First Impressions: Miguel, Tame Impala, Paris Hilton + More

Written By the interns on 05/12/2015

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. This week we pick apart tracks by Miguel, Tame Impala, Paris Hilton and more.

Coffee (Fucking)

Meshell: When a singer has the ability to deliver a melody in a way that makes you feel like he’s singing to you from across the table, then you know he’s good. In coffee, Miguel is singing to me about watching me sleep and surprisingly I am not creeped out in the slightest. This is a bit of a slow burning track but fantastic nonetheless. 4

Sam: I get that Miguel needed to freshen this up a bit from the EP version to relaunch it but he also probably needs to realise that he’s more than capable holding a song on his own without a rap verse. That said, this track is a stroke of genius. That first verse where it’s just Miguel crooning over a semi-muted beat is as good as it gets. I love how Miguel brings such power without delivering traditionally climatic choruses. I know Wale’s verse has copped a lot of flak but it doesn’t really detract from the song. Just bring on the album very soon. 4.5

Zanda: Some super easy listening here. The vocals are killer, especially with those overlapping harmonies and it’s all really nicely complimented by the rumbling and constant on-the-beat synths that drive the melody. Found myself wanting a bit more in terms of sectional development, and realistically I’d love a bit more grunt in terms of bass. 3.5

Tame Impala

Meshell: I very rarely get caught up in overly hyped artists as you always end up disappointed in the end. Tame Impala seemed completely unfazed by how high the bar is set for them however and with every new song they are setting that bar even higher. Eventually has a sweetness to it that will undoubtedly make you smile. Thats coming from somebody who hates smiling. 4

Sam: Four songs into Currents and Tame Impala have knocked it out of the park each time. Kevin Parker is such a successful songwriter because he’s not afraid to stray into any genre if the song calls for it. When all instruments bar one drop out in the chorus and his voice shimmers with falsetto, the song is sitting firmly in the world of pop and its unapologetic about that. It’s anthemic while hushed and touched with subtly sentimental lyrics. Then for those ol’ Impala fans the crunching, reverb-soaked guitars re-emerge to dirty things up a bit. It’s diplomatic but it also works perfectly. That line of “But I know that I’ll be happier and I know you will too,” is one of the most optimistic break-up lyrics I’ve heard. 4.5 Sam's Pick

Zanda: I actually just want Tame Impala to please just release this album now, because it will absolutely kill me if when it finally comes out the best tracks have already all been dropped. Having said that, I have practically zero criticism of this track. It’s different enough to the other three songs they’ve put out from the new LP, and filled with all those gorgeous bass riffs and psychedelia-inspired guitar and vocals. Eventually explores melodic texture and space in a way that a lot of their other stuff hasn’t so far. Cannot fault this one. 5 Zanda's Pick

Paris Hilton
High Off Your Love

Meshell: I’m sorry but this is too insulting to say anything about. 0

Sam: I actually don’t think this is that offensively bad. It’s bad, yeah, but basically it’s your standard EDM track and could have any session singer behind it. I can see it blasting out of stages at Tomorrowland without anybody knowing that it’s Paris Hilton. That’s probably the song’s greatest strength, that you can’t tell it’s Paris. Anyway, good luck to her. 2

Zanda: I could probably jam out to this if it was 1:00am in the club and I was completely wasted, and didn’t know who it was by. On first listen I can’t really point out anything that stands out that’s wrong with it, but there’s nothing quite right either. 1.5

Right Now

Meshell: There are some great elements to this song. There are also some not so great elements. It’s walking the line between cool and cheesy and I’m not sure yet where I sit on this one. If this came on the radio I probably wouldn’t turn it off, by the same token I wouldn’t add it to my Pre-Game playlist…I’m just SO confused. The midi strings and the female vocals are definitely the saving grace in this track I have decided. Aside from them I could really just take it or leave it. 2.5

Sam: That synth-line that ushers the song is is absolute gold. It almost shudders with dense strength which complements beautifully with the soulful vocals that follow. The instrumental arrangement is basically bare-boned but the melody is so strong that it carries itself. Right Now feels like running your hand along a marble bench-top. Everything from the production to the visual accompaniments are so polished I get the feeling that Hopium really mean business and that’s fantastic to see in an Aussie group. This is by far their greatest track so far and will hopefully catapult them into many people’s ears. 4

Zanda: This is some awesomely heavy electro stuff right here. Deep melodic synth penetrates the essence of the track and is complimented by the rhythmic and equally strong lead vocals. I also just love the use of edited and often harmonising vocals as a second melodic layer and simultaneously mimicking the sound of strings, such a fresh take on this type of track. The outro is just as epic as the rest of it. 4.5

A$AP Rocky
Everyday (Feat. Rod Stewart, Miguel and Mark Ronson)

Meshell: How cool would it have been to see the look on A$AP’s face when Mark Ronson cracked out the Python Lee Jackson song and went “Dude you gotta use this!” I also want to know who had the great idea of getting Miguel on board too to share the melody with Stewart. This song is a perfect blend of old and new and I’m finding myself lost in a daydream of how two wildly different artists collaborated to effortlessly. To say I’m impressed is an understatement. Also…Rod Stewart just became the coolest grandpa in the world (OH YEAH DID YOU FORGET THAT HE IS SEVENTY YEARS OLD?)  5 Meshell’s Pick

Sam: Ugh I dunno, the songs leading up to this one were A$AP going back to his roots but this one feels as if he’s making the same mistakes he made on his debut album, where it was too clean and polished. The Miguel part is ace but A$AP’s verses are pretty unforgettable and in terms of structure it’s your standard hip-hop track with a pop hook. I really want some harder stuff from A$AP on A.L.L.A and I think we will get it. Maybe he’s just flirting with mainstream audiences with this one. In saying all this, the second verse when the beat switches up is right in the pocket. 3

Zanda: I’m digging the sectional interplay between percussive elements here, especially throughout the first and third slower sections. Rod Stewart and Miguel are fantastic as well, both their vocal styles really suit the beats and bass that are set up in the beginning. A$AP Rocky’s rapping is so good in these parts as well that I find myself wondering about that middle section that changes time completely. I don’t think it adds much to the overall track although it’s clearly a well-crafted section based on its own merits as a stand alone section. 3.5


Meshell: I really dig the rhythm and bass in this song but I actually think i’d prefer this track if it were an instrumental. I’m grooving in my seat and totally can see this being a great driving (or boating, if thats your thing) track. Not trying to  diss on the singer’s voice as it’s totally fine but the guitar has such a great tone I could have just listened to it taking care off the melody. 3

Sam: I love when Australian artists pay homage to the Australian landscape but do so without any cultural cringe and that’s what Retiree are doing here. That hollow arrangement with the echoing guitars is an audible depiction of a lush, expansive landscape and in that way they’ve been completely successful in achieving what they want to do. The vocals teeter on the edge and sound fragile and airy which is the perfect antidote for the paper-thin instrumental. 3.5

Zanda: The introduction establishes such a fantastic funk line in the bass that I was realistically hoping for a bit more rhythmic and melodic development from the rest of the track. Having said that, it’s super funky and chilled, especially with the introduction of guitars playing some lovely harmonies towards the back end of the track. Hard not to love this one. 4

Now it's your turn: 

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If you feel the need to abuse us for our opinions, you can reach this week’s writers below:

Content Director: Sam
Contributor: Meshell
Contributor: Zanda