This week we’re slipping, sliding and cannoning from the past to the future with hip hop-soul group Normanton Street (pictured), we enjoy soulful cuts from Oshun and Jess Connelly, chase down 120+ BPMs with Princess Slayer, and celebrate the return of Dutch hip hop artist Pete Philly.
‘2014’ by Normanton Street
Since we discovered Normanton Street, we’ve been nodding along to their music at every opportunity – if you haven’t heard the infectious ‘Angelene’ go listen to it right away. Jazzy, hip hop-soul is this Brighton group’s ethos. Driven by the sound of live instruments, their unique blend of male-female vocals brings the atmosphere of the streets straight to your synapses. That’s true of ‘2014’, a story about their journey so far and the all-important question: “where do we go from here?” Don’t sleep on Nicholson, Ned and Phoebe: give this track, and their recently released Long Road EP, a listen.
‘My World (feat. Jorja Smith)’ by Oshun
Sisters Thandiwe and Niambi Sala are Oshun: a hip hop, neo-soul duo from Washington, DC. In 2015, the sisters released the phenomenal mixtape Asase Yaa, which, among other things, showed the sister’s embedding Yoruba culture in their art and capturing the imagination of listeners with their messages about peace, love, womanhood and blackness. The sisters recently released their debut album, Bittersweet Vol 1. The sensual, Jill Scott-esque ‘My World’ is one of our favourites. It features gorgeous vocals from the sisters and guest singer, Jorja Smith, over a daringly simply, yet terrifically smooth, groove.
‘At the Harbour’ by Princess Slayer
Bridging the gap between UK garage and drum and bass are Princess Slayer. The Surrey group – led by Casey Lim (vocals and lyrics) and Vince Welch (beats and productions) – meld bright vocal hooks with frequently rapid BPMs in a style that exists somewhere between Groove Armada, Massive Attack and Noisia. ‘At the Harbour’ is the fourth single they’ve released in the lead up to their forthcoming full-length project in December. Starting slowly at first, electronic keyboard tones gradually become a rush of energy, Lim vocals weaving in and out as it intensifies. Just awesome. One for your fitness and gaming playlists.
‘Favorite Song’ by Pete Philly
There’s a lot more to say about Dutch hip hop artist Pete Philly than we have space for right now. A rising star last decade as part of the now-defunct duo Pete Philly and Perquisite, the performer looked set to bring his energetic, conscious raps to the world. Being diagnosed with Lyme disease halted his plans – give The Independent’s interview a read for more. Fast-forward to 2018, and Philly has begun releasing new music after a seven-year hiatus. ‘Favorite Song’ is a lush, upbeat song that is, in words of Del the Funky Homosapien, “funky, funky sh*t!”
‘Mine’ by Jess Connelly
We’re still hooked on the latest single from Manila R&B singer Jess Connelly. Produced by her long-time collaborator, Crwn, ‘Mine’ is a smooth and seductive R&B song, which lovers of Jhené Aiko or Jorja Smith will adore.
Image: courtesy of Normanton Street/PR