Fabiana Palladino introduces herself to the world with a debut as beautiful as her name: the wondrous For You, with that magic Sampha touch on the production (and very, very subtle backing vocals). Even though you can clearly hear the track was written with a piano arrangement, the bonky perfectly BPM’d beat brings it to that higher spirit. Combine that with her poignant voice that easily hits those high notes, and it really does feel like she’s singing just for you.
Poster boy Josef Salvat breaks the silence (and how!) with Shoot & Run, a first taste of . The setting is somewhat more dramatic (vibes of Young & Beautiful in there with those growing strings), which is quite the contrast compared to the light tone of his earlier material. It’s darker and more confident than ever, which might explain the title of his forthcoming EP In Your Prime; Josef Salvat is here to impress you, that’s for sure.
Kindness recruited the likes of Robyn, Dev Hynes and Tawiah for his forthcoming new record Otherness, with Kelela and Ade doing some guest vocals on lead single World Restart. It drifts in between Blood Orange and that collaborative David Byrne x St. Vincent record, with the horns complementing the rather bassy funk. Kelela grasps “say it’s you and me for life” in the bridge, which somehow really brings up the track even further. It really does feel like a swingin’ party all over again. (picture by Emma Hardy for The Fader)
I Blame Coco ditched the moniker and goes by her birth name Eliot Sumner nowadays; not only did she get rid of the name, she also matured *quite* a bit in her sound. No more radio friendly electronic pop, but pop-tingled bloody damn rock, with proper guitars and drums and everything. Her strong growl comes to its proper right on new EP Information and and has you blaming whoever pushed her in that former sound. The title track sounds like the kind of anthem that could heat up an entire stadium.
Say Lou Lou have their big nu disco moment with new single Games For Girls, the first official single leading up to their long-awaited full-length Lucid Dreaming (set for a February 2, 2015 release). The twins collaborated with one of the finest producers in the genre / their personal favorite Lindstrøm; the disco rhythm sits strong against their usually straight-forward, ethereal grand pop songs: consider it the girls’ own little guilty pleasure (aptly titled Games For Girls).
Easily as colorful as their artwork, Fantastic Fantasic live up to the name in all aspects of the word. At the first glimpse they might remind you of Jungle (keywords: two guys, black jackets, London, electronic pop), but Fantastic Fantastic are far more playful than the former: there’s layers and layers of quirky effects packed into pop brilliance, and it comes with this easy breezy Summer wind that just puts a giant smile on your face.
If you throw three entirely different London hipsters in an empty steel drum and blend it all together, you’re pretty sure to pull Years & Years out of the potpourri. The boys create a lush, soulful and very contemporary sound that will have you do a body roll within seconds and for minutes. The beats and vocals are crisp clean, yet the trio make you wanna get dirty. Take Shelter is the kind of song that just wants you to invite your friends over and throw a party, and their cover of Blu Cantrell’s Breathe almost makes you forget about Sean Paul’s existence.
Musical sisters Ibeyi showcase the sense for rhythm they inherited from their late father, percussion legend Anga Diaz, on River, the flip on their debut AA-sided single Oya / River. While Oya was all kinds of spiritual mastership and saw the twins enchant with looped vocals over a very ghostly Richard Russell-production, River is the proper pop song (on their own terms). In a way it reminds us of the late Bobby Womack, teasing with those broken drums and perfectly placed cracks, yet Ibeyi breathe a fresh, young wind through it all. They’ve got big shoes to fill, but the pair of this beautiful debut offering certainly ain’t everything but a misstep. The video, directed by Ed Morris, is dedicated to Oshun, the river Goddess and has them performing the song on and below the surface of a river.
Apart from making people wonder whether he’s a boy or girl, Shamir dazzles literally everyone with his debut EP Northtown. Impossible to file within just one genre, the 19 year old touches everything from DFA disco to something that can be filed next to Nina Simone. Have his sad disco soundtrack your one-man slumber party please - you will most definitely end up dancing teary eyed. To say Northtown is exquisite is quite the understatement.
She may have already had to deal with typical internet theories that come with today’s possibly quick rise to fame, but Ryn Weaver confirms she just is the real deal with OctaHate follow-up Promises (even though she’s never meant to break her own promises). It’s the title track of her forthcoming debut EP of the same name (to be released on Friends Keep Secrets, a new label set up by Benny Blanco) and recalls a bit of Sia at moments, with the production being stretched out synth-wise and reminding us of Passion Pit’s early days with those rhythmic bleeps.
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