Grammy-winner Kali Uchis is one of the defining artists of her generation. Since emerging in 2015, she has gone on to achieve monumental success, particularly with her sensational 2020 Spanish language album Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞. The superstar has now cascaded back into the industry spotlight with a new body of work – the vibrant, sprawling and thoughtful Red Moon In Venus. The album is perhaps the most experimental that we’ve heard Kali to date, and she sounds all the better for it, seamlessly switching between soul, pop, R&B, música urbana and more, on a triumphant and confident album that will surely be a major influence on the popular music landscape for years to come.
Kali Uchis, Fred again.. and BIA lead this week’s star-studded list.
Kali Uchis – Red Moon In Venus
Fred again.. ft. Mike Skinner & Dermot Kennedy – “Mike (desert island duvet)”
Fred again… is inescapable right now – we can’t get enough of him! It’s rare to find a producer so nuanced in their provoking impact. His recent two albums, Actual Life Pt. 1 & 2, have risen Fred from a promising newcomer to a bona-fide star, with the highly anticipated third body of work set to be released at the end of March. On this teaser single, we are gifted to a cut bursting with emotional depth and musical intricacy, blessed with an unexpected but incredibly fruitful collaboration with UK legend Mike Skinner. Skinner delivers a typically inward-looking, reflective feature, spewing visceral, poetic and heartfelt verses, which are emphasised by the ethereally haunting hook from fellow guest, pop frontrunner Dermot Kennedy.
BIA – “SIXTEEN”
Multi-platinum artist BIA has had a soaring journey towards global success. Boston-born, now Los Angeles-based, the rapper made a huge impact on the scene with her 2020 debut album, FOR CERTAIN, and then raised her stock even higher with the class-laden 2022 single “London”, featuring the one and only J. Cole. Now returning with her first single of the year, entitled ‘SIXTEEN”, BIA transcend her artistry, delivering an emotionally-charged offering that is hard-hitting and encompassing, with the lyrics exploring her childhood and her journey so far.
Jords – “Drill Vs Grime”
One of the most increasingly relevant voices in UK alternative rap, this year Jords is staking his claim to be considered amongst the countries leading artists. Alongside news of a forthcoming album set to be released this spring, the Croydon-native has unveiled one of his most stylistically surprising tracks to date, “Drill Vs Grime”. Featuring one of drill’s founding fathers, Lil Sykes, the new single is a raw, infectious and buccaneering effort. Elusively skipping between drill and grime tendencies, both in the performances and the sonics, Jords flaunts his effortless versatility, going back-to-back with Sykes atop the robust instrumental. A fire pit of skill, passion and charisma, Jords’ embers just keep glowing more fiercely in the lead up to the long awaited body of work.
Benny Sings ft. Remi Wolf – “Pyjamas”
With “Pyjamas”, we see two industry sweethearts, Benny Sings and Remi Wolf, team up for some of the most colourful collaborations of the year so far. The cut will appear on Benny’s upcoming album Young Hearts, which is produced by another popular talent Kenny Beats. With Kenny on the sonics, Benny and Remi jump into a narrative based around not fulfilling your other half, with the accompanying video – directed by Wolf – showcasing the pair playing the characters of their tale. A light-hearted and fruitful cut, we are sure to hear more of the same on Sings’ upcoming album.
Tink – “Save Your Soul”
Well on her way towards worldwide success, Chicago-based singer Tink gave us her rousing and vibrant new album Thanks 4 Nothing towards the end of February. The queen of Chicago R&B has now blessed us further with the visual accompaniment of standout cut “Save Your Soul”. The track sees Tink discuss standards in a relationship, highlighting the significance of self worth and setting out the expectations that she has for a lover. The entertaining visual sees Tink flaunting her luxurious lifestyle and independence.
Kwoli Black – “Cotch Frestyle”
On “Cotch Freestyle”, upcoming alternative rap act Kwoli Black shows off the full force of his potential. Having impressed listeners last year with his slick but reflective single “Wake Up”, which featured Lex Amor and saw him open up on his mental health in a refreshing way, Black has made his return with this new freestyle. Hearty, reflective and rich – whilst also full of self-belief – the single is a perfect example of the personality and musicality of the hotly-tipped Hackney raised artist.
Brevin Kim – “Ghost”
Connected by blood and musical appetite, sibling duo Brevin Kim are back with slick indie rock cut “Ghost”, the latest instalment on their road to artistic excellence. The brothers, Cal and Bren Paulhus, have been shining through in the already sparkling alternative scene. Raised just outside Boston and now LA based, the pair experiment within a soundscape that bridges the gap between a wide array of styles, concocting a sound packed with thought-provoking intricacy and encompassing energy. “Ghost” is the latest showcase of their craftsmanship; sharpening storytelling and ear-worm melodies make for an engrossing emancipation into the art of the double act. With the whiff of a new body of work in the air, embrace the movement now!
EMELINE – “Feelings”
When it comes to pop bangers, there’s not many better than EMELINE. Making huge waves in the mainstream scene with last year’s angelic single “cinderella’s dead”, the singer-songwriter has continued to elevate her craft and appeal, and has now emerged once again with her first single of the year, “Feelings”. An anthemic pop cut which wouldn’t be out of place on any mainstream radio show in the world, the single is a burst of life and colourful positivity, with EMELINE radiating joy and presence atop the kaleidoscopic instrumental.
Len – “Addiction”
After a short spell lending verses to his peers, South London’s rising rap prodigy Len is back with highly anticipated single “Addiction”. The punchy production is laced with electronic influences to accommodate Len’s hyper-rap soundscape which has earned him a reputation as a lead figure in the underground scene. A guest verse from brazy – who you may recognise from standout single “Attends” – adds another layer of authenticity to “Addiction”. The A.A scene in the video refers to his own addictions which he spells out across the track. A leaked snippet of the track reached 20k plays on Soundcloud after causing a frenzy on socials last year.
Br3nya – “Payday”
West London’s Br3nya isn’t a newcomer to the scene. Her latest offering “Payday” is a true reflection of her multi-faceted ability to sing, rap and essentially make a banger! Marking her return in style, the track merges her sultry vocals with smooth rap flows for a seamless delivery across an ethereal production from MadeInParis. A true leader and motivation to the next generation “Payday” encourages listers to have faith in their own journey to success with the video putting additional focus on her goal to provide for her loved ones. Safe to say, Br3nya is back and ready to build on her reputation.
Holly Waxwing – “Softcorners”
Ethereal synth beats ripple under dispersed dreamy vocals in Holly Waxwing’s newest single “Softcorners”. Producing a musical space where otherworldly instrumentals collide with soft waves, Holly achieves in devising an electric atmosphere that resonates deeply with all who listeners. Taking his unprecedented craft to create nothing less than the extraordinary, the third single, taken from his forthcoming album The New Pastoral, flaunts his skill to harvest a unique musical environment enabled by his soothing layered textures and electrifying modulations. A seamless blend of genres – including UK garage – deconstructed hyper pop, country, electronic and ambient, Holly’s effortlessly marvellous 6-track project speaks to the beauty of experimentation and authenticity. Mediating on a warped hybrid between UK Garage and deconstructed hyper pop, “Softcorners” with its intoxicating essence is sure to have everyone mesmerised by its beauty. Added to the list of his much-loved singles including “Sister Species” and “Meridians”, “Softcorners” is the fresh and soul-stirring single we need this season.
Maluma – “La Reina”
A beautiful celebration of women, Latin music idol Maluma’s newest empowering single “La Reina” is swarming the world and rightfully so. Infused with the notion that all women are beautiful and priceless, Maluma sees it as his mission with “La Reina” to honour the magnificence of being a woman and place a symbolic crown on the head of every woman who listens. Speaking on the single, Maluma confessed: “I wrote this beautiful song in a music camp, and it came to me as a gift from above because I have always wanted to make a tribute to women. For me, the most important thing about this song is that the main characters are all these spectacular women and all the women around the world who are going to identify with it”. No one can help but fall in love with this enchanting single, that instantly places a smile on your face, and sprinkling the music video with the same energetic admiration we hear in the lyrics, the video sees 17 Colombian women embracing their beauty and standing strong in their womanhood. Maluma’s “La Reina” is the single to watch and trust me you won’t be disappointed at what you find.
SEEB ft. Super-Hi and Banner – “Submarine”
Crossover dance-pop duo Seeb have formed a clever alliance with the effortlessly appealing vocal talent Banners and in-demand producer Super-Hi for their brand new single “Submarine”. The three combine to devise a dreamy single that accounts a vivid story of a personal first summer of love. The story of love is one that rests in all our hearts and giving us a snapshot of a fleeting but affecting relationship Banner’s vocal agility glides over SEEB and Super-hi’s laidback live instrumentation and rich sonic tapestry of synths and beats. Musing on the collaboration SEEB comments “We are very excited to join forces with SUPER-Hi and BANNERS on this record. BANNERS’ style of vocals really fits the vibe we were hoping for on this song and to have him on board is a great pleasure and honour. Also, we have been fans of SUPER-Hi since their fantastic record ‘Following The Sun’ so to be able to collaborate on a production like this is a big thrill for us.” Seeb achieved in cultivating the dream team as each artist shines individually and collectively in this mesmerising single that stirs in the heart of all.
Yinka – “Let’s Get Romantic”
In an era where romantic gestures and loving relationships are fleetingly rare, Yinka delivers her emotionally driven and romantic single “Let’s Get Romantic”. Tapping into the spark of falling in love and the magnetic energy that transpires between two people, the Nigerian artist unveils a stunning portrait of love that is sure to make the hard-hearted, mushy. In her display of raw emotions, the passionate artist delivers a mesmerising single cloaked in sultry synths that float under the star’s angelic and velvety vocals. True love is longer confined to the fantasies of novels and movies as the gifted star teams up with Los Angeles-based director AlyseKaneRiley to devise a video that celebrates love across all genders, races, sexualities and religions. “Let’s Get Romantic” is a beautiful rendition of how true love is attainable despite our generations assertion of the opposite.
PNAU x Khalid – “The Hard Way”
Buzzing beats, electric vibes and celestial vocals take centre stage in PNAU x Khalid’s newest single “The Hard Way”. Masterfully interweaving Khalid’s starry vocal majesty with PNAU’s sublime synth pop, the new single is truly a masterpiece to behold. An alluring demonstration of the two stars leaning into each other’s vibe, “The Hard Way” sees Khalid’s lovelorn lyricism and sentimental emotions combined with PNAU’s 80’s sonic style. This single was clearly a work rooted in love and passion and commenting on the track PNAU commends “Working with Khalid has been an absolute dream, we hope this song shall live in your hearts as it does ours”. Khalid and PNAU’s “The Hard Way” is the sensational single we didn’t know we needed.
Shaun Farrugia – “Heaven Like Mine”
Rising artist and songwriter Shaun Farrugia has just unleashed his highly anticipated debut EP Heaven Like Mine. Boasting a combination of atmospheric harmonies and Farrugia’s powerhouse vocals, Heaven Like Mine showcases a wistful quality that’s searing and emotionally vulnerable. The nascent artist describes the EP as an honest account of his feelings over the past few years, with love forever being present. The project spreads out over five tracks that touch on themes of love, acceptance, and modern-day anxieties. Wielding an impressive 30 million streams to date, and catching the attention of BBC Radio 1 hosts Jack Saunders and Maia Beth – Farrugia is on the up and up. Get into his effortlessly rich and raspy vocals, against a backdrop of alt-pop gorgeousness.
Lauren Presley – “Numb You Out”
Lauren Presley is a force to be reckoned with. Having cultivated her music career mostly independently, it’s wildly impressive what Presley has accomplished so far. Now based in the songwriting capital of America, she’s focused on writing her best songs yet, and her new single “Numb You Out” is a perfect example of her desire to push boundaries and create a unique, pop-infused sound. With her soothing tone and refreshing realness, Lauren Presley draws listeners into her world with every release. She’s definitely an artist to watch out for as she cements herself in the music industry for years to come.
Euan Blackman – “Busy Doing Nothing”
Euan Blackman is an up-and-coming artist who’s making waves in the folk-pop scene. His latest release follows the success of the first single from his hotly-anticipated EP, “You Are the Rain”, called “Everybody Lets You Down.” A one-man band, the rising star wrote, recorded, produced, and mixed his latest single “Busy Doing Nothing” entirely in his Liverpool bedroom studio. With an ear-worm melody, and tangible inspiration from alt-pop frontrunners like Holly Humberstone and The 1975 – the track shines. In contrast to its pop-tinged sound, the lyrics of the song tackle a serious subject – a friend’s struggle with alcohol. Blackman’s music is introspective and timeless, characterised by wistful, nostalgic melodies that are perfect for any and every occasion.
Alexis – “wishingbone”
London-based producer, vocalist and DJ Alexis is back with a vengeance! After cultivating a reputation for her all-embodying attitude towards curation, Alexis metamorphosed with the ethereal track “angelcore.” Coming back to bite with “wishingbone” – a fast-paced nod to her techno roots. This frantically percussive cut of glitched-out club music marks an evolution of the nascent of a compelling performer. With its foreboding atmosphere and ever-increasing intensity, “wishingbone” commands listeners to dance, and proves that Alexis can still ignite that same fire even as she recontextualises contemporary techno within a world of her own creations.
YKB – “Bo Card”
YKB is a name that’s been making tidal waves in the Afrobeats scene, and for good reason. This fast-rising talent from Lagos is transforming the sound of Afropop, crafting authentic beats with enough edge to redefine the local sound. His latest release, “Bo Card,” is a sweet concoction of romanticism and authenticity that hits you right in the feels. YKB’s honeyed vocals glide effortlessly over the alluring Funwon and Spax production, pulling you in and keeping you hooked. Amid rolling drums and exaggerated promises to a lover, YKB spins a tale about finding a girl so irresistible, you’re willing to go broke just to have a chance with her. It’s a sentiment that’s all too relatable, and YKB’s delivery is nothing short of captivating.
Sivu – “Apollo”
British singer-songwriter Sivu has announced the release of his highly anticipated third album, Wild Horse Running, which drops on June 9th. Along with the album announcement, Sivu has also unveiled his captivating new single, “Apollo.” Produced by Charlie Andrew, whose production chops have been lent to the likes of Alt-J and Marika Hackman, Wild Horse Running was written over a languorous 12 months. As Sivu’s most authentic work to date, “Apollo” sets the tone for the album with a smart bass line, hooky vocals, and introspective lyrics. As Sivu explains, “The song delves into his own relationship with songwriting and how he is in some ways a slave to it. The track’s mythology reference to Apollo, the god of poetry and music, provides Sivu with a sense of freedom to address his long-term, and sometimes troubled, relationship with music.
girlhouse – “Worth It”
A strikingly resonant indie pop cut, girl house’s newest single is a driving force towards understanding and communication. From its hazy vocals to the storming strength of the instrumental, this is a single that refuses to hide away from its own emotional impact. The bedroom-pop has been at it with the sonic goods since the turn of the century, and this new cut is a further illustration of the soaring talent of one of US indie’s brightest sparks.
CHERISE – “SECRETS”
A soulful snippet of pure bliss, “SECRETS” is the latest cut from rising R&B star CHERISE. A classically trained jazz musician, her ’21 EP Remedy made serious waves amongst the UK R&B and Soul scene, and since then it’s clear that CHERISE has been working on her craft, elevating it further into the upper echelons of the flourishing movement. The new single is outright gorgeous, with its silky smooth, groove-laden instrumental providing the perfect backdrop for CHERISE’s simply stunning that are unique and instantly recognisable.
Mylar – “Ghost of the Party”
“Ghost of the Party” is a standout on Mylar’s upcoming EP, “Human Statues”, showcasing the band’s unique sound that blends pop, rock, and electronic elements. The song’s lyrics explore the feeling of being at a party but feeling disconnected from the experience; the narrator wonders why they feel like a ghost and why they can’t just have a good time like everyone else. This relatable sentiment is wrapped up in a catchy, 2000s-pop inspired melody; the song’s production is particularly noteworthy. Drowsy synths and atmospheric guitar riffs create a dreamy, otherworldly vibe, while the lead singer’s soaring vocals add an emotional punch to the song’s already poignant lyrics. Overall, “Ghost Of The Party” is a fantastic showcase of Mylar’s songwriting and production skills, and it’s sure to be a hit with fans of art-pop and indie rock alike.