New Music Round-Up: ZAYN, Shawn Mendes, A$AP Rocky, Biffy Clyro & MORE
Jorja Smith, Belly & The Weeknd, CHVRCHES and MORE also dropped new tracks - check below to hear our hot takes...
Shawn Mendes - Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes has been teasing us for some time, slowly releasing tantalising new tracks from his upcoming album and its FINALLY here. The album has him really finding his sound in emotional and heartfelt pop - it serves as his most grown up album to date. The eponymous album marks a real step forward for the artist, refining his style - he really opens up with some intimate yet powerful tracks like 'In My Blood' or the unforgettable 'Youth' featuring beautiful vocals from Khalid. I need not say anymore - go give it a listen NOW!
A$AP Rocky - Testing
His most sonically experimental album to date - the new A$AP cut has him go from rap to singing to spoken word as he curates a very intentional and unique vibe, taking us from noisey bangers to catchy flute-led trap, to sincere and heartfelt melodic moments.
Flacko pulls out the big guns on the features front - with Frank Ocean (appearing TWICE), Ms. Lauryn Hill, Skepta, Snoop Dogg, Moby, FKA Twigs, Kid Cudi, Blood Orange all apearing on the hot new album.
Biffy Clyro: MTV Unplugged (Live at Roundhouse, London)
Biffy Clyro return for incredible live acoustic renditions of tracks from their whole catalogue of music, including hits 'Many Of Horror', 'Re-arrange', 'Bubbles' . The band are renowned for their incredible energy and passionate performances, and so the unplugged sessions serve as an interesting kind of challenge for the artists - and ultimately proves the importance of limitations in inspiring creativity, as the band totally succeed in channelling their emotion and passion into the live cover versions. The MTV Unplugged sessions really gives us a new appreciation of these tracks - truly giving them new life, and is definitely worth checking out. WATCH them perform it live TONIGHT on MTV at 9PM.
Jessie J - R.O.S.E
Jessie J has been taking a whole new approach to album release on this new cut R.O.S.E. She's released it in four separate parts over the last week, one for each letter: Realisations, Obsessions, Sex and Empowerment. Her last album saw her step away from pop and become far more self-reflecting, but the new material sees the comeback of her Essex-girl wit and boldness. The album spans several genres, from dancepop to rock and marks an impressive comeback for the artist.
CVHRCHES - Love is Dead
On this new record the Glaswegian electropop trio have really shaken up their style, and in doing so have taken all their original musical aims to the next level. It's really unique hopeful, uplifting pop with a darker twist which is definitely worth checking out.
Pusha T - Daytona
Produced entirely by Kanye West, the new album Daytona is all about Pusha T showing off his talent. He doesn't hold back - taking shots at Drake, Quentin Miller, ghostwriters en generale and others. King Push has made where he stands in the rap sphere, and goes hard on every track to remind us all he's king of his own kingdom in the game.
ZAYN - 'Entertainer'
We can't get enough of this new track and it's got us SO hyped for the mysterious upcoming album. This is a real emotional banger, and the video is - well it's got us speechless. ZAYN! It's such an emotional banger, it's so catchy, it's having us (NOT) text our exes, ZAYN we need YOU the most.
Jorja Smith - 'February 3rd'
Ahead of her highly anticipated debut album Lost & Found, Jorja Smith has dropped a new slow jam. Jorja's angelic vocals, singing "Why don't you lose yourself from me?" strikes a heartfelt chord, and the beautiful instrumentation below make it a gorgeous track to listen to between all these summer bangers.
Rudimental - 'Toast To Our Differences' (ft. Shungudzo, Protoje & Hak Baker)
Succulent guitar riffs, joyful horns - this surprising new track has Rudimental return absolutely basked in sunshine with an absolute summer bop. This track is a real celebration of culture, of pride and all about loving yourself and each other - featuring an endearing verse from Protoje, beautiful vocals from Shungduzom, a fire verse from Hak Baker - and brings together what makes them all great. It's infectiously joyful, and it's definitely worth checking out the incredibly charming music video with a truly united portrayal of London that's got us smiling ear to ear.
Belly - 'What You Want' (ft. The Weeknd)
Palestinian-Jordanian-Canadian rapper and singer Belly comes out with a melancholy bop featuring The Weeknd. This track will have you nodding along, with the call and response "I got what you want" chorus getting stuck in your head before you know it.
Jonas Blue - 'Rise' (ft. Jack & Jack)
Hit maker Jonas Blue returns with the highly anticipated single 'Rise', featuring vocals from Jack & Jack. The dance producer has come out with swaying tropical vibes for this track, a real summery TUNE.
Honne - 'Location Unknown' (ft. Georgia)
The electronic duo from London come back with a new single off of their upcoming album Love Me / Love Me Not. The 'Someone That Loves You' emotional hit makers have continued their style of melancholic, but uplifting and catchy music with the new track off of the album coming on the 24th of August.
Clairo - 'Hello?' (ft. Rejjie Snow)
Clairo first gained traction from her incredibly catchy homemade production, lo-fi sound and entrancing vocals that she debuted on YouTube with her bop 'Pretty Girl'. Millions of views later, she's now teamed up with Rejjie Snow (Kaytranada, Aminé, Loyle Carner collaborator) for a totally ethereal track. Her core sound stays the same, the lo-fi style stays, but now with a larger studio production budget it marks a step forward for the artist. Don't sleep on this one and check out her new EP Diary 001.
Silk City - 'Only Can Get Better' (ft Daniel Merriweather)
Diplo & Mark Ronson have come together again as tag team Silk City to put out a real bop with this track with house foundations. How the two came together on this one is said best by Diplo himself: "Mark Ronson and I met as crate digging djs over 15 years ago and our paths have taken us all around the world and everywhere since then". This track will be loved by both house and pop fans alike, it fluidly takes aspects from both to create something that will be loved by radio and DJs alike.
Nicky Jam - 'Live it up' (ft Will Smith & Era Istrefi)
The official song of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia with Will Smith and Era Istrefi. You're going to be hearing this track a lot very very soon.
Elderbrook - 'Sleepwalking'
Elderbrook recieved a surprise nomination for the Best Dance Recording at the 2018 Grammy Awards after he collabed with CamelPhat on the club record 'Cola' and it blew up. Now he returns as an artist in his own right with this new groovy, yet entrancing new track 'Sleepwalking'.
Panic! At The Disco - 'High Hopes'
Panic! return with a new track that's quintessentially them and really packs a punch. It's uplifting and filled with captivating instrumentation - it has the orchestral grandness we expect from the Brendon Urie led band, with something of an electronic addition that amplifies the sound you know and love.
Tom Zanetti - 'Candy'
OOF this is a real dutty banger from Leeds based Tom Zanetti. The house & bassline track will serve as a real club hit and is true to his roots, having started the night Insomnia, the most successful night in Leeds club Mission for 5 years running. This one really really bangs.
Avelino - 'So Fine' (ft. Haile WSTRN)
You like grime? You like trap? This one's for you. Avelino and WSTRN's Haile come have come together on this new trap styled grime track 'So Fine'. The cuts got some Migos-esque styling to it, fully grounded in Atlanta inspired beats over which its SO refreshing to hear UK talent. This ones a luxurious banger, with fire verses from both parties - it's 100% blowing up right now.
Jevon - 'Redemption'
Jevon is firing SHOTS on this new track 'Redemption. The children's church choir sample and piano are perfectly contrasted with his bars - and this time he goes IN: "Someone tell Charlie Sloth for me // You ask him where's MY fire in the booth?". Jevon comes in fires his verse and leaves. Enough said.
Jay Prince - 'With U' (ft. Mahalia)
The rapper stemming from East London releases a new track to promote his new album Cherish. The rapper has been gaining traction for some time now, having supported Chance The Rapper for his UK dates on his Coloring Book tour. He shines with his take on more chill, jazz rap - sometimes with a gospel flair. It's worth checking out for fans of the US rappers Chance, Kendrick or Isaiah Rashad, but also fans of the UKs own Loyle Carner or Tom Misch.
That's everyone for this week! Check back next week when we're having some BIG new releases, including a lot of new pop and hip-hop.
Words by Alex Beach