Following up recent single Words I Don’t Remember, How To Dress Well has announced a proper full-length What Is This Heart? - his third LP since 2010 debut Love Remains. His key sound remains unchanged: ethereal, vocal r&b drenched in a bath of often hazy, always emotional beats, like new song Repeat Pleasure shows. His sound is clearing up though, allowing the listener an almost clear view to his heart, without having to hide it anymore behind a curtain of lo-fi effects. What Is This Heart? is out on June 23 via Weird World.
Female producer TĀLĀ (or just TALA if you like to keep things simple) (based in London, of Iranian descent) stands firm with her first solo effort The Duchess, which combines a steady bass with a very contemporary, lifting production. In a way it’s dark, but there’s a certain ray of light shining through the brooding beats - think that Kaytranada remix of Banks, FKA Twigs on 160 BPM or SOPHIE locked away in a dark room for about a week or so. Out soon on Aesop, home to more of today’s cutting-edge producers like SOHN, Gent Mason and Wayward.
Savior! Savior! Excuse us, we’re chanting along to Raury's incredible God’s Whisper, the first output from the 17 year old Atlanta-based rapper. “Rapper” is probably not the right word to use in this case, as he creates a stuttering, unusual flow (word. by. word.) backed over grand hymns, as if he’s sacrificing some kind of animal to a beast in exchange for his life. Or something like that. He may be young but it certainly feels like he knows what direction he’s heading into: won’t take long until he has his own cult - God’s Whisper serves to be an excellent soundtrack to one of their rites.
After garnering our attention with debut offering City of Sin, a lush piece of modern day indie rock with a touch of r&b, a couple of months ago, Linus Young have been quite busy: support slots for The 1975, ZZ Ward and more. With b-side Sister we now have one more song from the LA duo B-side to obsess over - with its rather peaceful peaceful, more melodic and less sinister tone than City of Sin it shows a different side of a promising band.
Mapei and a guy (that looks like he spent a day in M.I.A.’s wardrobe and doesn’t really add much to the video apart from that) stroll around the suburbs in the video for her breakout debut single Don’t Wait. Of course they end up at some house party (which Mapei owns, the guy just follows her around again - what a creep) soundtracked by her soulful, hip-swinging beats. Should have probably invited Chance The Rapper to that party, as his verse on this remix of Don’t Wait bangs.
Woman’s Hour have shared details of their debut LP Conversations (out July 14 via Secretly Canadian), their first full-length after a series on prestigious boutique labels. They spent the winter months cradled in a London studio, yet the glow off title track Conversations is an incredibly warm one. It feels both pop and romantic, with Fiona Jane’s soothing voice gliding over the lush production. Effortlessly chic and timeless.
The Antlers deliver pure magic with Burst Apart back in 2011, a big leap forward from (their already pretty exquisite) debut record Hospice. The first taste and opening track Palace, taken off their new record Familiars, suggests another step forward: their peaceful sound clears up beautifully with some help from a series of instruments (that piano backdrop, those subtle sax moments, the nodding drum in the back).
First Aid Kit step up their game (especially production-wise) on My Silver Lining, the first outtake of their forthcoming new record Stay Gold (out on June 10 via Columbia). Produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) and featuring the rich orchestration of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra (those strings!), as well as arrangements from Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes, Broken Bells). And yes, this sounds as beautiful as it sounds on paper. With a hook like “I try to keep on, keepin’ on” the sister duo show their strong pop-folk abilities once more.
Even though the track has been floating around for months in many forms, the news of the official single release of Sleep Sound by Jamie xx: May 5, via Young Turks. The announcement comes with proper audio of the song on which Jamie creates his most leveled and complex soundscape so far, a true pallet of beautiful electronic sounds. Parts of it remind us of his work with The xx, other parts sound like he’s inspired by label mate Koreless. Jaw-dropping.
Hydrogen Sea pull you into their own little magical world with Court The Dark, a whistling 5-track effort that is set to soundtrack the gloomy first days of spring, the kind that put little drops of water on the grass in the morning. Birsen Uçar asks herself ”will you leave a mark / at the end of days?” on opening track Leave A Mark, with a truly charming arrangement from other half PJ Seaux going on in the back- hear that once and you’re lost. People that have grown fond of Say Lou Lou’s delicate b-sides or Azure Ray’s gentle sound, maybe even All Saints toned down. Out on a limited colored Unday Records vinyl on RSD, on iTunes next week, premiering right here at DN.
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