Slim’s Pickings 2022 Pt. 1

For those of you unaware, I recently published a list of my top 10 favourite hip hop and RnB albums in The Wire Magazine, as part of their end of year review issue. It was a tough list to compile because 2022 contained a multitude of stellar releases, many of which deserved further praise.
Guilt quickly set in after I’d submitted the list to my editor, not because I felt like I’d made a mistake with any of my choices, but because I wish I had been given the time and space to write about the bevy of other favourites that had been in rotation over the last 12 months. So now I’m going to attempt to summarise those remaining projects and give them the shine they deserve. But first my original list and the accompanying blurb, for those of you who missed it the first time round. I should also mention that I fucked up with the Little Simz pick. I had it in my head that SIMBI came out in early 2022, but in fact it was late 2021. I blame my own sketchy-at-best memory and the fact that her MOBO win came so late in the year. Anyway…

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Marlowe: Marlowe 3 (Stream)

After more than a two year wait and a steady stream of enticing singles, Friday saw the release of the third Marlowe album from L’Orange and Solemn Brigham. The answer to the question, “do you make better music with your friends?”, Marlowe have been drawing acclaim for their output since their first effort back in 2018.
Four years on and we find the same winning chemistry laying the groundwork for a hefty 18 track running time, with only a few features sprinkled into the proceedings. Blu and Joell Ortiz make an appearance on the previously released, Royal, while Deniro Farrar adds his flavour to Godfist, which stands out as a personal highlight for me. To be honest, there isn’t anything that lets the album down, which shouldn’t surprise Marlowe fans, or anyone familiar with L’Orange and Solemn’s consistency up to this point.
You can explore the album for yourself below, then get over to Bandcamp to secure your download / physical orders.

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Marlowe: Light Trip

Here we are with another sample from the forthcoming Marlowe album, as we edge ever closer to the full release. Light Trip is apparently one of L’Orange’s personal favourites from the project and it is easy to hear why, as Solemn Brigham brings the pace of his flows down a notch, resulting in the perfect blend of beat and bars. Marlowe 3 is due for release on 28 October via Mello Music Group.

Solemn Brigham: South Sinner Street (Stream)

Fans of Marlowe take note, as I bring you the new solo album from Solemn Brigham. Having deservedly earned himself plenty of props from across the board for his work alongside L’Orange, the North Carolina rapper is now treating us to an album that further highlights his mastery, while also providing some insight into the decay of his hometown, Albemarle. Some fantastic production picks along the way, thanks to contributions from The Lasso, Kuartz, Supa K and L’Orange, among others. You can explore the album below, then head to Bandcamp to grab a download.

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Marlowe: Future Power Sources

Very happy to see the return of Marlowe – aka L’Orange and Solemn Brigham – as they bless us with the first single from their upcoming album. Their titular debut was one of 2018’s highlights and was widely acclaimed by fans and critics alike, so the anticipation for a follow-up has been mounting ever since. Future Power Sources is our first fresh material from the duo since then and I think it will act as the perfect dose for those fiendin’ for more of that potent social commentary and heavy, sample-driven production. The album, Marlowe 2, is due for release on 7 August via Mello Music Group.

Marlowe: Things We Summon

Yesterday saw the premiere of the latest video from L’Orange and Solemn Brigham, lifted from their recent Marlowe album. Brigham heralded Things We Summon as the smoothest cut on the album, while L’Orange says it is one of his favourites, but that it is not a song for everyone. Personally, I love it. In fact, the whole album is worthy of your attention and you can grab a copy now via Mello Music Group.

Marlowe: Marlowe (Stream)

Another album released today that is worthy of your attention is the latest offering from L’Orange, as he teams up with Solemn Brigham to form Marlowe. Their self-titled debut has already given us a couple of gems, but now we get treated to the whole album, which lives up to the high standards L’Orange has been setting over the years with his previous projects. No features, but Brigham is more than capable of keeping the momentum going on his own. You can stream the album below and Bandcamp has downloads available. Continue reading “Marlowe: Marlowe (Stream)”

Marlowe (L’Orange & Solemn Brigham): The Basement

Another cut from the forthcoming Marlowe album, courtesy of L’Orange and Solemn Brigham. The North Carolina MC gets into taxi driver mode for the video and brings a more melodic cadence to the track, while L’Orange whips up a typically jazzy beat on the production. The self-titled Marlowe album is due for release on Mello Music Group on 13 July.