Acclaim's favourite new tracks from home and around the world.
01. Octavian - Rari ft. Future
British/French artist Octavian makes his welcome return today with the Future assisted ‘Rari’ and the accompanying ‘Chapter 1’. Having teased that there is a full project to follow,’ Chapter 1’ feels like a fitting intro to a new side of Octavian, but it’s ‘Rari’ that got me up out of bed this morning. Octo’s signature husky voice paired with just the right amount of vocoder instantly hooks you in, he’s proven to have a knack for writing melodies that are effortlessly cool as fuck.
Meanwhile across the pond, Atlanta icon Future spits a quick and classic verse. It reminded me of that documentary about the twins who grew up in different countries and had different accents but still the same voice? I think what I’m trying to say is that the pair sound good together, and I’ll be listening to this all weekend. — Cass N.
02. Jorja Smith - By Any Means
‘By Any Means’ is the latest release from soul-queen Jorja Smith. Sticking to her sensual, emotion-filled style, we’re introduced to the track through an eerie, ethereal cry followed by the lyrics ‘Go ahead and fix your crown / Then watch it all burn in smoke / Go ahead and stand your ground / We’re on the long road to freedom’. It lays the foundations for the song’s exploration of historical deceit and Black suffering, but by its end also establishes a fearless cry for unity against systemic racism. It’s the lead single off Roc Nation’s forthcoming Reprise Project, a curated collection of songs supporting organizations that fight against hate crimes and civil rights violations, and pushes for police accountability. For Smith, the song acts as a means to keep the Black Lives Matter conversation going, as she says, “It’s not just a post on social media, it’s life.” — Julie F.
03. Big Words - Sink or Swim
This week, the boys from Melbourne’s Big Words have blessed us with a beaming ballad, coinciding with the release of a new mixtape, Cherry. With the bitter tail-end of July upon us, ‘Sink or Swim’ places a taste of warmth onto the tip of our tongues like a ‘‘sunset kiss’’. Will Scullin and Kieren Lee’s soothing duality and lyricism have taken bedroom music-making to a new and elevated level. With trappy glimmers of affection and a breezy breakdown, ‘Sink or Swim’ may be the antidote to some of our hibernation blues. — Ansam F.
04. IJALE - Hotlines
Melbourne’s IJALE just dropped his new EP Wildy Disparate Sounds today, opening with the introspective groove ‘Hotlines’. This self-produced soliloquy features atmospheric synths and driving basslines that put the spotlight on IJALE’s flurrying flows, as he touches on themes such as microaggressions and racial profiling in a reflective, passionate manner. Fans of Mick Jenkins are bound to be into this but don’t get it twisted, IJALE is a unique standout in 2020 rap music. — Henry O.
05. Dominic Fike - Vampire
Dominic Fike has always been hot property. Beginning his career caught in a bidding war between labels after releasing his first EP Don’t Forget About Me, he’s back in the spotlight with his debut album What Could Possibly Go Wrong. Standout track ‘Vampire’ hones the signature acoustic melodies that gave him rise, adding harmonies reminiscent of the late 90’s/early-2000’s boy band era. It’s the ninth track off of his eclectic 14-track Album which dropped today and is a testimony to why everyone wants a little piece of him. — Julie F.
06. Two Another x Arno Faraji — Just A Phase
Arno Faraji doesn’t miss. This time around, the Perth-based, Zimbabwe-born artist has linked up with production duo Two Another, guaranteeing another bullseye. The new single is a lush sample of sonic sunshine that adds some sleek style to a solemn winter, with flourishes of funk, rap, and R&B providing an ear-catching groove, and an undeniable bounce. It’s safe to say Arno Faraji is an Acclaim favourite, and no, this ain’t just a phase. — Henry O.
07. Hooligan Skinny - Drills On Drills
‘Drills on Drills’ from Hooligan Skinny is easy to describe; bars on bars. The stern flow is poignant and direct, with an infectious hook designed to elevate a crowd at a live show. Production from KLAPBACK pairs flamenco-style guitars and booming 808s, providing the perfect backdrop for Skinny’s swaggerful barrages and signifies him as a standout in an already stacked Sydney scene. — Henry O.