This Week’s New Music Round Up: Stormzy, Calvin Harris, Ed Sheeran & The Chainsmokers
You need to listen to Stormzy's 'Gang Signs & Prayer'.
Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer
If you listen to one album this week, make it this. Stormzy (Michael Omari) has released his debut album, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Gang Signs & Prayer boasts the blistering tracks that you’re expecting, like lead single ‘Big For Your Boots’ (or, if you're Stormzy, bewts), ‘Bad Boys’ (featuring Ghetts and J Hus) and ‘Cold’, but it’s the surprises on this sonically diverse debut that are really notable.
For instance, Stormzy shows off his deep, sweet singing voice regularly (“Man thought that Stormzy couldn’t sing”), and he isn’t scared to use brass arrangements (‘Cold’), R&B influences (‘Cigarettes & Cush’) and to allow organs to take the lead on tracks (‘Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 1’). Plus, that trademark Stormzy sense of humour beams through (see the end of ‘Velvet/Jenny Francis – Interlude’) the whole debut.
Big Mike’s roaring, guttural laugh stretches across the whole remarkable record. It’s the sound of a young man (Stormzy is just 23!) who’s grateful to be where he is, who’s thankful for the support, and who’s truly enjoying himself. It’s a genuine joy to be able to say that Gang Signs & Prayer is a triumph. Buy this album.
Future – HNDRXX
Future is a generous man. After dropping his self-titled album last week, which featured “NO FEATURES”, Future’s decided to allow some other artists called The Weeknd and Rihanna (heard of them?) to help out on Future’s second album of the month.
Here’s Future’s mission statement for the album:
“Who told u, you couldn’t b exactly who u wanted to be?” Future wrote. “They lied, they wasn’t bold they didn’t have the ambition they didn’t have the courage they was mislead they didn’t believe in they self when no one else would they cared about what other people thought of them they gave up not knowing god wouldn’t give u more than u could handle they didn’t sew seeds they didn’t have the passion they didn’t have the drive they didn’t tell u all of there flaws because they was scared of not being accepted by there peers they said I can’t I tried I need help but not me #HNDRXX.”
Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean & Migos – ‘Slide’
After you’ve listened to Stormzy’s Gang Sings & Prayer – and then listened again – it’s time to hit play on this killer collaboration.
Calvin Harris has been teasing us with snippets of this over on Snapchat, but now we’ve finally got the whole track. If you were feeling sceptical about Harris’ dance-pop mixing with the R&B and rap of Frank Ocean and (two thirds of) Migos, don’t be. It’s the first time these artists have all come together, and they’ve made summer 2017’s anthem. Play it. And then play it again.
(Want to play this live yourself? You can! Calvin revealed all of the instruments used in the liner notes.)
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – ‘Something Just Like This’
Debuted at this week’s BRIT Awards (watch the performance here), it’s another of this week’s heavyweight collaborations…
Ed Sheeran – ‘Shape Of You (Stormzy Remix)’
Another one! Also debuted at this week’s BRIT Awards, Ed Sheeran and man of the moment Stormzy combine for this remix of Ed’s all-conquering ‘Shape Of You’…
Ed Sheeran Ft. Nyla & Kranium – ‘Shape Of You (Major Lazer Remix)’
In the mood for more ‘Shape Of You’ remixes? Well here’s another one! This time, it’s courtesy of the good folks from Major Lazer…
Jason Derulo Ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign – ‘Swalla’
We hope you like collaborations, because here’s ANOTHER ONE. Talking about the track to Billboard, Jason Derulo said: "It's one that kind of made sense. I never believe in forcing a collaboration. You know, I'm a fan of both of theirs and I thought that they fit the track perfectly. It's one of those ones that'll get you up and doing your thing. I feel like it's gonna stick out on the radio. There's nothing that sounds like it."
Jason teased this one back in September, but now you can finally listen to it below.
Zedd & Alessia Cara – ‘Stay’
"Alessia and I first met at rehearsals for the HALO Awards, where Alessia, Daya and I performed together," Zedd wrote in a post accompanying the video on YouTube. "I've loved her songs before but realized that she's an unbelievable talent when we started rehearsing together, so I asked her if she was interested in making music with me."
Check out ‘Stay’ below.
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