The best new tracks, picked by our staff
Rated by The Face: Listen to tracks from Raye, Florentino, Rina Sawayama, Lolahol and more.
Words: Olive Pometsey,
Photography: Sebastian Kapfhammer
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Listen to this weekly playlist, which is lovingly curated by THE FACE’s editorial team.
RAYE – Black Mascara
Following a public split from her record label, RAYE’s second single as an independent artist is a defiant admission of pain. But she’s not looking for pity. As she sings “Try to understand just what you done to me” over an emotive techno beat with epic builds, it seems that all she wants is some remorse from those who have wronged her – and maybe a tiny bit of revenge. You know what they say about success… OP
Florentino – Constrictor
Florentino first made waves in the mid-2010s by fusing dancehall and Latin rhythms with a futuristic sheen, and his cross-pollinating approach made him a natural fit with genre-merging label/collectives like Mixpak, Mexico City’s N.A.A.F.I and fellow Mancunians Swing Ting. In recent years, Florentino has worked with a bunch of artists in Spain’s reggaeton scene, formed the Sangre Nueva supergroup with Kelman Duran and DJ Python and launched his own label, Club Romantico, which spawned a short-lived and underrated NTS show that featured fake ads, a bilingual request line and off-the-wall interviews. Constrictor is a dark, sweaty, sultry track featuring Toronto club figurehead Bambii and Dominican urbano artist KD One. We’re told this tune marks “Phase 2” of Florentino, so brace yourself for more hard-hitting bangers in a similar vein. DR
I. Jordan – Hey Baby
If there’s one thing I. Jordan knows how to do well, it’s a fat club whomper. They’ve expressed their love of low-end frequencies on previous bangers like Warper and Bulbasaur Shuffle, and their latest, Hey Baby (the name might have the DJ Ötzi terrace classic spinning round your head, but don’t let that put you off) employs a similar lurching bassline. Having been a staple of I. Jordan’s sets for a while now, this one’s already something of a fan favourite. FM
Coucou Chloe – Zero Five Stars (remix) ft. Clip & Kelvin Crash
Clip brings her brand of understated cool to this remix of Coucou Chloe’s track alongside veteran producer Kelvin Krash. The sombre, chopped-up synths and beats are offset by the 22-year-old rapper’s softly distorted vocals and laid back brags (“I be rolling and floating and zoning”). Following the viral success of her 2020 slumber party anthem Sad B!tch, this feels like a fitting warm-up for the upcoming release of Clip’s debut EP Perception. “All my life, people have perceived me in a way that wasn’t really me,” she tells THE FACE about the project.“I knew that one day, I’d find my voice, find a way to show who I am.” JW
Lolahol – Lock&Key
Lourdes Leon – yep, as in Madonna’s daughter – has released her first song, and it’s great. Lock&Key sees Leon team up with her good friend Eartheater (the pair were last seen together in the Grand Theft Auto-esque video for Tony Seltzer’s Joyride), who co-directed the visuals and co-produced the track, and there’s a hint of EE’s influence in the ethereal vocal sound and the glacial synths, which glide over a fluttering drum’n’bass beat. The lyrics, which are as bittersweet and poignant as the melody, seem to be about craving the comfort of love amidst a fast-paced chaotic lifestyle – W Mag were quick to spot the potential reference to a famous Lady Gaga quote. DR
Not The Twos – Haha
Producer Tim Maxey is having a pretty good year. Not only was the debut single of his solo project Not The Twos sampled on the opening track of Kendrick’s album Mr Morale & The Big Steppers, he was also brought on board as a producer across the record. The second Not The Twos single is an enjoyably gloomy detour into gothic rock, with chugging guitars backing Maxey’s sardonic vocals. And with a chorus of “Ha ha ha ha ha, la la la la la,” it’s also easy to sing along to. Bonus. OP
Stella Explorer – House Arrest
Music runs in the family for Swedish musician Stella Cartiers Lagnefor. Growing up between Gothenburg in South Africa and Stockholm, her new EP Dorkay House is named after an Apartheid-era community centre in Johannesburg where Black musicians came together to make music. Her grandfather was one of them. Released on Stockholm label YEAR0001 (also home to Yung Lean and Drain Gang), House Arrest was inspired by Zimbabwean artist Thomas Mapfumo. With a shimmering guitar riff which gives way to a disco beat, it’s a wistful jam about leaving a place you might never come back to. JW
Rina Sawayama – Phantom
In the third single from her forthcoming second album Hold the Girl, Sawayama reclaims her power, finding the distinction between herself and who other people think she should be. “Once upon a time /There was a girl pleasing the world /Dying to be liked /Looking for love, wanting to trust”, she sings in this ballad bursting with plenty of drama, big guitar riffs, a touch of nostalgia and lots of vulnerability. You could easily imagine hordes of fans swaying (weeping, even) to Phantom together during a packed-out Rina gig. JW
Elton John & Britney Spears – Hold Me Closer
It feels remiss not to include the Princess of Pop’s glorious comeback in this week’s playlist. Released six years to the day since her ninth album, Glory, it marks a tentative new era for a beloved musician whose agency was stripped from her for over a decade. Who better to help her get back into music than Uncle Elton? Hold Me Closer fuses Elton’s classics Tiny Dancer, The One and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart into a joyful banger, made brighter by Britney’s signature ad-libs and unmistakable singing voice (“Oh baby!”). Here’s hoping there’s plenty more where that came from. JW