First Impressions: Lorde, Post Malone, Alex Lahey And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 09/19/2017

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 Lorde, Jessie Ware, Tove Styrke, Alex Lahey, Post Malone and Soleima face the jury.

Lorde - Homemade Dynamite (Remix) (Feat. SZA, Khalid & Post Malone)

Ben Madden: Lorde has captured 2017 in a song, and it sounds incredible. All too often, collaborations like this can end in everyone not getting their due time on the track, but that’s not the case here, with Lorde taking somewhat of a backseat. Post Malone can do no wrong at the moment. Fuck this is huge. 4/5

Gabby Clement: It’s a very rare for me to enjoy a remix more than the original but Lorde has nailed this, from her careful selection of features to the balanced out time each artist gets, the track never feels too busy. Everything falls into place and really brings to life the ~house party~ Lorde takes us to in Melodrama. 5 Gabby’s Pick

Sam Murphy: This was already a massive single but now it's got three of the most buzzed names of the year on it too and it's a bloody giant. All three of Lorde's guest bring their A-game to this and while it's SZA's slinky, sly verse that wins it for me, they're each intriguing in their own way. Also, the mixing on that final chorus that brings all four of them together is nothing short of genius. Consider me blown up. 4.5 Sam's Pick

Jessie Ware - Alone

Ben: Jessie Ware’s vocals make you stop and pause, with the high notes sounding ridiculously good. This hits in all the right places, and that drum beat underpins the whole thing. Good week of pop so far. I wish I could sing 1/10th as well as Jessie Ware can. 4

Gabby:
I wasn’t sold on this track after the first listen, it got kind of got lost amongst all the other pop tracks that dropped on Friday but coming back to it a few days later it’s definitely grown on me. Ware has an incredible voice and I think it really shines on this track. 3

Sam: Ah, that Jessie Ware vocal never disappoints, particularly on big, sweeping ballads like this. Reuniting with Kid Harpoon was a good move and bringing Sarah Aarons (Paige IV) on board was even smarter. It manages to maintain this sense of intimacy while escalating to something grand for the choruses. I have a feeling this will be a highlight of her live show. 4

Tove Styrke - Mistakes

Ben: This feels made to be enjoyable, but it isn’t. I can’t really justify listening to this again when the first two songs on this list exist, let alone the world of music that is out there. This feels like a watered down version of 10 other songs I’ve heard this year. Hard pass from me. 2

Gabby: I LOVE this track, Stryke is sassy & flirty, which is the perfect combination in my opinion. The production is intoxicating and those ‘Hey hey heys’ are the best part of the whole song. 4

Sam: Tove Styrke has really hit her stride now. Both this and Say My Name have been big moments for her, transitioning for a cult pop hero to a full-blown popstar. This one's wonky and weird enough to differentiate her from other Swedish popstars but still maintains an addictive melody sure to take her to a wider audience. I love the way the bridge expands and contracts with that "highs and lows" line, it's so cool. 4

Alex Lahey - I Haven’t Been Taking Care Of Myself

Ben: I’m fully convinced Alex Lahey is set to be the next megastar of Australian music. Having seen her play this song live a couple of times now pre-release, I was worried how it would translate onto record. I needn’t have worried. Absolute tune, and Alex deserves the biggest stage someone can give to her. What a song. That chorus is catchy as can be. 4.5 Ben’s Pick

Gabby: I agree with Ben, Alex Lahey is about to take over the world with her honest, rock/pop sound and I’m so ready. The lyrics are so raw & authentic, I mean who hasn’t lost themselves in a relationship? This album is going to be one of the best of the year. 4.5

Sam: A really brilliantly honest song that just gives it to us as she sees it. So many of these 'mundane', stream of consciousness songwriters actually feel like they spend time thinking about how to write like that where as with Alex it feels like she spits her emotions straight from her head to the page. As much as this is gloriously catchy, it's a really important reminder about self-care which is going to resonate with so many people, myself included. 4.5

Post Malone - Rockstar (Feat. 21 Savage)

Ben: Post is flexing hard here, and he deserves to. Everything he touches at the moment is sounding fire. It’s a testament to his ability that he somehow makes 21 Savage sound listenable. Post gets a 4.5/5, but 21 Savage gets a 3/5. Please, someone explain 21 Savage to me. Mumble rap is good, but all his verses are about the same thing. Anyway, it’s still worth a listen. 3.5

Gabby: Ok so I’ve never really listened to Post Malone’s music tbh. After hearing him on the Lorde remix I was intrigued and saw he also had just dropped this track. I’m now a big fan of Malone and am obsessed with his vocals here, plus those last couple of seconds tie up the song effortlessly. The only way it would be even better would be to cut out 21 Savage (not sorry) I just don’t think he works on this. 3

Sam: Posty is having a big moment right now. Off the back of Congratulations he's dropped this dark, melodic trap number that pulls in another rapper who is having a moment right now, 21 Savage. I'm not going nuts for this until he hits the bridge but once he does it really starts to soar. I'm actually really loving Savage's contribution to this. I think he brings an iciness that contradicts Posty's melody really nicely. Bloody hell, who woulda thought a guy who looks like Goldilocks crossed with Riff Raff would be having a moment in 2017. I'm not mad. 3.5

Soleima - Paper

Ben: This is perfect for the lead-up to summer. Honestly, it feels too short, but it’s like a funsize candy bar - whets the appetite and leaves you wanting more. Unless you’re like me and eat 5 funsize candy bars in any one shot. Check it out, it’s worth your time. 3.5

Gabby: This track is great for spring/summer – I’d probably chuck it on in the late afternoon, a mimosa in hand, when I’m ready to watch the sunset. Soleima’s lyrics have got me nostalgic for a blissful summer lover who doesn’t exist. 4

Sam: I'm such a fan of the weightlessness of this song. It literally floats with ethereal vocals and a breezy instrumental, coming together to make a really effortless pop song. I just find it really endearing and I don't know if that's going to help me remember it in months to come but time will tell. For now, I'm digging. 3.5

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