the soundtrack to your weekend ft. charli xcx, steps, and dream wife
Press play on the new releases we've had on repeat this week.
Ray BLK, "Patience"
Another great video from the i-D Class of 2017 artist. Sat in a neighborhood beauty salon, surrounded by her girls, Ray reminds us that slow and steady wins the race and positivity is key. That bandana top. Those snakeskin print trousers. That Playboy jacket. Full of killer looks, it's miles better than the 2006 Take That tune of the same name.
Steps, "Scared of the Dark"
Can you imagine not liking this? You'd be pretty much a huge downer. The first single from forthcoming album Tears On The Dancefloor sees 90s favorites Steps reunited for an absolute banger of melodramatic proportions. It's penned by Benny Andersson of the not exactly melody-shy ABBA and points towards the sound of a 20th year comeback, hitting the nail very squarely on the head. Pop music, ladies and gentlemen.
Less an official single and more a companion piece to upcoming second album, Melodrama, new track "Liability" sees Lorde in full heartbreak-balladeer mode. Tumbling piano chords are the only accompaniment to a lyric that tussles with fame, friendships, and the inevitable impact on both. They don't come around like this too often.
Princess Nokia, "Bart Simpson" and "Green Line"
It's back to school now and time to get picked last in gym and make a bunch of great Simpsons references. With an interlude full of smoking, drinking, and sex chat, this double-feature picture show is Princess Nokia's American tale of growing up in New York as she follows her destiny. Directed by Milah Libin and Miss Frasqueri herself, ay caramba it's good!
Charli XCX, "Emotional"
The new Charli XCX mixtape is out today and will likely find a home among those who enjoyed a few of the sonic forays of EP Vroom Vroom, but missed a bit of the pull of previous releases. Case in point, "Emotional": an epic sadbanger that harks back to the feeling of something like the first album cut, Stay Away. From what we've heard, the album isn't going to be half bad either…
Ashnikko x Raf Riley feat Avelino, "Bubblegum"
We've had our eye on bubble pop electric rapper Ashnikko for a while. Last year's KROKODIL impressed even before Trump protest song "Please Don't Grab My Pussy," scream-threatened to bite your dick off and feed it to a cat. Back with a hot stack of sass pancakes drizzled in dark and playful wordplay, "Bubblegum" was produced by Raf Riley and features north London MC Avelino.
The Moonlandingz ft. Maxine Peake, "The Woman in Me Lyfe"
Members of the Fat White Family, the Eccentronic Research Council, and Angel of the North Maxine Peake join forces for a special International Women's Day track here, a reworking of "The Man in Me Lyfe" from their self-titled 2015 EP. The band describes themselves as semi-fictional but to be honest we could say that for quite a few acts.
Jorja Smith, "Beautiful Little Fools"
Did you ever try to write a song when you were 16? It was bad, right? Jorja Smith wrote this back then (only three years ago) after reading The Great Gatsby and disagreeing with Daisy's hopes that her daughter would be a beautiful little fool, surely the best thing a girl can be in this world? Surely not, thought Jorja — quite rightly. Perhaps Lorde's "Green Light" is secretly about the high-school English class favorite, too?
RALPH, "Crocodile Tears"
Our favorite from the new EP by very good Canadian Ralph. Ralph describes her music as "if Sade & Stevie Nicks & Donna Summer had a love child." Wowza! Imagine the child maintenance proceedings.
Dream Wife, "Somebody"
It's our Lucky Number sister wives again with an all important reminder to men that we are more than our bodies. A ballad for women, it explores objectification and inspires reclamation of the squishy bags of flesh we occupy. Happy Women's History Month, you lot!
Text Frankie Dunn and Matthew Whitehouse
Photography Hollie Fernando