Listen to the best new releases of February in our new genre-specific Essential Listening playlists. Discover more about the tracks and buy tickets to see the featured artists live
Last updated: 22nd Feb 2023
Each week, our in-house team of music nerds take to streaming platforms, embarking on a quest to listen to the thousands of new releases that are regularly bestowed upon us. Tasked with picking only the finest from the bunch, our curators select up to 10 tracks to be included within our four Essential Listening playlists - covering house and techno, drum & bass and jungle, hip-hop and jazz, and indie and alternative.
Among some of this week's choices are future club classics from superstar DJ names the likes of The Blessed Madonna, Paul Woolford and Toolroom founder, Mark Knight, lyrical masterpieces from British rappers ENNY, Antony Szmierek and Wesley Joseph, sound system bangers from D'N'B producers Hybrid Minds and up-and-comer Leniz, and DIY pearlers from guitar acts the likes of Inhaler, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (yes, that's actually the band's name) and Yo La Tengo.
Providing a little something for all tastes, check out each of our Essential Listening playlists below to discover your new favourite track. And while you're here, why not read up on some of the records included and buy tickets to see the featured artists live in concert? Go on, treat yourself. You deserve it.
Essential Listening: House and Techno
The Blessed Madonna - We Still Believe
The Blessed Madonna has linked up with Chicago-hailing producer, Jamie Principle to breathe new life into an old dance floor stomper which fans of Marea Stamper, AKA The Blessed Madonna, should be all too familiar with.
The sultry vocals of Principle can be heard reciting a sort-of love letter to clubbing over the pitter-patter of electronically produced noises and textures at the very beginning of the near 4-minute track, building into an acid-inspired anthem underpinned by euphoric synths. Nostalgic at its core, it's a track that'll resonate with the older raver just as much as it will the new.
Get tickets to see The Blessed Madonna at Parklife 2023:
Essential Listening: Drum & Bass and Jungle
Leniz - Mizpah (SiLi Remix)
Swiss drum n bass producer, SiLi has taken up the challenge of turning Leniz's atmospheric interlude, 'Mizpah' into a bonafide party anthem. And we can hand on heart confirm that he has succeeded with great skill.
Taken from Leniz's standout debut album, Perceptions On Reality, the reworked version of Mizpah hits all the right spots. Crisp clean percussive beats bounce around the full-bodied bassline which ebbs and flows over the top of the ambient synth work featured in the original. Remixing such a piece is no easy undertaking but if anyone has the chops to make it work, it's our man SiLi.
Essential Listening: Hip-Hop and Jazz
ENNY - No More Naija Men
An artist we expect to break in 2023, ENNY should be no stranger to fans of UK hip hop. Honing her craft for many years, the Londoner looks to be taking things to the next level with her latest single release, 'No More Naija Men'.
Following a period of writer's block, as described by the artist of herself, ENNY booked some studio time with lo-fi beat maker Emil. The producer, who's worked with various other well-known underground talents in the past, from Knucks to Kojey Radical and Kadeem Tyrell, conjured up a soulful minimalistic offering which kick-started ENNY's creative juices once more. Those of which can be heard on 'No More Naija Men'.
Speaking of the track, ENNY said: "The head-bopping and writing began. This song is a processing of things observed and felt: conversations on interracial and intercultural love, and the ultimate conclusion that Nigerian men are mad. I want to keep alive the art of rapping and bring listeners into an unfamiliar yet familiar sound.”
Essential Listening: Indie and Alternative
Inhaler - If You're Gonna Break My Heart
Dublin rockers Inhaler are back with brand new music, issuing their latest single 'If You're Gonna Break My Heart', the third from their most recent album, Cuts & Bruises, released just last week.
Influenced by some of America's greatest singer-songwriters, the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, the new single was conceptualised by the band whilst out on the road, traversing the state's long and open highways. Something which we believe comes through strongly in the record.
Mimicking the sound of 'Heartland rock', a sound which Springsteen helped to pioneer, the record features all the characteristics. From melodic piano keys and softly distorted guitars to the trembling Deep-South notes of the organ, it's all there. Combined with the emotive vocal lines of the band's frontman, Eli Hewson, it's a staggeringly beautiful and well-crafted piece of music from a band showing maturity way beyond their years.
Make sure to follow our Essential Listening playlists featured above to discover the best new tracks released each week, as curated by the Skiddle team.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.
Header image credit: The Blessed Madonna / Facebook.com
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