Better late than never, so we’ll just pipe down and hit you with the best of the week’s new releases…
Lily Allen – Higher
People think we’re biased towards Lily Allen but honestly, objectively, No Shame seems set to offer her greatest music to date. Higher (and the more emotional companion piece Three) feels like a new Allen altogether, going for a mix of late night R&B-pop while never straying from it becoming very much a Lily Allen song. Absolute dynamite.
Sofi Tukker – Baby I’m A Queen
We’ve loved seeing the ascent of Sofi Tukker, one of the few new acts in recent years who refused to compromise and embraced all their quirks to make an impact. Baby I’m A Queen is the first taste of their upcoming debut album Treehouse, and while it’s more muted an effort than their usual it’s still bloody good.
BC Unidos – Take It Easy (feat. US Girls & Ledinsky)
Now who doesn’t love a bit of Californian-tinted jangle-pop? Take It Easy is an absolute winner from the moment it starts, with that classic melody melding with perfect production to leave a smile on your face. BC Unidos are one hell of an unpredictable duo, but so far we’re loving everything they put their name to.
Liv Dawson – Talk
Another reliable new talent is Liv Dawson, who hasn’t put a foot wrong yet. Talk sees her continue her run with radio-friendly pop that busts out a lush bit of beat-work over its chorus, with Dawson’s catchy refrain of “place those hands on me” cementing her as one of the country’s finest talents.
Club Kuru – I’m Still A Man
If the title recalls a Tame Impala track, then the vibe isn’t too far off. Club Kuru have a delightful little psych-leaning indie song on their hands here, rich in melody and hazy vocals; with any luck they’ll be picked up by the mainstream on the back of this, as it’s certainly a great alternative to your usual.
Kallitechnis – Body & Soul
When you start with rainfall and sax it could go any way, couldn’t it? Luckily young Kallitechnis makes good on it with a gorgeous R&B-soul track that does everything right. Her charisma is undeniable as she commands the beat, a vocal performance that really ought to get her noticed in a big way.
The Diamonds Are Black! – Hit & Run
OK, we can forgive the ridiculous name and exclamation mark for the sake of this hybrid little jam. It fuses all sorts of influences to come out with a jam that feels fresh, accessible, and one you could easily see doing well if they played this one right.
Frank Gamble – Magic
Frank Gamble never disappoint, and Magic is no different. It’s a dark, almost industrial paean of seduction that builds terrifically; the chorus is one hell of a trip, and we’re even more excited to see where this lot go next. As you should be too.
Ren With The Mane – Already Gone
Time to take it a bit slower now with our trusty old pal Ren. Already Gone is a tamer number than you’d expect to begin with, but as it builds it reveals the trademark Ren style – pounding beats, a stratospheric chorus, and a final act that’s impossible to resist. Good on you, girl.
Also great: Caitlyn Scarlett is on to another winner thanks to Ornaments, while London’s Simon Jefferis hooks up with Benedict Cork for the supremely funky Easy – both of which you can hear below.
What to avoid: You’ve got to admire the stubbornness of John Newman, still peddling the same old shit after all this time. James Bay ruins all the goodwill from his last track with utter dirge; basically white men doing the absolute least are once again getting away with it. Sigh.