On paper, this is everything an OTU fan could want. Lupe’s first single from the upcoming Tetsuo and Youth album, and a feature from longtime OTU favourite (and once interviewee, of course) Ed Sheeran.
Here’s the thing: this isn’t on paper. This will be really, really divisive.
Ed’s hook is delicate and heartfelt, and realistically that doesn’t stack up to what older Lupe Fiasco fans want from his material. Lasers proved that. On the surface, Lupe’s raps appear similarly ‘emotional’ too, and when combined with this light, easygoing beat, there will be a whole host of people immediately throwing this out. Not necessarily the best move: Lupe’s raps are more self-directed than they first appear, and act more as internal monologues than heartfelt excalamations. Equally, the soft, childlike production clearly fits with the ‘discussion’ he has with his younger self, and of course matches the old school motto in a manner somewhat different to hip-hop’s default perception of old school (hard beats, street raps and such). This is not me claiming I’m a huge fan of this though- frankly, it’s just not the best use of Lupe’s ability and at times, Sheeran’s hook holds the track together so well that it feels more like his song than Lupe’s. That being said, give it time and it might be a grower.
Ed’s choices for singles from his debut album + have been nothing short of excellent so far, and he continues rattling out clips for his strongest tracks with this release.
It’s a rather leftfield one too, in contrast to what is arguably one of the more lyrically ‘direct’ songs on the album. The video works backwards to a degree, opening up with a series of visceral images of an apparent murder victim, and moving to scenes of her contemplating use of various torture instruments. The video then takes a slightly surreal twist as the once-afflicted character turns first into what seems to be an angel and then into a cupid-style being, albeit one with clear troubles. Her targets become increasingly random and less thought-out (compare the considered sniper shot at the start to the frenetic chaos towards the end), and that eventually leads to her ‘falling on her own sword’, until the moment arrives to cause the offending arrow to disappear. It’s a very enjoyable clip that adds a dark, gritty edge to the mere idea of cupid and angels, and of course the song it’s set to is a great backdrop for it all. Another superb video from Ed, grab that album if you haven’t already.
Deepest Shame is the new single from the multi-talented Plan B and is taken from his #1 album ill Manors. A nice video for a great and sensitive song. Ed Sheeran, Devlin and Chip all feature on the remi, which you can check out in the second video, putting a dance and slightly more uplifting spin on the track. A very good listen. You can get the ill Manors album from the following: iTunes Deluxe, iTunes Standard, iTunes US (+ Film Score).
Undoubtedly, this is one of the more touching efforts on Ed Sheeran’s hugely popular + album, and probably goes down as the favourite of many from the LP. The softness of the lyricism compliments the mellow instrumental work throughout, whilst Ed’s introspective and reflective vocal work rounds off the audio as one with a real emotional depth.
The video could have gone in a few directions, and it has to be said that he’s picked one of the better options here. The clip focuses on the aforementioned introspection, as Ed has an internal conversation, whilst the world moves on unnoticed around him. The key theme is the isolation he feels throughout, cutting a lonely figure from start to finish despite the activity around him, whilst credit goes to his acting at the end as he (or his ‘character’) appears to struggle with holding the emotions back.
Much like his Lego House video, it’s a simple yet very effective effort that both encapsulates the audio and Ed Sheeran perfectly: no frills, no glitz, just a solid message with a strong delivery.
The ever clever Mikill Pane is back with an excellently-titled EP, drawing inspiration from the project that launched him to national fame, Ed Sheeran’s Collaborations EP, for a guest-packed effort of his own.
Mikill’s stock has risen considerably over the last 6 months, and that increase in stature is represented by the feature list reading like a who’s who of the UK music scene (and Katie Price, for some reason), as artists from a wide gamut of genres come together to help Mikill produce another reputation-boosting project, with Paloma Faith, Yasmin, Ed Sheeran, P Money and more making appearances. I’ve yet to dive into the music, but being the hugely consistent rapper that he is I’m sure the content will match the co-signs. Free grab courtesy of SB.TV below.
Plenty of new music being pushed out today it seems, and we’ll kick off with the real headliner that is Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf’s anticipated free EP, Slumdon Bridge.
The 4-track EP contains no other features, which is a plus as hopefully we’ll get plenty of sharp verses from Yela accompanied by excellently-melodic hooks from Ed. Truthfully, Ed’s able to work with pretty much any artists (as his Collaborations EP proved), and even without any camaradarie or particular friendship, this would be an enjoyable listen; it just helps that the two seem to actually get along! Free grab of the EP available below, courtesy of Ed himself.
The news that these two were collaborating on an EP together still hasn’t sunk in yet for me; Yelawolf is one of my favourite emcees at the moment! Not sure how this came about, but I’m sure these two will deliver the goods.
On the left here you can check out the trailer for their upcoming EP, The Slumdon Bridge, which features some behind the scenes footage of them working together (always refreshing to see!). The track being played in the video is different to the one that was released (click here to get the one they did let loose), and it has a more self-reflective vibe to it, which is precisely what I like. No release date for the EP as of yet, but it’s definitely one I’m looking forward to.
A one-off track with these two would be enough of a surprise, but when accompanied by the news they’re working on a full EP together, the level of surprise escalates quite considerably! Some are reporting the rest of the EP isn’t with Yela-as far as I’m aware that’s not the case, and this is from an upcoming Ed/Yela free EP, Slumdon Bridge.
The track is a good all-rounder, with Ed once again utilising his rap-esque delivery, blending his naturally smooth voice with a speedy delivery that both works in tandem with and in contrast to Yela’s own pacey, but more shrill style. The production has a magnetising minimalism, made up mostly of a light percussion and soft synth, and the combination works to spotlight the lyrical work of both artists. Worth a listen for sure.
When it comes to listening to albums, it often takes me a while due to a rather heavy backlog. On getting around to Ed’s debut LP last week, this was the first track I played and I’ve not listened to the rest of the album; this was so utterly outstanding, I’ve not stopped playing it since. Soft guitar melodies and wonderful vocals from Ed blend together exceptionally, each complimenting the other: The relaxing guitar strums enhance the soothing yet emotional vocal work, whilst the songwriting capitalises on the wistful nature of the production with an emotional, memorable set of lyrics. It’s a spectacular piece of alternative music by virtue of being so simple.
Fellow famous ginger Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) plays the lead role in the video, filling in for Ed Sheeran in his regular daily routine of couch surfing, building Lego masterpieces, performing for hordes of fans and more, mirroring the audio by virtue of being such a simple concept. The video takes a darker twist halfway through as Rupert’s positive demeanour takes a negative turn, followed by the revelation that he’s in fact an obsessive follower of Ed’s, with the previous scenes of the video shown in a new perspective (both physically and metaphorically), making for a thoroughly excellent plot twist. The superb misdirection is held together by some excellent acting, and blends with the thoughtful audio for an incredibly engaging audio-visual experience. Absolutely worth a watch, and one of the better videos in recent months. Grab the audio on Ed’s album now.
Ed Sheeran takes on what is arguably one of Frank Ocean’s finest songs to date! Performing for Radio 1′s Live Lounge, Ed hasn’t decided to put a fresh twist on the song (as most people do when performing for the Live Lounge), instead he simply replicates the same winning formula Frank did, and he does this impeccably with the aid of his own trademark acoustics.
If you’ve kept yourself in the loop over the last year or so you’d know Ed’s one of the leading talented artists here in the UK, so only good things could come from covering his US counterpart who has experienced the same level of buzz and success Stateside.
You can download the audio for this Live Lounge track by clicking here.
The original version was back on the EP of the same name, a remixed version was released recently as part of Ed’s upcoming debut LP, and now a new remix has surfaced with two of the UK’s finest upcoming rappers.
Ed Sheeran’s ability as a vocalist needs no introduction, but alongside these hip-hop heavyweights, he demonstrates that he’s actually pretty handy with the rapping himself with an enjoyable opening verse. The production is ideal for a speedy flow, and that’s exactly what Ed brings here with a delivery that would certainly make most rappers proud. Wretch follows up with a solid verse of his own, with his laidback style blending nicely with the busy beat, and the lineup is complete with Devlin’s verse, bringing a quick, aggressive style that contrasts nicely with Wretch’s verse and certainly stands out as the match-winning verse.
Throughout the verses the video is mostly comprised of studio footage, which works well for Devlin’s verse in particular as it enhances the intense rhymes, whilst the hook reverts to live footage of Ed’s shows, adding a little bit of diversity. Certainly worth a watch and listen, and the audio can be pre-ordered here.
The newest single from Ed Sheeran gets the video treatment, and it’s for a track I’ve been a big fan of for quite a while (has certainly circulated my car playlists for most of this year!). It first appeared on his superb You Need Me EP and he performed it live to great effect, which saw the audio feature on his last free EP, One Take. Admittedly, when I first saw the tracklist for his upcoming début album I was a little concerned that it perhaps features a few too many tracks we’ve already heard from his EPs, but when you play this video you’ll be as surprised as I was when you hear how switched up it is. The production has been touched up, the beat sped up, new lyrics added and the video itself features some very interesting choreography!
If you haven’t heard this song before then I assure you, you’re in for a treat. Ed Sheeran’s début album, + (Plus), is in stores 12th of September. Click here to pre-order from iTunes now.
As premièred last week, here is the official video to this monster collaboration. Directed by Carly Cussen, definitely a feel to it being about four super-artists, literally, as each one controls an element each. Nicely symbolic of their roles as a group and also individually in the music scene today.
As always, good to see some air-time for each of these artists and the song itself is produced excellently by Lewi White. The single is available to download now for you all to enjoy over at iTunes. More of this please!
Been really looking forward to this ever since I spied murmurings between these artists on Twitter several months ago! Amidst rumours that these guys will be bringing us some sort of EP/album (I say rumours as I can’t remember if I actually read about this or whether I’ve just made that up in my head!) this collaboration was finally premièred earlier on BBC 1xtra Mista Jam. Just a radio rip that you can listen to on the left here for now, but a video has been made for this (by the director Carly Cussen, who brought us the Pow 2011 video), so look out for that very soon.
As for the song itself, is there really much to talk about? Liked Ed Sheeran’s Collaborations EP? You’ll like this. Like Yasmin’s vocals? You’ll like this. Like Griminal’s and Devlin’s raps? Yeah you get the point. With this single due for release later this month, expect a barrage of promotion coming your way from four very talented and acclaimed UK artists.
Most of you will already be familiar with this epic track by Ed Sheeran. After being officially released recently, and it has managed to reach #2 in the UK charts! No mean feat, but let’s all support him further and get this single to #1 by clicking here and purchasing it for the lowly price of 99p. Also available to download at the above link are the several excellent remixes by his well-esteemed peers.
If you’re not familiar with Mr. Sheeran’s work (as an avid OTU follower, how could you not be!?) go school yourself by checking out our interview with him at the beginning of this year. Support good music!
From Wiley’s upcoming Wiley Presents Jay Weathers ‘The Producer’ project, this is a very enjoyable all-rounder with OTU favourite Ed Sheeran tagging along with some vocals.
Huge fan of the production here, with an atmospheric yet isolated vibe that lends itself to the introspective raps of Wiley, as well as the relative desolation of the Kingston-shot video. The video is a great fit for the track, with Wiley’s loneliness in the bright sunshine being poignant, particularly amidst scenery changing from nature to grittier images, almost mirroring the diversity of this very track’s harmonic production and honest raps.
Those raps are enjoyable from Wiley, and for all his various misdemeanours away from the mic, it’s difficult to dislike his product when he comes through with such solid, well-delivered bars. Ed tags along with some soft, mellow vocals that synergise with the entire package of raps, production and video to round off the track superbly.
A lovely surprise this week from Mr. Sheeran, here he gives us a 3 track EP, for free!
In his own words “The new free EP will have 3 tracks on it. Something old, something new and something blues!”. To the left you can see a video of Ed performing one of the tracks on this EP, Wayfaring Stranger, which is rather blues in nature, as promised.
In the unlikelihood you’re not familiar of Ed Sheeran, click here and here….and here, to get familiar. A fantastic talent.
I’ve not had a chance to check out the other two tracks yet (I’m not at home, you see), but you can go download the EP for free by clicking this bit of red text, which takes you to his website. Enjoy!
Devlin and Ed Sheeran give us a live performance of their collaboration together on Freshly Squeezed. Great to hear this acoustic version live, giving it a different and more softer sound to what we heard on Ed’s Collaborations EP. Here’s what I said about the track in my review of that EP:
“Ed and Devs go bar for bar, in a manner reminiscent of the infamous and incredible footage of them both freestyling backstage at an Example gig. They certainly recreate the same chemistry they showed in that video and deliver a track that wouldn’t sound out of place on Devlin’s recent critically-acclaimed Bud, Sweat and Beers album. The name of the track is Lately and it’s essentially a lyrical tale of the famous saying, ‘I can sleep when I’m dead’. Both artists can certainly relate to each other in terms of how hard they’ve worked to get where they are: this is a song that proclaims in the world of success, there’s no time for laziness.”
From folk to grime, Ed Sheeran’s experienced and performed it all, emerging as one of the most well-rounded artists in the UK scene at a young age.
When a rare and homegrown talent of this quality arises, there’s an air of inevitability that he’s going to be one of the UK’s better artists in the coming years. Hence, for us here at OTU it’s best to get on the bandwagon now, as it’s going to be pretty hard to find room on it very soon: welcome to an Overrating the Underrated exclusive interview with the wonderfully-gifted Ed Sheeran.
Indi caught up with Ed to discuss a range of topics, including his thoughts on the No. 5 Collaborations EP, his upcoming album, and much more in a very in-depth interview. Huge thanks to Ed for being so friendly, and to Gully and Sian for putting this together.
You can read the script of the interview below (including a bonus question not on the video!), and of course the video interview is available up here. If, for whatever reason, you’d prefer to view the video (in 2 parts) on Youtube, you can do that here and here.
“Devlin was at Maida Vale this morning to perform on Radio1′s Live Lounge with Fearne Cotton. Devlin was joined by his band and his good friend and singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran to perform his latest single “Let It Go” and a mystery cover.”
Big fan of both of these artists and I do enjoy a good live lounge, so I was eager to listen to this. This certainly doesn’t disappoint and if, like me, you missed out on hearing this on Radio 1 this morning (yeah I didn’t get up until 11am, and what?), you have another chance to listen by clicking the link below.
I received a press copy of this about a month ago, and it’s a testament to how good the EP is that I’m still listening to it now. The quality of the EP and the incredible hard work Ed Sheeran and his team have put in have paid off, as this has bolted up to #2 in the iTunes download chart! I’m told it even had top spot for a brief time last night too (and when competing with Rihanna, this is no mean feat).
So who is Ed Sheeran? And how did someone whose main influences include the likes of Bob Dylan & Damien Rice come to collaborate with some of grime’s best artists? The 19-year old hails from East Anglia, first picking up his guitar and making songs in 2002. He got his big break appearing on SBTV, exposing Ed’s music to a whole new scene, resulting in contact with the artists who feature on the EP, amongst others (like Example, who enlisted Ed as tour support). Click on below to read our review of this EP.
A much more solemn version of this very enjoyable track by Scorcher. With Ed Sheeran assisting with the vocals, this is a nice performance of a track that dominated my iTunes a while back. Audio can be grabbed here.