The best new tracks, picked by our staff

Rated by The Face: a playlist featuring Shygirl, Central Cee, Tems and Felix Lee.

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Shygirl, Kingdom – f@k€ ft. Kingdom

There’s been little respite for Shygirl over the last couple of years – the much-loved London rapper has been steadily dropping music and she always seems to be on the road. It seems she has no plans of letting up. After dropping the single Thicc in November, Shy’s swiftly followed it up with this red-hot dancefloor heater, cooked up in collaboration with LA DJ/​producer Kingdom. JW

Central Cee – Entrapreneur

Central Cee tends to follow-up his crossover hits with a more lowkey material for his dedicated fans, like when he dropped the stripped-back drill EP No More Leaks after the hype of his viral smash Doja. After conquering the UK charts with Sprinter, Cench has delivered this more straight-forward rap track in which he juxtaposes gritty details from his past with his newfound wealth. DIY streetwear mogul Mikey Trapstar – an elder West Londoner and a source of inspiration to Cench – shares his hustler mentality in the spoken word intro, before Cench shows off his own clothing brand Syna in the video. DR

Jawnino – 2 Trains

The underground London rapper’s later single is a love letter to his home city, delivered in soft, almost whispered vocals which are paired with a skittering melancholic trap beat. 2 Trains marks Jawnino’s signing with True Panther, the revered New York label which also has Frost Children and Babymorroco on its roster. JW

Tems — Not An Angel

After recently breaking her two year hiatus from releasing solo music with the single Me&U, Tems has already gifted us with a new song. There’s a poignancy in the Nigerian star’s voice, as she sings about the clarity of knowing it was time to move on from a relationship (“Cause I’m not an angel /​I’m just a girl that knows the truth /​And I couldn’t save you /​You couldn’t see what I’ve been through”). Fingers crossed this is the year we hear Tems’ long-awaited debut album. JW

Felix Lee – Our Struggle is Not the Flesh

With this Endless clubnight and NTS show, London musician Felix Lee gravitates towards abrasive club tracks and the weirder corners of contemporary rap. So it’s surprising to hear such prominent guitars across his new album Skullstepper. Our Struggle is Not the Flesh is a propulsive post-punk track packed with dark bravado, primed for late night drives through the city. DR

A.G. Cook – Silver Thread Golden Needle

In 2023, it was announced that influential label PC Music – which A.G. Cook launched in 2013 – would stop releasing new music once the year was over. But Cook seemingly has no intention of slowing down his solo career. Released on 1st January, the 10 minute track Silver Thread Golden Needle feels like something of a statement. The track features pitched-up vocals and rapid synth arpeggios. If pixels could speak, this is surely what they’d sound like. JW

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