New Music Round-Up: Kanye & Cudi, Jorja Smith, Tove Lo & More!
And new stuff from Lily Allen, You Me At Six, Kim Petras and Jay Rock also making appearances...
This week we've got a whole host of new releases for you to sink your teeth into, with hip-hop, pop, R&B, grime, drum and bass, dream pop, all making appearances - there's something for everyone.
Coming right off the back of Kanye’s latest solo album release Ye last week, he’s come together with long-time collaborator Kid Cudi to give us Kids See Ghosts. Both Yeezy and Cudi have dealt with the loss of parents and previously discussed it in their music (eg Ye’s 808s and Heartbreak) thus the name Kids See Ghosts seems to reference this loss and remembrance as a prominent theme of the project.
From the livestream, we heard that sonically it holds a more grunge-y direction (see: he samples Kurt Cobain) – and in that it’s somewhat akin to Yeezus, yet less egocentric and more emotional – and meanwhile has something of an otherworldly tone. Between the concept and the sound this is one of the most different, unique and interesting releases we’ve had from Kanye in some time.
UPDATE: The album is now available on all streaming services, check it out below:
Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
Lost & Found is Jorja Smith’s first real introduction to the world as a solo artist, already being known en masse for her works with Drake, Kendrick Lamar or supporting Bruno Mars on his tour. She wears the music she loves on her sleeve on this album - It has the stylings of 00s R&B in tracks like ‘Teenage Fantasy’, and she shows her love of hip-hop with Dizzee Rascal samples on ‘Blue Lights’. The jazz influence is clear too ‘Lifeboats (Freestyle)’, which seems to interpolate the beat Tom Misch made for Loyle Carner’s ‘Damselfy’, suits her style wonderfully - really demonstrating ability to make something her own and proving the quality of her voice.
Sonically, the entire project has an undercurrent of laid-back chillness that we really enjoy and it's definitely worth checking it out this week.
Lily Allen – No Shame
12 years on from her debut album Alright, Still, Lily Allen returns to give a very honest image of her life. From the title onwards – No Shame has her lay bare all of the details of her private life: the split in her marriage, her children, substance abuse. Despite the subject matter it’s some of her most upbeat work – giving the record both realness and optimism that play into each other, juxtaposing to create something really interesting.
Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy
The theme of pop-going-sad continues with Lykke Li’s new album So Sad So Sexy. Through beats that range from R&B to trap, this record explores different approaches to sadness in music, in genre and sound. In all it ranges from power ballads in ‘bad woman’ to girl-group pop in ‘utopia’, all the way to the ennui of artists like Drake on “hard rain”.
You Me At Six – ‘3AM’ and ‘Fast Forward’
The singles come alongside a new announcement from the band that their sixth studio album VI is to be released October 5th. The new album will mark a change for the band, a marked move away from staying only in the safety of their idiosyncratic style, with a number of alternative pop tracks, but also some tracks will resonate with the long-standing rock fanbase and some songs which aim to strive towards genres such as electro dance.
Kim Petras – ‘Can’t Do Better’
Charli XCX collaborator Kim Petras comes in with a real pop-anthem on this brand-new track, singing her heart out on the chorus with some very grand instrumentation. It’s grand, it sounds victorious, and serves to prove that she can do more than the bouncy diva-pop as per ‘Heart to Break’ and ‘I Don’t Want It At All’ that we already love.
Tyler The Creator – ‘435’
Tyler, the Creator delivered a real treat – a more raw, mixtape-esque cut that he made whilst on his Flower Boy Tour in February. The makeshift, video made in the studio, “random song laying around” vibe is one we love to see from the Odd Future rapper – the more unrefined style of music suits his bedroom rapper roots and really pushes his talent to the forefront.
Tove Lo – ‘Bitches’ (Ft. Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Elliphant, ALMA)
Tove Lo recruits the whole squad for this full-of-personality new track ‘Bitches’, singing “Let me be your guide when you eat my pussy out”. Honestly do check out the music video where the whole gang come together to give a… slightly different.. kind of couple’s therapy.
Gorillaz – ‘Sorcererz’
Gorillaz are absolutely spoiling us in the run-up to their new album The Now Now. This brand-new track ‘Sorcererz’, which even comes with a visualiser, is a more dance-y tune than some of their more melancholic work. It comes as the third new track from the new album, including ‘Lake Zurich’ and the beachside groove that is ‘Humility’,
Maribou State – ‘Feel Good’ (Ft. Khruangbin)
Maribou State return with another new single off of their soon to come new project Kingdoms In Colour. We’re getting glitchy, summery vibes from this new cut – it’s something of an electronic-psychedelic feel good track. Liam Ivory’s mission objective for the new album is to “draw on influences from different parts of the world. By traveling, sampling, recording, we wanted to create this all-encompassing thing.”
Jay Rock – ‘The Bloodiest’
TDE’s Jay Rock continues to release fire new tracks in the run up to his new album Redemption. This latest song is the opener to the album, and gives us a picture of the ‘King’s Dead’-esque catchy bangers he’s going to be delivering throughout.
Roy Woods – ‘Snow White’ & ‘Russian Cream’
OVO signee Roy Woods returns with two new tracks this week. This time with slower tempos, ‘Snow White’ displays his ability to sing those high notes, where ‘Russian Cream’ is more of a banger – showing off his rap abilities on a trap-y beat.
Kamille – ‘Emotional’ (Ft. Kranium & Louis Rei Rei)
Singer-songwriter Kamille is paying homage to her Caribbean heritage on fresh track ‘Emotional’. She’s brought WSTRN’s Louis Rei and fellow Jamaican Kranium. In her own words “it’s about that point when the desire two people have for each other can get too much to handle”.
Bugzy Malone – ‘Warning’
This is a high octane, high tempo track from Bugzy – the first song release from his incoming album B. Inspired. On the track the grime artist is literally warning his opponents that he’s back ~ he goes in, definitely give it a listen.
Tyne – ‘Nina’
Emerging artist Tyne is making incredibly charming dream pop that has a whole lot of character. There’s a beautiful cohesiveness between the ethereal, and very interesting in it’s detail, production and her endearing pop-styled vocals. Definitely check this one out asap.
Shy FX – ‘Call Me’ (Ft. Maverick Sabre)
Shy FX comes in with a drum and bass track that’s got some real groove this week. On ‘Call Me’, Shy FX enlists the help to Maverick Sabre to give the track a soulful vibe, which sits so very nicely on top of the more traditional drum and bass production of the drums.
Words by Alex Beach