Macklemore’s back with his up-tempo, easy-listen rap-centred indie-pop. Whilst joined uncredited by old-time collaborator Ryan Lewis on production, its Santa-Cruz, almost Mika-esque singer-songwriter Windser who joins him officially this time, with an instantly irresistible hook. “We’ve all been in relationships that maybe don’t feel healthy all the time,’’ Macklemore says of the track. ‘’But we still love that person and are dependent and addicted to that love. It’s universal. Maniac is that love story.”
Introspective drill, a hyperpop comeback to predatorial men, a veteran electronic producer, and a pop heavyweight’s new cut see this week’s musical round-up overflowing with sonic nutrients.
Macklemore – “Maniac” (feat. Windser)
MØ – “Spaceman”
Danish pop titan MØ needs no introduction, however, “Spaceman”, the intergalactic newcomer from her recently dropped deluxe version of her Motordome album may not have entered your orbit just yet. Sampling the futuristic 1996 Babylon Zoo one-hit wonder of the same name, MØ takes us raving in a parallel universe and we certainly don’t want to come crashing back down to earth anytime soon.
George Fitzgerald – “Setting Sun”
If there’s anyone to call on for an intoxicating summer listen it’s English electronic legend, George Fitzgerald. “Setting Sun” is a ruminative denouement of the season as the colder months hurtle helter-skelter towards us. As ever, blissful, time-stopping, but equally kinetic, listen to this in golden hour with your pals and tears may simply fall.
JBee – “24s”
JBee is one of the soundest rap kings going just now. The 20-year-old TikTok star’s Ellie Goulding-sampling new single “24s’’ sees his positively-minded drill with endearing melodic sensibilities emerge supreme. Using his work, once again, to champion his community and inspire his followers to strive for their best, in particular, rejecting gang culture, JBee’s actions match his words – not only does he make bangers, but he’s recently donated money he’s made to his sibling’s school. JBee you truly are doing the most!
“Treat that boy like a slut’’ daine exclaims over decadent hyperpop production on “boythots’’. A reversal of the objectification the Melbourne artist has received at the hands of men, the Charli XCX mentee crafts a tongue-in-cheek anthem with serious undertones, primed for moments of stomping delirium in queer clubs from here on in.
Zakhar – “Better Things”
At just 17, rapper and singer Zakhar’s gorgeous melodic flow and acute lyricism increasingly separate the North Londoner out as an artist to watch. These credentials are front and centre of poignant “Better Things”, where Zakhar’s visceral storytelling simply details his yearning to make a name for himself and move on to “Better Things’’.
Etta Marcus – “Crown”
South-Londoner Etta Marcus was kicked out of jazz school for over-exploring her songwriting identity, apparently compromising her immersion in being an all-in jazz geek. After persuasion from her mum and dad, she succumbed to sharing some of her work on Soundcloud, and everyone from a lawyer, label services company Platoon and management came flocking with offers. Determined to run her debut EP on her own terms, she released January’s “View From The Bridge” independently, but now the 21-year-old, who marries the Americana of Sharon Van Etten with modern-day sounds of Pheobe Bridgers, has Polydor’s backing, and “Crown”, her debut release on the label marks another step in her rise to indie reality.