Bringing you a pick of the month’s best releases, Maria Hanlon presents 10 tunes that have hit her decks – and got a reload – in November. Starring Wesley Joseph, DEJA, Jordan Stephens, Stormzy, Mac Wetha, Biig Piig, Lord Apex, Tamera, Jelani Blackman, Kojey Radical, SAULT, Sam Wise & Yazmin Lacey…
For fans of… Finn Foxell, Loyle Carner, Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn
Why listen… Wesley Joseph is back with cinematic new single ‘MONSOON’ that you’ll have on repeat.
London-based Wesley Joseph’s latest release ‘MONSOON’ is a sneak peak into his newly-announced upcoming project, ‘GLOW’, which is set to arrive in Feb 2023. ‘GLOW’ will feature 8 tracks and follow his debut album ‘ULTRAMARINE’. ‘MONSOON’ was co-produced by A.K Paul and has a self-directed music video by Joseph too. Speaking on the track Joseph says,“The process felt like an awakening, and the beginning of a new chapter after ‘ULTRAMARINE’. I’d been thinking and re-evaluating things and the song put a lot in perspective for me.” He also reveals the story behind the track “It’s a journey of liberation, and I found myself questioning and understanding my own feelings about the turbulence of life itself”.
For fans of… Ms Banks, Tiana Major9, Yiigaa
Why listen… DEJA is a name to get to know and ‘Leave Me’ is the reason why.
DEJA’s ‘Leave Me’ is an empowering and uplifting song delivering a message on keeping the bad vibes away. The themes of self-worth, self-love and female empowerment are at the forefront of DEJA’s lyrics and ‘Leave Me’ is no exception. Speaking about ‘Leave Me’, DEJA explains “Don’t get me wrong – I’m definitely an extrovert at heart but sometimes I just want to be left in peace.” After a very successful 2022, we’re excited to see what next year has in store for DEJA.
TELL THE TRUTH!
For fans of… Joe Hertz, James Blake, Sampha
Why listen… Stephens is back with an atmospheric electronic banger.
After the success of ‘Big Bad Mood’ with Miraa May, Jordan Stephens returns with a slower electronic track ‘TELL THE TRUTH!’. Whilst ‘Big Bad Mood’ and ‘TELL THE TRUTH!’ may vary in pace and tone, the thing they have in common is that they were both produced by Joe Hertz. Stephens talks through the meaning of his latest release, “It’s a track about delusion. About lying to someone you love in order to keep their ideal version of you alive. That conflict of interest. Is it selfish to destroy that? Then at the same time. Truth is the greatest adventure we could ever go on. And can you really ever hide from it.”
I Got My Smile Back
UMG (on behalf of 0207 Def Jam)
For fans of… Dave, Skepta, J Hus
Why listen… ‘I Got My Smile Back’ is one of Stormzy’s most compelling and candid tracks yet, with personal lyrics accompanying a beautiful beat.
One of the most anticipated album of 2022, Stormzy released ‘This Is What I Mean’ on the 25th November. The album is mellow and mature, showing us a different side and sound to the Stormzy we knew on ‘Heavy Is The Head’. ‘I Got My Smile Back’, digs a little deeper and shows Stormzy’s vulnerable side with lyrics such as “Me and loneliness kick it from time to time” and “She knows the deal, that I ain’t hers and she ain’t mine / Me and joy got tighter, that was overdue.” Although Stormzy’s new album might be slightly slower, he still gives us the chart toppers he’s known for including ‘Hide & Seek’ and ‘Firebabe’.
Mac Wetha, Biig Piig, Lord Apex
Don’t You Go Falling In Love
For fans of… NiNE8, Lava La Rue, Joesef
Why listen… Mac Wetha, Biig Piig and Lord Apex have joined forces to conjure up a romantic and jazzy new soothing single.
The three artists team up to create a track about returning to a past love. Mac Wetha and Biig Piig harmonise together over jazzy piano and playful guitar chords before being joined by Lord Apex and his verse. The latest single follows Mac Wetha’s ‘Play Pretend’ which featured US multi-instrumentalist spill tab. Mac says that Biig Piig and Lord Apex are, “Two of the most talented and sweetest people you’ll ever meet. We wrote this on a sunny day with the doors wide open, the tune came together very quickly and organically and felt right from the jump.”
The Orchard Music (on behalf of Moonshyne Music Limited)
For fans of… Miraa May, Mahalia, RAY BLK
Why listen… Tamera’s seductive single is a love letter in lyrics that you’ll instantly want to add to your playlist.
Tamera is becoming one of the UK’s most exciting new talents, following a tip in 2021 by Amazon Music UK as ‘One To Watch’ – and we can see why. Sharing the inspiration behind the track, Tamera says: “I’ve dealt with trust issues in the past and found it hard to fully open up to a partner, the person I’m referring to in the song has really done the work to make me comfortable enough to fully open up and flourish in the relationship & for someone who has always found this difficult it has become the greatest pleasure to return that same love in tenfold.”
Jelani Blackman, Kojey Radical
MNRK Music Group
For fans of… Giggs, Jords, Che Lingo
Why listen… Two of the most exciting artists in the UK right now, Jelani Blackman and Kojey Radical, team up to give us a fierce and fiery banger.
After releasing his debut mixtape ‘Unlimited’ last year, Jelani Blackman has been making his mark on the UK rap scene. His latest release ‘Izit’ is a collaboration with another key player in the UK music scene, Kojey Radical. The track follows from Blackman’s previous single ‘Comfy’, bringing a very successful year for him to a close. Talking about the meaning behind the track he says “It’s about standing up and taking note of the constant injustice and inequality we have to deal with because of greed, prejudice and power.”
Fight for Love
Forever Living Originals
For fans of… Cleo Sol, Little Simz, Michael Kiwanuka
Why listen… The mysterious British band hit the spot once again with the soulful track ‘Fight for Love’.
Esteemed collective SAULT remain mysterious, never giving any interviews or playing any live shows. However, we do know that the face behind it all is Producer Info, who has worked with the likes of Little Simz, Cleo Sol, Michael Kiwanuka and Adele, to name a few. ‘Fight for Love’ comes fresh from their album ‘11’, released on November 11th. The track employs catchy hooks, a soulful harmony and stand out guitar chords, proving that no matter what genre SAULT release, they always get it right.
Guess Who’s Back
For fans of… House of Pharaohs, p-rallel, D Double E
Why listen… Sam Wise blends the old and new to create fresh, fun tune ‘Guess Who’s Back’.
The House of Pharaohs member Sam Wise is rapidly becoming one to watch with his witty storytelling, fresh flows and fluid genre and tone. After featuring on p-rallel’s EP ‘Forward’ earlier this year, he’s back with his own music. ‘Guess Who’s Back’ accompanies a music video, which is shot in the ever-recognisable and iconic basement at Jammer’s yard in east London. The song comes before the release of his 6-track EP ‘None The Wiser’, which is out on December 9th.
Own Your Own Records
For fans of… Ego Ella May, Blue Lab Beats, Poppy Ajudha
Why listen… East London based Yasmin Lacey releases a stunning, soulful song that feels warm and comforting this winter.
Yazmin Lacey’s new single ‘Bad Company’, came out on 10th November. It’s an introspective track narrating the relationship between Yazmin and her inner demon. She explains “I like to call her Priscilla, we have a love hate relationship but over the years I’ve started to make peace with her/me. We often want to ignore those ugly parts of ourselves, but there’s something powerful and humbling in acknowledging it, after all she ain’t going anywhere!”. The single comes with the announcement of Lacey’s long awaited debut album ‘Voice Notes’, which will be released on March 3rd 2023.