Photography via Stones Throw Records

It’s Mercury retrograde and Scorpio season, which leaves me feeling very precarious and fearful, on the cusp of big emotions and danger (aka last retrograde my laptop broke and my glass bedside lamp shattered over my mattress). It’s also the first of November, and the time of year when editors from other places I write for are reaching out to find out what my albums of the year are, and I am panicking slightly about where 2019 is slipping away to.

Anyway, me contemplating temporality and the stars is not what you have come here for, so let’s get to the tunes. There is so much magic new music this week that I initially started listing out shout outs for this section, but short of adding an additional 20 tracks to the playlist (possibly including a guest slot for MCR because, honestly, welcome back), I thought it was best to hold back.

There can only be five – so here’s your five on it. Also be gentle with yourself as retrograde steers a murky path, and please learn from my past mistakes and back-up your technology.

ADVERT: gal-dem have partnered with The Face and The BBC to produce a digital zine called "The Ins and Outs of Consent". You can visit this zine by clicking the link. The zine contains 6 chapters that explore consent through the lens of the hit BBC show 'I May Destroy You'. The advert is a purple rectangle with square blocks showing the faces of each of the writers who worked on the project - Aisha Mirza, Oloni, Ruby Rare, Rukiat Ashware, Sade Alexis, and Tanya Compas. The frame then animates to show cartoons of each of their chapter themes. The text reads "The Ins and Outs of Consent - a new digital zine talking all things sex and consent, written by your faves"

Sudan Archives – Athena

The debut album from this Cincinnati singer-composer-violinist certifies that she’s every bit the goddess the record’s title suggests. This is a sublime, polished, deeply impressive LP and you need to hear it. [Full album here]

AZADI.mp3 – Summer in the Crypt

One of our wonderful radio hosts, and also one of our ones to watch of 2019, we’re gassed to see Azadi shining on her latest EP. It drifts strangely, softly and beguilingly, topped with those powerful, formidable vocals. [Full EP here]

Snoh Aalegra – ‘I Want You Around’ (6LACK Remix)

Just when you thought Snoh couldn’t possibly get silkier, 6LACK gets involved and makes this an impossibly slinky joint that lands right on time for cuffing season. 

VanJess ft. Ari Lennox – ‘Cool Off In The Rain’

A dream collab! The production on this is so polished and sensational, and the combination of vocals is just gorgeous. It’s channelling some old school energy while pushing forward into something more futuristic, and it makes us excited for more VanJess and Ari, respectively.

NGAIO – We Fly

Not only has NGAIO been pushing up against systemic boundaries in her running an all-womxn DJ collective (Booty Bass), but also in her music – this EP melds all number of genres (Afrobeat-inspired percussion, jazz vibes and outspoken political lyricism). For a poignant listen with rich and punchy musicality, stick this on. [Listen to the full EP here]

You can follow the Five on it playlist on Spotify:

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