new albums from skepta, kaytranada, anohni, and james blake are here

All your sunshine weekend audio needs are covered by the diverse raft of Friday releases.

by Charlotte Gush
06 May 2016, 3:17pm

Whatever you have planned for this weekend, you're bound to find some new tunes amongst the diverse raft of Friday album releases, bringing fresh new music from Skepta, Kaytranada, Anohni and James Blake!

Skepta, Konnichiwa

Skepta finally launched his long-awaited fourth studio album Konnichiwa last night, fittingly in Japan, with a Boiler Room live stream around the world. Much in the same vein as his most recent clip for "Man (Gang)," the stream shows the Boy Better Know crew and fans going crazy, this time in a record store in Tokyo's Shibuya nightlife district, with a special guest performance from Japanese grime MCs Double Clapperz.

Skepta will be flying back to the UK to celebrate the album launch with a four-date tour, kicking off in London this Sunday, May 8, then heading to Birmingham on Tuesday, May, 10; Glasgow on Wednesday, May 11; and Manchester on Thursday, May 12. You can catch Skeppy throughout the summer at a string of festival dates including Field Day, Parklife, Glastonbury, Roskilde, Benicassim, and Bestival.

Kaytranada, 99.9%

The Haiti-born Montreal-based genre-bending beat maker is back with his first full album, three years after the much-hyped 2013 EP Kaytra to Do. Having become a go-to producer for the likes of Vic Mensa, Wiki, Rejjie Snow, Kali Uchis, and Talib Kweli, it's no surprise that 99.9% is heavy with collabs. Slow jam "Got It Good" with Craig David paves the way for link-ups with AlunaGeorge on "Together," Vic Mensa on "Drive Me Crazy," Anderson.Paak on the woozy "Glowed Up," below, and Little Dragon on "Bullets." Watch this space for i-D's interview with the man himself, coming soon.

Anohni, Hopelessness

Politically charged, angry, utterly compelling and heartbreakingly beautiful, Hopelessness is, ironically, an album laced with euphoria. Despite the often apocalyptic lyrics about climate change, drone warfare, male violence, and mass surveillance, there's a poetic articulation of action and agency, and subversive deployment of sarcasm -- in fact, a tonic to hopelessness in the face of the messy, globalized military-industrial complex in which we live. Slicing and crackling synths, complex beats (with drums like gunshots on "4 Degrees") and diverse instrumentation mix with Anohni's vocals -- alternately soaring, trilling and muezzin-like -- meditating on fury, sorrow, love and pain.

James Blake, The Color in Anything

After watercolor murals with the instantly recognizable handwriting of Roald Dahl illustrator Quentin Blake appeared in London and Brooklyn earlier this week, we were primed for the follow up to 2013's Overgrown. With little fanfare, James Blake's third studio album arrived at midnight, titled Color in Anything (not Radio Silence, as had previously been announced, though that is the first track) and with all the breathy, delicate vocals, and soul-bearing lyrics that fans (famously including Beyoncé and Kanye) have come to love. "I Need A Forest Fire," the track with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon is on there, but no sign of the rumored Kanye collab -- he was supposed to appear on "Timeless," Blake has revealed, but ended up being too busy with TLOP.

James Blake