Now in its seventh year, Brownswood Recordings’ Future Bubblers development program has more than proven itself as a breeding ground for new talent (previous cohorts have counted Yazmin Lacey and Skinny Pelembe amongst their numbers). 7.0 introduces another bright-eyed gang who, with the backing of Brownswood and its founder Gilles Peterson, could be soon conquering a niche of their own.
Romy Nova’s ‘The Way’ is a casual and commanding opener, combining gorgeous vocals and dreamy synths to create the comp’s poppiest moment and eventually gesturing towards something psychedelic. Sheffield’s Jackie Moonbather spreads sultry vocals over a woozy beat, while Ney Liqa channels Robyn and acoustic alt-rock into an exciting union. Landel’s guitar, smoky horns and spacey synths herald his arrival under refreshing Brummie-accented rap. Restrained jazz chords back up Pertrelli Purple’s sharp flow, smartly holding back to highlight his wit – his ‘Brisk’ is a highlight.
The second half turns towards instrumentals: Marysia Osu’s standout ‘Stryder’ manages to both hypnotise and invigorate across its woozy and string-led six minutes, while Michael Diamond smuggles skittering dance beats under magnetic brass solos. COEX brings the collection to a close with an ominous, shapeshifting track that balances talented performances with vulnerable vocals.
As a compilation of new musicians, it’s hard to judge the album as a single body of work or knock anyone this early in their career, but it’s easy to get excited by the buzzy potential on show. Give them a few years and we’ll see a few rising to the top.