- Words Miriam Balanescu
- Photography Aaron Sinclair for Notion 88
In Notion Now: Week 28, we've got tunes from Omar Apollo, Frances Forever, James Vickery, Dave and Stormzy, Meridian Dan and SHY FX, and more.
"Go Away" by Omar Apollo
Mexican-American singer Omar Apollo sweeps us away with his latest. His first track of 2021, the artist has been keeping busy, also launching a hot sauce this spring.
"paranoia party" by Frances Forever
An idiosyncratic mix of the gently haunting but cake sprinkles-sweet, Frances Forever has unleashed their latest EP of the same name, "paranoia party". The EP also contains Frances' soaring TikTok sensation "space girl".
"Clash" by Dave, ft. Stormzy
In a brand new alliance with highly acclaimed artist Dave, Stormzy makes an appearance on "Clash". With characteristic cool, this is an unbeatable pairing.
"Finally" by James Vickery
Pairing James Vickery's super-smooth vocals with sultry electronics, the South London native's latest single was produced by SG Lewis. "'Finally' (almost ironically) always felt like the missing piece in my album," the artist has said. Vickery has also just announced he will be performing at London's Lafayette later this year.
"Young Dumb" by NOISY
A frantic frisson of sound - you won't know what's hit you - that just about sums up the chaos of youth. The Worthing trio will be taking this anthem with them to the stage at Reading and Leeds Festival and on their October headline tour.
"Joe Pesci" by Meridian Dan and SHY FX
Singalong-able rap lyrics overlay this murky tune from grime legend Meridian Dan, founder of Meridian Crew and member of Bloodline. "Don't stress me out", Meridian Dan repeats - we can relate.
"fuck this town" by glaive, ft. ericdoa
"fuck this town" feels like an updated take on punk rock, with a frenetic sonic soundscape and angsty lyrics from glaive and ericdoa.
"Don't Matter" by Jelani Blackman
One of Notion's Ones to Watch for 2021, Jelani Blackman is marking himself out as a major rapper in the UK hip hop circuit. He is not easy to pin down, collaborating with Brian Eno, Burna Boy, Wolf Alice, Big Zuu and more. 2021 holds an exciting summer of performances from the artist to look forward to.
"MIA" by RAY BLK, ft. Kaash Paige
Announcing a debut album 'Access Denied', RAY BLK has teased its release with a single to cruise away to. The R&B maestro says: "It’s just about escaping, or being with someone who feels like an escape, like you’re on holiday and just at peace, away from the noise."
"You Know What" by Graft
Graft hits home with "You Know What", a visceral and deeply felt tune from the Leeds-born prodigy. The single strikes to the core and with the accolades to Graft's name it comes as no surprise.
"Building Song" by Drug Store Romeos
With their biggest headline show to date on the horizon, catch Drug Store Romeos here dreaming away with floating alt-rock instrumentals. Whimsical vocalist Sarah took inspiration from Agnes Pelton's 'Orbits': “When I look at that painting it’s where I want my voice to exist.”
"Kamali" by Priya Ragu
Inspired by a short film by Sasha Rainbow of the same name, "Kamali" is a riveting track exploring a story of gendered oppression. The Swiss-born artist is one to watch.
"Hard Life" by Pip Millett
Pip Millett touches back down to earth after her flighty hit "Running". "Hard Life" mingles a vintage sound with rich and soulful vocals and a balmy backing. The artist says: "It’s about moving through unresolved trauma and understanding that ignoring those things doesn’t mean they go away. It takes learning and listening to yourself and lots of patience."
"I Go" by Peggy Gou
"I Go" is Peggy Gou's electric second helping to her slam hit "Nabi". The artist explains: “When I was a teenager in Korea, we didn’t have rave culture like there was in the UK. “I Go” is a tribute to that era, my own reimagination of the sounds I grew up loving."
"Slowly" by Olivia Dean
Back in her yellow van, Olivia Dean will be touring the UK this summer. This is a crucial and tender listen in the meantime. The London songwriter says: "I used to think falling in love was supposed to be chaotic, fiery and tumultuous, but I’ve realised that really, to fall in love normally - and to have a healthy and ordinary relationship is a beautiful thing. It’s a song asking for patience when starting to fall in love.”
"I Love You, I Hate You" by Little Simz
A glittering harp and rush-you-off-your-feet orchestrals open this come-back-down-to-earth track. Dealing with her relationship with her father, Little Simz tackles the issue with unshakeable defiance.
"In My Sleep" by Inhaler
Our pick from Dublin rockers latest album 'It Won't Always Be Like This'. This one will have you tossing and turning.
"Lost Keys" by Delilah Montagu
Wavering synths and plucky beats form the base for this hopeful and candid track from the 23-year-old London singer.
"No Pressure" by edbl and Miller Blue
Bright guitars and bouncy vocals guide the way in this clean and upbeat tune from Ed Black's singer-songwriter alias and producer/singer-songwriter Miller Blue.