First Impressions: Drake, Tinashe, Troye Sivan And More

Written By the interns on 01/24/2018

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 Tinashe, Rejjie Snow, Troye Sivan, LIZ, Eves Karydas and Drake face the jury.

Tinashe - No Drama (Feat. Offset)

Liam Austen: Obviously the Offset feature on this isn’t very timely, but regardless it’s a solid return to form for Tinashe that renews hope of Joyride actually finally dropping soon. Time will tell. Also: “AKA a popstar, AKA a problem” is a lyric. 4

Ti Butler: If you “don’t want no drama”, don’t put noted homophobe Offset on your song. In fact, you know how some twerp on the internet made an edit of the new Star Wars movie with all the women edited out? Can we do that except with Offset? Tinashe’s bit is absolute fire, but Offset can fuck all the way off and then keep walking. 4.5 for Tinashe’s bit, 0 for Offset’s bit

Sam Murphy: It’s a damn shame Offset is on this because Tinashe is really on form here. I loved it when she was paring these really minimal beats with fire lyrics and tightly choreographed videos. She delivers the whole package once again here for the first time since Hands On Deck in my opinion. It’s so good that I’m almost coming around to her hairstyle in the first part of the video. 4.5

Rejjie Snow - Egyptian Luvr (Feat. Aminé & Dana Williams)

Liam: I love this a lot. It’s smooth, funky and exciting – and that signature Kaytranada beat just does not tire at all. I also just read that Rejjie Snow is from Dublin, Ireland, which bears no relevance to this song but is still fun to know. 4.5

Ti: Ooh. This is cool. It feels like bright city lights and the start of your night out. Anyone who can put a lyric like “I’m still banging out Whitney” into a song gets mad props from me. 3.5

Sam: This is such a vibe. Kaytranada produces so many things right now that it’s easy for some of the songs to blur into one another but I’ve been returning to it all week because Snow’s bars are tailor-made for a Kaytranada beat. The Dana Williams hook is subtle and on-point and Amine needs to do an entire album with Kaytranada. 4

Troye Sivan - The Good Side

Liam: If My My My! wasn’t enough of an indicator of Troye Sivan’s sonic evolution, this is. It’s so satisfying to be able to hear such an emotional maturity in these new songs, especially this one – although it’s obviously heavily inspired by Sufjan Stevens, that’s by no means a bad thing. Troye’s voice suits this perfectly, and he sounds just as comfortable here as he does over a massive pop production. If this is anything to go by, his upcoming album is shaping up to perhaps be the best of the year. 5 Liam’s Pick

Ti: I have a playlist on Spotify into which I put songs which, if The OC was still on air today, would end up on the official soundtrack CD. This song went straight there. In my head, it’s the season finale, and Seth and Summer are on the pier. This starts playing as Summer tells Seth she “can’t keep doing this” and properly dumps him, For Real This Time (except we all know they’ll get back together, don’t @ me). At about 2:07, after a bit of dialogue, they both fall silent, and we just get close-up shots of each of their faces as the song plays. Some really sparse dialogue. Summer just says “I’m sorry,”, and turns away heartbroken, and begins to walk at 2:24, and suddenly THE SONG BURSTS TO LIFE, and it hits Seth just what’s happened, and he goes to call after her, and she turns and looks back and then keeps walking. Then obviously we see a crushed Seth walking home alone while the vocoder bit plays. End scene. 4

Sam: It’s essentially a middle-of-the-road Sufjan Stevens song. The lyrics are emotional, the melody is nice but after My My My! I feel like it’s diluting the massive return he set up for himself. I thought the SNL performance was really great but listening to it as just a song it feels a little lacklustre. 3

Eves Karydas - Further Than The Planes Fly

Liam: The beginning of this song is a bit of a racket, but then it progresses into some nicer territory during the verses. Where’s the chorus, though? This song is okay… but I can’t see myself needing to hear it again. 2.5

Ti: I dunno, I kind of like the racket at the start. 3

Sam: I love this. I feel like she’s really tapped into this wonky, off-kilter pocket of her songwriting and it’s a vibe that really fits her voice. It’s not a traditional pop song by any means and the lack of a huge chorus is going to make it fall flat with some but I think it’s really nuanced. 4

LIZ - Could U Love Me

Liam: I’m about to stan. This is so good! Some strong 90’s vibes emanating from this one but in a way I’ve not heard in pop recently – that chorus is considerably understated but still super fun. And can we talk about the artwork? How much does that hair weigh? Where can I buy those star sunglasses? New major popstar incoming. 4

Ti: First of all, I just need to echo Liam’s statements - that is some absolute cover art isn’t it. It’s like Sailor Moon went to fashion school and opened up her own boutique. I actually love it. I can’t quite place what the song reminds me of, which really annoys me, but it feels really familiar. The vocal is a bit samey over the course of the song, but it’s certainly not bad. Also how good are the sonar blips in the second verse? 3

Sam: No one does throwback pop better than LIZ. She’s such a bloody great topliner and her melody on this sinks right into my soul. If we were in the ‘90s this would be a number one, unfortunately we’re in 2018 and it’s quite niche. Still, there’s enough pure emotion poured into this that it doesn’t come off as nostalgic and nothing else. 3.5

Drake - God’s Plan

Liam: I didn’t really vibe with much of Drake’s last project, More Life, so this is a pleasant return to form for me. The production on this one is super fun, Drake himself sounds like he’s having a good time and, if I’m honest, I can see this following a similar trajectory to Hotline Bling. I’m a fan of this one. 4

Ti: More rappers talking about how they love their mum please. That “turn the O2 into the O3” line is great. It’s okay, but for me, it’s not even in the same postcode as Hotline Bling. Overall, it’s pretty forgettable. 2

Sam: It definitely feels like Drake has regained some of his rap form on this one. More Life had him as more of a singer than a rapper and it’s good to hear him concentrating on bars again. You can always count on Drizzy for the Tweetable lines too and, “I only love my bed and my Mum,” is a great one. 4

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