Buckle up and get those headphones plugged in — it’s time for another edition of Things We Love This Week! This week’s roundup is a doozy, and features three rising artists that are more than worthy of a coveted spot on your Spotify new music playlist(s).
Tom Aspaul – ‘Black Country Disco’
Strap in and fill up the fuel tank for the M6, we’re heading to the Black Country, baby! Across 10 dusky, confidently understated disco-pop bangers, the triumphant debut LP from Tom Aspaul explores the formative – and often heartbreaking – moments that accompanied the Wolverhampton native’s return to the West Midlands after a decade-long stint in London.
The Sam Sparro hat-tips are glorious, especially on tracks like the slinky, tip-toeing breakup bop Tender, or the irresistible hometown ode W.M., a song animated by Aspaul’s shape-shifting vocal. Built on ironclad hooks, razor-sharp songwriting and nary a skippable track, ‘Black Country Disco’ is a solid contender for album of the year. You’d be a fool to think otherwise.
Keaton Dekker – ‘The Unwelcome Series’ EP
A luminous collection of songs that traverse heartbreak, selfhood, purpose and everything in between, Keaton Dekker’s ‘The Unwelcome Series’ EP is a beauty. Delicately working with a palette of skittering, twinkly electro beats and shadowy backing vocals, Dekker crafts tracks that play with synthetic, ’80s pop textures and paints them over with a glistening, modern finish.
The heartrending ITYK transforms its narrative of a fragmented relationship into a soaring, earworm melody, and Makeup possesses a glow that is inviting and familiar, much like LANY’s youarefire. Heart-swelling and heart-draining in equal measure, this five-track collection could be the catalyst for a glittering future for one of the UK’s most promising pop stars.
HYYTS – Lonely People
If you’re a sucker for a chunky synth melody and some EDM-pop bounce, steer your attention in the direction of HYYTS. The latest offering from the Glaswegian duo, the shimmering Lonely People, vaunts an addictive, slow-building chorus and sequences of squelchy beat breaks, with coming-of-age themes of growing up and acceptance that are sure to tug on a few heartstrings.
Filmed with longtime collaborator Jordan Macrae at Glasgow’s Govan Shed, the neon-hued track’s accompanying live video is all flashy, Instagram-worthy club lights and passionate fist pumping, and encourages the imagination to conjure up images of togetherness, euphoria and all those other delirious feelings that only the dance floor will continue to provide, post-pandemic.