In Recommended today: Kiah Victoria pushes against corruption with catchy pop resilience, hip hop artist Bishop Nehru takes flight, Julia Biel is on top form on a song bursting with bright intimacy, Blushes have got a sweet tooth, and reggae songstress Hollie Cook is here to help us all stay alive.
‘Remedy’ by Kiah Victoria
Kiah Victoria (pictured) has returned in spectacular style. ‘Remedy’ is a stirring, brilliant new song about the corruption and division in the USA today. This isn’t a preachy monologue or a meek cry for attention: it’s an assertive display of resilience that manages balance socially aware verses with catchy pop hooks. Sparse percussion, lingering piano knocks and softly spoken truths from the LA-based singer-songwriter.
Contrasting with references to water shortages and corruption is hope as Victoria samples a stirring speech by Michelle Obama and another catchy hook from Victoria herself. We really couldn’t be more excited to hear more from this uplifting artist.
Victoria is joining Jessie Ware for her upcoming UK spring tour, which includes Glasgow (Mar 20), Newcastle (Mar 21), Manchester (Mar 23), London (Mar 28), Sheffield (Mar 31), and Bournemouth (April 1).
‘Up, Up & Away (feat. Lion Babe)’ by Bishop Nehru
Touching down with some serious fire straight from a phoenix’s tail feathers is this new collaboration between Bishop Nehru and Lion Babe. If you’ve come across any of Bishop’s music since his 2013 mixtapes catapulted the then-teenager into the music business, you’ll know that he’s something of a prodigy. On this sublime track, produced by Kaytranada, Bishop and Lion Babe have given us a bold soundtrack to growth.
‘Up, Up & Away’ is taken from Bishop’s forthcoming album, Elevators, which is due to be released independently on March 16. The 10-track album has been produced by Kaytranada and MF Doom. Bishop has described the album as being his “attempt at a ‘rap’ Pet Sounds”. If you’re partial Tyler, The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Loyle Carner, or the legendary Doom, do yourself a favour and give Bishop a listen.
‘Say It Out Loud’ by Julia Biel
We’ve got so much adoration for this stupendous song by London singer-songwriter, Julia Biel. Biel is thoroughly magnetic on ‘Say It out Loud’, a song about that instance when someone you know won’t say how they really feel. Imagine a trio of enchanted musical instruments – rhythm guitar, bass and drums – sparking into life, Disney-style, to provide intimate, arresting backing to the singer and her honeyed vocals. This a lean-in experience that will be a fast favourite for fans of Corinne Bailey Rae and Martina Topley-Bird.
Julia Biel, the self-titled third album, by Julia Biel is out now on Rokit Records.
‘Honey’ by Blushes
Brooding synths and gnashing basslines are the juxtaposition to Blushes ode to falling for a sweet thang that you just know is never going to last. Aided by producer Ian Flynn, the Aylesbury four-piece’s latest experiment in funk-rock will get under your skin like thick treacle.
‘Stay Alive’ by Hollie Cook
London-based reggae songstress Hollie Cook returned with her third album, Vessel of Love, in January. Produced by Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, the whole album is a rhythmic revitalisation that moves the hips and nourishes the spirit. ‘Stay Alive’ – which is about what else but getting through this mad experience we know as “life” – does that with its neck-high waves of a dub and the echoes of Cook’s vocals that coast gentle over them.
Image: Max Knight