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song of summer 2014 _ 2

What will be the song of Summer 2014?

song of summer 2014

If you haven’t heard already, the Northern Hemisphere has already had Summer and by the sounds of it they did it quite well. One thing they got wrong, however, was the track they chose as the song of Summer, with Billboard crowning Iggy Azalea’s Fancy with the title after it ruled the charts for seven weeks.

The benefit of hindsight is that we can correct the wrongs made by America. Don’t get us wrong, Fancy is a #banger but it is not appropriate for the song of Summer. The song of Summer (or the SOS, if you like) should be a euphoric number – a song as sexy as Drunk In Love with the anthemic nature of DJ Otzi’s Hey Baby.

In the interest of finding a song vaguely similar to that odd combination, we’ve set out to find the SOS, and you know what? We just may have found it.

The Mainstream Players

Alesso- Heroes (We Could Be)

This one is making its run up the charts just in time for Summer. Big-voiced Swede, Tove Lo, leads proceedings and delivers a mighty chorus that will likely have Steresonic goers in all kinds of ecstasy. It may be the least original song you’ll hear this year, but Summer people don’t want to think.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/alesso/heroes[/soundcloud]

Avicii- The Days

The thought of hearing this more times than one is making us feel a bit sick but it’s a very real possibility that Avicii and Robbie will be the kings of Summer. Summery guitars. Tick. Youthful lyrics sung by a 40 year-old. Tick. Plenty of “woooohs”. Tick. Crack open a Corona and switch the wireless to this one, these are the days you won’t forget.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/wilver-perez-gomez/avicii-the-days-feat-robbie-williams-original-mix-1[/soundcloud]

Nick Jonas- Jealous

Lil’ Jonas went and listened to a JT record and now he’s grabbing things in untasteful ways and sending his voice into giddy heights. He told Today Show in America that he was “starting a conversation” about male jealousy with this song so, we may as well call this the charity single of 2014. Thanks for starting the convo, Nick.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/aziliz-cxndi/nick-jonas-jealous-audio[/soundcloud]

 Gwen Stefani- Baby Don’t Lie

It’s too early to tell whether this is a flop or a hit but it’s certainly got plenty of Summery vibes to it. She’s no stranger to a Summer hit if you can remember The Sweet Escape and wouldn’t it be good to see the ol’ Harajuku gal on top once more.

Taylor Swift- Shake It Off

Look, to be honest, this is probably going to be the song of Summer so if you have that attitude, maybe just stop reading now. For the optimists here, shake off that last comment and continue to explore the possibilities of a song of Summer that doesn’t mention haters.

 

The Dark Horses

The Magician- Sunlight

This one is named after one of Summer’s attributes so it’s a no brainer really. There are tribal drums, a big, euphoric chorus and a video clip filmed on a beach. If anything is going to rise up the charts in the next few weeks it’s this one.

Peking Duk- Take Me Over

So, High is probably going to top triple j’s Hottest 100 but it’s a bit old to steal this Summer’s crown so leave it to their second single. It’s a little bit darker thanks to the vocals of SAFIA’s Ben, but it’s no less climactic than High.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/pekingduk/take-me-over-ft-safia[/soundcloud]

Jack U- Take U There

The song of Summer has got to be rousing. It’s got to move you and make you feel things in places you’ve never felt before. Thanks goodness for the voice of Kiesza alongside the production of Skrillex and Diplo. The verses of Take U There are a climatic, rushing force of glory.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/diplo/jack-u-take-u-there-feat-kiesza[/soundcloud]

Vic Mensa- Down On My Luck

This has done the rounds on triple j but it could easily crossover to a place where Kyle & Jackie O would mention his name. We don’t want it to happen but if it does, we’d happily join along with the rest of the country in commanding, “fuck that, get down”.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/fuck-vic-mensa/down-on-my-luck[/soundcloud]

 

For the Indie Kidz

The Preatures- Somebody’s Talking

Is This How You Feel? was one of Summer’s best creations and this one could very well recreate its glory. It’s got pleasant, plucking guitars and a gritty chorus that will be chanted by many a flower-headdress wearing punter this summer.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/thepreatures/somebodys-talking[/soundcloud]

Royksopp & Robyn- Do It Again

This captures the very essence of what Summer is about. Get burnt, do it again. Get drunk, do it again. Reconnect with an old flame, do it again. If you want euphoria, if you want that “holy fuck” chorus that you’d give your whole piggy bank to hear- this is the song. THIS IS THE FREEKEN SONG.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/royksopp/royksopp-robyn-do-it-again-on-annie-mac-bbc-radio1[/soundcloud]

Kendrick Lamar- i

It’s true, we’re an egotistical bunch, so what better way to celebrate the season than with a song that literally expliques “I love myself”. i sounds like it was made for a beach hut in LA, so when you hear it, just work it whether you’re bikini or speedo-clad.

Jungle- Time

If you want an album to keep rolling all summer, look no further than the self-titled set by British band, Jungle. If you only have the patience for 3 minutes of a sound, then best you pluck this one to listen to as you lay by the pool, tipping those shades to check out all the qties.

 

What we think should take the title…

Para One- You Too

This one tips too far into the after midnight category to ever qualify for the people’s choice for the song of Summer, but wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing if it was? If Summer is about throwing your arms in the air like you just don’t care, then the climatic-nature of this one is just the trick.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/spinninrecords/para-one-you-too[/soundcloud]

Popcaan- Number One Freak

The people of Australia collectively cannot dutty dance, so this is automatically ruled out. But for those of us who can booty-shake like Riri in Barbados, this should, and will, soundtrack the hotter months. It radiates heat, rhythm and melody.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/mixpak/03-number-one-freak[/soundcloud]

QT- Hey QT

If we were writing this immediately after Aqua hit number one with Barbie Girl, we would be placing this in the mainstream category. Unfortunately, this is 2014 and people are uncomfortable with Siri singing their favourite song. For the bourgeois, Siri is there to work, not cavort around in the pop world.

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Halloween costumes for the music enthusiast

The spookiest event on the social calendar has finally arrived and time is running out for you to find the perfect Halloween outfit. Instead of going down the regular sexy bunny or vampire route, why not be creative and emulate some of the most notable musicians of 2014? Allow our handy list to inspire and guide you, allowing you to truly stand out this October 31st. 

sia2

Sia was one of the most talked-about pop producers this year with her anthemic Chandelier making waves on an international level, thus putting the Australian singer, and her trademark blonde bob, on the map. Immortalised by the likes of Lena Dunham, Hilary Duff and Maggie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame, it seemed as though everyone was keen to go platinum in honour of the influential songstress. Follow their lead and pop into your local wig shop to get the shortest, blondest, fringiest blonde bob on offer to wear this Halloween. If you really want to pull out all the stops for this costume, go the Ziegler/Dunham route of taking on the role of Sia by picking someone to party in your place so you can stay home to finish a bag of candy corn as they pretend to be you, pretending to be Sia. How meta is that?

Pro: Blondes have more fun.

Con: If you enlist someone to party in your place à la Lena Dunham, you won’t be partaking in any of the fun.

mileyMiley Cyrus is always one to make it into the headlines but her glamorous ‘outfit’ that premiered at the Alexander Wang after party gave TMZ writers enough icy fodder for days. Show off your Joseph Pilates-sculpted body to the whole world, with a couple of nipple pasties for a touch of modesty, and stick some of your Mum’s vitamins onto cat’s eye glasses for good measure. Don’t use Inner Health Plus or anything like that, ‘cos that shit’s expensive. Enlist a party partner to pose as Miley’s most infamous muscle to make your costume that much more lickable likeable.

Pro: What better time to brush up on your twerking skills?

Con: Weather in October can be fickle and those ice cream pasties won’t be providing you with too much warmth. This may illicit elicit two large scoops of fripples.

beyoncejayz_halloween

Recreate the second most famous picture in the world, succeeded only by the Mona Lisa itself, by enlisting the help of your partner and your favourite subtle smiling, third-wheelin’ friend. Word on the street is that Queen Bey got herself some Grimes-style bangs today so better get those scissors out while you’re at it.

Pro: You’ll be highly topical and will also get to be Queen Bey for a night.

Con:  No one can truly pull off this look other than the Queen herself. But you can at least try your best.

elliphantMo

If you’re up for a wild night come Halloween, why not replicate the stylings of party girls Elliphant and MØ from their One More music video? Do this by donning yourself, and your BFF, in head-to-toe Adidas, teaming funky slides with a pair of socks, slapping on some Geisha-style makeup and poking a pair of chopsticks in an oriental bun. Go that extra mile and attach LED light strips to your shoes for true dedication to the project.

Pro: Looking like badass, Scandinavian bitches.

Con: May induce drinking, vomiting, kissing, peeing in streets and other types of reckless behaviour (unless you consider this a ‘pro’).

fkatwigs_halloween

There are Two Weeks to go until Halloween which means that time is running out for all the best costumes to be shipped from the US. Why not save the time, and the shipping costs, and emulate the captivating appearance and innovative stylings of London artist and producer, FKA Twigs instead? Simply head to your local chemist for a toothcomb and a jar of gel, smack on some maroon lipstick and pierce your nose septum for the full Twigs treatment.  Completely nail the ‘baby hair’ style currently #trending amongst future RnB producers with the handy video tutorial below.

Pro: Save wearing your heart on your sleeve by wearing it on your forehead instead.

Con: Finding a Twilight treat like Twig’s current BF, Robert Pattinson, to accompany you for the night might be a bit tricky.

hey_qt_halloween

If you don’t know QT, it’s high time you familiarise yourself with her. Born from the collaborative project of enigmatic producers and PC Music-promoters, A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, this “sparkling future pop sensation” is a fake figurehead of sorts who perfectly blends the genres of K-Pop, electrotonica, chiptune and trance, all before rolling them into a pile of sugar and glitter. Cutesy and kitsch, she’s the perfect way to honour both past and future with her nods to both ’90s fashion and millennial ideologies.

Pro: Reliving your holographic-wearing days of the ’90s.

Con: You’ll be hard-pressed finding any drunkards traipsing around Oxford St who will actually understand your costume’s significance.

SBTRKT_Halloween

Halloween is all about mystery and disguise, so what better way to fulfil this than to replicate the likeness of the enigmatic producer, SBTRKT? Instead of carving a custom mask out of wood, unless you have time for that kinda thang, we’ve designed a replica for your convenience, to print out, tie elastic through and place onto that face of yours. Download here.

Pro: The mask will be your key to anonymity.

Con: Good luck trying to drink out of this thing.

lilyallen_halloween

London pop songstress, Lily Allen, graced our shores for this year’s Splendour in the Grass, and brought along with her a plethora of outfit inspirations. With pinky purple hair, a colourful neon top and bottom combo and a Unif blotter kimono, she was a display of all things tight and bright. Emulate her style with an oriental kimono, her very own line of fake London-inspired nails and a tube of hair dye of desired colour. Also honour Sheezus’s penchant for emojis with a pair of bikinis or any other suitable item of that ilk. Feel free to take cues from her SITG set design by dragging along a giant, blow-up baby’s bottle for the night.

Pro: You get to show off that really great London accent that you seem to pull off really well after having a few too many.

Con: Fake nails + giant, inflatable object = tears.

kanye_halloween

When Kanye West embarked on his Yeezus tour in Australia this past September, he amazed, inspired and enraged his fans, and the greater public, with his mesmerising performances and supplementary rants and on-stage antics. His shows consisted of minimal set design and props, with one of the most captivating sights being the slew of embellished masks that Yeezus adorned throughout. While these Maison Martin Margiela-branded, 2,400 crystal-embellished masks may be a little too Haute Couture for a raucous event like Halloween, you’re only a packet of Spotlight-sourced, plastic rhinestones, a glue gun and a balaclava away from emulating the Messiah himself.

Pro: Inflate your ego for the night and blame any infractions on Yeezus. However, just be sure not to offend any people with disabilities in the process.

Con: You may be mistaken for a menacing, albeit fabulous, robber.

arianagrande-halloweenMirror the look of this fiesty feline pop star with a pair of cat ears and a giant, fake, clip-in ponytail to make up for what you lack in the height department.

Pro: You’ll fit in with all the other ‘sexy cat’ costumes on October 31.

Con: You must remain on your (more flattering) left side for the duration of the night.

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10 things we learnt at NLV Presents | International Edition

10things_nlv_presents

Nina Las Vegas is currently touring around the country with three out-of-towners and one local boy as part of her International Presents series. UNiiQU3, Sam Tiba, Eclair Fifi, Swick and NLV giving punters a snapshot of the world’s upcoming electronic scene all in their own different ways.

We went to the gig in Melbourne and now are acting like crystal balls for all of you that still have NLV Presents to look forward to. Here are 10 things we learnt from NLV presents, not including our realisation that we have written so much about Nina recently that she’s potentially scared we’re stalking. It’s a valid fear.

NLV

1. Nina knows as International game-changer when she sees one

Earlier this year when the first NLV Presents toured around the country, Nina got her hands on a few Aussie game changers, most notably interns favourite, Tkay Maidza, who has exploded since then. This time around she’s set her sights further afield and delivered a motley but well-curated crew of artists. All of them are teetering on major success within the dance community – many of them relatively unknown in Australia until now. Each of the producers had something new and unique to offer. From Eclair Fifi’s bubblegum electronica to Sam Tiba’s hallowed Parisian beats, it all felt fresh.

2. UNiiQU3 & Nina were damn fine MCs

This wasn’t a play your set and get the shit out of there after a vodka kind of situation, each of the acts were there supporting each other and offering some damn fine MCing. Nina danced to the side of each of them like mother hen, amping the crowd with ease with UNiiQU3 also standing close-by. UNiiQU3’s dancing and spontaneous MC-ing made it look like each track played was made for the hip-hop world. Quite a feat when Eclair Fifi is playing PC Music.

ninalasvegas

3. Nina debuted her and Swick’s new tracks and they were killer

Releasing her debut EP last week in what would seem impeccable timing, Nina was able to launch both club-bangers Don’t Send and Flash Auto with co-producer and partner in crime, Swick, near her side. With the space imminently filling with the energy of a crowd that seemed to already be familiar with the tracks’ peaks and troughs, both translated from computer to club with ease.

4. PC Music is the soundtrack of 2014

It seemed that all the naysayers needed was a bit of club love to be convinced that the kawaii and kitsch sounds of PC Music are actually quite delectable. First Swick dropped, Hey QT, which caused us to bowl over all our way out of the bathroom, and then Nina gave Sophie’s Lemonade a play and for a brief moment it felt like life would never be this good again. In no other song can you get down to the sound of fizzy lemonade and follow it up with 30 seconds of rave. In all seriousness though, the club is where sounds first arise and we’re pretty sure PC Music will be making its way into mainstream sound very soon. Katy Perry, Hey QT!

5. A Nina crowd knows How To Dress Well.

Unfortunately he wasn’t playing but the crowd and the acts were a well-dressed, dapper bunch of people. With many NLV t-shirts sold with the ticket, there was always going to be a fair share of Nina-clad people. There was also an abundance of emoji tees, which ensured that good feels were maintained for the night. The five artists also had some pretty impressive cloth too. Swick donned a New Age T-shirt, the new label by TEED, Sam Tiba was wearing a Nattofranco long-sleeved tee and Nina was wearing socks with mega-high heels that looked as if they hurt like shit.

Emojis

6. Eclair Fifi is just like a strawberry eclair

Just to clarify, the Scottish heartstarter does not look like an eclair but her set very much sounded like one. Her set was sugary and sweet, yet it held this density to it in the four-to-the-floor beat that permeated. She effortlessly skated through a number of genres from bubblegum electronica to hip-hop, still managing to maintain the same consistency.

7. Sam Tiba is a dark lord

Leave it to the Parisian to make things a little moody. Amongst a bunch of perky, tempo-raising artists, Tiba delivered a brooding set of tunes with pulsating beats and ghostly synths. A particular highlight was when he dropped fellow Parisian, Para One’s You Too, lifting the mood a bit for Swick who was to follow.

samtiba

8. Australians hold their own

Nina and Swick were the only Aussies on the International bill and they more than proved how good Australian electronic music is right now. Their two tracks together went down superbly, as previously mentioned, but both of them showed an acute awareness for what is going on overseas as well as what is happening locally. Swick’s track, Wishes, with Lewis Cancut and Tkay Maidza sounded like a bonafide anthem when it dropped and Nina’s tip of the hat to Peking Duk with her spin of High was an unexpectedly euphoric moment.

9. People do like good music

At one point in the night Nina thanked the crowd for liking “interesting music”, and it did feel good to be in a crowd of Australians lapping up music that wasn’t contrived or pretentious but rather feel-good. The crowd was pumping and certainly large enough to justify the decision to collect together the International lineup. And throughout the night, the bar remained mostly empty with the dancefloor the place to be. Melbourne, you did good. Real good.

10. We don’t know how to use a camera

Yes, we had a camera. And yes, we have nothing to show for it. It seemed our camera did not like our anarchic dance style and as such our photos are a blur, just like our night.

Note to future self: Wikihow ‘camera shutter speed’.

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Case in point.

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Introducing… 仙 Senzu Collective

introducing_senzu_collective

Look, the new music and visual art collectives thang circulating at the moment are hard to get a hang of, we get it. As a general rule, they are groups born from the hazy, unchartered dreamland of the interwebs specifically devoted to communicating in, slash navigating, a terrain of foreign symbols sans hashtag and @ symbols. And really, what is the internet for if not to #hashtag? Although these web-based collectives only began as a popular way to share the creative love in the late noughties, they come laden with what appears to be a prehistoric history of internal dialogue and communication, and an inherent assumption that, late as you are to the party, you’re already well versed in most of the underground-as-fuck artists on their bill. Right? Beyond their use of keyboard mash symbols, a sign of their internet savviness if nothing else, accessibility to these clicks-of-soundcloud is further complicated as very little is actually externally written on them. Take solace in the fact that while you were late to this weird bubblegum flavoured soundscape, Wikipedia’s invite probably got lost in the mail.

With that said, this week the interns would like to continue our cheat sheet initiative and introduce you to the musical stylings of the originally LA based Senzu Collective/Netlabel/Community of Artists. Self professed as a DIY NEXT LEVEL INTERNATIONAL CANOPY// (a huh), Senzu Collective consists of a group of hip hop producers and MCs from around the globe, pushing the creeping boundaries of experimental hip hop ever onwards with welcomed infusions of UK bass and LA’s beat scene. Roughly translated as a sage or enlightened person, in addition to their musical and visual stylings, Senzu works in collaboration with international relief groups and other artist collectives to create compilations as fundraising tools for those in need.

With 24 producers including Scott Xylo, Elyphant, and LA based producer ☿bluecrew☿aligned under their NEXT LEVEL INTERNATIONAL CANOPY// alongside 5 visual artists, the ‘Zu is one collective growing at an unstoppable rate, helped along by their monthly compilation series featuring artists such as RL Grime, Giraffage and Knxwledge and a more recent dive, along with the rest of the world, in the direction of the Future R&B offerings of The Weeknd and Jamie Woon.

Below we have a look at 5 of the must-know songs from the collective’s infinite back catalogue.

☿bluecrew☿ Elyphant ° Fairy Drops {☿bluecrew☿ gloomy gulch rework}

https://soundcloud.com/bluecrew/elyphant-fairy-drops

This is a distant memory of hazy summer afternoons spent somewhere between white-light lens flares and barely there white sheets, as Facebook bounces promisingly in the sun-drenched background. All brown legs and skin, ☿bluecrew☿ takes the undeniably smooth feels inherent in future R&B production right back to basics, allowing your imagination to run wild alongside the scaling xylophone and suggestive vocal samples.

falls everything different. everything same.

https://soundcloud.com/falls-2/everything-different-everything-same

everything different, everything same is an atmospheric example of flawless production. Blending an extended intro seamlessly into a soft, percussive baseline and echoey vocals, falls immerses you in his soundscape without a hint of reprieve. 

Bubblegum Crisis Loud Moves

The influence of Miami Vice is undeniably present in the San Francisco native, Harrison Pollock, aka Bubblegum Crisis’s production. Loud Moves has struck a dark chord in a way only retro can. While slick and shiny on the exterior, the song deals in a currency of debauchery lingering in the backstreets of a 1983. Bubblegum Crisis offers a little something different to the ambient stylings of falls and ☿bluecrew☿.

Sun Glitters / サングリッターズ Too Much to Lose

Different again, while Sun Glitters’ / サングリッターズ Too Much to Lose remains ambient and echoey, the strumming base billows with surprising strength beneath the vocalists longing dialogue. Pulsating forward, Too Much to Lose is defiant in a way Fairy Drops could never be.

SageVideōs L E M O N A D E B A T H S

https://soundcloud.com/sagevideos/l-e-m-o-n-a-d-e-b-a-t-h-s

Joining Senzu Collective in June 2014, South African lo-fi dream wave producer SageVideōs is a new comer to the Zu’s mix. In the same vein as Cashmere Cat, L E M O N A D E B A T H S is a track offering expertly mashed together bedrooms samples and bouncy feels.

To dive even further down the Senzu Collective rabbit hole, click here.

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ARIA Awards nominations in a perfect world

ARIA

Every year when ARIAs time rolls around, we’re left with an awards show that is diminishing every year and an artist that will be nominated 27 times, only to be snubbed the succeeding year. Gabriella Cilmi, Empire of the Sun, Angus and Julia Stone, Sam Sparro – these are all names that were once ARIA gold and a now a mere blip on ARIA’s radar. In fact, this year Angus and Julia Stone only find themselves nominated in the Category for Best Rock Release, probably only because Rick Rubin produced it.

Yes, it’s an odd, kitsch award show that always pulls in the best International talent to celebrate Australian music, but it’s our award show and we love it. Afterall, all we have to look forward to is the Logies and The Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. For somebody who loves award shows, it’s pretty slim pickings.

As I eluded to before, the 2014 ARIA Award Nominations are out and they tip their hat to our best homegrown talent like the realest Aussie out there, I-G-G-Y. The list, which unbelievably includes 5 Seconds Of Summer in a category with Violent Soho, almost makes it feel like Australia has had a pretty miserable year. But, it’s quite the contrary actually.

So, our dear, underfunded piss-up, the ARIAs – what do we do with you? Below are how we would’ve set out the nominations, if that counts for anything.

Album of the Year

Aria

The Album of the Year category has been a kiss of death for most that have won it. Angus and Julia Stone, Boy & Bear and Empire of the Sun have all suffered downturns on their follow-ups, so we were tempted to fill this category with artists we hate. We didn’t though. How could you hate Sia’s mega-album 1000 Forms of Fear that came after writing for nearly every superstar on the planet. It’s a pop album in every sense- there’s huge melodies, an even bigger voice and fire metaphors aplenty. Kimbra’s, The Golden Echo has been criminally underappreciated since its release but it’s one of the years most wildly adventurous records. It’s a complete curveball from the Kiwi singer that combines soulful melodies with instrumental detours at every turn.

It’s ridiculous to even imagine two hip-hop artists up for Album of the Year but this is a perfect world and Allday and Remi’s albums were pretty perfect. Both the records were slick and world class. They were personal, yet also upbeat and dance-worthy, showing that Australian hip-hop has plenty more to offer. Finally, DZ Deathrays addition is the punch in the guts this category needs. They’re one of those bands that have quietly become one of Australia’s most successful exports, particularly in the UK. Black Rat saw them carve out the melody amongst grinding, raucous instrumentals revealing a band that is more than just a garage-rock outfit.

Female

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This is a pretty prestigious category. It’s been won by the Queen of the ARIAs in 2008, Gabriella Cilmi and was last year won by Jessica Mauboy. Kimbra has already won this category twice but her second album The Golden Echo is far superior to the first. It’s an opus of sprawling melodies and daring instrumentals that should’ve seen her win for a third time. Courtney Barnett is the most obvious snub of the ARIAs. She’s been killing it overseas with performances at both Glastonbury and Coachella but unfortunately she ain’t good enough to share the stage with Iggy Azalea in Aus. Elizabeth Rose and Tkay Maidza would be great additions to help along young Australian talent instead of pushing the oldies up an inevitably ending hill. And Sia is there still on our list because she just writes dem melodies that make us kill. It’s been a phenomenal year for her and her win will make people forget about her fellow nominees.

Male

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Australian hip-hop is reaching its peak right now. A peak which could see it embraced by the rest of the world rather than leaving a bad taste in the mouth like truffle oil eaten by a despiser. Remi and Allday are the golden boys of hip-hop this year. They’ve both released great albums that effortlessly embraced overseas influences and still made it sound like it could’ve only been made here. On the other end of the spectrum, Tom Iansek of Big Scary released a delicate, nurtured record as #1 Dads and further proved himself as one of the best voices in the country. While that record was criminally underappreciated, Mr. Chet Faker’s hasn’t. Built On Glass has helped him become the Flume of 2014 and while you could argue the album was a little over-indulgent, it’s done good things for Aussie music. Andy Bull took five years to release his second album but it was well worth the wait. A Sea of Approval is an anxious, cohesive-set.

Group

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Yes, these groups were denied of an official nomination because of 5 Seconds of Summer. Lets take a moment for that to sink in. The Preatures will most likely have their moment next year when the album is eligible for nomination but they had some cracker singles in 2014- like the gritty anthem, Better Than It Ever Could Be. Talking of groups with a killer frontwoman, The Jezabels continued to show themselves as the country’s best moody songwriters with an album that saw the band embrace pop and Hayley-Mary’s voice sore once more. Ball Park Music started off in the eyes of the public as a bit of fun but with three album to their name now, they’ve etched themselves a place in Australian music history. Puddinghead is their best release – humorous, upsetting and melodic.

Breakthrough

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We don’t want to take away from Andy Bull but a breakthrough nomination five years after a debut album feels a little like the Grammys awarding Bon Iver on his second album. This category’s an absolute corker this year, managing to find room for Iggy Azalea and 5SOS in the SAME category. We’ve talked about Allday a bit already but will just finish on saying if he started a cult, we would join it. A cult we would also join is one started by Adelaide rapper Tkay Maidza. Her single U-Huh is the best number one hit that was never number one. Surely, she’ll get a nod next year. Oscar Key Sung has been kicking around the Melbourne scene for a while but his Holograms EP truly felt like his breakthrough. Combining electronica and RnB, it spawned one of the best singles of the year All I Could Do. That track is almost as good as Future Classic signee, George Maple’s Talk Talk. It’s a seductive stunner with warm undertones that’s begging to be snapped up overseas. D.D. Dumbo has already been snapped up overseas becoming somewhat of a poster boy for NME in the UK because Tropical Oceans has one of the best vocal riffs of the year.

 

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DMA’s on Oasis comparisons, Danny DeVito & other Little Bastards

DMAs

DMA’s were hyped even before their debut EP was released. With a look that drew comparisons to English bands from Oasis to the Stone Roses, NME took no time in hailing the band as the next big thing and Aussie media has swiftly followed. Their self-titled EP ranges from firing bursts of angst to tender ballads that juxtapose their harsh image. Delete has become somewhat of an anthem in a very short time, with the Splendour in the Grass audience lapping up a chance to sing-along to one of the year’s most poignant melodies.

We sat down with DMA’s bass player, Johnny Took at BIGSOUND in Brisbane to chat about the copious comparisons, what’s next to come from the band’s tune-cannon and what DMA’s stands for.

How’s it all going? Are you stoked about the tour selling out?

Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. I‘m looking forward to going to Adelaide in particular. Adelaide will be cool.

Have you been before?

I have, I’ve got some family that live down there. But I’ve only played a couple of random shows so I’m looking forward to really understanding the music scene down there a little bit.

Does it feel like it’s all happened quite quickly? I guess, to us, it looks like it did but was there a bit more going on behind the scenes before you got signed by I OH YOU and it all took off?

Yeah, a lot more, man. We were writing for a good couple of years. Between the three of us, we could record everything because Tommy’s a drummer, and most of the songs are just done with drum loops when they’re demoed. It kind of has happened quickly but we were writing and recording for quite a while before that, which is good because now that things have happened quickly, we’re kind of prepared for it and not completely freaking out.

Did you have a plan going into it? Was it like, “we want to release this music?” or was it just for fun?

We planned it about 3 years ago. So I wanted to hide away, record and then drop some tunes. We had about 50 or 60 songs.

Are there songs in the EP that were written really early on in the piece?

Yeah, like Delete was written six or seven years ago. Some of the next tunes that we’ll be bringing out I wrote when I was like 19, 20. So they’re all kind of picked from a six or seven year period.

Do you think they developed in those years?

Some of them have, if you ever heard the originals. Like, Delete is completely different with electric guitars and shit at the start and also an extra part added. When I think about it, Your Low, which is on the EP, has as well. Some of them have grown and some of them haven’t needed to. You know, a song is a song. In hindsight, growing up in the time I was in when I wrote it, it doesn’t need to change. It represents that part of my life and vice versa.

Did it feel like, coming from different musical ventures like Little Bastards, that you wanted to separate, in your mind, DMA’s and have a different sound? Were you trying to channel something different?

Yeah, Little Bastard is more a live band. Like people, wasted and shit, big hoedowns and whatnot. DMA’s was always meant to be more of a studio thing. Eventually we had to cater for that for a live audience.

The songs are kind of melodically strong and sound like, as you said, they’re meant to be played out loud. Was melody a massive thing going into it? Particularly, vocal melody?

Yeah, when I was younger and writing songs, I used to just do verse/chorus things and they quickly got boring so now, when we write, I always like to have a verse, a pre chorus, a chorus and then a riff. So as long as there’s five strong melodies in a song, I feel like that should hold it together. Tommy and Mason are both really strong melody writers and if Mason brings in the tune, a melody he’s been working on, that stimulates you to have an idea you never had and vice versa.We find that we bounce off each other really well in that aspect.

How did the three of you come together?

I met Mason when I was doing solo stuff, like folk music. I met him at a folk festival when we were about 21. And then I met Tommy when I was 19 and in a psych band. He was the drummer and I was playing bass. And then the other two guys were songwriters in their own right and there wasn’t really enough for space for us to write, so that’s when Tommy and I first started writing together.

So you’ve obviously been through quite a few genres. Was there an influence or certain music that you were listening to at the time that kicked off DMA’s?

Nothing in particular but between me and my mates, and I’m sure it’s with everyone with the internet, you listen to so much music. Like, one day I’ll be listening to Doc Watson and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and then Neil Young and all of a sudden you start crossing into heaps of stuff like Primal Scream, Stone Roses (Tommy’s a big fan), Dinosaur Jr, The Jesus Mary Chain…all those noisy guitar bands but, like I said, the way I think of it, Little Bastards is classified as a country band and the only thing that makes it country is the arrangement.

The lines are a bit blurred.

Yeah, you can play any song. You can play Made of Stone by The Stone Roses and put a banjo over it and all of a sudden it’s a country song. A good song’s a good song, that’s what I’ve always believed. How you want to arrange it, that’s your prerogative.

Do you guys like reading on the internet “they sound like this”, do you find the comparisons interesting to have a look at?

I think it’s pretty funny when people say stuff like that. We get the Oasis thing a lot. I like Oasis but they wouldn’t be in my top 10, you know what I mean? It doesn’t really bother me too much.

I guess you get those comparisons because you’ve got a ‘90s aesthetic about yourselves. Do you think that’s because you’re drawing reference on growing up?

Yeah, I guess there’s a bit of nostalgia, like early ‘90s. I was in kindergarden in ‘94 and it’s just like all those tunes that were being played at the house while growing up.

Have you been surprised by the attention you’ve received overseas?

Yeah, it’s been surprising but at the same time, a few years ago when we started writing, we felt the songs were strong and we were attached to them. But like I was saying before, we never really thought or cared too much about what other people think. The beautiful thing about the internet is that anyone can have their opinion. It’s an amazing thing and also the beautiful thing about this world is that it doesn’t take a lot for it to go around. I’ve never really listened to other people’s opinions and I’m not going to start now.

So you’re headed off to CMJ this year?

Yeah, man!

Will this be your first overseas tour?

Well, I went to New Caledonia with Little Bastard one time, which was pretty cool. We’re apparently huge in New Caledonia? That’s the only time I’ve done it. I went to Europe when I was 19 and I came back and told myself I wasn’t going to go back until I was doing music. Because I felt like I was pissing my money against the wall, not playing gigs there and whatnot. That was about 6 years ago.

So I suppose in that way it feels like a massive achievement to be going back there and playing?

Yeah man, it’s exciting and the live set’s come together. So I’m just looking forward to going there and having a laugh really.

What’s the timeline then? The Aussie tour and then pretty much straight overseas?

Yeah.

Are you recording at the moment?

I’m always recording!

Do you have a next release in mind?

I think we’ve got a couple of things in the bag, but…we’re…actually, I don’t think i’m allowed to say too much about it.

We don’t want to get you in trouble.

*laughs* Yeah, I tend to do that a lot.

Is it sounding good, though? Can we ask you that?

I’m happy with it. It’s been a bit of a process. I love recording at home because you can take  your time. But I’m pretty happy with how they’re sounding. I feel like I’ve been in bands before where people can get really precious about that stuff, I think you can get too precious sometimes. I’ve seen so many amazing, beautiful songs by friends that never get released because they think about it too much or they’re scared of what people think.

5 Wacky Questions

Your band’s name is an acronym. What’s your favourite acronym?

Oh, DMA’s isn’t an acronym! It doesn’t stand for anything. It’s basically a bunch of letters we decided on with an apostrophe.

Favourite Danny DeVito movie?

Oh, woah…Matilda!

Will you be purchasing the newly unveiled Apple Watch?

Nah, I think it’s a bit lame, huh?

If you had to merge into another band to create a super group, who would it be?

There’s too many. Maybe War On Drugs would be pretty cool. Big fan of Kurt Vile.

Favourite board game?

*pause* I used to play a little Risk when I was younger…that was pretty cool. Twister can get pretty whack as well. I’m gonna go with Twister.

DMA’s have completely sold out their Australian tour. 

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The American Electronic Music Scene & Australia’s Growing Influence

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America’s music scene is in a constant and blissful state of evolution. One of the fastest growing trends across the country is electronic music, and with hundreds of big-name and underground artists producing every style and subgenre you can name, its growth doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. In recent years, the skyrocketing popularity of large-scale music festivals has noticeably changed electronic producers’ experience in the creation and performance of their sound. Not only do the crowds expect to see acts they already know, the gigantic line-ups have also allowed artists from around the world to showcase themselves in an entirely new setting, leaving behind a growing influence on American artists and the scene itself. Acts like Flume, Emoh Instead (and their collaborative outfit, What So Not), Ta-ku, Chet Faker, and Wave Racer are only a few examples of Australians who are beginning to make huge waves over in the States, and it’s about time.

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My own introduction to Australia’s electronic scene came a couple years ago, on a lazy day while scrolling through Spotify. After an endless train of searches, I ended up on Flume’s page and listened to his most popular hits, Holdin’ On and Insane (feat. Moon Holiday). This quickly led me to check out the rest of his album and then go back to the top and start again three more times. I had no idea that years later, I would still be bothering my friends and family by insisting on hearing the album again and again, trying to breakdown each song and instrument for them, hoping to convert them to the Australian sound. I had never heard anything like it, nor been so affected by a series of strange, broken sounds and haunting, tribal melodies, and I wasn’t the only one.

While at a small show in northern California about a year ago, one of the openers played Flume’s remix of Disclosure’s You and Me. It was the first time I’d heard one of his songs played live, and naturally I made a commotion. After it ended and the crowd was able to take a breath, all I was able to hear were the people around me asking each other what song they had just heard, and who the artist was. It was a clear standout in the rest of the set. You would’ve thought I was working for Future Classic by the way I was shelling Flume’s name out to everyone. Getting to witness an entire venue’s first introduction to a piece of Australia’s sound was magical, and our immediate, frantic embrace only grew as the months went on.

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The mainstream electronic music scene in America nowadays, specifically trap music, follows several trends that are worth noting when comparing it to the stuff migrating from Australia. Hear me out. First, you won’t find much trap in the States without a snare on the 2’s and 4’s and a rolling hi hat coming in after the first half of the “drop”. These are givens. To go a little broader though, the underlying vibe of the songs often seems to be the same as well. The rhythms hit the off beats hard, inspiring you to throw your body around and pump your fists in the air. The vocal samples used are very provocative, usually short phrases or words meant to stimulate the crowd, make them feel in control of the song, and offend the older generations. Basically, America likes grime. We judge the success of our raves by the number of frowning ‘stank’ faces and the music’s level of aggression or badassery. This is where Australia’s recent assimilation has really opened our eyes.

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An example of a ‘stank face’

[soundcloud width=”750″ heigh=”200]https://soundcloud.com/wave-racer/wave-racer-streamers[/soundcloud]

The musical formulas I described still hold true with many artists such as Yahtzel, L D R U, Sable, Basenji, and even Flume, but the big difference lies in their creation of melodies and overall intentions for their songs. They are able to match the high level of energy without a sense of anger or inflated ego found in so much of America’s electronic sound, but instead replace it with an uplifting feeling of celebration and joy. For lack of better words, Australia’s music is optimistic. Just listen to any one of Wave Racer’s tracks and you’ll know what I mean. The melodies within the songs are complex and beautiful. It feels like listening to actual music, rather than just a cool beat. Even though the colossal scale of some popular American music may shadow it at times, it fully compensates with its vast, musical detail and melodic styling.

[soundcloud width=”750″ heigh=”200]https://soundcloud.com/whatsonot/sets/tell-me-rl-grime-x-what-so-not[/soundcloud]

A perfect comparison of the two styles comes in the form of an actual collaboration between our countries: RL Grime and What So Not’s Tell Me. The build up, created by What So Not, features warped vocal samples and tribal instruments layered over each other. It creates an ominous and yet elevating vibe, which sharply contrasts with RL’s drop. Only using one leading synth and three notes, he completely changes the vibe to be very minimal and hard-hitting. This collaboration shows the difference in technique and musical atmosphere of our countries’ sounds, and as you can tell from listening to Tell Me, they go quite well together.

What So Not’s ever-growing number of collaborations with American artists such as Dillon Francis and Skrillex, Flume’s wildly successful North American tour, and Ta-ku’s heavy involvement with LA-based label HW&W are only a few examples of the major moves Australians are making in the States. With their unique and refreshing approach to electronic music, they’re blowing the dust off America’s EDM book.

 American music often feels like a one night stand.

Australian music feels like your soul mate.

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New Years for the Music Enthusiast

NewYears

For those of you who were absolutely devastated by Wet’n’Wild Sydney cancelling its New Year’s Eve party at short notice last year, the idea of organising yet another high calibre music event for the ‘big night’ can often be quite daunting. However, we are just under three months out from New Years 2014, which means Christmas decorations are in supermarkets, the days are getting longer and hotter and all of your friends are fleeing the country on their next self-discovery adventure to Machu Picchu for the Summer.

Don’t panic, there is still time. the interns never like to leave a man behind, so if you are stuck at home this December 31, here are just a few New Years music events which will guide you into 2015 and show you some love (metaphorically of course) as the clock strikes midnight.

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Let Them Eat Cake (Werribee, VIC)

Jan 1st 2015

Hot off the press, Melbourne’s notorious boutique electronic music festival Let Them Eat Cake has dropped an epic line-up this week which is sure to tickle the fancy of music punters from far and wide. If you are not a fan of the larger crowds and the mainstream, then this unique and extravagant garden-party festival is your perfect fit. It’s all about the classy detail at Let Them Eat Cake.

http://www.letthemeatcakenyd.com.au/lineup/

Ticket Price: $145-160

Line-up highlights: Cashmere Cat, DJ Sneak, Hudson Mohawke & Todd Terje

Verdict: You can have your cake and eat it too! So many decadent sweet music things to nibble on here.

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Falls Festival (Lorne VIC, Byron Bay NSW, Marion Bay TAS)

Dec 28-Jan 2 – depending on location

Every year it’s Falls, Falls, Falls for the NY festival of choice, but why? It is one of those festivals you can rely on to give you a great line-up, awesome weather and a heck of a good time. This music mecca in which thousands of sun-kissed Aussies trek to every year, is nothing too flashy or over the top, it is beautifully organic – but not in a hippy, let’s just get stoned all weekend way. Although it may tinker on the more expensive side, there is always something for everyone – geographically (3 locations across Aus), culturally, economically and of course, musically. Unfortunately both the Lorne and Byron Bay legs of the festival are sold out but maybe this festival is definitely worthy of the jump across the pond to Marion Bay.

http://www.fallsfestival.com.au/

Ticket Price: $315+

Line-up highlights: Alison Wonderland, Alt-J, DMAs, Jagwar Ma, Jamie xx, The Kite String Tangle, Röyksopp & Robyn, SBTRKT (LIVE), Tkay Maidza, Todd Terje (LIVE) and….Vance Joy (???)

Verdict: You’ll falls head over heals in love with this Summer festival!

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Origin (Perth)

Dec 31 2014

Origin is taking over Wellington Square in Perth this year with an enviable line-up, definitely worth flying across the country for. Continuing the trend of being one of Australia’s most successful urban and underground club events, the talent which flock to WA every year, including rap, hip hop, dubstep, bass and house heads, is pretty damn good.

http://www.theorigin.com.au/

Line-up highlights: AlunaGeorge, Baauer, Cashmere Cat, Danny Brown, Dillon Francis, Grandtheft, Nina Las Vegas + Special Guests tba

Ticket price: $150-$169

Verdict: West coast Vs. East coast for NYE. Times are changing and it’s time to hop on this Perth party train.

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Rhythm and Vines (Waiohika Estate, NZ)

Dec 29-31 2014

If you have it in you to make the trek over the Tasman, Rhythm and Vines festival will be sure to play the perfect New Years host away from home. Rhythm, as it is commonly known as by the locals, is an annual music festival held at the beautiful Waiohika Estate vineyard, several kilometres from the city of Gisborne, New Zealand. This is the festival’s 11th year so they must be doing something right, and with a enviable line-up announced – including fellow Aussies Chet Faker and Ta-ku – this year will sure to bring a meaty crowd size. One thing to be sure of is that our Kiwi cousins know how put on a party, so come prepared to get pretty crazy, especially when Netsky are involved.

http://www.rhythmandvines.co.nz/

Line-up highlights: BastilleNetsky, Zane Lowe, Chet Faker, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Just Blaze, Ta-Ku, Jagwar Ma, London Elektricity & MC Wrec, MØ

Ticket Price: $229 3-day pass / $429 (3-day + camping)

Verdict: They may be good at rugby, but is is worth giving them a try? We think so!

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Beyond the Valley (Phillip Island,VIC)

Dec 30 & 31

This year we welcome a new kid to the block, the Beyond The Valley festival. A boutique camping event, which is set to be held on the beautiful Philip Island in Victoria – the old site of the cancelled Pyramid Rock Festival – has definitely earned its lineup bragging rights this year. With a focus on “decor, production and theming,” there is a stellar cast of future talent. To put itself a cut above the rest, promoters are promising a “higher standard” of food and accommodation, with facilities and grounds being described as a “pop-up luxury hotel with its very own concierge and first class amenities, including a daily hangover spa.” Wowie, that’s fancy! 

http://www.beyondthevalley.com.au/

Ticket Price: $299

Line-up highlights: Aluna George, Banofee, Basenj, Cosmo’s Midnight, Fractures, Dillon Francis, Golden Features, Klo, Motex, Peking Duk, Rüfüs.

Verdict: It’s always tough being the new kid, but with a line-up like this, we are certain this is a keeper.

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Lost Paradise (Peats Ridge, NSW)

Dec 30 – Jan 1

It seems like the boutique festival is on trend this year, with another newbie adding itself to the New Years bill in the name of Lost Paradise. If you are a fan of fancy website graphics and videos, then you are in for a treat! Oh, and of course there is some great artists on the line-up as well to fill that musical void. Only an hours and 15 mins out of Sydney, this little oasis promises more than just music festival, offering “smoke ceremonies”, “glamping” and holi lights and shambhala spa treatments. Heck knows what that means, but we are in!
Ticket Prices: $279+
Line-up highlights: Boy & Bear, Alunageorge, Allday, Touch Sensitive, Elizabeth Rose, Flamingo, Banoffee
Verdict: If you are going to loose yourself at New Years, why not get lost in paradise.

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Field Day (The Domain, Sydney)

Jan 1st 2015

Fuzzy events have done it again. Off the back of a sold-out Listen Out national tour, next year’s line-up is looking tantalisingly good. For those who would rather shred than camp and prefer the one-day festival to the 4-day slog, then this is your perfect New Year’s gem. Taking a healthy sliver off the Falls Festival line-up, Sydney’s CBD is sure to light up with the hype of NYE all done and dusted. 

Line-up highlights: SBTRKT, alt-J, Glass Animals, Milky Chance, Salt-N-Pepa, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Joey Bada$$, Jamie XX, Todd Terje, Dillon Francis, RÜFÜS, Peking Duk & Thundamentals and more.

http://fielddaynyd.com.au/tickets.html

Ticket Price: $118-$138

Verdict: Ditch the camper, and bring on the city Sunshine!

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Laneway Festival 2015 lineup predictions

Laneway_Predictions

The St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2015 bill will finally be announced and it’s promising to be a big one. Last year saw the likes of HAIM, Lorde and Four Tet grace our shores and next year is set to bring another set of cool cats to Australia. Laneway has made a name for itself by selecting the names that are on the tip of every tastemaker’s tongue and stray away from booking acts twice. A ticket to Laneway is almost like an insight into what is going to soundtrack the year ahead.

With Canadian sillyman, Mac Demarco, the only act to be booked in yet, here are our stabs in the dark at who will be on the lineup for Laneway 2015.

BANKS

This one is all but confirmed at this point. The London songstress released her debut album, Goddess, last month and told Music Feeds that a tour is likely for early next year. Given that she’s yet to find herself on a festival lineup for the Summer, Laneway looks like the most certain bet. If she does, expect a brooding, twilight set.

Chances: Lock it in.

BROODS

This New Zealand duo impressed earlier this year with a set at Splendour in the Grass and followed it up with an expertly crafted debut, Evergreen. Lorde held up the NZ side of the lineup this year and Broods would be the perfect candidate to fill that spot next year. Their album is full of tracks waiting to crossover into the mainstream like the delectable, L.A.F.

Chances: It wouldn’t be a stretch at all.

ILOVEMAKONNEN

This year’s Laneway had a remarkably strong string of hip-hop acts. Danny Brown, Run The Jewels and Earl Sweatshirt all gave cracker sets. ILOVEMAKONNEN is the latest and greatest name in hip-hop, having been talked-up by Drake. Laneway will no doubt be trying to get their tastemaker hands on the Atlanta rapper. If so, Tuesday may just soundtrack the Summer and every Wednesday hangover after that.

Chances: His strike for the spotlight may have come a little late for Laneway to book him.

La Roux

After five years, Elly Jackson aka. La Roux, returned with her sophomore record, Trouble In Paradise, this year. It may have not been as big a chart success as her debut but the critics were pretty enamoured by it. It’s full of warm, tropical instrumentation and would go down a treat in the Australian sun. If Falls or Meredith won’t have her, surely Laneway will.

Chances: Please Laneway, don’t let us down gently. Or at all.

Lunice

His TNGHT collaborator is coming to Australia over New Years but we’re still to hear of a tour announce from Lunice, who released his new track Can’t Wait To not long ago. He has a nice little touring gap at the beginning of February which would be perfect for a trip to Australia. He’d do for the lineup what Cashmere Cat, Four Tet and Jamie xx did last year- inject a little throbbing bass into proceedings.

Chances: It’s going to happen and until Thursday, don’t tell us otherwise.

Caribou

Laneway has never been big on having huge headliners but if Caribou was to grace the stage in 2015, it would be as good as. The Canadian producer releases his new album Our Love this week which was proceeded by one of the best singles of the year, Can’t Do Without You. He toured Australia in 2011 with Four Tet, who’s been back a number of times since (including for Listen Out) but a Caribou tour is long-awaited.

Chances: It’s been strongly rumoured for years, but has never happened. 2015 could be the year.

FKA Twigs

Like BANKS, this one is almost a sure thing. FKA Twigs is perhaps one of the most talked about names of 2014 and one that Laneway would be no doubt clamouring to book. After an interview earlier this year, News Corp journalist Mikey Cahill tweeted that Twigs said she will play Laneway in 2015. As far as we’re concerned, we’ll take that. Hopefully by then, this Robert Pattinson press fodder will have disappeared so we can appreciate her spectacular debut live without distraction.

Chances: We don’t even need to phone a friend. Lock it in Eddie.

How To Dress Well

Tom Krell last toured Australia back in 2013 and since then has released his most established album yet, What Is This Heart? Many compared Laneway alumni, Autre Ne Veut to Krell last year so maybe it’s time we had the real deal down-under. By all accounts, his live shows are a haunting mix of RnB and electronica swelled by that brilliant voice.

Chances: His tour schedule for next year is clear at this point.

Jungle

Laneway presented Jungle’s Splendour in the Grass sideshow earlier in the year, meaning they know who to call to get the once-enigmatic, British collective back. Last year they brought HAIM back after they appeared at Splendour in the Grass so clearly the organisers have no problem with it and Jungle fit the Laneway aesthetic perfectly. It’s time that Jungle got to really feel The Heat.

Chances: It’s only a matter of Time until we see Jungle again.

Mutual Benefit

Jordan Lee aka. Mutual Benefit’s debut album Love’s Crushing Diamond has flown a little bit under the radar here in Australia but it’s a beautiful, heart-wrenching piece of work. The Laneway curators have always kept an eye on what is going on overseas, bringing acts over here to introduce them to a new audience. A late afternoon, live rendition of Golden Wake would go down an absolute treat for those looking to discover some new music.

Chances: He played Laneway’s SXSW showcase earlier this year. No doubt there were some deals done there.

Vic Mensa

Chicago rapper Vic Mensa is another name that has been heavily rumoured for Laneway. He confirmed a tour early next year when he spoke to triple J’s The Doctor and is yet to be announced on any other Summer bill. His track Down On My Luck has been on heavy rotation on triple j which would no doubt make him a huge drawcard for the festival.

Chances: If we had a dollar, we’d be putting it on Mensa. Don’t let us get down on our luck.

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Listen Out, Sydney – Wrap-up

ListenOut_Wrap-up

After a successful first year, Fuzzy’s IDM Festival, Listen Out, returned to Sydney and brought with it a lineup that cheered on more homegrown talent than 2013. Flume was always going to be a huge drawcard and as such, two of the dates on the Festival tour sold-out. Sydney wasn’t at capacity but it still had a huge crowd ready to enjoy a beautiful day of electronic music.

Electronic music has grown exponentially over the past few years and the fact that this year’s Listen Out was such an Aussie affair goes to show that Australia is at the forefront of the genre right now. Apart from a herd of fence-jumping fools, Listen Out drew an appreciative crowd for those who didn’t want to shred for Stereosonic or mosh at Soundwave. Turns out, it’s a nice middle ground to be in.

Refer to our key below for the ratings of each performance. We also added the appropriate foods to accompany each set, just ‘cos.

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shlohmo

LA producer Shlohmo is a late night music-maker. His music is dark, insulated and smooth- everything that 3pm on a sunny weekend isn’t. Dressed in all-black, Shlohmo looked every bit as uncomfortable as the crowd. The thick bass tried to hug centennial park but it was just too large of a field to capture the brilliance of his sound. Shlohmo was one of the best bookings on the Listen Out bill but he was definitely disadvantaged by an afternoon set. There will surely be no complaints about his club-sets while he is here. The man embodies the RnB/electronica crossover sound that everybody is trying to emulate at the moment. It’s not his fault that nobody wants to grind in the broad daylight.

bondax

Bondax were the closest thing to Disclosure on this year’s bill. The English duo are making sunshine-infused deep-house music that, unlike Shlohmo, was perfectly suited to the mild, daylight conditions. Armed with a slinky female singer and a male who was slightly past his prime, the pair tailored a light, breezy set for an excitable and tipsy crowd. It was refreshing to see a live set amongst many DJs, with the pair performing mostly their own songs.

The track that started it all for them, Baby I Got That, brought with it an undeniable groove, while their super-smooth single Gold, showed that they can perfectly induce a bit of deep house with RnB. The height of the set came with their cover of Duke Dumont’s I Got U. For a crowd that wasn’t very familiar with their material, they were content throughout the whole thing. It was an example of perfect scheduling and weather-appropriate music.

ChetFaker

Chet Faker was possibly the most hyped name on the bill, after Flume, and he effortlessly filled the paddock to usher in the night time. There’s no doubt that his one-man show is a marvel and he did all the right things at Listen Out. 1998 was soulful where it needed to be and beat-laden when dancing was needed while Gold created an unexpected singalong. I’m Into You was the perfect partner for the dusky heat and had the thick crowd swaying in admiration.

Despite his moments of brilliance, a one-man show like Faker’s is best enjoyed in tighter confines. Some of the sound was lost in the expanse of the crowd and sounded a little thin at times. His moments of playing with his instruments were also a little unnecessary as some began to get restless. A festival crowd, after all, has limited patience.

zhu

Enigmatic producer Zhu could’ve answered all the questions at Listen Out but instead he answered none. He took to the stage with a screen covering him from anybody’s vision and launched straight into his mega-hit Faded. It was a euphoric, throbbing moment but the whole time it felt there needed to be another climax. You couldn’t tell whether he was singing nor see what he was playing and no matter how good it there was always the feeling that the crowd wanted more – probably brought on by the lack of presence.

Despite not seeing him, he had some great moments. His remix of Lana Del Rey’s West Coast was a moment of chopped and sliced brilliance and the light show that carried on through the whole set was a spectacle. His set-finishing cover of CHVRCHES’ Gun was also a hands-in-the-air moment that ushered in a rare singalong. With a huge set under his belt already it’s hard to imagine how long Zhu will be able to keep this mystery up. It seems to do nothing but put more pressure on him to speak with great music.

teed

With the sun completely gone, Orlando Higginbottom brought with him the type of DJ set that only the night time would embrace. Gone was the summertime sounds that permeated the afternoon, as the crowd welcomed a fist-full of bass, with a set of largely unrecognisable music. T.E.E.D is clearly a producer who digs a little bit deeper than most but he never came across as pretentious. For every instrumental banger, there was crowd-pleaser thrown in. They came in the way of the bombastic Core by RL Grime and Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan which radiated through an excitable crowd.

It’s obvious by his latest track with Aussie, Anna Lunoe, that T.E.E.D’s musical output is altering slightly but it’s no less impressive. Feels Like was a nugget of gold in the set- a slowly building, throbber that commanded the crowd to go harder. He finished valiantly on Household Goods, ensuring we got a little taster of just what to expect when he comes back (hopefully) soon with his live show.

flume

Listen Out could’ve only announced Flume on the bill and still pulled a massive crowd. He’s the golden-boy of Australian dance music and this truly felt like a homecoming victory run. His set hasn’t changed much since his solo tour earlier this year, but it was his first major Australian Festival headline set and it went down very well. Still looking humbled by his overwhelming popularity, he dropped hit after hit. Sleepless was followed by Holdin’ On which was topped by his Hyperparadise remix. He barely even needed to say or do anything, the crowd was so enamoured with his tracks as just an audible spectacle.

He was happy to share the spotlight for a little as he brought on label-mate George Maple for a new track and her new single, Talk Talk. The pair meshed perfectly together in a display of vocal prowess and intricate production- the most seductive numbers of his entire set. His remix of Lorde’s Tennis Court and On Top further proved the strength of the catalogue he’s gathered in a short time. Naysayers may call him overrated, but there’s very few Australian artists who can command an audience like Flume does purely with his own material.

Check out our Listen Out pics here. 

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