Jam of the Week: Gavin Turek – Good Look for You

California singer Gavin Turek may as well have stepped out of 1970s. She’s making new dance music with an obvious admiration for old-school disco and the electro of 70s and 80s.

As well as singing and songwriting, Turek has contributed to music by TokiMonsta and soul man Mayer Hawthorne’s group, Tuxedo. She’s also release tributes to Donna Summer and electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: The Hempolics – Me Love to Sing

Closing out the bitter slog that was 2016 are a band who are bringing the sunshine grooves of the Caribbean to the urban metropolis. The Hempolics are a little-known ska band from London, who have steadily been crafting their sound for over a decade now. They have received attention from radio, not to mention the fellow musicians, such as La Roux, Eliza Doolittle and Paolo Nutini. Continue reading

Best EPs of 2016

EPs are to albums what starters are to main courses. Or, at least, that’s how it has traditionally been. These days, EPs take all kinds of forms, from two-track 12” records to mini-albums.

In the past, I’ve included selected EPs within my main album round-up. Now it’s time I gave these releases a spotlight of their own.

Soultress Lianne La Havas, house artists Disclosure and Snakehips, rapper Lizzo, enigmatic R&B singer Abra, and so many more have released some superb EPs. As always, I wanted to include more – especially the aforementioned artists, as I have had many of their tracks on repeat this year. But here’s my choice selection of 10 which have stayed with me, and all offer something special in their own right.

10. Sinead Harnett – Sinead Harnett EP
9. Flawes – Ctrl EP
8. Shakka – The Island EP
7. Throwing Shade – House of Silk EP
6. Marie Dahlstrom – 0.0 EP
5. Kojey Radical – 23Winters EP
4. Jodie Abacus – For Real Life and Not Pretend EP
3. Charlotte Day Wilson – CDW EP
2. Jorja Smith – Project 11 EP
1. Kesley Lu – Church EP
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Anohni – Hopelessness review

Hopelessness is the first album from independent musician Anohni, who was previously known as Antony Hegarty of the pop group Antony and the Johnsons. It’s an album that’s heavily political, but it is also intensely beautiful. Continue reading

Terrace Martin – Velvet Portraits review

Just when you think you’ve got the measure of Terrace Martin, he surprises you yet again. The Los Angeles born musician and producer has worked with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Talib Kweli and Robert Glasper, not to mention playing a major role in shaping Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. Martin’s latest album, Velvet Portraits, is a stunning chameleon of a record with enough musical hues to match an Ikea colour chart. Continue reading

Skepta – Konnichiwa review

It’s been hard to miss Skepta’s latest album this year, even if hip hop isn’t your thing. The independent rapper has lead the long-overdue acceptance of grime as one of UK music’s most influential movements, and was also the surprise winner of the 2016 Mercury Prize.

Skepta’s Konnichiwa is a stonker that puts you in the mood to skank and flex like there’s no tomorrow. Continue reading

In Praise of Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean - 2012 press photo 01 (1448x815)It’s incredible how little I have written about Frank Ocean considering how many times I have played his music over the last four years, and how deeply it has touched me. Following the release of his second album, Blonde, in August, it’s high time I remedied this fact with a piece in praise of this singular artist. Continue reading

Daughter – Not to Disappear review

Daughter 2015 press photo (800x450)Daughter’s 2013 album, If You Leave, was a graceful arrival by frontwoman Elena Tonra, guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella. And who can forget the group’s killer cover of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. Three years on, Not to Disappear is a record of boy problems and a stride for independence. Continue reading