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 January. Starring Arlo Parks, Mac Wetha, Rachel Chinouriri, VC Pines, Lucy Tun, Finn Foxell, Yazmin Lacey, ISHA, Victoria Port & The Nasty Poet, Fdluxx, Verbz & B-ahwe, TYSON & Coby Sey and Juls…
PIAS (on behalf of Transgressive)
For fans of… beabadoodbe, Joesef, Phoebe Bridgers
Why listen… Arlo Parks is starting the year with a bang, releasing the dreamy single ‘Weightless’.
Arlo Parks has announced the release of her sophomore studio album, ‘My Soft Machine’, which is due on May 26th. Whilst we eagerly wait, Arlo has given us a taste of what’s to come with ‘Weightless’. The track marks a slightly different sonic direction for the British singer-songwriter and features a bold beat, heavy synths and an instantly catchy chorus. Her new album follows on from Park’s debut album, ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’, that came out in 2021 and went on to win two Grammy nominations – Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album. She also won Best New Artist at the Brit Awards and the Mercury Prize.
Mac Wetha, Rachel Chinouriri
For fans of… NiNE8 Collective, flowerolove, Matilda Mann
Why listen… NiNE8 Collective’s Mac Wetha has joined forces with the super talented Rachel Chinouriri for a fun indie-pop bop.
Serial collaborator Mac Wetha has worked with the likes of Spill Tab, Lord Apex, Biig Piig and now has teamed up with the super talented Rachel Chinouriri on his latest release, ‘Fairytale’. The track features Mac Wetha’s signature production style alongside his recognisable voice. Rachel provides her stunning vocals, making the pair a dream team. Since release the track has become Clara Amfo’s ‘Hottest Record’ on Radio 1 and will be on heavy rotation for us too!
For fans of… King Krule, Steve Lacy, Glass Animals
Why listen… VC Pines kicks off the year with hypnotic groove ‘Running’ that will be stuck in your head from the moment you hear it.
VC Pines has previously collaborated with the likes of Max Helyeh (You Me At Six) and Ant Whiting (M.I.A) as well as gaining press support from The Independent, Dork, NOTION, Fred Perry and WONDERLAND, to name a few. He’s also performed at Reading & Leeds and a BBC Maida Vale live session. His latest release ‘Running’ marks an exciting start to a year which we’re sure is going to be very successful for him. Check out our interview and find out more about VC Pines here.
For fans of… Björk, Eliza Legzdina, Bktherula
Why listen… Lucy Tun’s first release of the year is a hyper-pop-hip-hop track about the fashion world, that you’ll want to have on repeat.
Lucy Tun (formerly known as her moniker LCYTN) is a Burmese-British rising star and definitely one to watch this year. Her first release of 2023 ‘Kulture Klub’ is a hyper-pop-hip-hop track about the life of a fashion socialite. Lucy always keeps us on our toes with her releases fusing together different genres to create her unique soundscape. The song was inspired by Lucy’s first visit to Fashion Week, with the aspect of glamour perfectly portrayed in the production and music video. The track was produced by J.Ar.J, who UD spoke to previously, here.
Red & Blue
For fans of… Mike Skinner, Maverick Sabre, Lord Apex
Why listen… Rapper Finn Foxell pulls back the layers, revealing his romantic and slightly vulnerable side in new tune ‘Red & Blue’.
Shepherd’s Bush singer/rapper Finn Foxell gets the year going with his new single, ‘Red & Blue’. The track was created with his producer Paul Carr who co-produced ‘Golden Nuggets’ from his last project. ‘Red & Blue’ is a perfect fusion of Finn’s influences with a rap heavy verse accompanied by a punk infused chorus. The late-night lyrics follow Finn’s trip through the city as his romantic side begins to surface. 2022 was a huge year for Finn as he explored a slightly more alternative sound with his love for indie, punk and rock shining through. We’re excited to see more from him in 2023.
Late Night People
Own Your Own Records/Believe
For fans of… Erykah Badu, Nai Palm, D’Angelo
Why listen… Yazmin Lacey continues to deliver soulful gems with the shimmering ‘Late Night People’.
Yazmin Lacey’s new track will feature on her upcoming debut album, ‘Voice Notes’ which is out March 3rd. The song is an ode to the after hours crew who go about their business while the rest of the world is sleeping. Lacey combines electronic sounds with her in-depth love of jazz and soul which ‘Late Night People’ demonstrates. Her laid-back vocals also reflect the late-night vibe of the track. Yazmin says the song was written for “those needing a space to let go, pleasure seekers, dreamers, creators and magic makers…”
ISHA, Victoria Port, The Nasty Poet
Rest is Rebellion
For fans of… edbl, Blue Lab Beats, The Silhouettes Project
Why listen… I SHA is an artist who needs to be on your radar for 2023, take a listen to ‘Rest is Rebellion’ to find out why.
ISHA is a producer and multi-instrumentalist from Amsterdam. Her music can be described as fresh and funky and infused with rare-groove. ISHA uniquely blends live instruments with electronic foundations which allows her to push boundaries on both the stage and in the studio. You can hear this beautifully in her debut EP ‘Bending Colours’, which came out on London based label Juicebox Recordings. The track ‘Rest is Rebellion’ features singer/songwriter Victoria Port and The Nasty Poet and is a stand out song from the EP.
Fdluxx, Verbz, B-ahwe
750061 Records DK
For fans of… J Dilla, James Blake, Jamie xx
Why listen… ‘Purpose’ brilliantly blends genres to create a reflective track which is ideal for this wintery weather.
Rising producer Fdluxx teams up with Croydon wordsmith Verbz and the ethereal vocals of B-ahwe to create the meaningful new single ‘Purpose’. The track mixes elements from haunting lofi to wavey UK rap and jazzy hip hop. It brings together two compelling lyricists over a soulful instrumental from Fdluxx which has been described as ‘the perfect soundtrack for a reflective evening under the grey British weather’. After already gaining support from BBC Introducing and Voices Radio, we’re excited to see what’s next for Fdluxx.
TYSON, Coby Sey
Can’t Be Unstuck
Ladies Music Pub
For fans of… Cleo Sol, SAULT, James Blake
Why listen… Treat your ears to this romantic, warm and gentle track from TYSON and Coby Sey.
TYSON and Coby Sey have collaborated to create the beautiful, glowing track ‘Can’t Be Unstuck’, which came out earlier this month. The track was produced by Molinaro with additional production from Coby Sey and was released on Ladies Music Pub. TYSON and Coby Sey complement each other’s voices perfectly to form this heavenly tune. The song also has an accompanying music video which is dream-like – just like the track. We’re hoping we’ll hear more from both artists in 2023.
For fans of… Blue Lab Beats, Pa Salieu, VHOOR
Why listen… Juls is back with a brand new track that is an ode to artist Sade and will instantly transport you to summer vibes.
‘Sade Riddim’ is British-Ghanaian producer Juls’ first release of the year, following on from ‘Tabom Riddim’ which came out last year featuring VHOOR. The track is inviting and lures you in from the very start, as all of Juls’ tracks do. He says on Instagram that ‘Sade Riddim’ is “Ode to a special person and one of my inspirations. Sade is arguably one of the greatest musicians of all time. Her music oozes moods perfect for every single moment”.