First Impressions: CHVRCHES, Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Azalea And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 02/08/2018

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 CHVRCHES, Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Azalea, Eilish Gilligan, Tove Styrke and Peking Duk face the jury.


Ti Butler: WHAT A SONG. I’m thrilled to announce the chorus is my new ringtone, and the edited down audio clip of Lauren telling Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 that “if it’s going to be more pop, it should be aggressively pop, there’s no point in us doing things in half measures.” is my new SMS alert, because could anyone come up with a better life mantra?  5

Jake Daniel: Yeah wow, this is very nice. Crisp vocals lined with seamless production. Easy listening. Quality tune. 4

Isabella Moore: I was very excited for new CHVRCHES but this is a bit of a let down for me. LOVE the verses and bridge but the chorus is insufferable. Really hoping the other singles/album are better. 2

Kendrick Lamar - Pray For Me (Feat. The Weeknd)

Ti: The most impressive thing about this is that it makes The Weeknd not sound boring for a change. Kendrick truly can do anything. 4

Jake: Jesus Christ, Kendrick Lamar is arguably one of the best creatives alive right now. Everything this dude touches seems to turn to gold. We are honestly witnessing a revolution. I feel like this isn’t as “there”, as ‘All The Stars’, ft SZA, but It’s good! 4

Isabella: As always, Kendrick is on fire and the beat is incredible but The Weeknd just sounds so tired here. All The Stars was amazing and this doesn't really have the same energy unfortunately. 3

Iggy Azalea - Savior (Feat. Quavo)

Ti: Iggy Azalea does quite a good Poppy cosplay towards the start of the video, and a quite good Shakira cosplay towards the end. The song is quite good in an “I wouldn’t pay money for it but if it came on Spotify in a communal space I wouldn’t rush to skip to the next song” kind of way, but I still opened it in an Incognito window so I don’t have YouTube thinking I want to see Iggy Azalea or Quavo in any form. 3.5

Jake: Yeah right, I was prepared not to like this tbh. Haven’t been a huge fan of Iggys earlier work, but I actually like this! Real smooth production and quality melodies throughout. When that chorus hits, I feel like I’m on top of the world. I LIKE IT AND I’M GLAD! 3.5

Isabella: Look, I'm all here for an Iggy comeback in 2018 but this one missed the mark. Quavo kills it though. 2

Eilish Gilligan - S.M.F.Y.

Ti: Diamo represent! I’m just so proud of Eilish; the cover art is stunning, the vocal is such a huge step up for her, the production is spot on, and it’s got a brilliant momentum to it. So stoked to see her getting so much love for this. We are witnessing a star rising in front of our own face holes. 5

Jake: It’s okay. Very night club, strobe light vibes for me. I felt like I was waiting the whole time for the vocals to explode, but they kind of just sat in the same lane for 3 minutes and 40 seconds. I like it, but I feel like I need more!!! 3

Isabella: I feel like I've spoken a lot about this track elsewhere but I am currently just sitting back and waiting for Eilish Gilligan to take over the world. Australia’s next big pop export without a doubt. 5

Tove Styrke - Changed My Mind

Ti: Here’s the thing. A lot of the production on songs you hear on a New Music Friday has been put there because people know it’ll land them on New Music Friday, which means we get a lot of artists making really similar songs which are all absolutely okay but don’t stand out in any way. This song takes some of those sounds and production elements and uses them differently, twisting them into something different and new and brillaint. 4

Jake: CERTIFIED BOP! Infectious melodies. Unbelievable songwriting! This is the perfect example of what every pop song should aspire to be. I’ve seen a lot of hype around Tove Styrke, but just never got around to listening. Now I have and I’m so grateful. So blessed. 4.5

Isabella: THIS IS SO BLOODY GOOD OH MY GOD! The melodies are so on point and Tove sounds stunning. Big fan. 4.5

Peking Duk - Wasted

Ti: Bloody hell, that little vote poll deely at the bottom of the article is going to be the closest we’ve ever had this week. This is great stuff from Peking Duk, and it’s going to absolutely go right the hell off live, though I will note that the video clip does feature some choreographed dance moves, and the last time an Australian act did choreographed dance moves to their latest song, the lead singer of Confidence Man was told she was a piece of shit and that her band have personally destroyed the Australian music industry more than three and a half thousand times. Though I suspect that won’t be an issue with Peking Duk for some reason. I guess my point is: this is going to be a smash, and if every other song this week could also become a smash, the world would probably be a better place. 4.25

Jake: Had the pleasure of seeing this in the flesh at Falls Festival, and my lord, Peking Duk isn’t a band, or a performance, Peking Duk is an experience. Possibly the best live show in Australia right now and their songs are exactly the same. PURE BANGERS AGAIN AND AGAIN. 4.5

Isabella: A BIG summer bop. Love the layered vocals in the chorus and that god damn bass line. A HIT! 4

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