The best new tracks, picked by our staff

Rated by THE FACE: a playlist featuring Nilüfer Yanya, Mustafa, Tommy Richman and skaiwater.

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Tommy Richman – Devil Is A Lie

How do you follow a viral smash like Million Dollar Baby? Quickly, and with an equally as infectious hook. Tommy Richman’s new drop Devil Is A Lie leans into what its predecessor does best, delivering catchy, layered vocals over a bouncy, swaggering beat. The key, however, is that the track’s a little more mellow than Million Dollar Baby, allowing the Richman formula to stay intact without sounding repetitive. And having already whipped up hype via teaser snippets on TikTok before the song’s release last Friday, it seems Tommy could prove he’s no one hit wonder. OP

Normani – Big Boy

The world has waited six years for Normani’s debut album Dopamine. Thank God it opens with a banger. Masterminded by powerhouse team of Starrah (who co-wrote Meg and Bey’s Savage Remix), Tommy Brown (responsible for most of Ariana Grande’s best tracks) and Kuk Harrell (behind your faves from Rihanna, Beyoncé and Usher), Big Boy is an assertive statement of intent, shaking off the bubblegum pop of Normani’s biggest hit Motivation with punchy horns and lyrics. Referencing her Southern roots and reminding listeners of her platinum hits”, it’s exactly the kind of track Normani fans have been waiting for: full of bravado and beats to dance to. OP

Skaiwater – Play

Skaiwater’s new album #gigi is a genreless pool of gloopy synths, palpating kick drums and gently warped vocals. With chirpy synths reminiscent of 80s new wave bands Tom Tom Club, Play is one of the brighter and more upbeat tracks. But the LA-via-Nottingham musician’s lyrics allude to pure chaos. Fuck would you burn my shit for no reason?” Skaiwater asks in the opening bar. You doing the most cause you came home and found a wig /​I think it’s essential to use context, that was there when we got here,” they later plead, before referring to crying in the shower” and picking up the Hilton hotel bill on Apple Pay. Seems like they won’t be hearing wedding bells any time soon. DR

Nilüfer Yanya – Method Actor

Nilüfer Yanya’s got a cool new guitar. It’s a turquoise and black Gibson SG. If this means nothing to you, the context is that the Gibson SG is the weapon of choice for guitarists who like to really thrash it out – from Ian Mackaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi, to AC/DC’s Angus Young and one of the original rock’n’rollers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Yanya puts her SG to the test on the chorus of Method Actor, when her intricate indie pop gives way to pulverising riffs and intense lyrics. Gonna scream out, there’s no meaning /​Spit my teeth out as you’re bleeding,” she sings. Cathartic. DR

Mustafa – Gaza is Calling

Mustafa wrote Gaza is Calling back in 2020, and the song was originally inspired by his friendship with a Gazan boy who he befriended in Toronto when he was 11. We hear a sample of Arabian strings, a melody played on the oud (a Middle-Eastern guitar-like instrument) and Mustafa sing in both English and Arabic. The accompanying video, which was conceptualised this year by Mustafa and Bella Hadid, follows a Gazan mother (Hadid) and a son (played by 15-year-old Gazan rapper MC Abdul) who have sought refuge in the Western world, and their story is contrasted with the lives of refugees in a displaced people’s camp in the city of Jenin in the West Bank. In a press statement about the video, Mustafa said: The hope is that this serves as a stark reminder that every path is ours, every child is ours, and every war is ours to answer for and speak against.” All proceeds from the video will go to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. DR

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