We've had a touch of sunshine this week, but none of us dare think about it too much in case it disappears just as the weekend arrives. But whether your find yourself sitting in a park, soaking up the rays, or propped against a window watching the rain, we've got your weekend listening sorted.
This week we've seen a fantastic new track from Kelis, with the R&B outsider abandoning dancey thuds in favour of blasts of brass, Jagwar Ma offer up an epic nine and a half minute slice of acid-house niceness and Sigur Ros offer up the third track from their forthcoming seventh album that's far nicer and more accessible that what we've seen recently.
Wherever you find yourself this weekend, sit back and enjoy.
Kelis - 'Jerk Ribs'
Embracing an off-beat, tribalistic rhythm and nostalgic R&B vocals, 'Jerk Ribs' sees Kelis refashioning herself amid rumours of a new album later this year. Abandoning the heavy dance throb that she was most recently known for thanks to 2010's Flesh Tone, the singer brings in Dave Sitek to produce this track, so the quantity of brass should surprise no one. She's allegedly also signed to Sitek's label Federal Prism as well, so this could be a taste of what to expect if a new album does arrive this year.
Sigur Ros - 'Isjaki'
With their seventh studio album due this summer Sigur Ros bring us the third track to be revealed from the new record. Compared to the previously released title track and 'Brennistein', 'Isjaki' is a far gentler and more accessible effort. An instantly likable groove drives the songs, with the high pitched vocals floating above the glittering chime of the melody to make for a track that's both wistful and uplifting at the same time.
Jagwar Ma - 'Man I Need'
At nearly 10 minutes long it's safe to call the latest Jagwar Ma single 'epic', and the merits of the track extend beyond its length. Mixing a trippy whirring melody and gritty basslines with the Australian's Britpop tendencies, 'Man I Need' is a splashy, happy track that breaks into a Stone Roses-esque acid house piano breakdown about half way through. The lively, light-hearted groove to the track is what carries it for the full nine and a half minutes and it's likely this track (or and edited version of it) will be on fairly regular rotation this summer.
Elliphant - 'Make New Breed'
For those already familiar with Sweden's Elliphant this track will seem like more of the same, but that's by no means a bad thing. As far as the backstory of the group goes, there's not a whole lot about online, but musically they're defined by their super-charged dancehall tracks. 'Make A New Breed' is a vocally driven track balanced on top of a grumbling, buzzing bassline and thumping dancehall beat. Diplo's a fan and it's not hard to see why. Dare we say it, Elliphant exceed the US dancehall revivalist when it comes to originality.
Stay Positive - 'You Hate Me' ft. Cooly G
Taken from Stay Positive's (Stay +) forthcoming EP Blood Brother and featuring a vocal contribution from South London's favourite house-dub mistress Cooly G, 'You Hate Me' is a pounding club track built around Cooly's vocals and a simply piano line. Falling away about halfway through, the driving beat gives the voice and piano a chance to resurface before the bass drum kicks back in amid buzzing distortion. Cooly G alternates between "You're the one for me" and "You hate me", given the track a sense of conflicted desperation.
Jessie Ware - 'Love Thy Will Be Done'
Covering Martika's 1991 hit 'Love Thy Will Be Done', co-written with Prince, sees Jessie Ware moving away from the housey influences of 'Imagine It Was Us' and into more spacious musical surroundings. Obvious religious undertones and a cheesy retro guitar solo makes the track a spiritually uplifting endeavour, with a plodding basssline and Jessie's voice seeming barely a whisper at points while rising to be a full-bodied blast at others. There's been no new music for a while apart from this and 'Imagine It Was Us' (that A$AP Rocky 'remix' fooled no one), and it won't be long before fans start asking for news of new material.
Velociraptor - 'Walk On By'
We've had the slightest hint of sunshine this week (though never of us dare mention it too much for fear of jinxing it) and Brisbane 12-piece Velociraptor seem to run at the idea summer full speed with 'Walk On By', taken from their forthcoming EP. A frantic piece of pop-punk that seems to capture some of the vocal swing of 1960s-era Beatles, the track feels like a party in a box, jam packed with irresistible energy and unashamed joy.
Ab-Soul - 'The End Is Near' ft Mac Miller
Hailing from the highly acclaimed West Coast Black Hippy crew, the crew that brought us Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul's lyrical skill is on full display on this collaboration with Mac Miller. A darkly sinister track at times, musically there's not a whole bunch to talk about here, but the vocal dexterity of both Soul and Miller makes for more than enough to keep you entertained and stop you from skipping tracks. Miller's verse is strong, but entirely dominated by Soul's vocal movements. Expect big things.
Bipolar Sunshine - 'Rivers'
Premiered by Zane Lowe earlier this week, 'Rivers' is the second track from Bipolar Sunshine. First release clocked over 70,000 Soundcloud plays and climbed to the top of the Hypemachine charts, and there's no reason why this track shouldn't garner the same acclaim. The gentle synth washes and vocal style is contradicted wonderfully by the ballsy, rough-cut hip hop beat that stamps along throughout the track. There's an EP, Aesthetics, due in June and if that continues in the same vein as 'Fire' and 'Rivers' there's no reason that Bipolar Sunshine wouldn't be a defining sound of 2013.
Jonwayne - 'Cool Runnings' ft Zeroh
Stones Throw Records aren't given too much away when it comes to Jonwayne. 'Cool Runnings' is the second track to be ripped from his strictly cassette only release Cassette 2. The rapper burst into a smooth flow staright away, rhyming over staccato piano chords, with a beat only being added later on as an after thought. The focus of this track is very clearly the lyrical offering of Jonwayne, with Zeroh adding a lazily drawled verse that's full of attitude but can't live up to Jonwayne in terms of swiftness and articulated ability.