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.

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New Track: $ – Sofi De La Torre

Spanish alt-R&B singer SOFI DE LA TORRE is back after the outstanding success of last year’s ‘Flex Your Way Out’ ft Blackbear single, with new track ‘$’.

With her sound described by i-D as “the swagger of Drake fused with a laid-back Lana vibe”, ‘$’ is an alt-pop slow jam about a relationship ruined by the need to impress with wealth – a superficial love. ‘$’ sees Sofi take a leaf out of J Lo’s book as she explains how you cannot buy her love, her ‘Love don’t cost a thing’.

Sofi’s moody vocals roll in with a strong message to her ex, “f**k ya money I don’t care about it”. The statement sets the tone for the single, yet her dreamy vocals in the chorus combined with the slow jam pop/R&B instrumental, reveal an undeniable vulnerability, a natural feeling at the end of a relationship.

The track was written and produced with her long-term Finnish producer Jonas Karlsson who has worked with her on many of her past successes, the first being ‘Vermillion’ which saw her garner support from Billboard, Time Magazine and The Guardian whilst Sofi’s debut album ‘Mess’ received praise from Noisey and Pop Justice. Her previous single ‘Flex Your Way Out’ feat. Blackbear saw her first spin from BBC Radio 1 courtesy of Jamz Supernova.

With the accompanying visual to ‘$’ on its way and her long-awaited debut record expected this spring, 2017 looks set to see SOFI DE LA TORRE cement her position within the empowering female-fronted scene.

New Music Video: 2 Lovin U – Miguel x DJ Premier

Having dropped the audio online last month, which was instantly picked up by the online music tastemakers and shakers, including Rolling Stone, Hot New Hip-Hop, Pitchfork, XXL Mag, Consequence of Sound, Spin and even the Guardian making it their Track of the Week; Hip-Hop icon, DJ Premier, and R&B superstar Miguel, reveal the video for ‘2 Lovin U’.

With the video opening to the vision of Miguel, there is almost an instant sense of relief to know that both parties are bringing everything to the table for the visuals of this worthy record. With Preemo taking his certified position behind the decks, there’s a dreamlike glow to the video that throws back to some 80’s inspiration with the movement of scenes and flashes of gold and light throughout.

Ever the revolutionaries in their own fields, the pair have no hesitation in creating unpredictable music together that is destined to strike a chord. Having previously teased fans with the collaboration via a video snippet on Miguel’s instagram during his Wildheart album campaign, the release of the album, (which was later nominated for two Grammy Awards), left fans in suspense as the track mysteriously eluded the tracklisting.

With the mystery now resolved, we get to enjoy the fruits of their labour via the stirring new single, which comes edged with rocky guitar riffs and splashes of hip-hop undertones as DJ Premier scratches through the beat.

As Miguel has previously stated, he and Premier were always going to find a special way to release this track, now entitled ‘2 Lovin U’; and true to their words, they have. “The track having a different title gives it a new light” DJ Premier stated; a statement reflected perfectly in the video too.”

Here your chance to check out the video for ‘2 Lovin’ U’

New Music Video: Dreamin’ – ADI (ft. KDC)

adi-dreamin-video-clip

After a two-year break, which she describes as “a necessary form of artistic hibernation”, Tel Aviv singer/ producer ADI (Adi Ulmansky) returns with a music video to her new single Dreamin’ . The latest banger is the lead single from her forthcoming EP, also entitled Dreamin‘, out next Friday, which also features self penned and produced single Pink Pillz.

Featuring US rapper KDC, Dreamin’  was produced by Eric Dingus (whose work features on Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late). This is the first project that ADI has enlisted external producers whilst still co-producing the entire EP – a mix of R&B, hip-hop with futuristic beats.

Back in 2013, ADI turned heads with her debut mixtape, Shit Just Got Real and follow-up EP  Hurricane Girl a few months later. Jay Z’s Life and Times mag called her “matchless”, Vice claimed that they’re “obsessed with ADI“, while The Guardian noted that she took “her love of Radiohead and transformed it into clattering, MIA-esque pop”.

Song of the Day: Flex Your Way Out – Sofi de la Torre (ft. Blackbear)

sofi-de-la-torreSOFI DE LA TORRE, the Spanish singer from the Canary Islands, shares her newest single, Flex Your Way Out featuring multi-talented LA artist Blackbear, earlier this month, under the self-styled banner #PopDoneRight.  

The track finds the two singers mirroring their dreamy vocals over Finnish pop producer Jonas Karlsson’s soothing, trap-infused instrumental. Whilst SOFI DE LA TORRE is exposing a darker and more introverted side, as she laments the end of a relationship, the overall feel is one of closure and optimism.

Blackbear rose to fame as a co-writer on Justin Bieber’s 2012 hit Boyfriend. Since then the 25-year old producer has developed an intriguing musical persona – pursuing R&B and rap influences and working with hip-hop artists such as Childish Gambino and Machine Gun Kelly, as well as Pharrell Williams and James Blake.

Following the success of Sofi’s track Vermillion, which gained support from the Guardian, TIME Magazine and Billboard, Flex Your Way Out serves as the perfect showcase of Sofi’s continued ability to craft hit records. With a currently untitled EP expected to follow, the anticipation has certainly been mounting since Sofi’s latest project, Mess’ which debuted autumn 2015, and received praise across the board from Noisey to Pop Justice.

Resolutely independent, Sofi’s latest release provides an introverted perspective to her unique pop style. Performing under the banner of #PopDoneRight, she continues to stress how pop should be heartfelt, original and accessible. ‘Flex Your Way Out’ serves as an introduction for many and embodies the sound that Sofi has pioneered, whilst standing as a testament to her artistic growth in 2016.

Watch the video to the single.

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.