Ella Mai & Jorja Smith, New Queens Of UK R&B

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Ella Mai“Boo’d Up” is blowing up. Ella Mai’s sumptuous ’90s R&B throwback, first released way back in February 2017 as the opening track of her Ready EP, is on its second week at #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. The slow-burn success story had its genesis in Spotify and Apple playlist placement but … More »

So, What’s Popping On The UK Pop Charts These Days?

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“God’s Plan” rules the world. Drake’s dominant single is #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for an eighth straight week, and its ubiquity extends well beyond the United States. Although the song hasn’t caught on in Asia or Africa and is only a minor hit in Latin America, it’s the most popular track globally … More »

New Music Friday: When it’s time to put Andrew WK at the top of the playlist it’s time to put Andrew WK at the top of the playlist hard

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Notes on this week’s releases:

  • Sometimes when we listen to Andrew WK we think “hold on this sort of music is absolutely brilliant” so then we go and listen to some other stuff in a similar vein and it’s always an awful fucking racket. Literally always. Where are they keeping all the good sort-of-metal? Is it in a secret place? Or is there really nothing else like this? And do you think proper rock people feel this way about pop music? Do you think they hear something pop that somehow lines up with qualities they enjoy in their day-to-day listening, or they hear the best of the absolute best — like, they hear a Robyn single — and they go “maybe I’ll give pop another try!”, but then they end up listening to Up by Olly Murs and Demi Lovato and then that’s it for another three years? And then after a while they’ll hear Bad Romance or something and they’ll give the old pop thing another go, but the first thing they hear is ‘The Vamps and Matoma’?
  • CHVRCHES miss out on their second Song Of The Week in a row due to, once again, betraying the most holy tenet of New Music Friday.
  • Tracey Thorn‘s entire album is fantastic but the Shura ‘collab’ we’ve selected for this week’s playlist is just absurdly amazing.
  • The Alma EP is worth a listen. It’s nothing extraordinary, much as we and it seems everyone else would like it to be, but there are some good moments.
  • Gorgon City have released what is, to all intents and purposes, a novelty single. (It’s about 65% brilliant.)
  • MNEK‘s new single is really interesting, partly because it totally changes pace halfway through and becomes absolutely tremendous, and partly because having apparently (?) jettisoned ideas of having a hit single he’s freed himself creatively to make something really unusual which in turn stands out from almost everything else out there, which IN TURN might actually stand a chance of being a hit. Whatever a hit is these days. Why can’t it be like the olden days when iPods were made out of wood and New Music Friday involved having to walk three miles in order to listen to someone singing on a hill?
  • As you’d expect the Jack White song, which sounds like The Darkness, is hilarious.

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Matrix and Futurebound – Human

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Matrix and Futurebound have released their third single of 2017, Human on Viper Recordings. The drum and bass duo have been on a tour in 2017 that has taken them to the four corners of the globe. The song contains vocals by Raphaella whose work you may know from working with the likes of Rudimental,

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MNEK shares emotive new track ‘Paradise’

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With his latest track “Paradise,” Grammy-nominated British singer, songwriter, and producer MNEK has exhibited an impressive amount of versatility and artistry.  “Paradise” is an infectious track that blends elements of R&B and future bass into a thought provoking and lyrically daring concoction.  The track also features the iconic guitar riff from Ultra Nate’s iconic 1997 dance smash “Free.”

“Paradise” evokes visions of running away from the hectic and sometimes depressing nature of today’s society in order to find peace, solace, and catharsis. MNEK exhibits his prowess as a triple threat by providing scintillating vocals, stirring lyrics, and a sexy beat which features an ominous throbbing bassline that pulls the whole tune together.

The track’s gripping chorus inspires a sense of escape as MNEK’s heartbreaking falsetto takes center stage. “Paradise”, definitely embodies a sense of helplessness and cynicism that many of us feel at the moment. However, it is also a song about hope and the power of positive mindset. The hauntingly inspiring lyrics “Paradise is in the mind” speak to MNEK’s overall message. The 22-year-old also explains the musical inspiration for his latest track, saying:

“Around the time I wrote ‘Paradise’, so much dance music was coming out and doing well with literally any 90s R&B song as the main topline, of the whole song. It really bothered me!” he explains. “So, I decided to sample a dance song for an R&B track. I’ve always loved ‘Free’ by Ultra Nate, so it was such an honour to have the blessing of the writers of the song to sample it for ‘Paradise’.”

Read More:

MNEK’s debut EP: more than a commercial house cop-out

Chris Malinchak feat. MNEK- Happiness (Original Mix)

Gorgon City ft MNEK-  Ready For Your Love (Etherwood Remix)

Shermanology – Silly Games

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Dutch/Caribbean siblings Shermanology have long held their corner as a soulful and ever-evolving force in electronic music. Emerging from a more recent run of studio sessions alongside British pop legend MNEK, the first of two singles co-written by the Zara Larsson collaborator lands with a clear directive as to where Shermanology are taking their musical stamp. Soulfully tinted house music with a subtle yet ragged edge is the agenda for “Silly Games,” a track that immediately benefits from Simma Black favorite Dennis Quinn’s grittier co-production skills whilst also shining a light on the high end of garage inspired house music that manages to never sound cheesy or weathered. Bridging a gap between the heyday UK and US house sound, “Silly Games” is a cool and confident peak in the duo’s output, setting the stakes high for their incoming footsteps.

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