AJ Tracey, Travis Scott, Jessie Reyez and more make this week’s Wonderlist playlist.
AJ Tracey – “Cat Pack”
The new video for AJ Tracey’s “Cat Pack” opens with a zoom-in on a road sign – “Ladbroke Grove, W.10” – the postcode from which the west London rapper hails, where he’s been steadily taking over the music scene in the whole city.
Complete with comic book graphics, the Cat In The Hat themed visual sees Tracey and friends in a fantastical mansion, devouring a lavish feast, before he transforms into the character himself…
The release also comes with the news that he’ll be dropping a deluxe edition of his eponymous debut album later this month. Stay tuned.
Travis Scott – “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM”
While we’ve all been delving into Travis Scott‘s personal life this week, the rapper is turning our focus back to his music with his first single of 2019, “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM”.
The hazy track lands with a trippy, Dave Meyers and Scott-directed video seeing Scott wandering through a surreal, smoky world and neon-lit strip club. Marking what could well be the build-up to a full project on the horizon, we’ll be playing this one on repeat whilst frantically waiting for more…
Greentea Peng – “Mr. Sun” (miss da sun)
It’s only been a year since Greentea Peng dropped her debut EP “Sensi” last October, but it feels like the London singer has been around for much longer.
Having already established her own strong identity as an artist, this year Greentea Peng has been building on everything we’ve fallen in love with: straight-up, confessional lyrics, distinctive vocals and psychedelic soul, jazz-infused melodies. Her latest release, “Mr. Sun (miss da sun)”, is a shimmery ode to the summer we’re all missing: “I can’t lie, I need you Mr. Sun […] Chasing after you, I’m on the run.”
Catch Greentea Peng performing at Roundhouse on 15 October.
Mahalia – “Hide Out” A COLORS SHOW
It was Mahalia’s rendition of her track “Sober” on Berlin-based YouTube series A COLORS SHOW back in 2017 that propelled her firmly into the spotlight, so it only feels right that the singer is following up her debut album Love & Compromise, released two years later this September, with a reappearance on the show.
This time she performs the record’s opening track “Hide Out” – a playful track addressing a boy who let her down (“You don’t know what you had, I’m amazing”), punctuated with samples of the iconic Eartha Kitt quote that sets a precedent for the whole album: “A man comes into my life and I have to compromise? We must think about that one again…”
Jessie Reyez – “Far Away”
JESSIE REYEZ DID THAT. Having previously spoken out about political matters including immigration and sexual harassment in the music industry, the singer-songwriter is back with a powerful statement against the US-Mexico border crisis in the new video for “Far Away.”
Featuring footage of Trump, his propaganda and his ‘wall’, the video follows an unflinching, heartbreaking portrayal of a family being held at gunpoint, broken up and forced into custody by ICE, closing with a shot of couples suspended in an empty room enclosed in cages.
“Imagine finally finding your home in another human being, but they’re stuck on the other side of this rock we’re all on. You’re left wanting nothing more than a hug – their hug – that simultaneously feels like a pillow and a drug,” Reyez says on the track. “Neither of you are running from one another – it’s only water and borders and God keeping you apart. Water and borders and God keeping you from home.”
Blue Lab Beats – “On and On” feat. Saffron Grace
London duo Blue Lab Beats have been making waves this year with their unique blend of hip-hop, Afrobeats and electronica. The pair linked up with Saffron Grace for their latest release “On and On”, a slow-rolling track reminiscent of LA band The Internet that pines for “forbidden fruit”, lifted from their forthcoming sophomore album Voyage, due on 18th October.
“We have been making this album for one and a half years and we just wanted to explore and push sonically even more than on our first album, X-Over,” they say of the 16-track record. “This album is sonic experimentation all the way.”
See the pair play live at their next headline show at London’s Omeara, on 18th November.