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Five on it: Rina Sawayama’s fabulous debut is finally here

Our music editor bows out for a little bit, but not without rounding up this week's best releases: Rina Sawayama's debut album, plus tracks from Tiana Major9, Kaash Paige, Bamz and Lila Iké.

17 Apr 2020

Unwittingly, with five on it, I have created a weekly column in which to air my end of Friday stresses and neuroses (largely under the assumption that no one will read this bit, but you need something here to take up some space).

For all it can be manic, it’s still nice to have this space, and so it feels weird signing off on it for a little bit. I’m being furloughed, as gal-dem try to weather this Covid storm, and accordingly music content on the site is about to be somewhat streamlined for a minute.

So I guess my parting words until I’m back in the game in a couple months (fingers crossed), are to be kind to yourselves! Turn up your music real loud when you want, sing brashly, but also appreciate silence as and when you need (apparently, interestingly, streaming numbers are down during this time). But maybe it’s time to focus on how you can maybe hear the birds having their dawn chorus when you wake up, or the ebb and flow of occasional cars on the road.

These are jarring times, and I know keeping up with new music doesn’t necessarily feel as exciting right now. But maybe even one of these releases will bring you a brief moment of joy, TL;DR, become a gal-dem member, I’ll brb, look after yourselves, here’s five on it:

Rina Sawayama – SAWAYAMA

I feel like I have been waiting for Rina’s debut album to land for a while, and wow it does not disappoint. An epic of opulent pop that channels all the slinky magic of 90s/00s sounds and pulses with a brash undercurrent of nu-metal and her rich and potent vocals. This is fun and fascinating.

Kaash Paige – ‘Frank Ocean’

April 17, 2012, was a special day – it was the day that Frank Ocean put out ‘Thinkin Bout You’. And so it is that one of our 2020 ones to watch has put out this soft-focus, meandering track that celebrates the artful delicacy Frank brought to us.

Bamz – ‘Stomper’

A skittering B-side banger from the producer (known best for their work with Nadia Rose as her tour DJ). Out on Jamz Supernova’s Future Bounce label, turn the lights down low and bring the club vibes home this weekend.

Lila Iké – ‘I Spy’

A sunshine-tinged fusion of reggae licks of guitar, a shuffling beat and a liquid, seductive voice, the Jamaican artist teases her forthcoming debut EP with this new track.

Tiana Major9 – ‘Think About You’ (Notion Mix)

“I need more hours in the day, just to think about you” is such a beautiful lyric on this romantic slice of warm and yearning reggae. Ahead of her first EP for Motown Records, Tiana Major9’s latest track glows with a catchy exuberance. 

You can follow the Five on it playlist on Spotify: