Ekkah – ‘Homesick’

Ekkah – ‘Homesick’

Now we’ve got the elephant that is top of the bops 2018 out of the way, there’s no point in us wasting any time in drafting 2019’s list up – and what better place to start than with a Brummie disco duo fresh from jaNEWary, our list of all folks new and exciting who we’re expecting tremendous bop-shaped things from over the next few months?

Rebekah Pennington and Rebecca Wilson clearly didn’t have to look too far for a damn good band name, but you’d be forgiven if you need a refresher – we last heard from Ekkah all the way back in 2016, where they went five-for-five on the jam front, including getting Dâm-Funk on the desk for the double A-side ‘Space Between Us’ / ‘What’s Up’ way back before Christine paraded his frankly iconic grooves around to the masses on ‘Girlfriend’. In case you couldn’t tell from the highly vintage aesthetic, their bread and butter is pretty wonderful throwback pop that can slide through anything from smooth, wistful R&B to properly rambunctious funk with remarkable ease. I’d say I’d missed them, but everything they have put out still feels just as fresh and delicious at the day it came out of the oven, so it barely felt like they deserted us at all.

This time around, they’re back with their old friend Tourist on the dials for the perhaps appropriately-titled ‘Homesick’, and the result – as anyone familiar with his work might well suspect – sees them steer more towards a melancholic flavour bolstered by supple, longing synth work and a subtle flick of gears into blissful final-minute euphoria. After a couple of weeks of mild despair, it’s given me the perfect excuse to fall deeply in love with their sound all over again as they start off my new playlists for the year. And maybe even shed a little tear or two. Who’s to say? If this is the kind of thing 2019’s got in store, I think we’ve got some reasons to be cheerful.

Mabel – ‘Don’t Call Me Up’

Mabel – ‘Don’t Call Me Up’

Zara Larsson – ‘Ruin My Life’ (Sleigh Remix)

Zara Larsson – ‘Ruin My Life’ (Sleigh Remix)