It feels like our speakers are awash with new music at the moment, and while it’s heart-warming that The Beetles can release ‘new’ music 43 years after the death of John Lennon, there is much more to celebrate, as these 5 listen-worthy releases prove.
Kojaque – Phantom Of The Afters
Irish rapper Kojaque is no stranger to leafie, in a 2021 interview he professed a dream of smoking hash with the Hoziers at the Grammys, a dream that is no doubt closer thanks to his latest album Phantom Of The Afters. Featuring collaborations with stars such as Hak Baker, Gotts Street Park and Biig Piig, Kojaque deftly weaves emotionally rich stories into ear-pleasing hip-hop via his distinctively soft Irish voice that somehow feels just right.
CASISDEAD – Famous Last Words
The enigmatic and mysterious CASISDEAD has finally released his long-awaited long player and it doesn’t disappoint. Like all of the London based rapper and producer’s releases since mixtape The Number 23, Famous Last Words is drenched in synths and cinematic sci-fi storytelling about women, drugs, love and betrayal. A sonically rich masterpiece that deserves a set of the finest speakers and your complete attention right through to the guest appearance by Neil Tennant of 80s supremos The Pet Shop Boys.
The Streets – The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light
Mike Skinner is back with an album that serves as a soundtrack to his self-produced film, The Darker The Shadow The Brighter The Light. Skinner’s journey with The Streets has often mirrored his own life, expertly so on the groundbreaking A Grand Don’t Come For Free, and while the film isn’t strictly autobiographical, Skinner has eluded that the character is loosely based on his own persona. As you would expect, it’s Skinner’s unique lyricism and ability for honest, heart on sleeve storytelling that makes this album shine.
DJ Shadow – Action Adventure
Trip Hop stalwart DJ Shadow is back with an album of mostly instrumental broken beats. The production on Action Adventure is as precise as you’d expect from am artist who has delivered some of the most revered sample-driven music in history. DJ Shadow’s latest offering is at once nostalgic and futuristic, and despite its lack of big-name vocalists it manages to deliver something special musically.
Jockstrap – I<3UQTINVU
The latest offering from Jockstrap is billed as a remix of Mercury Prize shortlisted 2022 album I Love You Jennifer B. Remix is a term used loosely here, as the album is essentially an experimental reworking, with tracks deconstructed and remade by band member Taylor Skye who says “The main thing I was interested in whilst making this music was the sonic palette and the texture of the music. The musical material didn’t matter too much, it was just about the sound. That’s often what moves me, not necessarily the notes but the sound.” If you like your music to have a few WTF moments, this is the album for you.