The best new tracks, picked by our staff

Rated by The Face: a playlist featuring Dua Lipa, PinkPantheress, Vegyn and Jelani Blackman.

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Dua Lipa – Houdini

Don’t call it a comeback – Dua Lipa has been hanging around in the charts for months with her Barbie single Dance the Night. But Houdini kicks off the British-Albanian superstar’s new era and a long-awaited new album campaign, and so the excitement has reached fever pitch. The single sticks to Dua’s glistening disco-pop formula, but if you listen closely, this time there’s a bit more grit. Or, as The Face contributor Michael Cragg so eloquently put it, it’s less Studio 54 sparkle and more makeshift lighting rig in a grubby warehouse.” DR

PinkPantheress – Nice to Meet You ft. Central Cee

This one’s caused a little stir on socials thanks to a line in Cench’s verse which may or may not be about his ex. Anyway, the track sounds stunning, with luscious synths and silky strings courtesy of Pink, hyperpop producer Count Baldor and regular collaborator Mura Masa. The thumping Jersey club drums presumably come from Cash Cobain, who’s been innovating in the New York drill scene and beyond. DR

Vegyn – Halo Flip ft. Lauren Auder

One of London’s most in-demand producers has linked up with underground artist Lauren Auder on this seven-minute long, poignant ode to friendship: I was seven-years-old /​I blinked I was 23 /​I cycled through many homes /​Still had you standing by me,” Auder sings. A couple of minutes in, though, the track takes a left turn as a Radio 1‑style jingle Make some noise /​Another exclusive mix” gets dropped in. A quick return to euphoric strings then gives way to hazy breaks and ambient synths for the song’s final stretch. JW

Jelani Blackman – My Bad

Taken form the London musician’s anticipated debut album, The Heart of It, My Bad packs a punch with its infectious beat and introspective lyrics about love, loss and everything in between. It’s hard to trust when the word don’t trust you /​Looking at my hands and your bag like fuck you /​You keep your mind so sharp that it cuts through”, Blackman raps in that unmistakable voice. JW

SV – 2 Drunk 2

This highlight from SV’s new project Finish Ya Breakfast is like an excerpt from the London-via-Lagos rapper’s diary. One moment he’s smoking a cuban cigar and pondering his trust issues to the soundtrack of sun-kissed synths and tweeting birds. The next, a thumping house beat signals that it’s time for the club, and he’s claiming that he’s too drunk to give a fuck”. We’ve all been there. DR

Lunch Money Life – Western Things ft. Nourished By Time

According to the press notes, the inspiration for Western Things was sparked during Lunch Money Life’s stay in Imogen Heap’s barn. On the emotionally ambivalent track, the experimental London band weave whirring synths through stuttering drums and gun-shots, while rising Baltimore pop eccentric Nourished By Time blesses the track with his unmistakable baritone. DR

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