IT may have been a quieter week than most for new releases but we’ve still got a few gems to throw your way. Our 85th edition of New Music Radar covers ST.MARTiiNS, Kohla, Friendly Fires, Whitney and more.

ST.MARTiiNS ‘My Girl’

Set to bring their transfixing live show to Tenement Trail next month, ST.MARTiiNS are back with the beautiful ‘My Girl’. Punctuated by a steady drumbeat, the duo allow their jazzy stylings to come to the forefront of this latest instalment which drifts along to the sound of their distinctively languid melodies and dreamy guitar tones. An enchanting ode to female friendship, it’s perhaps their most playful and heart-warming track of 2019 as they let loose and allow instincts to take over.

Katie Lynch says of the song:  “when we first started playing My Girl the joke was that it was the furthest into jazz styling we would go. The song developed and is one of our only genuinely fun and free songs. It is about my friendships with my best female friends and how simultaneously annoying and fulfilling they have been. A good fun song for mid-summer in a time of complete political chaos around us. But we will get into that later.

Friendly Fires ‘Can’t Wait Forever’ 

Friendly Fires’ eagerly anticipated third album ‘Inflorescent’ is finally here and it has lived up to all expectations. Ahead of its release, the band debuted its opening track this week on Radio 1’s Hottest Record in the World and it sets a precedent for the rest of the record; brimming with infectious energy and hip-shaking beats it’s a summer anthem in the making, sunny and self-assured. The band performed at the inaugural edition of Playground Festival and fans will be pleased to know that they push the brass they use live to the very front of its production, ensuring that its refrain is stuck in your head for the foreseeable.

Shura ‘side effects’ 

Shura’s second album is the more mature follow-up to its glitzy, shiny and shimmery predecessor ‘Nothing’s Real’. Exploring the blossoming stages of a relationship and the anxieties and excitement that this entails, it’s clear from the very off that she is at the top of her game. She sighs over opening number ‘side effects’ with such an effortless cool, its restrained verses melting wonderfully into a swaggering refrain that feels almost instinctive and subtly funky. It’s electro pop at its most sensual.

Kohla ‘T O U C H’ 

After seizing our attention with ‘Pxrxdise’ earlier this a year ,  ‘T O U C H’ is the latest outing from Kohla, aka Rachel Johnson, and her first single under the stewardship of Last Night from Glasgow. The track finds Johnson exploring her new minimalist and R&B style of writing and production once again. Steeped in that same mystic, smoky aura as its predecessor, ‘T O U C H’ is a more sultry and seductive offering, her hypnotic vocals delivered over an exquisite production that takes influence from FKA Twigs, Banks and Tinashe. Originally a piano ballad, the final cut of the song adds layers of icy atmospherics and quirky percussive elements that gradually take the song into dancier territory.

Whitney ‘Used to Be Lonely’

With their second album ‘Forever Turned Around’ set to land at the end of this month, Whitney have shared a gorgeous new single. The band gained widespread critical acclaim for their pastoral, Americana-hewn songwriting on their debut and their latest cut revisits that glorious sound in bittersweet fashion. Telling the story of an evolving relationship, Julien Ehrlich’s signature falsetto plucks at the heartstrings to create something that is both sepia-tinged with nostalgia and endlessly endearing.