This week’s 5 is another collaboration between Damola and Sam. The in-house equivalent of Yorke and Cole. It’s coming home. Dwn2earth and Ty Dolla $ign connect on ‘Don’t Play With Me’. Dave and Stormzy go back to back on the former’s lead single ‘Clash’ taken from his upcoming sophomore album. Then, Cruza delivers a hit of psychedelia-infused R&B with ‘Indeed’’ taken from their upcoming EP. Meanwhile, Olivia Dean pulls at heartstrings with her latest single ‘Slowly’. Finally, Rachel Chirinouriri and Hak Baker join forces on the chilly cut ‘November’ to remind us – winter is coming.
Cruza – Indeed
Hailing from Orlando via San Diego, Cruza eschew tradition, fusing R&B, psychedelia and alternative rock influences into their music. Creating a sound that is relaxing and transformative, all at one time. On ‘Indeed’ the track warbles round and round. No destination in sight. Because lead singer Charity Joy Brown is detailing the early embers of a new relationship. The place before things get clearer. Where it’s all laughs, and laid-back frolicking. Kind of like school days before Year 9. No expectations. No targets. Just trying to enjoy the moment as much as possible. Cruza are signed to US-based imprint Terrible Records, who distribute music for the likes of Solange and Dev Hynes’ Blood Orange. Acts who, thematically at least, share a desire to remain outside of the lines, to create what they want, however they want. There’s a lot more to come from them, we just have to trust the process.
Rachel Chinouriri feat. Hak Baker – November
The UK has an abundance of talented vocalists on the rise. Many of them exist in the same spheres, with a similar style and creative direction. Rachel Chinouriri, however, has gone in her own way. Her voice seems to be more folk influenced than soulful. And she has a control over it that allows it to tessellate into different lanes. The remix of her single ‘Darker Place’ with electronic DJ Joe Goddard is at the essence of her defiant musical direction. In many ways, she is a bit of a throwback. I could quite easily imagine her rising up with the mid-10’s dubstep/post-dub revival with the likes of James Blake, SBTRKT, Mount Kimbie etc. She could slot in there with ease. ‘November’ is a chilly affair. It isn’t dark, but it’s very literal. The dominant colour through the video is an icy blue. But the dalliance between Chinouriri and Baker gives the teal hues some warmth. Baker, as always, finds a chance to land some wry laughs “too many sheep up in the farm (baah!)”. This collaboration feels a bit early, as we’re a good four months away from November. But, it’s a welcome offering from two unique talents.
Dave feat. Stormzy – Clash
South London treasure Dave has many would-be conspiracy theorists playing guessing games, with what his upcoming sophomore album We’re All Alone In This Together may serve up. Slated for a July 23rd release, we get a preview that may further stoke curiosity in the PSYCHODRAMA follow up in ‘Clash’, a high-tempo ‘clash’ of titans that features Stormzy as the tandem roll up their sleeves on this one.
Produced by Dave’s longtime friend Kyle Evans, the two are on flexitarian duties from the moment Dave says “Jordan 4’s or Jordan 1’s, Rolexes got more than one, my AP cost thirty-one, millimetre’s 41” like it was nothing to him. Stormzy contributes with a typically taunting verse, teasing war and a collection of watches that will see him through the week and beyond. The Edem Wornoo directed visuals take them from a South London shoobs to the Aston Martin facilities in Warwickshire. Fitting scenes for the first musical collaboration between these two South London flagbearers. Album on the way.
Olivia Dean – Slowly
London-born songstress Olivia Dean has a penchant for making love songs, on either side of the spectrum of happiness. But this time, the singer-songwriter glows about the beauties of a budding love with ‘Slowly’ a slow burner of a song that is true to its name. The piano-led production courtesy of Matt Hales is one of her most vulnerable records yet, a record that asks for patience in the case of a new love. The visuals capture her performing the song on piano, with a long ponytail behind her, echoes of the old Rapunzel story.
Olivia’s latest effort is taken from her upcoming project Growth, a project that is billed to follow similar themes and tone, and will certainly further display her earnest brand of artistry. Her delivery is heartfelt, a welcome break from the alt-R&B heavy records where the need for love and possession of feelings are eschewed. Growth will be witnessed on July 30th.
Dwn2earth feat. Ty Dolla $ign – Don’t Play With Me
R&B newcomer Dwn2earth has been making noise recently with his experimental brand of R&B, a feat that is nothing new if you happen to be an ATLien. The musicality in Atlanta is well documented and storied, no matter the genre. His debut album ATLANTIS dropped almost a year ago and was noted for its depth, out-of-this-world instrumentals and showed promise. On his latest run, he invites R&B’s favourite lothario Ty Dolla $ign along for a collaboration on ‘Don’t Play With Me’ – a self-produced record where he insists that he is not the one.
Both artists’ trade croons about how their female counterparts are playing games like the WNBA, stating that there will be no Mulligans on this course of love. A statement of intent if I ever heard one before, with the toxicity rising like the blunt of Zaza he has lit up. We will see what more the ATLien has in store for us in 2021.