Jordan Rakei – Hiding Place (2018)

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Recently signed to Ninja Tune, Jordan Rakei has battled his demons and written the album Wallflower. It’s an exploration into the world of an introverted soul singer, which is what makes his metamorphosis even more remarkable. Jordan was enjoying a cult following in his hometown of Brisbane when he upped sticks and circumnavigated the planet to London. He has since been able to collaborate with a roll call of London talent. It helps that his voice is smoother than butter and he borrows from D’Angelo and the type of reggae that Sting would enjoy. The album finishes with ‘Hiding Place’ and the title track.

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Nuit Oceān – Falling Night (2017)

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Bordeaux-based producer and singer/songwriter Nuit Oceān produces a sound that is reminiscent of The XX, James Blake, Bon Iver… you get the gist. His compositions are inspired by his travels; they must be coastal. ‘Falling Night’ features on his 2017 EP Island.

 

 

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Wye Oak – It Was Not Natural (2018)

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A couple of months back, Wye Oak released ‘It Was Not Natural’ as the lead single off their sixth studio album The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs. The Baltimore duo continue to create their own form of dream pop that neatly recalls the work of Cocteau Twins.

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Jamila Woods – HEAVN (2016)

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Like Kali Uchis, Jamila Woods has quite a few friends. She released her debut album HEAVN in 2016 and was already able to showcase collaborations with Chance the Rapper, Noname and Donnie Trumpet amongst others. The result is a collage of soul, jazz and hip-hop, with all the authenticity you would expect from someone raised on the Southside of Chicago. The album’s title track is a great way to kick of the week. Have a good one.

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Kali Uchis feat. Tyler, The Creator, Bootsy Collins – After the Storm (2018)

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Kali Uchis has been a familiar voice alongside the likes of Miguel, Daniel Caesar and Snoop Dogg. Some of her celebrated friends have been returning the favour. ‘After the Storm’ features Tyler, The Creator and Bootsy Collins. The result is a type of spacey R&B jam that Kevin Parker might have created if he’d had anything to do with the production. Have a great weekend.

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Jaffna – Immersion (2017)

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Paris-based Jaffna are an odd couple. Stan is a chef and Bravin is a classical pianist. Last year, the duo released their debut EP Ripples on Intuitive Records. It features ‘Immersion’, a slice of instrumental electronica that references their musical influences: Bonobo, Kiasmos, Thylacine…

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U.S. Girls – Rosebud (2018)

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‘Rosebud’ is a single from U.S. Girls’ latest long player In a Poem Unlimited. Co-written by dance producer Richard Morel, the song is a welcome dancefloor notch for the ever-changing direction of Meghan Remy’s musical enterprise.

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MorMor – Heaven’s Only Wishful (2018)

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“I’m just a poor boy, waiting for answers”, sings Seth Nyquist, aka MorMor. He first emerged on the Toronto music scene a couple of years back and is now serving up synth-pop just the way I like it. ‘Heaven’s Only Wishful’ is hopefully just the first of many.

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Cannibal Ox – Iron Galaxy (2001)

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Discovered by producer El-P, Cannibal Ox comprises the work of two rappers, Vast Aire and Vordul Megilah. Their 2001 album The Cold Vein heralded a new sound in hip hop that still sounds fresh today. It was inevitably derivative of what had passed before, especially Wu-Tang Clan, but the effect was futuristic, rambling and intriguing. The record kicked off with the classic ‘Iron Galaxy’. Have a great week.

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Alice Clark – Don’t You Care (1972)

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With ‘Never Did I Stop Loving You’, ‘Don’t You Care’ took the the Acid Jazz scene by storm in the 1990s. Both cut for Alice Clark’s eponymous 1972 album, these recordings are key pieces of early 1970s soul from a singer at the peak of her powers. Have a great weekend.

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Cut Chemist feat. Chali 2na and Hymnal – Work My Mind (2018)

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Lucas Macfadden is old school. As well as being the white guy and number 6 from rap heroes Jurassic 5, the Cut Chemist is also a turntablist maximus. This year, he released his long-awaited second solo album Die Cut and it features the track ‘Work My Mind’. MCs Chali 2na and Hymnal trade bars punctuated with cyber squelches.
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Still Corners – The Trip (2013)

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London-based duo Still Corners released their song ‘The Trip’ as the first track on their 2013 long player Strange Pleasures. The album does not get any better; Tessa Murray’s voice drifts over waves of Greg Hughes-penned dream pop.

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Sunflower Bean – I Was A Fool (2017)

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At the end of last year, Sunflower Bean dropped the single ‘I Was A Fool’ in advance of last month’s release of Twentytwo in Blue, the trio’s sophomore album. From the opening riff, to Julia Cumming’s trade-off vocals with guitarist Nick Kivlen, I am reminded of The Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’. It’s not explicit, but it’s there.

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Jack White – Over and Over and Over (2018)

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For some, Jack White has got too big for his boots, too removed from blues-based riffs that propelled the White Stripes to the rock pantheon. ‘Over and Over and Over’ is off his new solo album Boarding House Reach. He can still call on the gods when he wants to.

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Nilüfer Yanya – Thanks 4 Nothing (2018)

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London-based singer-songwriter Nilüfer Yanya makes her version of soul jazz sound so delightfully easy. Not as deep as Sade, more relevant than Norah Jones and less fragile than Macy Gray, her sound feels alive. ‘Thanks 4 Nothing’ is off her recent EP Do You Like Pain? Have a great weekend.
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