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.
Four years on from her emotional nadir, Norah Jones has returned with a collection of traditional jazz standards in the form of Day Breaks: an album that won’t surprise you, but will comfort you all the same.
Corinne Bailey Rae is content. Content that the creation of her third album has been a fresh direction for her, even if it may not feel like that to all listeners initially. Six years on from the phenomenal, Mercury-nominated album, The Sea, the Leeds musician, who tragically lost her first husband, saxophonist Jason Rae, in 2008, is in love again and wants to share her newfound happiness with the world. The Heart Speaks in Whispers doesn’t quite have the total flourish of its predecessor, but it is an album of serenity and patient beauty.
From across the galaxy – or the Atlantic ocean, at least, comes this dramatic pop anthem from Rihanna: ‘Sledgehammer’. It sounds like post-Chandelier Sia song, feels like a Sia song, and, yes, was co-written by Sia.