It’s been a whirlwind of a month. Frank Ocean pulled out of his headline set at FYF fest; The Weeknd dropped a long awaited new record; Bieber explained that “Where Are Ü Now” uses “expensive sounding sounds”; Tyler, the Creator was banned from the United Kingdom for the next three-five years; Dr Dre released Compton.
A lot of stuff has happened. Perhaps the most important new release of all has come from FKA twigs who released a fifteen minute long self-directed video that further cemented her position as one of music’s greatest auteurs. It’s well worth a watch. Aside from that though, there’s been a wealth of new, relatively unheard music from across the globe. So without further ado, here’s “All The Good Shit” you may not have already heard released in the United Kingdom in August 2015.
Jesse James Solomon – The Ride Home EP
Jesse James Solomon’s music is illuminated by street lamps and dampened with pre-dawn drizzle. It’s that period of time – retreating home from a friend's house with fierce red-eye; crashing out in the Uber; going for a “4AM stroll” when “the ends are empty and cold” because it’s too early to go to bed – where Jesse’s tracks make the most sense. Released as the follow up to his debut EP, Jesse From Se – a record that racked up Soundcloud hits and cemented Jesse in our consciousness – The Ride Home resides in the twilight zone’s hazy glow and expands on the lane he carved on his debut release. There’s the damp, rain soaked production – which comes from Black Mack, Felix Joseph, Farhot and Kiran Kai – that we’ve come to associate with Jesse, but also lyrical windows into a torn character. The title track in particular, where he talks about sipping cognac on “The Ride Home” but being unable to feel a thing, is a luxurious admission to no longer being able to feel emotion. Ryan Bassil
Connie Constance - “Euphoric”
It’s been a while since we’ve heard an introspective track like this, carefully picking apart a relationship in new ways, living inside that moment when you don’t know whether it's just a chirpse or something more. “It’s easy for a heart to break, that’s why I like to wake and bake,” whispers Constance over etched electronic production. She asks the questions of a potential relationship that most people are too afraid to. “Does fear stop us bathing in the sunlight? Is your body just inclined to ladder my tights? Will you keep me safe when I’m alone at night?” It’s a song that is confident and nervous at the same time, which I think is how most of us feel about people we fancy, so there should really be more songs like this. Sam Wolfson
Love Ssega – “Minds”
Love Ssega began his career by writing songs for Clean Bandit. But before they released their first track “Mozart’s House” (which Ssega wrote and sung), he’d already left the #SoundOfTheSummer2014 outfit to focus on his PHD in Chemical Engineering. Soon after he graduated - from Cambridge University, no less! - Ssega returned to writing his own music. The result? His first single “Minds” – an up-tempo, iridescent slice of new-wave disco-pop that’s an immediate debut hit. Ryan Bassil
Manga Saint Hilaire – “She’s Nang”
According to Urban Dictionary, the term “nang” originated after students at a Hackney secondary school chided one pupil named Nang with the phrase: “Nang – you’re nang!”. If you choose to believe Urban Dictionary, it then entered popular lexicon as a word to describe something cool. Then it went away again. As evidence that the world is cyclical, years later the word has sprung up as the chorus and title to London artist Manga Saint Hilaire’s latest track - a “nang” track about a girl who is so “nang” she calls her “Mum; mumsy, and her Dad; Dad.” Ryan Bassil
National Anthem Of Nowhere - "Harkin"
Katie Harkin, of Sky Larkin, and now also of playing bass for Sleater-Kinney, is about to embark on a solo career where she wall just be known as Harkin. Are there other popstars who have just gone by their surname? Liberace, I guess. Anyway, this is a cover of Apostle Of Hustle for some kind of split 7' label club celebrating musicians from Leeds and as annoyingly indie as that all sounds the result is really beautiful, like a kind of rallying cry for people who find rallying and crying all a bit much. Sam Wolfson
Doe - “No Wonder”
Has anybody, other than a librarian, ever told you to shush? Have you ever had to suffer the insolence of someone stifling the inner goddess that is you? London-based punks Doe wrote a song about people attempting to do just that and how it is totally bogus. “No Wonder” is an example of how Doe just keep getting harder, gnarlier, and more discordant as they grow, but it’s also a life lesson in under three minutes. Notice how much shredding is going on throughout? That’s a metaphor for you, that is - you telling some jerk to do one, because you’re too busy opening up on the fretboard like a badman to listen to their shit. To help you visualise the scenario, it reminds me a lot of this clip of Annie Clarke strutting down a runway, casually nailing a guitar solo as loads of pyro goes off behind her.
Also, you know you’re making music for the people when you get a shout out from “Craig” who Tweets on behalf of TfL bus alerts. Emma Garland
Tirzah - “Make It Up”
Four Tet dropped this short but sweet party tune from Tirzah a few months ago on a BBC Radio 1 slot, but only now has it appeared officially online, in all its 1 minute and 37 seconds of glory. That is glory though: concentrated, unfiltered, full bodied, strobe-lit club with cheap shots glory. Tirzah’s lyrics float past in woozy tones, like unfinished daydreams, and Micachu’s gloopy production makes you feel like you’re submerged in an isolation tank fizzing to the brim with limeade. If you don’t listen to this at least 4 times in a row, you have no redeemable soul. Joe Zadeh
The Secret Song from Four Tet’s Dekmantel Set
More music that concerns Four Tet, this time from his DJ set at Dekmantel last month. If you’ve not listened to it, then you should, because it’s one of the best mixes of 2015: two outrageously eclectic hours that bolt from Indian classical and squelchy techno, to emosh grime instrumentals and rare old disco. But the one moment that has sent the community of “Track ID mate?” into a delirious overdrive is the unidentified song that comes in at 1hr 10mins 40 secs. It’s version of “Hideaway” by De’Lacy, that’s for sure, but who is responsible for this mind-blowing slinky acid soul rework has become one of the great mysteries of the 21st century. I tweeted Four Tet to ask, and he just outright ignored me, so now that naive question is etched into the very fabric of the internet, echoing forever through eternity, a monument to my naivety and a satire of my blue tick bravado. Joe Zadeh
Rayf – “Ends”
It’s easy to see why East London artist Rayf has dubbed his sound as “Mellow grime”. Unlike the punch to the face of Novelist’s “War”, a cheeky dig in the ribs from Stormzy, or Skepta’s declaration anthem “That’s Not Me”, Rayf’s music is turned down, like he’s been sheltering under a drenched bus stop for the last twenty minutes rather than jumping up and down at a rave. Previous cuts from him are more downbeat than we’ve come to expect from grime: “Girls”, “More Life” and “Carolina” sound more like Popcaan’s #sadlad cousin. Earlier this month Rayf released his fourth track “Ends” and there's a distinct mellow feeling to it that makes it stand out. Given the time to grow and settle into his sound, Rayf’s next track has the potential to be the banger Mellow Grime has been waiting for. Ryan Bassil
The Invisible - "Easy Now"
This is the first new track in three years from Dave Okumu and The Invisible, and they return with George Clinton-inspired grooves and a very eager willingness to throb the kickdrums. This one is teeming with interesting funky digital patterns that flail around between Okumu’s vocals and the beat, like electric eels splashing in a builder's bucket. The essence of this track though is that it is wholly absorbing - like, it really takes you somewhere, maaaan. Listen on those days when all you want to do is clench your fists and scream at the sky, and by the end you’ll feel vaguely understood and a hell of a lot funkier - Joe Zadeh