First Impressions: Flume, Lana Del Rey, Cashmere Cat And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 02/21/2017

First Impressions are our weekly roundtable reviews sifting through all the fresh new music. Our writers take a listen, slap a score on it and then justify said score. This week Lana Del Rey, Kygo, Flume, Kilter, Little Dragon and Cashmere Cat face the jury.

Lana Del Rey - Love

Alistair: It’s so good to hear some new Lana Del Rey. I heard this on triple j the other day and the aspect of this song that I love most is the power behind that striving drum beat especially when the volume is raised. It’s almost as if it is saying, "ok here’s the important part of the song now!" I do feel as though the song goes on for a bit too long though. 3.5

Meshell:I worry that Lana Del Rey songs aren’t great for First Impressions because well...they all kind of sound the same at first which is *snore*. I’m not hating it but I’m not screaming in excitement. Definitely a grower but right now imma say naaaah 3

Sam: “You get ready you get all dressed up, to go nowhere in particular,” is the most Lana Del Rey thing ever and I’m 100 per cent here for it. I can imagine her dressing up, sitting on the couch and occasionally re-arranging flowers without picking up her phone once. That’s kind of off-track but I needed to get that out. As for the track, it ticks every box in terms of a Lana single. If you don’t like her now you never well, and there’s kind’ve no point even expressing that distaste because it will fall on deaf ears. No distaste here, I’m a big fan. 4

Average Score: 3.5

Flume - Fantastic (Feat. Glass Animals)

Alistair: Glass Animals, you had me at Glass Animals. How much have these guys blown up in the last 12 to 18 months, seriously! Throw in Flume, Australia’s biggest hitmaker at the minute, and you’re hitting home run after home run. There’s a very raw and scratchy element to this track that ties in ever so nicely with that classic Flume sound that we have grown to love and recognise at the drop of a hat. 4

Meshell: I love Flume’s consistently interesting partnerships. It’s one of the things that sets him apart from his fellow producer pals. The production Fantastic is slick and Dave’s voice is given a slightly different treatment than what we’re used to with Glass Animals.  All in all a definite vibe. 3.75

Sam: I’m a bit confused by these Skin Companion EPs because what I’m hearing is mostly better than what actually made the album. This is so abstract without ostracising and I actually think it houses Dave Bayley’s voice better than Glass Animals music does if that’s even possible. I love that Flume’s glitchy, instrumental break is the hook. It’s such an interesting approach and it works. 4

Average Score: 3.91

Kygo & Selena Gomez - It Ain’t Me

Alistair: Ok yeah I can see the appeal in this track and why people will love it and have it blaring through the car speakers as they roadtrip from LA to Vegas in a convertible with their arms waving in the air and hair blowing in the wind but I’m really not digging this one bit. 1

Meshell: I can just picture it now, 45 year old record label exec. lounges at his desk shouting to his assistant “GET ME A PRETTY GIRL AND SOME WHITE EDM PRODUCERS! WE NEED ANOTHER CLOSER”...and then this song got shat out by 15 writers who’ll make more money this month than I make in a year. 0

Sam: I’m actually a big fan of Selena Gomez’s vocals usually but this is so compressed that she doesn’t even sound human. Which is funny because the song has this country vibe that suggests, “I’m a raw, emotional human being.” But then the vocals suggest otherwise. The Kygo drop we’ve heard a hundred times before and it’s so copy/paste that my mind just completely blanks it out. Anyway, the vocal melody nearly gets me but the production is just so bad it falls short. 2

Average Score: 1

Kilter - Count On Me (Feat. LANKS)

Alistair: I first stumbled across this track late last week and I was glad I did. As soon as the song starts it gets your head bobbing and heart pumping. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard anything come out of the Kilter camp. This nifty little dance number has it all, even some nice, in-time hand clapping. You can definitely count on Kilter and LANKS to bring you a good toime! 4.5 Alistair’s Pick

Meshell: Kitler has fucking SLAYED this beat and LANKS brings an unusual flavour with his husky tones which somehow elevate the whole song out of the realms of predictable on trend indie electronic. It’s a smart partnership and I sincerely hope they’ve got more in the pipeline because Count on Me is not going to be enough to satiate. 4

Sam: I actually never, ever would’ve put these two together but low and behold I’m wrong. Kilter brings out the clarity in LANKS and LANKS dirties Kilter’s sound up a bit which strengthens both of their sounds. It’s cool to hear something different from them and I reckon this ones gonna get a couple of radio spins. 3.5

Average Score: 4

Little Dragon - High

Alistair: Wow, how psychedelic is this gem from Little Dragon? I feel as though I have been uplifted onto a floating cloud. That voice is more soothing than a Butter-Menthol on a cold rainy day. High is how I feel listening to this feel good song, it is just beautiful. 4

Meshell:Having a hard time deciphering if I’ve just become completely calloused both inside and out or if it’s fair to say that once again, I’m feeling underwhelmed. There seems to be a trend at the moment in music which is very down tempo and minimalistic but it’s just kind of...lacking.   3

Sam: It’s always two steps forward and one step back with Little Dragon. You’d think after more than a decade together they would’ve worked out their strengths which lie in the punchier, more melodic tracks (Ritual Union, Paris) but then every so often they go back to this forgettable nonsense. This isn’t bad by any means. The vocals are lofty, the instrumental is hypnotic but it just doesn’t stick. 3

Average Score: 3.3

Cashmere Cat - Love Incredible (Feat. Camila Cabello)

Alistair: Cashmere Cat has a debut LP on its way and Love Incredible will feature on that. Camila Cabello’s high pitched voice resonates well with Cashmere Cat’s production. Right at the end of the track it gets all slowed down and highly distorted and you just know that this is the handy work of fellow producer SOPHIE who co-produced Love Incredible. 3

Meshell: THANK THE CASHMERE GODS. That kick was the shot of adrenaline I needed to wake the fuck up. I can’t fault this hey, it’s somehow smashed cute bubbly against grating beats and Camila Cabello is the pretty cherry on top with delicate and smooth vocals. 4.5 Meshell’s Pick

Sam: Of all the songs released last week, this is the one that’s circled my head. Camila Cabello’s vocals sound like warm caramel on the verses and then strong and anthemic in the chorus. Cashy further proves that he’s the man to take pop in another direction, using classic pop melodies in the verse and then getting weird in the bridge and on the chorus. It really feels like a rush of blood to the head and I can’t get enough. 4 Sam’s Pick

Average Score: 3.83

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