Woah, who’s exhausted after August? Such a busy month crammed full of festivals and exciting new music. We had great new music from Format:B with their infectious single ‘Chunky‘, Justin Jay’s stomper of a track ‘Hit It‘ and Lana Del Ray’s smooth stylings in ‘High By The Beach. There’s plenty of new albums to keep you busy this month too such as The Weeknd’s ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’ (Aug 28) to Foals with ‘What Went Down’ (Aug 28). Dr Dre‘s comeback album ‘Compton’ peaked at no 1 (his first record in 16 years), while The Maccabees scored their first number one album with ‘Marks To Prove It’, beating out Lianne La Havas’ album ‘Blood‘. For those looking to build or just start their vinyl collection, Tesco have become the first UK supermarket to stock vinyls. From Sept 4, Tesco will kick off this new venture with the release of Iron Maiden’s album ‘The Book Of Souls’.
The VMA Awards took place in LA with Taylor Swift winning big throughout the night – although slightly overshadowed by Miley’s unique hosting, Bieber crying onstage, Nicki Minaj’s beef with Miley and the small matter of Kanye West announcing he’s running for President in 2020…. Award shows are rarely about music these days, but least they’re entertaining ;) In other awards news, FKA Twigs and Alt-J are leading the nominations for this year’s AIM Independent Music Awards . There’s been plenty of tours announced recently, with Chvrches touring in November with Four Tet, and Sigma announcing news of their UK and Ireland tour in Oct/Nov. BBC Radio 1Xtra announced details for 1Xtra Live. This year sees them heading up North to Leeds on October 17th. The lineup is yet to be announced, but last year featured Mary J Blige, Lethal Bizzle, and Sigma. Lenny Kravitz suffered a bit of a wardrobe malfunction onstage in Stockholm recently, with #penisgate quickly trending worldwide…. Oh Lenny! Speaking of such x-rated material, music videos being made in the UK will now receive age certificates … hear that Miley, Minaj, Rihanna?…. Get ready to be hit with an 18’s certificate.
Hold the phone… 1D to split in March? Yes, you could almost hear the sound of a million girls’ hearts break all over the world. But fear not, it’s just for a ‘temporary’ creative break. Reunion tickets are probably already on sale! Unsurprisingly, Ed Sheeran has topped Spotify’s list of most influential artists under 25, beating artists such as Miley, Sam Smith and Bieber. Not only that, but the artist has also launched his own record label ‘Gingerbread Man Records’, a subsidiary of Warner Music Ltd. His new label will showcase emerging talents, with Jamie Lawson being his first signee. Taylor Swift’s #SquadGoals continues to gain momentum, with Swift inviting Lisa Kurdow onstage during her concert at Staples Center. The two delighted audiences with a rendition of that old Friends classic ‘Smelly Cat’. Check out the video here. Purse strings a bit tight at the moment? This will cheer you right up! Calvin Harris has been named the world’s highest paid DJ, earning a staggering £41.8 million, almost double what Guetta earned. Tiesto, Skrillex and Steve Aoiki were also top earners. With the sad passing of Cilla Black, Kasabian paid tribute to the singer/actress/presenter at V Festival and dedicated ‘Goodbye Kiss’ to the late entertainer.
The August Bank Holiday proved the busiest weekends in music, with Creamfields, Reading & Leeds and SW4 all happening the same weekend. Check out my SW4 highlight on Instagram. Rounding off the Bank Holiday was Notting Hill Carnival or (Nottingham Carnival as Azealia Banks likes to call it… ) The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe, celebrating Afro-Caribbean cultures. Toddla T Sound took up his usual place at Alderson St and Kensal Rd, with performances from Julio Bashmore, Redlight, Lady Leshurr and special guest Sean Paul, while Shy FX curated his ‘Party On The Moon Stage’ and had artists from Rudimental, Ms Dynamite and Melé perform. Rinse FM’s Birthday weekend lineup included Disclosure, Skream, Katy B and Shadow Child, creating one hell of a party. But now, as Festival Season draws to a close, Bestival will officially close out the summer in style. Fear not, plenty of other good music events happening. Radio 1 September Live Lounge returns, while The Apple Music Festival (formerly iTunes Festival) returns to London’s Roundhouse this September for 10 nights. Check out the line up here,
Last but not least, there’s a Ned Flanders-themed heavy metal band from Arizona called ‘Okilly Dokilly’, who refer to themselves as ‘the world’s only Nedal band’… and yes, they even have the signature green jumper, pink shirt and moustache. Well, that’s it Neighbour-eeno’s, have an Okilly-dokilly day and see you next month-ereeno. Ok after that rather lengthy round up, on with the music!
1) Calvin and Disciples – How Deep Is Your Love (Calvin Harris & R3hab Remix)
Calvin Harris has teamed up with R3hab for a remix of his own single ‘How Deep Is Your Love’. The original, which proved to be a massive summer house anthem, has been given the rework treatment, filled with snare builds and rousing moombahton style drops – Expect to hear this a lot as we bow out of the summer festival season. Having previously collaborated on ‘Burnin’ together, R3hab has also remixed previous singles for Harris including ‘Pray To God’, ‘Blame’ and ‘I Need Your Love’. ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ Remixes EP is available now via Sony Music Upcoming dates for Calvin include various dates in Vegas while R3hab is set to play Pacha in ibiza this September.
2) Luke Sital-Singh – Still
Singer/songwriter Luke Sital Singh, unveiled his new single ‘Still’, taken from his forthcoming EP ‘The Breakneck Speed Of Tomorrow’. The single premiered with Huw Stephens as his Hottest Record on Radio 1, and serves as the follow up to last years debut LP ‘The Fire Inside’. ‘Still’ delivers a heartfelt ballad with simple guitar and drums and subtle production. Luke’s’ effortless vocals are captivating throughout and create a sense of ‘Stillness’ as the title suggests. ‘The Breakneck Speed of Tomorrow’ EP is set for release September 25th, while lead single ‘Still’ is available now. Upcoming dates for Sital-Singh include ‘Together The People’ in Brighton.
3) Julio Bashmore – She Aint ft Julie Mendoza
Bashmore has done it again! The UK producer revealed his latest single She Ain’t’; just one of the many infectious tracks taken from his debut album ‘Knocking Boots’. ‘She Ain’t’ serves up a thoroughly infectious single with plenty of ‘Bashmore Bass’ and disco-infused funk, before the soulful melody and retro style synths take over. Bashmore moves away from his usual deep house vibe and has a bit of fun with this record. Upcoming dates for Bashmore include Arts Club in Liverpool (Oct 3), and The Academy in Dublin (Nov 19th)
4) Rhodes and Birdy – Let It All Go
**Dream Team saxon alert** Yes, Rhodes and Birdy have joined forces on their latest single ‘Let It All Go’. The beautiful single showcases their dreamy vocals and soothing harmonies; the perfect collab. ‘Let It All Go’ will feature on both artists albums, with Rhodes’ debut album ‘Wishes’ set to drop first on September 18th, while the single is available September 11th. Be sure to check out the magical video directed by Sing J lee, which highlights the Northern Lights in Scotland. Such a perfect setting for this duet. Upcoming dates for Rhodes include Rough Trade East (Sept 21)
5) Gorgon City – Saving My Life ft Romans
London based producers Kye Gibbon and Matt Ronson-Scott (AKA Gorgon City) premiered their new single ‘Saving My life’ ft Romans. The pulsing single serves up their usual house style, mixed with an infectious vocal hook from Romans and high energy throughout. With the release of their debut album ‘Sirens’ last year, here’s hoping for more new material from the duo soon. Full dates for their North American headline tour can be found here.
6) Oh Wonder – Drive
Oh Wonder have managed to build up quite the fanbase throughout the last year and racked up 13.5 millions plays on Soundcloud, all without setting foot on a stage. The London duo, made up of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West decided to upload one song a month to Soundcloud, before releasing their debut album this September. Their latest single ‘Drive’ perfectly captures their balance of harmonies, stirring string accompaniment and their R&B infused groove, mixed with electronic flourishes. Check out their full tour dates here while their debut album ‘Oh Wonder’ is set for release Sept 4
7) Honne – Loves The Jobs You Hate
London based duo Honne, made up of Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatch, unveiled their latest single ‘Loves The Jobs You Hate’. The single premiered with Annie Mac as her Hottest Record and serves up a slice of futuristic soul, with it’s sensual electronic flavours of R&B mixed with some funky groove. Recorded in London and Tokyo, ‘Loves The Jobs You Hate’ is taken from their forthcoming EP ‘The Over Lover’ and is set for release September 2nd via Atlantic Records. The Over Lover EP is set for release on September 2nd. Upcoming dates for their Autumn tour in the UK include Patterns in Brighton and Deaf Institute in Manchester, with a headline performance at London’s Oval Space.
8) Jamie Woon – Sharpness
Time for the smooth stylings and very welcome return of Jamie Woon. His new single ‘Sharpness’ premiered with Pharrell on Beats 1, and is the first new solo material to surface from Woon in 4 years. ‘Sharpness’ serves up a smooth neo-soul single with some funky rhythms and electronic undertones. The singer-songwriter is set to follow 2011’s debut album ‘Mirrorwriting’ with a new ‘D’Angelo’ inspired album, due later this year. ‘Sharpness’ is available now via Polydor Records
9)Redlight ft Melisa Whiskey – Threshold
Bristol producer Redlight, unveiled his latest single ‘Threshold’ , which received its premiere with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1. The single serves as the followup to previous single ‘Lion Jungle’ and delivers another infectious hit from Redlight, with Melisa Whiskey’s commanding vocals on point amidst the stirring string instrumentation and slick production. ‘Threshold’ is taken from Redlights highly anticipated debut album ‘X Colour’, set for release October 30th via Redlight’s own Lobster Boy label. The album is set to feature artists such as Roses Gabor and The Prodigy. Pre-order your copy here. In the meantime, catch Redlight at Bestival this weekend.
10) Rosie Lowe – Worry ‘Bout Us (Edit) (Produced by MachineDrum)
Rosie Lowe has unveiled her new single ‘Worry ‘Bout Us’; produced by US producer Machinedrum. Known for his more uptempo tracks, Machinedrum puts on the breaks and serves up a mellow, R&B slow burner. Rosie Lowe delivers smooth and silky vocals, perfectly complementing the percussive instrumentation and varying tempos throughout. While the single is more of a ‘dance-floor’ friendly edit, expect an album version later this year. Upcoming dates for Lowe include Broadcast in Glasgow (Feb 18) and Oslo Hackney (Feb 25)
11) Sigma & Diztortion ft Jacob Banks – Redemption
Drum and Bass duo Sigma (AKA Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie) announced their latest single ‘Redemption’, as a follow up to ‘Glitterball’ ft Ella Henderson and ‘Higher’ ft Labrinth. This time, the duo have enlisted the creative talents of Dutch producer Diztortion, known for his work with Stylo G, Major Lazer and Stormzy. Featuring the uplifting vocals of Jacob Banks (Chase & Status: Alive, Paradox EP) ‘Redemption’ serves up a thrilling drum n bass banger with it’s vibing house piano chords and catchy vocals. Having just announced their forthcoming UK and Ireland live tour opening at The Warehouse Project in Manchester (Oct 22), other dates include The Academy in Dublin (Oct 25) and London’s Roundhouse (Nov 1) ‘Redemption’ is set for release October 23 via 3Beat
12) Zak Abel – Flow
19-year-old Zak Abel has released his new EP ’One Hand On The Future’; a suitably apt title for an artist who is has an exciting future ahead. The EP features 6 tracks, perfectly blends elements of electronic, soul, R&B and pop, fusing genres and pushing boundaries with the greatest of ease. ‘‘Flow’, delivers an electro-tinged, contemporary R&B track, with his raspy, soulful vocals being the main focal point throughout. With production throughout the EP from Karma Kid, Joker and Kaytranda, you know he’s in safe hands. Having supported Kwabs at Somerset House this Summer, upcoming dates for Abel include Oslo, Hackney with Liam Bailey (Spt 7). ‘One Hand On The Future’ EP is available now via Atlantic Records.
13) Diplo and Sleepy Tom – Be Right There
Yes, one of the hardest working men in music has released yet another smash single. With the success of the infectious ‘Lean On’ ft MO with Major Lazer, and ‘Where Are You Now’ ft Justin Bieber with his Jack Ü counterpart Skrillex, Diplo has joined forces with Canadian producer Sleepy Tom for his latest single ‘Be Right There’. The single premiered with Annie Mac, who commented ‘It’s a rare and beautiful thing to see Diplo make music at 125BPM’. Diplo and Sleepy Tom deliver a future house banger with it’s bouncing bass lines, wavy synths and almost industrial sounding vibes throughout. With an infectious vocal sample from Jade’s 1992 song ‘Don’t Walk Away’, this is sure to be another hit for the two producers. Upcoming dates for Diplo include iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas (Sept 18-19), with Major Lazer performing at Alexandra Palace (Oct 17th) while Sleep Tom is set to perform at Fool’s Gold ‘Day Off’ (Sept 13) in Miami.
14) Tame Impala – Cause I’m a Man (HAIM Remix)
While HAIM have left us craving new music from them of late, they’ve delivered a little slice of goodness in their latest remix of Tame Impala’s ‘Cause I’m a Man’. The remix sees Kevin Parker’s vocals stripped out and the tempo slowed way down, while Danielle Haim’s vocal take center stage as they float effortlessly above. ‘Cause I’m a Man’ is a real psychedelic slow burner, with quirky electronic production, and smooth hip hop vibes. The perfect chill out track. Upcoming dates for HAIM include various US dates with Taylor Swift.
15) Drones Club – Cold Hand
Introducing Drones Club; a post-pop band & art project from London, whose aim is to reconnect us to the physical universe. Check out their introductory video here which gives a bit more info to their musical concept. Comprising of Rory Cottam, Charlie Dobney and Louis Morlet, the trio have recently unveiled their new Rise EP, and offered one free track a week, culminating in the EP’s release. ‘Cold Hand’ is a truly hypnotic track, with its industrial yet melodic vocals, shimmering synth lines, and a murmuring bass line drawing you deeper and deeper into the track. Can definitely imagine this being played at some smoky ,underground rave. Drones Club are proving to be one exciting project on the rise. I’ve heard their live performances are quite effective, so keep an eye out for any upcoming gigs. Don’t forget to download your free copy of the Rise EP on Soundcloud
16) Romare – Love Song
London based producer, Romare, unveiled his new track “Love Song’, taken from his forthcoming ‘Rainbow’ EP, due later this month. Rainbow was produced in tribute to the American 70’s disco scene, with both a Club version and Bedroom version set for release. With that comes ‘Love Song’, with its funky, soulful instrumentation, eclectic beats and a looped synth that’s strangely hypnotic. Upcoming dates for Romare include a new live AV performance at London’s Oval Space (Oct 8). The ‘Rainbow’ EP is set for release Sept 4 via Ninja Tune.
17) Chvrches – Leave A Trace (Four Tet Remix)
With Chvrche’s ‘Leave A Trace’ making July’s favourites, it’s back again this month, but this time with an incredible remix from UK producer Kieran Hebden (AKA Four Tet). Four Tet eases us into his remix, gradually building tension and momentum, teasing us with looped snippets of Lauren Mayberry’s vocals, before delivering a rather sensual slice of low-key techno. His remix is mesmerising, with a mellow groove and bass heavy pulse throughout. Upcoming dates for Four Tet include Bestival, O2 Academy Brixton (Oct ) and Metropolis Festival in Dublin. Four Tet’s remix is available now.
18) MK – Bring Me To Life ft Milly Pye
With the success of his incredible remix of Wankelmut’s ‘My Head Is A Jungle’, Detroit producer MK (AKA Mark Kinchen) is back with his new single ‘Bring Me To Life’. Featuring the powerhouse vocals from newcomer Milly Pye, ‘Bring Me To Life’ serves up a thrilling house anthem, with MK’s signature drums and infectious house piano. Upcoming dates for MK include The Warehouse Project (Sept 25) followed by Holy Ship in the new year. ‘Bring Me To Life’ is available now via Big On Blue
19) Nothing But Thieves – Wake Up Call
Southend indie rockers, Nothing But Thieves premiered their new single ‘Wake Up Call’ as Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record’. The single serves as the follow up to the successful ‘Trip Switch’ and delivers an instantly melodic and catchy chorus, with Conor’s impressive falsetto vocals taking lead throughout. Mix that with some infectious guitar riffs and crashing drums and you have one exciting indie rock group on the rise. Having previously played the Radio1/NME Stage at Reading & Leeds, upcoming dates for the band include a 13 UK tour including Electric Ballroom (Oct 30) and Vevo Halloween at Victoria Warehouse (Oct 31). Their Debut Album ‘Nothing But Thieves’ is set for release October 16th via Sony.
Check out this month’s selections below with over 1 hour 20 mins for your listening pleasure.