Presenting this week’s best new tracks – and when to drop them. Scroll down for the Spotify playlist.
Travis Scott – ‘Stargazing’
Best for going out of your god-damned mind
The mysterious, controversial campaign around the US rapper’s new album ‘ASTROWORLD’ has been equal parts exhausting and exhilarating. ‘Stargazing’, the opening song to it, makes it all worth it. Autotuned vocals populate the song’s slower first half, but it launches into action via Scott’s addictive personality in the latter section.
Nadia Rose – ‘WUT2’
Best for standing your ground
One of Britain’s most electrifying rappers returns with this, her first song of 2018 and perhaps her boldest yet. Built on a tormenting guitar riff, the Croydon star stands her ground against the snakes and backstabbers as she flits between furious flows and hypnotising singing.
Jade Bird – ‘Uh Huh’
Best for thinking global
Following the success of ‘Lottery’, the debate around Jade Bird cracking American became an issue of “when”, not “if”. ‘Uh Huh’, a thundering country-jam with a blistering pop chorus ought appeal to the nation’s persuasion. The rest of the world will follow suit.
Robyn – ‘Missing U’
Best for returning with the goods
A return from the influential Swedish pop star and the internet’s darling has been pined for by fans and critics alike since her last release ‘Body Talk’ in 2010, and for the most part, it’s worth the wait. A pulsating beat gets things off to a bold start, before a tale of a love that’s come and gone tears your heart to pieces. Nothing’s changed then.
Flohio – ‘10 More Rounds’
Best for pushing things forward
Flohio’s 2018 has been monumental. The steps that were made in her game from debut single ‘Bands’ to ‘Watchout’ seemed unheard of – but the London rapper has surpassed it with this, a bruising anthem where she begins to envisage the world she will no doubt conquer: “Don’t you pour dirt on my dreams/Right now I’m just trying to win, and live.”
DJ Khaled, Chance The Rapper, Justin Bieber, Quavo – ‘No Brainer’
Best for scheming in the group chat
The mogul’s address book is bulging with huge names, but DJ Khaled’s roped in some reliable allies for new summer bop ‘No Brainer’. Obviously, it’s a winner all round – but Justin Bieber proves to be the standout moment in a song where heavyweights compete for space.
Mura Masa, NAO – ‘Complicated’
Best for reconnecting with a pal
Mura Masa and NAO’s working relationship has been fruitful to say the least. NAO jumped on Mura’s ‘Firefies’ from his debut album last year and it proved to be one a serious triumph. The producer returned the favour by reworking ‘In The Morning’ from her debut album in glorious fashion. Here, the pair turn in their best work by sharing the workload – as tropical beats crafted by the producer are lifted by another versatile vocal performance from Nao. A perfect mix, then.
Words: Thomas Smith