Another week and another 10 great singles released today on New Music Friday.
1. Robert Grace release ‘Self feat Emma Steinbakker
Proving his knack for writing chart-ready, sincere pop with ease, Robert has hit the spot once again with ‘Self,’ with its breezy laidback beat, completed by Robert’s and Emma’s distinctive vocals. The song is about fighting the inner monologue that tries to ruin every good situation you put yourself in. Robert Grace: “I love this song so much because it’s about me. It IS me essentially. Super personal, super raw.”
Over the last year Robert Grace’s career has skyrocketed across the UK and Ireland, gaining over 1.7 million followers on TikTok and over 71, 000 followers on Instagram. His first track for Columbia Germany / RCA US ‘Fake Fine’ went platinum in Ireland and spent five weeks at No 1 on both the Irish Homegrown charts and the Shazam Ireland Charts. Alongside Dermot Kennedy and Niall Horan, Robert was only the third Irish male solo act to have a top 20 hit in his native country last year. ‘Fake Fine’ spent 6 months in the Irish Airplay charts and has currently amassed 10 million plays on Spotify.
His second single for Sony / RCA ‘The Hurt You Gave Me’ currently has 2 million streams and performed well at both International & Irish radio and has achieved significant DSP support.
2. Nick Wilson shares ‘Love Can Be So Lonely Sometimes’
‘Love Can Be So Lonely, Sometimes’ is the centrepiece of Nick Wilson’s upcoming debut album ‘Now I’m Falling’, which follows on August 27th. In contrast to often more intricate or elaborate productions that feature alongside it, the single’s sparse structure replicates the solitude of the song, with Nick’s tender words supported by subtle autotuned backing vocals and minimal instrumentation.
“This was the last song written for the album,” says Nick. “It’s my favourite type of song in that it kind of doesn’t go anywhere, it just sits in its own space. We wrote it almost like a poem, with different stanzas that expand the same sentiment; love can be so lonely sometimes. This song is a reassurance that it’s impossible to have something be perfect in every way. Everything has a downside in some way and at some point, even love, and that’s okay. I think there’s this expectation in love that everything has to be amazing and perfect, but really sometimes it isn’t, and that’s what makes it amazing.”
3. Barbra Streisand releases ‘Sweet Forgiveness’
Barbra Streisand shares the third track from her upcoming album Release Me 2, a spellbinding studio performance of the Walter Afanasieff/John Bettis composition, “Sweet Forgiveness,” a soaring emotional ballad produced by Walter Afanasieff and Barbra Streisand, recorded in 1994.
Explaining how the song came to be, Barbra recalls: “When I was planning my return to the concert stage in 1994, I asked Walter to produce a song called “Ordinary Miracles” by Marvin Hamlisch and Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and Walter said, “If there’s time to record a second song, would you be interested in hearing something I wrote for you?” Then he sat down at the piano and played me this exquisite piece of music called “Sweet Forgiveness.” “Ordinary Miracles” took longer to record than we planned, so we only had time to do one complete pass [of “Sweet Forgiveness”], meaning I recorded my one take vocal, singing live with the orchestra. And now, I’m really happy to share it with you.”
4. Jay1 teams up with KSI for ‘Swerve’
Coventry superstar JAY1 has teamed up with rapper KSI to bring you this summer’s must hear rap anthem ‘Swerve’ through RCA. The track sees him return to his signature flow and follows on from his undeniable run of hit singles including ‘Your Mrs’, ‘Mocking It’ and ‘FLEX’.
He said: “This one’s a summer banger, my guy KSI killed it and it’s so good to be putting out music with him.”
KSI said: “Ya boy is jumping on Jay1’s new track. It’s a big song, so you know your boy had to go in with a new flow and kill it. I already know this is gonna pop on TikTok with people making videos of them swerving things. The music video was a lot of fun to do and I’m sure people are gonna love it.”
The Coventry rapper continues to rep his city like a heart on his sleeve & remains firmly on the map of UK Rap. 2019 he exploded onto the scene, the roads and in the clubs with his single “Your Mrs”, cracking the UK top 20singles chart. This was quickly followed by his feature on one of the year’s other stand-out tracks – “Keisha & Becky” remix, featuring Tion Wayne, Aitch, Swarmz and Sav’o.
5. Celest and MK release ‘Stop This Flame’
Celeste has teamed up with dance music icon MK for the collaboration of the summer. On July 2nd, Celeste x MK will release a new version of ‘Stop This Flame’ that is set to be the soundtrack to good times and fun in the sun this summer. Celeste’s breakthrough track, known to millions of football fans as the song that accompanies live Premier League games, takes on a new life with the help of MK; it’s a version that you’ll be hearing at nightclubs and festivals, and at barbecues that have turned into heady house parties. It’s an indelible pop song transformed into a dance-floor ready hit.
This is the house music pioneer’s only remix of the year so far – when MK (real name Marc Kinchen) heard Celeste’s soulful original, released back in January 2020, he knew he had to sprinkle some of his magic dust on it. The Detroit native was one of the genre’s first superstars when he emerged in the 90s and went on to work with Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Beyonce and more. His team-up with Celeste elevates ‘Stop This Flame’ from stirring singalong into a thumping and exhilarating rave anthem.
6. Girli releases new single ‘Dysmorphia’
GIRLI today releases her
GIRLI has recently announced the incredibly exciting news that she is heading out on a UK/IRE tour in November and December! The songstress will kick the headline dates off in Bristol at The Lanes on 7th November, and hit towns and cities such as Cardiff, Brighton, London, Manchester and more, before wrapping things up at the Arts Club Loft in Liverpool on 3rd December. Full details and tickets can be found here.
The singer-songwriter will be playing a SOLD OUT socially distanced show at the historic Bush Hall in London on 9th July, to celebrate 20 years of the venue. GIRLI will also be joining Architects, Machine Gun Kelly and lots more at London’s first alternative hip hop and rock festival, ALT + LDN at Clapham Common on 30th August. Milly Toomey (aka GIRLI) has been cutting her teeth on the live circuit over the last few years, and has played shows with the likes of Ashnikko and Declan McKenna, and festivals such as Latitude, All Points East and Truck.
7. Jonas Blue and LÉON release ‘Hear Me Say’
After marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter for multi-platinum producer Jonas Blue with the irrefutable dance hit ‘Hear Me Say’, featuring rising Swedish pop artist LÉON, summer has just been taken to the next level with the arrival of the track’s new Mexican-soaked road trip video, directed by Alex Nicholson – watch here.
After its release just a month ago, ‘Hear Me Say’ has already smashed 18 million global streams and is fast becoming THE summer house anthem. The video perfectly captures the escapism and hedonistic summer vibe that everyone around the globe is feeling as we sit on the cusp of life beginning to re-open.
The video also comes after the track was recently featured in the opening episode of the brand new series of Love Island, as well as a huge remix by Norwegian DJ and record producer duo KREAM, that dropped last week – listen here.
8. The Anchoress releases ‘Unravel’ remix
Following the release of her critically-lauded Top 40 album The Art of Losing, Welsh producer and multi-instrumentalist The Anchoress (aka Catherine Anne Davies) has shared a remix of recent single ‘Unravel’ by rapper and producer Cross Bone T. Catherine comments,
‘I was thrilled to get my good friend rapper/producer/mixer Cross Bone T to reimagine one of my favourite tracks from the new album, ‘Unravel’. He is best for his work within the hip-hop genre, working with the likes of Gawd Status and Strange U (Eglo Records). Here he turns his hand to transforming ‘Unravel’ into a pulsating, gritty trap-infused dubstep/future bass confection. I love it!”
Hot on the heels of being named one of The Sunday Times’ “must-hear” albums of 2021 last weekend, Catherine has also announced more live shows as well an appearance at this year’s Long Division festival in Wakefield. This year will also see Catherine support Manic Street Preachers on their autumn 2021 tour at 13 shows, followed by her own headline show at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London for May 2022.
The Art of Losing is a sonically ambitious album, helmed by Davies on sole production duties – a move she said felt both natural and necessary after having a “side hussle” in engineering/producing for others. The Art of Losing also features guest appearances from James Dean Bradfield (Manics) as well as legendary drummer Sterling Campbell (David Bowie, Duran Duran).
9. Maisie Peters releases ‘Psycho’
Following its first play on Zane Lowe’s New Music Daily Radio, Maisie Peters has released her brand-new single, ‘Psycho,’ listen here. Co-written with Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac, ‘Psycho’ is Maisie’s first release since signing to Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records, and the second offering from her recently announced debut album, “You Signed Up For This,” which will arrive August 27th and is available for pre-order now.
With its punchy production and instantly memorable chorus, ‘Psycho’ finds an empowered Maisie reflecting on toxic relationships and gaslighting exes. She explains: “‘Psycho’ tells a dramatic story of someone whose lies catch up to them, and who seem to feel very little when they hurt other people. I think this is something near enough everyone in the world can relate to, myself included.”
In the cinematic music video, co-written by Maisie and director Louis Bhose (Loyle Carner, Arlo Parks), we follow her as she masterminds a plan to confuse her cheating ex, by enlisting a rotating group of women to play her.
10. Yola releases new single ‘Starlight’
Yola released the official music video for “Starlight,” a smouldering slice of symphonic soul and the latest single from her anthemic new album, Stand For Myself, due for release via Easy Eye Sound on July 30, 2021. Yola has also confirmed an intimate stripped back in-store set at Rough Trade Bristol for August 15th, tickets are on sale here.
The romantic visual is directed by Ford Fairchild. Set against a beautiful late night neon cityscape, we watch and wait until we witness Yola’s moment of connection. Discussing the video, Yola stated, “I wanted to put something into the world that showed people what my dating life is like now. I’m currently single, yes, but I’m not neglected or some soulless sex robot. The volume of media dedicated to showing dark skinned Black women having a nice normal time in romantic situations, be it true love or just dating, is still lacking in my opinion.”
Discussing the sex positive message behind the song, Yola stated, “Starlight” is a song about looking for positive physical, sexual and human connections at every level of your journey towards love.”
Adding, “The world seems to attach a negative trope of cold heartlessness to the concept of any sexual connection that isn’t marriage, this song looks through a lens of warmth specifically when it comes to sex positivity. Understanding the necessity of every stage of connection and that it is possible for every stage of your journey in love, sex and connection to be nurturing. Temporary or transitory doesn’t have to be meaningless or miserable. In the right situations every connection can teach us something valuable about who we are, what we want and what is healthy.”