John Preston selects his favourite seven tracks of the moment from Mykki Blanco and Kelsey Lu, Rose Gray, Wet Leg (remixed by Soulwax), U.S. Girls, Rico Nasty, Jessie Ware and Flo Milli.
Mykki Blanco, Kelsey Lu, ‘French Lessons’
This time last summer, Mykki Blanco was getting lascivious and swapping treacherous boy stories with Kari Faux on ‘Summer Fling’. 2022 and Blanco has paired up with avant-R&B artist Kelsey Lu for an altogether more romantic and laidback duet – a wonderfully rich and nuanced pairing that hopefully isn’t just season-specific.
Rose Gray, ‘Oh Cupid’
Rose Gray is quickly becoming an important name to watch. Her second EP Synchronicity is a concise, joyful collection of 90s-adjacent rave pop. Gray clearly has a thing for the music that she didn’t grow up with but has subsequently fallen in love with, and Synchronicity is stuffed with sublime references and songwriting.
Wet Leg, ‘Too Late Now (Soulwax Remix)’
Soulwax always understand the power and responsibility that come with remixing a track. They’ve taken a spoken-word snippet that appears towards the end of a Wet Leg album track and built a thumping-hard electronic rhythm around it – turning it into something entirely different and, surprisingly, preferable to the original.
U.S. Girls, ‘So Typically Now’
After her most organic and predominantly acoustic album Heavy Light, Meg Remy returns over two years later with what even she calls a banger. ‘So Typically Now’ offers up synths and electric beats with soulful backing vocals and a commentary on long-time New Yorkers living the city, but at what cost?
Rico Nasty, ‘One on Five’
On Rico Nasty’s sophomore album Las Ruinas, the hyper-cartoonish aesthetic of the D.C. rapper remains in place, with her genre-ripping soundscapes constantly overdoing one another. ‘One on Five’ is a supremely tight and fraught house track. where Nasty makes clear the consequences of messing with her female fam.
Jessie Ware, ‘Free Yourself’
Jessie Ware confidently returned to the dance floor on her What’s Your Pleasure album and is thankfully back with what sounds like more of the same. ‘Free Yourself’ has thrumming house beats and a piano riff that will see the involuntary raising of hands in the air. Produced by Stuart Price (Madonna, Kylie and PSB), Jessie Ware continues to bring the quality.
Flo Milli, ‘Big Steppa’
Finally, the debut album proper from Flo Milli arrives. Following her mixtape Ho, Why Is You Here, You Still Here Ho? is flashier and funnier. The themes may be familiar but Flo Milli knows how to incorporate devastating punchlines and solid gold riffs on several tracks. It’s hard not to delight in her cocky put-downs.