The case of Neneh Cherry is a curious one. Her debut album, 1989’s Raw Like Sushi, stunned critics, but since then the enigmatic singer has taken her time to craft follow-ups to that career defining set, most recently releasing a collaborative album with jazz collective The Thing on The Cherry Thing last year.
Now the Swedish-born singer is set to release a solo album, produced solely by Four Tet. Cherry has not lost any of her amazing talents, as she sounds as vital and raw as ever before. “Blank Project” tiptoes the line between experimental and recognizable, never feeling too safe or too challenging.
Blank Project is out 26 February 2014 in the U.S. and a day earlier internationally on Smalltown Supersound.
In the lead up to Katy B’s forthcoming LP Little Red, due out in the first quarter of 2014, we’ve heard some of the best electro-pop tracks this side of Robyn, with Katy B picking up right where she left off on her thrilling 2012 EP Danger. She slows things down on this new single, “Crying For No Reason.” “I made promises I could not keep,” sings the UK pop diva, owning her past mistakes while making sure she doesn’t fall victim to them twice.
What do you do for a follow-up to one of the most beloved electronica albums of the year? For Disclosure’s Guy and Howard Lawrence, following up their phenomenal debut LP Settle apparently means releasing one-off singles that rival the best moments on the stellar long player. After the gargantuan “Apollo,” the brothers have once again teamed up with Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes, who together helped the duo breakthrough with “Latch” late last year, as well as Daft Punk collaboration and Chic member Nile Rodgers, because, well, why not? “Together” takes all the best qualities of Settle and Nile Rodgers’ work on Random Access Memories, all while Sam Smith continues to assert himself as one of the more compelling voices to emerge out of the UK these past 12 months. The brutally short track won’t satiate your appetite for Disclosure’s brand of house-inspired electronica, but it will make you even hungrier for more material from any of “Together”‘s collaborators.
Yes, that’s the name of the opening track of Death Grips’ new album, released today out of the blue. Government Plates features 10 new tracks, including the previously released “Birds.” The opener sets the mood for an audial assault unlike anything else you’ll hear this year. And it’s beautiful.
Download Government Plates here.
Solange has in recent years branched out from underneath her big sister’s legendary status and carved out a niche for herself in indie’s blossoming R&B scene. Her True EP last year was the clearest signal yet of Solange’s musical talents, and she’s exceeded that with this new track from Cassie off Solange’s Saint Records compilation album, Saint Heron. Solange wrote and produced “Indo,” with Cassie delivering another strong vocal performance following her 2013 mixtape RockaByeBaby, one of the year’s best. It’s a little surprising that Cassie, who’s flirted with Top 40 success for years now, sounds more at home here than she ever has on a major label release. And Solange, whose talents behind the boards had before now gone unnoticed, proves to be one of the most versatile performers making music today.
Saint Heron is out now.
It’s not quite known just yet if “Hard Out Here,” the first Lily Allen single since she went on hiatus following the release of two fantastic pop albums in Alright, Still and It’s Not Me, It’s You, is part of an LP or a one-off single, but either way Allen has made a bang with her return to the music industry. “Hard Out Here” is a scathing critique of not only gender inequality in the music industry, but in the world at large. Allen wastes no time in reminding us just how much we loved her in the first place.