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Whatever The Weather, '17ºC'

There's a prickly, dark intensity to U.K. producer Loraine James' experimental club music, as severe and stimulating as the feeling of a hand brushed against barbed wire. Her 2021 Hyperdub release, Reflection, demonstrated her talent for mapping anxious textures, all fogged, insecure vocals and skittering trap beats.

That anxiety still permeates the music of her new "ambient-minded" project, Whatever The Weather, but here James tames her aggressive style into a cooler electronica. On single "17ºC," she layers a background of subdued street recordings in between sputtering percussion and moaning synths, for a dazzling new interpretation of her sound.

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Hazel Cills
Hazel Cills is an editor at NPR Music, where she edits breaking music news, reviews, essays and interviews. Before coming to NPR in 2021, Hazel was a culture reporter at Jezebel, where she wrote about music and popular culture. She was also a writer for MTV News and a founding staff writer for the teen publication Rookie magazine.