IT’S Friday, which can only mean one thing! Beautiful new music for your ears to revel in over the weekend.
This week’s New Music Fridays has releases from a variety of artists from all over the place – we’ve got the UK, US, Denmark and Japan all representing.
Here are five big albums plus a few notable singles that are definitely worth a listen:
Samm Henshaw – Untidy Soul
English singer-songwriter Samm Henshaw released his debut album this week after lots of anticipation, and it’s a tasteful mixture of 90s hip-hop, bluesy jazz and gospel. Some songs are understated and low-key, while others build towards a crescendo of saxophones and trumpets, but all feature Henshaw’s soulful voice
The 26-year-old has a distinctly American twang to his voice – from one quick listen you’d be hard-pressed to know that he actually hails from south London. Grow was the excellent pre-released single for Untidy Soul, and themes of identity and selfhood resonate throughout.
DDW’s standout song: Chicken Wings
Lady Wray – Piece of Me
Virginia-raised Nicole Wray, otherwise known as Lady Wray, was discovered by none other than Missy Elliot back in the 1990s and has been releasing soulful R&B ever since. Piece of Me is Lady Wray’s third studio album and combines some singles from the last two years with some newer tracks, showcasing her excellent vocal range throughout.
DDW’s standout song: Come On In
MØ – Motordrome
“Dark disco” is how Danish artist Karen Marie Ørsted described the sound of her third album, Motordrome. It seems like the natural path of progression for the 33-year-old, who is blending her earlier punk influences with more upbeat mainstream pop vibes after the staggering success of her 2015 collab with Major Lazer Lean On.
The Weeknd’s disco-pop influence is particularly prevalent on the album’s single Live to Survive. Overall, Motordrome is a moody mix of electropop and indie rock that will go down well at the local discotheque.
DDW’s standout song: Live to Survive
Amber Mark – Three Dimensions Deep
New York R&B singer Amber Mark released her long-awaited debut album today after two intriguing EPs – 3.33AM in 2017 and the breakthrough Conexão in 2018 – saw her garner a healthy amount of attention in the pop music scene. Both EPs examined themes of grief and love and were eloquently expressed through clean, versatile R&B, pop and dance tracks.
Three Dimensions Deep marks a new juncture in Mark’s career as her reinvigorated songwriting seems more polished and confident than ever. Mark has credited One Direction producer Julian Bunetta for helping her expand her writing abilities, culminating in an energetic collection of 17 songs demanding radio airplay this weekend.
DDW’s standout song: One
Babyface Ray – FACE
Detroit rapper Babyface Ray has been around for a minute, but his critically acclaimed Unfuckwitable from last year truly caught the attention of the hip-hop world. Today he released his 13th full-length project FACE – a smooth amalgamation of ten years of graft that has seen him rise through the ranks to the top of the genre.
FACE is chock-full of huge features. Swedish sad boy Yung Lean jumps on track 5 Overtime, with the likes of G Herbo, 42 Dugg, Landstrip Chip, Pusha T and Wiz Khalifa also appearing. Babyface Ray’s deadpan delivery and absorbing storytelling make this one of the rap albums of the year so far.
DDW’s New Music Fridays standout song: Dancing With The Devil
Toro Y Moi – Postman
Anitta – Boys Don’t Cry
Quavo – Shooters Inside My Crib
Disclosure & Zedd – You’ve Got To Let Go IF You Want To Be Free
Charli CXC – Beg For You (ft. Rina Sawayama)
SEE MORE: New Music Fridays – January 21