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Raveena Aurora

Five on it: Raveena is melting our hearts with queer softness

With dreamy new releases from Raveena, Gabrielle Sey, Shabaka and the Ancestors, Dawn Richard and Ebony Frainteso, here's your weekly round-up. This is five on it.

31 Jan 2020

Five on it photography: screenshot of Raveena ‘Headaches’

Is it me, or has January been moving fast and slow? On the one hand, it’s already the fifth music round-up of the year, I am shook that it’s February tomorrow because it feels like 2020 is passing me by already; on the other hand, the Grammys were less than a week ago and feel like they were a very long time ago already.

Let’s talk about the Grammys, actually: history has taught me to not really care about them, or any awards really – however I will shout out them finally recognising Tyler, the Creator. And also, I will shout out Tyler’s speech calling out the existence of “urban” as a category, and his fire performance with Charlie Wilson and Boyz II Men (!!!!), and his Esteban Julio Ricardo Montoya de la Rosa Ramírez outfit. Yes, I am a bit of a Tyler stan.

Anyway, as another week draws to a close, I cannot use this space solely to wax lyrical on Tyler Okonma. Here are some releases that shone especially bright in my inbox and my general internet consumption this week – here’s your five on it.

Raveena – ‘Headaches’

Damn, Raveena keeps shining. This latest release from our former cover star is so soft and magic. A sweet queer love story between two femmes of colour (Raveena and Hitomi Mochizuki) plays in front of us, they’re driving in a car with the wind sweeping through their hair, Raveena plays the guitar – my little heart cannot take it. Plus the track itself is lush and gorgeous, veering on bedroom pop territory. 

Gabrielle Sey – ‘Girl’

This is a new track from the soulful south Londoner, ruminating on a cheating partner, demonstrating a beautiful, rich voice that pours out like sweet wine over a lithe beat. The video is a nice little live recording too. 

Shabaka & The Ancestors – ‘Go My Heart, Go To Heaven’

A fascinating, slow-burning introduction to the first release from the jazz group’s second album, We Are Sent Here By History, which will land in March. Intended as a sonic poem, the release, in Shabaka’s words, is set to be “a meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning. A questioning of the steps to be taken in preparation for our transition individually and societally if the end is to be seen as anything but a tragic defeat. For those lives lost and cultures dismantled by centuries of Western expansionism, capitalist thought and white supremacist structural hegemony the end days have long been heralded as present with this world experienced as an embodiment of living purgatory”.

Ebony Frainteso – ‘Exhale’

With dusky vocals and shiny, elastic piano pop, the rising Essex artist’s latest offering sounds like the perfect soundtrack for a montage in a romcom or possibly a very emotional moment in Love Island.

Dawn Richard – ‘Die Without You’

Dawn Richard is truly an underrated legend, and this latest track is further proof – a swirling banger that channels old school classics and contemporary pop, yet somehow pushes it all through a prism into something quite new. 

You can follow the Five on it playlist on Spotify: