Madlib, Laura Mvula + more, our favourite records of the week
02.07.2021

Madlib, Laura Mvula + more, our favourite records of the week

Words by Sam McNiece

Plus new ones from Maple Glider and Jack Grace.

Friday is here, which means it’s release day for a bunch of artists at home and around the world. With so many hot releases out there to tuck into, we’ve compiled some of the best to present to you for the weekend.

Madlib returns with Declaime for the ’90s release In the Beginning Vol. 1, Laura Mvula hits all the ’80s disco pop notes on Pink Noise, Maple Glider shows us one of the best folk deliveries of the year and Jack Grace shows his melancholic side on Turn To Something You Know.

This week’s top picks:

  • Madlib & Declaime – In the Beginning Vol. 1
  • Laura Mvula – Pink Noise
  • Maple Glider – To Enjoy is the Only Thing
  • Jack Grace –Turn To Something You Know

Read all the latest music news here.

Madlib & Declaime – In the Beginning Vol. 1

Underground hiphop royalty, Madlib returns on a joint project with Declaime on vocals. This release is a collection of lost tracks made by the two between 1993 and 1996 repping Oxnard, California. Originally meeting when they were young, living across the street from each other, these two reconnected in the early ’90s creating this body of work.

This project is produced in its entirety by Madlib, who’s 2004 record with the late MF DOOM Madvillainy, is considered one of the best hip hop records of all time. Madlib is in fine form on this record too, dusty beats shine through over vocal cuts/scratches and crunchy drums.

Declaime’s vocal performance is reminiscent of the era it was created in, laid back, focusing more on lyrical content and dense flows than high energy deliveries. On the record, Declaime shouts out his hometown heroes and friends including MED and DJ Romes who actually mastered the record.

If this was released when these tracks were recorded, this record would be in the conversation about influential ’90s hip-hop records. Great from cover to cover.

Laura Mvula – Pink Noise

British based Laura Mvula comes through on her third album Pink Noise. Mvula, whose last record The Dreaming Room was nominated for the Mercury Prize, shows a love for the past era on this LP.

If you like ’80s boogie disco, this record is for you. Mvula blends the core elements of these classic records into modern pop stylings with epic vocal deliveries across the board. This is very evident on ‘Church Girl’ which features big ‘drums and a synth heavy production as well as ‘Got Me’ in which the chorus hits this high point which is triumphant and powerful, reminiscent of ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ by Michael Jackson.

This is a sparkling, joyous return to the fold for Mvula and a great listen.

Maple Glider – To Enjoy is the Only Thing

Melbourne based Maple Glider (Tori Zietsch) releases her debut record To Enjoy is the Only Thing, which is a passionate and airy affair. If you’re a fan of Julia Jacklin, you’ll love this record.

This record has sparse arrangements that allow Zeitsch’s airy and breathy voice to shine. She explores deeply personal themes including growing up in a religious household, love and loss and feelings about moving cities. Lead by the single ‘Friend’ which Tori says “this song is for an old, good friend. In some ways, it feels like one of the most personal songs on the album.”

This record will pull at your heartstrings and make you want to curl up in bed and weep, in a really good way.

Jack Grace –Turn To Something You Know

Newcastle born, Paris based artist Jack Grace has shared his debut record Turn To Something You Know. Set by drum loops and organic instrumentation, this record is a self-portrait of time spent moving cities and losing yourself. Turn To Something You Know was created with deep rooted inspiration combining with a new and refreshed context.

On this, Grace says “around the end of my first year in France I had a moment where I realised I had inadvertently ripped the rug out from under my identity’. ‘I went about trying to rebuild it and I made this record while I did that.”

Jack lists Arthur Russell, Portishead and The War on Drugs as influences for this project, which you can hear, while he still maintains a unique sound.

Check out Madlib & Duclaime’s record here.