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First Impressions: Troye Sivan, Tinashe, Ellie Goulding And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 07/25/2020
First Impressions

First Impressions is our weekly review features. We take six songs and give our writers the chance to give their two cents on each. This week, we’re getting into Troye Sivan’s new song Easy, Ellie Goulding’s album highlight Love I’m Given, Tinashe’s new cut Rascal (Superstar) and more.

Troye Sivan – Easy

Aleisha – Personally loving this new one from Troye, especially the precision of the lyrics, strong as ever. There’s plenty of light and shade, production-wise, and I think the 80s drums and synth combo is a little magical. Jury’s out on the video, though. The kinda-violent, red-lit ending in the pool gave me major flashbacks to Lorde in the video for Magnets, with Disclosure. When am I getting my Melodrama follow up? 4

Sam: This one drifted by me on first listen but then I caught onto the, “This house is on fire! Woo!” bit and the song started getting under my skin. Troye has so seamlessly grown into his musical identity and now he’s making some his most most personal and introspective music to date. The best part about Easy is it’s so self-assured that it never sounds like it’s trying to be anything else. 4.5

Nasty Cherry – Better Run

Aleisha – I’m not as keen on this release as the first singles from Nasty Cherry… On paper, being birthed in the laboratory of Charli XCX should be enough to get me to enjoy this more, but it doesn’t have the same self-awareness of a Charli track, or even the tongue-in-cheek twistedness of Win. Gabi’s vocals over the synths remind me of Carly Rae, though, and I do really like the Haim-esque basslines. 2.5

Sam: This is probably the most straightforward pop song Nast Cherry have ever put out. It’s interesting to hear Gab’s voice sound so soft. It uncovers a whole new dimension to the band and I’m really impressed. There are definitely elements of this that are safe but the melody is basically faultless. 4

Tinashe – Rascal (Superstar)

Aleisha – I really like the track and the video, with its quarantine fantasy-world aesthetic that sits somewhere between Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and Hustlers. After an over-too-soon 2 minutes and 37 seconds, I came away convinced that it’s Tinashe’s world and we’re all just streaming it. 3.5

Sam: I’m raving about everything Tinashe is doing right now. I’m so glad she had her second coming and it’s even better than the first. Rascal (Superstar) feels like a celebration of the freedom she’s regained. It’s a lot of fun and deserves to make a splash on the charts. 4

Ellie Goulding – Love I’m Given

Aleisha – Nope, nope, nope, I just can’t get around this. I understand that Ellie is trying to build to a big finish, but the choir behind her feels robotic and empty. I’m not hopeful about the rest of the hour-long, 19-track album it’s taken from, either. 1

Sam: Easily the biggest song off Brightest Blue, I think this is classic Goulding. I can imagine this one sitting on Halcyon because it feels dark and weighty but also triumphant. Goulding’s voice in the chorus really takes off too. It’s not the most exciting song she’s ever made but it’s rock solid. 3.5

Anne-Marie – To Be Young (Feat. Doja Cat)

Aleisha – In 2012, when a 22-year-old Taylor Swift let us know it was okay to feel happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time, she wasn’t reinventing the wheel. In 2020, Anne-Marie follows basically the same blueprint, with the exception of the lyrics where she’s hotboxing her car in winter instead of eating breakfast at midnight – how naughty. Doja’s appearance definitely saves the song for me – I’m kind of obsessed with the emotion she lends to her delivery, which has a bittersweetness that reminds me of SZA. 2.5

Sam: I loved Anne-Marie when she was making really charismatic, silly pop but it feels like she’s a little lost right now. The Doja Cat addition is an easy grab for radio airplay and the subject matter of the song creeps its way into pop every summer. It’s not a bad song but it manages to suck the personality out of AM which is her most distinguishing feature. 2

Aluna, Princess Nokia & Jada Kingdom – Get Paid

Aleisha – I think this is my favourite First Impression of the week? The collab between Aluna, Princess Nokia and Jamaica’s Jada Kingdom is a delight. Nokia, especially, shines with her goofball take over the nostalgic dancehall beat, and Jada is a really fun new discovery for me. In a recent Instagram post, Aluna said she was gunning up “to face a head on collision with the most white, male saturated part of the industry”. Taken from her debut album as a solo artist, this joyous track feels like a perfect celebration of black women in music.  4

Sam: Aluna is moving through the genres with her new solo material. Get Paid sees her take a trip into dancehall with a twist. The hook of this is so disorientating and off-kilter that it instantly makes you want to figure out the song. It’s got me hook, line and sinker now. A feel-good, summer anthem that manages to serve equality in bop-form. 4

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