BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe’s HottestRecord right now is the Disclosure Remix of Usher’s – ‘Good Kisser’.
Brooklyn-based Baauer, famous for bringing us the international sensation, Harlem Shake, has returned with a new track, Clang. Although it probably doesn’t have meme-triggering ability like its predecessor, its experimental, Bollywood-inspired qualities are enough to keep you interested. Clang features samples of German artist Buedi Siebert which is discussed in the ‘making of’ sound clip below.
We featured Nashville group LANY as one of our Five Artists You Need To Hear in June. Back then we were enamoured by their tunes Hot Lights and Walk Away. Now it seems they are set to continue what is a becoming a perfect pop streak, releasing two new songs, BRB and ILYSB. It’s clear from the titles that these one’s are only for the cool kids that are down with dem SMS acronyms, which we hope most of you are. As far as the tunes go, it’s more melodic, warm synth-work from LANY. ILYSB is the most upbeat of the two, lead by a tempo-pumping handclap while BRB takes cues from late night RnB jams. They already sound more polished and self-assured than on their debut set, further proving that LANY may be one of the heroes of the second half of 2014.
Grimes‘ breakthrough album, Visons, was a left-field pop masterpiece founded on introverted soundscapes and subtle melodies. While it wasn’t explicitly a pop record, the Canadian singer has never shied away from her admiration for the genre. In her Top 10 LP’s of 2012 she listed Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber with no shame. Last night on Radio 1 she debuted, ‘Go’, which was originally written for Rihanna. The news emerged a number of weeks ago after she performed it at the Governors Balls in NYC. We can now replace that fan recording with this polished, recorded version. What it tells us is that Rihanna made a terrible mistake. Go is a trap-inspired banger that is actually hard to hear anyone but Grimes on. She’s done it with friend and often-producer, Blood Diamonds.
London artist, Billie Black doesn’t muck around. Last week she gave us the captivating debut, I Waited For You and now she’s already followed it up with, I Don’t Need Another Lover. The new track takes a similar, minimal formula to I Waited For You, but it kicks the pace up a notch with a gentle beat. It works the song into a subtle yet welcome groove showing that Black can be more than a Sade-like balladeer. This makes it two from two for the young songstress. Lets hope an EP is in the works.
Vic Mensa is one of the biggest hopes in rap for 2014. His track, Down On My Luck, found a masterful balance between effortless flow and commercial likeability and has slowly crept its way onto Australian radio. His latest track, Major Payne, has been made available for free download today and will be featured on his Street Lights EP. Major Payne takes a harder, hip-hop line than Down on my Luck but his personality is still undeniable. He also continues to take slight cues from electronic music with crescendoing beats and twinkling synths. MC Hammer is also sampled for a perfect millisecond.
British singer-songwriter Rebecca Clements made such a stark introduction with her debut track Wildlife, that we’ve been clamouring for a follow-up ever since. For her second second she’s delivered Coma Boy, which follows in a similar vein as Wildlife in the way of just Clements voice alongside a swelling guitar. Such is the strength of her songwriting that she can tug at the heartstrings with most minimal of productions. She has an effortless nature to her music reminiscent of female songwriters like Feist, Cat Power or Fiona Apple. I’m interested to see what Clements would do with a full-length LP. So far what she’s serving up is stunning.
UK duo Bondax have been producing some of the finest deep house music for the better part of two years. And with a trip down-under in September for Listen Out, they’re surely going to make a name for themselves in Australia in no time. Their new single, All I See, will aid that no doubt aid that. It sounds like it’s been made for the European Summer and while we’re dealing with chilly winds there’s no denying that the Caribbean percussion and deep synths are warming. We haven’t been told who the vocalist is but she does a valiant job as host of this tropical affair. Only five months until Summer…
Jhene Aiko is part of a new wave of female RnB artists (including Tinashe) that are making slick, bass-heavy tunes. The first single off her new album, Souled Out, is called To Love and Die and it’s a mid-tempo, banger. It’s almost as if Jessie Ware‘s Tough Love was given a stronger back-bone and directed more towards hip-hop than pop. Her voice takes cues from Aaliyah, as it slinks through a pretty bare backing track. Without an album out, she’s already seriously hot property and this should find a comfortable home on Urban radio in the US. It’s refreshing to see the girls taking on a style that was once typified by artists like The Weeknd. The only difference- Aiko does it with so much more class.
The only way to make an entrance is to make a noise and American songstress Ryn Weaver has certainly done that. Her debut track, OctaHate, was co-written with Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos and produced by a dream-team of Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat. How you pull together a line-up like that on your debut track is beyond me, but it’s bound to work. In 10 hours she’s had almost 30,000 streams with the glistening pop tune. Angelakos’ euphoric touches are all over the chorus while Cashmere Cat seems to give his two cents in the last minute or so adding a Gameboy-like synth. Weaver herself sings like a ready-made popstar, sitting somewhere in between Katy Perry and Liz. People obviously have a lot of faith in her, and so they should. OctaHate is a triumph.