The best new songs, picked by our staff
Asake mixes afrobeats and amapiano, Finn Foxell goes punk and Clipz delivers a bank holiday banger.
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Finn Foxell – Leaders
Finn Foxell is a member of the Elevation Meditation collective, which also includes rising DJ/producer P‑rallel and rapper Lord Apex. But like fellow London crew NiNE8, Elevation Meditation isn’t restricted by genre. On the antagonistic punk track Leaders, Foxell laments the “rich, pompous pricks who judge when all of their kids wanna be like us” over razor-sharp guitars, evoking Panic Prevention-era Jamie T and slowthai. JW
Clipz – No Time ft. Nia Archives, Beenie Man, Cristale and ShaSimone
Under his jungle-focused alias Clipz, Bristolian DJ/producer Redlight has rounded up a killer crew – FACE fave Nia Archives, dancehall legend Beenie Man and rising rappers Cristale and ShaSimone – for this pass-the-mic banger that’s dropped just in time for the UK’s bank holiday. OP
Asake – Terminator
Asake has had a massive year. Back in February, the Nigerian artist caught a buzz with his track Sungba, which was swiftly boosted by a remix featuring Burna Boy, and then followed by another hit, Omo Ope, featuring Asake’s YBNL Nation label boss Olamide. On Terminator, the latest single from Asake’s debut album Mr. Money With The Vibe, he returns to his fail-safe fusion of afrobeats, fuji music and amapiano. DR
Låpsley – Dial Two Seven
Instead of queuing outside Tescos, Låpsley spent some of lockdown partying and making new friends in South Africa. The trip inspired Dial Two Seven, the first single from her third album Cautionary Tales Of Youth. “Step off the plane, red dust on white Nike, I don’t take calls from ex anymore,” she reminisces over a gentle afrobeats swing, creating a soothing end-of-summer atmosphere. OP
Aitch – Sunshine ft. New Machine
THE FACE has had some good times with Aitch. We followed him to ‘Napa, met his NQ crew in Manchester and partied with him in LA. Despite the fame, the rapper has always managed to stay down-to-earth, and his debut album Close to Home balances braggadocio with insight into his humble upbringing. “I’m from a place where you’re lucky if it don’t rain today,” he raps on this contemplative track, but he’s still bursting with pride for his hometown: “Grew up in the gutters, but we love it, so fuck it.” DR
O’Flynn x Frazer Ray – You Need Me
Ahead of their joint album Shimmer, old school rave enthusiasts O’Flynn and Frazer Ray have dropped this big-room builder that’s constructed around a diva vocal sample, Reese bass and hefty breakbeats. File this next to Bicep and DJ Seinfeld, and wait for it to crop up in a peak-time festival headline slot. FM
Blackpink – Pink Venom
Like most Blackpink songs, their new single sounds like it belongs in a Marvel film, and it comes with a suitably blockbuster video that was presumably made with an absurdly big budget. Continuing their long(ish) tradition of catchy, onomatopoeic hooks (here, “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” is replaced with “Brra-ta-ta-ta”), while interpolating lines from Rihanna’s Pon De Replay and Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do, this first taste of the K‑pop band’s much-anticipated return makes their mission clear: conquer the charts. And it’s working. At the time of writing, Pink Venom is currently number one on Spotify’s global chart. OP
Tara Lily – Hotel Amour
Jazzy R&B artist Tara Lily has some intriguing credentials. She was mentored by Boy Better Know legend Jammer, she studied at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and is the first British artist to sign to Motown Records UK. Lily closes the door on a fleeting romance in Hotel Amour – a song she actually wrote within the four walls of Paris’ cosy, 9th arrondissement spot. “Sky is blue but it won’t stay /You’re just a song I used to play,” she sings against opulent strings and piano loops. JW
Bonnie Kemplay – Was it Obvious?
Who’s excited for Sad Girl Autumn? Bonnie Kemplay can help soundtrack the season with her vulnerable indie-folk. At the moment, the 20-year-old Edinburgh artist only has a handful of tracks out there, but she’s already turning heads – she’s inked a deal with Dirty Hit and she opened for Adele at BST Hyde Park last month. Was it obvious? is Kemplay’s ode to a friendship that’s run its course, singing “Running out of things to say, running out of things to do /Wish I could set aside /What happеned when we were sixteen” over a finger-picked acoustic guitar. JW