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First Impressions: AlunaGeorge, Avicii, Röyksopp + more

Written By Bianca Bosso on 10/07/2014

FI_7Oct3

First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. Today we pick apart tracks by AlunaGeorge, Les Sins, Maluca, Avicii, Röyksopp + Tinashe. 

AlunaGeorge- Supernatural

Bianca: The vocoder sampling and club-driven beat make this latest track a bit more mysterious than what I’m used to hearing from the duo. The subtle Summery, tropical-inspired percussion gives it a dancey feel with Aluna’s vocals floating effortlessly over the synths. 4 

Sam: AlunaGeorge are becoming a very reliable group. George’s instrumentals are delectably minimal and Aluna’s vocals are sweeping and melodic. Supernatural sees the duo embrace more of a dance-beat than we’ve heard previously and it’s a perfect fit for them. Let’s hope album no.2 comes very soon. 3.5

Lizzie: I’ve fallen hard for AlunaGeorge, really hard. This duo has gone from strength to strength with their effortlessly cool pop beats, and Aluna’s voice taking a commanding lead. Supernatural is not overwhelming like other tracks I’ve heard, but still holds it own as a gorgeous tropical dance-floor treat, just in time for the Summery months. 3.5

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/alunageorge/supernatural[/soundcloud]

Les Sins- Why

Bianca: This is funky in every kind of way. Really enjoy the shimmying vocals which make for the perfect accompaniment to the disco-inspired guitar licks and shoulder-swaying bass. Would have liked to hear it reach a bit more of a climax but other than that it’s a great addition to my ever-growing Summer playlist. 4  Bianca’s Pick 

Sam: I’m loving everything coming from Les Sins at the moment. Why takes on that disco-funk style that is very much in vogue at the moment and does so brilliantly as if Nile Rodgers fingerprints are on the track. It’s actually reminding me of Deadmau5′ Seeya with a whole lot more soul and human touch. A little genuine love in a song goes a long way. 4

Lizzie: If you are not really a fan of the disco-jam, I have a gut feeling you will find a soft spot for Les Sin’s newest track Why. The strong back beat grabs you and doesn’t let go for the entire duration of the song, and the synths and vocals offer an inviting soft dancefloor vibe, not too different to Daft Punk’s releases in 2013. 4

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/company-record-label/les-sins-why-ft-nate-salman-1[/soundcloud]

Maluca- Trigger

Bianca: This is some serious ghetto booty-shakin’ stuff. Maluca’s Dominican background and American/New York upbringing have collided brilliantly to create a unique sound of Latin-esque, tribal hip-hop. Her voice shines in the chorus in particular, as she really lets loose on top of a thumping bass. 3.5

Sam: Ooh, there’s nothing I love more than a muffled synth that exposes itself in the chorus as it does here. There’s EDM, dancehall and RnB undertones in this song, all colliding to form a rhythmic, vibrant track. Why doesn’t radio latch onto this kind of stuff. It’s so goddamn catchy that it’d be a crying shame to file it next to Robyn as songs that should’ve been number one but never made the top 100. 4 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: This oozes a very Major Lazer party vibe, with the layered build to the chorus, then a nice bouncy drop to get you up dancing on the table. Around the 2 min the song climaxes beautifully, only to be finished with these off-putting police siren cuts – they could have gone without them! 3.5

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/maluca-mala/trigger_single[/soundcloud]

Avicii- The Days (Feat. Robbie Williams)

Bianca: The pensive guitar, uninspired melody and the try-hard anthemic lyrics, all topped off with a screeching finale, make for one of the worst collaborations I’ve heard since Bang Bang. Between this and his God-awful alliance with Coldplay earlier in the year, why does Avicii continue to choose artists who aren’t doing anything revolutionary anymore and are just past their use-by date? 1

Sam: The concept of this is just so bizarre. It’s got these youthful, “we’re in our prime” lyrics sung by Robbie Williams, who is, no offence, far past his prime. Surely Avicii has a huge array of artists he can pick from? Not that it would’ve saved the song. I feel like it’s been made for a water-park commercial. Lame even by Avicii’s standards. 2

Lizzie: Huh? I’m confused. I thought a) Robbie Williams had retired & b) Avicii was in hospital, not touring and sick as sick could be??? If only this was true, but alas this song exists. Avicii continues to stamp his signature hillbilly style on every track without fail, and Robbie seems to think that this track will completely revive his career. Despite the chorus being somewhat catching, this still remains an incredibly odd mix. 2

Röyksopp- Skulls

Bianca: This is honestly a bit of an uneventful one from Royksopp. I love the brooding synths and overall tension of the track but the robot voice seems a bit tired and I can’t help but feel that they could have pushed this one a bit further. Perhaps an addition of a certain someone beginning with ‘R’? 

Sam: The songs on the EP with Robyn had such a strong, unforgettable presence that it’s quite hard to really get into this one. It’s certainly more demure and much more intricate which gives off a totally different vibe. In saying that it does grow expertly into a climatic, robot-built track. Definitely one that will talk a few listens unlike Do It Again which smacked you in the face from the get-go. 3

Lizzie: Well this is an almighty head-bopper. The levels of bass and sound are little all over the place, but that’s not what sits weirdly with me. I am not a fan of the warped voice at all, I didn’t sign up for the next installment of the Tron legacy! 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW1_IIn3W6s

Tinashe- Bet (Feat. Dev Hynes)

Bianca: This has great R&B undertones and Tinashe’s voice is smooth as per usual but I’ve unfortunately never been able to get into her style for some reason. Beautiful production at the hands of Hynes with the guitar ending providing a peculiar surprise but I’m afraid I’m just going to appreciate this one from afar. 2.5 

Sam: Not what I was expecting from a Dev Hynes-produced song but I’m loving it nonetheless. It’s the most contemporary sounding track that we’ve heard from him, sounding right in Tinashe’s lane. I love that all Tinashe’s tracks so far haven’t been immediately loveable. They just subtly grow on you, giving long-lasting value rather than a short-lived shot of ecstasy. That guitar solo at the end is brilliantly unexpected and would have to be a Hynes edition. 4

Lizzie: This could easily fit perfectly into the slow dance moment which always happens in every Step Up movie. HOWEVER, the production behind Tinashe’s beautifully moving voice plucks her right out of any chick flick and right into my radar as one of my favourite artist of the year. The guitar at the end is completely surprising, but heck, why not! I am instantly more relaxed and carefree when I listen to her voice and I love this! 4.5 Lizzie’s Pick