I love discovering amazing music by promising upcoming artists, almost, if not more as much as hearing great new tunes from those I already love. We’ve searched far and wide for the best new sounds from independent acts across the globe, and here are the best from the past two weeks.
I gotta say, this week’s playlist is without doubt the best playlist we’ve had so far. I usually suggest listening to the tracks on shuffle, or using the below annotations to pick out which styles you’ll like, but I feel like this one speaks for itself.
If you’d like to be in next week’s playlist, please submit your music via submithub.com.
- A.K.i.L, Question (Prod. Fel)
This track is an absolute killer – it may well take you a while to get to the next track on this playlist; if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to spin this a couple times over. The insightful, personal lyrics are backed by a gentle beat and guitar instrumental. A really gorgeous track from an artist I’ll be keeping an eye on from now on.
Brandyn Burnette x Win & Woo, Underneath
We’ve covered Brandyn before, and he keeps coming back with more incredible tracks. This collaborative number rides low, sentimental and atmospheric on each layer, from the soulful vocals right over to the sparkly synth bulges and embellishments.
Beyonce, Hold Up (Kendoll Brinkley Brown cover)
We’ve covered Kendoll once before too, but I couldn’t pass up on this gorgeous cover. The music is laden with brass and rhythm with hints of reggae and ska, and Brown’s rich vocals and occasional patois puts the Lemonade standout into a remarkably fresh light.
David Schocke, HIGH
I love how funky and slick this understated piece is. It’s playful, seductive and cheeky – “My girlfriend will leave me if she found you in my room again,” tsk tsk! Musically progressive and lyrically interesting, this is absolutely one of my favourite songs this week.
Denzel Woods, A.D.H.D Too
A gentle, introspective hip-hop track predominantly about drug use – Molly, weed, codeine, etc., backed by a smooth, sparse jazzy instrumental. While it feels sensual and calm throughout, there’s a few moments where the hidden aggression comes out – a really interesting storyline.
Jane’s Party, Coming On Strong
A brief interlude from the otherwise exclusively hip-hop/R&B/soul playlist this week, this was an interesting choice for me to add in as I don’t usually enjoy this kind of music. That said, there’s something reflective and sentimental about this dreamy, vaguely disco-infused indie pop offering that’s put a smile on my face.
66notes x BenOaks, The End is Here (prod. numinous)
Mmmmm. This instrumental is awesome, less is certainly more here, giving way to the two-layered vocals and verses about being a libertarian, about saving the world through peace and togetherness – “the only way to save us from us.” Another one I could, and have listened to multiple times on repeat.
ANiMALSOUL, Song 4
A psychedelic atmosphere blends with a smooth, sensual melody and a swift trip hop beat here, to create a seriously gorgeous track. It’s so easy to sit back and get into the groove of this one; there’s a real classic feel to the husky vocals, and I love the intricacies in the guitar layer.
This piece opens softly, with a low driving beat. Soon, a chunky synth adds a punch, while a huge distorted guitar wails through to the verse. A path clears for the wonderful melody, before joining together as the track progresses. I can’t get enough of the atmosphere and movement in this track.
The Gifted, Locked Down (ft. Mackenzie Thoms)
Locked Down opens with smooth R&B vocals, the harmonies, distortion and melody drawing obvious influence from The Weeknd, without being a direct copy at all. The shuffling rhythm really steps it up a notch, toying with rhythm and tone as percussion comes in and out of the soundscape.
Jared Xavier, Life We Choose ft. AJ Suede (prod. TEK.LUN)
This is a unique and ominous track, one of my favourites this week. I love the flow, I love the tone, I love the balance between the dark vocals and the bright, high-pitched backing keys perfectly. Xavier and Suede’s verses and tone complement one another perfectly. All in all, this is a real winner.
Alpha Faktion, Creative Control (prod. Nottz)
A heavy beat and fiercely proud verses with a great flow and an overall classic vibe, this is the kind of track that feels familiar, but not in an I’ve-heard-this-before way, more so that it’s immediately easy to get into and enjoy. Great production too, courtesy of Nottz.
Brandon Serafino, Summits
Another husky R&B piece with a stompy rhythm and sexy vocals, this one plays with space and sparsity really well. I love the rich melody and smooth backing vocals, which are pulled together by diverse staccato percussive elements so well. Also, it reminds me of Miguel (in a really good way).
Danny Matos, You Ain’t Better (prod. by Rusty Mack)
“You ain’t, no no no no no, you ain’t better than bein’ alone” – this track is a fucking jam. Not the typical kind of hip-hop that I like, but the spacey synths and spitfire bars, filled with brilliant wordplay and absolutely vicious calls, makes for one hell of a track courtesy of Danny Matos.
Magic City Hippies, HUSH
Absolutely my favourite track of the week. I adore every single thing about this amazingly smooth, sexy track. It’s one of those pieces that have a retro vibe without feeling ironic or nostalgic even slightly. Listen out for some really special moments in the instrumental layers – and a deep hip-hop verse in for good measure. Blending funk synths with heavy guitars, psychedelia with experimental hip-hop elements, it is a real pleasure to listen to Hush.
Today Is Vintage, Saint – Funk’d Up (ft. Miss Julia)
Mmmmm. Bluesy as hell, with sleazy keys and velvety vocals intertwining atop a syncopated rhythm, with raunchy lyrics and a gorgeous melody – and that’s before the phenomenal Miss Julia comes in with her stunning soulful voice. Equal placing as my favourite track this week, god I love hearing music like this coming out in 2016.
S.W.O.L.E, Nintendo & Indo (Prod. Hudat%)
Finishing today’s playlist on a chilled out track with a really great old school vibe and a really cool rhythm. Generally a celebration of everything Mary Jane, dro, spliff, dank and so on, “Nintendo and indo, we livin’ in a daze!” the duo that is S.W.O.L.E (Souls With Only Lyrical Existence) have inhaled what those like Cypress Hill did before them in perfect style.