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