This week we have projects from all over the world – Nigeria, New Zealand, Belgium, the US and the UK are all representing.
The first New Music Fridays of March is here.. how quickly this year is going. Check out the week’s biggest album releases below, plus a few singles to get your weekend started.
Cruel Santino – Subaru Boys: FINAL Heaven
Nigerian singer-songwriter Cruel Santino, real name Osayaba Andrew Ize-Iyamu, released his excellent sophomore record this week. Subaru Boys: FINAL Heaven is a 21-track conceptual album with intriguing features from Skepta, Koffee, Chi Virgo and more, blending elements of afrobeats, hip-hop, dancehall and more to create a record with a real hybrid personality.
Santino vehemently avoids genre categorisation on his latest project and puts sound and feeling at the forefront of his MO. Japanese anime and video game sound bites give the record a bouncy, optimistic cyberpunk atmosphere – in September Santino said: “By the time we’re done with this, everyone is gonna want to be a Subaru Boy or a Subaru Girl”.
Diplo – Diplo
Newness from one of the biggest names in electronic music this week – Diplo returns with a self-titled LP, his first full-length body of work in 18 years, and it’s filled to the rafters with huge features.
Helping Diplo return to his house roots are Leon Bridges, Amtrac, Busta Rhymes, Jungle, Seth Troxler, Paul Woodford, AlunaGeorge, Lil Yachty, Damian Lazarus and more. The record is curated expertly by the disk jockey veteran and provides 14 moderately safe but satisfying house bangers.
Kojey Radical – Reason To Smile
One of the most promising names in British music, rapper/singer-songwriter Kojey Radical has been flirting with the mainstream in the UK for some time now but Reason To Smile could finally be the catalyst that takes his music to where it deserves to be. His soulful lyricism often depicts British life and society with an eloquence that few artists of his groove manage to reach.
Defined by a sound he describes as “space and bass” and featuring the singles War Outside (ft Lex Amor) and Gangsta, Reason To Smile is most definitely Kojey Radical’s most ambitious and complete work to date and an emphatic statement of the levels at which he operates.
Stromae – Multitude
It’s almost been a full decade since Belgian singer and rapper Stromae released a full-length LP and he returns in March 2022 with Multitude – an eclectic mix of rhythms and sounds from across the planet.
Multitude is a powerful collection of tracks with a truly comprehensive scope – Stromae took a long break from music a few years back after suffering from burnout, but this feels very much like a triumphant return. There are elements of salsa on the record, occasionally combined with EDM, with lyrics that commentate on issues like feminism and societal equality.
Jordan Rakei – Bruises
Hot on the heels of his marvellous collaboration with Bonobo on his Ninja Tune labelmate’s new album Fragments, Jordan Rakei kicks off March with the release of new single Bruises, the lead single from a 4-track digital EP of the same name released today.
Rakei makes his love of Bob Marley so secret, and Bruises floods out of the sound system with an overtly reggae-ish swagger. “I wanted to explore my musical roots of reggae music on ‘Bruises’, but put a slightly alternative spin on it,” explains Jordan.