D E N A, Haleek Maul, Jack Colwell & The Owls


London has its M.I.A., Harlem has its Azealia Banks, and Philadelphia has its Santigold – but what’s Germany got? Well, Germany has  D E N A – the white response to the MC, who mixes rap and R&B with bits and pieces of 90’s pop (a.k.a. the best kind) and the results are infectious and danceable jams. Her latest single is the energetic Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools, which is pretty much the one and only summer hit here at the office. When that SOS beat kicks in halfway through, we just completely lose control of our minds and bodies. Boyfriend, Games and Thin Ropes are quite the jams too – we can’t wait to see what else this gal brings to the table. Fresh and fun.


Haleek Maul

We don’t really know what 15 year olds get up to these days (our guess is they can mostly be found indoors glued to television or computer screens), but you can be pretty sure there are only a few of them out there recording music. Actually, allow us to rephrase that – we just checked Youtube, which is full of 15 year olds and their choons – there are very few of them recording music this goodHaleek Maul was born in Barbados, lives in Brooklyn now (obviously) and likes to rap. Sure, plenty of other kids his age like to do that, but they don’t get to do it to beats produced by the likes of Supreme Cuts and The-Drum, do they? (If they do, please send them our way). Merok Records had Haleek Maul on their radar and released his debut EP Oxyconteen (available for free right here) last week. We can’t wait to see where he’s going to be at in a couple of years.


Jack Colwell & The Owls

Jack Colwell & The Owls are Australia’s male folk-version of Marina & the Diamonds and Florence + The Machine. Jack has been recording music for years, and it’s all culminated in a full-length debut self-release called Picture Window a while back. We’ve filed it next to our Marrisa Nadler and First Aid Kit records here on our record shelf, as it’s a beautiful folk record with some very bright, even somewhat poppy moments, the kind of thing Patrick Wolf would have made after Wind In The Wires. Don’t get us wrong, though: this is far from a depressing or dark album – quite the contrary, actually: it’s a hopeful, intriguing, folk’y chamber pop record and we have only good things to say about it.