We’re back. How quickly a week rolls around. Following on from last week’s dry spell, we’ve been treated with more than enough tunes to get stuck into – it finally feels like the music world is getting back into shape with awards season just around the corner. We have new things from YouTuber turned musician Troye Sivan, one half of The White Stripes, and a solo venture from ex-Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello. You know the drill, get comfy with your cup of tea in hand and read about all of the things worth making it to your playlist this week.
Camila Cabello – Camila
What a time Camila Cabello has had these past three years. Since releasing her debut album as part of American X Factor alumni Fifth Harmony in early 2015, she has collaborated with artists as varied as Shawn Mendes and Machine Gun Kelly en route to splitting with the pop group at the end of 2016. A flurry of stellar singles followed, including the irresistibly smooth ‘Crying In The Club’ and seductive late-summer banger ‘Havana’, which has so far spent 22 weeks in the UK charts (including five weeks at Number 1). All this in anticipation of her debut solo album Camila, a steamy pop slow-burner packed with jams that you could just as easily relax to on the beach as hit up in the club or at the afterparty. Slow salsa beats like ‘Havana’ mix it up with exitable pop riffs such as ‘Never Be The Same’ and the smooth, confessional, lazy summer afternoon of a track that is ‘Real Friends’. It’s a welcome source of summertime freedom in these dark January days, and you can be sure that we’ll be playing it on repeat long into the months to come.
Troye Sivan – ‘My My My!’
Troye Sivan has had no trouble making waves in the music world, something notoriously difficult to do for those who start out making videos. Heralding from Australia, Sivan’s electropop sounds are nothing short of irresistible and his latest track ‘My My My!’ is no exception. Following on from his duet with the Dutch DJ Martin Garrix in the middle of last year, his latest single is the first new solo material since 2015’s Blue Neighbourhood, an album which saw the singer explore coming to terms with his sexuality. We meet Sivan three years down the line, with an anthem centered around love and freedom. The video to accompany the track is directed by Grant Singer (‘Green Light’) and comes with its own warning for seizure triggers as we see Sivan strut around an empty warehouse alongside the punchy track. It’s clear that Troye Sivan is one of those artists who grow with every new record, and we’re looking forward to hearing some more material for him in 2018.
Jack White – ‘Connected By Love’
The former White Stripes (and Raconteurs, and Dead Weather) frontman is back, but maybe not quite as you remember him. Although his previous solo work – 2012’s Blunderbuss and 2014’s Lazaretto – leaned heavily on blues and classic rock influences, in ‘Connected by Love’ it feels like White has drawn far more from the recent electrification of rock that has proven so popular among established artists as of late (see Muse’s ‘Dig Down’; Fall Out Boy’s ‘The Last of the Real Ones’; Thirty Seconds to Mars’ ‘Walk on Water’). That’s not to say the keys and blues of White’s past work is gone: a brilliant organ solo two-thirds of the way through the track commands your attention like nothing else. Rather, he’s taken the old blues bar of Blunderbuss and Lazaretto, and smothered it in a healthy dose of neon lights and smoke machines. Meanwhile, ‘Respect Commander’ (released alongside ‘Connected By Love’) hints at distinctly more familiar vibes for the prolific guitarist, with the mostly instrumental track drawing heavy comparisons to White’s absolute bar fight of a single that is ‘High Ball Stepper’, if somewhat more restrained and taking a cue from ‘Connected By Love’ in feeling just a bit more electrified than White’s earlier work. In any case, the two singles signal an exciting return for Jack White, whose third solo album – Boarding House Reach – is due for release later this year.
Black Eyed Peas – ‘STREET LIVIN’’
If you remember the Black Eyed Peas for such late-00s dance pop hits as ‘I’ve Gotta Feeling’ and ‘Meet Me Halfway’, be prepared for something completely different in their first new single in eight years (last year’s remix of ‘Where Is The Love’ notwithstanding). Their first single without Fergie, ‘STREET LIVIN” takes a brutally sobering look at racism, the criminal justice system, and police brutality, with the band taking up a throwback ’90s hip-hop sound, as will.i.am raps about how “Privatized prisons are owned by the same / Slave masters that owned the slave trade game”, and apl.de.ap protests that “Another brother got shot by the searg’ / Another cop got off with no charge”. It’s a new direction for the Black Eyed Peas, but one that is, in the current climate, unfortunately painfully relevant.
Jorja Smith ft. Stormzy – ‘Let Me Down’
With awards season fast approaching, the Brits Critics Choice Award winner of 2018, Jorja Smith has teamed up with grime artist of the moment, Stormzy, to produce an emotional and soulful track. ‘Let Me Down’ was first premiered on Zane Lowe on Beats 1, with the collaborators talking of the tough parts of relationships. A ballad, but not in the typical sense of the word, Smith described how “Stormzy like floated into the room, like came on the track – it’s magic”. His feature on the track doesn’t sound separate from its sound like a lot of rap features do, and if there’s any grime artist you want featuring on your song, Stormzy is definitely the one. Jorja Smith is definitely one to watch this year, but here at The Edge we knew that by the end of 2016!
Selected Other Releases
Shame – Songs of Praise
Skott – Stay Off My Mind EP
SYML – In My Body EP
The Academic – Tales From The Backseat
Cautious Clay – ‘Juliet & Caesar’
Craig David ft. Goldlink – ‘Live in the Moment’
Emily Burns – ‘Bitch’
Franz Ferdinand – ‘Feel The Love Go’
Gaz Coombes – ‘Deep Pockets’
Honey G – ‘Riding Hot’
Hookworms – ‘Static Resistance’
Jade Bird – ‘Lottery’
Jay Rock with Kendrick Lamar & Future – ‘King’s Dead’
Kali Uchis ft. Tyler, The Creator & Bootsy Collins
Marshmello ft. Lil Peep – ‘Spotlight’
Nina Nesbitt – ‘Somebody Special’
OneRepublic – ‘Born To Race’
Oscar Jerome ft. James Massiah – ‘Smile on a Screen’
Rhye – ‘Song For You’
Sunflower Bean – ‘Crisis Fest’
The Howl & The Hum – ‘Portrait I’
The XCERTS – ‘Drive Me Wild’
Vance Joy – ‘We’re Going Home’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
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