What’s Going On: Florence + the Machine, Blue Lab Beats, Rêve, Blossoms, alt-J

This week’s edition of What’s Going On features the latest from Rêve, Blossoms, and Blue Lab Beats, a hot track alt-J that you might have missed and the return of Florence + the Machine. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists.

Florence + the Machine – Florence + the Machine makes her long-awaited return with her new single “King.” In these trying times, empowerment anthems are so needed and that is exactly the space “King” fills. The stirring and inspiring song sees Florence grappling with the struggle of being a woman in the world, particularly in the entertainment industry. Discussing the deeper meaning behind “King”, Florence says: “As an artist, I never actually thought about my gender that much. I just got on with it. I was as good as the men and I just went out there and matched them every time. But now, thinking about being a woman in my 30s and the future… I suddenly feel this tearing of my identity and my desires. That to be a performer, but also to want a family might not be as simple for me as it is for my male counterparts. I had modelled myself almost exclusively on male performers, and for the first time I felt a wall come down between me and my idols as I have to make decisions they did not.”

Listen to Florence + The Machine’s new single “King” below.

Blue Lab Beats – You know we love Blub Lab Beats here. The London-based duo just dropped their new album Motherland Journey. NK-OK and Mr DM take their Jazztronica sound to new heights by working with brilliant collaborators such as Ego Ella May, Kiefer Ghetto Boy, KillBeatz & Fela Kuti. Speaking on how Motherland Journey came together, Blub Lab Beats explains: “This album took us two-and-a-half years to finish, our longest process to make an album, but it was so worth it. On this album, you’ll hear many fusions of genres and inspirations that we gathered throughout that time frame and especially to work on so many of the songs during the first lockdown it was a test in itself.”

Listen to “Slow Down” ft. Ego Ella May from Blue Lab Beats’ new album Motherland Journey. 

Rêve – Canadian dance-pop sensation Rêve is back with “Layover”, her flirtatious new single. Co-written by Rêve and produced by Colin Munroe, “Layover” is a seductive groove that is sure to have listeners dreaming of warm weather and destination beach parties. The song draws inspiration from an actual layover, Rêve says: “‘Layover’ recalls a story during a 12-hour layover between LA and Australia I had a few years ago. I was deliriously tired, having already been up for 24 hours, but rallied and had one of the most epic nights of my life with a group of old friends, resulting in me almost missing my flight!”

Listen to Rêve’s new single “Layover” below.

Blossoms – British band Blossoms have dropped their new single “Ode To NYC” alongside a beautiful Edwin Burdis-directed music video. A jaunty piece of indie-pop, “Ode To NYC” goes down easy. Discussing why the song pays tribute to New York City, Blossoms frontman Tom Ogden says: “‘Ode To NYC’ is a love letter to my favourite city and is me imagining running around the city with my wife. It also feels like a love letter to her as well. ‘I get my kicks at West 56th, we’ll go sing Sinatra’ is referring to going to watch a tribute at the Carnegie Club which is on West 56th. That club is like something from a Scorsese movie.” If you liked what you heard, the new Blossoms album Ribbon Around The Bomb is due out on April 29.

Listen to Blossoms’ new single “Ode To NYC” below.

alt-J – Released last month but well worth a listen if it wasn’t already on your radar, alt-J’s “Hard Drive Gold” really is the right song for this current moment in time. In a world where people are constantly being bombarded by the hype of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, there’s a particular resonance to the lyrics on this track from the English indie darlings. The band further explains: “Hard Drive Gold” is a slightly tongue-in-cheek song written at what we thought was the height of the cryptocurrency gold rush. It’s the story of the ultimate childhood fantasy, the schoolboy who becomes a millionaire overnight, and the different interactions he has with people in his life from teachers to neighbours.”

Listen to alt-J’s single “Hard Drive Gold” below.

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