Warmer days are fast approaching people. You’ve probably noticed that there are an alarming amount of people wearing far too little clothing, showing off that sweet sunburnt skin. Whether you’re nose to the page revising or getting drunk on the season’s first Pimms, you’ll be looking for some music to chill you the funk out. Lucky for you, it’s been a great month for music, with Kaytranada, James Blake and Jordan Rakei releasing some soulful vibes for all to feast their ears on. I’ve compiled a playlist that brings together the old and the new, keeping to a strict soul-hiphop-electro-alt atmosphere. It’s the kind of music will bring a smile to that freckled face, getting you ready for a summer of near-naked all night ravin’.
I’m introducing a few brand spanking new faces that I’d like you all to welcome to the Cowbell fold with some big fat jazz hands.
Having worked with the likes of Tom Misch and Disclosure, he’s clearly got some fans in the world of music producers. You can see why, with his silky smooth vocals and formidable mixing abilities. His music is the perfect accompaniment to a zesty gin and tonic and has the kind of vibe that can take you through to sultry summer evenings. His futures looking bright, with 2016 bringing supporting slots with Fat Freddy’s Drop and Jamie Woon (read on for more info about this guy). Predicting big things for his debut album, ‘Cloak’, out on June 3rd.
I’ve been a long time fan of this man ever since I bought tickets for a particularly groovy friend of mine’s birthday. Kay is fast becoming an electronic powerhouse, with countless famous friends and one of the freshest sounds in the genre. He’s singled himself out as a trendsetter, rising above his predictable house-obsessed peers. With a Haitian background, he’s clearly been influenced by the polyrhythmic percussion of his home country, managing to bring together hip hop, funk and dance in the most exciting way. His new album, ‘99.9%’, is all that was anticipated and so much more. Check it out if you wanna get down and groove.
He described his own music as “groove-based vocal-led music”. (Emphasis on the GROOVE). Woon’s soulful tones will woo (hohohehe) anyone that cares to listen. His most recent offering, ‘Making Time’, saw him rediscover himself after his grossly underrated 2012 debut. Scant backing lets his stunning vocals take centre stage, and boy do they put the wee hairs up on your neck. I thought James Blake + Bon Iver was the best music match in the history of time but move over, because none other than WILLY MASON features on Woon’s track, “Celebration”. Hands down best song I’ve heard in months. It gives you sincere beach vibes and Mason’s voice could not be more perfect over jaunty brass and lazy harmonies. I’ll probably install an ear piece in my ear that plays this song continually for the foreseeable future.
Welcome a fresh and organic rapper from D.C., whose hyper bars are creating major waves in the hip hop world. This is sunny rap at it’s absolute best. Certified philosopher (his first mixtape was entitled ‘The God Complex’), Goldlink is as likely to reflect on his faith as his naive relationships. He’s already been snapped up by our man Kaytranada and generated huge amounts of hype in the rap world. People are undoubtedly flipping out over his unabashed zaniness. Holla at the weirdos.
NOW THIS IS SUNNY MUSIC. This music is like being on a beach somewhere where it’s acceptable to lie totally naked, greased head-to-toe in Hawaiian tanning oil, being fanned by beautiful models. It is laden with the sweet fruits of jazz, swathed in the deep emotion of soul and peppered with the punchy attitude of hip hop. The instrumentals are cinematic, with rich strings and daring percussion. But the beats are FUNKY. Curtis Mayfield would have grooved hard to “End of The niGHt”, with it’s cheeky hi hats and off beat piano chords. Throw on the sunglasses and grab a beer.
J-J-J-Jazz with a capital fuckin’ J. This LA-based trio are a cool breeze on a smokin’ hot day. Ethereal as their name suggests, they grace devilishly jazztastic production with Amber Navran’s whispering, quietly soulful vocals. Awash with tinkles that could be the chimes on the sweet summer wind and infused with insightful and beautifully crafted lyrics: “Like a melody you came to me / carried softly by a breath of spring.” For those more peaceful, reflective moments when everyone’s gone home for the day and you’re applying some aftersun.
All this and more can be yours with my “multidimensional yet seamless mix of wonder and joy” (quote Emma Scott, Kitchen, 19th May 2016). So toodle those oos and get out in the sunshine. And if it isn’t sunny get yourself a mood lamp and pop to the fake tanning salon. If you can’t make it, fake it girlfriends.
Hellz to the yeeeeahhh,
- [Jack Kirwin/https://www.facebook.com/jamiewoonmusic/photos/a.88740523643.88175.6567033643/10155566268448644/?type=3&theater]