New music for your ears: Le1f, Erykah Badu, Grimes and more

MAXENCEMaxence Cyrin

Novo Piano 2

Maxence Cyrin makes outstandingly beautiful ambient piano music of his own, but where he’s really found a niche is creating piano based renditions of well- known dance music hits and indie classics. On Novo Piano 2 he adapts Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’, Billy Joel’s ‘Eye’s Without a Face’, Bjork’s Hyperballad, Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ alongside tunes from Goldfrapp, The Cure and Flash and the Pan. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a dinner party, letting your guests identify the tunes can be a fun game. GW 


Riot Boi

This is Le1f’s first official album – but he’s released a trio of mix tapes and a couple of EPs in recent years. Here Le1f presents a collection of his murky sounds, intellectually savvy raps and occasional outbursts of angry funk. This is a record that you’ll enjoy if you listen to it closely. On ‘Rage’ the tracks starts off as a bubblegum pop tune before breaking out into an emotionally charged outburst   Short instrumental piece ‘Chops’ sounds like the soundtrack to a Hong Kong action film, but most of this album is just Le1f’s very intriguing quality raps. GW


But You Caint Use My Phone

One of the most interesting musical artists around is back and her new mixtape is free to download. With eleven tracks all based around telephone calls, this rapidly recorded record is smooth, captivating and soulful. Badu’s ‘Hello’ has a lot more to say than Adele’s simple voicemail message, as Badu and her baby daddy Andre 3000 slip in and out of a classic Todd Rundgren tune. ‘Cell U Lar Device’ is Badu’s take on Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’, ‘What’s Your Phone Number’ deserves respect for name checking a Muppet, a great collection of tunes.  GW


West Kirby County Primary

A founding member of The Choral Bill Ryder Jones struck out on a new musical path with his debut record ‘If’, which was completely instrumental. 2013’s ‘A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart’ was a collection of minimalist folk tunes and here on his third record he starts to get a little heavier. It’s a collection of downbeat story based tunes that meander along to sound of scratchy guitars. As the record progress the mood picks up, but only for a moment. Sleepy and sullen. GW



Grimes is back with a brand new album that is, well, totally Grimes. Spanning myriad genres, the album evokes both nostalgia for music past and tantalises what pop could be in the future. The opening track, ‘Laughing And Not Being Normal’, sounds like the eerie ambience of a Japanese RPG from the ‘90s. ‘Kill V. Maim’ sounds like a beautifully insane cheerleader routine, while ‘California’ is an adorable honky-tonk-pop ode to The Golden State. ‘Scream’ provides an introduction to Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes whose offbeat flow is intriguing and charming. An erratic, eclectic and excellent album.– LH

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