It’s the 29th May, summer is just around the corner, and it’s pouring down with rain. Because that’s just the way we do things in this wonderful country of ours. But don’t let the rain get you down too much, because it’s Friday and I’ve got some great new music to help you kick start your weekend. So take off your damp socks, put the kettle on and turn the volume up to 11.

Here are my five things you should be listening to this weekend.

 

Disclosure – Holding On (Feat. Gregory Porter)

Earlier this month, Disclosure released Bang That, their first new track in a couple of years, and the internet went wild. Well, this week we lost our collective minds yet again as they released the first official single from their eagerly awaited new album. Holding On features jazz legend Gregory Porter on vocals, and shows that Guy and Howard haven’t lost their touch for picking out the perfect collaborators for their records. On Annie Mac’s radio show, the guys revealed that they actually wrote Holding On as a ballad, before remixing their own track to produce this two-step/garage/house anthem.


Hira King – Ending With U

Hira King has only been around on SoundCloud for a few months, and nobody seems to know much about him. One thing we do know, however, is that he keeps releasing different, but equally amazing tracks. Ending With U is his latest offering, and another absolute hit – floating, ethereal, uplifting, synthy goodness.


A$AP Rocky – Everyday (Feat. Rod Stewart, Miguel & Mark Ronson)

This week, A$AP Rocky surprised us by dropping his second album, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP, a week earlier than planned. Some people say this is due to the album leaking over the weekend, some people have other reasons. I, for one, don’t care why he did it, but am pleased he did. The album features all sorts of guest appearances, with Rod Stewart, Miguel, Kanye West, Schoolboy Q, Lil Wayne, Juicy J and UGK, to name but a few.


Bluey Robinson – Paris

I came across Bluey Robinson’s profile on SoundCloud this week, after seeing him in the “Who to Follow” recommendations bit. I don’t know much about him, but he’s done some work with Tom Misch, who is one of my favourite singer/songwriter/producers of late, which is a seal of approval in my book. Paris sees Bluey soulfully crooning over the top of Tom’s signature jazz-infused guitar backing, and still has me bobbing my head and tapping my foot.


Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love

I’m rounding things off this week with Multi-Love, the latest album from Unknown Mortal Orchestra. If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve been looking forward to this album for quite some time, and I was never going to be able to choose just one song to share. Enjoy.

 

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As you’re reading this, I’m currently sunning myself in Madrid with Roxy. And by “sunning myself”, I of course mean slathering myself in factor 30 and hiding in the shade. My pale skin isn’t used to intense sunlight. Anyway, you may not be sunning yourself right now, but you can still listen to some great new music and imagine you are. Look at a picture of the sun on the internet or something, it’ll be pretty much the same.

Here are my five things you should be listening to this weekend.

 

Disclosure – Bang That

After some teasing on Instagram last week, Disclosure released a brand new single, Bang That. The track sticks to the house influenced vibe that made Disclosure the mega stars they are, and bodes well for their long awaited second album.


Nao – Inhale Exhale

London based Nao released a new EP this week, called February 15, as well as brand new single Inhale Exhale. I can’t get enough of Nao right now, her soulful, synth-infused RnB sounds are definitely going to be soundtracking my summer.


Feki – Remember

19 year old Feki has been blowing up on SoundCloud recently, thanks to an array of impressive remixes. Remember is an original track, classed by Feki as “future chill”, which seems perfectly fitting to me.


Tuxedo – The Right Time (Kaytranada Remix)

Tuxedo, aka Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One, released their self-titled debut EP recently, and now Kaytranada has put his stamp on The Right Time. As usual, Kaytranada takes an already good track and cranks things up a notch.


Maths Time Joy – Cerulean

We’re bringing things back to the UK for my final track of the week, with some Maths Time Joy. Cerulean is low-key, chilled out gold – perfect for winding down after a long week in work.

 

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Fridays are always a cause for celebration, but even more so this week. This week we finally managed to sell the sofas that have been the bane of my life for the past 5 months. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I can’t explain how happy I am about it. That, and the fact that I’m heading down to London for a weekend of shenanigans has me in an extra exuberant mood today.

Nick Klein – Paralyzed

Netherlands based duo Nick Klein consists of Nick Klein and Ferdous Dehzad. I can’t help but feel that poor old Ferdous got the rough end of the deal when it came to their name – maybe he was out that day and missed the meeting. After hearing Paralyzed though, I couldn’t care less about what their name is or how they chose it – I’m a fan.


Jimmy Napes – Give It Up

Jimmy Napes has been working away behind the scenes for some time now, co-writing songs for big names such as Sam Smith, Clean Bandit and Disclosure. Well, now it’s time for him to step out the shadows and into the spotlight, as he prepares to release his debut EP, The Making of Me. Give It Up is the first track from this upcoming record, and was produced by none other than Disclosure’s Howard Lawrence. Nice of him to return the favour!


Pell – Runaway

New Orleans rapper Pell was doing the rounds in 2014 and his debut album, Floating While Dreaming, left listeners impressed and wanting more. Critics have drawn similarities between Pell and Kid Cudi, which I don’t think is a bad thing at all, but Pell definitely stands out in his own right.


Sam Gellaitry – Temple

Another shockingly/annoyingly young producer is making waves in the music world, this time in the shape of 17 year old Sam Gellaitry. Sam has already turned out some banging remixes, with Ciara, Kanye, Danny Brown and Jay Z all getting the Gellaitry treatment, but Temple is an original track.


Jay Prince – Polaroids

Jay Prince is flying the flag for UK hip hop right now, and Polaroids is a perfect example of why this London rapper will surely go far. Jay’s smooth, flawless flow reminds me of Kendrick Lamar and if you like Polaroids, I’d recommend going and checking out the rest of his EP, BeFor Our Time.

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Another week gone, another week closer to Christmas. I’ve already started working on my ultimate Christmas playlist, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Today is Black Friday too, which means people will be fighting to the death for the best deals. What good is a shopping battle royale without some good tunes though?

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Last week I was lucky enough to return to Glastonbury festival for the fourth time. Every year, when those of us lucky enough to be able to attend are preparing ourselves, the internet is awash with all manner of articles discussing the pros and cons of the festival. While many of these are well researched articles, many are, unfortunately, written by people who have either never attended, or have attended but had their memories tainted by a bad experience.

Now I’m no expert on Glastonbury, not by a long shot, but I thought I would write a post talking about my experiences there – partly to give you an idea of why I truly believe Glastonbury is the greatest festival around, but also because maybe if I keep thinking, talking, and writing about it, the cruel reality that there is a year to wait before the next one won’t properly sink in.

That makes sense, right?!

 

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So first things first, the rain.

Yes, sometimes it rains at Glastonbury, it’s a festival based in the UK after all. The first Glastonbury I attended, back in 2010, was unseasonably hot and dry, but each year since then has seen at least a little bit of rain. I get the impression however that this year; the extent of the bad weather has been massively overhyped by the media.

Out of the 5 full days we spent in Glastonbury, only once did we get caught out in the rain, on the West Holts Stage during the Daptone Super Soul Revue. We got a bit damp but did we whinge and moan about it? No, we put our hoods up, got a bit wet and enjoyed ourselves anyway.

The other times it rained we either went into a tent to see one of the acts on under shelter, or we got under our gazebo. Some of my fondest memories of this year’s festival took place under that simple gazebo – we would lower the roof, huddle together and let the fun times roll.

When it wasn’t raining, it was hot and sunny, so the sporadic rain didn’t dampen our spirits at all.

As for music, you truly are spoilt for choice at Glastonbury – there really is something for everyone. My personal approach is not to try and structure my time there by telling myself I have to see certain bands. Instead, I just tend to wander around between main acts, watching whoever it is that I happen to stumble across.

My only musical disappointment from the festival was the fact that Chromeo had to cancel due to illness, and were replaced by Twin Atlantic, who I have zero time for.

My list of musical highlights, on the other hand, is so long I could be here all day: De La Soul, Arcade Fire, Disclosure, Black Keys, Charles Bradley, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Paolo Nutini, Little Dragon – the list goes on and on.

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Glastonbury goes so much further than just music though, and for me, that’s the main appeal. From the moment you arrive until the moment you leave, you are subject to a full frontal assault on each of your senses.

To truly enjoy the festival for what it is and have the best possible time, you need to completely immerse yourself in the entire experience, soaking up everything it has to offer. Go and watch an unknown band or DJ in a random tent, wander around the Healing Fields and chat to some friendly hippies, watch the sun rise from the Stone Circle, buy something unusual and delicious from one of the endless food stalls, dance till you can’t stand – do whatever you want, just do it with positive vibes and you’re guaranteed to have a great time!

Leave your inhibitions at home, they have no place here.

I wish I could write a play by play account of my time in Glastonbury, but my memories are understandably hazy. So I’ll just list a few that stand out in my mind instead:

  • Taking a moment to remember the poor, unfortunate chairs that failed the Captain’s test, you will be missed
  • Getting up to all sorts of shenanigans underneath the gazebo
  • Wandering around in “the hate suit”, and chatting to complete strangers
  • Dancing the night away in The Lounge
  • Sunday night’s “Liquidation Sale” – EVERYTHING MUST GO!
  • Crowning the 2014 “King of the Hill”, after an impressive 2pm return from the Stone Circle
  • Witnessing Cooper’s personal hell in Shangri-La

After 5 solid days and nights off the grid, I made my solemn return to reality, a broken, empty shell of a man. I was tired, unwashed, my blisters had blisters, and I’m still pretty sure I caught trench foot. But you know what; I wouldn’t change a single thing.

There is honestly something magical about Glastonbury, and I couldn’t have picked a better bunch of people to enjoy it with! (You all know who you are, you bunch of reprobates)

I think the best way to sum up Glastonbury is to pinch a quote from the late, great Hunter S Thompson…

“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well…maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.”

Roll on Glastonbury 2015!

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