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ClassOf2015

the interns’ Class of 2015

ClassOf2015

The artists to watch in 2015…

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseThanks to Nicki Minaj’s undeniable reign, female rappers aren’t a new thing. In 2014 we had Angel Haze, Azealia Banks, Tink, Little Simz and plenty more show that they can rap just as fiercely as the boys. Dej Loaf isn’t an aggressive rapper. She’s a finessed rapper. One that trades in ferocity for subtlety, carefully weaving her raps around delectable melodies in the way that Drake does when he trades rapping for singing. She too, flicks between rapping and singing meaning that even her harder tracks have a warmth to them. Try Me peaked within the top 50 in America after Drake quotes its lyrics in an Instagram post. It takes more than that though, to get audiences to fork out money for a song. The song’s got to have personality. And Dej Loaf’s songs have plenty of that.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseThe PC Music Soundcloud label was a revelation in 2014. It sounded like the future but it also reeked of ‘90s nostalgia, like Siri meeting Sega. One of the artists on that Soundcloud that churned out consistently brilliant material was Hannah Diamond. Best described as a digital popstar, she is the best one to carry the PC Music movement further. While tracks like Attachment and Pink and Blue were a little polarising (for those not already enamoured by PC Music), Every Night, dropped in the dying months of 2014, has the appeal of a bonafide pop smash. Just like Hey QT, it takes the foundations of a pop song (sugary verse, big, bass-heavy chorus) and runs it through the PC Music filter. She’s confusing, enticing and addictive. All of which lead to one action: repeat.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseThere’s one Like A Version that stands out firmly in our minds this year and that’s Peking Duk’s. Not because of Peking Duk themselves but because of their feature artist JOY. The 17 year-old from Brisbane who steadily grew her profile in 2014, stole the spotlight with her vocals on a cover of Kylie Minogue’s, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Like Kylie, JOY. doesn’t have a big voice, but she has a great one. It’s smokey and ethereal, best delivered atop shimmering electronic beats. Her solo work is just as impressive. Stone, is a brooding, after-dark number with brass stylings while her cover of Drake’s Marvin’s Room is haunting. With the right producers around her, JOY. could churn out some of the best material to come out of Australia in 2015.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseWe are severely craving a new record by Grimes, but we may now have somebody capable of delivering something just as good. KU?KA is the moniker of Laura Jane Lowther from Perth who’s making, haunting, after-dark tunes built on interesting electronic landscapes. She has a bit of Bjork running through her veins, meaning she treads a careful line between heavenly and hellish. She just keeps getting better and her latest track, Divinity, is her most accessible yet. It’s a twinkling pop song that allows us to hear the different textures in her voice as she weaves her way through a slinky melody. It’s hard to remember the last time we had a female artist in Australia with the potential to be as captivating as KU?KA could be.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseIt seems for the moment, that electronica in 2015 will continue to head down the path of kitsch and kawaii, but one producer that defies that is Seattle producer, Lucas. Lucas has the stamp of approval from Ryan Hemsworth and has littered 2014 with atmospheric, dark electronic songs that have captured the spirit of lo-fi indie rock. His remix of Hemsworth’s, One For Me is one of the most heartbreaking things we heard all year and his contribution to Secret Songs, Keep U Warm struck us with its effortless warmth. Amongst all those saccharine tracks, we may just need some melancholy to bring us back down to earth. Lucas is the man for that job.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse“Really how long till the world realise/ Yes, Yes, I’m the best fuck what you heard”, Shamir declares on his debut single for XL Records, On The Regular. It was a latecomer for the best single of 2014- an unexpected, pop manifesto which introduced him to the music world with the same youthful energy as Azealia Banks in 2014. In 2014, this Las-Vegas artist released his disco-tinged EP, Northtown, and then followed it with On The Regular which would’ve sounded completely out of place on the EP. What’s so exciting about Shamir in 2015? We have no idea what road he’s going to take, but he’s nailed so many genres at this point it doesn’t really matter. We’ll see how long it takes until the world realises he’s the best fuck, but we suspect it may take less time for them to see him as the greatest thing to grace pop in 2015.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseWe heard a lot of wispy female artists in 2014 and quite frankly we’ve grown a little bit sick of it. So many of them slip into the mundane, without any emotional commitment. London songstress, Shura, is an artist who does none of the aforementioned. In 2014, she dropped three perfect, dimly-lit pop songs (Touch, Just Once, Indecision) and made us fall in love with her careful melodies and finessed lyrics. Her first single, Touch, remains her greatest asset at this point. “There’s a love between us still but something’s change and I don’t know why”, she sings with the intimacy of two naked bodies standing side by side. Her latest single, Indecision, proves she can bring a bit of nouveau-disco funk to the table, making us even more excited for an album which will probably break our hearts.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseIt seems that the traditional singer/songwriter is back in vogue, if the success of Hozier and George Ezra is anything to go by. Tobias Jesso Jr. is a far more subtle, nuanced songwriter than the aforementioned with the voice of John Lennon. There’s nothing tricky about Tobias Jesso Jr. When you’ve nailed the melody and have the vocal chops to deliver, sometimes all you need to do is sit at the piano and churn it out. It worked for Lana Del Rey’s Video Games and for Bat For Lashes’ Laura. His greatest opus, Hollywood, matches the strength of those two songs. For six minutes he sits at a lonely piano, lamenting about whether showbizz is worth it: “I don’t know if I’ll make it/ and I don’t know If I should”. His debut album, Goon, is out in March and we’re expecting it to be timeless.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseCalifornian rapper Vince Staples has been releasing tracks since 2012, but 2014 felt like the first year he truly made an impact. The 21 year-old released his EP, Hell Can Wait, which was a vicious display of industrial beats and a relentless flow. Blue Suede sounds like an alarm piercing at the ears, yet somehow manages to draw you in with a simple hook and aggressive verses. Staples is the kind of rapper who will release an album like Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid Maad City, rather than play a feature rapper to popstars. There’s only one guest spot on the EP and that’s because he’s a rapper with enough skill and charisma to hold the show himself.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseThis British three-piece chipped away at the music scene, track-by-track in 2014. While there was some brilliant material, none of it really tore apart the charts in the way that it should (their single, Desire, deserved far more attention). That’s not to say Years & Years are a band that have been manicured by labels for a hit. This is a band that will reach the top of the charts purely on the strength of their tracks. Their latest single, King, seems to be the one poised to do that. Their perfect amalgamation of soul, pop and dance genres makes them susceptible to a number of different audiences- the type of band we could see playing Laneway Festival the same day they were interviewed by Kyle and Jackie O.

 

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The A to Z of Charli XCX’s 2014

CharlieXCX

In light of the release of Charli XCX’s new album Sucker and her brilliant 2014, in which she finally conquered the pop world, we decided to run through her year using the alphabet. Yes, it was hard but also rewarding. Charli XCX, this is your life (for 2014, at least).

A is for All-star producers

You only have to look at the producer credits on Charli XCX’s Sucker to see that she’s been working with the best of the best in 2014. On Sucker she’s worked with Benny Blanco who expertly worked on Jessie Ware’s, Tough Love, Greg Kurstin, who weaved his magic over Lily Allen’s Sheezus and Ariel Rechtshaid who’s worked with everyone from HAIM to Kylie Minogue this year. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a few left-of-centre choices in the writing credits with Young & Sick, Ariel Pink and Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow all lending a hand.

B is for Bratty

The whole Sucker era has been centred around Charli XCX being a brat. On Break The Rules she sings “I don’t want to go to school, I don’t want to break the rules” and while it’s hilariously cliche she owns it with an unmatched attitude. Sometimes pop thinks it’s being subtle but it never usually is. Charli knows that and she uses its obviousness to her advantage.

C is for Clueless

The Clueless references began in the video for Fancy with Iggy Azealia but she’s carried them with her for the rest of the year. The Break The Rules video also draws upon ‘90s school fashion as its key reference. She told Oyster, “I’m inspired by Clueless and Jawbreaker and lots of 90s cult movies like The Craft, Scream, and also Josie and the Pussycats and stuff like that. I like fashion to be fantastical and fun.”

D is for Dance Moves

Charli XCX is a self-confessed, terrible dancer but it hasn’t stopped her pulling some choice moves this year. When she took to SNL last weekend to perform Break The Rules she thrust like nobody was watching, getting down like a rebellious teen. It’s terribly untechnical but everybody’s going to want to dance like Charli XCX.

E is for England

Maybe America has taken to Charli XCX so well because she is a different type of popstar (or anti-popstar, if you like) for them. She represents the alternative vibe of east London expertly, taking the sheen off being a popstar. Instead she turns up with scruffed hair, platform shoes and dark eyes. Brit cool has always been very different to American cool and maybe XCX is proving the Brits win out on this one. And that accent, my goodness.

F is for Fugly

Pop music and fashion go hand in hand and XCX has embraced it head-on this year with some brilliant costumes. I think Regina George would call them fugly?

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G is for Goth

Charli XCX’s brilliant, 2013 debut True Romance was a record that dazzled in darkness. There were plenty of brooding, industrial ballads leading her to be labelled a goth. In 2014, she ditched that darkness. Sucker is a much lighter affair, although she’s lost none of the attitude.

H is for Hair

Scruffy and sexy all at once. And it looks like Lorde’s. If you’re interested there’s a whole article on it.

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I is for Iggy

Fancy isn’t Charli XCX’s best song but without it she wouldn’t have been able to make her break. Both Iggy and Charli fit together perfectly and Iggy liked her so much she got her to pen her latest single, Beg For It. 

J is for Joker

These days if you’re going to be a popstar you have to be #real and part of that is being able to share a joke. One of our favourite #real moments by XCX this year was her introduction at  the Billboard Woman Of The Year Awards where she said, “It’s really cool to be at a music industry event where over half the people in the room have vaginas. P—y power!”.

K is for Katy Perry

She opened for Katy Perry on her Prismatic tour this year. I wonder if Katy Perry knows Charli XCX is better than her?

L is for Live Performances

This year’s basically been one neverending prom and here are the videos to prove it. Oh, and at that prom, I Want Candy played.

 

M is for Money

Apart from the fact she’s probably earnt a shitload this year, we’re going to take this opportunity to talk about Gold Coins. Gold Coins is one of the album’s highlights with a stomping bass-line and crunching guitars that rumble under Charli’s reverb-soaked vocal. It’s got all the ingredients of an indie-rock anthem, with the lyrics of a hip-hop song and the melody of a pop song.

N is for Nineties

Charli XCX is a ‘90s kid through and through. Born in 1992, she lived most of her formative years in the decade and it shows on Sucker. On Doing It, she references early Mariah with a flighty funk and on Hanging Around she channels ‘90s indie rock. In a market where most artists are turning to ‘90s RnB for inspiration, it’s refreshing to hear its other genres appropriated.

O is for Octahate

She wrote this alongside Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos, Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat. This will probably be a huge hit next year once radio get its act together.

P is for Punk

Sucker is in essence a punk-pop album. In January she shared a track called Allergic To Love which was a runaway punk track and while she’s toned it down a little since then for the album, the punk element is still very much there. Before this release she scrapped a punk album, telling Popjustice, “I was making a punk album! I was over the music industry, I was over all of it. And I went to Sweden and made a punk album.” That release was scrapped and Sucker eventuated. But tell us that the thumping, two minute wonder Breaking Up or the frantic drums of London Queen aren’t punk.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/charlixcx/allergic-to-love-charli-xcx[/soundcloud]

Q is for Queen

We’re using queen to talk about Charli XCX, the feminist, because we used F for Fugly, which we don’t regret. Earlier this year she called out a journalist for asking her if she was fingering herself on the radio. She took straight to Twitter and naturally the issue erupted. She’s been criticised for calling herself a feminist and then wearing what she wears. And to that she says, “I still believe in equality, I still run my own shit. I’m not a dumb idiot just because of what I wear.”

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R is for Rebellion

A hit song can be a gift and a nightmare. In 2012, Charli XCX wrote I Love It for Swedish duo Icona Pop, which was a huge hit around the world FYI. While it’s obviously been a blessing, it’s also left Charli being heckled by her record company to write a hit. To that she said, “you know what, fuck off” and also turned down a guest spot on a Christina Aguilera record.

S is for Sweden

Charli XCX spent some time in Sweden recording a punk album which hasn’t seen the light of day but she also record Break The Rules after spending a lot of time listening and covering songs by Swedish punk acts like Snuffed By The Yakuza. 

T is for Twitter

Charli XCX has had a glorious year on Twitter. Here are some of our favourites:

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U is for Underappreciated

By Hilary Duff, at least. Apparently she offered Boom Clap to her but she turned it down. “…her people were like, ‘this is NOT cool enough for Hilary’”, she told Popjustice. Oh, the irony. Apparently this was cool enough though:

V is for Videos

All Charli XCX’s videos have been great this year. Mostly going with the Clueless thing, they’ve been nostalgia-inducing masterpieces that leave plenty of room for her personality to shine through. TBH, the Boom Clap one is a bit of a bore but the song is great, so we’ll leave it at that.

W is for Weezer

It may be a bit of a strange friendship but it seems Charli XCX and River Cuomo of Weezer fame have buddied up to form quite the partnership. He came to the studio to hear her lay down vocals for Boom Clap after she reached out to him and he knew who she was. They did two days in the studio together and he liked the pop tracks more than the tracks that had been inspired by him which is either rude or cool. He only ended up with a writing credit on one of the songs, Hanging Around.

X is for XCX

Just because it’s her name and apart from xylophone (which she doesn’t play) what the hell else does X start with?

Y is for YOLO

While the acronym hasn’t been around for the whole lifespan of pop, pop has always been about YOLO really. The whole of Sucker has a sense of reckless abandon to it. On Die Tonight, she’s singing “til the sun comes up” because she “could die tonight” while on Famous she’s singing “got one night…and we’re gonna come and crash the party”.

Z is for Zero to hero

In an interview with Shazam, Charli XCX described herself before this year as “a songwriter who had a cool album which no one bought”. It’s true too. Her album, True Romance, produced no top ten singles and charted at 85 in the UK. It’s likely that Sucker, out this week, will have much more luck. Boom Clap has already been a top ten hit around much of the world and Break The Rules looks to be doing the same thing.

Charli XCX is touring with Groovin The Moo and doing some sideshows too. Check out the details below:

29th April
Metro Theatre, Sydney

1st May
Corner Hotel, Melbourne

7th May
The Met, Brisbane

Tickets: Frontier Touring

ARIA2

We Played ‘Would You Rather’ with the ARIA Award Nominees

The 2014 ARIA Awards AKA Australia’s Night of Nights was held yesterday at The Star, Sydney. With acts such as Sia, Chet Faker, Peking Duk and Andy Bull up for winning the coveted awards, as well as some special visitors from across the pond, tension and excitement were high as the stars hit the red carpet in anticipation of the results. We joined the talent, both local and international, and decided to loosen them up with a classic game of ‘Would You Rather’.

MATTALEX

chrislilley copy

KyleRichardWilkins

Havana

delta

andy

5SOS

mathewgarwoodthevoice

kitestring

 

generikjusticecrew

veronicas

Nathaniel

osher

guy

1D

JAwards

10 Albums That Could’ve/Should’ve Won The J Award

JAwards

Last year, Flume, probably deservedly, took home the J Award for the Best Australian Album of the Year according to triple j. Flume’s album featured one particular collaboration with fellow Aussie Chet Faker, Left Alone, which exemplified a bromance which has flourished ever since. Come 2014 and like a mother feeling sorry for the other sibling, triple j has awarded Chet Faker’s, Built On Glass, the J Award.

This means that in a year where Australia had arguably one of the most excitable musical climates in the world, Chet Faker’s was the one that stood out over all. While we aren’t arguing the fact that Built On Glass was a good debut record, great even, there were plenty of other albums that had a little more flair, originality and energy.

Also file this under our favourite Australian albums of 2014.

The Preatures- Blue Planet Eyes

The Preatures have had a massive year, not losing any of the momentum they gained from Is This How You Feel? Their debut album Blue Planet Eyes validated all the hype. It was a sexy, melodic record that smouldered with slow-burners and ate into our hearts with its catchy up-tempos. Somebody’s Talking is a cracker of a single, while the album as a whole is unmistakably Aussie. Surely that’s worth celebrating.

Sia- 1000 Forms of Fear

Sia was once a triple j darling but since she started writing for the likes of Beyonce and Christina Aguilera she’s failed to gain much traction there. That’s fair enough, it’s not like she really needed it, but nonetheless 1000 Forms Of Fear is a mighty pop record. Led by the soaring lead single, Chandelier, the album is a collection of mid-tempos that go way over-the-top with metaphors, huge chorus and billowing vocals. It would be definitely worth celebrating the success story that was Sia in 2014, particularly given her humble beginnings.

Remi- Raw x Infinity

Remi is one of the finest rappers to come out of this country in a long time. He understands the overseas flavour but also has his feet firmly planted within Australian hip-hop. Raw x Infinity was a combustion of youthful energy, with a constantly bouncing beat and effortless flow. Remi really proves his credentials when he takes to the live arena with a show that’s more impressive than any local offering this year.

Allday- Cult

Allday is one of the first Australian rappers to really admit to overseas influence over local. His debut album Cult, exemplifies that with beats that sit somewhere between Mike Will Made It  and Kaytranada. The most impressive thing about Cult is his effortless feel for melody. On the lead single Right Now, he sounds almost sleepy but still manages to carve out this tune that just hovers around your head. It’s the type of aspirational record that a 23 year-old should be delivering for his debut which is a lot easier said than done.

Kimbra- The Golden Echo

She may be from over the pond, but Kimbra’s debut Vows was nominated in 2011 so surely she could have nabbed the award in 2014. The Golden Echo far surpassed her debut both in ambition and in result. It was a cosmic journey through soul, RnB and pop collisions delivered by a confident vocalist whose mind is out of this world. ‘90s Music was wildly unexpected and while the rest of the album isn’t as left-of-centre, it’s still a refreshing take on a number of genres that have been overdone. Just when you feel like you’ve got a grip of The Golden Echo it takes a sudden turn. If we’re rewarding innovation and bravery here, the prize has to be Kimbra’s.

Broods- Evergreen

So, if we give the award to Kimbra then we have to also consider fellow New Zealanders, Broods, who delivered a polished, pop debut this year. Evergreen was full of, excuse the pun, brooding vocals and swirling beats that came together to form expert pop songs. Songs like Mother & Father tugged at the heartstrings while those like L.A.F. dazzled in happy giddiness. They’re the newcomers most likely to do big things overseas and, while a J Award would be slightly presumptuous, it would make triple j look damn good once they finally took off.

Andy Bull- Sea Of Approval

It took Andy Bull five years to deliver his follow-up record, Sea Of Approval, but impossibly it was worth the wait. While Chet Faker erred toward electronica to deliver what is essentially a pop record, Bull dabbled in RnB. At times it’s cinematic, at times it’s uncomfortably intimate but it’s always honest. Leading the album with a one-two-three punch of Keep On Running, Baby I Am Nobody Now and Talk Too Much, shows that he’s a popstar in disguise and deservant of far more attention than he’s been dealt.

Kylie Minogue- Kiss Me Once

Oh, what a world it would be. This would never happen and if it did it would be because triple j had been bought by ARN. But if we’re talking about great pop records it’s hard to look past Kylie’s 11th album. Yeah, it was a commercial flop but it was probably one of her most left-of-centre records since her 1994 self-titled effort. Written by the likes of Sia, Pharrell Williams and Ariel Rechtshaid, Kiss Me Once was one of the tastiest records of the year and gave us I Was Gonna Cancel- a moment of pop brilliance from the princess herself.

DZ Deathrays- Black Rat

Many might be declaring rock dead in 2014 but DZ Deathrays are the best argument as to why it isn’t. On Black Rat, the duo’s second album, they’d cleaned themselves up a bit and rather than grunge gave us expansive, anthemic rock songs bound by crunching guitars and organic, thumping percussion. Northern Lights beats out any rock song released by an Australian acts in 2014. They’ve also quietly gone about their business, finding success overseas.

The Harpoons- Falling For You

Melbourne group The Harpoons quietly released their excellent, funk-tinged debut this year and while it didn’t attract the fanfare it deserved, it’s one of those records that grows with age. From sensual slow-burners to quirky electronica, Falling For You was an album for lovers, which in many ways sits in the same lane as Chet Faker’s Built On Glass. It’s as if somebody remixed The Preatures with great success and repackaged it as The Harpoons. A brilliant, low-key stunner that reveals itself with every listen.

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Kanye West’s Albums Reimagined With Kim Kardashian

 

Kanye West Kim Kardashian break the internet

When Kim Kardashian‘s rear end commanded the breaking of the internet, news outlets and websites worldwide abided by its instructions; they blogged, posted, reposted, rehashed and hashtagged the living daylight out of her derriere. Feeling a little left out from the party, and not wishing to look ‘behind’ in the news, we decided to make the gluteus maximus of this well-endowed occasion by finding a link to music, no matter how dubious it may be, to allow us to incorporate the notorious picture into the interns in some way. Looking to the Messiah of music and the #1 fan of Kimmy’s tush, Kanye West, for inspiration, we decided to combine his hefty back catalogue with her hefty *ahem* back catalogue.

The College Dropout

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Late Registration

Late-Registration

 

Graduation

Graduation

 

808s & Heartbreak

808s

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

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Watch the Throne

Watch the throne2

Yeezus

yeezus

Yeah…we’ve got nothing.

For more fun & frivolities like this, follow us on Facebook! 

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Controversial Videos Aren’t A New Thing

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This week it seems the internet has been awash with inappropriate music videos and similarly pretty media surrounding them. Yesterday, X-factor judge, tennis enthusiast and part-time party rocker, Redfoo, released the video for his new single Literally I Can’t. It features a collection of the most awful rapper in the business including gravel-swallowing Lil Jon.

It’s copped flack for the song’s content and accompanying video which has them deliver lines like “Shhh … I said jump on the pole: I didn’t need your opinion” and “But you an annoying slut, because you’re talking”. The video then has Lil Jon telling girls who refuse to drop down at their request to “shut the fuck up”. Poor Redfoo’s obviously a little confused by the reaction, taking to Twitter to say “the word “slut” never appears in the lyrics of Literally I Can’t”. Well, he’s off the hook in our book then, it’s all a terrible misunderstanding. In fact he thinks, “they [women] are the most powerful people on this planet!”

Everywhere from Murdoch’s press to music blogs have expressed their fury at this latest act from Redfoo, forgetting they are talking about the man who wrote Sexy And I Know It.

The fact of the matter is, Redfoo has struggled to sell a single outside of Australia for over two years and the media has done exactly what he wanted them to do- promote the single. It’s not a new tactic, in fact, it’s an age old art.

Here are a few videos that have been pulled up for being inappropriate in the past:

Nicki Minaj- Only (Feat. Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown)

Two minutes with Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj has gone feral. We’re not sure if this is just a hideous coincidence or a chance to promote another single through shock tactics (remember Anaconda?). The lyric video for Only looks remarkably similar to a piece of Nazi propaganda which has seemingly very little to do with the song’s main message which is “I never fucked Drake, I never fucked Wayne”. There’s something really screwed up about alluding to Nazism in any case, particularly when Chris Brown is dressed in an SS uniform.

Christina Aguilera- Not Myself Tonight

Poor Xtina had been out of the game for a while and when she game back there was a new girl in town: Lady Gaga. Upon releasing her fourth album, Bionic, she was plagued with criticism for ‘copying’ Lady Gaga. So what did she do? Made an S&M themed video that was even inappropriate for red tube.

The Prodigy- Smack My Bitch Up

Drug use, vandalism, nudity and sex (aka. just another day for The Prodigy) are featured in the 1997 video for one of The Prodigy’s most iconic tracks. Unsurprisingly the video drew serious criticism for misogyny and was banned in the US and the UK. funnily enough the video eventually won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video despite being originally banned on the channel.

Robin Thicke- Blurred Lines

Do we really need to explain?

Madonna- Like A Prayer

Ol’ Madge has always been a big fan of shock tactics and she went all out with the video for Like A Prayer. The religious-themed video see the cross burnt and the murder of a black girl by white supremacists. Perhaps unsurprisingly Madonna was banned from performing in Italy by the pope. Surely someone somewhere has the power to ban Redfoo from performing in Australia or at least confine him to Marquee, right?

Psy- Gentleman

How do you follow-up a one hit wonder? By objectifying women of course. In the video for Gentleman he throws clothes at women, laughs at them falling off treadmills and grinds them with a sense of entitlement. Yep, we see the irony in doing it in a song called Gentleman so we’re not quite sure if it’s the painfully obvious irony or the objectification that’s most offensive to us.

Avril Lavigne- Hello Kitty

In Avril’s defence, we have absolutely no doubt that she had no idea she was being offensive. But surely, there was someone around her, who thought “maybe this isn’t such a good idea”. Why? She uses a bunch of stereotyped Japanese girls who are mute and robotic the whole video while Lavigne prances around like a brat. Avril’s reaction to the racism accusations? “”RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!!” Bless her hello kitty socks. Also Chad Kroeger co-wrote the song which is offensive in itself.

Future & Kanye West- I Won

Not a music video in the traditional sense, but Future designed a video game based off the song I Won where the main goal was to acquire a trophy wife by throwing chains at them. If only he’d run it by Ciara just once, it would’ve never been made.

If you so please, play the game here. 

M.I.A.- Born Free

M.I.A. was definitely clued into the fact that her Born Free video was offensive and the media willingly confirmed it. The video saw gingers persecuted as an ethnic minority and was swiftly pulled from YouTube upon release. At the end of 2010 many people labelled it one of the best videos of the year with naysayers still hung up on the fact that a musician made a politically-motivated video.

Party Posse- Yvan Eht Nioj

It’s still an unproven myth to many but clued in folk would’ve have noticed that the key message of this hit by Bart Simpson’s boyband, Party Posse, is actually ‘join the navy’. Pop is all fun and games until someone is affected by subliminal messaging.

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8 Moments From ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ That Make Us Believe In Azealia Banks Again

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Let’s be honest, most people who were fans of Azealia Banks in 2012 have now moved onto Iggy Azalea and forgotten she even said the C word in 212. Who knows what’s happened with Banks over the course of the past two years. She got signed and then left, she’s started beefs with just about everyone and she’s left plenty a crowd disappointed. Despite her increasingly bizarre behaviour, one thing remained a constant – her talk of Broke With Expensive Taste.

On Twitter, she’s constantly spoken of Broke With Expensive Taste even though for a long time it felt as if it would never see the light of day. This weekend, finally she dropped the damn record in a Beyonce fashion and while it doesn’t trump Queen B’s effort, it reintroduces Banks as somebody to keep an eye on.

For somebody who’s managed to piss off everyone in the industry, Broke With Expensive Taste boasts a large list of impressive producers. Everyone from Lone to Araabmuzik to Ariel Pink have production credits on the album, proving that Banks still has her finger on the pulse musically.

Here are a few moments from the record that make us remember why we were so excited about Banks two years ago.

When she opens with the tropical beats of Idle Delilah

For an artist who’s made a career on shock value, Idle Delilah is a refreshingly relaxed introduction to the album. Pearson Sound delivers a ridiculously delicious beat of rhythmic sounds that couldn’t sound any further away from the sounds of New York that she usually channels. Banks is on form throughout and completely comfortable with laying back into the beat and leaving her ferocity behind. People will lose it for this one in the clubs.

When Ice Princess flips instantaneously from a hip-hop to a dance beat

Ice Princess is the most likely to be a crowd-favourite from the album. The Araabmuzik creation covers off everything that people came to love about Banks – she slays over a hard-hitting hip-hop beat but is also comfortable taking it to the club. The track moves from being a straight-up hip-hop song into a pop-dance number and then chops back again. It’s completely bipolar but isn’t that the very reason we fell for Banks in the first place? According to Banks herself it’s about “the story of how I met your man in the summer, stole him by September, and moved into the mansion in December.”

When she trades rapping for singing on Chasing Time

If you heard her early cover of Interpol’s Slow Hands you’d be clued into the fact that Banks has a voice on her. Chasing Time, however, is the first time we’ve heard it out in full force on one of her originals. It’s without a doubt the most radio-friendly track on the album without compromising any of her characteristics. It may actually be one of the best RnB-electronica crossover tracks of the year.

When Luxury creeps up and you remember how good it was in the first place

Luxury was originally from Banks’ Fantasea mixtape and even got the video treatment but got lost amongst her myriad of other headlines for things mostly unrelated to her music. It appears on Broke With Expensive Taste, sounding almost identical to the mixtape version, but still sounding phenomenal. It’s an impossibly smooth slice of RnB/dance, that was surely made for the social minglers of New York, sipping on Martinis in The W. There’s so many different facets to Azealia Banks and Luxury proves she’s capable of handling things without quick-witted raps or insults.

When she literally says “Cunt diddle cunt du cunt cunt” in Miss Amor

Yes, it’s true, the C word is back. Apparently Miss Amor was meant to be the first single from the album but we can see why her record label decided against it after a swift read of the lyrics. The ridiculous lyrics don’t stop there either. She continues with “rum diggy dum du dum” and “ump jiggle bump bu rrrump pump”. It’s completely nonsensical but that’s Banks’ charm. She’ll throw in anything to make sure those syllable keeps rolling effortlessly onto the next and it works here. Miss Amore is the slickest rap Banks delivers on the album.

When she finds the perfect partner with Theophilus London in JFK

Theophilus London is a rapper with the same kind of ethos as Azealia Banks. They’re both rappers at heart but are prone to err towards the pop side or the alternative side without delivering songs inside the lines of conventional hip-hop. JFK is a cocktail of personality. It’s an impossibly slick, fashionable track in the same vein as A$AP Rocky’s Fashion Killa. London’s verse is far more manic than Banks’ but together they compliment by operating in the same aesthetic.

When she heads straight for the dancefloor on Soda

When Banks dropped 212, it pleased both hip-hop and dance music lovers and it feels like she’s doing the same here on Soda. Soda brings with it the thickest, dirtiest beat of the whole record, with Banks singing over top. It’s the type of beat that pulsates through the head at 4 in the morning with a certain murkiness to it. It may not have the same energy as 212 but it has a club-ready strength to it which is undeniable.

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When she forgets she’s a rapper on Nude Beach A Go-Go

It’s surprising to see cult alt-hero, Ariel Pink, on the production credits for the album but after hearing Nude Beach A Go-Go, it makes total sense. Well, it makes no sense that she included it on the album, but it does make sense in that Pink is the only person who could’ve produced something like this. It sounds like the Beach Boys soundtracked a sunscreen ad, with Azealia Banks oddly doing her best Christina Aguilera vocal. If Banks is anything, it’s unpredictable and you can’t help but laugh when this emerges after the slick, Luxury.

 

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8 Reasons Why Ryan Hemsworth Is One Of The Most Important Producers Right Now

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Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth has just released his second album Alone For The First Time, so we thought it would be nice to gush over him for a bit and look at where he sits in the world of producers right now.

1. He doesn’t attach to a clique

All you have to do is look at who is supporting Hemsworth on his ‘Sucker For Punishment’ tour to see how far and wide his admiration for electronic musicians stretches. Like many genres, electronic music has a tendency to place artists in a certain group or collective. The artists feature on each others tracks, nurture each other and inevitably churn out releases that sound similar. It’s not a bad thing, but part of Hemsworth’s charm is that he’s hard to place in a pre-determined group. He’s worked with Aussie producer, UV Boi, Japanese beatmaker, Qrion and has tracks on his latest album with Doss, The GTW, Little Cloud and many more. There’s hardly a common thread you can tie between them apart from Hemsworth himself.

2. He’s diverse

If you were following Hemsworth’s releases in the lead up to the new album, you may have been blindsided by Alone For The First Time. Cream Soda with Tomggg was full of candied sounds while Gods with UV Boi was a profound, iphone-sound borrowing track. Even Every Square Inch with Qrion, the most similar to the album, is far more dancefloor ready than anything on the sophomore album.

Turn from that to his remixes and you’ve got a completely different Hemsworth. His remix of Beyonce’s Mine is industrial and hard-hitting while his take on Future’s Honest, is a subtle, minimalist affair. It’s easy to forget even, that some of his early tracks like Day N Nite, had him pinned as a hip-hop/RnB producer. So, what do we learn from this? Hemsworth is a product of the internet generation – a producer who is consuming a lot of music and just like trends is constantly changing his mind. He told Dummymag, “I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to fully create one single, consistent sound… which I hope is a good thing…There is a short shelf life for a lot of sounds”

3. He’s not afraid to have fun

Alone For The First Time and to some extent, Guilt Trips are heavy listens. It’s more easily listened to knowing that the producer behind them is not afraid to have a little fun. His bouncing remix of the Backstreet Boys’ Show Me The Meaning, sampling Amanda Bynes still stands as one of his most impressive outputs.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/i-d-online-1/show-me-the-meaning-of-being[/soundcloud]

4. His instagram game is top notch

This is clearly the most important point. You can’t be an important producer if you don’t have an instagram with plenty of good shit on it. Good shit, Hemsworth has. It’s an instagram full of Pokemon, ironic selfies and travelling tidbits. Oh and shoes, plenty of cool shoes.

Basically, it just makes you like the guy. So many electronic producers remain enigmatic or become bitter and fan-shy, but Hemsworth is none of those things. He’s present, funny and a little dorky.

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5. He gives new producers a leg-up

All that social media presence, actually puts Hemsworth in a good position to spruik new music. Earlier this year he started his Secret Songs project which sees him release new music for free by new artists that he loves. For six months, he’s dropped songs by the likes of Tennyson, Ricky Eat Acid, Lucas, Little Cloud and more. And for many, giving them widespread exposure for the first time. Hemsworth writes a spiel about the song, as does the artist and then it’s dropped for free on the public.

“I have a following and people like my taste for whatever reason”, he told THUMP, further telling Dummymag that “it’s just trying to bring them [the producers] into the world that aren’t really in that much at the moment.” In that way, he is using his following to give exposure to artists that are still based on the internet – plucking them into the real world and exposing great but undiscovered music. Many of the artists are now touring alongside him.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/sets/shh-ffb6c1[/soundcloud]

6. He has his eyes on Japan where they should be

Japan is one of the most interesting countries for electronic music right now and Hemsworth is suitably fascinated. He told THUMP before even visiting the country, “I’m pretty in love with most things Japan. I was put onto a lot of Japanese horror movies when I was 13 by my older cousin, and just got obsessed with that. To me, I’m fully romanticising that world”.

Like fellow Japan-enthusiast, Porter Robinson, Hemsworth has a way of borrowing that Japanese aesthetic for his own songs. They have solemn, saddening undertones with perky, plastic synths layered on top. It’s mixing those two things just like anime does in juxtaposing its visual with the message.

He recently wrote a brilliant piece for The Fader on his trip to Japan. It tracks the experience of playing and getting by in a country where they don’t speak his language. He met Qrion, Tofubeats, Pa’s Lam System and Seiho, to name a few, and openly expressed, “I suck compared to these guys”. What’s most interesting is they can barely communicate with eachother because of the language barrier but are able to come together musically, with the help of a little alcohol. FYI, Qrion outdrinks Hemsworth.

7. He’s eloquent in the way he speaks of electronic music

An ambasador for anything, needs to be able to state their case. Hemsworth has given copious interviews over the course of his career. Here are a few of the most poignant things he’s said about electronic music.

“If you create a new sound, you’re top of the world for a minute, and then the next sound is the new thing.”Dummymag

“…from a young age, I got really into discovering music—that magical feeling when you find something new. Still to this day, every day, I have that. It’s what keeps me going when playing at shows playing new songs. It’s always such a fresh feeling.”Interview

“I’m still lumped into the electronic music world, which is totally a part of me. I’m booked for club shows and festivals and stuff, but I want to make music that’s a bit outside of that world. I want to make music that’s a little bit of everything.” Red Bull

8. His new album is spellbinding

I mean, really, you gotta hear it. Alone For The First Time is an expansive, emotional record that sees Hemsworth play around with life instrumentation and pull in artists that he’s admired for a while including Little Cloud, Dawn Golden and The GTW.

It’s a short, compact record but one that packs a real punch. Opener Hurt Me, is an orchestral heartwrencher, while closer By Myself, is an ode to being alone and one that sounds as profound as any words uttered by Gil Scott-Heron. In between, Hemsworth flips between showing influences like The Postal Service (Snow In Newark) to showing his admiration for Japanese electronica (Surrounded).

It’s a record that sees Hemsworth step out as an artist rather than a bedroom producer. It may be at times sad and lonely, but altogether it’s a heartwarming listen, finessed with love and care.

You can buy it if you like. Here.

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Semplesize Block Party – Second Announcement

If you thought the Semplesize Block Party that we announced at the beginning of the month couldn’t get any bigger, we are here to prove you wrong. Along with SemplesizeSpook Magazine, Hessian MagazineBeat Magazine and Trumpeter’s Alcoholic Ice Tea, we’re proud to announce the latest additions to the lineup: pop duo De̊ ǰa, the boisterous Twin Beasts, art-rock duo The Stiffyselectronic/hip-hop outfit Fortunes and hip-hop DJ Fletch. Joining the already huge lineup of BanoffeeMilwaukee Banks and House of Laurence, the latest additions to the bill only further ensure that this New York-style block party is set to be the biggest soiree of the Summer. We’re also excited to announce that fellow co-presenters Hessian Magazine will be hosting a runway fashion show which will feature the latest offerings from talented local designers.

Early bird tickets of a discounted rate of $15.00 are almost sold out so head over to Howler now before stock runs out!

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Five New Artists You Should Tell Your Friends About

 

TELLYOURFRIENDSStop talking about the weather! We’ve got a new topic of conversation for the water cooler. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing; stop. Log on to a chat room, pull out that phone or simply yell from your bedroom window. Whatever it takes to get the word out. These new artists are funky and fresh and will probably soundtrack Laneway 2018.

After a bit of Soundcloud surfing we’ve think we’ve come up with five new artists, that have quite the knack for crafting great songs.

Chloe Black

London artist Chloe Black may only have one song to her name but in 2 days it’s racked up 30,000 plays. Why? Because it’s a smoking, sultry track that sounds a little like Lana Del Rey, if Del Rey wasn’t afraid to growl a little.

27 Club sets out to be dark and it’s successful in doing so because Black is so committed and naturally gritty. If her Cruella Deville-inspired hairdo doesn’t give it away, the girl’s got a little bit of evil in her blood and it doesn wonders. Of course, it’s reckless to spruik an artist after just one song, but something you just know.

The answer to her question re: “27 Club can I get in?” is no, by the way. She’s staying right here.

[soundcloud width=”720″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/chloeblackofficial/27-club-chloe-black[/soundcloud]

Feel So Real

According to his Soundcloud Harriet Brown has “descended from the heavens”, so I suppose it’s quite cool that a modern day messiah is so keen on becoming a pop star. Might have made Jesus a few more fans.

All the silliness aside, Harriet Brown who goes by the name of Feel So Real has crafted a pretty impressive EP, New Era, built from lo-fi ‘80s nostalgia and expertly crafted pop-melodies. “Romantic funk”, is the label Brown has attributed to it and he’s spot on. The tracks evoke that same kind of steam that comes from a Prince slow-burner.

The hero of his Soundcloud is New Machines – a synth-heavy, retro cut which has Brown sounding like a more colourful Twin Shadow. It steadily builds but never explicitly, allowing you to lay-back in it and enjoy it for the loved-up gem it is.

Drippin

This producer may just be the most badass producer to ever come from Scandinavia. For the better part of two years Norwegian producer, Drippin, has been crafting hard-line beats of hip-hop influenced, industrial electronica.

Drippin rarely has time for hooks, rather he serves up relentless, abrasive beats that pelt away at your head, cracking the hard exterior. His latest track, Kyoto, sounds like ice dropping on cold aluminum. Its enthrallment comes in its darkness, in the same way that Yeezus makes your skin crawl at times.

Kyoto has been released by experimental New York label, Lit City Trax run by J Cush of electronica super-group (of sorts), Future Brown. While he’s from Scandinavia, all Drippin’s music sounds like the sort that could only have been given birth to in a city bound by masses of concrete and steel.

Liv

It wouldn’t be a week at all really, if we didn’t stumble upon a brilliant female RnB singer from London. 20 year-old singer, Liv is our latest find and boy are we pleased with ourselves. Her debut track, Come A Little Closer, effortlessly blended together elements of hip-hop, RnB and industrial electronica with Liv running alongside it with a whispered, silently fierce vocal.

This week she released the follow-up to that track, Special, and flipped the tempo, showing a completely different side. Special, is a sexy, romantic number peppered with plucked guitars lounge-found beats. She maintains that hushed vocal that we first heard on Come A Little Closer, finding a pocket in between Jessie Ware and Aaliyah.

Her voice may be interesting enough to carry any old song, but it’s an extra perk that the tracks carry some serious melodic weight. They’re not in your face but they’re slender enough to bend around your airwaves and slide right on in.

Flyte

After all the sex, steel and romance we had to finish on something a little more light-hearted. London band Flyte are about as much fun as a bubble tea on a sunny day. They’re in the business of crafting effortlessly catchy, chorus-centred songs.

There’s a healthy amount of hype surrounding this London band and it’s because they have the nostalgic cool to appeal to the underground and also the pop-sensibilities to take hold of a mainstream audience. Their latest track, Light Me Up, is an airy, weightless track that swoops in with a big chorus bolstered by perfect melodies. The great video also perfectly references ‘80s coy, cinema. It shows that the four of them have more than enough charisma to make a Flyte show equal parts intriguing and fun.

They are currently working their way around the UK on a two month tour which will surely get the UK press shouting. And once they start making some noise, Australia will start shouting.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/flyte/flyte-light-me-up[/soundcloud]

 

 

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