First Impressions: Camila Cabello, Kelela, Diplo And More

Written By the interns on 08/09/2017

First Impressions are our weekly roundtable reviews sifting through all the fresh new music. Our writers take a listen, slap a score on it and then justify said score. This week BROCKHAMPTON, Kelela, Camila Cabello, Swick, Jordan Rakei and Diplo face the jury.


Ben Madden: The music video feels like a mini-movie, focusing around a bank heist. That in itself is reason enough to listen to this. The song itself absolutely bangs, and you and your friends will be rapping along to it in no time. The beat goes hard, and the bars go harder. BROCKHAMPTON are definitely onto a good thing. 4.5 Ben's Pick

Sam Murphy: Brockhampton are so, so underrated. As a collective they’ve dropped an album, produced a Vice show and dropped great video after great video. GUMMY is another pearlier. A smart, slinky hip-hop track that has Kevin Abstract rapping more effortlessly than he ever has. The hook on this one is one of their strongest yet and should ensure a wider audience comes to the party. 4

Jack Gobbe: GUMMY continues the high octane energy found on Brockhampton’s phenomenal Saturation record earlier this year. The chaotic track somehow builds on the immense, albeit justified hype their forthcoming follow up album is gaining, and only adds more credibility to this rising hip-hop collective’s status. 4 Jack’s Pick 

Kelela - LMK

Ben: Enjoyable, but doesn’t really stick in the memory after listening. Can definitely see this going down in the club well though. One to send to your crush, if you wanna get down to it. 3

Sam: Kelela sounded like such a game changer when she popped on the scene in 2013 and she’s influenced so many people that now her sound feels like the norm. That’s totally fine because she’s still the pioneer and such a phenomenal songwriter. In my opinion, LMK is the benchmark of modern RnB. It’s slinky, suave and dark without forcing it in any way. Kelela is completely mesmerising and the icy, industrial production is so profound. 4.5 Sam's Pick

Jack: Kelela delivers a smooth hook on top of a smooth, pulsating beat that while I can’t see myself revisiting anytime soon would slot perfectly into your club’s next R&B night.

Camila Cabello - OMG (Feat. Quavo)

Ben: Quavo currently has the Midas touch, and this is no exception. He steals the limelight here, which is no mean feat considering Camila Cabello smashes it. We’ll be hearing this everywhere very, very soon. 4

Sam: I was, and still am, a Havana stan but I’m here for this too now. It just feels like a step up for Camila. She’s finally ditched the awful artwork and Sia-sounding songs in favour of something that feels far more her. OMG is the sound of an artist growing into herself and finding the best parts of her voice and the perfect flow. It gets me excited because she’s got a Rihanna vibe and stacks of potential. 4

Jack: Camila once again proves that her irresistible vocals and trap infused sounds exhibit her strength as a solo artist. Add Quavo into the mix, arguably the hottest feature artist of 2017 so far, and the deal is sweetened even further. 3.5

Swick - Slopes (Feat. Tkay Maidza and Capo Lee)

Ben: Had high hopes for this, but didn’t quite live up to expectations. The production is good but doesn’t stand out from the wave of producers going around at the moment. Tkay Maidza is a highlight. Still a good tune, just not an excellent one. 3.5

Sam: It’s so good to hear Swick and Tkay back together. Their early work together really helped define Tkay’s sound and it’s so nice to hear them back together now that they’ve both come leaps and bounds in terms of their personal, distinct styles. This is a dancefloor banger from 2050. The sounds Swick uses are so forward-thinking and weird that it feels like we’re entering the future of music. He might be ahead of the game but once they catch up, he’ll be the leader of the pack. 4

Jack: Tkay and Capo do wonders on this wonky yet infectious beat by Swick, who continues to push boundaries and pull from diverse influences. May the collaborative relationship of Tkay and Swick continue! 3.5

Jordan Rakei - Nerve

Ben: This is as smooth and funky as anything I’ve heard this year. I’m loving what Jordan Rakei is putting down, and with Wallflower (his debut album) coming out on the 22nd of September, we’ll be hearing a lot more from him in the near future. 4

Sam: I’m just handing out 4’s today like it’s nobody’s business. Jordan Rakei is a singer I’ve had my eye on for a while now and it feels like it’s finally all clicked on Nerve, his first release for Ninja Tune. It’s finessed, personal and effortless, channeling the class of Jamie Woon with the heart of old school soul legends. Basically everyone who hears his voice falls to pieces and it’s easy to hear why when he’s delivering on melodies this good. 4

Jack: Jordan Rakei kills it on this soulful expression of passion. With a smooth croon that glides throughout the mesmerising track, Jordan is set to have an explosive year when his debut album arrives in September. Additionally, shout out to that funky instrumental outro, I can’t get enough of it! 4

Diplo & Starrah - Imperfections

Ben: Decent without being outstanding. At this point, Diplo has been doing it for so long that he can work with pretty much anyone and make it work. This is woozy without being boring. A solid track for sure, but lacks something to make it brilliant. Still, Diplo fans will definitely love it. 3.5

Sam: Annnnnd, another 4. Bloody hell Starrah is a brilliant songwriter. She can take the most minimal, directionless beat and pack it with so much flavour you’d swear you were swallowing an eight hour broth. Diplo brings his slippery, more melodic hip-hop production to the table here, sounding like he’s producing for M.I.A. in 2017. Meanwhile, Starrah slides through it like a knife through butter. 4

Jack: Diplo displays his versatility in collaborating with artists of any ilk on this breezy tune. Nevertheless, Starrah and the super-producer himself fail to create anything I can see myself coming back to. 3

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