NMF (New Music Friday) and we have picked 10 great new releases that are out now, and we have our first festive single making an appearance …
1. Sea Girls – ‘Again Again’
As the band gear up for the biggest headline show of their careers at Brixton Academy tonight, Sea Girls drop their new track ‘Again Again’ – taken from their highly-anticipated new album Homesick – out 14th January 2022 on Polydor.
Although steeped in self-destruction, regret, the art of losing friends, and whiling away time on the internet, ‘Again Again’ arrives as a soaring upbeat pop banger that builds and builds, offering a sense of urgency and a stratospheric chorus to boot. Listen HERE.
Frontman Henry Camamile comments; “‘Again Again’ is about trying to personify the intensity and rush of life’s excesses. Accepting the inevitability of it and the hatred in being boring. It’s one of the last songs I wrote for the new album, ruminating on my teenage years.”
A band well and truly into their stride, Homesick sees Sea Girls, Henry Camamile, Rory Young, Andrew Dawson and Oli Khan, deliver thirteen measures of guitar driven pop brilliance including 2 bonus Deluxe tracks. A deeply personal record, lead singer Henry Camamile returned to his childhood home in Lincolnshire at the wake of the pandemic, finding himself having to address and reflect on events from his past, both good and bad. A cathartic process, Henry leaves nothing to the imagination with his astute storytelling and candid lyrics. Delving into some of his darkest moments, the uplifting album comes as a sense of relief, a gratefulness for survival. Lyrically raw and packed to the brim with hooks, the band step into new realms with an added sense of maturity and a bigger ambitious sounding record.
2. Jelani Blackman – ‘Secrets’
Jelani Blackman today unveils ‘Secrets’, the latest single from his recently announced Unlimited Mixtape. Out on 29th October, the 12 track collection is Jelani’s debut full-length project and comes highly anticipated following his recent collaboration on Gorillaz latest EP. Jelani will be performing tracks from Unlimited at his sold-out headline show at Bush Hall on the 22nd October, bringing his trademark infectious live energy to his hometown.
Produced by Jelani himself, ‘Secrets’ is an intriguing preview of the forthcoming mixtape, its eerie sonics, clipped vocal samples and drill-inspired bassline combining seamlessly with his baritone flow. The video, also out today, continues from where the visuals for his previous single ‘Gorgeous’ ft. Jords left off. “‘Secrets’ is one of the tracks I produced on the mixtape. With all the tracks I make myself, I feel like they reveal a lot about what goes on sonically in my head. It also brings out a different kind of lyricism that feels very close to me. It’s not a mistake that the first line is ‘If I said it I mean it, I ain’t keeping no secrets.’”
Unlimited marks the next chapter in Jelani Blackman’s rapidly evolving story. Recorded over the last two years with a variety of different producers, the mixtape is a project that could only have been created in the pandemic. Each track provides a snapshot of a different period during this strangest of times, and as a body of work they reflect the range of situations and emotions that Jelani has experienced, providing a fitting and relatable introduction to the man and the artist. “Unlimited is a very special moment for me. It’s the first time I’ve put together a full length project and feel like it’s been a long time coming. Every track on there has been chosen because of what it says about me as an artist, being able to play live again has been so important, it’s why I make music, and I needed to make the statement about who I am now that I can be back in the world,” says Jelani.
3. Ashleigh Banks – ‘Victoria’
Ashleigh Bankx has returned with new single ‘Victoria’. It is the follow up to the stunning ‘Angel‘, released earlier this year.
‘Victoria’ is spellbinding, a deeply atmospheric track that is a big step forward in Ashleigh’s writing. Swirling strings and rolling drums and percussion combine with Ashleigh’s unique vocal delivery, whilst further musical inspiration comes from her love of Sungura, a key genre from Zimbabwe. She is fast developing a sound all of her own, with multiple influences creating something new and vital. The track has been produced by Mike Bxnks (Not3s, Lotto Boyzz).
Of the track Ashleigh says:
“’Victoria’ is about having a fearless mentality against challenging situations but maintaining and knowing who you are. It’s not about following trends, but being yourself and sticking to your decision.”
The stunning video is inspired by the recent Hollywood smash hit ‘Cruella’, with the black and white theme running through everything from Ashleigh’s braids to the outfits worn by the dancers. The video was shot at Rivoli Ballroom in south London by Lutch Media.
4. Tyrer – ‘Sirens’
Manchester-based singer-songwriter Tyrer has unveiled her new single ‘Sirens’, out 15th October.
Announcing itself with delicate strings and subtle piano chords, ‘Sirens’ is a soul-drenched, romance-infused ballad that allows Tyrer’s enchanting vocals to take centre stage. Exploring themes of loss, addiction and self-doubt, the track was produced by Nicholas French and co-written by Tyrer and Cameron Bloomfield, an artist touted by Sir Elton John as one to watch.
Her first release of the year, it follows on from 2020 debut EP ‘This Is’, a five-track project in collaboration with Oscar Scheller and KXNGS that shone a spotlight on her impressive vocal range and gave a taste of what is to come.
Tyrer’s alternative neo-soul sound evokes the chill and nostalgic essence of her inspirations Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse; lined with authenticity and raw emotion that is unparalleled. Still a mystery to many, Tyrer remains focused on building her career.
5. Gia Lily – Signs
22-year-old newcomer Gia Lily has inspired a passionate and ever-growing fanbase by writing songs and collaborating with fans via TikTok. That personal touch, boosted by piano tutorials and a bright, engaging personality, resulted in a phenomenal reaction. She has already generated 5.8 million likes on TikTok alone, creating a natural buzz for her career as a solo artist which commences today with the release of her debut single ‘Signs’.
With ‘Signs’, Gia has delivered a moment of break-up pop perfection that lives up to the expectations of her followers. Fixating on the pains and very specific personal experiences that comes with heartbreak, ‘Signs’ is moody and melancholic. And yet Gia’s expressive, enticing vocal is also infused with the feeling that what hurts now is an experience to learn and grow from.
Gia says, “‘Signs’ is about hoping your ex picks up on the signs you’re trying to send them. They’re with someone new, but you know he’s still caught up on you as well. I wanted to turn that feeling of pain and heartache into something that can be used as a form of empowerment.”
6. Vera Blue – ‘Temper’
Vera Blue releases her brand new single “Temper” the follow up to her hit “Lie To Me”, which has been streamed over 11+ Million times globally, taking her overall music streams to 300+ million.
“Temper” is an anthem of defiance that translates the turbulence of new love into driving, 80s-inspired pop. “I don’t know whether it’s made up, but people always say redheads are a bit fiery, and that we have a bit of a short fuse,” Vera says. “This song’s about grabbing hold of that emotion and trying to suppress it so you don’t scare your partner away. It makes me dance, but it’s also got that emotional edge.”
Featuring an ingratiating, driving bassline and piquant 80s-inspired handclaps, “Temper” runs at full-throttle from the get-go, a song whose forward motion reflects Vera’s emotive lyrics. Written in February with songwriter friend Carla Whebe and producer Robby De Sa (Gretta Ray, MAY-A) the track quickly made sense as the introduction to a new era of Vera Blue, given its dynamic range and foregrounding of the electric guitar, an instrument Vera has been inspired by over the past 12 months. After working on the song’s demo with Whebe and De Sa, Vera brought the track to her long-time collaborators Andy and Tom Mak, with whom she wrote a bridge and added in hallmarks of the Vera Blue sound — the organic electronic sound that’s become her trademark over the past few years. Bringing together a handful of musicians she was already close with, the song is something of a family affair; bringing the process full circle was engineer Eric J Dubowsky (Flight Facilities, St Vincent) another long-time collaborator with whom she recorded her hit Flume collaboration “Rushing Back”.
In a first for Vera Blue, “Temper” was written not from her own perspective but from intuiting the feelings of those around her and trying to write a song that spoke to her own feelings but not her own life. “It’s really interesting writing a song about what you’re not feeling at the time — it just flows because it’s almost like you’re out of body, so I found it quite enjoyable. Writing “Temper” was about experimenting, and making me feel something different from music, which I love.”
7. Alex Hosking & Majestic – ‘Need Your Love’
London-based hitmakers Alex Hosking and Majestic have joined forces on new collaborative single ‘Need Your Love’
A pulsating blend of deep, low-slung bass, euphoric piano chords and Alex’s distinctive vocals, ‘Need Your Love’ is a party-starting club banger with serious crossover appeal. A proven talent as a songwriter, London-based Australian Alex Hosking has already made a big impact as co-writer and featured vocalist on PS1 hits ‘Fake Friends’ and ‘Life Goes On’, tracks that have amassed over 90 million combined streams. Her huge crossover appeal was underlined by A-lists at BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM and Capital Radio. On the tracks creation she muses:
‘Need Your Love’ was written at the start of the pandemic in January 2020. I had just been separated from my boyfriend who is from America. The opening line “sometimes I wonder if I had to, could I ever let you go?” – was a reflection of having to say goodbye to my boyfriend overseas and not knowing when I would see him next. Fast forward and I was back in London and the first in person session I had was with Majestic! We hung out, we wrote a song, we ate food and then I showed him Need Your Love and immediately he asked for the song to be sent to him and he started working on the production! A whole year later the song is out and it is just the best feeling to have a song out that you are truly proud of and that I got to write with good friends in a really vulnerable time.’
8. Steve Perry – ‘Winter Wonderland’
Iconic singer-songwriter Steve Perry has shared “Winter Wonderland,” from his forthcoming holiday album The Season, out November 5th via Fantasy Records. The track is the second song to be unveiled from the inspired and joyous new record, and marks the first-ever Christmas album from the beloved rock legend. Listen HERE.
Steve Perry’s interpretation of “Winter Wonderland” captures the song’s timelessness, while simultaneously putting his own personal spin on the track. Perry’s signature vocals are on full display, set against a smooth and steady tempo and warm harmonies. Perry comments, “’Winter Wonderland’ is one of my favourite tracks on The Season. I have always felt a close love for Motown’s music and how it shaped my early school years. This track is a homage to that.”
The Season features exuberant, new interpretations of holiday classics that hold significant meaning for Perry, along with millions across the globe. All eight tracks on the record come straight from the heart, transporting listeners to a familiar place of comfort and familiarity associated with loved ones and meaningful traditions shared during the holidays.
9. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – ‘What If I’
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats unveil a new song “What If I,” featuring vocal harmonies from Jenny Lewis and Lucius’ Jess Wolfe. “What If I” is the latest track to be revealed from the band’s third studio album, The Future, set for release on November 5 via Stax Records. Listen to/share the track HERE.
Following its release in August, the band’s knockout single “Survivor” moved quickly into the #1 slot at Triple A and debuted Top 25 on the Alternative Chart. The song is also #2 on the Americana Singles Chart while The Future remains #1 on the Non-Comm Albums Chart for the sixth consecutive week. Most recently, the group debuted the video for their track “Love Don’t,” featuring footage captured on tour throughout Europe and North America from 2018-2021.
The new music caps off a run of career milestones for Rateliff and the band, including a debut on “Saturday Night Live” featuring the premiere performance of “Redemption,” written and featured in the film Palmer starring Justin Timberlake, as well as an appearance on “CMT Crossroads” with country singer/songwriter Margo Price. Rateliff’s “Tiny Desk (Home) Concert” recently premiered at NPR Music, as well.
For The Future, Rateliff and The Night Sweats escaped to his new Colorado studio to write an album’s worth of songs, shedding light on their unique observations and songwriting reflecting on our current times. While recognizable, the new work has evolved and pushes the band to a new level.
10. Bad Touch – Midnight Rider’
Stepping into the brand-new Marshall Studio with legendary producer Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Gun, Feeder), Bad Touch have recorded a rocking cover of The Allman Brothers Band classic “Midnight Rider”.
Vocalist Stevie Westwood said, “The original is one of mine and Chris Sheldon’s all-time favourite songs, and I’m thrilled with how our version came out. It’s got harmonies out the wazoo, it’s heavy, dirty and Rob’s guitar solo is a belter. It might bother the Allman Brothers purists, but hopefully everyone loves it one eighth of as much as I do.”
Speaking on the upcoming tour, he added “I honestly cannot describe to you the feeling of being back at it with my brothers, we’re overjoyed. We’re fired up and cannot wait to be playing to all of you.”
Bad Touch will tour the UK in November and December 2021, previously rescheduled from April 2021 (all original tickets remain valid). Special guests on all shows except Leo’s Red Lion are PISTON. Tickets are available from www.badtouchrocks.co.uk/gigs-