45s of the week: The Japanese House, Rina Sawayama, FLO and more!

The tracks you need to hear this week, reviewed by Hollie Geraghty



Four years since Amber Bain’s deeply vulnerable debut album ‘Good At Falling’ detailed the world-altering demise and eventual end of her relationship with musician Marika Hackman, the once elusive singer has signalled the start of a new, forward-facing era. With only her 2020 EP ‘Chewing Cotton Wool’ released in the interim, new track ‘Boyhood’ is a tender, hopeful reflection on gender and sexuality, elevated by the artist’s outstanding alt-pop production instincts that speak to the possibility of “overcoming” the things that have happened to you.


Don’t try and Hold The Girl back on this one – Rina Sawayama’s out for blood. As the boundary-pushing pop singer makes her acting debut as hotel concierge Akira in John Wick 4 (out today), the multi-talented pop star has also released a biting revenge song for the soundtrack. “An eye for an eye / A life for a life / I’ll see you in hell on the other side,” she sings menacingly, a slight key change from the fiery hoedown throwdown of last year’s ‘This Hell’, but still a splicing musical match for her sword-wielding character in the action franchise.


The collaboration you absolutely knew you needed has arrived. Once again bringing a glistening ‘90s sheen to a lustrous R&B empowerment track, ‘Fly Girl’ recruits rap icon Missy Elliot for the slickest, tightest guest verse, featuring a little nod to her 2002 track ‘Work It’. “Missy and FLO we came to ride,” the trio harmonise to tie up the rapper’s tidy flow. “We don’t even need a guy to tell us we fly.” No you do not, FLO.



Two of R&B’s most compatible voices link up again to mark the first song from the ‘Jaguar II’ era. Their ode to getting faded with a close one, Monet’s mellow cadence effortlessly bounces against the funky beat and jubilant horns. “Keep it in rotation, it’s a celebration every time we smoke, smoke,” she sings. “To the left or the right, ‘long as it rotate / It’s a bisexual blunt, it can go both ways.” 


‘Warning Sign’ is the kind of song that could loop for hours on end without you even realising. Taken from Hannah Jagadu‘s forthcoming debut album ‘Aperture’, the US artist finds the middle ground between shapeshifting vibes and potent lyricism. “Every time I get this far / It always falls apart,” she sings on the illusory track, which builds to an intoxicating instrumental cloud of muted piano keys, steady percussion and Tame Impala-esque guitars.

Listen to these and more new tracks on our BRAND NEW playlist