Best New Music Of The Week // March 12 – March 18, 2018

Shaé – “Black Panther (In Due Time)”

Rising UK R&B songstress Shaé gives us everything and more with her brand new single and video accompaniment for “Black Panther (In Due Time)“. Following from most recent single “Melanin”, This latest cut is a poised continuation of the theme of black empowerment, inspired by the global success of the film of the same name.

If you’re not already aware of this phenomenal talent then this will be the perfect introduction to “Shaé’s Universe“. Known for her impressive vocal abilities, “Black Panther (In Due Time)” is a minimalistic audible canvas that allows her to paint a beautiful soundscape of transcendent vocal bliss with effortless transitioning between infectious melodies and poetic rap like a young Lauryn Hill.

The video is clean and simple yet powerful. Dressed in all black, sporting face paint similar to that in the movie. Greyscale colour grading really allows her blackness to ‘pop’. It’s a fun watch while delivering a powerful message. Black is beautiful.

Chris McClenney – “sidetoside”

Having now wrapped a monumental year in his career in terms of collaborations, Singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Chris McClenney is now ready to kick off the new year with a brand new single titled “sidetoside“.

Produced, written, and performed, all by 24-year-old McClenney, “sidetoside” taps a sound that is quickly becoming McClenney’s trademark. This new track is bold in its smooth R&B stylings, highlighted with boom-bap percussion and piano instrumentation. The retro-tinged single showcases McClenney’s love for jazz-inspired vocals as he displays his range and impressive voice inflections.

While a contemporary single, “sidetoside” could easily be mistaken for a throwback hit from the eighties or early nineties.

Lady Donli – “Ice Cream”

After keeping the fans anxiously waiting for so long, Lady Donli finally releases the video to her smash single “Ice Cream” featuring Tomi Thomas. One of her most noted works, the timely release of the video follows on nicely from the release of singles “Kashe Ni” & “Poison” and the young Nigerian artist’s latest acclaimed EP Letters To Her.

The super colourful visual comes courtesy of Kuddi. The video is quirky and super uplifting, matching the song’s light, mid-tempo rhythm and despite the lyrics, very feel good. A seamless collection of concert clips. home cinema-esque shots, and artistic scenes set in what one can only describe as a ‘rustic vintage playground’.

Although Tomi Thomas doesn’t perform his feisty verse he does make a cameo, as well as lot of others in the ‘alté scene’ like DJ Femo and Fasina, in between shots of Donli lip-syncing. This one is too good to miss, check it out right here.

Anna Leone – “If You Only”

She’s one of the ‘ones to watch’, but like, we’re talking about a real list here, not just a hypothetical ‘ones to watch maybe later someday or only if they release something viral’. Anna Leone isn’t a revolutionary world-shifting musical act, but the peaceful power she spreads through her melodies is thrilling.

The Swedish singer has just announced more details about her debut EP Wandered Away, coming out next month and has shared a new single “If You Only”, taken from the upcoming record and follows two other songs released late last year – “My Soul I” and “I Never Really” – which amassed over 4 million streams.

“If You Only” was “created in a kind of sleepless haze,” tells Anna, also explaining that recording it in the studio was “a lot of fun” and “cool to try something a bit more upbeat than usual”. Indeed, the chorus is heavier than in her previous offerings, though it still contains her signature seriousness and mature tranquility.

The whole upcoming EP was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Bryan Wilson, who has worked with the like of Florence + The Machine, Wolf Alice and Lianne La Havas. Pre-order Wandered Away and listen to the newest piece below:

Lewis Bootle – “Routes”

Off the back of his most recent EP which dropped in December last year, UK singer/songwriter Lewis Bootle finally premieres some a new video off his recent project, the self-directed “Routes“, the eponymously titled lead single.

The video is all encompassing of the essence of “Routes”. It feels like a compilation of travel snapshots, almost diary-like, as we are treated to picturesque scenes of nature, the countryside and more. Armed with his trusty guitar, he never misses an opportunity to play a melody or two as his musical travels take him the length and breadth of the country.

It helps that the song is light and uplifting, with keyboards and Bootle’s inimitable voice. When the bassline jumps in, it’s the acoustic soul/pop-flavored melody that takes on an infectious and effortless flow. For those who are unaware, the young singer combines thought-provoking, no-nonsense lyrics with infectious pop melodies to great effect. Best described as a mix of The Clash, Jamie T and Frank Ocean.

Kawala – “Do It Like You Do”

Kentish Town duo Kawala release their new single “Do It Like You Do” today through Mahogany Records. The follow-up to their ‘s debut single “Small Death“, “Do It Like You Do” pushes the band forward in natural but unexpected ways, a slinky, acoustic, summery jam that features hushed vocals that feels natural, and not cobbled together.

London born and bred, Daniel McCarthy and Jim Higson work respectively as a market stall holder and a baker, and live and breathe North London. It’s evident that the music was made in such a multi-cultural hub too. finding their sound and style whilst studying together at Leeds College Of Music they headed back to their native North London together soon enough to start forming the band.

Speaking about the track they explain: “The message in ‘Do It Like You Do’ that we want to convey is one of encouragement in the face of a new surrounding or scenario. The best way to deal with finding yourself in a new setting is to do what you do best. We wanted to reflect this through the upbeat positive nature of the track.”

Words by Jay Tijani and Gintarė Lomsargytė

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