They say Labor Day marks the end of the summer but if you've been in LA this week, it certainly doesn't feel like it. Fortunately, there are several new releases that pair well with this warm weather.
H.E.R. – “21”
Following her 2 Grammy wins earlier this year, Gabi Wilson, better known as H.E.R., has released a surprise album titled I Used to Know Her. Just like her 2017 self-titled album, this project is a compilation composed of previously released EPs, this time combining I Used to Know Her: The Prelude and I Used to Know Her: Part 2. In addition to the EPs, H.E.R. has added a few new songs, extended some interludes in to full-length tracks (don't you wish more artist did that?), and she even rearranged the sequencing in order to create more of a cohesive listening experience.
If you aren't hip to H.E.R. you need to get hip! There are very few people more talented than Gabi Wilson, and she's only 21 years old! Speaking of which, check out the video for "21."
Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls
I've always enjoyed, and been quiet intrigued by, Natasha Khan's music. Several of us DJs have been playing her for nearly a decade. However, it came as quite a surprise to read that after her fourth album The Bride (2016), there would be a good chance we'd never hear new music from Bat For Lashes again.
After the end of a 10-year deal with Parlophone and in an interview with Refinery29 Khan said, "I thought I was going to give up music and so I went to LA to pursue writing scripts, painting and photography and getting more into the visual side, and then this album sort of crept up on me."
Electronic synths, nostalgic horror movie soundscapes and Los Angeles define the sonic aesthetic of this fifth album. In that very same interview, Khan describes working on the album as "falling in love in Los Angeles and heady nights driving along the sea with the warm air and the smell of jasmine. [It was soaking up] all the cool music that was coming out and going to see new bands." When describing driving out to the deserts and forest she said "I felt like I was in a Steven Spielberg or a Dave Lynch film, it was very cinematic." All of which resulted in "a whole fresh start... but such a big part of me loves dancing and pop music and having a laugh. Me and my brother and sister and mum, we love '80s music."
I couldn't decide which song to highlight so here are two! Enjoy both "Kids in the Dark" and "Feel For You." The album is out today.
SiR – “Hair Down”(feat. Kendrick Lamar)
I have been a fan of SiR's for several years now. He's made some of my favorite R&B songs over that time span including "Falling" & "Something New." When Chasing Summer dropped the other day there were few more excited than me. It's also easy to support someone from my hometown of Inglewood :)
This latest project includes fantastic guests like Jill Scott, Smino, Kadhja Bonet, Lil Wayne and Zacari. SiR's soothing vocals are paired with smooth and sexy West Coast production. Chasing Summer is an album that's perfect for a cruise up the coast with the top down. Check out the visuals for the first single "Hair Down" featuring the undisputed king of TDE, Kendrick Lamar.