Five on it photograph via Arlo Parks video screenshot

My standard five on it intro spiel will be void of a Valentine’s message – because I did that over here with our self-love playlist already.

Though I have been thinking about the lost art of mixtapes and mix CDs after reading this great piece over on Trench. Is there a present-day equivalent to making a sweet one a painstakingly curated collection of songs with custom liner notes and artwork? Maybe not.

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In other thoughts from the week, I’m still not really sure what happens next with the slowthai debacle. Well, not “debacle” – his behaviour was gross but, according to VICE, part of some bigger interaction, he apologised and Katherine Ryan said it wasn’t a big deal in the first place. It was all comedy, apparently – IMO, can we just kill the concept of “banter” already?

Anyway, that is enough not-very-sizzling hot takes to fill up this intro. Now here is your weekly music round-up, full of sad bangers, sweet harmonies and sexy nighttime songs.

Arlo Parks – ‘Eugene’

God, Arlo Parks knows exactly how to make the perfect soft, sad banger. Those delicate vocals! The introspective lyrics contemplating that weird space of falling for a mate, and a gorgeous video by the Coyle-Larner brothers (yes, that means Loyle was involved).

Ojerime – ‘Whiskey Demo’

There’s a certain sense of late night atmosphere at Ojerime always captures perfectly – and this latest cut is no exception. Hazy, dreamlike and innately sexy, ‘Whiskey Demo’ has us very ready for the project she’s dropping next month.

Children of Zeus – ‘Get What’s Yours’

Okay this is just magic. Can we talk about how Children Of Zeus are consistently putting out some of the best music in the UK right now? Cool, yes, they are. This is sumptuous and sensual neo-soul – low-key Boyz II Men-style harmonies and I am so here for it. Gorgeous.

Etta Bond x Raf Riley – ‘Not Ur GF’

Spangly bubblegum-infused pop (with a flute riff!), this a breezy carefree bop that finds Etta informing a prospective romantic interest she’s not trying to be their girlfriend. 

Tiana Blake – ‘Cut Ties’

A debut single, this is all glossy production topped with smooth vocals from this emerging SE Londoner who’s very much channelling her love of Brandy and Monica. 

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