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First Impressions: Drake, CHVRCHES, Iggy Azalea + more

Written By Bianca Bosso on 10/29/2014

FI_29Oct

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 Drake, Iggy Azalea, MØ, CHVRCHES, Yeo, Les Sins & The Black Hearts Club. 

Drake – How Bout Now

Sam: It doesn’t really do much in terms of furthering Drake’s sound but it’s solid. The murmuring vocal samples underneath the track give it a nice texture and the way the beat swings in and out of clarity is nice too. I think the only thing that really lets it down is it’s hookless. I dunno though. It still kind of does it for me, so where I sit on this one I’m not sure. Sorry I couldn’t be much more help. 3.5

Lizzie: How ‘bout now, how ‘bout now? No matter how many times he asks, I’m not going to tell him I like the song. How bout now? NO! Take your slowwwww jams elsewhere please, except leave the JT style backup singers with me. 2

Bianca: It just seems like there’s nothing going on in this track. I’m happy with the backing track being minimal as long as there’s something being delivered on the vocals, and vice versa. But that doesn’t seem to be the circumstance. Instead, what I first thought was a case of having my treble too low was in fact just a case of a boring song. And you know I’m all about that treble. 2
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/octobersveryown/drake-how-bout-now[/soundcloud]

Iggy Azalea + MØ – Beg For It

Lizzie: I can just see this going off at Schoolies *sigh*. Underage kids, UDLs and Iggy – the perfect combination for a Summer hit. In saying this, I have had it on repeat for the last hour and I am #sorrynotsorry. 3

Sam: Wait, is this Fancy? Everything from the minimal beats on the verse to the chanty chorus sound scarily similar to her breakout hit but I suppose if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I absolutely love that MØ is on this one. Her album is one of the best pop records of the year and she deserves all the success she gets but this song just lacks anything special. She sounds sick on it, but Iggy is becoming a little tiring. 2.5

Bianca: I feel that MØ’s really wasted on this track 🙁 And not in a drunk in the back of the cab a là One More video clip kind of wasted. It seems that Iggy is using the same old recipe and frankly I’m bored. I guess anything’s better than Booty, right? Right?? 1.5  

CHVRCHES – Get Away

Lizzie: Yes, yes, 1000 times yes. I instantly feel at home when I hear Lauren’s voice, and the pace is perfect for the Drive soundtrack revival. I was a massive fan of that album, so hats off to them for birthing a track which fits in seamlessly. 4

Sam: Quite a bizarre concept that Radio 1 have going here but if they can pull in people with CHVRCHES I’m more than happy for them to carry on. CHVRCHES suit the dim-lit synth-pop vibe of Drive down to the ground so it makes total sense to get them involved. So many of the songs on their debut were aggressive so it’s nice to hear them here a little more sweet. The chorus is beautifully subtle and I love that they take it right to the dancefloor for the final one. 4

Bianca: Just when you thought the Drive soundtrack couldn’t be topped, CHVRCHES have delivered with a track of the perfect haziness and nostalgia that could sidle in unnoticed alongside the original tracklist. Nightcall and A Real Hero will forever be my favourite Drive numbers but Get Away comes in at a very close third place. Beautiful. 4.5 Bianca’s pick
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/chvrches/chvrches-get-away[/soundcloud]

Yeo – Secret Powers

Lizzie: These guys should have made it onto the Drive soundtrack as well!! No seriously, I can see myself driving in my Cadillac into the sunset, it’s so cinematic.. Musically, this is a beautifully layered track, something I could easily get lost in (its dreamy eyes…). Definitely an act to watch. 4.5 Lizzie’s Pick

Sam: Oh, I love how Yeo is so unashamed to deliver a straight-up, huge pop chorus. So many artists try to disguise it under many things but Yeo just goes for it, like a massive ‘80s power ballad. The whole atmosphere of this is perfect, from the way the synths twinkle gently to the way Yule Post saunders in with her smokey vocal. Can we also pop this on the re-work of the Drive soundtrack? 4 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: I don’t know what secret power Yeo has got but boy has it got a hold on me. I feel that he has really grown up on this track, with the melancholic synths and Yeo’s doleful voice creating a sombre affair, further accentuated by Yule Post’s entry in the second verse. The combination of both their voices later down the track is spellbinding with the mournful sax really taking it home. 4.5
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/snackswithyeo/secretpowers[/soundcloud]

Les Sins – Talk About

Lizzie: The voice samples mixed with the typewriter tap in the background, remind me a little of Jamie xx’s “All Under One Roof Raving” – minus the tropical drums. Just when I thought this track was all over, the 2.30 min mark happens…where the song becomes a thicker and interesting. It’s that style of music which can babysit you for hours. 4

Sam: Toro Y Moi’s dance project is actually grabbing me a lot more than his work as Toro. This one reminds me of that moment when there are only a handful of people left in the club – the bass has dropped very low and the vocal samples just swirl around your brain. Talk About is woozy, acid house that subtly climaxes with a forceful synth. Put this on and I’ll happily be the last man standing in the club. 3.5

Bianca: I’m not entirely sure of what the vocal is saying but it sounds a lot like ‘shakshuka’. I really like shakshuka though and, coincidentally, also this song. Like the heavenly middle eastern breakfast of Gods, Talk About is a steamy, hearty morsel that will spice up your life in all the right ways. Give this to me with a side of chorizo and I’m all yours. 3.75
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/company-record-label/les-sins-talk-about[/soundcloud]

The Black Hearts Club – Girl

Lizzie: Despite the Sesame Street style saxophone at the start, this a jazzy jam of a track. The combination of the looping and the euphoric chimes are a treat – definitely something to click your heels together with joy on a sunny day. 3.5

Sam: This is literally the start of like Frasier or something right? It’s almost as if these guys have taken the cream from Pharrell’s Girl and left the over-the-top crap. It doesn’t take itself serious and I have a massive smile on my face just listening to them singing over the horns. It’s easy to get caught up in the novelty of it all but the whole instrumental is actually really impressive. They effortlessly blend from those horns into a day-dreamy chorus and back into stomping verses. Please give me what they’ve got. They sound like happy chaps. 4

Bianca: I am so into this. Bordering on slightly comical, the jazzy horns are the star of the show as the grooving bass struts along, perfectly accompanied by Well$’s initial verse and Lucho’s falsetto, Pharrell-style hook. I’m also totally je t’aime-ing Lomani’s French spoken-word breakdown at the 1:53 mark which is the cherry on top to making Girl the perfect recipe to make anyone happy…and if that’s not the point of music, what is? (Deep.) 4
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/immaculate-taste/girl-tell-me-something[/soundcloud]