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New Music Friday: 4 albums to stream this week

Kai Whiston shares a new EP, midwest unveils his debut album, and Slowdive return with a dreamy release

From the sprawling antics of 2018’s Kai Whiston Bitch to the experimental rock of 2019’s No World As Good As Mine, UK producer Kai Whiston isn’t afraid of taking sonic risks. At 24 years old, the artist and creative director defies categorisation with a vast body of releases that blur the boundaries between genres, with an experimental and maximalist style that has earned him production credits for the likes of Shygirl, VTSS, Coucou Chloe, Tommy Cash and Dorian Electra. He’s already scored a distribution deal with Universal for his label Lux Recordings, while his educational platform Lux Cache boasts alumni such as Oneohtrix Point Never and Jimmy Edgar, so what’s next? 

Following on from his deeply personal 2022 album F.O.G Quiet As Kept, which delved into Whiston’s experiences growing up in the new age traveller community, his latest EP XUL1 is the first of a three-part series, and aims to disrupt the status quo once more across five frantic tracks. From the bass-heavy “SPITITOUT” to the frenetic beats on “NOTHINGBETTER” and “UNDERSTATED”, there’s an immediacy to the record that appears restless, agitated even – you can practically feel the adrenaline bubbling to the surface. This is most palpable through Whiston’s hallmark metallic production, though lyrical flourishes in the form of AutoTuned croons add a pop sensibility that cuts through the aggression, swerving to the future with club-ready anticipation. 

Elsewhere, internet rapper midwxst unveils his debut album, Puma Blue returns with a new release, and Slowdive are back with a dreamy selection of tunes.