Our music recommendations: What we’re listening to, from Shaun Farrugia to Future Utopia

 (Reuben Bastienne-Lewis/ES Composite)
(Reuben Bastienne-Lewis/ES Composite)

Is your playlist in need of some refreshment? We have some suggestions.

Shaun Farrugia – Count On You

Rising star Shaun Farrugia has been making waves since his If We’ll Ever Be Remembered dance collaboration with superstar DJ Martin Garrix last year. Farrugia comes into his own in this indie banger. Clearly paving his own lane, but with a voice reminiscent of both Lewis Capaldi and Sam Fender, it’s no surprise his popularity is growing.

Osquello & Akin Soul – Say Your Name

London-based rapper Osquello releases his new album Romero, with largely iPhone-created tracks, including voice notes as samples. This standout from his new project sees him collaborate with jazz/soul singer Akin Soul for a funk-infused nu-disco anthem.

Future Utopia featuring Kae Tempest - We Were We Still Are

Fraser T. Smith is the man behind some of the biggest artists in the UK – co-writing and producing Adele’s smash hit Set Fire To The Rain among others. Here, under new moniker Future Utopia, he heads in new direction, a psychedelic rock sound laced with vocals from spoken word artist Kae Tempest.

NICOLAS – EVERYTIME I GO TO BED

French producer and artist NICOLAS evolves his ever experimental sound, veering away from his usual lo-fi house sound, this time taking influence from jungle with a futuristic jump up style beat, layered with emotional vocals.

Kali Uchis – I Wish You Roses

Kali Uchis returns with a psychedelic post break up anthem – wishing the best for her ex. Bucking the trend of ending things on a sour note, she radiates positivity in this new track, with a sweet vocal performance to match.

Kelela – Contact

Kelela follows up her critically acclaimed debut with the next single from her upcoming album Raven, out February 10. Her new track delves deep into nineties rave sound, emulating midnight euphoria in this sensual trippy dance record.

Che Lingo – My Radio

An unexpected collaboration sees Che Lingo take his own spin on the Queen classic Radio Gaga, adding his fresh bars and silky falsetto to a reimagined instrumental, with the help of the groups drummer Roger Taylor, as well as a vocal inclusion of the legendary Freddie Mercury.

Mafro – Hollow

Mafro proves he is one of 2023’s producers to watch as his new EP Bloom, with Hollow being one of the standout tracks. His high energy lo-fi sound will draw favourable comparisons to fellow producers Fred again.. and Jamie XX. Expect to hear more of Mafro in the coming months.

Alison Goldfrapp – Digging Deeper (featuring Claptone)

Nineties legend Alison Goldfrapp is back with new music for the first time since 2017 - collaborating with DJ and producer Claptone to create a club ready house track laced with eighties synths and reverberating basslines. Alison describes herself as “effortlessly gliding through air” in making her new record, so prepare yourself for a journey.

Miley Cyrus - Flowers

Miley Cyrus is back, and with her new track, she’s ready to show the world she’s independent again! Three minutes of self love and discovery, Miley proves she can make it on her own in this upbeat anthem.

Sam Smith – GIMME (feat. Jessie Reyez and Koffee)

This collaboration is an unlikely matching for Sam Smith, but with help from Jessie Reyez and Koffee, the artist continues to experiment with their sound, this time taking influence from dancehall for this sultry number in the run up to their album Gloria, out January 27.

Young Marco - What You Say

Starting with a sample of Imogen Heap’s classic Hide and Seek, Young Marco transforms the famously acapella track into a hardstyle dance floor filler. With playful eighties synths and the singalong factor of the vocal, this is the perfect addition to Young Marco’s setlists this year.

WILDES X The Flaming Lips – True Love

Slow paced and hauntingly stunning, WILDES teams up with The Flaming Lips to produce a dreamy psychedelic rock anthem. Her powerful and echoing vocal performance might just make her the UK’s answer to Lana Del Rey.

Shania Twain – Giddy Up!

Shania Twain starts the year off with a rodeo in this Nashville/pop crossover anthem. The Queen of Country shows she’s still got the trademark charm her fans have grown to love as we giddy up to her album release next month.

JW Francis – Going Home To A Party (Sunday Best Recordings)

The New York bedroom pop artist’s latest is a catchy and cosy indie offering, with flowery acoustic guitar riffs, laidback vocals and bubble gum synths creating a sweet euphoric experience, looking ahead to warmer days.

Skrillex, Fred again.. & Flowdan – Rumble

Dubstep pioneer Skrillex has never been shy about experimenting with different sounds, and with help from fellow producer and DJ Fred again, they release a bass heavy new offering. Aided by vocals from London MC Flowdan, the two producers create a wobbly dubstep/trap record best appreciated at full volume.

Hold Your Rhythm - Mandidextrous & Selecta J-Man ft. Inja & A Little Sound

Boomtown Fair’s return last year prompted huge excitement from fans. The festival creators curated a string of tracks played during the opening and closing of the festival and after huge demand, Boomtown have finally released an EP of them. This heavy jump-up DnB track is sure to get their nostalgic ravers buying tickets for this year.

Central Cee – LET GO  

Central Cee has become a master at reworking a well-known instrumental into a fresh new track, and the West London rapper works his magic again with Passenger’s Let Her Go. The results are a drill-infused version of an indie classic that’s already generated huge interest on TikTok.

French The Kid – SNOW 

French The Kid cleverly times his release as UK temperatures plummet –  and the bilingual rapper remains cool as ice in this track. Seamlessly switching from English to French bars with his usual heavy flow and Essex twang, this shows why he’s one of UK raps most exciting prospects.

YEИDRY – KI-KI – (featuring ENNY)

Dominican rapper YEИDRY brings the Latin heat in this bouncy reggaeton offering, featuring a verse from UK rapper ENNY, with her seamless bars add a London spin to an already vibrant track. This one will keep you moving during the festive season.

Maceo Plex – Nu World (Solomun Remix) 

Solomun remakes renowned DJ Maceo Plex’s 2020 hit Nu World and transforms it into a nineties-tinged euphoric anthem, with piano breaks and yearning vocal samples, all the while providing the signature production and melodies the international DJ is known for.

Metric - All Comes Crashing (CVCHE Remix)

Metric’s original alternative rock song All Comes Crashing has been given a new lease of life with a dancefloor filler remix by CVCHE, taking a racy guitar and synth-heavy track and turning into a dreamy euphoric dance record.

Bree Runway – Pick Your Poison (feat. Stormzy)

Bree launches her WHOA, WHAT A BLUR! EP with a guitar laden love song collaboration with Stormzy, a break from her usual high energy tracks. An unexpected combination that creates a sweet ballad, with Stormzy’s deep rich vocals layering the chorus and Bree taking both singing and rapping duties.

Orbital – Ringa Ringa (The Old Pandemic Folk Song)

Orbital’s release comes in the form of a reimagined and experimental take on playground song Ringa Ringa Roses. Doused in nineties acid trance influence reminiscent of the days of Hacienda, the duo have transformed a childhood classic into a dancefloor filler.

Lucy Deakin – BITTER

Rising star Lucy Deakin is bringing back the sound of teen pop rock with her track – detailing the trials and tribulations of a break up. Deakin combines roaring guitar chords, heavy basslines and a confident vocal performance to create a solid bedroom singalong anthem.

Benzz – Alors Alors

British-Moroccan rapper Benzz follows up his Je M’appelle hit this year with another sampled track, this time taking on the now iconic instrumental of Stromae’s Alors on Danse and infuses it with the sound of London drill – adding tongue-in-cheek lyrics with a Central Cee-esque delivery.

UPSAHL – Kickflip

UPSAHL has been reaching new heights this year- now boasting a cool 1M followers on Tiktok. She closes the year off with a Sagittarius EP release, with Kickflip showcasing the singer’s polished vocals, silky production and edgy aesthetic that solidify her as an artist to watch out for in 2023.

Lana Del Rey – Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd?

Lana Del Rey has always had a natural knack for making sultry and dreamy nostalgic pop and she delivers the goods again in the title track of her new album, out March 10. Her lyrics toy with themes of love and low self-esteem, “love me until I love myself” she proclaims – the perfect mix of sad and beautiful.

Russ Millions - One of a Kind (feat. A1 x J1 & French The Kid)

The British rapper’s new track fuses a clever sample of Lil Uzi Vert’s hit XO TOUR Llif3, with his own usual heavy flow, and verses from hitmakers A1 x J1 and French The Kid (whose bilingual rapping abilities make him one of the most exciting prospects in UK scene).

Metronomy x Porij - Life and Death

Metronomy bring their ever-experimental sound to this collaboration with dance foursome Porij, a mix of the alt-electronic group’s classic indie vibe, with a heavy dubstep beat reminiscent of the sounds of the early 2010’s club scene, courtesy of their Manchester-based friends.

Lewis Capaldi - Pointless

Lewis Capaldi’s new track promised to be the next sad banger – and it certainly delivers. The Glasgow-born singer-songwriter’s song Pointless will have you weeping into your mulled wine this Christmas in classic Capaldi style. He belts out his heartbreak on this piano-led ballad. Just make sure to stock up on the Kleenex.

Martinez Brothers - Kilo (feat. Tokischa)

This new release by house producers Martinez Brothers featuring Tokischa combines their signature bouncy production with her commanding verses, to create a hypnotic techno anthem that will keep your head bopping all weekend.

Sevdaliza - Woman Life Freedom

“I stand proud as an Iranian woman and I am supporting the fight of my sisters who shed their blood, hair, hearts and brains to give us all the hope, that one day, we will be free,” wrote Sevdaliza as she released her latest single, an excoriatingly powerful, furiously dignified song inspired by protests against the Iranian regime. The startling video is required viewing, too.

Westerman - Idol; RE-run

London-born, Athens-based singer-songwriter Westerman is back with fresh music for the first time since his excellent 2020 debut Your Hero Is Not Dead. The wandering, airy track is co-produced by James Krivchenia of Big Thief, and you can certainly hear shades of that band’s tangly guitars here. Catch Westerman live at Union Chapel on October 28.

e track, which sails through down-tempo, gritty funk, contemplative piano balladry, spoken word and soulful guitars.