The return of electronic downtempo supremo Simon Green, better known as Bonobo, is imminent. His previous albums Black Sands and The North Borders are two of the finest collections of travel music you can find.
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
This week we learned that social networking monolith Facebook is still making ludicrous amounts of money – despite some of us being over it, and many others just seeing it as part of the furniture. So-called “social media” can have plenty of benefits, but it’s also a distracting, unforgiving cesspit, full of trolls, acquaintances you don’t actually know and random people lusting for approve by way of subscriber numbers.
London producer and radio DJ Throwing Shade knows this, and she isn’t a fan.
The debut album from soul-stirring London songstress, Andreya Triana, was a beautiful encouragement to explore the forgotten streets of your town, if a little too solemn in places to appeal to a mainstream infatuated with the Adeles and Emeli Sandés of the world. By contrast, Giants is a luminous, pictorial, thoroughly uplifting journey, and it deserves your fullest attention.
UK hip hop has been getting international attention in the last five years thanks to the popularity of grime. Dizzee, Wiley and Tinie Tempah have played their part, while Krept and Konan and Skepta have the backing of major US rappers. But it’s Roots Manuva – one of the godfathers of UK hip hop, up there with Tricky, Neneh Cherry and Rodney P (London Posse) – who continues to display a tenacity and creativity that younger hip hop artists could learn from.
Somerset House, LondonShock attraction isn’t Kelis’ style. And touring material for her latest album, Food, you get the sense that her biggest obstacle has been getting those hungry for the days of her reign as queen of the alternative bad girls to quit jilting her and get with the vibe. Her collection of soulful vignettes has been well received, and at Somerset House she exhibited exactly the confidence that has seen her win crowds and remind listeners just why they feel in love with her in the first place.