The best new tracks, picked by our staff

Rated by THE FACE: a playlist featuring Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Uzi Vert, muva of Earth and Ethan P. Flynn.

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Olivia Rodrigo – Vampire

If you were ever doubtful that Olivia Rodrigo, the prophet of teenage heartbreak, couldn’t follow up her excellent debut album Sour with something just as good, think again. Comeback single Vampire features a dramatic piano chords and crescendoing vocals which erupt into something more upbeat than a traditional ballad; meanwhile, Rodrigo’s spicy lyrics referring to a bloodsucker” and a fame fucker” gives us some inkling as to what her upcoming album, GUTS, set for release in September, will be all about. We can’t wait. JW

Ethan P. Flynn – Abandon All Hope

In the video for Abandon All Hope, Ethan P. Flynn and his collaborator Ava Gore take a road trip through the Yorkshire Dales on a scorching summer’s day, stopping off to dance by a glistening lake. But don’t let the video’s carefree vibes, or the guitar-heavy grooviness of the tune itself fool you: the lyrics are dark. It started as a story about a highwayman in America, going around robbing people,” Flynn explained of the song in the press notes. He dies, and in purgatory he is forced to repeat the act of robbing his own family, on the road, for all time, until he repents and goes to Hell.” You can look forward to more apocalyptic bops Flynn’s debut album – also called Abandon All Hope – which drops in October. DR

Jalen Ngonda – Come Around and Love Me

If you want to boost your mood in exactly three minutes and four seconds, look no further than Jalen Ngonda’s latest track Come Around and Love Me. Harking back to the likes of Marvin Gay and Al Green, Ngoda delivers a slice of classic soul revamped for 2023, with impassioned vocals, Beach Boys-esque harmonies and rich string arrangements. A sunny day in a song. OP

muva of Earth – heaven hear me above

muva of Earth delivers a meditative, ethereal musical tonic via her latest single. I’m aligned with nature’s grace /​I am protected in magnificent ways /​Love is all I know /​Lesson learned, I let you go,” she sings against a meandering, relaxing beat which features sparkling chimes and a harp played by muva herself. JW

Earl Sweatshirt – Making The Band (Dainty Kane)

New York collective Surf Gang have been blowing up the rap underground for the last couple of years, and their leftfield style is now reaching more ears. SG producer Evilgiane made the beat for Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar’s electrifying collab The Hillbillies, and now he’s gifted Earl Sweatshirt with one of the most beautiful rap instrumentals you’re likely to hear this year. DR

Conducta – Gold ft. Biji

On the closing track on his new EP In Transit, UK garage figurehead Conducta dips his toes into breakbeats and Kurdish music. The former style is present in the DJ’s relentlessly energetic beats, the latter comes courtesy of the duo Biji, who blend Western Asian music traditions with contemporary genres. But that’s not all. Wait till the second verse and you’ll hear Conducta rapping on his own record for the very first time. His opening line: Look at me, I will take you to UKG”. A man that’s true to his word. OP

Lil Uzi Vert – Amped

Back in 2017, Lil Uzi Vert became a superstar thanks to the crossover appeal of their emo-inspired hit XO Tour Llif3. The Philly rapper leans heavily into an alt-rock aesthetic at various points on new album Pink Tape, which features collaborations with Bring Me The Horizon and Babymetal as well as a cover of System of a Down’s nu-metal classic Chop Suey. On Amped, Uzi clearly has the mosh pit in mind, as they scream about their irrepressible energy over a scuzzy guitar riff. DR

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