PLAYLIST: Breakthrough Wednesday

Every week, we sift through a tonne of new music from independent and upcoming artists alongside the more established ones. One of my favourite things to do is to share music from artists you’ve likely never heard of before – but those which you’ll hopefully be hearing a lot more from in future. I didn’t actually plan this, but the playlist this week sort of traipses between sample-laden hip-hop and R&B and sexy indie-electronica. I hope you enjoy is as much as I do!

If you’d like to be featured on next week’s playlist, please send us your songs via submithub.com.

  • DMangelo, Hip Hop Loved Me 
    Opening on a hard-hitting ode to hip-hop’s day of old. The artist traces back through hip-hop’s history, talking about the artists and records that changed his life, and what they taught him, from Snoop to Public Enemy, to Rakim and KRS-One. The song essentially discussed how hip-hop’s changed, and left, as though he’s gone through a break-up.  
  • ThorneAcid Trip
    I absolutely love this one. This is a floaty song with a really great instrumental, with a kind of Ben Khan-esque, smooth, funky electro-groove. I love the bouncy melody and the bass beneath it – there’s so many layers working together here – it’s a lot of fun, and so easy to wanna dance to.
  • L O N E R, Trenches
    This one is really sultry and seductive, a crackly, sexy trip-hop instrumental and absolutely gorgeous vocals, delicate and dark all at once. There’s a vintage feel to some of the layers and samples, all the while enhanced by a flute loop and stunning vocal harmonies. This is absolutely one of my favourite tracks this week.
  • ChrxstalHearts and Daggers
    Here’s another honeyed indie-electro track, graceful and groovy, with a muffled, watery synths, embellished by glistening, spacey effects and gentle percussion. Toward the end it distorts as the synths form larger chunks – this brief glimpse into something more wild really makes me want more.
  • E-ONDon’t Go Home
    I must have been on those late-night vibes when I found these tracks, because this one is absolutely destined for a bedroom soundtrack. With distorted vocals, a slow, slinky beat and glimmering synths that peek through with a glassy clarity around the muffled vocals, it makes for really interesting and really sensual vibes.
  • Oma Gusti RecordsPirates (LOKATT Remix)
    We’re sticking to the indie-electronica for now. The chords in those opening vocal harmonies are immediately mesmerising. As each layer enters – beat, synths, etc., it creates a really hypnotic, ethereal environment. This has a really classic synth-pop feel to it, but there’s something so spellbinding and damn enjoyable that it still feels totally original.
  • CalamityFor The Love
    I love the samples in this one, perhaps because I’ve been spinning so much Avalanches over the last few days. Calamity’s verse is slick and clever, and his tone is refined in a way that I could listen to all day. Outstanding production and wonderful wordplay – one of my favourites this week.
  • The Grand AffairEndless Symmetry
    This track is so soulful and smooth, with those fine keys and pristine vocals, swinging from beat to beat, from note to note across a melody that you could just drown in. Then comes the scratching, heavier beat and vocal harmonies, and the whole track steps up another few notches.
  • Saga, The Warrior (prod. by Quincey Tones)
    We’ve still got the samples, but the bars on this track are the heavy, powerful and lyrically dextrous. I absolutely LOVE the beats behind this one – serious props to Quincey Tones, every beat has me falling harder. This might be my favourite hip-hop track on this week’s playlist.
  • Derle, & Des Brennan, Night Rider
    Who’d have thought, more samples? I love the atmospheric instrumental on Night Rider, and the verses are lyrically really interesting, with a tone and flow that feels like a hip-hop version of sitting around the campfire giving a kind of story-sermon. This one’s really insightful and really beautiful – well worth a listen.
    XX is a sleek electro-pop track blending with hip-swingin’, baby-making verses, explosive, futuristic synth phrases and a deep, dance-ready rhythm. I love how much this track varies throughout, all the while maintaining a really cool late-night vibe.
  • GoldsmokeAll Falls Down
    We’re slowing it down a little more now, with this bassy, rich and willowy electro-R&B offering. I absolutely love the vocals, velvety smooth, a real pleasure to feel floating through my ears. The synth layers are a breathy middle-ground beneath the melody and that bubbly bass – I love it.
  • MonomanMore Than You Know ft. Aimee Montague
    I love the strength in this one, it really reminds me of a couple tracks from Banks’ album Goddess. The melody is crystal clear and although fairly willowy, it carries a really punchy attitude, with sassy lyrics leading the wonderful melody and catchy rhythm.
  • JaveonNineyards
    I was unsure where this track would open up to, but at twenty seconds, in drops a deep, crunchy bass and a gorgeous melodic verse. I love the little additions throughout, like the wavering synths and vocal harmonies. This is such as earworm track – it’s already stuck in my head and I am completely okay with that.
  • The Pheels, French Toast
    Like the Thorne track, this one has a funky Ben Khan-type vibe, and considering I absolutely adore that vibe, I adore this song. The lyrics tell a sexy story – who doesn’t love a “pour some sugar on me” line? Meanwhile the instrumental layers are embellished with subtle percussion and synth flickers, making for a really cool listen.
  • Des BrennanSanctum (Prod. Derlee)
    I’m digging Des Brennan so much this week that I’ve put two songs in. A really meaningful story, backed by soulful production – it’s similarly poignant and sincere. I really love hearing rappers coming out addressing this kind of subject matter, and I’m really keen to hear more.
  • Lucy CampBe You (feat. Fjer & Tonedeff)
    Finally, we end this week’s playlist on a track that opens on an enveloping electronic instrumental and incredible verses from upcoming rapper Lucy Camp. Don’t be fooled by her soft, fine tone – Camp flexes her lyrical muscles with incredible speed and dexterity here. I want so much more music like this.

Image: Des Brennan