Jed’s quarantine album recommendations

Jed Blankson:

It’s been around 40 days since BoJo announced the lockdown and it’s a miracle how we’ve managed to stay sane throughout this strange period of our lives. In fact, I’m surprised at how quickly April flew by, April DID NOT want to see COVID-19. April said, “I’m not involved”. On a more serious note, I want to thank all our key workers on the front line who have nursed us, fed us and delivered both our essential and non-essential items; we appreciate you. However, I think our workers in the media and entertainment industries also deserve an honourable mention. Without actors, musicians and podcasters, I’m sure most of us would’ve lost our minds by now. Sonali has already blogged about what she’s been binge-watching; this week she’s asked me to blog about what I’ve been binge-listening to. So here are some of favourite albums I’ve been listening to during quarantine.

  1. Children of Zeus- Travel Light

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a music lover, I live and breathe it. My music taste varies, I’m not picky but I do have a preference for more chilled, mellow sounds. Children of Zeus are a duo from Manchester I’ve been raving about for a while. Their 2018 album ‘Travel Light’ reflects my music taste perfectly. If you like jazz, neo soul, old school hip-hop and R&B, ‘Travel Light’ is a fusion of all these genres with a modern twist. My favourite tracks from the album include ‘Kintsugi’, ‘Hard Work’ and ‘Vibrations’. Although I would recommend that you listen to the whole project from start to finish. You will not be disappointed.

  • DVSN- A Muse In Her Feelings
dvsn - A Muse In Her Feelings Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

I first came across DVSN from an insta post by Drake who announced their introduction into the OVO family. I hadn’t really paid attention to their music until I heard my heart-broken house mate blasting out ‘Hallucinations’ and ‘Conversation in a Diner’ after recently breaking up with his girlfriend. I felt his pain and decided to listen to more of DVSN’s music and I was instantly a fan. A Muse In Her Feelings is their first project since 2017 and it did not disappoint. I personally liked ‘Miss Me?’ due to its relevance with the current lockdown. ‘So What’ and ‘…Again’ are two others which stood out for me as it showed Daniel’s (the lead singer) versatility. I don’t think anyone expected a project as good as this from them and I hope to hear more!

  • Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn- The Flowers in Your Room.
Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn - The Flowers in Your Room Lyrics and ...

This hasn’t been intentional but every act I’ve mentioned so far have been duos, sorry not sorry. I guess I’m a sucker for duo acts and these two have been my favourite pair for years. I could be biased as they’re from my hometown and they went to my school, but you have to give credit where its due. Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn (FS&HG) are a producer and rapper duo from Brighton who I’ve seen grow from strength to strength in their music career. From seeing them perform at my school talent show to thousands in central London, I always feel like a proud Dad when I hear their name. FS & HG’s music is something you wouldn’t have heard before, its essentially alternate UK rap which fuses garage influences with hip-hop. Frankie’s simplistic rap style and voice sits on Harveys incredible production exceptionally. Listen to ‘Grey’, ‘Fabric’ and ‘Still’ from The Flowers in Your Room EP and you’ll hear what I mean. They’ve just released a follow up album to their highly acclaimed project ‘The Lakes’ which I’d recommend too!

  • Juls – Colour

We’re delving into my Ghanaian roots with this afro-beats style album from Juls. He fuses afro-beats with UK Rap in this body of work, hosting artists such as Knucks, Ms Banks and Mr Eazi. Juls is a great talent and again, I could be biased as he’s Ghanaian but what can I say? We make the best music AND make the best jollof. Music is like food, everyone has their own taste, however if you’re looking to get some African/UK rap vibes whilst you sit in your garden or living room, I’d definitely recommended this album. Most recently, Juls has started to produce one of favourite genres of music, South African house. He recently collaborated with South African singer-songwriter Busiswa and South-London based singer-songwriter Jaz Karis for ‘Soweto Blues’, probably one of the best tracks I’ve heard this year. Its just purely good vibes which is much needed in these times of uncertainty. I can’t wait til the lockdown down is over, and I can enjoy this track properly, soaking up the sun in a London rooftop bar or on the beach in Brighton sipping on a strawberry and lime Kopparberg.

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