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Five on it: in 2020, we give thanks for Pa Salieu

With his debut mixtape out today, Pa Salieu is the gift that keeps giving this year. Also featuring excellent new releases from Amaarae, Hope Tala, daine, Namasenda and Chloe Bodur.

13 Nov 2020

Five on it image: Pa Salieu artwork cover

There’s been a lot of grim news in music this week and trust me when I say we will get into that ASAP. For now, though, let me just offer my solidarity with anyone affected. I hope you are also taking a moment to pause and rest and do nice things for yourself this weekend.

For me, that treat is listening to the debut Pa Salieu mixtape, Send Them To Coventry, which dropped today. It feels like, in a year that has been endlessly bleak, Pa has been a gleaming beacon giving us life and light throughout, breaking through against all the odds. ‘Frontline’ propelled us into the start of 2020, ‘Betty’ is without a doubt my song of the year, ‘Bang Out’, ‘My Family’ and ‘B***K’ are just phenomenal: wherever you turned in 2020, Pa Salieu was bringing joy and heat and VIBES to cut through the darkness. 

So needless to say, Send Them To Coventry was highly-anticipated – and, thankfully, it really does not disappoint. There’s a warmth that runs through its brilliantly deft production and his vocals that flex and flip with a unique kind of swagger.

Anyway, amidst all the badness, in 2020 we really have to give thanks for Pa Salieu.

And luckily, there’s more good music this week. Here’s your Five on it.


How are there multiple debut full-length projects dropping this week that are so deeply impressive? Wow. I love this for us. All eclectic beats and lithe and lilting vocals that flit between sweet singing and delicate but sharp rap, Amaarae’s work channels her globe-hopping past, bringing in elements of Atlanta alongside the sounds of the Accra Alté scene she rose up in. Boundary-pushing and excellent.

Hope Tala – Girl Eats Sun

One of our ones to watch for 2020, the West Londoner heard our need for new music before the year was out. She has given this smooth little collection of beguiling, delicate bossa nova-tinged bops (also, okay, Aminé’s verse on ‘Cherries’ is so sexy, help!).

daine – ‘Angel Numbers’

Beloved by Charli XCX, newcomer daine gives us some sprawling emo-pop that brims with soft evocativeness. Danny L Harle’s production lends it a slight tinge of the uncanny. 

Namasenda – ‘Wanted’

From PC Music, this track pulses with the strange cyber futurism the label is known for. The song channels the feeling of being on the run (“Bounty on my head and all”, Namasenda has said) over slashes of synths that sound like Euro-pop gone very hyper and distorted.

Chloe Bodur – Panties and Loafers

I’m not gonna lie, I hate the word “panties” so it’s a real testament to this EP that I’m shouting it out anyway. Rising artist Chloe Bodur makes glossy soft-focus pop with a formidable voice and candid lyrics. 

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