The week’s best clips, singles, downloads and audiostreams
MARY J BLIGE ft KANYE WEST Love Yourself ★★★
Capitol Records The first track from Mary J. Blige’s new album opens, innocuously enough, with some gentle piano tinkling. Then the beat drops, the brass blares out and things really start to cook.
Love Yourself, as the title suggests, is a song about the importance of loving oneself. So, naturally, the reigning Nobel laureate of Self Regard, Kanye West, chips in a verse. Blige’s 13th studio album Strength of a Woman is out April 28th.
ORCHESTRA BAOBAB Foulo ★★★★ World Circuit
Orchestra Baobab are a legendary Senegalese club band who have reunited to record their first new album in a decade, in tribute to former member Ndiouga Dieng who passed away last year. If, like me, your only reference point for music from West Africa is the jazz-funk Afrobeat of Fela Kuti, then the blatantly Cuban-influenced sound in evidence here may come a little out of leftfield. But it all works: there is sunshine dripping from every joyous note.
TOUTS Sold Out ★★★ Hometown Records
“A singer that can’t sing, a mod that can’t play bass and a drummer that can’t see” is how this punk rock trio’s Twitter bio announces them. But perhaps their most audacious boast should be that they’re a Derry band who have knowingly adopted the moniker Touts. Clearly, in the city of The Undertones, times have changed for the better since the late 1970s and 1980s. Even if the musical aesthetic does still appear rather set in stone.
DERMOT KENNEDY Glory ★★★
Dermot Kennedy is a rather earnest Dublin singer-songwriter who has supported the likes of Glen Hansard, and whose After Rain song has been going gangbusters on Spotify since it’s release last year. New song Glory is taken from his imminent Doves &
Ravens EP. If there’s a Hozier-shaped hole in your heart, this might just fill in temporarily.