29 September 2016


Abel Tesfaye, AKA The Weeknd, has just released his latest music video for the new single off of the upcoming album. 'Starboy' brings us a lot of hope.

As usual for The Weeknd, and with the help of Daft Punk and Director Grant Singer, you can hear and see some strong Michael Jackson influences. The opening scene shows the new Starboy Abel murdering the former Abelxo Abel and then continue on through his home with a neon pink cross to destroy all remnants of his previous successes (albums Kissland and Beauty Behind the Madness).

Starboy is a Jamaican slang term made popular in Mavado's 2010 single 'Star Bwoy' and as you can guess, it is used to describe someone who is cool af. But, I think some may have listened to the new single perhaps thinking it is about his newfound ego/fame and mistook "I'm a mother-fucking starboy" as a proud and unapologetic boast. After watching the visuals you can see that that presupposition is far from the real meaning. Could Starboy be a dark and sarcastic commentary on his recent rise to fame? I think yes.

Before Starboy, there have been two quite distinguishable The Weeknds. 

In the beginning, The Weeknd was a complete underground unknown Canadian who was influencing the entire genre of RnB/pop. I would argue that 2011 was indeed his greatest year musically. He released three of the greatest mixtapes: House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence in July, August and December respectively and his sound was identifiably and unapologetically dark and unfiltered. The year was culminated in the release of Trilogy, which combined all three mixtapes in 2012.

After gaining recognition from music greats and garnering more and more popularityKissland and Beauty Behind the Madness were released in 2014 and 2015 and a new Weeknd evolved. This new evolution moved towards a more filtered, predictable and commercial pop. Don't get me wrong, Beauty was a great album, it was tenth best-selling album of 2015 after all. 

I should say though, obviously an artist's sound changes over time and no artist should really ever stay the same throughout their career. So it is pointless for me to write about wanting 'more of the old' Weeknd. However, if House of Balloons changed your personal perception of and appreciation for pop music (like it did mine), then the 2015 accoladed album was just not enough and it's more commercialised version of The Weeknd just didn't cut it. Beauty was polished, featured all of the 'right' artists and had just enough grit to give it depth. Yet, when you look at the depth of themes and musicality presented in House of Balloons, there is no competition.

In saying all that, I think Starboy might be the beginning of the third phase of The Weeknd's persona. One that revisits his dark beginnings found in Trilogy but also employs a more purposeful pop sound. And from his dark sarcasm in the new single, I think the new Abel is one that is critical of the fame he has achieved and openly cynical of how commercialisation can change someone's sound.

On a side note: that cat-turned-panther is dope.


28 September 2016


Check out Kaytranada's latest music video (featuring Syd from The Internet) for one of his 99.9% tracks, 'You're the One'. It was styled to show “the look of black sitcoms from the early 90s—from Martin to Living Single and UPN sitcoms.” These two can certainly do no wrong. 

24 September 2016


The beginning of "Gone" might be just as intriguing as its maker Kwesi. Once you hit 40 seconds, that curiosity turns into absolute satisfaction - this groove makes so much sense.

22 September 2016


So glad that Kehlani is back - and in full force. This is the July single "CRZY" with the all-baller music video which was released yesterday. 

This lady's talent is the REAL DEAL.



JazStar's 'Sandra Bland' is a damn powerful track.

20 September 2016


It's simple, minimalist, sexy and powerful. Moses Sumney, thank you for forcing us to stop and listen.

You give me all of you, 
I recognise my heart as black and blue, 
You accept all I do, 
But I don't know if that is wise. 
You offer all of you, 
I recognise your hand as a burning bruise, 
You reject solitude, 
But I don't know if I am worth it

19 September 2016


Polo is a Yorkshire duo who know a thing or two about intricate, pulsating progressive pop. Just check out their track 'Visions of Fortune' and its Purity Ring/Banks vibes.

14 September 2016


What a wonder is Sonder! The collaboration between producers Dpat and atu with singer Brent Faiyaz have already released three 10 minute parts of very chill, rnb, soul, produced gold. 

Victoria features the haunting vocals of Lyves, Undone includes the likes of James Vincent McMorrow, J-Louis and Asante, and the final instalment, Sheath, shows off the talents of Sango and Amber. It is safe to say that the trio is producing some of the most effortlessly brilliant sounds at the moment.

FYI a sonder is the realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and coplex as your own...

You can download all three parts here.

12 September 2016


This Norwegian band is too cool. Just watch their video for 'Sponge State' where they perform as a part of a protest on top of a mountain in the snow.

I'm just thinking about that summer we discovered bon iver...

09 September 2016


Is it just me or does Xavier Dunn's vocals sounds a little like Chris Martin's? The 'Scattered' original has been produced real nice, but Feki's remix absolutely lovely.

08 September 2016


Frank Leone is waayy chill. 'Loser' sounds so familiar and yet completely unique. It is unbelievably refreshing.

And then when you get 4 mins in, yeeeehhhh.

07 September 2016


Calez has dedicated the single "312" from his upcoming new project Baby to his hometown, Chicago. We especially love the drum-heavy production of the track, the simple cartoon video paying homage to the Windy city and that James Blake/Justin Vernon's 'Fall Creek Choir Boys' is sampled at the end.

HD is stoked to be a new fan.


Oh god yes. 
Marvin's "Let's Get It On" is everything, and dvsn's 21st century take on the track is just as yum.

06 September 2016


So, East Sussex has a Justin Timberlake?

04 September 2016


Esta reworking Beyonce - what's not to love?

03 September 2016


LUEM is #bossbitch - nuff said.

'Wait' is catchy af.


I would describe mutual benefit as the soundtrack to a meditation wonderland. These two tracks are delicate, intimate and beautifully layered. Reminds me a little of Packwood - that's a good thing.