SIPPRELL - Journey

Sipprell's soothing new track "Journey" instantaneously sounds like a timeless track. Starting with a guitar and ending with strings, the South Londoner's vocals float and enchant with their beauty. Think we're exaggerating? Have a listen. Or check it out for yourself; the singer is playing two gigs in London this month, with detail on her Instagram.

 

 

 


 

Hugh - Look Back In Laughter

South London quartet Hugh are back with this stripped-down, silky track. It's hard to put a finger on what genre of music one might try to box the track into – a bit of synthpop, a bit of trip-hop, a bit of something else. The mix of spoken word and smooth vocals really shines through the synths. The underlining message of the track is decidedly positive: not to dwell on the bad in ones past, and to hope that, in future, you'll be able to laugh, looking back. Band member Josh has said: "I'd been working as a barman for a while when Hugh started out. Long night shifts that often had more than a few bad moments in them and would leave me exhausted at the end. What usually got me through was the knowledge that at the end of our shift we'd all sit down, ching tips, retell our fave horror stories and laugh. It was rarely funny when it was happening, only in the past. "No long face, you'll laugh about it later" was what we're told each other (sic). When Andy and I made the first topline, I remembered that phrase and the rest followed."


 

Becky Hill - Warm

Becky Hill is back with another fantastic track. After working with Little Simz and Matoma on her last two records, Warm features the work of producer Shift K3Y as well as a cameo from MNEK, who infuse the track with an r'n'b vibe. Her vocals are as mesmerising as her songwriting is impressive; her husky vocals don't get the plaudits they deserve. Of the track, Becky has said: "WARM is a product of a great friendship between myself and Shift K3Y. The follow up to ‘Back To My Love’, it’s a reinforcement of who I am as an artist, and a reminder of how excited I am to put my own music out. [...] I've never felt more me with the release of ‘WARM’!” The track serves as a taster for more new solo music to come, just ahead of her sold-out first solo show at London’s Electrowerkz on Wednesday November 2nd.


 

Mura Masa - Love$ick

Originally released as "Lovesick Fuck" in 2015, British producer Mura Masa has revamped this track with a new A$AP Rocky verse on it. Full of flavour, the steel-drum instrumental is like musical french fries, you want more and more. 

Speaking about how the track came about, Mura Masa (lesser known as Alex Crossan) said: "Rocky was actually in London for a couple of days and I wanted to make him feel like I was taking the collaboration seriously, so I booked us in to Abbey Road, Studio 2, and we met up there for a couple of hours and he did his thing. It was a hell of a good time hanging out in such a legendary space with him, very surreal. The track originally was about sex and how I was feeling after a particularly empty encounter with a friend told through a kind of twisted-pop, calypso, hip hop dance track. Rocky kind of ran with that and took it to this lovelorn, exotic place. He totally injected his energy into it."


 

Noname - Yesterday

Three years after she appeared on Chance the Rapper's track Lost, Noname has released her debut mixtape, Telefone. The Chicago poet is only 24 years old, but the tracks are filled with wisdom beyond her years. Yesterday sounds soft, thanks to her silky tone, but the subject matter is harsh. After a few bars, it becomes clear that this is a eulogy for a friend: When the sun is going down / When the dark is out to stay / I picture your smile / Like it was yesterday. We hope it's not another three years before we get to hear more of her work. The entire mixtape is available to stream for free, here


 

Justice - Safe and Sound

After a five year break, the French duo is back with the disco-esque "Safe and Sound". Featuring some Justice staples (including a children's choir), the track's main driver, a funky slap-bass, powers along, leaving strings and synths to dance around and provide another Justice classic. And, with a cherry on top, you can even download the track for free, here

 

 
 

 

Wretch 32 - Open Conversation & Mark Duggan

Five years after the release of Black And White, Wretch 32 is back with his hotly anticipated new album, Growing Over Life. The reflective and poignant Open Conversation & Mark Duggan stands out. Its release is timely with the growing UK Black Lives Matter movement and the five year mark since the London riots, which spread across the nation and to which Mark Duggan's death provided the spark. The Tottenham wordsmith draws comparison between himself and Duggan, whom he had known, noting that it could just as easily have been he who had died:

'Member they put the cuffs on me / Felt like I couldn't even stand up or breathe / Brother Mark never made it to custody / I see his kids now and again / I give them every cent that I've got up in my pocket / But it isn't enough

 
 

Frank Ocean - Solo (Reprise) Feat. Andre 3000

Not only is Frank Ocean (finally) back, he's also blessed us with the return of some Andre 3000 bars on Solo (Reprise). Letting Benjamin Andre take the lead, Frank's lyrics are slightly playful, slightly surreal, while the OutKast rapper goes in. Gunning for the rappers of today (originally thought to be about Drake but since dispelled), Andre's verse proves that, while he doesn't release a lot of work of late, he's still one of the very best in the game. Their collaboration on channel ORANGE, Pink Matter, was minimalist, focusing on the pull between spiritual and earthly pleasures (with some references to manga cartoons and aliens along the way), and featured Andre's endearing line If models are made for modeling / Thick girls are made for cuddlin’. Solo (Reprise) is less cuddly – 3 Stacks tells us that we don't really deserve his talent considering what else is being heralded as great, rapping: ‘I’m so naive I was under the impression that everyone wrote they own verses / It's comin' back different and yea that shit hurts me / I’m hummin' and whistlin' to those not deserving/ I’m stumbled and lived every word, was I working just way too hard?’ 

 

 

MCs Zaac & Jerry - Bumbum Granada

In line with the end the Rio Olympics, this week's Press Play is repping Brazil. The Baile Funk mega hit Bumbum Granada fits the bill. Using the same music samples as old school grime, the Brazilian funk is unmistakable and hyper-infectious. Spawning countless dance routine videos, the impulsion to move once you press play is undeniable. The fixation with the derriere (another Brazilian hallmark) is all-consuming in video and lyrics, but all you'll remember is the extremely catchy "taca, taca, taca, taca" (while shaking said derriere). 

 

 

NEIKED - Sexual

With a name like "NEIKED", releasing a song called "Sexual" seems a bit on the nose. Once you press play, however, you needn't worry about corniness. The song itself is anything but – not schmaltzy or overtly oozing, it's cute, fun, and a real summer bop. The Stockholm-based producer has only been releasing music since the beginning of this year, with Sexual being his third track (the vocalist, mysteriously, remains unnamed). We reckon this is just the tip of the NEIKED iceberg. Check out his other tracks here


 

Whitney - No Woman

Listening to Whitney's No Woman evokes false memories of cruising along a deserted interstate in America, hand at the wheel of a classic Cadillac, sitting on cream leather seats, sun warming your skin, with the old tape player playing this track. Reminiscent of Neil Young, this duo from Chicago revels in falsetto and strumming guitars. Their sound is wistful and folksy, and while the music itself can seem upbeat, the majority of the time the lyrics definitely aren't. It's sad and it's lonely, but it's also beautiful to listen to. 


 

Ty Dolla $ign - No Justice ft Big TC

With his new track No Justice, Ty Dolla $ign is doing something we'd like to see more artists doing, in using his platform to address big issues. With lyrics like “They say that we’re all created equal, but ain’t nothing about us equal, you know that there could never be justice when killing us is legal” he staunchly aligns with the Black Lives Matter movement. Described by Dolla $ign as the most important track on the whole of his forthcoming album Campaign, the soulful honesty of the lyrics represent the yearnings of a Black America tired of the downward spiral of injustice and killings, alongside the personal experiences of Dolla $ign at the hands of the LAPD. 

His involvement is even more personal than the colour of his skin: Big TC (the feature on this track) is his younger brother, who has been incarcerated for over 11 years, on a life sentence for a crime he claims to be innocent of. His recording for this track was done from prison – Ty has been refused visitation to his brother for the last decade, due to being on probation himself. He debuted a three Instagram videos (below) last month which serves as the song's video, featuring mobile phone footage shot of his brother in prison, alongside the terrible footage of black people dying at the hands of the police. Ty has also recently released a short documentary highlighting his brother's plight. 


1 of 3 #NoJustice feat @bigtc_mtm from #Campaign

A video posted by Ty Dolla $ign (@tydollasign) on

2 of 3 #NoJustice #Campaign

A video posted by Ty Dolla $ign (@tydollasign) on

3 of 3 #NoJustice #Campaign

A video posted by Ty Dolla $ign (@tydollasign) on


Saint PHNX - Reload

In this day and age of The Internet, it's rare (and refreshing) to try and research a new band and hardly come up with any info. Brothers Stevie (vocals/guitar) and Alan Jukes (drums) make up Saint PHNX, a new duo from Glasgow. 

Sounding like an anthem, and reminiscent of Kasabian, their first track is called Reload. Why the title? According to Stevie, "Reload was inspired by man’s inherent addiction to tribalism and conflict. History has shown us that in any given period there has always been conflict and it seems to us that we never learn from our mistakes, we just reload."

After launching the video for Reload, they garnered 30,000 Facebook views overnight, with little to no promotion, and were Q magazine's "Track of the day" soon after.

After playing in various different bands in the past, the brothers formed Saint PHNX in January, and have been working hard on it since. They've been compared to both the Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age on music blogs already – Alan's drumming, however, is heavily inspired by hip hop, and the duo's love of Kendrick Lamar.

You can catch their debut show in Glasgow at Nice'N'Sleazy on July 21. 

 
 

Mabel x Tate Modern

When the new Tate Modern building was opened in June of this year, 20-year-old singer/songwriter Mabel created a video project to commemorate the occasion. Directed by Holly Blakey, who has also worked with fellow Brits Jessie Ware and Florence & The Machine, it's inspired by Gustav Metzger's Liquid Crystal Environment from 1965, on show at the new Tate Modern. Let the video take you bake to 1960s London, psychedelic colours and all. 

The lady herself has said: “As a kid I adored music videos with choreography. Destiny’s Child routines were often rehearsed with my sister and then we forced our family to watch multiple performances. I wanted to try to do an up-to-date version of that, using Metzger’sLiquid Crystal Environment and the incredible Tate Modern building as our setting.” 

Oh, and if Mabel looks at all familiar, that's because she's Neneh Cherry's youngest daughter. 

 
 

LP - Muddy Waters

Featured at the climax of the new season of Orange Is the New Black, this behemoth of a track haunts, mesmerises and demands, and is yet sanguine. LP has a voice resembling a F-22 Raptor, powerfully deadly with gymnastic ability. Don't believe us? Check out her cover of Beyoncé's Halo. True to its title, Muddy Waters rises from the depths and darkness, leaving the mind to revolt against fictional foes. 

While she's spent the last few years behind the scenes, writing for the pop-likes of Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and the Backstreet Boys, her own sound has such a unique depth to it that we doubt she'll be relegated to behind-the-scenes any time soon again. 

Fun fact: LP is remarkably fantastic at whistling, as shown on her track Into the Wild, but also the "whistle off" below.  


Jovel - The Heroine

Jovel delivers a thought-provoking and unique meld of monologue and rap, in a song that plays like a elongated outro. Dealing with the heavy theme of watching a loved one succumb to addiction, the song takes you from (literal) highs to the lowest of lows, without ever crossing the line of feeling too removed or unsympathetic. The video to accompany the grime/alt-rock track is gut-wrenching, too. 

 
 

Izzy Bizu - Mad Behviour

Just as unmistakable as her name, Izzy Bizu's voice is honey-sweet, on the cusp of sickly, and exquisitely controlled. The singer-songwriter has said that this is her favourite track to perform live, because she enjoyed the writing of it so much. 

The South Londoner also provided vocals for the BBC's Euro 2016 theme tune, filling the enormous boots of Edith Piaf. One of the scant positives to come out of this year's games...