The weekend is here and we have our top picks from New Music Friday here for you,
1. ‘Love Should Come With A Warning’ new release from Van Morrison
It’s been over 50 years since Van Morrison first came to attention, and still no-one comes close to his free-wheeling blend of blues, R&B, jazz and soul. Now building towards the May 7th release of his 42nd studio album, the 28-track ‘Latest Record Project Volume 1’, Van Morrison releases the new track ‘Love Should Come With A Warning’.
Rich with warm exemplary musicianship, ‘Love Should Come With A Warning’ features lyrics written by the great Don Black.
‘Love Should Come With A Warning’ is the latest track to be released ahead of ‘Latest Record Project: Volume 1’. Its lead single ‘Only A Song’ was play-listed and named Record of the Week at Radio 2, and gained further radio support at Jazz FM. The album has been further previewed with the release of its title track.
The album spans everything from the saxophone-led R&B gem ‘Jealousy’ to the joyful, country-tinged ‘A Few Bars Early’ via the spirited Them-style garage rock of the self-explanatory ‘Stop Bitching, Do Something’. While it touches upon the romantic sentiment and late-night warmth that people love Van Morrison for, the overriding theme is a straight-talking commentary on contemporary life.
2. David Keenan Reveals New Single
David Keenan releases new single Peter O’Toole’s Drinking Stories. It’s taken from his forthcoming album, which will be released later this year to coincide with a headline tour across the UK, Europe and Ireland from October.
Singer-storyteller Keenan has spent the majority of the last decade growing up on the road, drawing from primary source experiences and a vivid imagination. As a teenager, he left Ireland for Liverpool, following the myth and music of The La’s frontman Lee Mavers. Keenan busked and lived on couches, documenting the street people while honing his craft, looking for his hero and discovering himself in the process. With one eye always on the Elsewhere, he carries the idiosyncratic nature of the Irish writer and character observer with some aplomb, having been raised in and around the estates of his hometown of Dundalk on the Irish border.
Peter O Toole’s Drinking Stories is the first tale in the next chapter from this exciting songwriter, growing in confidence, stretching boundaries and embracing new sounds, assuredly delivered in his narrative drawl. His forthcoming second album is a deft but noticeable step up from his debut, fulfilling his promise, and then some. He’s just released a book of poetry too. More on both of those things very soon.
David Keenan is an artist unafraid to offer up his dealings with the human condition for all to see and hear. Sometimes self-deprecating, sometimes darkly-humoured, always intentional, you get the sense that a veil has been lifted and there’s a beautiful truth about to be exposed.
Tickets for the Autumn/Winter headline tour go on sale from today Friday 23rd April from Ticketmaster and other outlets
3. The Trusted release new track ‘Rebel Song’
The Trusted are Southend-on-Sea natives Dave Batchelor, Dale Holt-Mead, Fin Cunningham and Tom Cunningham. Initially starting out in secondary school, the band bonded over their mutual appreciation of a strong melody and atmospheric, edgy pop. Sharing an enthusiasm for 21st century Brit-rock led by the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen and The 1975, as well as classic late ‘70s new-wave icons such as The Clash and Elvis Costello, The Trusted thrive off their unique fusion of post-punk energy and storytelling.
Vibrant and energetic, their latest single “Rebel Song” is the people’s anthem of 2021. Written during lockdown with the band separated and full of frustration from the world, political strain, effects of lockdown and internal battles, The Trusted spawned their latest tune. After witnessing people coming together to fight for social justice and standing up for the good of the world, they found themselves truly inspired and uplifted. Lyrically they aimed to write a song that celebrates the act of defiance. Reminiscent of Sam Fender’s “Hypersonic Missiles,” this is politically infused indie-rock at it’s best. However despite its political notions, the band share, “I wouldn’t say ‘Rebel Song’ is an outright political track. It kind of leans more on the emotional/psychological side of rebelling”. Known for covering themes of human emotion and their perceptions of the world, “Rebel Song” follows suit.
The track is electrifying with bolts of energy and uplifting sensations. Infused with electronic pockets and an atmospheric, building bass that subtly gives off a powerful energy, the song is joined in harmony with spritely riffs and nimble, mighty drums. The guitars create a constant fabrication of excitement and euphoria; exploding in motivation and passion. The lyrics, “all I got is my rebel song and that’s alright with me,” reinforces a little belief and faith will carry you through. “Rebel Song” has melodies brimming in fear, anger, excitement, hope and peace – embodying everything going on around them both in their minds and environments.
4. Avelino release new single ‘Demons’
North London rapper and artist Avelino has dropped his eagerly anticipated new single ‘Demons’ accompanied by an official video directed by Armin.
‘Demons’ showcases Avelino’s lyrical flow and wordplay abilities, creating an energy driven track. Noted for his lyrical, melodic approach to rapping, the Tottenham G.O.A.T is known to bring a freedom of expression and a deep sense of craft to his artistry.
Speaking about the record, Avelino says: ‘It’s time to give them what they never knew they needed’.
‘Demons’ follows the success of Avelino’s explosive offerings including ‘Prey’, ‘Higher Power’ and ‘Cassius Clay’ featuring Mercury Prize winning Dave. Hailed as one of the UK’s finest lyricists, Avelino has garnered worldwide support from the likes of Annie Mac, Complex, GRM, The Line of Best Fit, Clash, Hunger, Trench, Wonderland, Vice and many more. Not stopping there, Avelino’s rapid rise to success has led to collaborations with music heavyweights such as Wretch 32, Raf Riley, Skepta, Stormzy and more.
2021 is set to be Avelino’s biggest year to date as he continues to push boundaries, release new music and collaborate with some of the scenes’ most exciting names.
5. Rmarni releases her latest track ‘So High’
Dudley-born R&B newcomer Rmarni today unveils her debut single ‘So High’. Produced by Circa ‘95 (Chip, John Legend, Rihanna), the track is a reflection on past love and the bittersweet realisation that you’ll never go back there, despite how good it felt. Its enticing beat is married with an energising 808, dreamy chords and artfully stripped back instrumentation, laying the foundations for Rmarni’s flowing vocals to build on.
“To me ‘So High’ is understanding where I was and where I am now; being able to remember the highs and the lows of love and being content with where I am today,” she explains.
Inspired by turn of the century R&B legends like Beyoncé, Aaliyah, Brandy and Ashanti, Rmarni merges these influences with the sonics of today, drawing from elements of afrobeats, neo soul, drill and more to inform her smooth and unapologetically honest sound. Born and raised in Dudley in the West Midlands, Rmarni is creative in many mediums; painting and filming comedy sketches for her social media followers, alongside her first love: music. A chance meeting at a studio in LA introduced her to production duo Circa ‘95 who were captivated by her effortless vocals and reached out to her back in the UK to record her first body of work. With more new music on the horizon and support already confirmed from the likes of MTV Get To Know, Vevo and Trace Hits Recommends, ‘So High’ sees Rmarni lay down a marker as one of 2021’s most exciting new voices.
6. Sleepwalkrs & JP Cooper link up on new single ‘Goodnight’
Sleepwalkrs and JP Cooper have joined forces on new single ‘Goodnight’, out now on Warner Records.
Tapping into a sound that Sleepwalkrs has made his own in recent years, ‘Goodnight’ combines an infectious bassline and emotional breakdowns with JP Cooper’s soaring, pitch-perfect vocals. The result is a feelgood dance track capable of infiltrating club sound systems and charts alike.
Sleepwalkrs comments on the record, “Goodnight is a song worthy of crying in the club, highlighting the variety of emotions we’ve experienced during lockdown yet keeping the energy high throughout. It’s a relatable song whichever way you perceive it as it also touches upon relationships whether it be with others or yourself”.
7. Yard Arms release ‘Hollow Ankles’
Quick off the back of their latest successful EP release ‘Sanctuary Lines’, Yard Arms are back again with some new music ‘Hollow Ankles’, which is out now. By far the Bristol-based melancholic pop duo’s most heart-rending and serene track since formation, bursting with alt-90s indie sensibilities and post-emo lyricism set to soundtrack your spring time.
This record is described by frontman and lyricist Noah Villeneuve as “a musing on the chronic instability of life”. The track battles with themes of self worth, weakness and incertitude, all very fitting for the journey of the last twelve months. Recorded, mixed and mastered with Josh Gallop (Phoxjaw) at Stage 2 Studios in Bath, it is clear that their ever developing songwriting style is mirrored in the production of this track too.
Across three minutes you are taken on an emotional voyage showcasing some key Yard Arms influences, reminiscent of The National, Alvvays or Phoebe Bridgers combined with nostalgic hues of James and Echo & The Bunnymen. Hollow Ankles reverb laden pop atmosphere, coupled with Villeneuve’s lyrical emotional depth and heart on sleeve honesty provides a beautifully dark yet romantic world that Yard Arms love to be housed in.
8. Amahla release her latest single ‘Commandments’
London based R&B/Soul musician Amahla release her latest single ‘Commandments’. ‘Commandments’ marks the first track to be taken from Amahla’s forthcoming sophomore EP – “ Where Do We Go From Here? “
Written by Amahla and produced by Charlie Perry (Jorja Smith, Maverick Sabre, Pip Millet) the powerful track explores the need to believe in something bigger than ourselves, whilst Amahla’s sultry vocals wander over the intricate R&B influenced production. Speaking on the track Amahla explains “Commandments is about needing something to believe in. When we fall in love we give ourselves over to a feeling so overwhelming and complex, we know when it happens but can’t define it. I wanted to explore the ideas of romantic and religious devotion, giving yourself to something you will never truly understand.”
9. Junodream share their latest track ‘Let Me Breath Again’
Over the course of just two singles this year – ‘Travel Guide’ and ‘Eden Burns’ – Junodream have set a course for a bright future. They were named as Jack Saunders’ Next Wave at Radio 1, where they soon picked up further support from Gemma Bradley. Meanwhile, John Kennedy added them to Radio X’s X-posure playlist. Add fresh attention from DIY, Dork and The Line of Best Fit, plus numerous adds at Spotify playlists including The Lovely Little Playlist, Garden Indie, Hot New Bandsand it’s clear that Junodream’s mix of the accessible and the cerebral has huge potential.
Now the band drop their latest single ‘Let Me Breathe Again’, along with its official video.
Every Junodream single unveils a new slant on the band’s sound and ‘Let Me Breathe Again’ is no exception. Initially it feels like a natural hybrid between the current UK post-punk scene and the band’s alt-rock roots, but the song continually escalates its nervous energy. It finally peaks with a sprawling, discordant solo which tops an uncategorizable mix of punk fire, psychedelic oddity and prog-tinged musicianship.
10. Blinkie has joined forces with House Gospel Choir on new single ‘Stronger’
A powerful collaboration, ‘Stronger’ displays a moving, spoken word vocals combined with the soulful sounds of HGC and a majestic house production that grows in intensity and atmosphere across the track’s three-and-a-half minutes. ‘Stronger’ is the result of Blinkie feeling present, feeling stable, feeling strong and being in a good place after months of struggling with his mental health during the suffocating lockdown that has characterised the last year or so.
Speaking on the release, Blinkie explains, “after going through a dark and intense period of my life, I wanted to create something uplifting for myself and others that are or have experienced similar circumstances to what I have. I feel privileged, being able to create something so beautiful in hindsight has brought a deeper level of comfort because a blessing has come out of some hard lessons.”
He continues, “my hope is that the song represents hope and serves as a guiding light through darkness for those who need it. I always try to make sure that my music has a positive uplifting message, so collaborating with House Gospel Choir just made too much sense, we have similar values and they have incredible voices. Everything feels like the right fit and feel for the sound and message I was trying to convey”
A genuinely moving collaborative single, ‘Stronger’ brings out the best of Blinkie and House Gospel Choir.