This Week In Records: Zara Larsson, Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa (27/01/2016)

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Here’s an exciting bit of news to kick off your Friday morning: our first print magazine of 2017 is available now! If you happen to be reading this in Southampton on the day of publication, then drop past the Union Southampton building at any point today to meet your friendly neighbourhood Edgelings and pick up a free copy of our 36-page special issue on all things surreal and fantastic. To accompany your excursion, why not hit play on the official This Week In Records Spotify playlist to get your weekly fix of all things new?

Zara Larsson feat. Ty Dolla $ign – ‘So Good’

Where were you when you first uncovered Zara Larsson’s music? For me, it was just like every Friday: sitting at my laptop trawling through new releases, I got a little bit excited upon seeing MNEK’s name on a piece of new music. For YouTube personality Dee Tiller – one of those who has assembled a following by filming himself watching other videos – it was by way of an eight-minute montage of her raw vocals. This clip is simple, repetitive, and to the point: in addition to that whole “being great at pop” thing proved particularly by ‘Never Forget You’ and ‘Lush Life,’ she really can sing rather well. (TL;DW: “Why is she so lit?”)

This is what I found whilst attempting to locate a clip of her premiering final pre-album single ‘So Good’ at Idrottsgalan, the elegantly-named Swedish equivalent of the BBC’s Sports Personality festivities. Its recorded rendition may feature far too much inanity from Ty Dolla $ign (“When I pull up, you know what I came for / Dolla lay the pipe, keep some dope D for you / Put your body straight to sleep / I got you wakin’ up thankin’ me”) yet the Jess Glynne-y combination, built apparently with the aid of Charlie Puth and LunchMoney Lewis, is exactly what it says on the tin.

Aquilo – Silhouettes

This week chez This Week In Records has been a peculiar one. Partially, that can be attributed to the closing fumbles of the university examination process (and the half-way mark of my degree being reached) addling every notion of logical structure throughout the week and making me feel it’s acceptable to stand in the upstairs corridor and eat an entire malt loaf chunk-by-chunk for lunch. (Don’t judge me.) Most notably, however, has been how we have suddenly adjusted to the concept of attempting to be adults through the power of home furnishings and essential accoutrements. Take yesterday, for example: a first venture into the shed since moving in last September saw us locate a hose with which we watered plants and cleaned bins, a day trip to Ikea with the expressed intent to acquire a plastic bowl for the sink was proposed and seriously considered as a worthwhile leisure activity, and the Amazon deliveries included a book and five times more washing-up liquid than overprotected alcoholic beverages.

Yet, the primary term from the zeitgeist of the “trendy” and “cool” and “collected” is one that still baffles us at its very mention: hygge. Of course it was an indie coffee shop in Brighton that introduced me to this idiomatic Danish concept of cosiness late last year before Waterstones and the like assumed the mantle by cramming the shelves with it, however my eyes could not help but get drawn to Nylon‘s insistence that ‘Almost Over,’ the latest single from Aquilo’s debut record, offered one’s “daily dose” of the…ambiguous concept. What do they mean? With the Lancashire duo’s spacious electronic pop first having appeared to me in 2015 on Madeon’s sublime Adventure, today’s release of Silhouettes combined with persistently miserable temperatures presents a pretty decent opportunity to try and find out.

Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa – ‘Scared To Be Lonely’

Have you heard of Dua Lipa? Of course you’ve heard of Dua Lipa. Dua Lipa was hailed as “the forerunner of 2016’s developing pop scene” when The Edge tipped future stars a year ago. In ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and ‘Blow Your Mind (Mwah)’ Dua Lipa had two singles last year receiving near-ubiquitous support across pop-leaning radio over here. ‘Be The One,’ the first Dua Lipa track to strike pure gold, had tremendous global success and, despite soundtracking a Vauxhall Corsa advert nearly a year ago, is finally looking like it’s about to do the same. At the time of writing, Dua Lipa sits behind only Ed Sheeran, Ed Sheeran, and Jax Jones’ ‘You Don’t Know Me’ on the UK iTunes chart. Its nearest pursuing competition is Sean Paul’s ‘No Lie,’ which coincidentally features Dua Lipa again being incredible.

So, with pop omnipresence clearly not something that Dua Lipa struggles with, it seems frankly bizarre that the powers that be at Warner have decided to push Dua Lipa, her self-titled debut album through the Dua Lipa imprint, back to June from its intended February release date – itself a delayed mark that we bemoaned last August. To make the postponement even more ludicrous, Martin Garrix has recruited Dua Lipa for a rather grand followup to a little commercially-oriented collaboration with Bebe Rexha that has received over 800 million combined plays across Spotify and YouTube in its first six months. With Dua Lipa being Dua Lipa and Garrix being Garrix, there’s no reason to think that ‘Scared To Be Lonely’ will fare differently, thereby lining glorious Dua Lipa overload up for at least a few weeks as of right this second.

Please, folks. Just release the damn album.

Kehlani – SweetSexySavage

Not many artists can find themselves duetting with a name as prominent as ZAYN’s before even putting out a full release through a major label, but Kehlani isn’t really like many artists. With a smooth R&B sound that has gathered steam through a brace of acclaimed self-released mixtapes, Atlantic LP SweetSexySavage presents an hour of what she does best. On ‘Undercover,’ this includes interpolating Akon with terrific aplomb on a blend of balearic guitars and hip-hop percussive sensibilities. Honest.

Major Lazer feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Nicki Minaj – ‘Run Up’

There is a tendency to intrinsically link the concept of Major Lazer – one of aesthetic flamboyance drizzled liberally over an adoring acceleration of cross-cultural Caribbean excitement with an all-star supporting cast – with sheer bombast, yet Diplo and friends can often be at their best when reining the protruding shards in a little bit. For ‘Run Up,’ they welcome PARTYNEXTDOOR and Nicki Minaj for a slab of restrained dancehall that sounds more like the tender shimmers of ‘Get Free’ than anything they would play intact in a flashy festival gig.

Selected Other Releases

Albums

Deaf Havana – All These Countless Nights
Delicate Steve – This Is Steve
Erik Hassle – Innocence Lost
Gizmo Varillas – El Dorado
GTA – Good Times Ahead: The Remixes
Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life
Migos – Culture
NEW GEN
NVOY – Aurum EP
Stanaj – From A Distance EP
Train – a girl a bottle a boat

Singles

ANOHNI – ‘Paradise’
Betsy – ‘Waiting’
biLLLy – ‘Up In The Air’
Cascada – ‘Run’
Circa Waves – ‘Fire That Burns’
Dave & J Hus – ‘Samantha’
Elbow – ‘Gentle Storm’
Elderbrook – ‘First Time’
Father John Misty – ‘Pure Comedy’
Gallant, Tablo & Eric Nam – ‘Cave Me In’
Goldfrapp – ‘Anymore’
High Contrast – ‘Shotgun Mouthwash’
James Blunt – ‘Love Me Better’
Jamiroquai – ‘Automaton’
Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales – ‘Tearjerker’ / ‘The Tearjerker Returns’
Jessie Reyez – ‘Shutter Island’
Joe Goddard feat. SLO – ‘Music Is The Answer’
Khalid feat. Little Simz – ‘Location’ (London Remix)
Lost Kings feat. Tinashe – ‘Quit You’
Louis The Child feat. Elohim – ‘Love Is Alive’
Oliver Heldens – ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’
Point Point – ‘Part Of The Game’
Rag’n’Bone Man – ‘Skin’
R3hab feat. VÉRITÉ – ‘Trouble’
Rex Orange County – ‘Best Friend’
Secondcity & Solarris – ‘Bridgewater’
Strong Asian Mothers – ‘Just Another’
Syd – ‘Body’
The Knocks feat. Jerm – ‘LIE’
The Sherlocks – ‘Was It Really Worth It?’
Thundercat feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins – ‘Show You The Way’
Urban Cone – ‘Old School’
Young Fathers feat. Leith Congregational Choir – ‘Only God Knows’
Youngr feat. Kutle Khan – ‘Out Of My System’

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The Edge's resident grumpy old man, a final year Web Scientist with a name even his parents couldn’t spell properly. Ask him any question and you’ll probably get the answer of “Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2015 album E•MO•TION,” which might explain why we still can't get rid of him.

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