One tune that really excited me

The Londoner artist Desta French fuses UK RnB with Latin beats. Aguanta is a single lifted off her recently released EP San Lazarus and it mixes the best of both worlds. Desta French sings in English and Spanish skipping between the languages even within the same songs sometimes but Aguanta is entirely in Spanish. The single leans almost in Hip Hop direction and the Latin style percussion makes for a nice addition to the steely beat. Honestly, I think the track works best embedded in the artist’s EP between the lo-fi RnB interlude 100 Rainy Days and the soulful electronic ballad, Cheap 2 Lie. But of course, it also works on repeat and rewind, just brush off your dance moves because Desta French will get you moving with this one. San Lazarus is an impressive debut of a Latinx artist based in London melting different identities into one record that carves out a space for her community.

One wonderful (re)discovery

I recently discovered Luh’ra’s debut EP Luh’Ra Luv through the likes of Lucy Kruger. It is a compilation of four quiet ballads, meditations on love and relationships. The minimalistic instrumentation of To Love You comes with the down to earthiness of a busking singer-songwriter but with the melodic sensibility of an elaborate soul musician. Luh’ra is based in Cape Town and creates her own version of mellow acoustic soul. Her soft voice and guitar picking give the tracks room to breathe and make them melt into the surrounding. She expresses emotions that everyone who has been in love can relate to but manages to balance between uplifting and heart aching songwriting style. The dreamy EP is the first thing the artist released, and it came out some time last year. Show this one some love!

One thing that really annoyed me

I know I am probably about to raise hell with this one, but the latest Rolling Stones track triggered me on a little rant. Yes, I have enjoyed much of the Rolling Stones’ music over the years but damn it, hasn’t the time come to pass the torch on to someone else? Ghost Town sounds like the unimaginative effort of a legendary band trying to stay on the front pages just for the sake of it. Mick Jagger’s voices is missing the growl that gave the band some fire back in the days and the lyrics are dull. And remixing it does not help either. Sorry guys, I think it is time to let go and enjoy the legacy that you undoubtedly still have.

One thing that really surprised me

Martin Kohlstedt and Sudan Archives; I am not sure why this should be a surprise to me. The combination works so damn well. The German Neo Classic composer and the avant-garde violinist gone synth jockey and singer have teamed up for a rendition of AUHEJA. The track was released last year as part of the producer’s record Ströme. While in some collaborations one artist easily overshadows the style of another, here both Martin Kohlstedt and Sudan Archives have left their unique fingerprints on the single. The outcome is a somewhat edgy Neo Classical R&B anthem that, at barely three minutes, is way too short. I would love to hear where else this collaboration could go!

Just a random thought

With the pandemic still more or less putting a hold to live music, I have yet to find a good way to listen to new music without distractions. While Spotify is great and all, listening to music, like the new Lianne La Havas record, on my laptop or phone always comes with the distraction within reach – did I hear an email? I should check if someone replied to my Ebay insert? Who just joined Telegram? Working on the laptop, all of those are answered within seconds, catapulting me out of my peace of mind and often killing the listening experience. Any advice on how to listen to new music that you do not have on LP without the constant distraction and temptation of the internet are highly welcome. Oh, gotta go – I think I just got an email.

Follow Liv Toerkell on Instagram.


How do you stay updated in the digital thunderstorm of new releases? By trusting your favourite music media and its various curated playlists on Spotify to provide you with all the good stuff we consider recommendable in this day in age.