Produced by Maths Time Joy, “Sober” is Leicester-born, Birmingham-based singer/songwriter Mahalia’s most recent release and it’s beautifully sleek and fluid. A little more R&B and boom-bap than her previous releases, it’s a smooth and sultry track—despite it being about a relationship gone wrong. Just 19 years old, Mahalia has already released an impressive body of work, and will be embarking on a UK/Euro tour later this year.
Mount Kimbie feat. King Krule: Blue Train Lines
From their third studio album Love What Survives (set for release 8 September via Warp Records), Mount Kimbie’s “Blue Train Lines” is a minimal, Kraurock-tinged tune with support from King Krule. Spacious but distorted, the dynamic musical layering underlines King Krule’s vibrant vocals. Mount Kimbie is embarking on a UK and European tour this month, through November.
UPSAHL: Can You Hear Me Now
Phoenix-based Taylor Upsahl—aka UPSAHL—crafts indie-pop-meets-folk (along with her band members) that’s sweet without the syrup. The teenage singer/songwriter’s most recent single, “Can You Hear Me Now” is about getting out of a failing relationship and transcends her age (at 18 years old, she has already released her third record). With finger-clicking, effortless vocals and a breezy sound this super-catchy track will be at home on your summer playlist.
2 Live Crew: Banned in the USA
Fresh Kid Ice aka Chris Wong Won of hardcore rap outfit 2 Live Crew has passed away. The Miami-based group drew plenty of controversy for their wild, sexually explicit lyrics—many of which were remarkably misogynistic—but this also made them poster children for freedom of speech. (Their most successful record 1989’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be was the first to be classified as legally obscene.) This mission is evident in their track “Banned in the USA”—which heavily samples Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”—on which Fresh Kid Ice raps, “Don’t keep thinking that we will quit / We’ll always stand and never sit / We’re 2 live, 2 black, 2 strong.” Also widely recognized as the first rapper of Asian decent, Fresh Kid Ice leaves behind quite a legacy.
Mr Jukes feat. Charles Bradley: Grant Green
Featuring the sensationally soulful Charles Bradley, Mr Jukes’ “Grant Green” is our pick from his album God First, which officially released 14 July. Aptly named after the jazz musician the track samples, the song is spirited and uplifting. Mr Jukes (aka Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club) is embarking on a European tour in September.