Mica Levi and Yung Lean’s collaboration and the best new music this week
The only playlist you need in your life.
Mica Levi by Leah Walker
Oscar-nominated music producer Mica Levi is on a roll. Having released Ruff Dog — the first album put out under their own name — in December, they’re back with Blue Alibi, a feature-laden 11 tracks filled with scattered recollections of friends and fun. The layered, mantra-like “Sticks & Stones” comes with guest vocals from Jonatan Leandoer aka Yung Lean, who Mica was introduced to by a mutual friend. Made in the purple-carpeted studio they share with musicians Tony Harewood and Coby Sey in south-east London’s Hither Green, Mica remembers that “this one was recorded in the dark, during winter”. Bleak but cosy, I guess. And it’s this pleasantly surprising collaboration that opens today’s playlist.
Goat Girl’s On All Fours is out this week too, so we’ve stuck the all-too-relatable single “Anxiety Feels” in the playlist, to give you something pretty to mope along to as you struggle to leave the house. After that though, Arlo Parks is going to have a good go at motivating you with debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams and what she called the cornerstone of the project, “Hope”. In a new interview with i-D, she explained that the song is “essentially about pulling yourself out of a dark space, and the story of a character who is living life without enjoying it… drifting through, filled with this sense of self-doubt. The chorus is a reminder that you’re not alone.”
You’ll find the emotional “Don’t Judge Me” by FKA twigs and Headie One on there too, as well as “Money Talks” by Fredo and Dave, the title track of Madlib and Four Tet’s Sound Ancestors, and the delicious combination of Brent Faiyaz and Tyler, the Creator on “Gravity”. Elsewhere in new music, there’s great stuff from Mallory Merk, salute, Real Lies, Norii, serpentwithfeet and more. You’re welcome.