Listen to Titanium and Mercury, two surprise singles from UK rap heavyweight Dave
The two new tracks came in a moment of pure inspiration according to the rapper, and shows that he's still on top of his game.
UK rapper Dave has had one of the most interesting glow-ups of England's rap surge over the last few years. When he came to Australia as a part of the nationally-touring Falls Festival in 2017, he was a one-to-watch in the early afternoon, bouncing through tracks from his then-fresh debut Game Over mixtape. Two years later, and his debut album PSYCHODRAMA has made the rapper a commercial and critical success, garnering an unexpected Mercury Prize win - unexpected only due to 2019 being a dominative year for English music - amongst chart-littering singles that always felt like a breath of fresh air, no matter what else was happening at the time.
While the early-afternoon Dave at Falls Festival would most certainly be amongst the headline brigade nowadays, the rapper hasn't lost the Midas touch that was captured amongst PSYCHODRAMA (and what made it such a stand-out record), something shown through the work that has come in the time since. Many of them are features in which Dave steals the show, offering glimpses of his craft amongst rappers like Fredo, Future Utopia and Ghetts; the former of the three - the Fredo-run Money Talks - being one of the best singles of the year thus far, and a sign of their continued collaborative success.
Now, we have some of Dave's first solo material since PSYCHODRAMA's arrival, and if nothing else, they're testaments to the charm and talent the rising star holds. Unveiled last week, Titanium and Mercury are two surprise new singles from the rapper that showcase the many facets of his multi-dimensional work, capturing the highs of the Mercury Prize winner and the craft that makes him deserving of his success - something becoming only more true in the years since.
The first of the tracks, Titanium, welcomes Dave at his fiercest. It's a short single - just a smidge over two minutes - but that's all the time Dave needs to find his feet and run with one of the most infectious British rap songs of the year thus far, moving amongst a cloudy production with the focus and precision flirted with his past work. It's definitely the most conventionally hard-hitting of the two tracks; the gee-up moment before Mercury comes in an offers a more introspective and touching side.
Mercury is a moment that really highlights the lyricist at his most potent, drawing things out as Dave's storytelling enrichens a more subdued production and a guest chorus from one-to-watch Kamal - someone whose breakthrough moment has been a long time coming. There's an almost otherworldly feel to the track - one that has given it many James Blake comparatives - and when placed together with Titanium, you have a pair of songs that reflect Dave's multifacetedness, and how his many sides are bridged together through sheer excellence.
Take a dive into the two singles below, and let's hope there's plenty more to come from the hot-shot in the next year; if Titanium and Mercury are anything to go by, his next album could just trump his debut.