Patience is a virtue. But a mind fixated on passionate love-making rarely stops to consider anyone, or anything, else accept it’s beloved. That’s the emotion in Birthday Boy & Allie’s ‘I Can’t Wait’.
Ah, at last. The sun is peaking out more and more, and the summer tunes are springing up like wild (flowers?). Tunes such as this brand-new single from Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes. Her debut album, Glorious, was one of my top 20 favourites from 2014, and it’s a welcome surprise to see her returning so soon.
There’s a fire brewing along the edge of the Arctic Circle. And if gets any hotter it may just begin to melt the icecaps. This week sees the return of the raw talent that is Nicole Willis. Brooklyn-born and now Helsinki-based, her first two albums with the Soul Investigators (Keep Reachin’ Up (2005) and Tortured Soul (2013)) are marvels of original, sensational soul music – they’re more than 60s “throwbacks”.
Django Django are a band many folks missed in the packed Olympic year of 2012. Their self-titled debut album was a curious drift through quartet choruses fit for a sweltering summer in a beachside bar and wonky, electronic-rock evoking the chill of midnight deserts. The whole thing was a surreal, sonic safari. (Kind of like boarding a rocket and swinging around the Earth in low orbit, I imagine.) It also earned them a 2012 Mercury Prize nomination.
Brazilian hip hop doesn’t get much of an airing outside of its Latin American homeland and diasporas. A real shame, because the rappers and beat-makers of the Rainbow Nation have plenty to offer.
Pearls Negras, originally from Rio’s Vidigal favella, are a proud example. This female trio, now based in London, is serving up attitude-filled, baile-funk (the dance music borne of Rio’s nightlife) for the party goers who arrive fashionably late and aren’t afraid to tell the host to “bow down”. Still in their teens, Alice Coelho, Jennifer ‘Jeni’ Loiola and Mariana ‘Mari’ Alves rap with a fiery confidence that comes from growing up fast in the often unforgiving slums of their hometown. The beats are punchy, bearing similar elements to soco or bashment (Rihanna comes to mind; though the trio’s own non-Brazilian influences include Beyoncé, Ciara and Nicki Minaj).