New Music Monday: 12th February 2024
Monday rolls around again, and what better way to see in the new week than with five of the hottest new tracks to come out of the UK? There's some absolute bangers this week, so let's get on with it, shall we?
Mood Swings - Little Simz
The fact that Little Simz is an absolute musical treasure in the UK is no longer a secret, but I struggle to think of any artist in recent memory who has so consistently managed to deliver brilliance to the extent that she has. Mood Swings mixes grime, jungle and house to create a genuinely groundbreaking track, which grips from the very start and doesn’t let up for an all too short two minutes and twenty seconds.
When The Laughter Stops - Yard Act ft. Katy J. Pearson
Everything right now is pointing to Yard Act’s second album, Where’s My Utopia, being a much more experimental affair than their phenomenal (and hardly risk-averse) debut. When The Laughter Stops is likely the last single before the album drops on March 1st, and is possibly their most interesting track yet. Katy J Pearson adds a wonderful counterpoint to James Smith’s vocal, but the cynically smart delivery is there in spades.
Burn The Hard Drive - Jade Bird ft. Mura Masa
When everyone else in the UK was experimenting with rap, Hexham native Jade Bird was creating a whole new folk-soul genre. It earned her the prestigious SXSW Grulke Prize for Emerging Artists in 2022, and since then she’s gone from strength to strength, with each release cementing her reputation of one of the best new artists in the country. With producer Mura Masa she’s created something truly special here. There’s a definite Portishead influence, and that’s never a bad thing.
I Write The News - Declan McKenna
I’m listening to a lot of very early David Bowie rat the moment, going right back to his Davy Jones days, and the parallels to Declan McKenna are undeniable. In both cases we have an artist who isn’t afraid to experiment very publicly, and who isn’t particularly worried if it doesn’t always turn out perfectly. The feeling of the process being the product is apparent again here, and it’s a fascinating insight into McKenna’s somewhat scattered songwriting. A charming track of pure delight, that also nods towards Beck and Ian Dury.
Philadelphia - Matt Maltese with Searows
Twenty-six year old Matt Maltese has been hovering around the fringes of the music scene in the UK since 2018, when he released his debut album, Bad Contestant, on Atlantic, to some fanfare. Since then, he has quietly built up a dedicated fanbase, spurred on by three further albums in reasonably rapid succession. His fourth drops next month, and Philadelphia is the second single from it. It’s a reflective, contemplative love song, which is just made for playing quietly in the small hours. Portland’s Searows adds her own wonderful spin to the track, and it’s bound to pick up a healthy number of new fans for both artists.
Header Image: Little Simz by Marie Ladisch
Words: Thomas Jackson