Songs about love, the sisterhood, how everybody is crazy, and more in this week's musical round-up
Seinabo Sey feat. Jacob Banks: Remember
Swedish-Gambian singer/songwriter Seinabo Sey's new track "Remember" is just as powerful and moving as her previous music. The song, which features equally striking vocals by Jacob Banks, is Sey's first new release in two years and she seems even more confident than ever—thanks to bold and seamless songwriting. With no percussion at all, "Remember" (with a Moonlight-inspired video) is a gospel-tinged tune that is just 1.46 minutes long but feels like a stunning odyssey.
The Sorority: On Me
A testament to sisterhood and solidarity, the four members of The Sorority (pHoenix Pagliacci, Keysha Freshh, Lex Leosis and Haviah Mighty) found themselves competing in a cypher for International Women's Day two years ago. Now a progressive four-piece hip-hop group, they're much more than a gimmicky girl-band. Their just-released track "On Me" is the second from Pledge, and sees each of the members displaying incredible and diverse talents. It's a bead-nodding track that bounces from ferocious to smooth and back again with ease.
Natalie Prass: Sisters
From her upcoming second album The Future and The Past (set for release 1 June), Natalie Prass' new track is a funky neo-soul tune that's all about fostering the sisterhood. Her jazz-inflected vocals on "Sisters" are half-spoken yet melodic. Name-checking "nasty women," school girls and importantly those who are marginalized, Prass does her best to be intersectional while maintaining straightforward sing-along lyrics.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays
A third glimpse at the forthcoming Unknown Mortal Orchestra album Sex & Food, "Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays" finds funky disco components punctuating a warm pop tune. It's a dance-worthy number that delivers on what the New Zealand band's become famous for: captivating, complex songwriting masked behind lovable melody.
CHVRCHES: XO (Beyonce Cover)
After wanting to cover Beyonce's "XO" (from her 2013 self-titled album) for some time, Scottish synth-pop band CHVRCHES finally found an approach they felt comfortable with. Still intimidated to cover Beyonce, the three-piece crafted a pared-back, pretty version live on the Honda Stage at Power Station. While remaining faithful to the original, the percussion-less iteration is gauzy, delicate take.
Thomas Bartlett + Nico Muhly: Festina
Beyond the beauty and imagination of their solo work, Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) and Nico Muhly have each built an almost unfathomable repertoire of music in collaboration with some of the best musicians, vocalists and bands recording and performing today. Now, they've united for a collaborative album themselves, Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music, out 18 May on Nonesuch Records. It includes nine original songs and three gamelan transcriptions. The latter works are by the ethnomusicologist Colin McPhee, who lived in Bali during the '30s and they acted as inspiration for the original compositions. "Festina," released today with an official music video, conveys the exquisite beauty one can expect from the entire work.