Firstly let’s get the formalities out of the way. Happy Birthday to Frank Ocean and congratulations to Adele for breaking every record known to man. But let’s not dwell on that because here at the interns we like to reward mostly those who take less than four years to drop an album and all the artists below tick that box (apart from the ones that haven’t released an album so we’ll start the four year timer for them now).
Flesh Without Blood
Just when we thought we were beginning to nail down the best songs of the year Grimes comes in with a late entry. Flesh Without Blood is the first single from Art Angels (out next week) and it’s bloody good, to put it simply. It’s a little poppier and more forthright than what we heard on her last record Visions but it shows an artist who’s grown up and is far more comfortable making louder statements. The video is also brilliantly weird and wild but would you expect anything less?
We’ve been waiting to hear a solo track from Nicole Millar ever since we first heard her vocals on Peking Duk’s High last year and now we’ve finally got that. Wait is her major label debut and it’s dripping in neon synths and smouldering vocals just like every good electro-pop track should. It’s got a gorgeous production value to it which makes it feel really warm and accessible making us fall in love with it immediately.
Dev Hynes is using his status lately to make really powerful statements wrapped up in his usual Blood Orange style which means it’s reaching a deservedly wide audience. His latest is Sandra’s Smile which details the death of Sandra Bland who died in police custody in a Texas prison earlier this year. It’s delivered with a stylistically beautiful visual and the track itself is ’80s-tinged and groove-infused.
Hynes annotated the lyrics for the track too on Genius if you’d like to delve a little deeper into the story.
We introduced you to Bibi Bourelly with her firs track Riot a few months ago. She’s the writer of Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money and is rumoured to have worked on a few more song with her but for now she’s popping out solo tracks. Her latest is Riot – a vocally rock solid track backed by a bluesy, attitude-soaked instrumental. “You got me fucked up,” she sings with her voice cracking as she pushes it to its absolute edge. She’s a force to be reckoned with and we’ll no doubt hear much more from Bourelly in 2016.
It’s taken a minute but America has finally fallen in love with Alessia Cara with her debut track Here firing up the charts. She’s cashing in on that momentum by wacking out an album, Know It All, straight away and Wild Things is from that album. Much like her EP Four Pink Walls, Wild Things is about being a rebel and social outcast which is an overused theme in music but you really believe it when Cara sings it because her vocals are just so damn cool. It seems like what you see is exactly what you get with Cara and the world needs a popstar like that.
Chance The Rapper
Angels (Feat. Sabo)
At this stage of the year who really knows what Chance The Rapper is planning. He’s dropped a mixtape with Lil’ B, released an album with The Social Experiment and been featured on what seems like hundreds of songs – most without warning. Angels surfaced this week and he immediately performed it on Stephen Colbert. There’s been no word on whether it’s from an album or not but it is his first track to go on Spotify apparently which is exciting. The tracks itself is classic Chance – joyful, erratic and full of weird vocal sounds. Solid gold, as always.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper/angels-feat-saba[/soundcloud]
Jones is a London vocalist who put out a stunning EP earlier this year, Indulge, and is now gearing up to release her debut album New Skin early next year. Hoops is taken from that record and it’s a soulful, emotional sizzler with a melody that latches onto you immediately. Like a more experimental Lianna La Havas, her vocals are effortless and she doesn’t need to do much with them because her tone is so rich and sophisticated. It’s an A+ from us – Hoops is beautiful.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/iseejones/hoops[/soundcloud]
Air Max ’97
NLV Records is now in full swing. Last week saw the first release from Lewis Cancut and this week the label is firing on dropping Passage by Melbourne producer Air Max ’97. Passage is packed with wet-sounding beats and industrial synth-work that burns away at full intensity for over five minutes. It’s available as a free download for seven days so jump on it before it’s too late.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/nlvrecords/air-max-97-passage[/soundcloud]
Lontalius x Cut My Lips
We’ve already raved about Kiwi youngster Lontalius‘ tunes before and he just keeps giving us more reason to do so. His latest has been released via Ryan Hemsworth‘s Soundcloud label Secret Songs and it’s a collaboration with producer Cut My Lips. “I hope everyone gets something bewitching and inspiring,” Cut My Lips says of the track which exactly what we’re pulling for it. It’s got a really rich, emotional melody – the type that were actually all throughout Hemsworth’s last album Alone For The First Time.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/mooncatch[/soundcloud]
Be The One
Burgeoning popstar alert! 20 year-old singer Dua Lipa is poised to take over the world based off the strength of her new track Be The One. It’s a supremely cool, immediately catchy track with a chorus that will make you wish you knew how to sink into people’s hearts as easily as she can. It also helps that she’s got the perfect look but it’s even better that she has the voice to match. Don’t take your eye off Lipa, she’ll be huge before you even have time to blink.