The best new tracks, picked by our staff
Rated by THE FACE: a playlist featuring Kelela, Thaiboy Digital, Ayra Starr and New York.
Words: Davy Reed,
Photography: Clifford Prince King
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Kelela – Happy Ending
One of the many things that’s made Kelela stand out is how smoothly she joins the dots between R&B and underground dance music. So when she recently returned with the soothing ambient track Washed Away – her first new song in five years – she felt it necessary to reassure her fans that “the bangers are on the way”. Happy Ending, the second single from her next album, sees her return to club-friendly territory with a d’n’b‑inspired beat produced by LSDXOXO and Toronto club scene stalwart Bambii. There are presuambly producers out there cooking up remixes as we speak. DR
Thaiboy Digital – True Love ft. Yung Lean
Following Drain Gang member Bladee’s recent album Spiderr, the Swedish collective are keeping the buzz going with Thaiboy Digital’s third solo album, Back 2 Life. Produced by Rok (Lil Uzi Vert, Future, Lil Keed) and DG ally Yung Lean, True Love has an optimistic, anything-is-possible feel to it, compounded by the lyrics that deal with being devoted to the person you love. Awww. FM
New York – lollipop
New York are a new band with a completely un-Googleable name, so good luck finding out much about them online. No Sleep Till N.Y. is their debut project, a ten-track release packed with hyperpop, bloghouse and indie sleaze musical references. lollipop sounds sort of like a cross between Green Onions and Crystal Castles. If a Skins series was being filmed now, this would be on the soundtrack. FM
Ayra Starr – Running ft. Lojay
For this catchy collab on the deluxe edition of Ayra Starr’s album 19 and Dangerous, the breakout artist teams up with fellow Nigerian artist Lojay for a soulful blend of afropop and R&B. “I’m treading carefully,” Starr sings, putting her guard up after having her heart broken, “Cause I don’t wanna be a scapegoat /Once bitten, twice shy, I dey hear word”. JW
Baby Rose – Fight Club
There are few contemporary artists with a voice as arresting as Baby Rose. Often compared to Nina Simone, the singer’s smoky, resonant vocals roll over rumbling bass in new track Fight Club. “I feel alive inside it /Feel like driving somewhere, someplace,” she sings over the chorus, as the 28-year-old lets go of the past and finds liberation in risk. “I wanna run to my fears ’til I’m not afraid.” OP