10songs_16Jan2

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Purity Ring, Django Django, Ciara + More

10Songs16Jan

This week Beyonce announced she was having another baby, a campaign was started to get Taylor Swift to the top of the Hottest 100 and Kelly Clarkson released a new song. Yes, it finally feels like everything is right again the music world and it didn't even take a 53 date Australian tour announcement from P!nk. But while pop was sitting on its thrown, mighty chuffed with itself, the rest of the music world was still slogging away, trying to get a few comment on Soundcloud and such. Here are 10 songs the slogged hard this week.

Purity Ring- Begin Again

Canadian duo Purity Ring’s debut Fineshrine was one of the best of 2012 but since then we’ve heard very little from then. Until now. This week they announced a new album, another entity, and shared begin again. The track is far more sonically dense than anything they’ve released in the past with aggressive synths greeting the song’s big drop. It’s no Skrillex but it’s something a little different for the pair, whose debut was characterised by carefully finessed soundscapes and crystalline vocals. This album is one of the most anticipated of 2015 at this point.

Snakehips- Gone (Feat. Syd)

UK duo Snakehips who were in the country for Listen Out last year, have released an unlikely collaboration with Odd Future’s Syd. Gone is a reclined RnB tune created in a jet-lagged haze after Snakehips returned from Australia. It definitely has that vibe with the instrumental swilling around like an olive in a martini glass. Syd’s vocals are perfectly relaxed and smooth, giving the duo an altogether different vibe. It works.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/snakehips-1/gone-feat-syd[/soundcloud]

Sevdaliza- That Other Girl

Rotterdam is not usually the first place we look for new music, but that’s exactly where Sevdaliza resides. The Dutch artist has teamed up with a fellow Dutch producer for this brooding, trap-inspired number. Her vocals are haunting as she occupies the minimalist beat with her smokey coos. When the bass drops that minimalist vibe is traded for reverb-soaked, earth-shattering synths. It’s one of the more interesting RnB tunes we’ve heard for a while and she definitely could be one to watch in 2015.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/sevdaliza/that-other-girl-1[/soundcloud]

Ciara- I Bet

Incase your not aware of the best RnB love affair of this decade, Ciara was married to Future and they had a child called Future Jr. Unfortunately, for one reason or another the pair have parted their ways and now we are poised and ready for two brilliant break-up albums. I Bet is just the break-up single we were waiting for. Taking an early 00’ aesthetic, Cici sings, “I bet you’ll start loving me/Soon as I start loving someone else/Somebody better than you”. If you haven’t been googling Ciara Australia for months you’re probably unaware that she’s touring in February. Shows have been announced for Perth and Melbourne but nothing has been announced for Sydney as of yet. Somebody please start a petition.

Edit: Don’t worry we just found it. See you all at Home Nightclub on 14th February.

Future- Just Like Bruddas

Ciara shared her new single, I Bet, this week and Future responded with this track called Just Like Bruddas. The track is about the streets but he occasionally references the relationship/ We’re actually not entirely sure what he says for 90% of the song but we’ve been able to make out bits like “They say I turned my back on my baby mama”. The track itself, is actually one of the strongest we’ve heard from Future in a while. He’s a far more successful singer than he is a rapper, he just needs to learn to enunciate his words.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/futureisnow/future-just-like-bruddas-prod-by-zaytoven[/soundcloud]

Django Django- First Light

British group Django Django are finally back with a new single off what we can only assume will be a forthcoming album. They took their sweet time. Thier self-titled debut was released way back in the stone age of 2014 and since then the musical climate has changed quite a bit. Indie bands are no longer really the thing du jour but First Light makes us feel as if they’ll have no problem settling back in. The track jangles with Django Django’s signature militant percussion and grooves with layered vocals. Also that cover image is really something. We’re currently in the process of painting all our oranges black.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/djangodjango/first-light[/soundcloud]

Dawn Richard- Phoenix (Feat. Aundrea Fimbres)

You may remember one of P Diddy’s projects from a few years back was a girl group called Danity Kane. One of the members of that band was Dawn Richard and since she’s been releasing some severely underappreciated solo work. She’s just released her second full length, Blackheart, featuring another ex-Danity Kane member, Aundrea Fimbres. Fimbres provides a mammoth pop-chorus but interesting the production flickers throughout making it far more interesting than what it would’ve been. Richard is approaching the genre so differently and is really yet to put a foot wrong.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/dawn_richard/dawn-richard-ft-aundrea-fimbres-phoenix[/soundcloud]

ESESE- AINTNO (Feat. Hancoq)

ESESE (Eastern Seaboard Electric Sould Experience) are a Melbourne collective who apparently do everything from filmaking to producing music. AINTNO is a musical project, evidently and features Australian rapper Hancoq. The beat is effortlessly fresh and while the video filmed in a row boat is a little odd, it’s the quirks of this track that make it so delectable.

Mikky Ekko- U

We expected Mikky Ekko to be bigger after he featured on Rihanna’s Stay back in 2012 but it all stalled a little bit there. Anyway, he’s still pushing along with the release of his debut album, Time, and on it is this Blood Diamond-produced gem. U is a smooth as hell offering, that sees Blood Diamond clean up his production a bit. The track sounds a million miles away from Grimes who Blood Diamond usually produces for. It’s woozy, a little off kilter and backed by some seriously impressive vocals.

Kelly Clarkson- Heartbeat Song

We know what you’re thinking: WHOAHHHH, Clarko on the interns? This is called 10 Songs You Need To Hear, and so we think it’s our responsibility to guide you through the good and bad. We’re not saying the new single from Kelly Clarkson is bad but the song does slow down for the chorus, so she should’ve been prepared to get a little bit of flack. Anyway, it’s been produced by Max Martin and is destined to be a hit. Clarkso has had plenty of trouble with record labels not letting her be the free spirit she is in the past, so you can probably bet that she hates this song but loves the $$.

 

 

140109_10Small

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Charli XCX + More

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

...And we’re back into it. 2015 is well and truly here and the new music is rushing once again. It seems, however, that the only musicians not taking an extended break is rappers because they are unleashing music like nothing else. Joey Bada$$ has an album dropping, so does Action Bronson and ILOVEMAKKONEN seems to release new music every 23 minutes. Here are 10 songs you must pass by your ears this week.

Future Brown- Room 302 (Feat. Tink)
Future Brown is an electronica supergroup of sorts and they seemed to have mustered up a nice musical friendship with Tink. She featured on their debut, Wanna Party, and now returns for Room 302, the opening track off their forthcoming record which is out February 23. Room 302, is an after-dark banger that does for Tink what Shlohmo did for Jeremih.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/future-brown/room-302-feat-tink[/soundcloud]

ILoveMakonnen- Super Clean
Super clean probably best describes the style of production on the latest track by iLoveMakonnen. It’s the slickest thing he’s done yet, characterised by an aqua-inspired synth. It actually sounds like the type of thing you would hear on Tinashe’s debut album, which incase you haven’t heard it, is a very good thing. As for iLoveMakonnen he just does his thing. He sounds a little drunk and maybe a little high. It’s all good.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/noisey/ilovemakonnen-super-clean[/soundcloud]

Sam Smith- Leave Your Lover (Motez Remix)
Just about every producer on earth has picked up on the fact that Sam Smith’s voice is very suited to a dance-beat (thanks Disclosure). Motez has taken on Leave Your Lover off Smith’s criminally ignored debut, In The Lonely Hour. He takes the track straight to the clubs, laying down a deep-house beat and chopping and screwing the vocals for some great climaxes.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/motezmusic/sam-smith-leave-your-lover-motez-remix-sutured[/soundcloud]

Action Bronson- Actin Crazy
Action Bronson cancelled his Australian tour for the 401st time this year to concentrate on finishing his album, Mr. Wonderful. While we’re sure many disgruntled Australian fans would disagree with that title, there’s no denying that Actin Crazy is a very good song indeed. Bronson has borrowed Drake’s producer Noah 40 Shebib for a demure, melodic beat that he runs all over with his characteristically aggressive rapping.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/actionbronson/action-bronson-actin-crazy[/soundcloud]

Years & Years- King
We’re still not quite sure why Desire wasn’t a huge hit, but it took everybody about five years to realise Charli XCX was brilliant, so we’ll have patience. King, however, is an absolute banger and if it’s not picked up by radio everywhere then we’re going to have to have words. The vocals are, as always, silky smooth and the instrumental is inspired by the tropics but also planted firmly on ‘90s dance floors. This is the type of song that everyone will forget and then in 15 years it will be played on a golden oldies radio station and commuters will simultaneously lose it.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/yearsandyears/king[/soundcloud]

Susanne Sundfør- Delirious
The last time we heard Norwegian songstress, Susanne Sundfør, she was trilling all over Royksopp’s Running To The Sea. It was a dark, sordid affair, but her latest solo track Delirious is far more effortlessly enjoyable. It starts with dark, brooding vocals and we instantly fear we’re headed back to the sea, but then this strobing bass sets in and she delivers one hell of a chorus. She says she wanted to write a “cinematic” song and she’s done exactly that. It’s an expansive, lush pop song.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/susannesundfor/delirious[/soundcloud]

Dan Shake- Out Of Sight
The dancefloor has become such an intellectual place with all these producers laying down intricate melodies and vocal melodies that are not so much to be enjoyed as they are considered. It’s refreshing to hear a producer go four-to-the-floor and produce an instant classic which is exactly what Dan Shake has down with Out Of Sight. The track meshes together live instrumentation with electronic elements, taking us back to the days when Detroit Techno rained supreme.

The Fader is hogging it, so you'll have to go here to listen.

Jimmy Napes- Give It Up
You may not know of Jimmy Napes by name but chances are you’ve heard plenty of the songs that he’s written. He’s served up songs for Disclosure, Sam Smith and Mary J. Blige, to name a few, and now he’s stepping out on his own, prepping an EP for March, The Making Of Me. Give It Up is our first taste of the EP and sees him team up with half of Disclosure (we’re not sure if it’s who Azealia Banks would classify as the ugly one or not). The track is a straightforward, RnB-pop tune and shows that he’s got some serious vocal chops.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jimmynapes/give-it-up[/soundcloud]

Joey Bada$$- Teach Me (Feat. Kiesza)
We saw Joey Bada$$ at Falls Festival over New Years and we’re pretty sure that he doesn’t need Kiesza to teach him how to dance, but she’s giving it a shot anyway. Teach Me is a bonus track on his forthcoming album, B4.DA.$$ and is pretty different from anything he’s done in the past. It sits firmly in the lane of pop and has the potential to be Joey’s biggest hit to date. Is now a good time to contemplate why Kiesza hasn’t had much success since Hideaway? The girl’s on fire.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kanyetothestream-1/joey-badass-ft-kiesza-teach-me[/soundcloud]

Charli XCX- Doing It (Feat. Rita Ora)
Charli XCX’s, Sucker, came out in December for much of the world, but she’s making the UK sweat it out until February (probably because they were one of the only countries not to send Fancy to number one). As a gift for sticking in there, she’s added Rita Ora to one of the highlights of the album, Doing It. The two singers actually sound quite similar so it’s a really difficult spot the difference between the original and this. But if this is what it takes to get her a number one, then so be it. We couldn’t care less if she threw Celine Dion on the track as long as people got to hear XCX. She's coming to Australian shores in April, head here for all the details.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/charlixcx/charli-xcx-doingit-ft-rita-ora[/soundcloud]

If you can't be bothered reading, cut straight to the chase below:

https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-5

songsmayhavemissed

10 Songs You Might've Missed These Holidays

songsmayhavemissed

So now everybody has successfully become overweight alcoholics, it's time to get back into the swing of things. While you had your eyes on a bottle of champagne or your head up a turkey, you may have missed these songs. Let's catch up...

Kanye West- Only One (Feat. Paul McCartney)

This one was the big one. Yeezy ushered in the New Year with a new song- one that is a big departure from the industrial, raw Yeezus. Only One featuring largely unknown new artist, Paul McCartney, takes cues from 808s and Heartbreaks more than any of his other albums. It's a heartfelt ballad. It's auto-tuned, soulful and actually quite humble. As much as it is a different direction we think this track might be an outlier on his forthcoming record.

Listen via. 

Lxury- Let Down

We had the pleasure of having this British producer down-under last year, and he just continues to churn out bass-heavy gold. Let Down comes courtesy of British radio presenter Annie Mac and it's a soulful flavoured, deep-house track.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/annie-mac-presents/fmm-lxury-let-down[/soundcloud]

A$AP Rocky- Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2

Oooooh, we feel a new A$AP Rocky album on the way. Following last years Multiply, it's clear that A$AP is going back to his roots, ditching pop-heavy hooks for dark hip-hop beats and fierce flows. Let's hope this his sophomore album goes a little harder than his debut which barely scratched the surface of what this man can do.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/asapmob/lord-pretty-flacko-jodye-2-pfjii-prod-nez-rio[/soundcloud]

MØ- New Years Eve

MØ had a pretty awesome 2014, finishing it up with a guest spot on the new Iggy Azalea single, Beg For It, and an Australian tour. She's released New Years Eve to signal the very event its title alludes to. It's a somewhat melancholic tracks featuring an introspective MO in ballad mode which is something we haven't heard much from her before.

A.G. Cook- What I Mean

PC Music ruled 2014, on Soundcloud at least. The head of the internet label, A.G. Cook has carefully curated a label that is kitsch, melodic and modern. What I Mean came as a welcome end of year surprise. It's one of the more tame tracks to have come from Cook but it's no less sugary sweet.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/annie-mac-presents/fmm-a-g-cook-what-i-mean[/soundcloud]

Usher Feat. Migos- Still Got It

If 2014 proved anything it's that Usher does indeed still have it. Good Kisser was great, I Don't Mind was better and for the first time since 2001 we find ourselves excited about an Usher record. This one probably won't appear on huge album, but it will tie us over for now. He takes on the role of a rapper matching Migos, who is an actual rapper FYI.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/zaytovenbeatz/usher-ft-migos-i-still-got-it-prod-by-zaytoven[/soundcloud]

MAGIC! - Rude (Saint Pepsi Remix)

This song sucks as much shit as Sublime's Santaria, but Saint Pepsi has proved himself, once again, to be a saint tastefully remixing it. The reggae is gone and in its place is a beat reminiscent of Beyonce's Partition. It's far more bearable and Saint Pepsi deserves a medal.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/saintpepsi/magic-rude-saint-pepsi-remix[/soundcloud]

Montgomery- Piñata (Japanese Wallpaper Remix)

Melbourne label, IOhYou have a great roster of artists now with the addition of DMAs and Montgomery last year. Young upcoming producer, Japanese Wallpaper, has taken on Montgomery's Piñata, leaving much of the vocal melody intact but adding a layered, dimly-lit instrumental that makes the song even more delectable.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/iohyouparty/montgomery-pinata-japanese-wallpaper-remix[/soundcloud]

O.T. Genasis- CoCo (Dark0 Remix)

If you haven't heard the original of this yet, you probably will very soon. It's completely ridiculous but it's found a runaway following in the US. London producer, Dark0, has remixed the track given it an even darker base of chiming and cascading percussion.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/dark0/o-t-genasis-coco-dark0-remix[/soundcloud]

Toby Gale- Hawaii Wifi Tiger Moves

Ryan Hemsworth is continuing on with his Secret Songs giveaways and the latest is a super kawaii offering from Toby Gale. Of the song Hemsowrth says "I have trouble finding songs at this pace, that give me the feeling Hawaii Wifi Tiger Moves does". Don't we all, Hemsworth. Don't we all.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/shh017-toby-gale-hawaii-wifi-tiger-moves[/soundcloud]

 

2014YearInReview

the interns' 2014: Year In Review

We've made an end of year Infographic that if you knew was coming, you wouldn't have bothered to pay any attention to music this year. Call it a cheat sheet, if you will. A quick reminder for those of you who may of dozed off at times in 2014. 2014_YearInReview

Top30albums2

the interns' Top 30 Albums of 2014

Top30albums2The year's top albums according to us and why we think they topped the class in 2014.

[one_half]30Porter

[/one_half][one_half_last]Porter Robinson’s next move was always going to be interesting. After rising to prominence as an EDM artist, he’d decided to turn his back and head for a sound that amalgamated video games, japanese pop music and fictional worlds into electronica. The most satisfying thing about Worlds is the knowledge that Robinson achieved everything he set out to do. It’s expansive, emotional and innovative. Sad Machine manages to make a robotic voice sound teary while Sea Of Voices feels like we’re being exposed to a new world for the first time. It’s no longer Porter Robinson the DJ or the producer, it’s Porter Robinson, the artist.

[/one_half_last]
[one_half]29Charli

[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Pop was hella weird in 2014. It seemed as if all the rules were thrown out and a new crop of artists were drowning out the old queens of pop (cc: Britney’s last album). Charli XCX was one of those artists who benefitted from mainstream media's willingness to accept something new. Of course, her guest spot on Fancy kicked it off but she expertly followed it up with the sugary-sweet, Boom Clap, and the punk-inspired, Break The Rules. Sucker is like Josie and The Pussycats meshed with The Sex Pistols and high school antics. The whole thing is outrageously catchy and the best part is, it never sounds like she’s polished things up to appeal.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]
28MO[/one_half][one_half_last]From one Iggy Azalea collaborator to another, Danish pop singer MØ had a stellar 2014 and it was all because of No Mythologies To Follow. It’s common knowledge that the Scandinavians do pop better than any other by MØ gave us something more. It wasn’t sweet, it was dark, traversing hip-hop, Diplo-electronica and mainstream pop. MØ’s voice flies all over the place with a deep broodiness as she moves from disco queen (Slow Love) to hip-hop hook vocalist (Red In The Grey). Time will tell whether she enjoys the same fate as Charli XCX, but we reckon this album has plenty of tracks to get her to that stage.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]27TINASHE[/one_half][one_half_last]RnB was back in a big way in 2014. No longer was it just indie, Soundcloud stars appropriating the genre, but it had also reached the mainstream. Two years ago Tinashe’s album would have received almost no attention, despite how strong it is. In 2014, Aquarius, sounds completely on-trend with minimalist beats and slinky vocals. Aquarius doesn’t hit you with hooks, rather it swims over you with slowly grooving melodies and subtly personal lyrics. Moments like Dev Hynes guitar solo on Bet make this so much more than just another urban album.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]26ODESZA[/one_half][one_half_last]Every year there are a small handful of electronica records that win over everybody. Last year Disclosure’s Settle was the obvious one and this year it seems to be ODESZA’s In Return.The American duo have an acute ear for sunshine-flavoured melodies and expansive, layered soundscapes. On In Return when they’re not serving up pop-inspired goodies (Say My Name, All We Need), they’re building sunset instrumentals coated with warmth. It’s an effortless listen but not a forgettable one, which is a much harder win than it sounds.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]25Lana[/one_half]
[one_half_last]The media’s turn of opinion on Lana Del Rey this year has been somewhat of a miracle. The songstress was labelled everything from fake to overrated after her debut Born To Die, but it seems she gave zero fucks. Instead of coming back with a glitzy effort, aimed at commercial audiences, she delivered Ultraviolence, a gritty, sepia-toned opus. All of her best work is on Ultraviolence. Brooklyn Baby is nostalgic and melodically surprising while Money Power Glory features her most soaring chorus. Only Lana Del Rey could call herself a “bitch” and admit she fucked her way up to the top and while her interviews this year have been trainwrecks, Ultraviolence sounds honest and most importantly, believable.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]24Azealia[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Speaking of negative media attention, Azealia Banks has seen her fair share. It seemed unlikely that we’d get Banks’ long delayed Broke With Expensive Taste this year, but without much fanfare at all she dropped it and seemingly let the strength of the record speak for itself. The New York rapper created an album that materialised the cities diverse music scene. She moves from Spanish flavours (Idle Delilah) to deep house (Soda) to indie rock-pop (Nude Beach A Go Go). Somehow she ties it all together and packages it as a fierce collection which doesn’t represent her as a victim. She says it best when she raps, “my attitude is bitch, but y’all already knew that”. Maybe we did need Azealia Banks after all.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]23Kimbra[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Kimbra could’ve easily played it safe in 2014. She had a world wide audience off the back of that song and they would’ve eaten up a friendly ballad penned by Diane Warren or the like. If she’d done that, we doubt the album would’ve ended up on our list. The reason The Golden Echo is such a thrilling listen is because it’s daring. Choruses fly at you from out of nowhere (Teen Heat), melodies takes their own cosmic explorations (Watlz Me To The Grave) and the instrumentals are big and bold (Goldmine). She had a host of superstar guests on board but in the end it didn’t matter- The Golden Echo put Kimbra front and centre.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]22Lykke[/one_half]

[one_half_last]I Never Learn was always going to be a dark record. In between Wounded Rhymes, Lykke Li went through a breakup and seemingly disappeared apart from the odd email talking about her mental situation with scarce detail. Every song on I Never Learn is a ballad and rarely do we ever hear any sunlight, but it’s undeniably a Lykke Li record through and through and that’s what makes it so profound. The opening title tracks, swells with hearty orchestration while No Rest For The Wicked hits us with a big brooding chorus. In fact, nearly every chorus on the record gives off an ‘80s power ballad, soaring with Li’s heavy heart. This is not an album that will float over you. When she sings, “Can I get used to/ Can I forget you/ Will I get used to sleeping alone” on the closing track, every word prods at you. Melodramatic, yes, but my goodness doesn’t she do that mode well?

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]21sHARON[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Like Lykke Li’s record, Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There is a break up record. But while Li talks of herself as the victim Van Etten accepts much of the blame for what went wrong. “I’m better than I know/ There’s room to grow” she sings on the stunning I Love You But I’m Lost- a mantra which seems to carry across the whole album. It’s these admissions that make Are We There such an honest listen. The brilliant single, Everytime The Sun Comes Up also deals with this with candidly open lyrics like “I washed your dishes but I shitted in your bathroom”. The album cover suggests there’s more to the album than self-blame though. It’s a beautifully freeing image that translates in the opening two songs. “I can’t wait til we’re afraid of nothing”, she sings on the opener. It’s statements like this coupled with admissions of fault that make Van Etten such a prime songwriter.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]20YoungFathers[/one_half]
[one_half_last]It’s hard to label Glasgow Trio, Young Fathers’ Dead as any genre. At times it serves up abrasive hip-hop while at other times it’s dazzling with warm RnB or taking a detour into electronica. It’s all tied together by one thing and that’s energy. For the whole record Dead meets us with ferocity, whether it be by in-your-face vocals or crunching back-beats. Get Up commands a party revolution while War uses an almost non-existent instrumental to make lyrics like “Wanna get to heaven, you’re flying the wrong way” more profound. It’s avant-garde nature means it’s never an easy listen, but it’s always captivating. And that’s all that really matters.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]19Taylor[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Essentially, Taylor Swift has been making pop records since the beginning of her career. Yeah, they’ve been coated in country twangs and banjos but at the heart of each song was a pop banger waiting to break-out. She made her first obvious move toward the pop world on Red, but 1989 is her first all-in pop record and she absolutely nails it. The melodies are on point, the ‘80s-borrowed aesthetic goes down like a fine wine and best of all she’s learnt to poke fun at herself. A song like Blank Space sees her play the Taylor Swift that the internet has created with lyrics like “darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream”. Maybe it’s come from her involvement in online meme communities, but she seems to know every criticism that could be thrown at her and covers it expertly. Also, it must be said that rarely does a pop album entertain for 13 tracks. Katy Perry’s Prism barely held us to track 6 while 1989 has us yearning for 27 bonus tracks.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]18collarbones[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Travis Cook and Marcus Whale (aka. Collarbones) have been steadily growing their fan base in Sydney for a while now, reaching a milestone with their brilliant second album, Die Young. Return takes on the same aesthetic of dim-lit electronica that Die Young did but it sees them embrace more accessible pop melodies. First single, Turning, is the best track they’ve produced to date- a thumping, gyrating, left-of-centre pop song while the Oscar Key Sung-featuring mid-tempo is a soulful, smouldering piece of excellence. It’s these moments that make Return their easiest album to latch onto yet. It’s still interesting, layered and innovative yet it’s far easier to track where they are going melodically. They’re so successful in doing so that Emoticon is the type of track Usher would kill for.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]17SBTRKT[/one_half]
[one_half_last]We were ready to write SBTRKT off after he offered up Temporary View as the first taster from Wonder Where We Land. It was almost a carbon-copy of his debut and made it seem as if the British producer had no other cards to play. How wrong we were. SBTRKT’s sophomore record is perhaps one of the strangest of the year. From its genre-traversing centrepiece, New Dorp. New York to its detour into hip-hop on Higher, it’s a wildly unpredictable move. So much so that straight-up cuts that would have shone on his debut like The Light sound pedestrian among far more exciting numbers like the creepy, Caroline Polacheck-featuring, Look Away. In 2014, when so many genres meet each other in the middle of the musical venn diagram, it was refreshing to see an album that amalgamated them all successfully. And that cover is beautiful. Just beautiful.

[/one_half_last]

[one_half]16MacDemarco[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Mac Demarco’s records are so effortless that it feels like he creates them in his sleep. And maybe he does in some kind of weed-filled daze. Salad Days follows a similar format to his past two records but here he’s taking things a little more seriously. For the first time we see a Demarco that’s interested in more than just Viceroy cigarettes and food. On Let Me Baby stay he’s pleading for his girlfriend to be able to stay in the country (she had visa issues) and on Brother he;s actually contemplating life’s modes singing “you’re better off dead, when your mind’s been set from nine until five”. Now with lyrical sense as one of his strengths Demarco has the potential to be one of the greats of this era. His melodies roll-out like butter and his personality sits front and centre of all his songs with ease. Salad Days is without a doubt his breakthrough.

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[one_half]

15wILDBeasts[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Wild Beasts’ Present Tense sees the band go for a fuller sound. Their last album, Smother, was a beautiful lesson in intimate minimalism, but Present Tense experiments with a larger sound and succeeds. The drums shudder a little harder, the vocals reach a bit further and the synths make more of a profound appearance. It’s all handed to us straight-up on the grand opener Wanderlust and once again on the second track, Nature Boy but instead of going grand it goes for a smokey, broodiness. That’s not to say the intimacy has disappeared. Mecca is a beautifully subtle, forthright song and Pregnant Pause is the closest thing to a ballad they’ve done. Present Tense is like the same Wild Beasts that we know but now in colour. They’re musical palette is far wider now and it makes for a much fuller record.

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[one_half]14RunTheJewels[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Run The Jewels’ debut was the most hefty and affecting record of 2013 and it seemed impossible that they’d be able to improve on that. But on Run The Jewels, they have. So much so that they became the most important rap act of 2014. This is hip-hop that just flies out of the gates like a bull and never rests. Their first record started with Run The Jewels which should be their anthem but Count Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) takes that title, opening with a throbbing vocal commanding “Run them jewels fast, run them, run them, jewels fast”. Run The Jewels 2 succeeds because it has all the ingredients of a classic record: anger, politics, banter and egos. El-P and Killer Mike go back and forth, with healthy competition meaning the energy on this record never dies. When we get to the throbbing closer, Angel Duster it feels like we’ve been assaulted. And they know it too. Killer Mike raps “Defeated the odds, went to war with the gods”.

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[one_half]13Jungle[/one_half]
[one_half_last]“Right on time/ Back by the beach/ Still gon’ bring the heat”, opens Jungle’s debut self-titled record. From that moment it’s as if they switch on a heater, turn up their collars and begin to strut with an undeniable swag that lasts for the duration of the record. Jungle taps into that funk/disco sound that’s becoming the sound-of-the-moment but they strip it back to its bones. The whole album has this consistent, steady beat that ties all the songs together, leaving it up to the melodies to create a point of difference. Jungle had the potential to make a record that delivered up the more epic songs like Time and Busy Earnin’ time and time again but instead they showed great restraint. Drops is expertly minimal and dims the light of the record for a few minutes while Crumbler relies purely on its undeniable vocal groove. Jungle may have been ridiculously hyped but it’s hard to argue that they didn’t deliver on what they promised. Their debut is one of the most consistently reliable record of the year.

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[one_half]12popcaan[/one_half]
[one_half_last]It’s been a while since straight-up dancehall made any lasting impact on the type of audiences that listen to Caribou and St. Vincent (aka. us). However, this year Jamaican artist Popcaan made an album that was so full of heart and joyous groove, it was impossible to ignore. Where We Come From is the type of record that brings people together. It’s not one designed to listen to by yourself or dance on your own. It’s one that thrives off body heat and collective vibes. He puts the political (Hold On) alongside the sexy (Number One Freak), making Where We Come From an album about freedom and the many different notions that surround the concept of being free. It’s hard to come across an album this year that purely trades in one thing: joy. Whether it’s the melodic yearning of Waiting So Long or the dusky warmth of Everything Nice, the album makes you want to dance and laugh, whether or not you know anything about dancehall.

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[one_half]11PERFUME[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Perfume Genius’ last two albums felt like sketches. Many of the songs featured sounded unfinished and rarely did songs ever really breach the two minute mark. If those albums were sketches, then Too Bright is the masterpiece. Too Bright is a bold, profound record with weighty statements and instruments that drive straight into the soul. “Don’t you know you’re queen/ whipped/ heaving”, he sings on the first single, Queen- a demonstration of the type of assured lyrics that carry on through the record. Along with those statements come a new wave of experimentation that he’s never dabbled in before. My Body descends into a reverb-soaked detour while Grid introduces strobing synths. Speaking to us earlier this year he said “It’s a little nerve-wracking because it’s not just me singing behind a piano anymore”. You can’t hear the nerves on Too Bright though. He sounds like the kind of artist that could genuinely affect people.

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[one_half]

10Remi[/one_half]
[one_half_last]“We’re here to change the Australian rap-game”, Remi raps on the opening track of Raw x Infinity. Australian hip-hop is going through somewhat of a revolution now and Remi seems to be at the front of that. He’s delivering a sound that is far more internationally palatable revealing an artist who’s aware of what’s going on in the hip-hop world at large. Raw x Infinity is a record brimming with energy, confidence and an effortless cool delivered by a youthful, excitable MC. When Remi performs live he stalks the stage with an undeniable personality and that comes through on the record. Partying, growing-up and ego seem to be the big themes of the record and he touches on them with an unfiltered honesty. Instrumentally we move from funk-influenced beats (XTC Party // H.O.B) to classic hip-hop beats (Ode To Ignorance). This is so much more than an Aussie hip-hop record, it’s an international hip-hop record.

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[one_half]9StVincent[/one_half]
[one_half_last]When your first single features the lyrics “Take out the garbage, masturbate”, there’s really nothing left to hide and that’s the attitude that permeates Annie Clarke’s self-titled record. Her last album, Strange Mercy showed a loosening St. Vincent but St. Vincent goes all out, packaging itself as a dark party record to match her uninhibited live shows. She flirts with brass for much of it, also calling upon crunching guitars and flickering synths each song as unpredictable as the next. While the album is wacky, Clarke gives us a balance. For every “watch me jump right off the London bridge” lyrics (Digital Witness) there’s a “Well you stole the heart right out of my chest” lyric (Severed Cross Fingers). St. Vincent is anxious, sweet, violent and intelligent taking you through all the motions of her interesting mind. The record is constantly revealing itself and that’s its greatest achievement. One minute you’ll be dancing, the next crying, all within three minutes.

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[one_half]8WaronDrugs[/one_half]
[one_half_last]People liked The War On Drugs before this year, but in 2014 people grew to love The War On Drugs and it’s all because of this record, Lost In A Dream. Lost In A Dream is a rock record at heart but it’s an intricate one, with many beautiful, nuanced moments that break down the emotional barrier. It’s a story of sleepless nights and broken relationships delivered through intimate, careful songs and big, blistering anthems that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Bruce Springsteen album. Quite oddly, it’s a solemn, lonely album that ends up sounding triumphant. While Adam Granduciel sings “How can I be free?” a valiant beat chugs alongside as if he’s singing I’m On Fire. The album’s finest moment comes when the lyrics match the instrumental aesthetic on Burning. “Cross the rich derivative of pain/ Crush the burning in your heart”, he sings backed by the most epic instrumental of the album. It may be an album embroiled in darkness but it’s those short, sharp flickers of light that make it as expertly brilliant as it is.  

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[one_half]7ToddTerje[/one_half]
[one_half_last]We were always going to gravitate towards any album that started with a voice saying, “It’s album time!” over and over again. Todd Terje’s It’s Album Time is one of the most, if not the most, joyous album of the year. It’s a silly and colourful album but one that is cohesive and entertaining from start to finish. For the entirety of the album, we’re pulled from where we are and placed in a tropical paradise built by kitschy keys and elevator melodies. Strandbar commands everybody to grab a partner and take them to the floor without explicitly saying it while Inspector Norse is the type of song that could take you so far out of your head that you could easily find yourself daydreaming. We’re only pulled from this mood of elation once, in a cover of Robert Palmer’s Johnny And Mary sung by Bryan Ferry. It sounds out of place on It’s Album Time, but by juxtaposing the highs with the lows, Terje makes the rest of the songs even more joyous.

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[one_half]
6Laroux[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Five years after the debut, Elly Jackson re-emerged as La Roux without her partner Ben Langmaid and a new sound that edged further towards David Bowie’s Let’s Dance than the glossy synth-pop of the debut. For the most part, Trouble In Paradise is upbeat but it seems that there’s heartbreak at the disco. Throughout the whole album, she’s tempted by desire, whether it be unfaithfulness on Kiss and Not Tell or a make-believe lover on Cruel Sexuality. There a dark undertones to Trouble In Paradise that make it more than just a straight-forward pop record. Even on the most delectable song, Sexotheque, the man wants to play around while the woman wants commitment. She dances around the main subject for much of the album until we reach Let Me Down Gently, the most personal song on the record. She sings “Let me in for a minute/ You’re not my life but I want you in it”. These kind of records with a falsely sunny disposition, reveal themselves in layers. Any pop album where you can dig deeper than the surface is one worth staying with.

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[one_half]5Jessie[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Jessie Ware got married earlier this year and her sophomore record, Tough Love, honestly reveals just about every emotion leading up to the wedding. She’s madly in love, broken-hearted and oblivious throughout the whole of Tough Love, giving an intimate and intricate perspective of her relationship. It may be a far more straight-up record than Devotion but that’s what was necessary here. What she has to say and her lyrics are the most important thing on Tough Love. Tough Love is without a doubt our most listened to album of 2014 and that’s because it’s so easily relatable. The imagery throughout is stunning. While the whole thing is monochromatic, she works in warm and cold tones with lyrics like “Lights still shining in the room/ You left me here” on Want Your Feeling or perky synths a la Keep On Lying. Ending on the loved-up one-two punch of Champagne Kisses and Desire helps us sleep at night in the knowledge that Ware is happy now.

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[one_half]4DJDodger

[/one_half]
[one_half_last]It’s almost unheard of to have a full-length album of the kind of music that DJ Dodger Stadium make. The whole thing is repetitive and bounded by thudding beats made for after-dark, out-of-mind dances. But there’s something about Friend Of Mine that’s finds its way into your head. It’s warped. Whether it’s the off-kilter horns of Memory Lane or the grating vocal sample of Never Win, it seeps into your brain and eventually begins to affect you. It’s the type of record that you want to be listening to at 4am, hands-in-the-air, standing next to your most-loved. And that’s mostly because along with being a warped, distorted record, it’s also an elated one. The layering of Love Songs ascends into total ecstasy while the warm, gospel vocal sample of Friend Of Mine makes you giddy inside. Friend Of Mine was the only record in 2014 that made us wholly excited about four-to-the-floor dance music. A modern classic for the genre.

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[one_half]3HowToDress[/one_half]
[one_half_last]A few months ago we sat around a table listening to What Is This Heart? for the first time. We’d done this with a number of records, rarely ever making it to the second verse before chatting but for What Is This Heart? we sat silent moving back and forth with the beat as if we were in a car cruising down a highway. The silence can only be explained by the fact that What Is This Heart? is a deeply emotional listen that marries melancholic instrumentals with a voice that teeters on the edge at many points. It’s an album that’s unclassifiable, working with a mood rather than a genre. As such, it traverses RnB, folk, pop and indie-pop as it calls on beats, string arrangements and guitar to swell emotionally and then withdraw back into its shell. Just like a beating heart. There are so many moments on What Is This Heart? that grab you. From the climatic strings of Pour Cyril to the twinkling keys of A Power, it’s hard not to be silent when listening to the album. Tom Krell aka. How To Dress Well may not have the answers but he certainly poses plenty of worthwhile questions.

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[one_half]2FKA[/one_half]
[one_half_last]FKA Twigs is the most important artist of 2014 and that’s because she stepped so far out of the box that nobody even attempted to copy what she was doing. LP1 is a record of motion. Each song commands a certain kind of movement, through gently undulating beats and sharp, climatic synths. When she wants to be sexy, she makes you move that way (Two Weeks) and when she wants to be aggressive, she’ll make you tense up (Video Girl). It’s like FKA Twigs herself is a puppet, with her music the puppet master. For a private person, Twigs gets intimately personal on her debut. The album delves into sexual attraction powerfully but never does she sound crass. On Two Weeks when she sings “My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in”, it sounds like pent up angst rather than seduction and even on Lights On when she remarks “When I trust you we can do it with the lights on”, it sounds more sweet than sexual. LP1 is an album of melodic twists and turns, intimately personal lyrics and industrial beats. She perhaps sums the album up best on Closer when she taunts, “closer, I’m here to be closer”.

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[one_half]1Caribou[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Nearly every album touches on love in one way or another but none of them do it with the heart of warmth that Caribou does. In a wonderful interview with The Guardian earlier this year, Dan Snaith aka. Caribou said “You know, dance music isn’t just escapism; at best it’s always been about including the difficulties and challenges of life rather than just being this utopian, bacchanalian zone.” That’s exactly what Our Love is. It’s a record that acknowledges the highs and lows of a relationship with a deeply emotional connection. The dancefloor has always been the best place to feel heightened emotion whether it be intense love or heartbreak and it feels like Our Love uses the dancefloor as its vessel. On Can’t Do Without You it uses a sharply layered, dense finish to magnify the intensity of the feeling while on All I Need he works with a sparse, icy beat to say “the way you treat me wrong, it’s not right”. Snaith said of this album, that in the past he felt like he was singing just words whereas on Our Love they’ve been considered. His music has always been emotive but here its given an extra level of richness thanks to that lyrical connection. A song like Silver reads as a narrative about an ex-lover kissing another guy. At the end of Our Love, we’re graced with Your Love Will Set You Free. After all the issues we’re presented with we’re finally dealt the kind of elation that the dancefloor was made for. A statement like “Your love will set you free” is one that can be taken many ways and while the song is somewhat melancholic, it’s a euphoric, freeing end to the album. Our Love is Dan Snaith’s best work because he hones in on situations that are not only his own and has layed them out here alongside rich melodies, intricately layered soundscapes and emotive vocals. Caribou’s Our Love had the biggest heart of 2014.

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GuiltyPleasures

the interns' Top 10 Guilty Pleasures of 2014

 

GuiltyPleasures

When it comes to compiling these end of year lists it’s often easy to leave out some of the biggest ear worms of the year. Most of those songs are loved by the whole world and yet are ignored in most lists, probably because they’re ridiculous and have a use by date of about two months.

Despite this, we feel it’s worth celebrating these songs that dominated the airwaves and your brain capacity. Here are our top ten guilty pleasures of 2014. If you really like lists, why don't you also check out our top 30 songs of 2014?

Ariana Grande- Break Free

Zedd contributed a little bit to Lady Gaga’s Artpop and ultimately failed but he’s redeemed himself here with this Ariana banger. For the most part, Ariana Grande was channeling RnB in 2014 but for this one she went out all guns blazing, going vocally wild in the chorus like Whitney would’ve had she had the chance to dabble in EDM. The video is even goofy in the same way that Nikki Webster’s Strawberry Kisses was and we’re all into it.

Sam Smith- Stay With Me

This is a guilty pleasure in the way that many people would’ve had a cry on their couch with ice-cream dripping down their chin singing to this. No shame in that. Stay With Me is the type of ballad we’ve been missing since the days of Whitney and Mariah. Sam Smith is the success story of 2014. Hand the man his Grammy’s and let him get to work on the next James Bond theme song.

One Direction- Steal My Girl

This inclusion is mostly because Danny DeVito is in the video and it made us trawl through Matilda videos for two hours proceeding, but the songs also one of the best from One Direction. It’s slightly confusing that they all seem to be talking about the same girl but the logistics of that is not for us to worry about. A particular highlight is when Harry takes the high notes on the final chorus, just like Mel C would’ve for the Spice Girls.

G.R.L- Ugly Heart

Simone Battles' death earlier this year is a horrible shame not only because she was so young but because G.R.L are one of the best girl groups to come out of the USA since, eh, Destiny’s Child. Or Danity Kane. Let’s go with Danity Kane. Ugly Heart was championed by Dr. Luke and had all the necessary ingredients of a pop masterpiece. It had stomping bass, a strumming acoustic guitar (ooft) and a video that saw the girls locked up in prison. There’s actually something extremely freeing about this song which is worrying for me as a male who’s never romantically encountered a boy with an ugly heart.

Becky G- Shower

Unbelievably this song was not written for a Pantine commercial. It was in fact written by Becky G and hit-maker Dr. Luke for Becky G. It’s a sort of rap-song that has a chorus that definitely isn’t a rap-song chorus, so we’re finding it all a bit difficult to place it anyway. As a pop song, it’s genius though. There’s handclaps, layered vocals and a bridge that makes the chorus sound bigger than Ben Hur. It’s a national crime that this song peaked just outside the top ten.

Taylor Swift- Blank Space

Is Taylor Swift even a guilty pleasure anymore? She’s sold so many records that it seems everybody in the world has accepted that we will all just be honest with our love for Tay Tay. Blank Space was Taylor Swift’s “I’m a mess in a dress” song that saw her do crazy about as convincingly as Enya doing social. What is convincing though is the melody. It just slips through you like butter and adds a little white-girl rap in at the end for good measure.

Nico & Vinz- Am I Wrong

I’m not sure why Am I Wrong doesn’t have a question mark after it, but perhaps it’s because Norwegian newcomers Nico & Vinz don’t want a response. Am I Wrong has the feeling of Toto’s Africa combined with Phil Collins’ Tarzan soundtrack which is an enviable sound to have. It’s all about ambition and striving to be your best which is a bit sickening but who cares when the melody is as delectable as it is.

Mark Ronson- Uptown Funk (Feat. Bruno Mars)

This is the first time that Mark Ronson has really teamed up with a pop superstar for his own solo work. Naturally, the song has gone number one around the world in a matter of days but it feels like it’s on the strength of the song rather than Bruno Mars’ inclusion. It’s a disco-heralding, Chic throwback which actually makes Mars seem slightly less annoying. Expect to be extremely sick of this song by at least March 2015, but for now just enjoy the funk.

Iggy Azalea- Fancy (Feat. Charli XCX)

“First things first I’m the realest” may just be the most awkward conversation starter of 2014 but it was also the greatest beginning to a pop song in 2014. Fancy started things for both Iggy and Charli XCX who have both had stellar years this year. It’s because it targeted everybody's nostalgia. From the aesthetic references to Gwen and Eve’s Blow Your Mind to the ‘90s-coated, Clueless video, Fancy had ‘90s kids swooning and kids who weren’t born in the ‘90s wishing they were. Little do they know, they would’ve had to deal with dial-up internet.

Nick Jonas- Jealous

On the awful scale this year, Nick Jonas rated about an 11 with his crotch-grabbing photos etc. He told Good Morning America that he thought it was important that we started a conversation on jealousy, thus this song’s existence. Thank goodness he’s started the conversation because this is pure pop cold. From the falsetto to the clumsy lyrics like “It’s my right to be hellish”, Jonas nails it showing that he’s successfully made his transformation from family boyband member to hellish badboy himself.

Check out our top 30 songs of 2014

Top30Songs

the interns' Top 30 Songs of 2014

Top30Songs

The year's top tracks according to us and why we think they topped the class in 2014.

[one_half]30Nicki4[/one_half]
[one_half_last]If 2014 was all about the bum, then this is its theme song. At first listen, this song was a joke to many. A cheap rip-off of Sir Mix A Lot's Baby Got Back, the track seemed nothing more than a publicity stint, to spruik Nicki Minaj’s third album following a lacklustre first single, Pills N Potions. However, Minaj worked it and the song eventually ate up radio and TV. And for good reason. Minaj is utterly fierce throughout the whole track, also commanding when she performed it live. No other artist today could’ve pulled off this track and got it onto radio. Find me one other track on radio this year that sounds like Anaconda.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]29Shamir[/one_half]

[one_half_last]In the Summer of 2012, an up and coming rapper named Azealia Banks dropped a track called 212 and made her way to the top of every 'cool list'. Las Vegas artist, Shamir, doesn’t have that same brattiness to him but what he lacks in ferocity he makes up for in sass. On The Regular is cool. It’s incredibly cool. It sits somewhere between singing and rap with words that flow out of him unconsciously. It’s an anthem that introduces him as an outsider without any cliche ‘take me as I am’ notions. This is Shamir on the regular, just so you know.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]28banks[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Take the BANKS album as an entire dosage and you’ll be thrown into a world of hefty darkness. Take it in little bites and it’s some of the sweetest pop made all year. Beggin’ For Thread is the highlight- a track dropped right before the album was released and one that is the centrepiece of the record. It combines all BANKS’ strengths into four minutes. From the RnB tinges, to the dark brooding voice to power-backed bridges. The final minute is a climatic showcase of melodic perfection- finally giving the song itself some thread.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]27elliphant[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Girls won 2014, let’s be honest. FKA Twigs schooled everyone, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Jessie J came together for a world-dominating anthem and even Pharrell tipped his large hat to GIRLS. The coolest girl-power anthem of the year came courtesy of two tipsy Scandinavians. One More is a warm, after-dark track about clutching at that one person to stay and enjoy the little moments of the early morning. Elliphant and make a heart-warming pair both in the song and the video. They cavort the streets, peeing in gutters and working their light-up slides, but at all times seeming totally enamoured by their friendship. The final moment where the girls yell the chorus back at each other is one of the best pop moments of the year.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]26Tkay[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Tkay Maidza is something new for Australia. We have hip-hop, yes, but it’s always been shut-off from any international influence. It probably wasn’t the hip-hop influence that ensured Tkay sounded ready for the world stage in 2014, it was her willingness to experiment with Australian electronica. Australian electronica has been competing on the world stage for the better part of a year now and Maidza capitalised on that. Switch Lanes produced by Paces is the type of song that Angel Haze or Azealia Banks would kill for.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]25Popcaan[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Jamaican dancehall artist, Popcaan’s debut album Where We Come From is one of the most consistent records of the year. On that album is this gem, Number One Freak- a song so goddam rhythmic it could have even those with steel hips wiggling. Everyone knows love found on the dancefloor (or in a hopeless place) is the strongest love of all and Popcaan capitalises on that. “Some girls say she bad but me know shes badder”, he sings, creating a sweltering atmosphere that breathes heat (body heat, that is).[/one_half_last]

[one_half]24CHVRCHES[/one_half]
[one_half_last]CHVRCHES may not have had an album this year but it didn’t stop them from releasing a handful of excellent songs. This one’s from the rework of the Drive soundtrack. And while the concept may be slightly confusing, this song makes it all worthwhile. CHVRCHES adopt that dimly-lit, luminescent feel that Drive conveys and add a sweetness to it. Lauren Mayberry singing “never let you get away”, is one of the more heartwarming things we’ve heard all year. Particularly from someone who was last year singing, “I’ll be a gun, and it’s you I’ll come for”.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]23Perfume[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Perfume Genius has always been a profound songwriter but until this year he hadn’t really ventured far afield, instrumentally. Grid throbs with a relentless synth, turning like an industrial fan. It gives Mike Hadreas’ voice a bolstered power when he sings something like “this is it”. The kids voices that come in then start to play with your find as if you are being surrounded by chanting children yourself. It’s a dizzying listen but an amazing one, if you consider he achieves this feeling in under three minutes.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]22azealia[/one_half]
[one_half_last]An Azealia Banks comeback in 2014 seemed very unlikely. For an artist who’s been a storm for most of her career, she’d gone awfully quiet for a while with barely a feud in sight. It seems it was the calm before the storm. In the second half of 2014, she delivered, Chasing Time- a track supposedly written to prove to her previous label Universal that she could write a hit. And what a hit it is. Chasing Time sees Banks both sing and rap over a schizophrenic beat that pops and bubbles. The song would be nothing without its richly melodic chorus which combines a Prodigy-esque strength with late ‘90s RnB.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]21Kimbra[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Kimbra has always been an interesting character but after seeing her live for the first time in 2012, it was immediately apparent that her debut Vows was merely scraping the surface of what she could do. It seems, in 2014, she realised her true potential and embraced her creative oddities. To say ‘90s Music was a shock, is an understatement. An artist like Kimbra could have easily ventured into the realms of adult contemporary but instead she delivered this chopped-up, candy-cane flavoured, beautiful mess with a chorus that soared into the stratosphere. It’s nostalgic while also being futuristic aka. a pop music triumph. [/one_half_last]

20-1


 

[one_half]20George[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Future Classic have had a big year with the success of Chet Faker but they had one little secret locked away. One that will probably eclipse the success of any artist on the Future Classic label yet. That secret was Australian songstress, George Maple, who’s spent the better part of her career carving away in London. They unleashed Maple with little fanfare, rather letting the strength of Talk Talk talk for itself. And that it did. The song has so far amassed over 2 million listens on Soundcloud and brought a sophistication to Australian pop music that we haven’t seen for a long time, if ever. Talk Talk is a romantic, hushed song with a tempo that just allows it to creep under your skin.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]19Dragon[/one_half]
[one_half_last]There’s something horribly disappointing about Paris. It’s perhaps one of the most romanticised cities in the world and yet under the surface it’s a cesspool of pretentiousness, crime and grime. The Paris that Little Dragon sing about is not a city of love, it’s one of heartache. Someone’s left Yukimi Nagano in Paris and she’s alone. The song’s warm synths and hopping beat may be deceiving but the sadness in Nagano’s paper thin voice says it all. There’s a craft in writing a sad song without being melodramatic and it’s one Little Dragon have mastered expertly. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]18SOPHIE[/one_half]
[one_half_last]There’s something wonderful obvious about this whole PC Music sound. Since its inception last year, the genre has been endlessly compared to sugar. From bubblegum synths to popping rocks percussion, even QT has taken on the metaphor producing her own energy drink. SOPHIE was just as obvious in dropping a song titled Lemonade, which sounds appropriately like a sugary, carbonated glass of lemonade. It borrows elements of hip-hop and short bursts of ‘90s rave for just under two minutes of euphoria. Such is the high of sugar. It picks you up quickly and then dumps you in a quivering heap but in the end it’s all worth it.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]17Theophilus[/one_half]
[one_half_last]There’s a certain feeling about walking into a club in New York. Whether you know it or not, you adopt a strut, subconsciously aware of everybody in the club eyeing you off. As a native New Yorker, Theophilus London captures that feeling perfectly on Tribe. It’s gone that clean, New York beat that paces along with an unmatched swagger. He’s scouting the room, picking up every situation around him while also acutely aware of his own appearance. He raps a line like “Girl in the blue dress look like a winner/Caught my eye in the back of the mirror” and then hops on the MDMA for a night that rushes with drug-fused love that will fade in the morning.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]16StVincent[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Annie Clarke aka. St. Vincent wanted to make a party record that people could dance to at a funeral. We’re not so sure if people would be happy to dance to a track at funeral with as many social anxieties as Digital Witness but it’s an apt description of the world we live in. Maybe the heart of that comment is that she wanted people to dance to less than ideal circumstances in some sort of hopeless despair. Digital Witness is about people’s reliance on technology and their lessening interest with the outside, yet it’s backed by joyous brass that could have you easily misreading the anxious lyrics. It’s the juxtaposition between the subject and the instrumental that makes Digital Witness such an odd triumph. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]15VicMensa[/one_half]
[one_half_last]“Fuck that get down” is probably our mantra for 2014. Down On My Luck depicts that point in the night when you’ve got a little bit too drunk, lost your friends and are wandering the club in a hazy mess. Lucky there’s that split second where you spot a few strangers in the same situation as you and suddenly lose all inhibition. You’re not yourself, you’ve forgotten everything that happened that day but you’re content for that moment. That’s Vic Mensa’s Down On My Luck and the fact that we can see that situation so vividly is a testament to Mensa’s craft. Rap met dance and they married happily ever after in 2014. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]14FKATwigs[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Video Girl is the most autobiographical track on FKA Twigs’ brilliant debut record, LP1. Twigs started her career as a dancer for pop acts like Jessie J- a world that could not be further than the one she is circulating in right now. Video Girl is about her denying that she was in those videos, most likely because she saw herself as something very different to what she was acting as in those videos. Video Girl is the most straightforward track we’ve heard from Twigs melodically, but it’s the honesty that makes it as profound as it is. “Nineteen, too keen”, she opens the track with. Now she’s 26 and proud to say she is the girl from the video. Her own videos. And damn good videos at that.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]13JAMIEXX[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Clubbing in the UK, particularly in its underground, has always had an industrial feel to it. It feels cold, yet communal, with the knowledge that everyone is there for the same reason. Jamie xx captures that feeling perfectly on All Under One Roof Raving. The steel drums and vocal samples capture that industrial, rebellious feel while the title alone is enough to make you feel nostalgic. Dance music has always been a movement, driven by what’s happening around it in society. All Under One Roof Raving sounds like a manifesto, with voices shouting “we don’t need anybody, we’re independent”. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]12SBTRKT
[/one_half]
[one_half_last]SBTRKT was in the position to make a clubbing anthem like Jamie xx but instead he turned his sights to the cosmopolitan side of New York. Propelled by the beautiful and astute observations of Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City, Ezra Koenig has become somewhat of a voice for the city and on New Dorp, New York he leads perfectly. SBTRKT’s first single, Temporary View, off Wonder Where We Land, had us worried he was following the exact same formula as his debut, but New Dorp, New York squashed those fears. It’s weird. You’re never sure what corner it’s going to turn around. At times, it jingles with an industrial grittiness and at other times it’s polished and clean. Just like New York, I suppose.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]11Royksopp[/one_half]
[one_half_last]There’s something wrong with the human memory. A hangover is one of the most regretful momentary illnesses and yet as time passes, so too does the memory, as the human once again throws back drinks for that short burst of euphoria as the music pulsates. Röyksopp and Robyn made an anthem for those that remember the highs more than the lows. Do It Again is a track that strobes with power, thumping with earth-shattering bass and soaring with Robyn’s on-point vocal. Röyksopp and Robyn were the best pairing of 2014 and this song is an expected powerhouse.
[/one_half_last]

10-1

[one_half]10HowToDressWell[/one_half]
[one_half_last]The RnB resurgence was in full swing in 2014 and even though How To Dress Well channels a similar aesthetic on Repeat Pleasure, he’s distanced himself from that movement, rather classing himself more in the league of Sun Kil Moon or Arthur Russell. Repeat Pleasure does sound like RnB, there’s no denying that, but there’s more depth to it. There’s heart-wrenching guitar solos, gentles melodies that would sound at home in folk tracks and ambient synths that would find themselves at home in atmospheric electronica. It’s a melting pot of sounds and a track with a huge heart. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]9LaRoux[/one_half]
[one_half_last]There was not one person this year who didn’t ask for the name of this song when played in the vicinity of them. No matter what instrumental stylings she decides upon, La Roux knows how to craft a brilliant melody and the chorus of Sexotheque is her finest work to date. Laced with ‘70s nostalgia, Sexotheque is the perkiest track on Trouble In Paradise- one that uses repetition, the way it should be used, to work its way inside your head and never allow itself to be released. Yes, it drove many mad all year, but it alway did wonderful things on the dancefloor. It was La Roux’s unrealised chart hit. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]8BusyEarnin[/one_half]
[one_half_last]There was a lot of hype around Jungle even before their identity had been revealed. It’s because their sound was instantaneous. Those funky basslines get you straight away and the incessant funk attached to each of the tracks makes it almost impossible for even the most skeptical of critics to deny their appeal. Busy Earnin’ is, and will remain, their theme song. It’s a song that radiates swagger. The type that John Travolta had when he stormed the floor in Saturday Night Fever. It’s effortlessly cool with an undeniable presence, illuminated by brassy synths and heavily layered vocals.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]7JessieWare[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Jessie Ware pretty much only writes about love. In pop music, writing about love only seems to have two general modes: falling in love and falling out of love. Ware’s success comes in the way she hones into the specifics of a relationship, effortlessly marrying the lyrics with the vocal and instrumental. Tough Love is a fragile track. Ware is at the very edge of her vocal capabilities and the instrumental is almost wafer thin. So too is the subject matter. It’s that moment when you have to lay everything on the line and say how you feel aka. one of the most vulnerable moments in life. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]6ParaOne[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Club music at its heart should be all about elation. Nobody goes to the club to feel unhappy and while they may leave feeling that way, it’s never the intention. If a DJ knows his timing, You Too should come on at about 1am - it’s just before the drama begins, the drunks begin to heave on the sidewalk and the club begins to clear out. Those incessant keys and heighty vocal samples are euphoria-inducing while the instrumental ebbs and flows serve up a balanced mix of hands-in-the-air moments and straight-up groove time. The MC in the music video says it best when she says, “keep it foxy, keep it fresh”- that’s what clubbing in 2014 was all about, wasn’t it?[/one_half_last]

[one_half]5Caribou[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Caribou’s strength has always been warmth. Never one to be in your face, he chooses mellow synths over pounding percussion and only inserts his own vocal if absolutely necessary. Can’t Do Without You wasn’t immediate or instantly likeable. Like its own instrumental trajectory, it was one that grew on you. If you’re at the point where you like Can’t Do Without You more than you ever will, the lyric, “I can’t do without you” should make your heart skip and the final, climatic rush of synths should give you goosebumps. If not, keep listening and it will reveal itself to you. Can’t Do Without You is a masterclass in subtlety.
[/one_half_last]

[one_half]4Sia[/one_half]
[one_half_last]If you’re going to make the crossover from indie darling into pop superstar you better do it right. And that’s exactly what Sia did in 2014. She’d had plenty of practice writing for the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna but she was yet to step out by herself and prove her chops. Chandelier has all the makings of a big pop song. It has commands (“1,2,3 Drink!”), a big, powerful message (“I’m going to live like tomorrow doesn’t exist”) and a stratospheric chorus. Sia could have given the track away and it no doubt would have been a massive hit but no artist could have done that vocal run on “chandelier” like she does. This song is a pop monster. [/one_half_last]

[one_half]

 

3QT[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Last year, enigmatic British producer, SOPHIE, released Bipp- a song so incredibly full of sugar that it felt like a rush of blood to the head. It was a new kind of electronica. One that melded early ‘00s pop (cc: Annie) with ‘90s rave and our current internet age. It was Bipp that paved the way for Hey QT by PC Music creator, A.G. Cook and Sophie. Hey QT is even more saccharine than Bipp. It’s a giddy, loved-up track that sounds like it’s being sung by Siri. It’s surrounded by the story of an almost emotionless character who is endorsing the energy drink, QT. We’re still not sure what to make of the whole situation but we are sure that Hey QT is the best pop song of 2014 and perhaps one of the most innovative productions we’ve heard this year.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]

 

2FutureIslands
[/one_half]
[one_half_last]

Just one song can change an artist’s career and this year we saw it with Future Islands. This year, the band released their fourth album, Singles, and on it was the mighty, Seasons (Waiting On You). The song was good on first listen, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a synth-based rock track, with emotionally-fuelled verses and a chorus that soars, but it wasn’t until they performed on Letterman that its full potential was realised. Frontman, Samuel Herring gave the performance of his life on Letterman, thrashing his body about with a dance-style that found a perfect balance between odd and committed. Herring embodied all the feeling that Seasons (Waiting On You) has pent up inside it. The performance is the most iconic of this year and the song itself will remain a bookmark for music in 2014.
[/one_half_last]

[one_half]

 

1FKATwigs[/one_half]
[one_half_last]

FKA Twigs’ entire debut album, LP1 is all about fluidity. Probably due to her dancer background, each track on the album gently undulates with rushing synths and cascading beats like a body moving in the breeze. Two Weeks is the most powerful, sexually charged track on the album and the most daring song of 2014. Sex sells: it’s one of pop music’s greatest cash grabbers but here FKA Twigs presents it in a different way. Without an ounce of smut she delivers a line like “My thighs are apart for when you're ready to breathe in” as she extends her limbs and focuses her eyes (in the video). The dimly-lit percussion, flickers behind the whole time like pent up sexual energy which is all eventually released on the final bridge. The earliest artistic creations depicted sex as a sacred, intimate act and on Two Weeks, Twigs does the same thing. She treats it with respect and delivers it with grace. There’s no other song this year that was as lyrically bold, as instrumentally innovative and as melodically profound as this song.

[/one_half_last]

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10Songs_29Nov2

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Frank Ocean, St Vincent, UV Boi + More

TENsongs29NOV

Some of us are kicking it with the cool kids at Paradise Music Festival and some of us are heading off to OutsideIn and Stereosonic today so excuse us for being a bit rushed in introducing the following tracks. They are no less brilliant or loved, just written with the impending doom of fluoro-clad festival goers in mind.

Frank Ocean- Mesmerise

Oh how we’ve waited for any sign of a new Frank Ocean record since 2012’s brilliant, channelORANGE and this is probably our best indication yet. Overnight Ocean popped online this swirling number, Mesmerise. It’s doesn’t have that crisp production that we’ve become used to, rather borrowing a few of Tame Impala’s techniques, turning it into a psychedelic, under-the-radar number.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/bluntiqradio/frank-ocean-memrise[/soundcloud]

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment- Surf

Need a bit of a pick me up? Had a rough week? Look no further than this happy-go-lucky tune by Chance The Rapper’s The Social Experiment which is apparently now headed up by Donnie Trumpet. We’re not so sure what that’s all about but this is a gospel-flavoured ray of sunshine. Lets have a Chance The Rapper album soon tho, srlsly.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/donnietrumpet/donnie-trumpet-the-social-experiment-sunday-candy[/soundcloud]

Azealia Banks- Chasing Time (Max Tundra Remix)

So Azealia Banks is running a remix competition and giving away $10k for the person who gives her the best remix. Given the song is already a badbitch of a song, it was always going to be hard to make it sound better but British producer Max Tundra has done a mighty job. He’s induced it with a bit of happiness by pulling apart its RnB backbone and placing it firmly in the world of electronica. Bravo all.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/maxtundra/azealia-banks-chasing-time-max-tundra-remix[/soundcloud]

Lana Del Rey- Brooklyn Baby (Tom Vek Remix)

Another remix just cos’ it’s that time of the year where new music is drying up and people are starting to talk about retrospective lists. Speaking of retrospective lists, Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence was surprisingly brilliant and so was its centrepiece, Brooklyn Baby. Here Tom Vek strips away the reverb and goes heavy on the percussion. It no longer sounds like its been recorded in the darkness of a New York basement. It’s ready for the clubs now. Go forth, be free, Brooklyn Baby.

Hannah Diamond- Every Night

We just got our Saturday night jam. Hannah Diamond is the poster girl for PC Music, really and this song is her most dance-ready yet. It’s in the lane of QT’s, Hey QT- a glitzy, saccharine tune with vocals detached from any sort of human presence. It goes to show that a killer pop-melody goes along way. Pop has always been best wrapped in plastic (thanks Aqua) and this is proof of that.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/pcmus/every-night[/soundcloud]

Mark Ronson- Feel Right (Feat. Mystikal)

After hearing this and the mighty Uptown Funk, it’s very clear that Ronson is going all out with the brass on his latest solo record. This one feature New Orleans rapper Mystikal and sounds nothing like anything that’s come out of Britain. It does, however, sound alot like James Brown which was probably intentional.

BANKS- Beggin For Thread (UV boi فوق بنفسجي Remix)

UV Boi is our main boi since we spent last weekend snapchatting with him. His remix of BANKS’, Begging For Thread which dropped this week (hence why it’s in this article) is a blistering, post-trap rework that keeps intact her vocals melodies, rather chosing to have fun with the instrumental. And he has so much fun.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/uvboi/banks-beggin-for-thread-uv-boi[/soundcloud]

Young Father- Soon Come Soon

The internet is a funny thing isn’t it. Young Father won the prestigious Mercury Prize this year, yet when they drop a new single we don’t hear about it for two days. Maybe that’s our fault but at this stage we’d rather blame it on the www. than personal fault. The single, Soon Come Soon, is very worthy of attention. It’s an emotionally-charged number that swaps between singing and rapping. The singing parts are quite affecting, with the layering giving them a choral-effect. This could actually be on a soundtrack for the Lion King. There’d be so many tears.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/bigdadasound/young-fathers-soon-come-soon-3[/soundcloud]

St. Vincent- Pieta & Sparrow

Annie Clarke has been dropping these two live for a while now but she’s finally decided to make them available to us virtual folks online. It’s a tantalising taste of what we have to look forward to when she comes out to Australia for Laneway Festival next year. Pieta, is an elastic, floating tune while Sparrow is a dark, burrowing track that lifts for a holy chorus.

Listen here

Turtle- Lavendar

I often find my attention wanes on ambient tracks but not this. Oh definitely not on this one. Glasgow producer Turtle is about to drop his Colours EP and Lavendar is the first song from it. It’s ambient in every sense of the word but it has a cinematic quality to it thanks to the strings that holds your attention and your heartstrings. Then he adds in another genre with a house-like vocal sample. My mum always said you can mix as many ingredients as you like as long as they all like each other, once there is one wrong element the whole thing is stuffed. Well Turtle’s mum, Mrs. Turtle, was obviously also very wise.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/weareturtle/lavender[/soundcloud]

 

 

fi_27Nov

First Impressions: Beyoncé, Kučka, Honne + More

fi_27Nov

First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. This week we’re picking apart the new Major Lazer track with Ariana Grande, George Maple’s newie, Mark Ronson’s new Bruno Mars-featuring single + more. 

Kučka- Divinity

Hannah M: Despite its quick tempo drumbeats, Divinity is calming. The mystical, layered backing track and Kučka’s breathy voice combine to create a divine quality that’s nice and easy to listen to. Without sounding like a douchebag (hopefully) I actually feel this would make a lovely, if unconventional song to do yoga to. 3.5

Sam: This song has kind of blown up on the internet this week and there’s a reason for it. I actually think this is one of the most interesting tracks to come out of the country this year. She mixes an AlunaGeorge-flavoured RnB with Grimes’ empty-room, dim-lit pop. While her voice has an otherworldly aspect to it, it still really connects. 4

Bianca: The layers of Japanese-inspired percussion and ratchety, syncopated drums create a pleasingly dark and mysterious atmosphere. She doesn’t sound like she’s from this country nor does she even sound like she’s even from this world. 3.75

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/midnightfeature/kucka-divinity[/soundcloud]

Oceaan- Candour

Hannah M: I love Oliver Cean’s straight-talking yet soft-spoken voice in Candour; the Northern English accent is somehow endearing. Trailing percussion and synth beats build to the bursting chorus, though everything stays controlled and refined, restrained even. A really cool, smooth jam. 4

Sam: Usually these atmospheric, minimal productions make the voice sound really devoid from the song but here it sits right up the front and carries the melody effortlessly. The instrumental then creeps up behind it moulding its ebbs and flows. 3.5

Bianca: My interest was only piqued at around the halfway mark and by then it was all a bit too late. Don’t get me wrong, this track has some really lovely production, in particular the multi-layered, maudlin percussive elements, but it failed to keep me awake. 3.5

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/ocea-n/candour[/soundcloud]

Beyoncé- 7/11

Hannah M - Beyonce’s performance skills are unmatched and her video clips are always highly anticipated, but this particular iPhone style mash-up really brings 7/11 to life. It’s basically Beyoncé dancing crazy in a way that only Beyonce could. Just as her movements, the rhythm is staccato and punchy, though again I think it’s the accompanying clip that has garnered this song such viral attention rather than the music itself. 3

Sam: Beyoncé literally couldn't give two f**ks at the moment and this track is proof of that. After her hugely successful solo album, she follows it up with this hook-less song that goes hard for 3 mins 30. It’s the most bonkers track I’ve ever heard by her by rapping instead of singing shows that she knows she can sing the phonebook but she doesn’t always have to use it. She’s such an intriguing, surprising person to watch right now. 4 

Bianca: This track just straight-up smacks you in the face. Immediately, just like Beyoncé herself, it launches into glitchy movements with a rickety, trap-like backbeat syncopating along. Throughout the entirety of the track I’m never completely sure where she’s heading but I’m okay with that. With no definitive beginning, middle or end, it’s like three and a half minute-long, 7/11 Slurpee brain-freeze. 3

Kero Kero Bonito- Build Up

Hannah M: The only good use I can think of for Build Up is as a soundtrack for a kids cartoon show. Sarah’s high-pitched childlike voice and the Mario Cart-style sound effects are so annoying to listen to. Sorry Kero Kero Bonito – Kawaii just doesn’t do it for me musically. 2

Sam: These guys are so confused. They are a group of English people making J-pop that also sounds like PC Music. May sound like a horrible, horrible combination but if you’re prepared for it, it’s a wonderland of delicious sounds. It may be hard to swallow but it’s probably best to give it a try - this is the kind of sound that could be all over radio in a few years. Probably not, but you never know. 3.5

Bianca: Build Up sounds like an annoying jingle you’d hear on the TV that can’t help but earworm its way into your subconscious. And no matter how hard you try to fight it, you accidentally find yourself singing along to it one day, miraculously knowing every single lyric. And that’s the true magic of this ridiculous song. 3.75 Bianca's Pick 

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kerokerobonito/build-it-up[/soundcloud]

Pusha T- Lunch Money

Hannah M: There are some arrogant sentiments behind Lunch Money, like spilling thousands worth of champagne; ‘too bad’ I took your lunch money. I find this entertaining and unsurprising considering Kanye produced the track, though the composition itself didn’t capture me. The under-water effects made a quirky addition to otherwise typical percussive beats, though overall Lunch Money fell flat for me. 2.5

Sam: This has Yeezus stamped all over it. From those industrial synths to the altogether minimal production, it’s easy to imagine Kanye himself rapping over it. Mixing that with a few classic hip-hop beats gives it a point of difference from Yeezus but I’m stuck in two frames of mind. I like it but I feel like it’s just too close to Kanye to give it any identity. 3

Bianca: Is that it? I was expecting something really good to happen but I’ve just been left empty-handed, just like those who were denied of their lunch money. This track is like a Kanye West song without the Kanye, and what’s the point in that? 2.5

Honne- The Night

Hannah M: Rather than the sappy romance typically associated with such croony vocals, Honne’s lyrics are a little more risqué (e.g. ‘If you spend the night I’ll make it worth your while’). This makes the track way more likeable for cynics like me, and works with their cozy synths and modern RnB sound. 4

Sam: It’s definitely pleasant in a Chet Faker kind of way but I don’t know if there’s much to distinguish it from every other after-dark RnB tune out there. The vocals are on-point and the whole mood of the instrumental is perfect but I can’t help myself thinking I would’ve loved something else - a little vocal manipulation at points to spice things up, maybe. Perhaps I’m just being picky, it is a good tune. 3

Bianca: This one’s a little too slinky for my liking. I can definitely appreciate the down-tempo, brooding affair, but will be doing so from afar. 3

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/hellohonne/the-night[/soundcloud]

 

TENsongs21NOV2

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week | Beyonce, Charli XCX, KUČKA + More

TENsongs21NOV

This week seemed like a pretty slow week for new music but looking back on it now we must have spent too much of our time watching drug busts outside the window and contemplating the percentage of croissant to donut in a cronut. Anyway, apologies. We’re more than aware now that this week was infact great for new music and are making up for our fleeting attention spans with this list of 10 songs that would have been great in any week. Not just because we thought this week was a dud.

Hudson Mohawke- Chimes (Feat. Future, Pusha T, Travi$ Scott and French Montana)

Hudson Mohawke’s Chimes was already a hard-ass, thumper of a track but he’s just piled four cherries on top, adding four of the best rappers right now to the mix. The instrumental remains the same but the rap verses add a certain personality to the track. If we have to pick someone who took the crown here we’re going to have to give it to Pusha T. He sounds dark, brooding and successfully fights Mohawke’s abrasive horns.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/hudsonmohawke/chimes-rmx[/soundcloud]

SZA- Sobrierty

SZA’s Z is still one of the most effortless records of the year and she continues that vibe with this cut, Sobriety. Vocally, she absolutely slays on this one over a beat constructed by a dream-team of Chris Calor, Cody, Thundercat and Sounwave. It’s funny that so many people have had a hand in this track because they haven’t left any fingerprintrints. It sounds minimal, clean and spacious. 

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/topdawgent/sza-sobriety-prod-by-chris-calor-cody-thundercat-lovedragon-and-sounwave[/soundcloud] 

Selah Sue - Together (ft. Childish Gambino)

Belgian, known for its delicious waffles and rich chocolate, has another delicacy on offer, in the form of sweet-talking Selah Sue. Her voice, like the two aforementioned foods, runs smoothly and steamily alongside a skittering, electronic-infused, hip-hop beat. Childish Gambino’s appearance is a welcome addition, giving the track, which ever so subtly verges into pop territory, that extra crunch. All we can say is, yum.

Made in Heights - Panther

Kelsey Bulkin’s got a voice that just won’t quit. Soft and dreamy, with the counter-ability of grabbing all your attention, her vocals float divinely above a soundscape of anxious synths, subdued keys and saccharine synths (those strings!). A lullaby of sorts, Panther lives up to its name. Stealthy, dark and mysterious, this big cat of the jungle grabs you right by the throat.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/madeinheights/panther[/soundcloud]

Beyonce- 7/11

7/11 is the new Beyonce track from the forthcoming Platinum Edition of her hugely successful, BEYONCE album. It seems like Beyonce just keeps giving more and more. 7/11 is probably the hardest we’ve ever heard her go with a crunching beat and some trail-blazing verses. Beyonce rarely takes the time to sing, rather rapping her way through the whole thing. The video is something else too. For someone with the amount of money she has, she’s made a video that looks like a home video. Where my home videos look like a poorly shot documentary on whales, Beyonce’s looks top notch. Of course.

Beyonce- Ring Off

We’re just going to put two Beyonce songs in because, Beyonce. This one sees her put more fuel on the fire in terms of the rumour that her and Jay-Z are done with the lyrics “you took that ring off”. We’re not sure what that’s all about but the song itself is an island-inspired gem. Along with the original songs on BEYONCE, Ring Off is probably the most effortless. Can we have another album for Christmas please Beyonce?

Charli XCX- Gold Coins

We’re currently smashing our piggy banks open and filling the bath with dollar coins so we can listen to this track the way its meant to be heard. With all the success Charli XCX has had this year, it’s refreshing to hear a song so unconcerned with what’s in vogue at the moment. Gold Coins is brash, punk and surprisingly sounds like a hit.

KUČKA- Divinity

It’s always good to hear an Aussie girl doing well on the world wide web, so we we’re thrilled to see KUČKA’s Divinity premiered on The Fader this week. We’ve loved KUCKA ever since we were captivated by her show at BIGSOUND and drunkenly tracked her down in the street to tell her so. Divinity sounds like Grimes with a sprinkle of Alunageorge and plenty of after-dark charm. It’s a swirling combustion of lucid synths and vocal hums, sounding like nothing coming out of this country right now.

 [soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/midnightfeature/kucka-divinity[/soundcloud]

MNEK- The Rhythm

In our humble opinion, British youngster has been criminally underappreciated this year. Surely 2015 is set to be his time, particularly with this #banger, The Rhythm on his side. The Rhythm was made to pulsate off club walls with jungle inspired rhythms and a throbbing bass. Meanwhile his soaring voice adds an anthemic quality to the whole thing. Right now, I’m literally all about that bass.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/mnek-1/the-rhythm[/soundcloud]

Dugong Jr- Fish Tears

Riddle me this, how do you see fish tears when they’re already in water? Well, Dugong Jr has apparently seen them and they look exactly as this sounds. If that’s true, they’re crystalline droplets, that trickle and plop, occasionally falling onto squeaky beds. Take of that what you will. Really, all you need to know is that Dugong Jr is one of the best Australian producers right now.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/flirtini/dugong-jr-fish-tears?in=flirtini/sets/heartbreaks-promises-vol-2[/soundcloud]

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