You would be forgiven for thinking you entered a wormhole that deposited you into the year 1997 upon reading the headline of this week's round up of best new songs. But you have not; the year is still 2018, and no matter how inconceivable it may seem, we do indeed have a new Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott collaboration.
Not as immediately transportive - but every bit as satisfying - we have a duet between Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd, another stellar offering from the too-good-to-be-true Black Panther soundtrack. Add to that some intensely-conceived tunes from fresh-faced newbies like Mija and Ms Banks, a return from the beloved CHVRCHES and an offering from Rich Brian's just-released debut album that is magnificent, and you have before you quite a playlist.
All of those and more make the first February '18 edition of Best Tracks of the Week.
Avelino - "U Can Stand Up" ft. Dave
Tottenham's finest arrives with a single that erases any doubts as to whether he could follow up his stellar 2017. He clearly can, and already is. Perhaps the only thing more thrilling than Avelino's bars are Avelino's bars that are traded with a few from Dave, providing a generous example of just what the UK's youngest hip-hop generation is bringing to the table.
Busta Rhymes - “Get It” ft. Missy Elliott & Kelly Rowland
We experienced a smidgeon of disappointment upon realizing that Missy Elliott's track she was teasing this week was actually just a feature on a Busta Rhymes track. That feeling lasted approximately five seconds, because then we actually listened. Any snippet of music Missy drops is a blessing, but the fact that she and Busta managed to harness the same studio magic they crafted two decades ago on their latest is a Thanksgiving dinner table's worth of blessings.
CHVRCHES - "Get Out"
Even in a world where indie-synth-pop bands are literally a dime a dozen, there is no one that sounds like the inimitable CHVRCHES. Their first new release since their sophomore record is more of exactly the same (which in this case, is a very good thing); power-pop with earworm-inducing chord changes, synths that practically crackle out of your headphones and singer Lauren Mayberry's unwaveringly true soprano leading the way.
Kendrick Lamar & The Weeknd - "Pray for Me"
It hasn't even come out yet, but it feels like a safe bet to say that the Kendrick-curated Black Panther soundtrack is the best super hero movie soundtrack of all time full stop. After churning out offerings led by his TDE label mates, Kenny reteams with his good ol' buddy The Weeknd for this moody (The Weeknd's on it which means automatic moodiness) jam. Next Friday cannot come soon enough.
Mija - "Notice Me"
If you're not on the Mija train yet, it's time to climb aboard. The newcomer is gearing up for the release of her debut EP next week, which is hard to believe given the sheer heights of musicality she's already working in. "Notice Me" for instance, can easily be called synth-pop, dubstep, or even - at times - classical. Blending genres with such skill is no easy feat, but it seems one of her numerous skills is making it seem exactly that.
Ms Banks - "Come Thru"
Simultaneously proving that you have not figured out all the ways to say 'come thru' and why she's an MC that's caught the attention of Nicki Minaj, Ms Banks is serving fierce on a diamond-encrusted platter with her latest single. Banks has promised that the time leading up to her upcoming debut album is "the turn up before the turn up,” so you best prepare yourself to get turnt beyond your wildest dreams in the near future.
Rich Brian - "Attention" ft. Offset
At long last, Rich Brian's hugely-hyped debut album Amen has arrived. And even better? It's pretty incredible. "Attention," a collab jam with Migos' Offset, is exemplary of the record's best qualities - propulsive, icy beats that cut all the sharper thanks to Brian's deadpan-detached, acrobatic flow. Those still doubting whether he's made the move to being a serious musician can stop now.
Sango - "Sweet Holy Honey"
If this lead single from Sango's just-announced full-length In the Comfort of is any indication of what's in store, we're in for a real treat from the rising crooner. The synth blasts that sputter through the chorus are the exact kind of touch that makes a track stick in your memory, though tbf, his voice is more than capable of doing that on its own.
Sevdaliza - “Soul Syncable”
Not even a year out from releasing her immensely-satisfying debut ISON, Sevdaliza is already back with more. "Soul Syncable" is everything we've come to expect (and everything we love) from the enigmatic songstress: seriously thick atmosphere, unpredictable flourishes and a voice that melts through your headphones to waver in circles around your mind. Delicious.
Shay Lia - “Cherish” prod. by Kaytranada
Shay Lia and Kaytranada add yet another stellar track to their now-sizable catalogue of collaborations. Shay's breathy coo and Kaytra's restless, richly-layered production are a match made in tune heaven, and "Cherish" proves that these two aren't showing any signs of slowing yet. The beat on this track is particular is irresistible, and it will most assuredly be soundtracking a bedroom encounter in the near future.
Be sure to check out last week's edition of Best Tracks of the Week right here.