Jamie xx Shares 'Loud Places' & 'Gosh'


Jamie xx has premiered two brand new songs from his forthcoming album, In Colour. Both tracks, Loud Places and Gosh, were shared today on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show, following up from Jamie's announcement of his first solo album earlier this week.

Loud Places, featuring fellow The xx bandmate, Romy Madley Croft, takes a gospel approach, with hand claps and soul-singing acting as the driving force for Romy's tender vocals. Gosh takes a more hardened approach, borrowing from the grungy, industrial styling's reminiscent in Jamie's All Under One Roof Raving. Jamie told Annie Mac with this track, the last one made for the record, he "wanted to do something that was a little bit tough" that reminded him of home but was "still beautiful in a way.

Listen below for Jamie's Loud Places and his brief interview Annie Mac. Hear Gosh here at around the 24:20 mark.

City Spotlight: London, UK

Where to catch a gig 

The Village Underground

In space that was once a railway coal store, a music hall and an eighteenth century theatre, currently resides the worlds first carbon neutral studio and concert space, The Village Underground. Part creative community and part arts venue, this venture sees a turn-of-the-century warehouse converted endlessly in the name of art exhibitions, theatre performances and music concerts. With Duke Dumont, Sebastien Tellier and Tiga all to play before the end of the year, it’s a good thing the “living roof” dampens concert noise. 

Royal Albert Hall

Where Adele gave that performance.


Fabric is a mega-club like nothing we have in Australia. Having established a name for itself world wide for consistently bringing the party and holding its own among fellow London super-clubs Ministry of Sound and Heaven, it’s no wonder Nina Kraviz, Erol Alkin, BEN UFO and Wilfred Giroux will all be paying it a visit before the year’s out. Expect to pay a lot of money for a night you won’t remember. 

02 Academy Brixton

Becoming a music venue in 1983, The Brixton Academy, currently sponsored by 02, is a 5000 capacity venue that continues to attract artists from all genres and has been voted NME’s Venue of the Year 12 times in its short history. Its greatest claim to fame is hosting The Smith’s final show in 1986, although with a bill that includes SBTRKT, BANKS, Little Dragon, Jessie Ware and Caribou all due to play in the next 6 months, we’re sure thats going to change.  


Previously known as the Camden Palace, KOKO is currently one of London’s premiere live music venues. In 2009 it host the iTunes music festival which attracted well over 45,000 people over 30 nights. Since its extensive renovations in 2004 under the lead of Mint Entertainment, the venue has seen Coldplay, Madonna, Lily Allen, Thom Yorke, Kanye West, Skrillex and many more grace its perfectly refurbished stage

 Click here to check out London's Record Labels. 

City Spotlight: London, UK


Hawk House

On a typically sheets-of-rain London day, Vice writer Ryan Bassil best summarised just who Hawk House are and what they do when he interviewed them back in February 2014. The group “make music that slots somewhere between today’s weather and the warm balm of Spring. It’s motivational but scored in the grayscale realities of city-dwelling youth.” It’s true. Comprised of brothers Sam and Eman, and gods-gift vocalist Demae Chioma Wodu, Hawk House offer a spacious, 3am take on the grit and grime so firmly embedded within London's hip-hop culture. With comparisons to fellow conscious hip-hop outfits such as The Roots, and Lupe Fiasco hard to deny, the groups’ debut EP, A Handshake to the Brain, features 10 tracks overflowing with sentences artfully constructed to include a few too many words tackling big picture issues such as domestic violence and unemployment that will take more than a few listens to appreciate in full verse. With that said, for a group so clearly advocating the power of the spoken word, even for ears lacking the audio agility to keep up with the prodigal rappers as their spits bounce and skip frenetically over a pond of soul and electronic production, Hawk House's music maintains a clear rhythm and balanced harmony. Their EP effortlessly lulls you through in a dream-like state, perfect for that lazy, in-between-seasons day. Big picture issues are for another day anyway, right?

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/hawkhouseofficial/sets/a-handshake-to-the-brain[/soundcloud]


If there’s anything that the music industry of 2014 has taught us, it’s that disco and soul are back in a big way. In fact, *warning: generalisation ahead,* almost everything released this year can be distilled down to a little from column A or a little from column B. While the revival is a welcomed one, and disco fever is one sickness worth catching, the best artists are those who have managed to marry their roots, be it in soul or disco with the sound today and our seemingly endless penchant for top notch electronic production and synth, synth, synth. Kwabs is this artist. With an EP out and a debut album on the way, Kwabs very quickly recognised we’re a greedy audience. We want that sparse, glitchy backtracking synonymous with the best of London’s underground house, but we want to feel something that only soul can bring upon you. With songs like Into You, taking on a ballad-esque quality, there is a sense of deep, running urgency, pulsing through both production and voice as Kwab nails this balance. Strong, deep, dark and emotive, yet totally at home in the data-sphere and underground of 2014. 

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kwabs/into-you[/soundcloud]


London has a reputation for toughening you up. Hardening you. Acquainting you with the harsh realities of the world at an age when rose tinted glasses should be your go-to accessory. Bluntly, you grow up quickly in the frenetic shades of grey which perhaps explain why, at just 21, Moko sounds less like a fresh faced poppy ripe for the picking and more like a certified songstress-come-diva of the late 90s brimming with soul, house and trip hop influences galore. Like Kwabs, what is old is new again when it comes to Moko’s sound. There’s a uncanny familiarity, a maturity attached to tracks like Your Love that sound nostalgic and contemporary all at once. 

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/thismoko/yourlove[/soundcloud]

Click here to check out some of London's best venues to catch a gig. 


City Spotlight: London, UK

Record Labels

PMR Records 

PMR Records are the current darlings of the record industry. Major names such as South Londoner Jessie Ware, no-need-for-introduction Disclosure, and Bristolian house producer, Julio Bashmore, signed to the label started back in 2009 by brothers, Ben and Daniel Parmar from their living room. Purporting a DIY ethos while happily marrying meteoric chart success with undeniable, underground credibility, a feat rarely attempted with the scathing call of “sellout” echoed hideously in the background, the brothers pride themselves on creating a “family atmosphere” where “artists feel comfortable to be themselves”. They were also featured on Vice’s web channel Noisey last year as director Dhillon Shukla followed the label gods to 2013's Coachella Festival and have also recently been named by The Guardian as a label responsible for shaping the sound of 2014. 

National Anthem 

National Anthem signed HAIM before National Anthem was even a record label. Talk about complicating that old chicken and the egg debate. Knowing he was on to a good thing, upon seeing the Cali girls perform at a few industry showcases in 2012, James Passmore, a man clearly well versed in the 'fake it til’ you make it' mentality that surrounds so much of the creative industries, “confirmed the release of their Forever EP, then had to come up with a name for the label, find out how you get vinyl made (and) find out how you put tracks on iTunes.” Since then not only has HAIM continued to appear on festival bills worldwide and be labelled a runaway success of 2013, but Passmore has also released singles from Chrvches and fellow Californians’ Sir Sly, demonstrating a well trained ear for radio-come-blog friendly hits.  


Search record label LuckyMe in Google and the first hit you get is the collectives' website unapologetically declaring exactly what they’re all about, Music. Art. Parties (and bullshit). Otherwise known as all good things in life. Hailing from the Glasgow School of Art, way back in 2002 the collective took their knowledge of art and designed and applied it to the music industry in an attempt to get their friends, Hudson Mohawke and Rustie, signed. An effort that clearly paid off as it wasn’t long before Warp snatched them up. Since 2007 the collective has evolved organically to include art direction, photography, events and international design studios. With a catalogue that boasts Baauer, Cashmere Cat, Jacques Greene, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, a Rinse FM channel and some seriously impressive festival debuts including TNGHT at 2012's SXSW festival, LuckyMe has continued to cultivate a creative environment for artists to springboard to the big time. Kanye and Drake have been all ears.

Click here to check out some of the best artists London currently has on offer. 


Against Taylor Swift's 'Shake it off'


Sam: “I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain”, well the second part is probably right but I can imagine Tay Tay having a lime spritzer and then going home to chat on MSN messenger to Selena. People obviously say a lot about Taylor but should we really be feeling sorry for her with that hot bod and cash that she no doubt swims in.

A lot of it feels like a bit of a ploy to cash in on a very vulnerable teen market that will no doubt be shaking off all the haters in front of their bedroom mirror. And the video? Well, she looks phenomenal the whole time and while she’s being embarrassing some of the time, it’s more of an “OMG this is SO EMBARRASSING, let’s post it on insty” moment. She knows she looks hot and even hotter in comparison to the dorky teens that plague the end of the clip.

As for the racism thing, I am not completely buying it. It seems she and her team were completely aware of all the criticisms and have tried to avoid them by having a very careful mix of races in the video and going through dances that cover all types of races. That’s the very problem. The whole thing feels incredibly measured for a song that’s essentially about reckless abandon.

Also, she’s clearly a liar with intent to bring down society. When she sings “I’m dancing on my own”, she’s joined by a plethora of dancers. What about those that truly are dancing by themselves Tay Tay, like Robyn?

If I want to shake it off I’m going to go to Florence and the Machine or Mariah Carey. But probs not for the next few months cos I’m kinda in love with this song tbh. BRB.


“Haters gonna hate.” Yes, I am. There is nothing clever nor groundbreaking about this song and Taylor’s transparent attempts at acting both endearing and nonchalant about the inevitable backlash from her transition to pop are embarrassing.

The character-referencing gaff is beyond dated and the fact that Taylor is the one in the costumes is not helping the situation. Her role-play and fake ‘attempts’ at twerking and performing ballet are neither cute nor funny and we are not buying your desperate ‘damsel in distress’ guise.

Swift’s clumsy intermingling of the hip-hop term turned popular internet catchphrase ‘Haters gonna hate’ with a plethora of pop culture jabs is such a sickly-sweet, cheap, blindingly-obvious way to reach her target audience and she should be punished for it. Instead, she’ll be receiving a throng of admirers, prompting comments like “OMG Taylor’s twrking is so lol, it’s so gr8 she can laugh at herslf <3” (sic) and “She’s just like us!”

I’m not even going to go into how I feel about the spoken word breakdown. What a joke. The only shaking I’m doing is of my head.

Taylor Swift, I’mma not let you finish. #TeamKanye



Someone had to do it.

I have emotionally and physically prepared myself the uproar that is about to occur after this article is posted. Tay Tay fans, I apologise, I do not like and have never liked Taylor Swift. Sure she’s probably a great gal pal to her celeb friends and fans (I’ve dabbled on Instagram). And I know her voice is like a country angel plucked fresh from the fields of Nashville.

However, what really grinds my gears...is that her cookie cutter demeanor, rosey cheeks, red lipstick and blond ringlets are all a facade for this inner whiney break-up bitch. At age 21 Adele wrote a beautiful yet feisty album about one dickhead ex, and damn it was good.

At 23, Swift has a catalogue of ex-boyfriends and BFFs backdating to her teens. Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Cory Monteith, Taylor Lautner, Zac Efron, Jack Gyllenhall, Connor Kennedy, and Harry Styles. Plus she has recently been linked to Ed Sheeran, and said “I would do a ginger. I like Rupert Grint, the guy from the Harry Potter films:” STAY THE F@#K AWAY FROM RON!

But why do I care about she is dating? Because every song is about her break-ups. If you have ever dated this young temptress, which means basically everyone in Hollywood, or even looked her in the eye even, then you are sure to be in the firing line. Prepare to be hit not with a bullet (which would arguably be better), but with a catchy melody, sprinkled with a “don’t you get what I’m talkin’ about girls” chorus, then topped of with the backing vocals of her 50+ Twitter fans.

Why doesn’t she put up a pathetic Facebook status and get over it?

Read the argument for the track.



For Taylor Swift's 'Shake it off'


Sam: Taylor has done a total Delta Goodrem and proved gracefully that she’s the arrhythmic white woman. I’ve always had my difficulties with Taylor Swift. She seems sickly sweet but then also able to churn through boyfriends at the rate of knots and then leave them read-faced in the corner as she writes a song about them. The beginning of my turning point was 2012’s Red. It seemed no longer was Swifty making bland break-up songs, but Max Martin-produced pop gold, that saw her become the greatest country-crossover since Shania Twain.

As a guilty pop addict, Red ticked all the boxes but it still had some complete stinkers (that Ed Sheeran ballad for one). Now we’re back for pop Tay Tay round 2 and she’s nailed it. The Lady Gaga’s and Rihanna’s of the world have slept this year and allowed Taylor to come through and give a pop single that’s going to be hard to beat in 2014. The video is dorky yet strangely cool and Taylor is completely at ease with not being able to dance.

As for the song, what else could you really want in a pop song? I’ve had the word haters in my head for two days now and those little punches of brass are pure Max Martin brilliance. Every great pop song needs its iconic moment and for me that comes with the Hollaback Girl-esque rap. “You could’ve been getting down to THIS SICK BEAT”, is both ridiculous and hilarious but it somehow sounds genuine. This is going to be the biggest selling song of the year, without a doubt. And you know what, she probably deserves it. *takes a gulp, tucks pride away*

Bianca: As a pop song, Shake it off is text book. Catchy hook, simple drumbeat,  cheerleader-inspired chant and repetition all mixed up to formulate an over-produced piece of commercial radio-friendly music. And it is with this blatant in-your-face corniness that Tay Tay has been able to expertly get away with her obvious transition from country bumpkin to ‘pop star’.

Her tongue-in-cheek lyrics accompanied with the music video oscillate between totally cringe-worthy and humorous that one is left confused as to how to feel. This leaves you with no other option than to embrace its catchiness and almost admire the awkwardness of a lanky, ‘girl-next-door’ blonde chick trying to make it in a world full of haters.

Lizzie: Okay, so Shake it Off was kinda catchy. But don’t take that as sign that I may want to listen to her regularly. This entire exercise has forced me to Google Taylor Swift, which I have not actively chosen to do before. My computer history now feels dirty.


Read the argument against the track.