Welcome to This Month In Music. Where we showcase some of our favourite tracks of the month. All the big names have come out to play this month with fresh releases from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Drake, Frank Ocean and many more, but it’s not just about the big names. We’re sharing some of the newcomers that are about to own 2017. Without further ado, here’s the month in music!
Gorillaz – Andromeda feat. D.R.A.M
After a few years out of the spotlight, Gorillaz are back! Giving us a teaser of their upcoming album, the anime band (led by Damon Albarn) have dropped four tracks with a couple of surprise guests, Vince Staples, Popcaan, Jehnny Beth and D.R.A.M who appears on our favourite of the lot ‘Andromeda’. Backed with vintage Gorillaz visuals, this track alone is enough assurance to long-time Gorillaz fans that their upcoming album is going to be a good one.
Amy Shark – Weekends
It would be pretty hard for a local artist to follow up on the second biggest song of 2016, but that is what Amy Shark has successfully done. After donning the #2 spot in Triple J’s Hottest 100 with her beautiful slow jam ‘Adore’, Amy Shark has produced an equally magnificent track in ‘Weekends’. Just like ‘Adore’, ‘Weekends’ is one of those songs that gets better and better with every listen, always offering something new to discover. No over-hyping a realAussie talent here as this is truly an incredible follow up single.
Frank Ocean – Chanel
After laying low for around 3 years, last year saw iconic soul singer Frank Ocean return with two albums, followed up by a collaboration with Calvin Harris earlier this year. Now, the man is back again with ‘Chanel’ and while it may not be his best work at first listen, it’s a sure grower. As you’d expect from the singer/songwriter, powerful lyrics and a unique flow are his forte as his vocal melodies and powerful songwriting stand strong over the ambient productions.
Jarreau Vandal – Someone That You Love feat. Olivia Nelson
Now here is a name that most might not be familiar with. Jarreau Vandal is a breaking dutch electronic producer who is notably a member of tastemaker label Soulection. With a steady stream of releases over the past year, Jarreau teams up with vocalist Olivia Nelson on the addictively catchy ‘Someone That You Love’. Goodluck getting this one out of your head.
Kendrick Lamar – The Heat Part 4
If you’re a Kendrick Lamar fan, you’ll be excited to hear that the LA faithful is returning with a new album in the coming months. Kendrick dropped ‘The Heat Part 4’ without any pre-announcement, and despite the track supposedly not featuring on the upcoming album, it serves as a warning of what is to come. Initially taking us on a much slower journey, the track breaks down midway through into a rhyme heavy beat. ‘The Heat Part 4’ features more ferocity than ever before, even being quoted saying “my next album, the whole industry on an ice pack”. Kenrick is getting ready to make big plays in 2017.
Amber Mark – Lose My Cool
Fresh faced singer Amber Mark has released her first single of 2017 ‘Lose My Cool’, a groovy pop jam inspired by a range of influences including R&B, house and tribal rhythms. Although a New Yorker, her music sounds like the smooth pop music coming out of the UK right now, even signing to UK label PMR Records, the label behind Disclosure, Jessie Ware and Jamie Woon. We’re expecting to hear a lot more from Amber Mark with her soulful blend of pop in the years to come.
Louis The Child – World On Fire feat. Ashe
Electronic duo Louis The Child have spent the past few years slogging it away in the US, where they’ve become formidable names on the festival circuits around the country. This year sees their debut EP hit the shelves with the mindset of taking on the world and it’s their surprisingly stripped back collaboration with Californian vocalist Ashe that has everyone talking. ‘World On Fire’ is an elegant, indie slow jam track that differentiates a typical electronic duo from respected songwriters like Louis The Child.
Drake – Passionfruit
Out of nowhere Drake has decided to drop an album/mixtape/playlist (or whatever these rappers like to call it), but there’s always something unique about Drake. Combining his signature productions, iconic samples and a whole bunch of guests, Drake overall produces a phenomenal body of work (that could be put up there with his album of yesteryear ‘Views’). While we recommend you listen to the album right through, ‘Passionfruit’ is an instant favourite with its simplicity and cool cuts of an iconic house sample.
Mix of The Month: Soulection Radio #300
Over the past few years, Soulection have built themselves up to be one of the worlds most respected tastemaker labels and collectives that the world has to offer. With the focus of breaking The Sound of Tomorrow, Soulection have achieved this through their own label releases, LA parties (now Worldwide), radio shows and more. After their online success of their Soulection Radio show over the years, they’ve since been recruited to produce the show on Apple Music, where they celebrated their 300th episode. You never really know what to expect as the show seamlessly mixes electronic remixes of Portishead and Justin Timberlake, into the recently discovered sounds of Sango. What you can expect is a carefully curated show from the host and Soulection founder Joe Kay.
Album of the Month: Khalid – American Teen
Khalid is one of the most exciting newcomers in pop music right now. At 19 years old, Khalid has put himself on the map with his hit single ‘Location’ which has over 80 Million streams online and countless rave reviews. After finishing out 2016 as an ‘Artist to Watch’, he has made a remarkable return with 15 tracks of smooth, pop-R&B backed by his one of a kind voice. After giving this album a once-over, you’ll be glad to leave pop music in this kids hands, as he demonstrates sounds from inspirations like James Blake, Frank Ocean, Father John Misty and Grizzly Bear.
Feature Image: Yume Mag