First Impressions: Chairlift, Miike Snow, Cosmo's Midnight And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 12/09/2015

FirstImpressions1

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 dvsn, Chairlift, Cosmo's Midnight, Lontalius, Miike Snow and LUCIANBLOMKAMP.

dvsn
Too Deep

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/dvsndvsn/too-deep[/soundcloud]

Ben: Too Deep is the third cut from mysterious producer dvsn, and while not as high reaching as The Line from a couple of months back, there is still a lot to like here. In terms of both production and composition, the 90’s R&B influences are again audibly high on dvsn’s radar. Gospel style backing vocals are used exquisitely, with dvsn’s smooth as butter vocals sure to cause a stir and melt hearts all over. Lyrically, the overtly sexual double entendres are in full swing. Had they been delivered in a less engaging fashion, it may have been a deal breaker. Though for all of its stellar elements, Too Deep should have raised up just that extra level. Still, a solid and soulful R&B slow jam. 3.5

Sam: Well that’s three from three for dvsn. This track is probably even my favourite of the three. I love how it starts with the backing vocals and then the lead comes in ever so subtly. It’s like Boyz II Men combined with the wobbly bass of Jeremih, packaged for the sensitive Drake fan. It doesn’t try to be anything immediate, it takes its time and lets it flourish into one of the best bedroom jams of the year. 4

Chairlift
Romeo

Ben: Never ones to bore, Colorado two-piece Chairlift have dropped the synth heavy Romeo from the soon to be released Moth. The track delivers more of their slightly skewed vision of synth pop, as frontwoman Caroline Polachek anchors proceedings to the tune of her enigmatic vocals. The production on Romeo is fairly minimal, but it never feels empty or lacking in scope. One for the interpretive dancer in all of us. 4

Sam: Chairlift have such a distinct tone that they can momentarily drift into any genre and still sound like Chairlift. Ch-Ching was hip-hop/R&B while Romeo is basically racecar-ready pop. I love how it has that momentum in how the lyrics “put on your running shoes, I’m ready to go,” fit perfectly with that travelling, tempo-pushing beat. Caroline Polacheck sounds like an absolute boss once again and is subtly making the transition from indie star to popstar-in-waiting. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Cosmo’s Midnight
Hurt (Feat. Sarah Bonito)

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/cosmosmidnight/cosmos-midnight-hurt-feat-sarah-bonito[/soundcloud]

Ben: The Nintendo vibes are strong in this one. Hurt has been lifted from Cosmo’s Midnight’s recently released EP Moments, and it is yet another strong entry for the electronic duo. The sweet vocals and off kilter Japanese freestyle dropped by guest Sarah Bonito, work hand in hand with the sunny and bouncy programming on display. A must spin should you feel the need to dust off the old 64 for a spot of Mario Kart. 4

Sam: It’s so good to see Cosmo’s Midnight really looking outside the box and hooking up with one of the most interesting and divisive acts right now Kero Kero Bonito. Hurt is the definition of kawaii - it’s cute, perky and feels as if it’s riding on a rainbow coloured wave the whole time. Sarah Bonito flips between rapping in Japanese and signing really gently. It’s not the easiest thing to sink your teeth into first time round but it grows with each listen. The whole EP is great and it re-establishes Cosmo’s Midnight as one of the few electronic acts in Australia right now willing to take risks and search for a sound broader than what’s happening here in Aus right now. 4

Lontalius
Kick In The Head

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/lontalius-official/kick-in-the-head-1[/soundcloud]

Ben: Kick in the Head is the new moody track from 18 year old Wellington native Lontalius. The track maintains a steady pace throughout, and opts for a slow burn and build which sees guitar strumming, piano hits and prolonged cello notes increase in intensity as the verses tick by. However, the build vs the pay-off is not to scale. To really hammer home that crescendo, another minute or so definitely wouldn’t have gone astray. 3

Sam: Lontalius is literally a product of the internet. He’s risen to prominence by uploading a heap of material to Soundcloud and his taste seems to traverse every single genre like any teen constantly scrolling the internet. Kick In The Head is a bit of a curve-ball from the guy who’s made small room electronic jams and done Drake covers. It’s almost difficult to even trace it back to the electronic genre sounding more like an Explosions In The Sky cut. As different as it is it’s still a flourishing, beautiful song that hits your right in the hear. 4

Miike Snow
Genghis Khan

Ben: Time to get funky. The second taste of Miike Snow’s forthcoming long player III is a dazzling foray into piano and beats based pop, with a healthy dose of the flare the Swedish trio are widely known for. Genghis Khan incorporates a vibrant and upbeat backdrop to the always impressive vocal stylings of Andrew Wyatt, and this, along with previous horns-heavy single Heart is Full, may signal a much welcomed shift for the three piece. Very much anticipating the release of III in the new-year. 4.5 Ben’s Pick

Sam: Miike Snow left a bad taste in my mouth with their last track Heart Is Full. I thought it was absolutely dribble but this one regains my faith a little bit. It’s definitely got a stronger pop melody and a much more accessible chorus which is what has always been so addictive about Miike Snow. They have always been great electro-pop writers and they shouldn’t stray from that. I could take or leave the verses here but this chorus is seriously tasty. 3

LUCIANBLOMKAMP
Comfort

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/lucianblomkamp/comfort-2[/soundcloud]

Ben: The production on Comfort is second to none. The sparseness of the beats, coupled with the sheer atmospherics of the piece, is the stuff of producer’s dreams. There is no denying that LUCIANBLOMKAMP is a talent. His mostly airy vocals also work well with the brooding tone of the track. But much like a couple of the cuts from this week, this track also fails to get off of the ground. Somewhat disappointing, considering the quality of the production. 2.5

Sam: It’s hard to think of any artist in Australia right now that’s making music as acutely intricate as LUCIANBLOMKAMP. There are so many different parts to this track from the click to the dark, distorted vocals to the sweeping synths but it all marries together beautifully. It’s not meant to be something that hits you immediately. Comfort should be a song that reveals itself in parts and for me it does that. First listen I only listened for the vocals and now on repeat listens I’m picking out the little instrumental gems like a treasure hunt. Weird and haunting but really interesting stuff. 4

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