SZA – Good Days
SZA’s last album, the excellent Ctrl, dropped in 2017, so her fanbase has been particularly hungry for new tunes. Initially teased at the end of the video for her 2020 single Hit Different, SZA solved some “clearance issues” and got Good Days in time for Xmas day.
Navy Blue – Sea Bass
As Navy Blue, skateboarder Sage Elsesser is part of a network of underground artists making soulful, unpolished rap which leans into spoken word poetry. Sea Bass is one of the heartfelt highlights from his new album Songs of Sage: Post Panic!
Playboi Carti – Vamp Anthem
Carti’s long-awaited album Whole Lotta Red finally dropped on Xmas day, and fans raced to declare it either trash or genius. One thing’s for sure – few artists in the current mainstream rap world are releasing music which sounds this unique.
IAMDDB – WA-HUM
The Mancunian rapper-singer experiments beyond her signature “urban jazz” sound here, unleashing a dark dancehall vibe.
Grimes – Delete Forever (Channel Tres remix)
Taken from the “Rave Edition” of Grimes’ 2020 album Miss Anthropocene, house producer/vocalist Channel Tres gives this poignant song a slick rework.
Kelsey Lu & Yves Tumor – let all the poisons that lurk in the mud seep out
Lu has said let all the poisons… is about “taking risks and plunging heedlessly into the unknown.” Recording her “delirious” vocals while in an Airbnb on tour, the track was later completed by Yves, London jazz drummer Moses Boyd and Brooklyn composer Kelly Moran.
Justin Bieber – Anyone
If you’re sat at the dining table with your head in your hands on the first day back at work, maybe try the feel good visuals for Biebs’ new year single Anyone, in which he trains to become a boxing champion. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere!