First Impressions: Flume, Iggy Azalea, The 1975 + More

Written By Sam Murphy on 01/18/2016

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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 RÜFUS, The 1975, Paces, Iggy Azalea, Gladiator and Flume

This year, we're leaving it up to our writer and creators to choose how they review each song. There will be cartoons, gifs, vines and any other format they feel necessary. This week one contributor chose to review everything as if they were ice-creams because ice-cream weather. 

RÜFÜS
Say A Prayer For Me

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/foreignfamily/rufus-du-sol-say-a-prayer-for-me[/soundcloud]

Annie: RUFUS have been killing it lately. While from the get go, this track sounds like signature RÜFÜS, it does harbour some different vibes from their usual, which is important as my usual issue with these guys is my inability to differentiate between their songs. Say a Prayer For Me is an atmospheric track that uses softer percussion with their usual beats to aide it in finding a middle ground away from their normal summertime festival anthems. It’s not half bad. 3

Krissy: If this track were an ice-cream: Silky red velvet ice-cream with cream cheese ice-cream swirls, fresh merengue and biscuit crumbs from the most delicious biscuit you could imagine. 4

Sam: It’s the first three singles with new lyrics, yeah? I’ve never heard a bad RUFUS track before but I’ve also never heard a track that’s completely blown me out of the water. The beat on this is just too similar to Like An Animal for me to really get excited about it and as such, I’m just left feeling lukewarm. 2.5

The 1975
The Sound

Annie: The pop influences are rife in this track, with The 1975 finally giving in to those tendencies. There’s nothing alternative about this track at all, which could be a contributing factor as to why it’s so forgettable. It’s a little too ‘boy band’ for my tastes, but i’m sure it will find it’s audience with ease. 2.5

Krissy: If this track were an ice-cream: Blue bubblegum ice-cream with swirls of raspberry jam sprinkled with 100s & 1000s & popping candy. 2.5

Sam: This isn’t alt-pop, indie-pop, electro-pop. This is pure pop and it sounds like The 1975 couldn’t give a fuck which is excellent. The lyrics are corny, the beat is borrowed straight from ‘90s house and the mood is pure joy but it all just works. It’s joyous and colourful, unlike anything the band has ever released before. It’s probably not as strong as the first single Love Me but it’s not far behind. 3.5

Paces/Jess Kent
1993 (No Chill)

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/pacesmusic/1993-no-chill-feat-jess-kent[/soundcloud]

Annie: Paces is taking his usual sound into tropical territory with this one, in a track perfectly designed and suited for your summer playlist. It’s playful in its simplicity, with the inclusion of Jess Kent a smart move- her voice is ideal for a track like this. The track definitely has a carefree vibe to it, but as is the norm with Paces. 3

Krissy: If this track were an ice-cream: Mango sorbet with toasted coconut with lashings of tropical pineapple salsa. 3.5

Sam: This whole song is pretty perfect to me. Jess Kent’s voice suits every aspect of Paces’ sunny production and together they’ve crafted perhaps one of the strongest local pop tracks to grace the airwaves of triple j in the last few years. The beat is jangly and joyous while Kent’s vocal oozes cool. I have no chill when it comes to my excitement about this track and I couldn’t care less. 4

Iggy Azalea
Azillion

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/digitaldistortion2016/azillion[/soundcloud]

Annie: The first time I listened to this I laughed throughout it’s entire duration due to it’s sheer ridiculousness, but now on my second listen, I almost want to cry. This song is awful. At it’s best, it’s unintelligible and nonsensical. At it’s worst, it’s somewhat reminiscent of kindergarten rhymes- though it consists mainly of words that don’t actually exist, or rhyme if pronounced correctly. “Headed for a zillion/ coming thru a billion/ gotta keep it trill-ion, what is a million? What the fuck is a million? Gotta stack bread on ride to the ceil-ion?”, that’s right- Iggy managed to make ‘ceiling’ and ‘million’ rhyme, wonderful. 0

Krissy: If this track were an ice-cream: a scoop of Homebrand light vanilla ice-cream dropped into kitty litter after a dog has just vomited into it. 0

Sam: Civilian, Brazilian, octillion, papillion, reptilian - so many missed opportunities Iggy! But seriously, this whole track is incredibly entertaining. After all that nonsense last year about whether she could rap or not she chooses to prove them all wrong by demonstrating her ability to rhyme like a four year old. I actually really don’t mind the pop production, I think it’s a good direction for her, but this rapping is just too ridiculous to take seriously. 1

Gladiator
Brave

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/gladiator/brave-feat-vindata-mothica[/soundcloud]

Annie: This track is insane. The second track off their upcoming Transit EP, this could quite possibly be a sure sign of some very, very good things to come from the duo. While the track starts off strong, once it hits the 1:07 mark, that’s when things get really crazy. It’s innovative production, to say the least. 4 Annie’s Pick

Krissy: If this track were an ice-cream: Lemon sorbet with vodka jellies topped with raspberry coulis. 3

Sam: A press release for this track said that it “marks the next chapter in the evolution of Gladiator,” which would normally be bullshit but I actually believe it after listening to this track. It’s by far the most mature track the boys have ever produced and also the most accessible. The drop is genuinely interesting with arresting beats and assaulting synths and the vocal melody crosses between R&B and dance effortlessly. Super interesting stuff and a strong lead for the Transit EP which is out on Friday btw. 4

Flume
Never Be Like You (Feat. Kai)

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/flume/never-be-like-you-feat-kai[/soundcloud]

Annie: It feels like we’ve been waiting for this track for decades, and it’s finally here. ‘Never Be Like You’ shows a sharp progression from Flume’s older outputs, and is hopefully a good representation of what is to come from the album. Kai’s vocals add something special here, it’s unlike anything we’ve ever heard on a Flume track in the past, in the best kind of way. While nothing was worth the wait we endured for some new Flume, this track hit very close. 4

Krissy: If this track were an ice-cream: Creamy salted caramel ice-cream, Baileys fudge & an espresso praline crunch. 4 Krissy’s pick

Sam: I actually never really got on the Flume train with his first album although I thought he was deserved of all the success that followed. The best thing about this new track is that it shows he’s trying to push forward. It’s the most accessible track that he’s ever done and will likely crossover to the mainstream in more than a few countries. What’s best though is it’s a genuinely gorgeous track that pushes the boundaries slightly. Flume’s classic production is all over the drop but the vocal melody is rich and emotional in a way we’ve never heard from the young gun producer. He could’ve come out with a big room banger made for the masses but instead he did this. It shows he’s actually concerned with making interesting music and not just trying to make it for the masses. Really excellent stuff. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

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