Lots of things are uncertain in life, especially at the moment; but there’s always one thing we can count on, and that’s that the annual Mercury Award shortlist will kick off a ton of arguing online. One man who’s well deserving of a nod is Michael Kiwanuka, whose outstanding third album ‘KIWANUKA’ has been nominated. For the playlist this week we’ve added the Bonobo remix of one of the songs from this record, ‘Final Days’, which is an absolute beauty.
Also new for this week we’ve got massive collaborations from Headie One and Drake, and Aluna, Princess Nokia & Jada Kingdom, the return of Rejjie Snow and the latest of Gorillaz‘s song machine series.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
Headie One x Drake
‘Only You Freestyle’
First up on the playlist we’ve got Headie One and Drake’s massive collaboration. “I had to go hard, especially on a track with one of the best drill artists in the world…Scratch that – the best drill artist in the world,” Drake said of their team-up, and he’s not lying. Over icy instrumentals the two artists exchange verses, and the results are blistering.
On the B List
Rejjie Snow, MF DOOM & Cam O’bi
Rejjie Snow is back! Releasing his first song in two years, he’s teamed up with the legendary MF DOOM and Cam O’b for the psychedelic-tinted ‘Cookie Chips’. With its lilting beats and woozy synth lines, it’s a slice of pure sunshine.
“Honey is about how a relationship moves between the bad and the good times, but even through the bad times the mutual love you’ve built and the fascination you have for each other never fades away, and you choose to stick together through it all,” Norwegian bedroom pop wunderkind Boy Pablo explained of his latest tune. Meshing hazy instrumentals with skittering production and earworm melodies, it’s an earnest ode to all-encompassing love.
With its sultry beats and Aiko’s rich vocals, ‘Summer 2020’ is a sun-drenched treat.
‘Don’t Turn Around’
‘Don’t Turn Around’ is Biig Piig’s “post breakup, pre glow up tune”. A soulful amalgam of R&B, balearic sounds and shimmering pop, this is soundtrack to deleting your fuckboy ex’s number from your phone and expelling them from your life.
On the C List
Aluna, Princess Nokia & Jada Kingdom
‘Get Paid’ “is an aspirational celebration about black women and women of colour getting paid, in opposition of the reality that we are consistently undervalued for our work,” Aluna has explained of her latest single. Teaming up with Jada Kingdom and Princess Nokia, the dancehall tune is a powerful three minutes.
‘Pac-Man (feat. ScHoolboy Q)’
For the latest instalment of Gorillaz’s Song Machine series (where they “spit out brand new episodes fresh from the studio, as and when they happen”), they’re joined by ScHoolboy Q. Combining indie-pop instrumentals with Q’s slick vocals and the occasional arcade game bloop, it’s a brilliant tune from the virtual band.
‘Night Garden (feat. Kenny Beats & Bakar)’
The followup to BENEE’s Tik-Tok smasher ‘Supalonely’ (which has been streamed more than 1.3 billion times worldwide), on ‘Night Garden’ she’s joined by Bakar and Kenny Beats, for a dynamic genre-splicing banger.
We may have missed out on a summer dancing in sweaty festival dance tents; but if you want to recreate the feeling just have a few tins, turn up Annie’s new one loud and dance around your living room with the rest of your bubble until the sunrises.
‘Final Days (Bonobo Remix)’
Bonobo’s remixed this beauty from Michael Kiwanuka’s stellar third album ‘Kiwanuka’, and and turned it into a pulsating techno hit.
Finally on the playlist this week we’ve got this thumping house belter from Computer Data. Filled with jittering beats and throbbing bass, it’s total floor-filler.