First Impressions: DJ Snake, Anne-Marie, Skrillex And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 09/26/2017

First Impressions is our weekly roundtable review feature sifting through all the fresh new music. Our writers take a listen, slap a score on it and then justify said score. This week DJ Snake, Anne-Marie, Alma, Skrillex, Alice Ivy and Maggie Rogers face the jury.

DJ Snake - A Different Way (Feat. LAUV)

Jackson Langford: Ever since DJ Snake dropped ‘Bird Machine’ way back when, all that sunglasses-clad man has ever done is completely impress me. Every new song has completely forecasted trends in electronic music and ‘A Different Way’ is likely going to do the same. Whatever I was expecting that drop to be, this wasn’t it. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 3.5

Sam Murphy: Taking the Shape Of You format is proving to be a big winner in 2017 and this is definitely one of DJ Snake’s more accessible singles. It’s just I’ve heard so many similar things to this recently that it’s really not sticking with me at all. The drop is Major Lazer-lite and the melody, while slinky and sweet, ain’t really grabbing me at all. Middle of the road in everyway possible. 3

Anne-Marie - Heavy

Jackson: One time a friend told me that they couldn’t tell the difference between Anne-Marie and Bebe Rexha and I swear I was ready to commit murder. While the latter is stale and tasteless, Anne-Marie is consistently out here making refreshing pop tunes and ‘Heavy’ takes me to a hotel poolside I’ve never visited, with a tan I’ll never have and drinking a cocktail I’ll never afford. Thank you, Anne-Marie, for letting me live my fantasies via your music. 3.5

Sam: It’s Ciao Adios part two but I’m not going to hold her to that because I’m really digging the sequal. There’s something about the production here that feels very flimsy but I just can’t get enough of this melody and it’s getting me back for repeat plays. I find Anne-Marie’s voice keeps exuding more and more personality and, goddamit, you might have to start calling me a fan. 4 Sam's Pick

Maggie Rogers - Split Stones

Jackson: This song marks a long break from the industry that Maggie Rogers has earned for herself, and what a soaring song to say bon voyage with. Her youthful yet soulful voice never ceases to amaze me, but I think Split Stones could be a contender her best offering yet. The abrupt inhales inject an electrifying energy into a song that delicately glides the whole way through. It’s the subtle quirks like this that made me fall in love with Maggie in the first place. Don’t ever change. 4

Sam: I’m still very intrigued by Maggie Rogers. Her sound is familiar and yet when I really unpack it, it’s something totally new. The folk/pop crossover is so effective here and while it’s definitely not her best single to date, it’s bloody charming because when is she ever not charming? The chorus has this sense of liberation to it that’s likely to keep it spinning through the summer months and that’ll tide me over until she decides to come out of the mini retirement that she’s awarded herself. 4

Alma - Phases (Feat. French Montana)

Jackson: Like everything good in life, my introduction to Alma came through Charli XCX. Serving Rihanna attitude with a splash of Dua Lipa vulnerability, this Finnish firecracker is a straight up badass and I love it. Her youthful and innocent voice delivering words of unapologetic, IDGAF attitude is a juxtaposition that doesn’t stop bouncing. Chuck in some French Montana - whose transition into the pop world is most welcomed - and I’ll be bopping this until the end of time. 4

Sam: I love a good ‘got too drunk’ anthem and it’s even better when it’s delivered by one of our favourite Finnish icons. She sounds great on this and I am really buying into the storyline that she’s an epic partier which means she’s very believable. Tick. French Montana, on the other hand, is like that waiter at your favourite café that you don't like but you'll tolerate because they get the job done. I don’t get him. Sorry. 4

Alice Ivy - Be Friends

Jackson: If The Avalanches and Winston Surfshirt had a kid, and that kid had a devilishly too-cool cousin, that cousin would be Alice Ivy. I’m not here to throw around conspiracy theories, but I got over a cold the same day this song was released. Your move, science. 4.5

Sam: I’d be friends with Alice Ivy. She’s a total legend and she’s one of the most talented producers going around right now. How you can take the age-old formula or pairing vintage samples with modern raps and make it sound ground-breaking is beyond me but this just sounds so innovative and futuristic. It’s woozy, hypnotic and a total treat for the ears. 4

Skrillex - Humble (Kendrick Lamar Remix)

Jackson: Remixing a Kendrick song takes balls. You have to either be really brave or really stupid to try and take on such a mammoth task. His music is so important and influential it’s almost sacred, thereby rendering it easily tainted. However, there’s probably no one more apt for the job than ol m8 Sonny Moore and holy fuck he delivers. The song still possesses the darkness and the looming threat than Kung Fu Kenny’s original did, and Skrillex has managed to respect Kendrick’s craft but still flavouring it with quintessential Skrillex spice. It’s bumping, it provides an entirely new perspective on its source material and it should be the start of a potentially game changing combining of powerhouses. 4.5 Jackson’s Pick

Sam: I hate to be that grumpy ol’ original purist because it’s so boring (SO BORING) but this song really didn’t need a spicy trap remix. I like the chords from 1:45 - 1:55 but other than that Skrillex can sit down. Also I’m really having trouble figuring out what Skrillex is right now, every release is different and while I admire the diversity, he has no artistic stamp. That said, you’re going to literally hear this in every trap set over summer, I’m just going to have to get used to it. 2.5

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