Hits of the Week – Featuring Skepta, FelixThe1st and more

This week, we present a blend of heartbreak anthems and psychedelic electronica with a hard-hitting industrial banger thrown in for good measure.

Welcome back to HUNGER’s Hits of the Week: your one-stop shop for all the best in music right now. This week, we’ve got the eagerly awaited return of one of the UK’s biggest stars, Skepta, a sombre and heart-wrenching release from rising star FelixThe1st, a colourful afropop and R&B infusion from Emotional Oranges, and more. So, take this roundup as the perfect excuse to give that playlist you’ve neglected for far too long a refresh and prep for the week ahead with all the tracks that you need to know.

Skepta – Gas Me Up [Diligent]

Skepta’s hiatus from the rap world is finally over. The Tottenham-born musician has spent the best part of two years behind the decks as one-half of house duo Más Tiempo, alongside fellow BBK member Jammer, but now he’s back with his first solo single since 2021. Titled ‘Gas Me Up [Diligent]’, the airy and triumphant track acts as a reclaiming of the throne for the grime pioneer. “How many times have I dumbed it down to make a boy feel like he’s on my level?”, he raps with his typically commanding tone over a smooth synth-driven beat produced by Cardo. Who says rap is a young man’s game? Prior to the tracks release, Skepta was embroiled in controversy due to the singles artwork, after many pointed out its resemblance to a Holocaust gas chamber. The 41-year-old then apologised and pulled the art, replacing it with an “Image not found” message. Peep the track and Gugzay-directed visuals for ‘Gas Me Up (Diligent)’ below, which also features an appearance from Corteiz founder Clint.

FelixThe1st – swan song

Rising UK artist – and HUNGRY alumnus – FelixThe1st is in his feelings on his latest release, ‘swan song’, set to appear on his forthcoming album i hope you never fit in. As unpredictable as ever, the versatile musician lays down autotune-soaked, strained vocals over reflective guitar riffs and sharp drums. “Lie to me and tell me that you’re scared to leave,” the musician sings reluctantly before pleading for his lover to “let go” as the track comes to a dramatic end. ‘swan song’ acts as the third single from Felix’s upcoming record, releasing February 21st, and if the first few offerings are anything to go by, we’d recommend having a box of tissues on standby on the first listen.

iagö ft. Tommy Saint – Chemical Wedding

If you’re on the hunt for a track that’s completely off the wall, then iagö’s latest offering should do the trick. The multidisciplinary musician, artist, composer and designer crafts an unsettling yet enticing soundscape thanks to industrial-sounding bass and electric guitar riffs. Throw in Tommy Saint’s completely unhinged and abrasive rapid-fire delivery, and you’ve got yourself a tune that will induce the most powerful involuntary head nod you’ve ever experienced. The unsettling nature of it all continues in the accompanying visual, where we see Saint add even more punch to his bars thanks to his animated, erratic mannerisms and movements.

Justice ft. Tame Impala – One Night/All Night

Next up, French electronic duo Justice – made up of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay – have just announced their first album since 2018, Hyperdrama, will be released on April 26th, and so, they’ve released their first singles from the project. The highlight comes in the form of the Tame Impala-assisted ‘One Night/All Night’, where Kevin Parker lends his digital-lysergic vibes to the duo, painting smooth neon vocals all over the bassline synth-stomp. Eventually, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay steer the track through disco-house galaxies and beyond the horizon toward somewhere harder, better, faster, stronger.

Emotional Oranges – Simple Things

Last Friday, LA-based duo Emotional Oranges, Nigerian singer-songwriter and producer Nonso Amadi, released their first collaborative EP, BLENDED – a vibrant 4-track marriage of afropop and R&B. ‘Simple Things’ acts as the project’s standout, thanks to its sensual guitar-led production, paired perfectly with Emotional Oranges’ and Nonso’s buttery, smooth and infectious vocals. Thankfully, the track adds a welcome helping splash of colour to the grey and gloomy month of January. So, sit back, sip on a cocktail, press play on ‘Simple Things’ and let the music transport you far from the UK’s dull skies to a sunkissed beach of your choice.

WriterChris Saunders