In Recommended today: Janelle Monáe and her posse have got the “Pynk”, Manila R&B singer Jess Connelly and French dance duo Synapson gives us another reason to fall in love this spring, before Mani Strings takes things to the bedroom. Plus, idiosyncratic artist Princess Nokia gets your heart racing in anticipation of change.
‘Pynk (feat. Grimes)’ by Janelle Monáe
The latest music video from creative visionary and Wondaland Arts Society leader, Janelle Monáe, is a celebration of women, their bodies and queer love. And it’s gone viral. ‘Pynk’, which features vocals from Canadian artist Grimes, is an exercise in subtly, as fingers click, drums bounce, and Monáe slowly narrates the things that excite her. Directed by Emma Westenberg, the video – or “emotion picture” – features Monáe and her all-female posse cruising down the boulevard, enjoying one another’s company, and performing a bow-legged dance in vagina-shaped pants. And, not for the first time with Monáe’s videos – all the performers look like they’re having the time of their life – it might not happen any time soon, but we’re holding out for a Lemonade-scale visual album from our favourite rule-breaking pioneer. Monáe’s forthcoming album, Dirty Computer, is released April 27 on Bad Boy/WEA.
‘Mine’ by Jess Connelly
A spoonful of Jess Connelly’s sugary vocals sweetens your day. Hailing from Manila, Philippines, she gained attention following the release of her How I Love EP in 2016. Her latest single – produced by her long-time collaborator, Crwn – is a smooth and seductive R&B song, which lovers of Jhené Aiko or Jorja Smith will adore.
‘Waterfall’ by Mani Strings
Mani Strings is a multitalented musician and producer based in Los Angeles. Her goal, she says, is to “make music from the heart that connects to the listener whether it’s a heartfelt love song or a club banger”. To that end, Mani’s released songs such as ‘Fast Ass Girl’, which has a sensitive message about how toxic relationships can lead to drug addiction and suicide. Shifting gears completely, her recent single, ‘Waterfalls’, produced by Crxsh, is sensual R&B for the bedroom.
‘Look Up Strings’ by Princess Nokia
Musical rebel, Princess Nokia, released her latest mixtape, A Girl Cried Red, last Friday. ‘Look Up Strings’ is an exhilarating blend of rock, melodic vocals and rhythmic urgency. Terrific exercise music.
‘Hide Away (feat. Holly)’ by Synapson
Synapson are a duo of French multi-instrumentalists, Alexandre Chiere (keyboard, sax, beats and vocals) and Paul Cucuron (drums, scratches, production and mixing). Doused in euro-funk and disco, the duo’s single ‘Hide Away’, featuring the vocals of Holly Martin, is a stimulating dance anthem for your summer festival playlist. Comparisons to Daft Punk are expected, but, two albums in, this duo is up to more than mere imitation.
Image: courtesy of Janelle Monáe/Warner Music