Each Thursday I’ve been going out at 8pm to clap for the NHS and other key workers. I’ve seen arguments questioning the usefulness and genuineness of this from a Britain that voted in a Tory government, which is understandable. However, I’ve still made an effort to go out each week, mainly to show support and thankfulness to any key workers on my street who are helping the local community.
The first time we all went out to clap was normal. On the second, a neighbour opposite, who plays in a Brazilian band, brought his gold drum kit outside and took us to Rio for a few minutes, which lifted everybody’s spirits and got us all dancing. Ever since then, as the weeks have gone by, we have incrementally seen more and more instruments coming out: guitars, harmonicas, cabasas, tambourines. And even households that seem to have no instruments have beat faithfully with pots, pans, forks and spoons, trying to play a part in our makeshift orchestra.
For what usually is such a quiet street, it’s been heart-warming to see everyone playing around, just having fun with music. And while it’s become apparent that there is only one trained instrumentalist on our road, we have all become musicians. We may not always sound good, but we certainly try our best! My weekly musical event, no matter how amateur it may have been, got me ready for this week’s new releases. Here is your five on it:
Victoria Monét – ‘Dive’
As a warning to those who are desperate for isolation to end so they can get back on the dating scene… this song will only make those urges worse. Monet’s crystal clear vocals paired this seductive R’n’B instrumental are hard not to be intoxicated by.
Raja Kumari – ‘NRI’
It’s not difficult to understand why Raja Kumari’s new music video to ‘NRI’ (Non-resident Indian) has almost racked up 200k views since being posted today – her energetic, fluid rap expresses her alienation from both Indian and American culture; a feeling not uncommon for members of the diaspora. The result is empowering and inspirational.
Kalis Uchis – ‘i want war (BUT I NEED PEACE)’
Breathy and melodic, Colombian artist Kalis Uchis rejects women being labelled “crazy” and says goodbye to toxic relationships on this wistful track.
Masego – ‘Veg Out (Wasting Thyme)’
As indicated by the pun in the track name: Masego is here to have fun. Despite that, he manages to create an easy, summer song, while maintaining his self-coined “trap house jazz” style that many love him for.
Alaina Castillo – ‘pass you by’
Mexican-American artist Alaina Castillo beautifully urges us to forget loves that do not love properly, and it’s hard not to agree with her with dreamlike vocals that seem to dance over the guitar chords.