Låpsley is a 20-year-old vocalist and producer from York with an ear for making classy, electronic pop. Her debut album is delicate, striking and emotive.
Katy B had many of us bottle-popping and hip-shaking along to her wavy, 90s-style house and garage when she dropped her Mercury-nominated debut album, On a Mission, in 2011. The making of her last album, Little Red, was an ordeal in and of itself, judging by comments at the time. By comparison, her latest album is a tantalising gift to her dance music following.
Nowadays, Kanye the celebrity is far more of the focus than Kanye the musician. “I got rid of my phone so I can have air to create”, West tweeted on September 14, 2016. That may be the entertainment tweet of the year. For real. But this, nor West’s bizarre fashion line can change the fact that his seventh album, The Life of Pablo, is a muddled affair that lacks real direction.
Nowadays, it’s not difficult to make something that passes for a love song. But to create something that people actually connect with, and some feel sums up their feelings for somebody, now that still takes talent. Scandinavian singer and pianist Marie Dahlstrom has won the hearts of many around the world thanks to her skill at crafting patient, sincere-sounding love songs.
An album like Yes Lawd! does not come around every year. It’s a collaboration between Anderson Paak and Knxwledge, two tirelessly creative musicians who, as Stones Throw puts it in the album’s liner notes, are no “stranger to the head-down hustle”. Both are in heavy demand right now, having worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Dr Dre, and released their own solo work (Malibu, Hud Dreems) to great acclaim. So Yes Lawd! is a special bonus. Paak and Knx have put together a 19-track mix of songs, skits and snippets for you to kick back and chill.
For those who have been living without internet access for last three years, here’s a brief update on the state of the planet to put British rapper and spoken word artist Kate Tempest’s second album in context: the Earth is in a dire state. Rising divisions between rich and poor, and intolerance and miscommunication are everywhere. Meanwhile, the rise of big business continues, while the culture of the self quietly keeps the “modern revolution” – helpfully prophesised by voting-sceptic Russell Brand, among others – pacified.
Kate Tempest came to the attention of many in 2013 with her Mercury Prize-nominated debut album, Everybody Down, an effecting concept album that focused on a young couple, their troubled relationship and hard-bitten city living. With her second album, Let Them Eat Chaos, Tempest has built on her experiences to produce a powerful reflection of life in Britain today, from the high-stakes city workers to the down-and-outs living on the breadline.
Natasha Khan revels in the unusual and the antiquated. The Bride, her fourth full-length in her guise of Bat for Lashes, is a tale of macabre beauty and tragedy.