Sad girl supreme SZA has been making waves with her latest album SOS. Catapulting to the top of the charts since its release at the end of last year, SZA’s fanned the flames by putting out the music video for “Kill Bill” this week. Violence bubbles under the surface of a melodic, mellow sound. An anthem for the girlies who fantasise about avenging their exes – she’s just like us fr… Referencing the cult classic film directed by Quentin Tarantino, the visuals see SZA enact revenge on her attempted murderer in an epic sword fight. Wearing a svelte latex suit, and celebrating her victory with a beating heart in hand – we’re over the moon to have SZA back.
SZA and AntsLive blaze the way for this week’s music roundup.
SZA – “Kill Bill”
AntsLive – “Number One Candidate”
Rapper AntsLive comes back to bite with a music video for “Number One Candidate”, which is as hard as nails. The track features a head-bumping beat and hard-hitting trumpet sample, which are driven by AntsLive’s domineering flow. Beginning 2022 with a bang, this track is building momentum for the artist’s fast-rising career. With cosigns from the likes of DJ Semtex and Tiffany Calver already under his belt, AntsLive is set for the sights. Add millions of streams into the mix, and you’ve got a shining star.
crushed – “Coil”
A dream pop duo hailing from sun-soaked LA, crushed’s sound carries the thread of Cocteau Twins and The Sunday’s reverbating, lilting guitars. Their latest offering “Coil” is an ode to the ‘90s. Infused with that beloved low-fi quality, crushed hit it out of the park with this one. Evolving their ethereal sound, the track melds spine-tingling vocals with britpop-esque guitars, adding layers of spellbinding texture. A cacophony of sound, which pulsates from ear to ear, opens up a world to get lost in.
Freya Ridings – “Weekends”
“Weekends” is the embodiment of vulnerability. Drawing inspiration from a turning point in Ridings’ life – she turned to songwriting to ease the pain. Ridings is a vocal powerhouse, with her defiant voice driving the track forward. Grounding pianos erupt into a disco-infused chorus, and all in all, “Weekends” is a triumph. Reflecting on the track she notes: “There was a breakup when I got given my first platinum disc for ‘Lost Without You’. I had no one to call and I was sat alone in a bar in King’s Cross. It looks as though I had thousands of people around me, but actually I was the most alone I’ve ever been. So ‘Weekends’ felt like me being scarily honest with myself, which was hard.”
Pearling – “Swan Tooth”
“Swan Tooth” is a hypnotic dream, and Pearling’s vocals are irresistibly captivating. In the track, her siren call leads us into an icy, crisp body of water. As soon as we take the plunge, falling through the water, sonic embellishments bubble, sparkle, and tingle from ear to ear. Coupled with an equally ethereal visual – filmed in -10° weather, no less – Pearling opens us up to her bewitching inner world.
TraviS & Elzzz – “Full Circle”
Hailing from Dublin, rapper duo TraviS & Elzzz have unleashed their 8-track mixtape “Full Circle”. Marking a turning point in the Irish music scene, this boundary-breaking release is set to cause some shockwaves. Inspired by major players like Stormzy, Skepta and Lil Wayne, the duo are carving a place for themselves in Ireland’s rapscape. The opening “K9 Freestyle” sets the tone for the atmosphere – where a piano sample underlays the rappers’ wicked wordplay. Other tracks like “Sorry Not Sorry (Radio)” are invigorating – toe-tapping traphats meld with a thumping bass, making for an instant classic. All in all, this release puts TraviS & Elzzz on the map as ones to watch.
modernlove. – “Ruin Your Night”
“Ruin Your Night” is pure electricity. An indie-pop dream, this track is sure to be a dancefloor classic. The lovechild of Bloc Party and The 1975, moderlove.’s instantly recognisable sound is laid out on display. Painting a picture of the punch-drunk perils of a night out, “Ruin Your Night” descends into alcohol-infused disarray. The vocalist and guitarist Barry Lally unfurls this messiness with the lyrics “I promise that I didn’t mean to ruin your night / I’m sorry it’s just what I do.” Crafted up by both the band producer Tom Leach – modernlove. reflects: “The song has a sort of sonic irony in that it’s a straight up indie dance banger about having an awful night out.”
Sliime – “Lehenga”
With Sliime having amassed over 53 million views on TikTok having only teased “Lehenga”, this new single is taking the world by storm. Honouring the Lehenga, a traditional skirt hailing from India, this new release reps the young artist’s heritage. Sliime also reps his hometown of Sheffield, as the visuals for the track see him spit bars at various locations around the city. In “Lehenga”, an Indian flute sample lays the foundation for Sliime’s flow to unfold. A banger through and through, the artist reflects on the track saying: “I made a song to represent South Asians in Rap, to make our voice louder so it can be heard by millions worldwide.”
Kamal. – “essential”
North West London based artist Kamal. comes back to bite with new single “essential”. The first to be released from the young artist’s upcoming EP ‘so here you are, drowning’ – this track oozes vulnerability. Tentative pianos ground Kamal.’s soft lilt, as “essential” builds into a crescendo. Chronicling the fallout after a toxic relationship, Kamal. frees himselves from the shackles of codependency – coming to the realisation that this person is not ‘essential’ to living a good life. Romance is a thread that runs through the track, but it’s nonetheless a marker of defiance.
Allie Crow Buckley – “Greatest Hits”
Hailing from sun-drenched California, Allie Crow Buckley’s sound is an otherworldly blend of earworm melodies, driven rhythms, and a grounded low end. Drawing inspiration from a wealth of artists – including Black Sabbath and Joni Mitchell – Buckley also wields her love of art and mythology to infuse her oeuvre with a touch of magic. “Greatest Hits” arrives in anticipation of her upcoming EP – and it’s a triumph. Hypnotic synths meld with Buckley’s hearty voice, while sonic embellishments are a wistful welcome. With her upcoming EP on the horizon, we can’t wait to see what she crafts up next.
Zinoleesky – “Personal”
The latest artist to emerge from Nigeria is Zinoleesky – who’s been making waves in the music scene as of late. With nods of respect from Afrobeats royalty like Davido and Naira Marley, he’s quickly been adopted as the industry’s newest prodigy. “Personal” is a pure vibe. Melding together Ampiano, Afrobeats and electronic music – this track shows a more introspective side of the young artist. With intimate lyrics unfurling over a body-moving beat – Zinoleesky is doing the damn thing.