Denise Chaila – ANSEO

Irish rappers are still a pretty rare breed, though by all account it’s a fast growing scene. But even those that break out, like Rejjie Snow, end up relocating to the US, and let’s be honest, sounding 100% American.

I first heard Denise Chaila via the unbelievably charming and catchy Chaila tune last year, berating those who can’t be bothered to learn how to pronounce her surname.

I love that she’s got her own distinctive voice and flow, and she’s not just trying to sound like an identkit US rapper, and it’s just so enjoyable to listen to.

But this new track, ANSEO, feels like a step further forward. A proper intro track to her world view and her vibe over a fantastically beefy beat, mixed with the whole chainmail and swords video, it feels like she’s just waiting to blow up. Which is surely what’s going to happen to her….

Her debut mixtape is here: https://denisechaila.bandcamp.com/album/go-bravely and it’s full of bangers. Denise Chaila: say her name!

Nao That’s What I Call Music

Little bonus album for the Brothers.

This has been bubbling under on my (metaphorical) turntable in the last couple of weeks, and it’s slowly dawning on me that’s it’s a work of complete genius. Nao’s one of the brighter lights of the British neo-soul/R&B scene, and she first came to my attention via the brilliant collaboration she did with Mura Masa a couple of years back:

I liked her debut, but I didn’t love it. This is her second album and it is a GIANT leap forward. It has such a beguiling mix of classic soul tropes, great 90s R&B arrangements (of the kind Brother Joey and I used to lap up back in the day), but it also strays deliciously into Frank Ocean territory, like this gem:

Best of all, it is just JAM PACKED full of great songs and top songwriting chops. It starts off pretty slowly, but really gets into its swing mid album, and the run of songs – Saturn, Gabriel, Orbit and Love Supreme – are as good as anything I’ve heard in a very long time.

What do you reckon, Brothers? Thought I’d throw a little extra listening into them mix.

Hookworms – roll up for your LCD fix and more


Long time since I’ve been as taken with an album as the new Hookworms album. As a local band, I’ve kept an eye on them for a long time (they’re FEROCIOUS live), and have enjoyed their heavy Krautrock workouts, but I wouldn’t say that either of their first albums have stayed with me that much.

All that has changed with the new album, Microshift. It’s a complete reinvention of everything they’ve done – suddenly full of wide open spaces, electronics and dance rhythms and MJ’s voice – which you suddenly realise is actually brilliant. I have been playing it to DEATH for the last week.

Bearing in mind this blog’s collective love for LCD, Hot Chip et al, I’d be absolutely astonished if there wasn’t a fair bit of love for this. I urge you to listen to the whole album in one go. It’s still an indie record, sure, but it has its eye on so much more than that.

I also love the way they’re using their sound to really dig at real stuff. This is about depression and the death of a friend and other disaster – and finding a way out of the other side. It’s compelling and really life-affirming. Again, James Murphy would be proud.

This is an absolute contender for album of the year for me, and yup, it’s only Feb.

Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”

Well where the hell did this come from? Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover drops his 3rd album under the CG monkier out of nowhere, and it is a BEAST. Always been slightly underwhelmed by his previous output, which felt to more like hip hop you could admire more than love. It was too clever and tricksy and I don know, I didn’t feel it.

This is a totally different beast. This isn’t hip hop at all – it’s a funk or soul album, steeped in Sly Stone, Prince and Funkadelic, and it’s as properly far out at times as either George Clinton or Sly. It’s a bold step to the left, and he pulls it off with incredible confidence. I’m only my 2nd listen, but I am LOVING it…

Untitled Kendrick

Kendrick just dropped this out of nowhere. I’m only a first listen, but this is BLOWING MY MIND. Like more than Butterfly. I can’t explain why, but I am LOVING it.

Should I go back to Butterfly? Does this feel different? It’s apparently just unreleased tracks from the same sessions. It’s got such groove and flow. Just brilliant.

Thoughts, brothers?