At the end of each month, we curate a collection of must listens to keep you in the loop. Ranging from rappers in the Emerald Isle to boundary-pushing, experimental producers and everything in between, we’ve got you sorted.
Ireland’s prodigal son Rejjie Snow returned with a dreamy cut featuring your favourite masked villain, Gemma Dunleavy celebrated the community that raised her in ‘UP DE FLATS’ and a new duo inspired by Gorillaz came through with an immersive record.
Gemma Dunleavy – UP DE FLATS
Gemma Dunleavy‘s ‘UP DE FLATS’ is a triumphant ode to the community that raised her.
Marching between dance-inducing anthems and pop-leaning cuts, the EP is a vibrant response to the misguided characterisations of the bubbling community that she emerged from and a love letter to its unmatched spirit.
p-rallel – Sound boy
West London production maestro p-rallel has released his sophomore EP ‘Soundboy’. A sharp reflection of the club culture, upbringing and generally hectic lifestyle that informs his sound.
Notable features come from Greentea Peng on the sun-kissed ‘soulboy’ and from fellow Elevation/Meditation member Louis Culture on the busy and warped ‘Packed Bags’.
Read our interview with p-rallel about how he went from dancing to studio sessions with Playboi Carti and Rejjie Snow.
Biig Piig – Don’t Turn Around
NiNE8 Collective member Biig Piig made a deliberate departure from her dusty, poetic style earlier this year when she dropped her DnB-influenced anthem ‘Switch‘. Now she’s followed it up with a certified hip shaker in the shape of ‘Don’t Turn Around’.
The glitzy disco-pop anthem is another signpost in her evolution from underground star to genuine chart contender.
Sad Night Dynamite – Icy Violence
Sad Night Dynamite are hard to pin down.
Not beholden to any one sound, the duo from Glastonbury draw influence from acts ranging from the genre-hopping, cartoon outfit Gorillaz to the manic energy of early Eminem.
Their latest effort ‘Icy Violence’ encapsulates the unpredictable nature of their records that makes them so enticing. Their woozy vocals float amongst the immersive electronic soundscape before a beat switch pulls the green screen from behind them and send the pair back to earth.
Archy Moor – The Long Road Feat. Osquello
Nigerian born, Dublin raised spitter Archy Moor started getting looks after releasing a string of velvety smooth cuts reminiscent of a young Rejjie Snow back in 2019.
His latest release ‘The Long Road’ teases a romantic energy, powered by inviting saxophone samples from Soft Boy Records’ producer Gaptoof.
Gaidaa – Overture
Dutch-Sudanese artist Gaidaa provides pure food for the soul. Effortlessly hopping between English and Arabic, the gentle caressing of her string-led instrumentals on her debut EP ‘Overture’ open the airways like a lavender-scented candle.
At just 21 years of age, her measured approach to songwriting and meditative ruminations on her own personal experiences are equal parts relatable and comforting.
Highlights on the project are ‘Stranger’ which invites a verse from Chicago spitter and Chance The Rapper affiliate Saba and the stunning ‘Morning Blue’.
The Avalanches – Wherever You Go Feat. Jamie XX, Neneh Cherry & CLYPSO
Make no bones about it, this is an absolutely huge collaboration.
Having teased the track in the B2B NTS radio show, it confirmed long-held suspicions that a link-up from Jamie XX and The Avalanches would be otherworldly.
I kind of imagine the intro to this track is an audible representation of what tripping on DMT feels like. The numerous vocal layers and synths that squelch like an extraterrestrial sponge, projecting the inimitable energy often found in basement dwelling raves that we are all missing so much.
One of the tracks of the year so far.
Rejjie Snow – Cookie Chips Feat MF DOOM & Cam O’bi
‘Cookie Chips’ is a wet dream for any hip hop head from the Emerald Isle. The island’s most high profile rapper Rejjie Snow appears to be gearing up for an album and he’s long made his admiration for your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper – MF DOOM very clear. So much so he has a tat of the masked spitter inked on his skin.
The breezy new record features a dreamboat hook from Cam O’bi and DOOM’s trademark wordplay gets an extra kick through its juxtaposition to Rejjie’s smooth approach.
Iyamah – Won’t Work
British soul artist Iyamah has swapped the beaches of Brighton for the streets and plains of India in ‘Won’t Work’.
The spiritual undertones, DIY approach and soulful delivery make result in an uplifting anthem.
“It’s about boundaries, knowing your worth and stepping into control,” Iyamah explains, detailing the idea behind the track. “It’s saying ‘no’ to others expectations, restrictions or ‘morals’. It’s a total rebellion against the idea of being anyone’s anything, playing on the idea of what a ‘princess’ is, and being the opposite, rejecting the idea of it entirely!”
Miles from Kinshasa – Wearing Smiles
Miles From Kinshasa is the Congolese-born London raised artist making considered and relatable musical antidotes to modern-day pains.
Earlier this month he released ‘Wearing Smiles’, an understated and beautiful cut that captures the pain often hiding behind an unconvincing grin.
Keep an eye out for his new EP ‘Beloved’ dropping August 27.
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Photo: Daniela K Monteiro