New Music Friday 7 || 7 song you need to hear this week

With the new year in full swing, it seems as though ‘New Music Friday’ has made a triumphant return following, what felt like, an endless period of weeks with throwaway releases with no punch, replay value or excitement.

Bringing the New Year in with a bang, my playlist will certainty have an abundance of new rotations this week from some of the biggest artists on earth, some of my favourite, even some interesting newbies with a pleasant surprise from some artists I didn’t realise I needed music from.

This week we’re starting with one of with the song that I’ve been anticipating most. Today, vocal powerhouse Sam Smith has collaborated with one of the most remarkable new girls on the block Normani as she continues to peruse her solo career. Dancing with a stranger is a hard-hitting yet dreamy dance inspired pop track with both Sam and Normani sounding seductive, silky smooth on top form. I was intrigued to hear how the duo would work together considering the distinctiveness in both of their voices but to my delight the track oozes a cool imbue curating the perfect slow jam I need on my playlist.

With the first follow up from his dark melancholic EP ‘My Dear Melancholy, The weekend diverts back to his signature sound infusing pop and disco into an R and B ready radio hit. ‘Lost in the Fire ’is an introspective, emotion-fuelled ballad laced with techno infused drums and super smooth vocals. A great track which almost could’ve fit perfectly into ‘Starboy’.

Another track from a former Fifth Harmony has been released this week as Lauren Jauregui gets straight to the point in her new hypnotic R and B banger. ‘More Than That’ lured me into false judgement with its ethereal artwork, and after her first track being an emotional ballad, instead Jauregui let you know she knows her self-worth in this attention grabbing trap edge track showcasing she can really do it all.

An artist I definitely didn’t know I needed new music from, despite her last album being released in 2017, Kehlani, dropped an incredible new track this week called ‘Nights Like This’ featuring Ty Dolla $ign. With silky smooth vocals, an effortlessly progressive structure this R and B number executes a captivating, dreamy and sultry energy as she gets retrospective about missing a past lover. Whilst I don’t think this incredible offering required a featured artist, Ty Dollar $ign was the perfect fit contributing a natural coolness with his soothing impact.

On the other hand, despite my love for the perfectly unconventional moody hit maker Billie Eilish her recent release, ‘WHEN I WAS OLDER’, inspired by the film ‘ROMA’ misses the mark completely. Adopting a mumble auto tune energy, I can see the eyrie creative direction they were trying to achieve but I think it got lost in a techno, horror-like, dystopia and for me it’s a complete pass. I’m disappointed.

An interesting track release this week comes from Italian Rapper Fedez. This week he released a track called ‘Holding Out For You’ which I had initially got really excited to hear – that was before I heard it and before I knew who he was. The track featuring (the great) Zara Larrson is ruined by Fedez’ dire attempt at an R and B rap which intermittently interrupts Zara sounding like an angelic badass. I tried to tolerate the monstrosity of Fedez’ contribution because I think Zara sounds incredible on this track but it couldn’t be done. Sadly, this is a huge flop. No one ever send me anything from Fedez again.

Now onto something that didn’t disappoint me today. Rudimental have enlisted the help of Ray BLK and Stefflon Don on their new track ‘Scared of Love’ taken from their upcoming album ‘Toast to our differences’. Notably both ladies had exceptional years last year and unite for this off beat, quirky up tempo feel good love track. Whilst I don’t think song is a breakthrough hit with a new innovative sound I haven’t heard anything like this for a short time and the bright instrumental is bound to lift your spirit.

Lastly on the roundup of this week’s new music is actually a track released on Monday, yes you heard Monday. Despite the weird release date, the new collaboration from Alec Benjamin and Alessia Cara, adding a fresh spin on his pre-released single ‘Let Me Down Slowly’ intertwines flawless, smooth and captivating vocals with a mid- tempo melancholic instrumental. A great track with high replay value and overall an easy listen.

Special mention:

Yes, this isn’t a standard procedure here on New Music Friday but I was sent music from a new artist I hadn’t previously came across this week and I think that people need to hear it!

Phé, an LA based R and B singer/songwriter, has recently released her debut EP ‘Crisis’. On the EP she boasts all the characteristics of an impressive R and B artist showing diversity and creativity with her sound and stories as she rages through an emotional roller coaster of first hand experiences with love, heartbreak, female sexuality and sexual exploration, healing, mental health and self-empowerment.

Her new EP is definitely worth a listen! You can check it out on all streaming platforms and on my ‘New Music Friday’ Spotify playlist below.

Once again thank you for tuning in, reading and supporting. I hope you’ve found some new gems for your playlists and if you liked it don’t forget to follow my blog, like and be sure to share.

https://open.spotify.com/user/1124546142/playlist/3pabjNcE5J3stDi5mlL4iw

See you next week!

New Music Friday 2

This week has been a pretty busy week and somehow its already Friday, which as well all know means new music.

This month has been filled with some pretty impressive releases and some stand out projects and today is no different…..

Today is exciting, as the long awaited (to be exact 6 long years) and highly anticipated sophomore album from Rita Ora has finally been released. The pop songstress has released a string of chart toppers in the run up to her release and today is the day to hear the full project. As the biggest album this week of course album tracks can be found at the top of every new music playlist and rightfully so!

‘Only Want You’, features on all the playlists and the laid back R and B infused slow jam offers a subdued moment. With dreamy vocals layered on top of a punchy chorus she continues to impress with yet another banger as she pours out her heart about the desire to experience of one specific individual. Credit where credit is due as Ora has continued to deliver and impress and honestly let’s be honest which other stars could’ve taken 6 years out of music and come back with a bang?

Billie Eilish released a bundle of perfection with her new song ‘Come out and play’. The melancholic emotion fuelled song is powerfully intimate before adopting a cinematic punch as the song progresses. An impressive follow up from her recently released ‘Don’t Smile at Me’ as she sticks to her mysterious roots however still offers a fresh sound.

Next up Kamille dropped her remix of ‘Emotion’ as she calls in Chip and Stefflon Don. The track feels like a Stefflon Don throw away, the start of the track is overwhelming and slightly messy however the chorus kind of salvages the verse. Chip’s verse isn’t anything special and neither gives or takes away from the track but honestly Steff disappoints on this track.

Another feature from Rita Ora, as she lends her vocals to Rudimental’s new single ‘Summer Love’ from their upcoming album ‘Toast To Our Differences’. The track is an ode to the so distant summer fun contextualising that fairy-tale idea of a summer love which all you ever want and more- but only for those summer months. Taking Ora back to her Drum and Bass roots, which originally propelled her to the top of the charts, the track offers an easy listen, with a catchy feel good chorus and subtle drop for an overall nice offering.

A standout track this week comes from pop rising star, Call Me Loop. Her new song ‘Business’ has quite the fitting title as she means business and takes control in this defiant new single. With an interesting sound, elevating vocals and a catchy beat the ex-obsessed track ditches an old love as she battles to look towards the future and move on. The emotive pop piece infuses a groovy guitar heavy instrumental with an assertive and attention grabbing energy.

Lastly British popstar, Jess Gylnne has decided to release an acoustic rendition of her already quite acoustic ‘Thursday’. The stripped back vocals delight on the empowering, self-love track, however, I can’t help but think despite my appreciation for this version and the original track this release was pretty pointless and doesn’t add anything to the song even if it is a pleasant listen.

That’s it for this week, there wasn’t much that excited me this week but there were obviously some stand outs which will I’ll definitely be adding to my playlist and having on repeat.

I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think of this week’s tracks and if there are any songs you know are being released or want me to feature let me know!!!

APPLE MUSIC UP NEXT: H.E.R LONDON PREMIER

Sometimes I see competitions on social media, enter them and then as expected never hear anything back from them. This was the case when I saw that Apple Music was hosting an exclusive launch for their new Up Next artist, H.E.R.

I entered the competition to attend the premiere of her new short film and to see her perform. I checked my emails a few days later to find a reply with priority tickets attached and this is I guess why I’m making this post.

Apple Music designed it’s ‘Up Next artists’ to promote emerging talent. They choose a new artist every month offering them exposure through live TV performances, a live EP and their own short feature film.

Previously chosen artists amongst the roster have been the likes of incredible new talent from Billie Eilish, Khalid and 6lack to Sigrid, Stefflon Don and Daniel Ceaser.

This month’s artist was H.E.R an interesting anonymous identity R and B artists with honey smooth vocals somewhat of an Alicia Keys evolution. She launched into mainstream success after working with Daniel Ceaser on the effortlessly perfect ‘Best Part’.

Since then she went on to release her most recent projects of solo material with ‘I Used To Know Her: The Prelude’ and recently followed up with ‘I Used To Know Her: Part 2’ which dropped November 2nd.

The event was held at Porchester Hall and with a queue wrapping round the venue, the excitement buzzed through the cold weather as everyone was eager to get inside.

The night started with a humorous introduction from Beats 1 radio’s Julie Adenuga as she joked on stage before introducing H.E.R and rolling the feature film. The short video gave us fans an insight into the background of H.E.R’s career, what inspires her and how she got into music.

As the clip came to an end it was time for the real show to start; the screen rose and we were welcomed with a jazzy instrumental from her phenomenally talented band before she entered the stage, shades down with her pearly whites glowing as she oozed a cool, calm and collected energy.

Her impressive set consisted of a variety of her beautifully crafted songs from her diverse discography as show switched from up-tempo vibrant jazz inspired tracks and melancholic hard hitters to acoustic sing-a-longs and catchy pure R and B.

The night was undeniably special and amazing to be able to see her live after watching her success rise over the past year and a half. She is definitely an artist to watch and I’m excited to see what’s next for H.E.R and which artist will be selected next month.

 

Check out H.E.R and discover her Up Next feature here and click the video below to see what me and my girlfriend got up to on the night.

Arun