New Single Alert: Benin City's "What A Time"

The individual artists who make up Benin City have been quite busy this year with amazing projects but finally I get to share their new release which is streaming on their VEVO below for US listeners and included in Spotify’s New Music Friday for the UK & Iceland for my across the pond pals!

“What A Time” is a bit of a party anthem that despite sounding so carefree is really about coming to peace with oneself, enjoying life and poetically states, “these are your best years/be careful how you spend them.” It highlights their distinct sound with beats from multi-instrumentalist Tom Leaper and dual vocals by Joshua Idehen and Shanaz Dorsett.

Dorsett reflected on the song’s meaning for her personally, “What A Time embodies how I felt about turning 30—so empowered and at peace with myself… but often completely overwhelmed by having all the choices but few of the resources to truly ‘live my best life.’ In ways it’s the realistic party anthem that I needed.” Dorsett also relayed how finally coming out as queer worked in tandem with this coming to terms with oneself.

Benin City is a London-based trio that represents the diversity of the city, exploring and challenging social and political issues. Their second album tackled the notion of the depleting London club scene and its impact on the artistic community. Their forthcoming EP later this year will face head on similar themes as a both an interrogation and celebration as Londoners.

You can find Benin City on all the social media, including: Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

New Single Alert: Hugh releases "Sober"

Hugh are releasing new music with the single, “Sober” dropping nearly two years after their debut Love, Hugh was released in 2017. The lineup of the group has shifted a bit as well since then, but vocalist Joshua Idehen and producer Andy Highmore remain at the core.

New listeners of Hugh may recognize Idehen’s voice, he’s a vocalist of the acclaimed London trio Benin City. He’s half the duo that forms Hugh and certainly in this new track he brings a different energy than his other musical endeavors. Highmore’s production is definitely a highlight as well. Guest vocalist Amaroun, is recognizable too, as she is Jay Brown, the London singer-songwriter whose smooth R&B sound blends so well with Idehen.


In an interview with the folx at The Line of Best Fit, Idehen explained that the track was written as a breakup song about Brexit regret, but the universality of the lyrics lend themselves beyond this specific dumpster fire political climate (though it’s something this American relates to all too well).

The structure of this newest release from Hugh is solid. Specifically at the bridge, in a track that could easily get messy and drunkenly out of control, “Sober” keeps a calm and even-keeled quality. Indeed it would seem the same satisfaction that one derives from knowing you’re over someone and better than an ex-lover is present in the listening experience and one certainly feels better having heard this track.

You can listen to “Sober” on Spotify.

New Single Alert: IamHelgi's "Speeding"

Helgi Sæmundur, the man behind the moniker IamHelgi, is a bit of an enigma. As beat-maker extraordinaire and one half of the Icelandic hip hop group, Úlfur Úlfur, he’s been building his notoriety and repertoire among fans of the duo and now as a solo artist. I first encountered Helgi’s work on his 2015 Úlfur Úlfur album, Tvær Plánetur, which has been in my heavy rotation for years. I relished in the chance to see him live at Iceland Airwaves 2017. So much, in fact, that I saw him three times in a week. Admittedly, as I can’t begin to understand the language, I think I’ve always gravitated towards Úlfur Úlfur because of the beats.

Fans got a first taste at this new, more synthy endeavor of Helgi’s when he dropped the single “Yourself” back in December 2018. That is, if you weren’t lucky enough to catch his solo debut at Iceland Airwaves in November 2018. Helgi’s influences are present in his new work--it’s synth driven rock that calls to mind a Depeche Mode and sort of Twin Peaks mysteriousness. This could be because he’s recently scored the Scandi-Noir television series, Stella Blómkvist.

IamHelgi performed last month at one of my favorite Icelandic venues, Iðnó opening up for Warmland. He’s also been announced in the lineup for Iceland Airwaves 2019. It will be very exciting to see how his solo artistry expands this year, as he’s off to a terrific start.

His new single “Speeding” is out today and is sure to be on repeat in my household. You can stream it on Spotify.