Let Anna Wise give you the simple advice you might just need
Anna Wise – ‘Some Mistakes’
Anna Wise is not a household name, but you’ve almost certainly heard her voice at some stage over the past few years.
She’s been on the past three Kendrick Lamar records (and even scored a Grammy for her work on the brilliant ‘These Walls’) and hopefully that’s the kinda leverage that will get people to give her second solo record The Feminine: Act II, because it’s a record that deserves to be heard.
Themes of female empowerment are strong throughout the album, though that’s not completely evident when hearing ‘Some Mistakes’ in isolation. But there is genius in its key, simple message.
‘I don’t mind making some mistakes when I know it’s for the best,’ she sings in the chorus. It’s an admirable sentiment and one we could probably all stand to learn from.
While her lyrics are strong, her music and voice are equally affecting. That slinky synth bassline is just irresistible and that’s super laidback Rhodes keyboard is perfect. Add in some G-funk synths and you’ve got a perfect palette of sounds for the ultimate modern soul jam.
Here’s hoping we get to hear plenty more from Anna Wise soon.
The Black Angels – ‘Currency’
It’s been a few years since we heard new material from Texan psych-rockers The Black Angels, thankfully they’re picking up right where the left off.
‘Currency’ features one of their deepest grooves yet, with lyrics that damn modern capitalism. Given the record was written in the midst of the US election cycle last year, we daresay this won’t be the only political track on their new album. It’s called Death Song and it’s out in April.
Grandaddy – ‘Evermore’
We cannot contain our excitement about the return of Grandaddy, one of indie rock’s finest (and perhaps most underrated) bands. Last Place is their new album, their first in 11 years, and ‘Evermore’ is one of the many great tracks from it.
Jason Lytle’s voice is exactly as you remember it (just in case you haven’t been keeping up with his busy post-Grandaddy life), his melodies are warm and charming and the band sound perfectly crunchy and fuzzy and synthy as ever. No, they’re not reinventing their sound, but we didn’t want them to.
Soulwax – ‘Missing Wires’
It’s a matter of weeks until the first new Soulwax record in over a decade lands in our laps and we couldn’t be more excited. The duo made From Deewee in just 48 hours and the first taste we got was a killer, propulsive, eight minute jam.
‘Missing Wires’ is certainly shorter, but it’s no less affecting. It both blows our mind and also makes us wanna get up and dance. The melody is so captivating and the synths are so wonderfully squelchy; that album can’t come soon enough.
D.D Dumbo – 'Brother'
If you haven’t yet got your hands on Utopia Defeated the excellent debut LP from D.D Dumbo, then maybe hearing ‘Brother’ will finally convince you to do so. It’s got that great, understated, haunting beauty that makes him sound unlike anyone else, twisted pop that is completely addictive.
Sophie Koh – ‘Tiger Not The Hare’
Sophie Koh has had quite a life. She won Unearthed back in the early-2000s, she’s lived all around the world, she’s worked as an optometrist (including doing time helping out in remote communities) and she’s still making killer records.
‘Tiger Not The Hare’ is from her new J Walker produced record Book Of Songs, which takes influence from Chinese poetry and Western classic music. This track was particularly inspired by Bela Bartok, which you may or may not be able to hear. Even if you can’t, you’ll still agree that it’s a pretty damn beautiful piece of art-pop.
Nattali Rize – ‘One People’
Blue King Brown frontwoman Nattali Rize is gearing up to release her powerful new record Rebel Frequency later this month and ‘One People’ is a musically chilled but lyrically fierce taste of the kind of truths she’ll be spitting throughout it. The simple acoustic arrangement makes her words really stand out and her voice has truly never sounded better.
Life Is Better Blonde – ‘Fires’
You might remember Aussie electro-soul mysterioso Life Is Better Blonde from this excellent video released a couple of years ago. Well he is back with another cracking clip and a song that’s just as good. ‘Fires’ is equally disjointed, austere and impassioned, with an intriguing chorus that’ll give you chills. It’s weird enough to be good, but straight enough to connect easily.
Daniel Champagne – 'All Of My Stars'
A big, brilliant sounding roots rocker from Daniel Champagne. Fans of Dan Sultan, Kings Of Leon and such should get behind this Aussie-bred, Nashville-based singer-songwriter, who is sounding better than ever thanks to a tireless work ethic and a desire to continue pushing himself.
Little Dragon – ‘Sweet’
Swedish weirdo electro geniuses Little Dragon return with the same sweet, left-of-centre pop that would probably sell a million copies if it weren’t so damn strange (and, as a result, great). It’s from their new record Season High, which should be out next month. We’re expecting more of the same.