Artwork by Ellis Mckenzie.
Originally published for The 405.
Luckily, I managed to find some time this month to drag myself away from listening to the ZAYN album and source you some hot new R&B.
Most importantly this month, Queen Jhené is back and it seems married life hasn’t mellowed her out too much as she’s still sassy as ever on latest release ‘B’s + H’s’. We’ve also got a massive power ballad from Sufjan Stevens’ pal Gallant, two new tracks from rising London-based songstresses MALIKA and IDEH and, as the weather has been starting to brighten up a bit, we’ve got some funky tunes to get you in the mood for summer from LA’s Pretty Sister and ex-Odd Future member Domo Genesis.
Jhené Aiko – ‘B’s + H’s’
Jhené has graced us with a video for ‘B’s + H’s’ – that stands for bitches and hoes just so we’re clear – a track she premiered on Soulection’s Beats 1 radio show earlier this year, and, in typical Jhené fashion, it’s all about calling guys out on their shit. There has been no news yet on whether this track is part of an upcoming project from Jhené, perhaps featuring on a follow up to her 2014 debut Souled Out, but she has just released a joint album with frequent collaborator Big Sean under the guise TWENTY88 to keep fans happy for now. The TWENTY88 project is available to buy now or you can stream it exclusively on Tidal, if your free trial hasn’t run out yet.
MALIKA – ‘Put It On Me’
That piano intro, those hand claps, those pop-y synths and those silky vocals; this track from newcomer MALIKA is an absolute treat to the ears. Taken from her debut EP All You Never Knewand with Snakehips and Maths Time Joy on production, ‘Put It On Me’ is a stunning debut from the London-based singer, standing out from all the other ’90s-influenced R&B that’s coming out at the moment. If the track alone isn’t enough for you however, the artwork for the single is also incredibly cute and is sure to bring a smile to your face if you’re feeling a bit blue.
Gallant – ‘Bourbon’
Gallant is one of those artists that once you hear them for the first time, you immediately want to hear everything else they’ve ever done and, luckily for us, he has done some pretty amazing things. Through his YouTube series, In The Room, Gallant covered Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Blue Bucket of Gold’ with Stevens himself and, most recently, performed a stripped-back version of his own track ‘Weight in Gold’ with none other than Seal, showing off his insane vocal abilities whilst doing so. ‘Bourbon’ is the latest release from Gallant’s debut album Ology, which is out now, and has a belter of a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days. If you have some time to kill, I urge you to have a flick through Gallant’s Facebook photos: the captions are absolute gold.
Pretty Sister – ‘Come to LA’
Summer vibes all round here *insert sun emojis*. The most inappropriate choruses to sing aloud in public are always the best kind of choruses, and this is just the kind of chorus to get you turning heads in the vegetable aisle in Sainsbos (other supermarkets are available) whilst singing along with your headphones in. Between the funky bassline, soulful harmonies and that catchy hook, ‘Come to LA’ is the perfect summer tune. It seems we’ve got another FB comedian on our hands here as well: is this a new thing that pop stars are doing these days? Lots of mentions of M O N D A Y Z and Z-Funk suggest that Pretty Sister has a bit of a penchant for the letter Z. Also, do you think he lives in LA? I can’t tell.
Domo Genesis – ‘DAPPER’ feat. Anderson. Paak
AMAZING. FANTASTIC. BRILLIANT. I’ve never really thought much of Domo Genesis up until now but this track has made me rethink everything and I may have to give some serious consideration to rearranging the order of my favourite ex-members of Odd Future. Teaming up with the incredible Anderson. Paak – if you haven’t heard his genius debut ‘Malibu’ then get on it right now – Domo has brought us a strong contender for song of the year with ‘DAPPER’, taken from his debut record Genesis. This is just the perfect feel good anthem, with an equally perfect feel good video, so throw on your rollerskates and live, laugh, love y’all.
IDEH – ’22’
Something a bit more mellow for you now to round things off from, another rising London songstress, IDEH. “For those who’ve been 22, are 22, and will be 22,” says the track’s description; so basically this track is for everyone in the world and is super relatable. Collaborating once again with Villi ‘Vbeats’ Mambu, ’22’ is a mega chilled slow jam much in the same vein as the pair’s previous releases together, ‘Do Something’ and ‘The One, but is a lot less trap-influenced. Rumour has it, IDEH is currently working on her debut EP, ‘presumably with her partner in crime Mambu so if you like this track, keep a close eye out for that dropping, hopefully soon.