Nabihah Iqbal (fka Throwing Shade) – Something More

Announcing her debut album on Ninja Tune, Nabihah Iqbal leaves her old moniker behind and embraces the name she was born with. Formerly known as Throwing Shade, Weighing of the Heart is a big statement in two ways: first, because she’s taken her real name to stand proudly as a female British Asian artist making music and secondly, because she’s moved her music in a bolder, more expansive direction.

Channeling influences from the likes of CAN and Bauhaus, she melds moody, propulsive basslines with shimmering synth atmospheres. The title alludes to an Ancient Egyptian myth about judgement and the afterlife, the concept of which underlies various ideas that are explored throughout the album. Making her first long-player with these themes in mind, she’s honed a sound with a greater focus on live instruments (of which she has played them all). A notable addition to the sound is the guitar, which she’s been increasingly incorporating into her live shows. Often fed through heavy effects, it provides a counterbalance to the soft-focus, hazy aura of the record.

Recorded in her studio space (hired with support from the PRS Foundation), it’s the product of self-directed, freely-evolving recording sessions; with a more confident, inclusive approach to her influences. The album was mixed by Studio 13‘s Stephen Sedgwick, who works closely with Damon Albarn and who mixed the most recent Gorillaz album “Humanz”.

The album’s intertwining styles are underpinned by Iqbal’s writing, drawing on themes of existential doubt, pondering the struggles and pleasures which mark day-to-day life. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the lead single Something More – released today – her subdued vocals exploring the feeling of being eternally unsatisfied with what you’ve got. “[It’s] a song about a universal feeling that everyone shares” explains Nabihah “even if they try to hide or ignore it. It’s about how true happiness and freedom only exist in the dimension of our fantasies, dreams and private thoughts. The reality of our physical existence constantly leaves us dissatisfied, frustrated and yearning for ‘something more’, even though we’ll never find a way to remedy these feelings”.

Weighing of the Heart is out December 1 on Ninja Tune. Pre-order here.

Video: John Maus – Teenage Witch

John Maus recently announced his first new album in six years, Screen Memories, will be out October 27 via Ribbon Music. Today, he shares Teenage Witch, a second glimpse at the forthcoming record in the form of a video, containing footage of Maus as a teenager, by Jennifer Juniper Stratford (Telefantasy Studios).

Music from John Maus was recently featured in Natasha Lyonne’s short film “Cabiria, Charity, Chastity” for clothing brand Kenzo, featuring Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph (in particular, one scene where Rudolph covers Maus’ ‘Quantum Leap’).

Along with the previous announcement of Screen Memories, John shared news of a six LP box set compiling all of John’s work plus an additional brand new studio album entitled Addendum, the vinyl version of which is exclusive to the limited box set. The box set, which is nearly sold out, will ship to arrive the week of April 16, 2018.

Screen Memories was written, recorded, and engineered by Maus over the last few years in his home in Minnesota, known genially as the Funny Farm. It’s a solitary place situated in the corn plains of rural American Midwest. The landscape is as majestic as it is austere and inevitably some of the sub-zero winter temperatures creep into the songs, as do the buzzing wasps of summer.

Listen to Screen Memories’ opening track and first single The Combine here.