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The Agony & The Ecstasy: music news

Kingdom, Jessie Ware ft. A$AP Rocky, Katie Got Bandz and Charli XCX in this week's highs

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Kingdom - 'Bank Head' feat. Kelela

The first track from Kingdom's forthcoming EP Vertical XL teams up with Kelela, the octave-spanning vocalist on his label Fade to Mind and who has recently been supporting Solange on tour. Possibly Kingdom's strongest track to date, it pairs vaporous beats with rhythmic club skitters as Kelela cascades beautifully over the top, with shades of Aaliyah's dark seduction as she forewarns, "it's not a game". Kelela's mixtape, which will be out late April/early May on Kingdom's label Fade To Mind, and if her performance at GHE20 G0TH1K last weekend is anything to go by, she's not playing around.

REMIX OF THE WEEK: Jessie Ware - 'Wildest Moments' (Remix) feat. A$AP Rocky

It's not exactly a song that was crying out for a remix, but That Pretty Motherfucker's contribution lends a steely armour to Ware's stately cry. Rocky gives a swagged-out vision of 'til death do us part' in his verse, envisaging haute coffin garb before closing with the touching "practice makes perfect/ So we're fighting for a purpose".

COLLAB OF THE WEEK: Katie Got Bandz Ft. GunPlay - 'Yall Niggaz Aint Hittaz' (Remix) feat. GunPlay

Ready to drill? Chi-town rap princess Katie Got Bandz shared a new version of her stellar party jam ‘Y’all Niggaz Ain’t Hittaz' this week featuring a snarling verse from GunPlay, who's recently also given turns on Trina's 'Beam' and A$AP Rocky's 'Ghetto Symphony'. With Katie's chilled out put-downs and GunPlay's turned-up brags over the alarm-bell beat, it's an enticing taste of Katie's forthcoming Drillary Clinton project.

ViIDEO OF THE WEEK: Lana Del Rey - 'Chelsea Hotel No 2'

Lana Del Rey tweeted just two words - "new video" - the herald the premiere of her cover of Leonard Cohen's 1974 track ' Chelsea Hotel No 2'. In contrast to the endlessly-teased 'National Anthem', or the Santa Monica theatre she hired to debut 'Ride', the understated announcement fits the video's sepia-tinged heartbreak blues. Lana breathes languorous life into the tune, which Cohen originally wrote about his romance with Janis Joplin in the Chelsea hotel, as her vocals blanket the acoustic instrumentation like a thick cloud of Marlboro Reds.


Charli XCX's debut album True Romance is released on April 15, and she premiered the flirty album cut 'What I Like' this week via Fader. Produced by J£ZUS MILLION, who also helmed her Brooke Candy collab 'Cloud Aura', it's a fantastic melting pot of bubbling synths and speak-raps, with an autotuned hook and a cut-up beat that recalls the R&B experimentation of Purity Ring and Autre Ne Veut. There's no time for foreplay though, as the song clocks in around 3 minutes as Charli sings of the thrill of dragging someone from the dance floor for "undressing in your house again."