Album Review: Love, Hugh – Hugh

Last time HUGH were featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC was last September, with their upbeat and chirpy single, ‘Look at In Laughter.’ Soon as I learnt of their debut album, ‘Love, Hugh’, I had to have a peep as the infectious melodic pop overtones in ‘Look Back In Laughter’ have been swimming in mind ever since its feature on the blog.

The four piece band from London, featuring Joshua Idehen and Izzy Brooks, have been praised by BBC Radio One, The Guardian, Stereogum, i-D and Hype Machine for their balanced blend of R&B/soul and synthpop featured in the 11 track album…and quite rightly so.

However I have to say the better part of ‘Love, Hugh’ is the second half of the album. The sweet melancholic presence of pop art takes a back seat, making way for the smooth and atmospheric R&B, enhanced by a woofing electronic bass (which reminds me of Massive Attack, for some reason).

Usually, I don’t follow hypes, but this one for real.. they’re definitely worth a trial. See the recommended tracks below.

Must Listens: I Can’t Figure You Out, Protect My Heart, I Don’t Like You, Take It Slow, In and Out of Love.

New Track: Views Of You – Sofi De La Torre (ft. Taylor Bennett)

Following the release of her previous track $, SOFI DE LA TORRE makes a quick return to NEW LEASE MUSIC, teaming up upcoming Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett for the latest bitter-sweet single, ‘Views Of You’, released on last Friday under her self-style banner #PopDoneRight.

On ‘Views Of You’ both Sofi and Taylor speak regretfully about a lost lover. Soft pads, guitar and delicate fluttering piano allow de la Torre and Taylor’s vocal lines to shine, propelling their vocals to the fore.

Taylor, who recently teamed up with brother Chance The Rapper, Lil Yachty and Jerimih, imparts a robust verse over the delicate instrumental, produced with Finnish producer Jonas Karlsson, who has worked on so many of Sofi’s past successes, including ‘Flex Your Way Out’ feat. Blackbear’. The late-2016 single received extensive support, including an interview with Noisey on Beats 1, her first BBC Radio 1 spin courtesy of Jamz Supernova, and her highest play count yet, with over 5 million hits across Spotify, YouTube and Soundcloud.

‘Views Of You’ is the latest single from the debut album, following the chilled alt-pop cut ‘$’. To mark release of the album, the Berlin-based singer will be visiting London to perform at The Woods in Shoreditch on 13th May – so if you’re in the area, stop by and take in the dreamy R&B pop vibes.

For now, get a taste for things to come and listen to ‘Views Of You.’

 

 

 

Song of the Day: Warm – Becky Hill

becky-hill-warm

Since the release of single Warm last month,  alternative pop princess BECKY HILL has raised quite a few eyebrows.

Premiered on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio show,  the SHIFT K3Y-produced number was streamed over 1 million times, as well as receiving heavy airplay on Clara Amfo’s BBC radio 1 mid-morning show and Mistajam’s 1Xtra set….and now NEW LEASE MUSIC has given a seal of approval to Hill’s electronic-pop effort.

Go check it out…and if you’re feeling this track, BECKY HILL will be headlining a show at The Scala (London) on 5th April 2017. Tickets available now via Tickermaster.co.uk and Livemation.com

New Track: Holdin’ – Model 86

model 86 Holdin

Forward-thinking producer MODEL 86 returns gets ready to release his latest EP, When You Realise People Are Not One Dimensional Characters In A Movie Of Your Life in early July.

Written over the past six months, the five track release bounces off the walls like nothing Manchester-born, London-based Matthew James Wilcock – the man behind the moniker – has done before. A kaleidoscope of weird and wonderful textures, the EP explores the nooks and crannies of experimental electronic, R&B, and contemporary hip-hop. Blending together an eclectic mix of diced samples, storming bass, beautiful refrains and bold rhythms, When You Realise… provides a sound reminiscent of Hudson Mohawke, Flying Lotus and Flume.

The EP’s opening track Holdin sets the tone straight from the get-go as an explosive hip-hop fling of choppy samples: a footworky rhythm with emotional breakdowns.

After dropping out of Art College to study music, MODEL 86 began exploring a waypoint between New York hip-hop, ‘70s funk, jazz and contemporary electronic music, whilst exploring his interest in the way music and sound dissect. Having produced prolifically for commercials, TV and film, he finally came into his own with his debut EP, Self Help Dance last summer. Following on naturally from his first release, championed by NME, Clash and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens,  the producer’s latest endeavour continues the theme of genre-mashing, but with a more considered structure and approach.

When You Realise People Are Not One Dimensional Characters In A Movie Of Your Life is out for your inspection on 8th July…but for now, listen to the EP’s opener.

Upcoming Release: Shining – BRNFKD

BRNFKD Shining
Nowadays Records’ newest recruits BRNFKD are all set to release their eponymous debut EP on 22nd April, available on major music outlets. Leading single Shinning displays six and a half minutes of blissful fusion of  deep downtempo plus hip-hop/trap-influenced vibes, featuring the hazy R&B vocals from Eli Sostre.

Behind those six special letters (pronounced – excuse my French – ‘brain fucked’) lurk two rising talents of the French scene: heavy trap range artist Ikaz Boi and prolific producer Monk, whose creative focus lies in more delicate soundscapes. Together, the two producers play with the codes of electronic and hip-hop music; merging aggressive percussion, deep bass, sharp kicks and ethereal synthesizers to craft an atmosphere that is all at once sensual melancholic and powerful.

Having performed in the past alongside hip-hop heavyweight Just Blaze, Ikaz Boi has collaborated with Amine Edge and DANCE on the Radio 1-playlisted Came Around as well as remixing and producing a plethora of rappers such as Vic Mensa and Leather Corduroys’ hit Have U Eva. With Monk also having seen success with a track release on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Electric 4, BRNFKD presents the perfect platform to see their talents amplified.

You read their credentials, now it’s time to sample the masters at work; check out Shining.

New Track! Trickle Trickle – Kill J

Trickle Trickle Kill J

Following the overwhelming success of  You’re Good But I’m Better, which topped the Hype Machine chart at no.1, Danish experimental alt-pop sensation KIll J hopes to bring the same success with her new single, Trickle Trickle.

Drawing on the soundscapes of previous efforts, Propaganda and You’re Good But I’m Better, the three-and-a-half minute production takes on a more fragile and vulnerable feel. Though a more emotionally expressive piece that sees KILL J reveal a tender side to her distinctive charisma, the track’s punchy bass and expertly layered echoing vocals are still unmistakable.

Named ‘Band of the Week’ by The Guardian newspaper, KIll J has already gained a legion of fans, whilst receiving airplay from the likes of Huw Stephens and Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1, Mamiko Motto on NTS Radio and even a spin on Beats1. Armed with her latest release, she only looks set to further her position as one of Denmark’s most exciting exports: a reputation that will be cemented when she plays SXSW this year.

Trickle Trickle will form part of her debut EP, Quasi, set for release in March 2015.

 

Interview with: Sticky Blood

Sticky blood 2

After leaving Arctic Monkey members Andy Nicholson and Jamie Field started up their project, STICKY BLOOD last year and since then, it’s been full steam ahead. The production duo have worked with a list of heavyweights, including Clubs and Spades as well as dropping tracks from their debut EP I.D…and since they’re a massive hit with you guys, I think they deserve the interview seat this month.

NLM: You guys released your debut EP Professional last month Tell us the story behind this project?

SB: We wanted to create a body of work which encompassed the various genres of music we like. Working with Hekky, Snowy & Ajay Carter this was achieved.

NLM: What’s the public’s reception on the EP since its release?

We feel blessed that so many BBC Radio 1 & BBC Radio 1xtra presenters played our debut EP, and then there’s regional radio too. Considering we were unknown artists and all our featured artists were unknown, it’s amazing how well our music was received.

NLM: What’s your favourite track on the EP and why?

Andy – Professional;  Jamie – I.D.

NLM: How would you describe your music to potential fans?

SB: Listenable. It’s a difficult one this, how we may describe our music may be very different to how its heard by one of our fans.

NLM: Let’s take a look into your early life…what did you do before getting involved in the music industry/Arctic Monkeys?

We have both always been involved in music. Our lives started here…

NLM: What’s your proudest project outside Arctic Monkeys and Sticky Blood?

We are working on a secret project at the moment with other well-known artists. You will have to wait for the answer on this one. Its staying top-secret for the time being!

NLM: You work with a string of creditable artists, including Terri Walker…but If you were to collaborate with just ONE more chart-topping artist of today, who would it be?

Andy – Kwabs;  Jamie – Fetty Wap.

NLM: So What are your plans for 2015 and beyond? Do you have any upcoming gigs?

SB: We have our next EP – Blood is Stickier than Water out on Nov 20th. This EP was recorded down at Red Bull studios in London with Hekky, Terri Walker, a special guest, Coco & Snowy.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

wwwstickyblood.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/StickyBlood1
http://www.twitter.com/stickybloodUK

Song of the Day: Still Oceans – RKZ

Rkz Still Oceans
Today’s song  is Still Oceans by UK singer-songwriter and rapper, RKZ. The track is the first release from his mixtapeScience X Soul, released 31 July.

RKZ began his career in 2009 as a rapper before gradually developing his skills as a singer, spoken word poet and writer. His musical style is considered a fusion of alternative R&B, Neo-soul and Hip Hop.

At the young age of 24, he has released several singles and mixtapes, gaining the support and being playlisted on radio stations including BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Kiss and Bang radio, as well as performing nationwide from acoustic venues such as Hoxton Bar & Grill to major festivals including T In The Park, Reading & Leeds and BBC’s London Mela.

Alongside his music, RKZ was announced as Ambassador for CALM in 2012, a charity which aims to reduce the suicide
rate with young men in the UK aged 15-35. He regularly contributes to the website and magazine, touching on topics including depression, society and youth culture. To add to the impressive CV, he self-published a series called #MotivationalProse, which is dedicated to installing a positive mentality and outlook in the youth today.

RKZ is soon becoming a jack-of-all-trades, as he has directed all of his own music videos since 2011, as well directing
music videos for artists such as Cashtastic, Summerz, Preeya Kalidas . He also produced video content for emerging arts talent platform, Be Discovered, including Shakka, Little Simz, Chasing Grace and more.

So that’s everything you need to know about RKZ…now get acquainted with his music and listen to the surreally-smooth Still Oceans. Feeling this track? Well head right over his Soundcloud profile and explore his collection of too-good-to-miss tracks. Once you get there, say a listen to Think Of Me. Enjoy!

Show your appreciation @RKZUK

Song of the Day: Cold – Maxsta (Ft. Dot Rotten, Flowz & Chase Inferno)

Maxsta cold mixtape 1.5

Today’s song is Cold by British rapper MAXSTA. The track is taken his latest project, The 1.5 Mixtape, released 30th March.


After the success of  Got Gassed, MAXSTA drops this follow up single with a melodical flow and chilled beat. His lyrical content digs deeper and he shows how diverse he is as an artist. Following a monstrous end to 2013 as the headlining clash on the top 40 selling album ‘Lord of the Mics’; MAXSTA is back with a collection of tracks that sees him make a welcome return to his musical roots with ‘The Maxtape 1.5′.


Speaking of his latest release, he says:  “Its all about the Maxtape 1.5. Having parted ways with Sony Records, I feel I’m in a place where I want to create my own lane and basically become everything I’ve wanted to be and everything I am by showing all of my industry and life experience so far. I feel like my music is coming from an adult view point now and I’m excited to surprise my fans, other artists and most importantly, myself.” 

In 2009, at the age of just 17, MAXSTA released his debut project the ‘The Maxtape’ featuring singles such as ‘East London is Back and Skadoosh with Ghetts & Dolla Da Dustman which led him to become the first artist to sign to Sony RCA subsidiary, Just Jam pioneered by SBTV’s Jamal Edwards. After penning a contract with Just Jam,  MAXSTA went on to feature in Adidas’ We Are London campaign and release his debut singles I Wanna Rock which featured as Radio 1 presenter, Nick Grimshaw’s record of the week and Wanna Go featuring Little Nikki with the pair reaching number 67 and 40 respectively in the UK charts in 2012.