the straits of gibraltar is the narrowest of waters that separates africa from europe, and while the proposed tunnel bridging the two continents won’t be realized till much later, two acts that have been making the most waves these days give us a glimpse into what that intercontinental trip could look like. the first is the very best, a collaboration between malawian musician esau mwamwaya and london outfit radioclit, which had already whet our appetites last year with their promo mixtape that sampled everyone from vampire weekend to m.i.a. and even michael jackson. i can’t wait to check out their upcoming debut album, especially after hearing “the warm heart of africa”, a song off that album of the same name featuring ezra koenig from vampire weekend. it’s a collaboration that captures the best energies from both parties, brimming with joyous celebration.
that figurative trip across the straits is also attempted by jj, the latest-signed band from sweden’s sincerely yours, home of the equally breezy air france. “from africa to málaga” appears to bear much less of the african influence, although the lightly hopping beats wouldn’t be out of place in a lazy afternoon reggae jam. as the title suggests, this song is more about the trip than the destination, and while i can’t quite tell where the spanish city of málaga features here, the uplifting currents of scandinavian dance-pop are more than assuring of how worthwhile this journey is, offering the perfect way to wind down after dancing through the warm heart of africa.