Recommended: Xylaroo, Broken Bells, Hollie Cook, Kano, Little Simz

Wake up! No, you haven’t stepped into a Spike Lee joint. It’s time to peruse another selection of fine new releases.

In Recommended today: Xylaroo (pictured) return with a funkified new single, California’s space-age indie rock duo Broken Bells rematerialize to save us from these dark times, Hollie Cook gives us a dose of summer sun, and finally, rappers Kano and Little Simz share more worldly wisdom.

*** Listen to even more new music on The Fresh List playlist ***

‘Yesterdays’ by Xylaroo

Heartbreak, painful as it is, can be a great catalyst for musicians. After a spell away to live and grow, Xylaroo, aka sisters Holly and Coco Chant, has returned with ‘Yesterdays’.

“At its heart, it’s a break-up song,” singer and songwriter Holly told Fringe Frequency. “It’s about yearning for something lost and remembering what you had.”

As the warm, upbeat rhythm pulses around you, the girls’ voices ring out in concert. It’s the first song to be taken from their forthcoming second album, and it shows the girls widening their musical range further with brushes of 70s funk and soul. A welcome return with more to come.

If you’re new to Xylaroo, check out their debut album Sweetooth and feel their fierce, playful energy for yourself.

‘Good Luck’ by Broken Bells

The creative partner of James Mercer and Danger Mouse – together known as Broken Bells – has given us two of this decade’s finest albums. New single ‘Good Luck’ throbs with the deft instrumental flourish that’s made their music so enduring. “We see the darkness over light / But have we really lived in better times?” ponders Mercer in sombre reflection. Here’s hoping a full album is soon to follow.

‘Dance in the Sunshine’ by Hollie Cook

Just like the rest of us, Hollie Cook is reluctant to see the end of another summer. Fortunately the reggae songstress, whose voice is as sweet as her smile, has given us this summery tune to enjoy. If you don’t own your own island paradise, then we hearty recommend spending a quiet afternoon with Cook’s records. Bliss.

‘Good Youtes Walk Amongst Evil’ by Kano

Away from dreams of escape, and back on the streets of the UK, lives have tragically been lost. Young lives. Kano, one of the elders of grime, has shared his feelings on the state of things in his outspoken new album, Hoodies All Summer. “Slave to my morals / But when you got no faith in the system, hungry today, f*ck tomorrow” he cries in this candid, powerful hip hop thriller.

‘Flowers (feat. Michael Kiwanuka)’ by Little Simz

British rapper Little Simz unleashed her third full-length album, Grey Area, to well-deserved acclaim this year. Simz’ 2016 album, Stillness in Wonderland, was an absolute monster. A heady concoction of raw feeling, superb lyricism, and fantastically moreish soul and psych beats, all topped off by her razer-sharp vocal delivery.

Simz built on the momentum of her second album and delivered another stunner in the Mercury Prize-nominated Grey Area. ‘Flowers’ features the soulful tones of Michael Kiwanuka and offers plenty reasons to keep your head held high as the cold season draws in.

*** Listen to even more new music on The Fresh List playlist ***

Image: Hailey Atkinson