It turns out 2022 is, in fact, Queen Bey’s jubilee year, with Renaissance, the maestro’s seventh studio album, serving as a quintessential celebration of everything that has earned her her royal title. Today will always be remembered as the day the Renaissance of the world’s greatest living entertainer erupted, and haven’t we missed her, with her last all-out Beyonce album Lemonade coming out over half a decade ago. But today the girls, gays and theys truly are feasting, with this dance-driven 16-track wonder, dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and in particular, her “godmother uncle” Johnny, who schooled her on the music and culture that formed the record’s mood board. Every track is a masterpiece, but “Cuff It” encompasses the radiance of this Beyonce era, with the Nile Rodger co-created decadent disco cut a magnetic pull into the weekend’s allure.
Beyoncé, Ivorian Doll, and Lava La Rue bring the heat to this week’s music round-up.
Beyoncé – Renaissance
De Lux – “Morning Misses Me”
If you need a Friday moment of reflection, then De Lux’s soothing piano ballad will pacify the most fraught of end-of-week conflicts in your mind. “This song is about forever being a night owl. No matter the noise or the time, mornings are always missed,” says the LA duo regarding their third single of the year. This enchanting, pop-centric cut only leaves us wanting more, which is handy, as their upcoming fourth album Do You Need A Release?, draws ever nearer on the horizon.
Bon & Akiko Haruna – “Raijin”
If you need to be transported into a different universe altogether, then London production duo Bon’s team up with Brighton sound engineer and visual artist Akiko Haruna is the ticket you’re after. Delving into sci-fi, utopian and dystopian soundscapes on new EP “First Light”, spellbinding single “Rajan” typifies the project’s disruptive but indispensable quality, drawing on PC music and with notes of the late pioneering producer SOPHIE, this project truly is one to get lost in.
JAYD INK – “Queen St”
“Good Days”, the 2020 single phenomenon from SZA, helped solidify the R&B singer’s eminence and place in the genre’s aristocracy, where she still reigns very much supreme. So couple the magic touch of the track’s producer, Los Hendrix, with the R&B finesse of Toronto singer JAYD INK, and a new royal emerges. It’s safe to say, we’ll be curtseying, bowing, and slow jamming to JAYD INK’s 90s-infused first release since last year’s “Way Too Long” for the foreseeable.
Tide Lines – “Rivers In The Light”
Glasgow-based four-piece Tide Lines purchased a disused church on The Isle of Mull in Scotland’s Inner Hebridies and converted it into their recording and rehearsal space, the stunning acoustics of which soar through the Celtic notes of “Rivers in The Light”, told beautifully through the lilt of Highland-hailing Robert Robertson’s vocals. Alt-pop that looks to American heartland rock, whilst retaining the tartan patterns of home, Tide Line’s anthemic, refreshing new tune will truly get you in the feels.
Ivorian Doll – “Messy”
The drill, grime and pop blend of London’s Ivorian Doll combine with uncontrollable command on “Messy”, a track that is anything but the adjective behind its namesake. The Londoner’s ascent is unstoppable, with the echelons of British rap practically dragging the 24-year-old up at this point. We can almost hear festivals and clubs the world over going off to this drill queen’s latest mission statement.
Len – “SOLACE”
South London’s 22-year-old rap newest maverick continues his take over with “SOLACE”, an intoxicating mix of Jungle, rave culture, and drum and sass. According to Len, the cut is about “the sticky position of knowing someone isn’t good for you yet feeling like you can’t leave. It’s about feeling like your happiness is drained to the point you’re clinging onto good memories to fool yourself that things are okay.”
Lava La Rue – “Motel”
Lava La Rue’s brand new five-track EP, “Hi-Fidelity”, is the West London artist’s final pit stop on their journey to reinvention. “I want to drop one last project that acts as the bridge between the Lava that debuted, the one everyone knows, and the person I’m becoming,” Lava says. “Motel” features a trademark, candyfloss for the ear melody, a continuation of the project’s title track, a collaboration with La Rue’s BFF, Nine8’s Biig Pigg. The latter cut is now an alternative radio mainstay, and yet another brick in Lava La Rue’s establishment as a leading voice in the UK’s exciting squad of boundary-pushing, genre-bending artists. “Motel” looks set to achieve the same and more.
Shaé Universe – “Give Me A Break” ft. Ayotemi
All Shaé Universe wants is a break, which is very relatable if you ask us. So, it is no surprise that we were instantly on board with the R&Drill pioneer’s new collaboration with Nigerian-American rapper Ayotemi. Universe’s silky vocals and killer lyricism left us completely addicted to the pair’s aptly named creation, “Give Me A Break”. Thank god it’s the weekend, right?