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Best New Music Of The Week // March 11 – March 17, 2019

Joel Baker – “What’s A Song”

BBC Introducing artist Joel Baker releases the heart warming music video for new single “What’s A Song“. His first of the year, it comes off the back of two strong EP releases last year – Winter Dreams and The Dreamers EP.

The new single is a beautifully solemn dedication. It is led by the acoustics of the guitar, the subtle pianos and Joel’s stunning voice. Directed by long time collaborator George Baxter, the video is infact a touching tribute to his mother. Joel is learning to live his life again with the presence of a motherly figure looking over his every move.

Joel notes: “I wrote this song a couple of years back about a breakup that was particularly painful…However this song has evolved through the years and when I sing it now it means different things…The video explores the shadow that grief leaves in your life. Everywhere you go. Everything you see. There’s a shadow that is cast even on the brightest of days.”

“We finished the video with a poem my Dad wrote. My dad writes great poems and I asked him if he could write one for this. He did. I love it. And it was wonderful getting him to be a part of something so close to all our hearts.”

A former Labour Party speech writer, Joel Baker has come a long way since then. And now millions of streams, major playlist support across Spotify, landed countless radio playlist spots later, he readies his forthcoming album with this new track. Expect a brilliant 2019 from Joel Baker.

Alekxandr – “Still”

Following his debut release “s a l t c r y s t a l s” last year, which made quite an impression with the likes of i-D, DIY and Nylon amongst others, London’s captivating new talent Alekxandr unveils his brand new offering “Still“.

Taken from his upcoming debut EP, “Still” appears seamlessly as another hugely atmospheric soundscape – the minimal, soft piano instrumental evoking a sadness similarly found with Lana Del Ray, whereas other references slowly emerge from the swirling mist:  the subversive eroticism of Perfume Genius or Serpentwithfeet, the ethereal vocal and orchestral swells creating a world of dreamy, yet muscular songs.

LITTLEKING, the EP to come, is Alekxandr’s emotionally raw account of heartbreak. Love, the journey through addiction, numbness and the anger that leads to eventual acceptance. His songs pairing the honest with the fantastical, pushing beauty and emotional devastation together to create something unsettling and ripe.

Sonia Stein – “Sad Little Raft”

Sad Little Raft” is the brand new single from rising singer and songwriter Sonia Stein, which comes with a really interesting music video, which you can check out below. The single is taken from Stein’s forthcoming EP titled Eat Your Words, which is due for release on March 29.

The EP is produced by Ben Jones, who has worked with the likes of Kelly Rowland, Tinie Tempah and Mary J Blige, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that you’re about to listen to an R&B record, because if “Sad Little Raft” is any indication, Sonia Stein is staying within singer-songwriter territory on this EP. You could describe “Sad Little Raft” as an R&B ballad, but I wouldn’t, it’s a pop ballad and I’m a sucker for those.

Now that we are done with the semantics of that, can I just say that I really like the sound of Sonia Stein. “Sad Little Raft” is a bit too subdued than what I would typically share but her voice is undeniable and gripping, plus the visuals are quite simply beautiful. Thematically, the song and video (as with the rest of the EP) continues the story of a guy Sonia was seeing for 2 months, who cut off all communication with her, seemingly out of the blue.

Speaking about “Sad Little Raft”, Sonia says it “is the last of 3 songs written about the end of a relationship. It’s the last phase of denial, trying to pretend everything is going to go back to the way it was despite how things turned out. The sad little raft represents this little bubble I created so I wouldn’t have to face reality just yet“.

Shy FX + Kojey Radical + Ghetts – “Bad Are We”

Legend, soundman, DJ and all-round UK pioneer Shy FX has released new track “Bad After We” featuring Ghetts and Kojey Radical.

The new single is a work of genius, unsurprisingly from a seasoned veteran in the game. Dark, brooding and twisted, it is the perfect playground for the two rappers and their distinctive styles. Kojey demonstrates his animated dexterity in terms of word play and near-villainous tone. Ghetts follows on with his swift and sharp delivery, dabbling in double-time territory. The swagger is ridiculous.

“Bad After We” follows the release of “Rudeboy Lovesong” with Sweetie Irie & Cara Delevingne. Both are lifted from Shy’s forthcoming long player project, Raggamuffin SoundTape dropping March 15. We expect this to be a game-changer.

Shy FX, on the record, shared: “Everything fits together – its tight, it feels like one piece. The 15-year-old me would be overly gassed by this record – I wouldn’t have been able to imagine making all these genres, all these styles… And now I’m able to put it under the same name and it makes sense to people.”

DJ Neptune + Davido – “Démo”

A renowned name in the Afrobeats sphere, the incomparable DJ Neptune has released the music video for new single “Démo” with Nigerian powerhouse, Davido.

The first single off his next project Greatness II: The Sounds Of Neptune, it’s an infectiously beautiful track, courtesy of SperoachBeatz and and is graced with Davido’s signature vocals. According to DJ Neptune, this latest single is “a feel good love song that will make you want to fall in love and dance with that special one as soon as the tune comes on.”

With Nitin Lutch behind the visuals, we’re treated to an exotic themed visuals. While Davido serenades his woman in a sleek bathtub, Neptune is looking real regal on his throne, not to mention the serpent wrapped around his neck.

The awarding winning DJ, a recent winner at the Sound City MVP Awards for Best African DJ, has more in stock for music fans as he gears up for the sophomore album this summer which we are definitely looking forward to it!

Madison Paris + Bobii Lewis – “Triple”

Off the back of a prosperous 2018, Madison Paris is back with a bang for 2019. Next up is her newest single “Triple” featuring the talent of London singer Bobii Lewis, the first marker of a huge year ahead.

“Triple” carries on strong; a smooth and slick R&B track, driven with Trap undertones. Madison’s sensual vocal performance is perfect for this track as she lets her inhibitions go with some “triples on ice”. Bobbi Lewis is on hand to give the male perspective as he blends his unique R&B vocals with a rapper’s flow.

Madison has already proven her song-making ability with previous tracks “Excuse“, “Rum & Wine” (which was BBC 1Xtra’s Introducing Track of the Week) and her most recent “Oh Mama” with Micah Million. But with this passionate instrumental courtesy of Sokari, she knocks it out of the park once again.

Having entered the scene just over a year ago, Madison is proving that she’s here to stay with supporting slots for Cadet and M.O, being the face of a Footasylum campaign for Nike, plus an undeniable series of massive tracks. She’s also waves in the US with a radio premier on Dash Radio and an LA-shot music video in the pipeline. Without doubt, there’s a lot to come this year from this aspiring artist.

Words by Ayo Adepoju & Jay Tijani

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