From Lolo Zouaï to Lava La Rue: all the best songs new this week.
Lolo Zouaï – “Ride”
Lolo Zouaï (pronounced “zoo-eye”) isn’t your everyday pop or R’n’B star. Born in Paris to French and Algerian parents, the singer moved when she was three months old, her parents winning the ‘90s Visa lottery and re-locating the family to the San Francisco bay area, where she grew up. Now an adopted New Yorker, her multi-cultural, multi-locationary past and diverse urban present have collided to create a sound that is mesmeric and unique, and this very much remains the case with new single “Ride.” Combining soft, luscious vocals with hazy DIY production, the single (taken from Zouaï’s upcoming album) is sure to boost the young singer’s reputation even further.
Lava La Rue – “Burn”
West London hailing rapper and singer, Lava La Rue (also known as Aiwa Laurel) has been making music for the past few years as both herself, and a part of her collective Nine8. This week, the singer returned with her first music of 2019, the ethereal and hotly anticipated visual and single called “Burn”. Speaking on the single Lava states: “The lyrics to Burn was originally an extended poem, an anthem, written for my friends, and my community about resilience. It came from an epiphany when I was at an event dancing with friends from my queer POC community and we found ourselves singing along to these mad ignorant n pretty degrading lyrics kinda looking at each other like “we fully don’t agree with those lyrics but it’s bare catchy, and its what is being pedal-stalled right now as representative our ‘culture’” so we just kept dancing tryna have a good time and make the best with what you’re working with – I’m sure many can relate. It clocked afterwards that I wanted to – needed to – fill up this space for songs that are a vibe, that you wanna dance to, that you sing along to, but the words that you are singing are ones of unity and empowerment. I don’t believe that the days of rockstar legends like Prince/Grace Jones who made bangers you’d dance to whilst being politically rebellious as POC is something of the past…
Steve Lacy – “N Side”
Virgil Abloh muse, The Internet guitarist and general icon Steve Lacy is back with his first music in ages, this time offering up a disco-laden evening banger entitled “N Side”. The “Dark Red” singer hadn’t released any individual music for the last couple of years, so fans were delighted to see this surprise single make its way online, before eventually being released officially, with a retro ‘Karaoke Version’ video to boot. Just in time for the weekend!
Gia Margaret – “Birthday”
From a low-key Summer release in the US to ending 2018 across multiple international critics’ Best Of lists Gia Margaret’s debut album, There’s Always Glimmer, is a rewarding and affecting piece of music, a mature and accomplished record that has gained attention for the fragile, intimate beauty of Margaret’s compositions, and the way they carry her poignant lyrics. With word of mouth growing and multiple pressings of the record having sold out since, the album will finally get the full release outside of North America that it deserves and, to celebrate (sorry), we have been treated to the video for lead single “Birthday”, made in collaboration with director Matt Gehl.
Collard & Kojey Radical – “Ground Control”
Born just outside of South London, Collard’s music is a refreshingly unique departure from the hype-based direction much of today’s music scene is heading in, the singer choosing instead to focus on the soul and emotional essence of his music. Having self-released “Sofa” and Prince-esque crooner “Ode” (which blew up after a sensual COLORS session in 2017), he is back with the Kojey Radical-featuring “Ground Control”. Speaking on the new video for the song, Collard explained that “the visual is a depiction of me battling with my own demons and feelings as if I’m forever followed and seduced by a devilish, Mephistopheles like character (Kojey Radical)” Collard continues: “Through many conversations with my creative directors (Eseosa Ohen & Joseph Shaw) we all agreed we wanted to take a more theatrical route in terms of the production to extenuate as much as possible the feeling of danger & self-enabled helplessness which led me down the destructive path the song is based on.” Musically, “Ground Control” is another example of Collard’s innovative, loose and genre-bending approach to songwriting, confirming his status as one of the UK music scenes most essential new artists.