Tag: Little Simz

This Week Playlist: 6 new tracks to tickle your ears

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Every Monday we start the week as we mean to go on: six new(ish) tracks that we think are worth a few listens over the next seven days.

This week we have six tracks on our playlist. There are also four intriguing songs coming up as Tracks of the Day.

Here’s our This Week Playlist – enjoy!

Electric Guest – Back For Me

LA duo Electric Guest have a new album out in early March and this is the second single from it. Back for Me skips along with a relentlessly upbeat tone, propelled by beating percussion and one of the funkiest bass parts around. Simple, catchy and really rather good fun, this is an impressive little pop song.

 

HOMESHAKE – Every Single Thing

[Wikipeadia tells me] HOMESHAKE is the solo musical project of Montreal-based singer-songwriter and musician Peter Sagar. Every Single Thing is a shimmering r’n’b track with a disconcerting lo-fi meets synths dynamic. The vocals are impressive in their range and delivery, and yet it’s the cold aesthetic of the track that makes me want to keep this on repeat.

 

Khalid – Location (London Remix)

This is a re-released track from 2016 in which London MC Little Simz has added a few bars to what was already an impressive track. Khalid is blessed with one of those great soul voices that could be from any era of music. Location showcases that voice with silky moments of warmth mixed with the chilled out electronics underneath. Simz – fresh from her Sound of 2017 Longlist Nomination – is more tranquil than some of her other releases, but still sounds impressive – particularly in her second contribution.

 

Cold War Kids – Love Is Mystical

California 5-piece Cold War Kids are back with a new album due for release in April, and boy have they whet the appetite. Love Is Mystical is a cracking blues-inspired indie pop record that explodes with excitement. From it’s opening piano to it’s awesome chorus, everything is a little off-kilter and distorted; like it’s pounding out of a vintage jukebox where one of the speakers hasn’t quite stood the test of time.

 

Joe Goddard – Music Is The Answer

Joe Goddard – of Hot Chip fame – has already had one song appear on the blog this year, the awesome Soulwax remix of Crocodile Boots. Music Is The Answer is his latest single and it’s at the pop-end of the dance spectrum. Although it’s an immediately accessible track, there’s a depth to this track that I haven’t quite put my finger on: is there a sadness lurking behind the synths? I like how this track continues to evolve and find new elements to subtly shift the sound as it progresses.

 

Omni – Flashback

Something a little bit different to finish this week’s list. Montreal DJ and producer Omni put together an EP (Lunar) to feature in his recent performance at the Eclipse Festival (Lunar, Eclipse, geddit?) and Flashback is the second track on that EP. It’s dark, heavy and fairly relentless. Designed to blow minds in dark sweaty clubs at 3am, you’ll need a good set of headphones to take in quite how comprehensive the layers of sound are in Flashback.

Ramblings: on Zak Abel and being back on track

 

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Well the blog is back on track after my week of illness. The A List is done, the Bonus List introduced and the This Week Playlist posted. George posted a review of Cloud Nothings’s Life Without Sound last night and Antonia is back with her At The Movies column later today. Plus there’s a Track of the Day coming up at 0930.

Onto non-blog matters, I’m pretty happy as I’m off to my first gig of the year tonight, seeing Zak Abel at one of his two sold out shows at London’s Scala.

I first heard Zak Abel’s stunning soul voice on Sam Sumthin – which I only found out yesterday was produced by Kaytranada – back in 2015. It’s a voice that’ll please many audiences and belies his young age. Given that he’s a self-taught pianist and guitarist, and was also pretty good at table tennis, he also seems like a pretty determined man.

He also writes cracking pop songs. Say Sumthin was one of the best I’ve heard in years, an instant classic. And he’s followed it up with Everybody Needs Love and Unstable since.

His debut album- Only When We’re Naked – is due out in March and I’m looking forward to hearing some of the new material tonight. This will be my fourth time seeing him live, and every performance has improved on the last. He has an infectious charm on stage, his band are super tight and I fully expect him to be playing much bigger venues soon.

One of the things l’ll keep coming back to on this blog (because it’s something I care a lot about) is supporting young acts – particularly British acts – and the need to ensure they aren’t rushed. A few years ago it became a habit for acts to have a couple of singles or a debut album and to be playing Brixton Academy; it was sad watching them fall flat on their face due to a lack of material and a lack of stage experience.

Zak Abel has done it the proper way. He’s been gigging consistently for the past few years and knows how to work an audience. The first time I saw him was at the Oslo in Hackney, he was the second act on stage with a bill of four; it was perhaps an indication that he was destined for bigger things when half of the audience walked out after he’d finished.

Last year I saw him play the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, where he tore the place up – Drake One Dance cover and all – and was joined on stage for a duet by Paloma Faith. I had the rather strange experience of being stood next to Paloma Faith for a large chunk of that gig; but it does mean I can say with certainty that she was enjoying herself.

To reaffirm that he hasn’t been an overnight success, he was featured on the Radio 1Xtra Hot for 2015 List, a list that also featured Little Simz, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Raury, Stormzy, Lion Babe, which is a pretty strong list. Yet its interesting that you could easily hear his stuff on 1Xtra, Radio 1, Radio 2, XFM or any of the shit big commercial radio stations. He has a sound – and a quality – that could easily see him become Britain’s next big pop export.

So I’m looking forward to tonight very much and in anticipation below is Zak Abel’s new video for Unstable.

Until later,

Mark