This Week In Records: AlunaGeorge, Calvin Harris & XamVolo (16/09/2016)

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One of today’s artists first came to The Edge‘s attention via email, however their peculiar choice of moniker and my then-nascent comprehension of who and what would actually be sending me exciting new music may have led me to believe foolishly for a few weeks that it was spam. Mercifully for our ears, that confusion has been resolved and I am now reasonably competent with this “productivity” thing, so if there’s anything we’ve missed or you’d like to see your upcoming release featured on this page, let us know by emailing us at records@theedgesusu.co.uk and I promise I will take a proper listen. Or, you know, just ramble on about what it should be.

AlunaGeorge – I Remember

In the wake of 2013’s Body Music (and even beforehand courtesy of Disclosure’s ‘White Noise,’ their highest-charting single to date), Aluna Francis and often hidden wizard George Reid have popped up in the address books of every high-end producer under the sun. Collaborations with Skrillex, Diplo, Flume, Zhu, Kaytranada, and Yogi over just the last year or so have made the prospect of their second Island effort even more tantalising, and a couple appear on I Remember, an album that includes Flume’s work on the title track, drifting melancholic R&B on ‘Mediator,’ and a pair of summery singles perfect to dispel the storms in which I wrote this blurb in ‘Mean What I Mean’ and ‘I’m In Control.’

Calvin Harris – ‘My Way’

This is another one of those situations where a track’s been announced for release and, by the turn of midnight, still not hit the internet. All The Edge knows at the time of writing is that if you’re reading this it’s too late to have a punt at the identity of its potentially mysterious featured vocalist, for we here do not regularly pen this column between 5am, the favoured premiere time for US-focused acts, and 9am, when the roundup falls metronomically to you, but humour me for one moment while I offer some (probably better) suggestions.

  • Drake, because that would both make a song that’s likely to linger around on the charts for at least the remainder of the year even more tedious than it already risks being and make that reference to his 2015 mixtape in the above paragraph look prophetic in some manner
  • Ariana Grande, because I recently came across ‘Adore,’ the phenomenal Cashmere Cat record upon which she featured, and really would like to hear more of her in some sort of straight line
  • Nick Murphy, because his recent transition away from the Chet Faker brand really deserves some sort of mention in the main body of this column without me having to properly listen to ‘Fear Less’
  • Skepta, because he won the Hyundai Mercury Prize last night for Konnichiwa and it would give me a grand excuse to link back to our article about that exact thing
  • Carly Rae Jepsen, just because
  • Beck Martin
  • Calvin Harris, because anybody who argues that his best music as a leading artist hasn’t come from his first two records of entirely self-performed bedroom-recorded goofy disco pop – replete with a sense of humour, haircuts that even I can see are incredibly questionable, colours ripped from an 8-bit rainbow, and a song called ‘Vault Character’ that was literally just an eight second whine that somehow was once my most played track of all time – is wrong

Update: Hate to say I told you so.

XamVolo – Chirality EP

“It’s gorgeous stuff, oozing a coy yet brazen sexuality at every turn,” wrote Harley James Mitford on XamVolo’s ‘Down‘ last month. Hailing from London and performing out of Liverpool, label Decca is throwing names like Anderson .Paak and Frank Ocean around to describe the 21-year-old, and Chirality, his second EP of the year, certainly lives up to such mantles, especially in that aforementioned single and the suave ‘Gold Leaf.’

Years & Years – ‘Meteorite’

Can a big-budget movie release come and go without a flashy soundtrack any more? This year’s list of cinematic exclusives shows no sign of relenting, with Years & Years joining Ellie Goulding, Knox Brown, and Gallant in contributing an original single to the Bridget Jones’s Baby album – which also features Jess Glynne, Marvin Gaye, Lily Allen, and their own ‘King’ – as their post-Communion touring comes to its conclusion.

I blame Pharrell for everything.

Usher – Hard II Love

Describing himself as Hard II Love for the title of his eighth studio album is more than a little modest and incorrect from Usher, who has spent two decades at the top of the R&B pile. With preceding singles featuring stars of Atlanta hip-hop Young Thug and Future, it’s been described as far back as 2014 by writers working on it as more akin to Confessions, the diamond-certified record that spawned ‘Yeah!’ and ‘Burn,’ and looks to be his strongest collection in years.

Justice – ‘Randy’

After a little tease with ‘Safe And Sound’ back in July, this week has seen theatrical French electro-disco duo finally confirm details of album three – Woman, due November 18th – after a five year wait. Looking beyond their trademark blend of sweeping string arrangements, mysteriously haunting techno-inspired bass, and generally slick retro attitude – all of which are fortunately plentiful on new single ‘Randy – the record will feature tracks called ‘Fire,’ ‘Chorus,’ and ‘Heavy Metal.’ Judging by the discography of Gaspard Augé and Xavier De Rosnay to date, don’t be alarmed if they’re exactly what their titles promise.

Selected Other Releases

Albums

Carcer City – Infinite / Unknown
Deap Vally – Femejism
Die Antwoord – Mount Ninji And Da Nice Time Kid
Fenech-Soler – Kaleidoscope EP
Joseph J. Jones – Hurricane EP
Keaton Henson – Kindly Now
Kishi Bashi – Sonderlust
Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine
Mykki Blanco – Mykki
Mystery Jets – The Whole Earth EP
Noisia – Outer Edges
Sam Bailey – Sing My Heart Out
Storks OST
Trentemøller – Fixion
Young Guns – Echoes

Singles

Anna Lunoe – ‘Radioactive’
ANYA – ‘Doorstep’
Banks – ‘To The Hilt’
Conner Youngblood – ‘Sulphur Springs’
Dragonette feat. Dada – ‘Sweet Poison’
Drumsound & Bassline Smith feat. Conor Maynard – ‘Catch Me Here’
Emeli Sandé – ‘Hurts’
Francis And The Lights – ‘See Her Out’
GTA feat. Vince Staples – ‘Little Bit Of This’
JONES – ‘Wild’
JP Cooper – ‘September Song’
Knox Brown & Gallant – ‘Reignite’
Metrik feat. Elisabeth Troy – ‘Chasing Sunrise’
Nick Murphy – ‘Fear Less’
NoMBe vs. Sonny Alven – ‘California Girls’
Pentatonix feat. Dolly Parton – ‘Jolene’
Phantogram – ‘Same Old Blues’
Professor Green – ‘Back On The Market’
Shawn Mendes – ‘Don’t Be A Fool’
Skylar Grey – ‘Lemonade’
Slaves – ‘People That You Meet’
Tinashe – ‘Company’
Twenty One Pilots – ‘Cancer’
Wiley – ‘Can’t Go Wrong’
Yak – ‘Heavens Above’

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Official email person, rambly music writer, and former Records Editor at The Edge. Often found playing pop music too loud on Surge Radio.

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