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11 new albums you should listen to this week

Every week, we highlight significant new releases available on streaming services. This week’s selection includes albums from Vis-A-Vis, Arlo Parks, Alostmen and more.

Everything Tasteful
Lala &ce

The rapper with an inimitable style unveils her first solo album, a receptacle for her multiple influences, ranging from Lil Wayne to the music of her father’s village. After mesmerizing the Colors studios with her unique relaxed flow, the Franco-Ivorian artist naturally asserts herself on the rap scene without skipping a beat. But beware of sleeping water, calm and patience are not incompatible with ambition.

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Collapsed In Sunbeams
Arlo Parks

Her long-awaited album is a reflection of her musical palette: intimate and rooted in stories that are both personal and universal. In short, she offers poetic soul music permeated by the urban melancholy her generation feels. Arlo Parks embody the human soul and all its various emotions. The young neo-soul prodigy has been experiencing a meteoric rise since her magical performance at the Colors Show with “Hurt,” as well as stunning covers of Radiohead’s “Creep” and Angèle’s “Ta Reine.”

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“Kologo” is the album’s title of the group Alostmen, and the name of the instrumentary-king of northern Ghana, played by Stevo Atambire. More than ever before, it is featured on this album, which Strut is releasing internationally. This traditional lute from northern Ghana, of which the Frafras have become a speciality, has been played for several years now by Stevo Atambire, who has been experimenting with this rhythmic and melodic instrument, capable of accompanying those who play (and sing) it at weddings, funerals, and in electro studios.

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Obi Agye Mi Dofo

The Canadian label We Are Busy Bodies has reissued the ultra rare and seminal 1977 album Obi Agye Mi Dofo from the Ghanaian highlife group Vis-A-Vis, one of whose members was none other than the legend K. Frimpong. With Frimpong’s presence, it remains one of the most valued West African records of Ghana’s golden age, not least because highlife, meaning “beautiful life” in English, continues to inspire the new generation that brings its own modern touch to a genre still vibrating in the Ghanan scene.

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Good Good Dub

Still warm from the reggae fumes of Good Good Things, the musician Max Guiguet aka Blundetto returns once again with Hindi Zahra and Leonardo Marques to plant his Jamaican flag. A journey where one gets lost in the sonic immensity of these open-mix dub tracks, in the company of his sidekick Blackjoy, to reverse the rhythm and the clockwise direction of time thanks to the percussion echoes, which penetrate our soul and spirit.

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Indaba Is
Compilation Brownswood Records

The English label Brownswood, headed up by DJ and producer Gilles Peterson, presents Indaba Is, a compilation paying respects to current South African jazz, held between late June and early July (at the end of the first confinement in South Africa). It brings together eight emblematic Johannesburg bands, with spiritual jazz as an obvious anchor. But jazz only acts as a springboard for exploring South Africa’s musical diversity. The songs that make up Indaba Is propel eight current South African bands to new and unexplored musical frontiers. Here, jazz becomes a starting point rather than an end in itself.

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Christine Salem

She could have become a footballer or a “prevention animator” for young people, but the fairies of Salem decided to take her to Reunion Island, where maloya flows like rum to repair souls, heal wounds, and connect the living things to the invisible… and to the deceased. Christine Salem is one of the rare female voices of maloya, carrying far away this rhythm of the ancestors to whom she pays homage in her new album, Mersi. Without forgetting to transport them to other horizons, thanks to Seb Martel’s guitar and Fred Norel’s violin.

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Yaadman Kingsize
Yung L

Yung L’s resolution for this new year 2021? No longer give in to compromise! His new album, Yaadman Kingsize is a real little pearl. The softness of Land of Light, in which he asserts himself “half man, half spirit”, will rock your nights. In the title Police & Thief, Yung L supports the #EndSARS movement, against police violence in Nigeria, especially among the youth. As for the energetic title Rasta, with the son of the giant Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti, it is about celebrating the Rastafarian way of life. There is really something for everyone in this album!

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Nahawa Doumbia

One of the most popular female singers in Mali still dazzles us in 2021 with her album Kanawa, meaning “don’t go”. Therefore, she sends a message of hope to the Malian youth, while criticizing the government as well as the human disasters on the path of migration. A true ode to the beauty of Mali, magnified by the traditional instruments accompanying her melodious voice.

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Money can’t buy happiness

Fredo is a young rapper from London who has already been successful in 2018 with his track Tables Turn. He amazes us with his new album Money can’t buy happiness. In Biggest Mistake, he takes an introspective look back at his time in prison and his chaotic schooling, wondering if he is “his mother’s biggest mistake”. Fredo also covers Ready, the mythical title of The Fugees, accompanied by the beautiful voice of Summer Walker. A real message to the British youth, about simplicity as the key to happiness.

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Counter Active
The Paradox

Jeff Mills and Jean-Phi Dary form a new electronic jazz project, The Paradox, following their meeting during the recording of the album Tomorrow Comes The Harvest by the great late Tony Allen. The spontaneity and the keyword of this project, each track of which is a kind of small jam session recorded in real time without computers. Two minds with limitless freedom that remind us of the richness of creations when they don’t compromise.

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