Third time’s a charm, but with Mononoke basically is quite the charm. Her third track to date is Barefoot and Broken, possibly her most delicate and straight-forward fact to date: “I did everything you asked me”, she sings repeatedly, but it feels like she somehow still disappointed some significant other. She convinces us, on the other hand, once more of her talent.
The paths of Röyksopp and Robyn cross once more on Do It Again, the trio’s forthcoming collaborative so-called mini-album (5 tracks) which comes with a joint tour all around the world. While they teased with a snippet of lead single Monument last week, two tracks off the EP found their way to the web (including DN) last night. Title track Do It Again is a typical “holy f*ckballs” Robyn fist-pump moment that just makes you want to scream your lungs out; Every Little Thing helps with the cool down, as it’s a pretty sweet lullaby, but certainly not the kind you sing to a child right before they go to bed (unless you want them to stay up all night dancing on their own).
Beyoncé returns the favor to Boots on Dreams, the closing track off the artist’s forthcoming debut mixtape WinterSpringSummerFall of which he’s been sharing multiple tracks from these past few weeks (every Tuesday, in case you were missing out). While other work dabbles in big-beated pop and even hip-hop, Dreams brings out the abrupt beats you know from BEYONCE while overall creating quite a peaceful atmosphere. It’s a proper duet, with Beyoncé present (and even hitting really high notes towards the end), but it certainly feels like we’re listening to Boots featuring Beyoncé, and not the other way around.
ESSE does very much with very little: with a sparse, moody production and a grainy voice (reminding us of Hozier) he opens up on Deep Heart, a truly majestic first offering of a new artist. “With no sense of life / no track of time / no, never give up now” he sings, repeating “never give up” seconds later - there’s a big sense of hope in it, and even though the track doesn’t have any banging beats or anything (quite the contrary, actually), it does spark some kind of special energy rooted deep within you.
Story goes X Priest X was born when Orlando-based vocalist Madeline Priest reached out to producer David Kazyk, almost begging him to produce some tracks for her, a her dream was to become a proper pop star. A few months later, the duo debut their 4-track debut EP Samurai via Swedish boutique label Emotion, and with it comes a huge leap forward to that pop star dream. Atmospherically it drifts somewhere in between the soundtrack to Drive and Sky Ferreira’s most clean (in terms of pop, of course) songwriting. In a not too distant future, X Priest X will most certainly reign some alt pop chart with their very contemporary sound of modern pop.
Rachel Foxx only needs little over two minutes to seduce you: her sultry voice lingers over a stripped (pun intended) production of. Think Jessie Ware gone dirty, or rather the kind of thing you’d expect from Cassie. While her older material already wet some panties, it’s new track Before You that pulls you in for the long haul. “I love how you gently slip away / I love how you used to say my name / I love how you was worth it baby” - there’s a reason there’s two x’s in Foxx, y’know.
Fast rising producer TĀLĀ doesn’t keep us waiting to long with a follow-up to the lush. Serbia shows an entirely different side (of the apparently quite pretty producer): it kicks off with big drums but quickly evolves into this Jai Paul/Ben Khan-challenging thing of weird but brilliant pop. The abrupt, unusual rhythm focuses around the “you give me something / just what I need” lyric, basically confirming this entire sexwave thing we started when Ben Khan’s Youth blew us away the other day. T Out on June 2nd via Aesop, with artwork courtesy of our favorite Kate Moross.
The one and only Lulu James is back, priestess of self-proclaimed 21st Century Soul, with a proper EP in the works. Beautiful People is a first taste of it and sees the Newcastle diva shine amidst of a brooding production that could have easily been produced by SOHN (apart from that swirly bass perhaps). Ironically she opens the song with the lyric “remember when you said / loving me is not easy” - seconds later, however, she sings the more fitting “no one else compares to me”.
Down on the West Coast, they got a saying… Lana Del Rey delivers pure magic once more with West Coast, which is quite literally setting the internet on fire as we speak. Lyrically it’s classic Lana, with the once-called “Gangsta Nancy Sinatra” luring you in that world of her own with things like “move baby, move baby” and “if you’re not drinking, then you’re not playing”. Musically it builds further on the Paradise Edition of her Born To Die debut: dour and beautiful, but lighter than ever with the Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) production being very clear and her voice functioning as this hypnotic omen.
Lykke Li is paired with a beautiful piano for No Rest For The Wicked, up until the drum kicks in for the chorus, turning it into a grand hymn. Yet again Tarik Saleh turns her grand songwriting into a visual masterpiece, focusing on the rather emotional lyrics like “I had his heart but I broke it every time” when her former lover sends her off to feel “lonely, I’m so alone now.”
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