Best of 3: Ezra Collective, Amber Mark and Otherkin Will Fisher April 6, 2019 Spring time is well and truly here and Easter is almost up on us. A time to celebrate beginnings and growth. A time to be out with the old and in with the new. Although perhaps Teresa never got the memo. Anyway, instead of thinking about our inevitable political despair, we are turning our mind and ears to the best new tunes of the week. This week’s Best of 3 is in celebration of the new, the upcoming and the fresh. We have a genre-breaking group about to release their debut, a soul pop sensation stepping up to stardom and an Irish band gearing up for their biggest year to date. Ezra Collective (featuring Loyle Carner) – ‘What Am I To Do?’ Who would have thought we’d not only be featuring jazz here but also fiercely into it. Ezra Collective are a five piece (since George went off the rails with his child friendly pop*) from London who expand on classic jazz roots with afrobeats, and various other elements to make the genre fresh and exciting for the 21st century. Hip-Hop has been their recent venture collaborating with Loyle Carner on this new track but also previously with Jorja Smith. ‘What Am I To Do?’ is a lazy-Sunday-afternoon vibe readymade for the vocals of Loyle Carner and his musings in rap and free verse. “I’m fed up but what am I to do? If I worry bout’ you,” he expresses in the chorus as he discusses his worry for friends on the street and the destruction brought by drugs. Ezra Collective are to release their debut album You Can’t Steal My Joy on 26 April also featuring collaborations with Jorja Smith and KOKOROKO. The crew are truly the sound of London in 2019. *To be crystal, George Ezra was never involved. Amber Mark – ‘Mixer’ New York based singer-songwriter Amber Mark has been slowly ascending to mainstream success with her soul pop songs including the delicious new track ‘Mixer’. Mark currently has the 3:33am EP under her belt featuring the boisterous ‘Can You Hear Me?’, and the beautifully melancholy ‘Monsoon’. She also released the Conexao EP last year with the highly acclaimed single ‘Love Me Right’. Each track manages to capture a raw emotion by the neck to make you cry, dance or muse. ‘Mixer’ is one for the sunny days. Its funky bassline and sassy lyrics will have you strutting the streets in shades. Mark’s sound is refined and dexterous, reminiscent of a veteran pop star despite not yet releasing a full length. Mark these words, when it arrives it will be a scorcher. Otherkin – ‘All That Remains Won’t Be the Same’ To be an Otherkin is to identify as non-human. ‘All That Remains Won’t Be the Same’ is fittingly feral for the Dublin four piece. It follows from previous single ‘Tombstone’ released earlier this year. Both these tracks are the first since 2017’s debut album, OK – a riotous introduction to the garage rockers. ‘All That Remains…’ suggests an exciting new direction for the band. It remains wild and fierce but incorporates a synth like hook alongside the usual thrashing guitars and the raging vocals of frontman, Luke Reilly. Otherkin are a sight to behold live. Reilly is a born showman, having toured relentlessly and supported a multitude of bands, anyone who has witnessed their live performance does not forget the eccentricity of Reilly and the live force of the band. Thankfully they have knack for recreating these ferocious live sets – and this new single shows just that. With wailing siren noises, gritty riffs and rugged production, ‘All That Remains..’ is garage rock, raw, and at its finest.