Unless you had your ear way down on the ground the 20-year-old performer Chance the Rapper has emerged right out of the blue.
The young Chicagoan, real name Chancellor Bennett (pictured), dropped a mixtape free online this month to huge acclaim. The mixtape, entitled Acid Rap, can be picked free via his website chanceraps.com, and indeed it's an impressive opening gambit, with far-reaching rhymes and sounds – and a general psychedelic air as befitting the name. It also calls to mind the youthful vigour of both early Kanye West (a fellow Chicago man) and Kendrick Lamar, who lit up the rap scene last year.
Rich pickings from Banks's warm sounds
I'm quite taken with the new track from up-and-coming the LA-based singer Banks. Her new single called "Warm Water" is released next week by the UK label Good Years Recordings. It's streaming now at snd.sc/13eCJsx and hernameisbanks.tumblr.com. The song is a lovely low-key electro-pop number produced by Orlando Higginbottom –better known by the stage name Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – with Banks's nice vocal turn floating over a subtle, barely there beat and a murmur of synths.
Sleek Solange is looking for trouble
Solange has been picking up all manner of plaudits and fans since the release of her EP True, a seven-track trip of sleek art-pop with hints of synth-pop, electro and R&B. Recently, she expanded one song from the record, the brief, hazy, "Looks Good with Trouble" into a fuller single, adding some rhymes from Kendrick Lamar. The impressive new take is available now on iTunes.