation of Skipping Stones, made all the more significant having become a new father myself recently.
An Stevel Nowydh
The return of Welsh artist Gwenno is heralded by news of a new album called Tresor on July 1st on Heavenly. ‘An Stevel Nowydeh’ finds her back in her spyche-pop wheelhouse, with a self-directed video.
“’An Stevel Nowydh’ (The New Room) is a song about finding yourself somewhere entirely new and realising that you’re completely lost, and acknowledging that the only thing to do in an existential crisis is to don your favourite hat and dance! The short is part of a longer film that I’ve created with Anglesey-born filmmaker Clare Marie Bailey due to be revealed this summer. It was shot on Super 8 in Bryn Celli Ddu, Mynydd Parys, and Porth Ia (St Ives) during Summer 2021, it was edited by Joan Pope and stars the incomparable Eddie Ladd as ‘Greddf’ (Instinct).”
Le Boom, AE MAK
‘Friday Night’ is the first Le Boom song in three years since ‘Dancing Bug’ and the now solo artist Christy Leech has teamed up with AE MAK once again on this slinky dancing bop with nods to well-known dance melodies baked in. There’s a clubbier version on Bandcamp too.
Mango x Mathman
The Dublin grimey rap duo are about to release the nine-track The Quiet Life Mixtape next Friday March 11th with this stuttering garage-funk track that heralds some good times, and a new chapter after Casual Work.
“During lock down, the only thing we could think about was getting back to performing at clubs and festivals. So as we began to think about how things would be when the world got back to normal, we wanted MXM to have a full clip of new bangers ready for every rave and festival. A celebration of sounds ready to get busy to. Back to the rave. Back to the party. Back to the roots”.Mango & MathMan
Zawgy El Azeez (Dar Disku & Eternal Love Edit)
This one is originally a “Cairo calypso” inspired Egyptian rarity known as ‘Zawgy Al Azeez’ from a ’90s pop star that has been given the edit treatment from Milan based duo Eternal Love and London-based Dark Disku themselves, who also give ‘Yom Fil Kahera’ a flip too.
Swiss/Tamil artist Priya Ragu is back creating her own brand of “Ragu Wavvy” pop music. I dig.
When I’m Not Awake I’m Dreaming Of You
The Irish electronic artist Lullahush is back with the first song from a forthcoming album A City Made of Water and Small Love. ‘When I’m Not Awake I’m Dreaming Of You’ is a song that build slowly and languidly in the background with chimes low-end percussion. It’s spatial and liminal in that way, and started life as a poem that Lullahush’s friend wrote detailing a dream he had about his partner after one of their first dates. It also sounds like the voice of AE MAK on backing vocals, though uncredited.
The accompanying video is made of photographs of his pals as he was living between Athens and Berlin.
“The visual aspect of this project is all about trying to capture real life. I wanted this video to be a bit dramatic, be everything at once, every single feeling, every thought, in a sort of ecstatic outpouring, but above all else, be real”.
Dial Your Number
A reference to Kelly-Lee Owens’ style of cerebral electronic had me pressing play on ‘Dial Your Number’, a phantasmal track from the Anglo-French producer Julia-Sophie, releasing on Beat Palace Records – a label set up by Metronomy’s Anna Prior to champion female / non-binary talent.
“It’s about ending the ending, the last time you’re going to speak to someone you love. You know, even though you don’t want something to end but you can’t see any other way out. I was trying to use that heavy, almost tribal drum beat to reflect that punch in the gut feeling, It’s pretty relentless, it makes it hard for you to breathe and expresses how I feel really deep inside.”Julia-Sophie