Here are the best new songs we’ve heard in the past week, tried, tested and ready for your ears.
We are an independent publication – become a member and support Nialler9
Follow the Nialler9 Weekly playlist for access to the freshest new music.
Gorillaz x Skepta x Tony Allen
Gorillaz’ Song Machine series has resulted in some of the band’s finest material in up to a decade.
Technically a bonus episode, spurred on by the death of legendary drummer Tony Allen, ‘How Far?’ is the best of the bunch, edging out Slowthai’s performance on ‘Momentary Bliss’.
A song with zero time for hooks, ‘How Far?’ is built on a hypnotic drum groove, over which Skepta spits two superb verses. The second verse is the finest I’ve heard on a hip-hop cut this year, easily.
Love In Mine
I half suspected the release of ‘Love In Mine’ signalled another new album from American folk band Big Thief, such is the degree of the band’s productivity over the past couple of years
Sadly, ‘Love In Mine’ seems to be very much a standalone single. It’s a lullaby of sorts, the kind of pared back folk rock cut Adrianne Lenker’s voice is unparalleled over.
When To Say When
The best cut off Drake’s new Dark Lane Demo Tape. ‘When To Say When’ has the sort of beat Drake built his greatness upon, totally rhythmically minded with rich synth leads and a sugary sweet vocal loop.
The project is generally a step above Scorpion. However, the Canadian titan still lacks the sharpness and dynamism which defined his best material. Here’s hoping his forthcoming summer 2020 album bridges that gap, please let it come in under the hour mark too.
You’re Too Precious
James Blake still very much in love.
Joe Goddard x Hayden Thorpe
One of Hot Chip’s principal songwriters Joe Goddard and former Wild Beasts’ frontman Hayden Thorpe team up on ‘Unknown Song’. It’s a modern take on the classic British synthwave sound. Cleary both parties have been listening to a lot of Erasure and Depeche Mode.
Oh La La
Some sublime nu-disco from Jessie Ware on new single ‘Oh La La’, looking forward to the forthcoming album.
It’s been four long years since Isaiah Rashad released The Sun’s Tirade, an album which excited pretty much the entirety of the hip-hop community. That the artist was already affiliated with Black Hippy did little to stop frustrating (and misguided) Kendrick comparisons.
In retrospect, resisting what must have been considerable pressure to enter the white-hot space of rap competition was a fantastic idea. Now, free of mass hype, listeners can appreciate Rashad’s introspective, frank lyricism on its own merits – typified by superb new single ‘Why Worry’.
I’m very much looking forward to Rashad’s next full length, whenever it arrives.
Venezuelan avant-garde artist Arca pushes further into the realm of metallic, industrial nu-pop on latest single ‘Nonbinary’.
The Lasso x Lando Chill
I really enjoy the arrangement on ‘Brickhaus’, a super warm, grainy mix that incorporates elements of jazz and bedroom pop.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
A stunning ambient piece from American composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.