Yellow Days – The Way Things Change
Yesterday I came to the brutal reality that 19 year old Yellow Days, being only a few months older than me, has probably achieved more in his life already than I ever will. With an EP, full length album, a sold out show at the KOKO and performances over in America all under his belt, at such a young age, could he have achieved anymore? In a recent interview with Notion magazine, George Van Den Broek described himself as a ‘fool’ in his early years of adolescence, choosing a ‘wild time’ over his many friends. However, this has only fuelled the lyricism of his work and ignited a newly nurtured psychedelic sound that his new single pursues. If you like your Mac Demarco or Thundercat, give this single a listen.
Bakar – All In
Also known as Badkid, Bakar recently filmed himself performing in LA for his instagram account; this is the first time I’d been able to catch him perform and the lad has a real presence. It is no shock that the likes of The Great Escape have snagged him to perform at their festival and with his first ever solo show at the Camden Assembly, sold out of course, his music is finally taking to the stage. Bakar has established a very eloquent sound; ‘All In’ infuses lo-fi synths with punchy guitar and drum patterns, producing a dreamy soundscape – yet another indie heart warmer from the increasingly prolific Londoner.
A$AP Rocky – A$AP Forever
Featuring the forever eclectic Moby, ‘A$AP Forever’ expresses a maturity to Rocky’s music that I feel everyone has been craving recently. Not to say that ‘Lord Pretty Flacko’ hasn’t killed it on his string of trappy features but this song feels like a renovation of the A$AP sound, and one fans should be breaking arms and legs to hear more of. The assortment of scintillating strings, a euphoric ‘boom clap’ beat and dreamy female vocals makes this one of the most accomplished rap tracks of the year. Rocky has proven he is one of the biggest innovators of postmodern rap.
Novelist – Smiles
Novelist’s debut album ‘Novelist Guy’ was always going to be one of the most unique grime projects of the year. ‘Smiles’ is a track that differentiates the Lewisham boy from the crowd and justifies the praise he has received from the likes of Skepta and Julie Adenuga. Glazing a mellow beat with his self-reflective bars, giving us an insight to his upbringing and establishment of success, the tune is definitely one that goes against the grain of your typical grime banger. Definitely one for the summer.
Roll (Burbank Funk)
The evolution of the Internet has been a fascinating one. Even though Matt Martians, Syd the Kid and Steve Lacey have had successful solo releases, they seem their most comfortable and overt together. What a groove this track has, the jazzy instrumentation and acapella of vocals are the definition of funky and a great taster of just how great their new album will be. This is actually my favourite cut they have ever released, the most musically interesting for sure. Check back for a review of their full length LP when it is released.