So in a week that was populated with news that Drake would release his long-awaited album Views From The 6 on April 29th, we also saw new releases from the likes of IAMNOBODI [Imani EP] and VÉRITÉ [‘Constant Crush‘]. Talent also shone from around the world with Australian duo Glasshouse dropping new single ‘Back To You‘ and UK singer Basheba returning with R&B hit ‘Don’t Go‘, accompanied by a sick visual. With every week comes a string of releases and we have worked to find you 9 of the best from the “Cloud of Sound”. So sit back, plug in and relax as we present;
L Ø S T C U L T U R E | Cloud 9: 024.
1. Lail Arad – Lay Down
Singer-songwriter Lail Arad‘s new single ‘Lay Down‘, currently included on Spotify’s Fresh Finds Playlist and with over 100,000 plays to date, is an effortlessly catchy track that quickly escalates through a resolute guitar hook and captivating signature vocal into a vast upbeat chorus, incongruous with its troubled lyrical meaning. The track is set to be featured on her upcoming album The Onion due out on April 15th. An acute sense of perspective permeates the album, from its subtle themes to its classic production and from each lyrical twist to its unassuming delivery. It is accompanied by a video directed by Flo Kohl, shows a series of photos of Lail roaming London as the propulsive song builds up momentum.
2. HONNE & Izzy Bizu – Someone That Loves You
HONNE have unveiled their latest single ‘Someone Who Loves You‘ featuring UK songstress, Izzy Bizu. The track is a simmering cut of electro-soul from two bright, emerging talents of the year and was premiered on Annie Mac‘s BBC 1 Radio show. It seems that both are long time fans of each other’s work, and the collaboration started on Twitter. Of their collaboration, HONNE said, “An amazing part of our job is getting the chance to work with other creative, like-minded people. After finding out that she liked one of our tracks, we asked Izzy to write some stuff together and without really thinking about it, our next single was written.”
3. Darnell Williams – South Central
Darnell Williams, a Detroit-bred, LA-based film school drop-out, introduces himself to the world with his new track, ‘South Central‘. The young MC has previously found himself in hard times, going from a Hollywood home with a swimming pool to being temporarily homeless and eventually crashing on a friend’s kitchen floor in South Central. Now Darnell Williams is ready for the spotlight. It’s a testimonial detailing the trials and tribulations of growing up in a neighborhood plagued by gang violence and crime. ‘South Central‘ is the first track to be taken from Darnell’s upcoming, yet-to-be-titled project, so definitely expect us to follow up on more material as soon as it comes out
4. AOSOON – City
Founding members of their self-titled Gangsta-folk scene, A O S O O N have released their new single ‘City’ after having the track premiered by Annie Mac. Known for their delicate and sincere acoustic songs, ‘City’ represents a welcome and natural progression in their sound for the South London duo. Their journey began when members Marisa and Manny met whilst playing in a church band. Temporarily going their separate ways to both study music, with Marisa in LA and Manny in London, they kept in touch through music. Now, reunited and well on the way to establishing themselves with their heartfelt and tender music, “the pair display a chemistry impossible to fake” (Clash Magazine).
5. Benji Lewis – Night & Day
Australian singer/songwriter Benji Lewis is back and has shared his debut Hearts & Halos EP, along with its fourth and final single, ‘Night & Day’. The track was written in the dark months after Benji’s mother lost her battle with cancer. More heartache and confusion dominated his life, but he found a kind of solace in putting these emotions and feelings into his songwriting. With a vocal sound & style that can be likened to Sam Smith, Active Child and Antony Hegarty, Benji Lewis captivates and inspires with his vocal complexity and technique, as it’s nestled amongst tidy arrangements of smooth electronic beats, swooping synths, and textured atmospheric sounds.
6. Haula – Losing Touch
Emerging singer and producer Haula has been building a remarkable underground reputation since her debut soul-bearing R&B cuts ‘Darkest Hour’ and ‘Freedom’ earlier this year. The singer – originally from Uganda with brief stints in London and Oxford, now comes through with a new atmospheric, darkly anthemic track.Underpinning a considerable talent for melody and a haunting, natural vocal, her latest track looks set to cement her growing status as a bonafide songwriting talent. ‘Losing Touch’ is a love song, an ode to a breakdown of a relationship. It’s also a welcome return of an artist that’s bridging ever closer to genuine tipping point across both sides of the Atlantic and for good reason.
7. Charlotte Turnbull – Sundown
‘Sundown‘ is the first single from Charlotte Turnbull’s upcoming EP Making My Way. It evokes emotions of tranquillity; Charlotte laces her ‘airy’ vocals and rhythmic flow on an R&B instrumental; conveying her versatility as well as her flair to experiment within her music. The British singer has given an introduction into the unconventional R&B sound she is debuting through stripped down production alongside soft and airless vocals on this track. The lyrics of ‘Sundown ‘are transparent but cohort and Turnball tries to emulate this with parallel vocals. With Turnbull possessing an airy, easy-on-the-ear tone, the simplicity of the track, both sonically and lyrically, can see it either executed acoustically or even dressed up further for a remix.
8. Bonkaz – On The Road
Bonkaz only released Mixtape of the Year in February, but he’s already got plans for more new music in 2016. Starting the week off on a high note, the London rapper returns with ‘On the Road‘, a brand new track produced by Jay Jay Musika.Following the release of his latest video, ‘And Dat‘ alongside Stormzy, this new track is gritty with a retrospective feel, as Bonkaz demonstrates his infamous resilient flow combined with rich vocals and storytelling lyricism, propped by eerie melodic production. So it seems that Mixtape of the Year 2 is on the way.
9. Carmody – Skin
Having already amassed a loyal following as a result of her collaborations with Tom Misch, London-based songstress Carmody has revealed the first single off her new self-titled EP, ‘Skin‘. Continuing in a similar vein to her previous work on the Out To Sea EP, ‘Skin‘ is a whimsical pop track that is sure to delight [and grow] her already sizeable fanbase. The song highlights Carmody’s gentle voice, going hand in hand with an extra minimal, R&B-tinged production that perfectly catches the soft spirit of the tune. The four-minute pop track has time to not only feature a memorable chorus, but an almighty crescendo of synth-pop goodness to bring everything to a fitting end.