‘The sound of London life’ will mean different things to different people and not all of them will be pleasant, unless a fox’s blood-curdling screech shattering the calm gets you going. Yet Hackney-based Tycho Jones seems to have captured it beautifully. His urban melting pot of alternative pop, hip-hop and electronica give way to poetic lyrics that capture what it’s like to be young and living in the fast-paced city. The recent re-release of his mixtape Tychonaut features his poignant singles ‘Level Head’ and ‘Don’t Be Afraid’, as well as three new tracks. Not that we condone favouritism but we’re very VERY excited about this one.
Despite his early roots as part of the South London grime collective The Square, 20-year-old rapper Deema’s debut EP CHEW YOUR FOOD (released last year) saw him expand beyond grime and demonstrate his versatility in the wider genre of rap. Returning with a clear indication of more tasty treats up his sleeve, Deema’s latest single ‘CAN I?’ puts a British stamp on 90’s hip-hop with playful, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a Loyle Carner-esque flow. Sold.
The meditative act of walking has become rather popular this past year, and having the right soundtrack is imperative. I found myself turning to the more cinematic, ambient soundscapes of London Grammar, For Those I Love and West Londoners Babeheaven. The duo’s debut album Home For Now was a sonic dream of trip-hop beats and unobtrusive, trance-like soundscapes, with vocalist Nancy Anderson’s soothing tones melted over it. Now they’re back with new single ‘Cassette Beat’ alongside a remix from Puma Blue, a welcome offering of breathing space for the mind. The kind of song that makes London look rose-tinted as you walk to it.
Whilst our wildest fantasies of being the next Joan Jett were eclipsed by our cringing attempts at ‘I Love Rock N’ Roll’ on Guitar Hero, 21-year old Aziya is ensuring that the future of female-led rock is in safe hands. The young rockstar began to prove her license to shred through covers of Arctic Monkeys, Grimes and Tame Impala uploaded on Instagram. Now she’s channelling their influence in to her own psych-infused rock, with almighty riffs and general badassery characterising her two current singles ‘Slip!’ And ‘Heaven For Me’.
Whilst continuing to set the pace with his motley crew the NiNE8 collective, West London rapper Lorenzorsv is also dishing out his own sauce on new EP Dice. A natural in the booth Lorenzo’s style is all-at-once effortless and hard-hitting, with the closing track ‘Lonely’ adding a melodic dimension to his flow. Whether you’re heating things up for the night ahead or winding it down post-escapade, there’s an energy amongst Lorenzo’s tracks that somehow caters to both.