Jesse Boykins III - Plain

Unquestionably, JB3 is one of my favourite upcoming R&B/soul acts. Arguably, he was one of the early pioneers behind the alt-R&B sound that’s penetrating the mainstream bit-by-bit, though in the intervening years he’s added many more strings to his bow, and arguably now thrives when in a more positive, livelier soundscape.

That’s precisely what we get [...]

Lupe Fiasco - Snitches 2

It was a choice between one of three tracks Lupe’s released in recent days, and it was this (the sequel to one he released on the very same day) that grabbed me most. For reference though, Snitches (featuring Ty Dolla $ign) and DopeBoysAtAllStarWeekend (featuring Gizzle) are available here. Of the two, the former is unquestionably [...]

Klaxons - Children of the Sun

When these guys first exploded onto the scene in around 2006, it felt like they could go on to be as big as they wanted to be. The sky seemed the limit for their tripped-out yet accessible sound, and with a litany of ready-made hits packed into their debut album, the signs were good after [...]

Flatbush Zombies - Demos

There is something about these two that entertains me. The music is generally good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not as if they’re constantly dropping 10/10 material. However, they exist beyond the music, and it’s utterly ridiculous imagery like this that enamours the duo to me.

In a generous spirit, Erick of the Zombies let [...]

Childish Gambino - Die Without You (P.M. Dawn Cover)

Everyone has relatively obscure songs that they remember from their childhood. When it comes to them, A) you expect no-one else in your generation knows or remembers them, and B) you’re fiercly protective of them and won’t accept sub-standard covers or remixes. The P.M. Dawn original is a masterpiece in my world (because my mother [...]

Jamie xx and Four Tet - Seesaw

It is only a radio rip, but what an excellent piece this is from two of our fair country’s best upcoming producers. The Young Turks labelmates come through with a laidback instrumental that has all the hallmarks of their best work, yet manages to sound like nothing either has produced individually.

It’s quite brilliant what [...]

Kelela - The High

Kelela was one of the standout contributors to Solange’s phenomenal Saint Heron compilation of last year, and though her name has popped up intermittently during my various travels across the internet, it was that album that really brought her to my attention.

Her Cut 4 Me album is another of last year’s strong releases, featuring a [...]

J. Cole and Dreamville Records - Revenge of the Dreamers (Mixtape)

What a few days Cole has had. His Dreamville imprint (featuring Bas and Omen, both OTU alumni) has been picked up by Interscope, an announcement made on his 29th birthday. With a relatively solid track record with rapper’s imprint labels, it’s a great home for him to develop the brand, and to cap it all [...]

Banks - Brain

It’s been almost a year since we first brought you coverage of Banks, and it’s fair to say that in the last 3 months, her stock has risen considerably. If you’re keeping score, that’s about the 50th act we’ve broken with a promise of wider recognition. We’re that good.

Her first release of the year is [...]

Audio Push - Turn Down (Video)

Despite Come As You Are being a release I was looking forward to, listening to it seems to have inadvertently slipped down my queue, and hence it still remains untouched. One listen to this track, and the foolishness of my ignorance will impact you as much as it did me.

Who knew that the duo were [...]

YG - Who Do You Love? ft. Drake

How does DJ Mustard do it? I can’t claim to have completed his entire production discography, but I’ve certainly caught a big chunk of it, and I’m always impressed. After breaking through with Tyga’s Rack City, he’s steadily delivered a mixture of mainstream favourites and slept-on speaker rattlers, and here he serves YG with what’s [...]

Odesza - If You Don't ft. Cumulus

This is about as an extreme a late pass as I’ll ever hand in, given the song is over a year old. However, having stumbled upon it by pure chance (it played automatically after something else I was listening to), my life is much better for having done so, and yours will be too.

Occasionally, a [...]

Actress - Rap

There’s nothing worse than finding a good artist just as they’re beginning to wind down or pursue other endeavours. UK producer Actress falls firmly into that category: already four albums in, it seems there’s some disillusion with music in general, and hence his upcoming Ghettoville album is said to be the “black tinted conclusion of [...]

Pandr Eyez - Heartbreaker

Technically, this is a Mariah Carey remix/cover, but the first time I heard this, that didn’t occur to me at all. Call me stupid if you like, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s more of a testament to the original spin that Translatlantic duo Pandr Eyez have put on the old school classic.

Every element [...]

White Sea - Prague

Circumstances (including a lack of good music) have resulted in a month-long silence over here, but allow me to return tonight covered in all of my former glory. And blood.

Membership of M83 is always a weird thing to figure out, especially as most of the coverage seems to go to Anthony Gonzalez, but as both [...]

JD Era - Break From Toronto (Remix)

Toronto native (and Raekwon signee) JD Era comes through with a remix of PARTYNEXTDOOR’s single, in another show of appreciation for the young R&B star’s excellent track (and album).

The instrumental is left largely intact, save for a couple of looped sections to extend it out a little further, which is no bad thing as the [...]

Like (of Pac Div) - Sao Paulo

Mibbs dropped an EP earlier this year, and now Like comes through with some solo work, letting loose a feelgood jam that’ll have you longing for the summer.

A quick blast that comes in at just over 2:30, Like’s supplied with a jazzy production built on distorted keys, punchy percussion and a dash of strings that [...]

Kendrick Lamar - Poetic Justice (Vestige Remix)

Consider this one of those odd situations where I’ve been listened to a track for quite a while, but just forgot to share it with everyone. It’s been a fixture in my playlists for a couple of months after stumbling on it completely accidentally (it got automatically played by Soundcloud right after I was listening [...]

Flying Lotus - Ideas + Drafts + Loops (Compilation)

To celebrate reaching 300k followers a few days back, FlyLo let loose of a .zip file full of remixes, draft tracks, loops, unreleased material and much more for his evidently growing fanbase. Given the amount of material some artists sit on (looking at you Dre), it makes you wonder why more acts don’t just do [...]

MeLo-X-Break From Flatbush

PARTYNEXTDOOR’s self-titled album/mixtape is easily one of the most underrated projects this year, and whilst Break From Toronto was recently given the video treatment, it’s probably fair to say that amongst those who did enjoy PND’s project, that track gets a little underappreciated as it’s rather short. Nonetheless, MeLo takes it for a spin here, [...]

The National and Bob's Burgers - Sailors In Your Mouth (Video)

It’s weird and trippy, and yet hilariously brilliant. The National’s slow, sombre song is given an animated twist by the creators of the excellent Bob’s Burgers (if you don’t watch it, cancel your subscription to life). Watch the video here.

If you close your eyes and just listen to this first, there is absolutey no way [...]

Childish Gambino-Telegraph Ave.

Every track that lands from Childish Gambino’s upcoming because the internet suggests we’re in for a late album of the year contender. He seems to really have settled his sound down a lot (just listen to the variance between Camp and Royalty), going for a sound akin to the former, but with much improved lyrical [...]

Kanye West - Bound 2 (Video)

Yeezus was a pretty hit-and-miss album by all accounts, but this seemed to be the sole track that garnered universal praise. It clearly evoked memories of Kanye’s older, more soul-driven work (I daresay it would have slotted in smoothly on Late Registration), and whilst I wasn’t massive on the track at the time, it’s one [...]

Death Grips-Government Plates (Album)

Of all the groups that you’d consider an acquired taste, Death Grips have to be somewhere near the top. The sheer anarchy of their sound is somewhere between insane and addictive, with the harsh, discordant combination of punk, electro, hip-hop and alternative being entirely unique and yet with strands of familiarity lying within the chaos.

They [...]

Childish Gambino-Melrose

Because the Internet is rumoured to land on 10th December, and though this track was only released as part of a tweet to Jhene Aiko (who, contrary to semi-accepted belief, is not romantically involved with Gambino), it’s probably fair to accept it’ll land on the album given that it’s potentially only a month away.

Compared to [...]

PARTYNEXTDOOR-Break From Toronto (Video)

The Killers-Just Another Girl

The Killers have a greatest hits album due out on 11th November (after four albums, is it a little too soon for one?), which is set to feature a couple of new tracks, including this effort.

Admittedly, their last two albums really haven’t struck a chord with me, which is bitterly disappointing as I listened [...]

Audio Push-So Far To Go ft. Preston Harris (Video)

If one of the better duos in the rap game want to have a go on an underappreciated J Dilla beat, I’m paying attention. Audio Push are slowly cementing themselves as a force to be reckoned, and given hip-hop’s lack of true duos (and that doesn’t mean two artists coming together for a one-off project), [...]

Yuna-Rescue (Video)

It’s rare, but sometimes I really do disappoint myself. Yuna’s easily one of my favourite vocalists to have emerged in the last couple of years, and I completely overlooked the release of her second album, Nocturnal, late last month. Foolish. There’s something about her voice that’s just inherently mesmerising- it’s incredibly engaging and you’ll rarely [...]