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JOY. turns to ‘Stone’ on new single

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Brisbane artist JOY. made herself one to watch when she dropped her gorgeous debut single, Captured and now she’s gone and done it again with her new single, Stone. The young singer has crafted a song that’s beautifully textured and driven by the breathy vocals of Olivia McCarthy aka. JOY. There’s plenty of Australian artists to watch at the moment but JOY. is ticking more boxes than most. She’s effortlessly combining RnB with down-beat electronica and all the while managing to sound fresh in an overcrowded genre. Stone sounds like something Ryan Hemsworth and co. would go gaga for. cc: Ryan Hemsworth.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/joy-aus/stone[/soundcloud]

She’s going on tour too!

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Jacques Greene streams ‘1 4 Me’, the first single from a new EP

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Montreal producer, Jacques Greene is one of my favourite producers at the moment. Stylistically, he’s crafted this dark, minimal, sleek sound where the bass is always throbbing and he’s yet to put a foot wrong. He’s gearing up for the release of his excellently titled new EP, After Life After Party and 1 4 Me is the first drop from that. Accompanied by a terribly frustrating video, the track is one of the most ambient creations he’s released, yet it’s still got that trademark bass behind it, pulsating the song right into the early morning party zone. Meanwhile there’s this yearning vocal sample that just swirls around your head. It’s beautifully textured and as frustrating as the video may be it’s also visually on-point.

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Giraffage drops ‘Tell Me’ off new EP

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San Francisco producer Giraffage has gone from being a bedroom producer to one of the fastest rising names in electronica. His Needs album last year was an effortless collection of dimly-lit, cascading numbers and it seems his new EP, No Reason, will be following in a similar vein, albeit a little more polished. Tell Me is a glistening track of sporadic vocals samples and fluid synths. It’s never explicit or over-the-top in its delivery showing a producer who’s more than comfortable in offering up something more finessed and not immediately obvious. The ear candy throughout this whole thing is immense though – popping beats, lush synths and a minimal yet profound vocal sample.

No Reason is out 14 November. Giraffage will be heading down-under in November to play Astral People’s OutsideIn Festival.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/foolsgoldrecs/giraffage-tell-me[/soundcloud]

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Shamir drops the sassiest track of the year, ‘On The Regular’

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Today has been a very good day for Shamir. It was first announced that he’d signed to the prestigious XL Records and to top that he’s released an uber fun new track titled On The Regular. The funky track sees Shamir rapping more than singing, giving us a completely different side to what we heard on his excellent Northtown EP. The confidence of it all emulates Azealia Banks’ 212, except rather than cockiness he gives a quirky coolness delivered through cowboys and a wild, wacky video. We’ve told you before but we’ll tell you again – you should probably keep an eye on this guy.

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Recycle Culture has already remixed Taylor Swift’s ‘Wildest Dreams’ and suddenly life is excellent

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If you checked the internet occasionally you’d be all over the fact that mildly successful country-pop sensation, Taylor Swift has released a new album titled 1989. Well, it only took producer, Recycle Culture, a matter of hours to pop up a remix of the 8th song on Swifties album, Wildest Dreams. The airy ballad is suddenly transformed into a blood-rushing, beat-racing number that keeps Swift’s original vocals intact. It makes us feel that Tay Tay’s next album could be all electronica. Possible?

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/recycle-culture/taylor-swift-wildest-dreams-recycle-culture-remix[/soundcloud]

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First Impressions: Drake, CHVRCHES, Iggy Azalea + more

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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. Today we pick apart tracks by Drake, Iggy Azalea, MØ, CHVRCHES, Yeo, Les Sins & The Black Hearts Club. 

Drake – How Bout Now

Sam: It doesn’t really do much in terms of furthering Drake’s sound but it’s solid. The murmuring vocal samples underneath the track give it a nice texture and the way the beat swings in and out of clarity is nice too. I think the only thing that really lets it down is it’s hookless. I dunno though. It still kind of does it for me, so where I sit on this one I’m not sure. Sorry I couldn’t be much more help. 3.5

Lizzie: How ‘bout now, how ‘bout now? No matter how many times he asks, I’m not going to tell him I like the song. How bout now? NO! Take your slowwwww jams elsewhere please, except leave the JT style backup singers with me. 2

Bianca: It just seems like there’s nothing going on in this track. I’m happy with the backing track being minimal as long as there’s something being delivered on the vocals, and vice versa. But that doesn’t seem to be the circumstance. Instead, what I first thought was a case of having my treble too low was in fact just a case of a boring song. And you know I’m all about that treble. 2
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/octobersveryown/drake-how-bout-now[/soundcloud]

Iggy Azalea + MØ – Beg For It

Lizzie: I can just see this going off at Schoolies *sigh*. Underage kids, UDLs and Iggy – the perfect combination for a Summer hit. In saying this, I have had it on repeat for the last hour and I am #sorrynotsorry. 3

Sam: Wait, is this Fancy? Everything from the minimal beats on the verse to the chanty chorus sound scarily similar to her breakout hit but I suppose if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I absolutely love that MØ is on this one. Her album is one of the best pop records of the year and she deserves all the success she gets but this song just lacks anything special. She sounds sick on it, but Iggy is becoming a little tiring. 2.5

Bianca: I feel that MØ’s really wasted on this track 🙁 And not in a drunk in the back of the cab a là One More video clip kind of wasted. It seems that Iggy is using the same old recipe and frankly I’m bored. I guess anything’s better than Booty, right? Right?? 1.5  

CHVRCHES – Get Away

Lizzie: Yes, yes, 1000 times yes. I instantly feel at home when I hear Lauren’s voice, and the pace is perfect for the Drive soundtrack revival. I was a massive fan of that album, so hats off to them for birthing a track which fits in seamlessly. 4

Sam: Quite a bizarre concept that Radio 1 have going here but if they can pull in people with CHVRCHES I’m more than happy for them to carry on. CHVRCHES suit the dim-lit synth-pop vibe of Drive down to the ground so it makes total sense to get them involved. So many of the songs on their debut were aggressive so it’s nice to hear them here a little more sweet. The chorus is beautifully subtle and I love that they take it right to the dancefloor for the final one. 4

Bianca: Just when you thought the Drive soundtrack couldn’t be topped, CHVRCHES have delivered with a track of the perfect haziness and nostalgia that could sidle in unnoticed alongside the original tracklist. Nightcall and A Real Hero will forever be my favourite Drive numbers but Get Away comes in at a very close third place. Beautiful. 4.5 Bianca’s pick
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/chvrches/chvrches-get-away[/soundcloud]

Yeo – Secret Powers

Lizzie: These guys should have made it onto the Drive soundtrack as well!! No seriously, I can see myself driving in my Cadillac into the sunset, it’s so cinematic.. Musically, this is a beautifully layered track, something I could easily get lost in (its dreamy eyes…). Definitely an act to watch. 4.5 Lizzie’s Pick

Sam: Oh, I love how Yeo is so unashamed to deliver a straight-up, huge pop chorus. So many artists try to disguise it under many things but Yeo just goes for it, like a massive ‘80s power ballad. The whole atmosphere of this is perfect, from the way the synths twinkle gently to the way Yule Post saunders in with her smokey vocal. Can we also pop this on the re-work of the Drive soundtrack? 4 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: I don’t know what secret power Yeo has got but boy has it got a hold on me. I feel that he has really grown up on this track, with the melancholic synths and Yeo’s doleful voice creating a sombre affair, further accentuated by Yule Post’s entry in the second verse. The combination of both their voices later down the track is spellbinding with the mournful sax really taking it home. 4.5
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/snackswithyeo/secretpowers[/soundcloud]

Les Sins – Talk About

Lizzie: The voice samples mixed with the typewriter tap in the background, remind me a little of Jamie xx’s “All Under One Roof Raving” – minus the tropical drums. Just when I thought this track was all over, the 2.30 min mark happens…where the song becomes a thicker and interesting. It’s that style of music which can babysit you for hours. 4

Sam: Toro Y Moi’s dance project is actually grabbing me a lot more than his work as Toro. This one reminds me of that moment when there are only a handful of people left in the club – the bass has dropped very low and the vocal samples just swirl around your brain. Talk About is woozy, acid house that subtly climaxes with a forceful synth. Put this on and I’ll happily be the last man standing in the club. 3.5

Bianca: I’m not entirely sure of what the vocal is saying but it sounds a lot like ‘shakshuka’. I really like shakshuka though and, coincidentally, also this song. Like the heavenly middle eastern breakfast of Gods, Talk About is a steamy, hearty morsel that will spice up your life in all the right ways. Give this to me with a side of chorizo and I’m all yours. 3.75
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/company-record-label/les-sins-talk-about[/soundcloud]

The Black Hearts Club – Girl

Lizzie: Despite the Sesame Street style saxophone at the start, this a jazzy jam of a track. The combination of the looping and the euphoric chimes are a treat – definitely something to click your heels together with joy on a sunny day. 3.5

Sam: This is literally the start of like Frasier or something right? It’s almost as if these guys have taken the cream from Pharrell’s Girl and left the over-the-top crap. It doesn’t take itself serious and I have a massive smile on my face just listening to them singing over the horns. It’s easy to get caught up in the novelty of it all but the whole instrumental is actually really impressive. They effortlessly blend from those horns into a day-dreamy chorus and back into stomping verses. Please give me what they’ve got. They sound like happy chaps. 4

Bianca: I am so into this. Bordering on slightly comical, the jazzy horns are the star of the show as the grooving bass struts along, perfectly accompanied by Well$’s initial verse and Lucho’s falsetto, Pharrell-style hook. I’m also totally je t’aime-ing Lomani’s French spoken-word breakdown at the 1:53 mark which is the cherry on top to making Girl the perfect recipe to make anyone happy…and if that’s not the point of music, what is? (Deep.) 4
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/immaculate-taste/girl-tell-me-something[/soundcloud]

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Watch: Flight Facilities feat. Reggie Watts – ‘Sunshine’

Flight Facilities dropped their debut album, Down To Earth, last week and the response has already been (unsurprisingly) massive. Featuring prominent artists such as Emma Louise, Bishop Nehru, Owl Eyes and Kylie Minogue, the duo have been rapidly rising the iTunes charts, a testament to their faculty and devoted fan base. Today, they’ve released the video for their funky, ’70s-inspired collaboration with Reggie WattsSunshine, which sees Watts strutting the boardwalk of what looks to be Venice Beach, Los Angeles.  Click here to buy Down To Earth from iTunes.

 

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Watch Tkay Maidza’s animated video for ‘Switch Lanes’

Tkay Maidza has been busy as of late. She released her Switch Tape mixtape last week while in the midst of performing shows at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon and now the Adelaide mini MC has debuted her music video for Switch Lanes. The Sachio Cook-directed clip is a fun, quirky animated short which sees a cartoon Tkay mingling with fantastical creatures, colourful shapes and patterns, and various pop culture references, perfectly suiting the stylings of the bubbly, Paces-produced track.

Stream her Switch Tape mixtape below.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/tkaymaidza/switch-tape-mix-tape[/soundcloud]

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Listen: HAIM team up with Calvin Harris for ‘Pray to God’

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Over the past year, we’ve seen HAIM team with a diverse slew of collaborators, including Kid Cudi, Mumford and Sons, Stevie Nicks and A$AP Ferg. Today, they’ve released their latest collaboration which sees them dabbling into EDM territory as they team up with Calvin Harris on Pray To God. The track will feature on the UK producer’s upcoming album, Motion, which has already seen features from the likes of Gwen Stefani, Big Sean and John Newman. The track sees the Californian galz singing a triumphant, hooks-galore, pop melody, a welcome addition to Harris’s signature dance-centric beat.

You can listen to Pray To God via Stereogum.

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Listen to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Only’, ft. Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown

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If you take away any information from the new Nicki Minaj song, Only, it’s that she’s never f**ked Drake nor has she f**ked Lil Wayne. The track, which features Lil Wayne, Drake and Chris Brown acts as a kind of confessional for the four of them with Drake also admitting he’s never f**ked Nicki. So delightful. As for the sound, it has a bare minimum instrumental with a Chris Brown hook to break-up the three rappers’ verses. It’s good to hear Nicki going back to fierce raps. Out of the three she probably delivers the most impressive verse sounding like a loaded gun. Whether or not this will have the commercial appeal of Anaconda is yet to be seen but it definitely gets us excited about what the album’s going to sound like.

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Baauer, Rae Sremmurd & Alunageorge team up for ‘One Touch’

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Brooklyn beatmaster Baauer is back from his triumphant Clang return and he’s enlisted the help of UK future-pop outfit, Alunageorge and Mississippi rap duo, Rae Sremmurd. The quintuplet at first strikes as an odd combination but their combined efforts on One Touch are surprisingly auspicious. Aluna handles the hook with her lilting, sugary-soft vocals which contrasts divinely against Sremmurd’s signature shrieks and spit of the tongue. Meanwhile, Bauuer’s minimal trap-inspired beat works as the optimum vehicle, providing just the right amount of grit.

The Harlem Shake producer released this statement about the track to The FADER:

“I recorded with Aluna over a year ago, when we first met. The track I gave her was so basic and had no chord progression or anything so she said ‘you gotta give me something to work with’ and made that the intro. I held on to the track for a while and changed it about 1000 times. Fast forward about a year, I was in Vegas with Swae and Slim (Rae Sremmurd) recording them rapping over the GTA V loading screen song. It was incredible. The next night, back in New York, I put the Aluna and Rae verses together just for fun… and it sounded reaal good. :D”

One Touch is the lead single from Baauer’s new EP titled ß which is due out 4 November.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/baauer/one-touch[/soundcloud]

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8 Alternative Album Titles for Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’

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Well, she’s done it. Our country queen has made the full transition to pop princess. We’ve had to sit through four album and copious amounts of banjos, but we’ve finally been delivered a dirty, melody-obsessed record of sweet, sugary pop.

As huge as the album will be, we feel there is one thing holding it back – its title. It’s destined to be the highest selling album of the year but to have an album of the year in 2014 titled 1989 is far too numeric and frankly a little confusing. T.Swizzle, leave those kind of details for your birth certificate and allow us to retitle your album.groundhog

1. Groundhog Day

Every great pop song has a fair dose of repetition, it’s what starts it spinning in your brain and keeps it firmly lodged in your memory but Tay Tay really takes it to a new level on 1989. She sings the word “woods” in Out Of The Woods 41 times which actually pales in comparison to Shake It Off in which she sings “shake” 79 times. “Are we out of the woods?” is an infuriatingly metaphorical question to ask someone repetitively also which makes us feel slightly sorry for Harry Styles or Ed Sheeran or Lorde or whoever it was she badgered.

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2. 25

Earlier this year it was announced that Adele’s third album would be called 25. Arguably, Swifty and Adele are the two highest-selling female artists on the planet. Adele’s 21 has sold 30 million copies while all of Tay’s past four albums have sold over five million copies. With Suzuki Swift turning 25 at the end of the year, it would have made perfect sense for her to cut Adele’s grass and name her album 25, before Adele could get her act together. That said, Adele probably could’ve just waited until she turned 26 if she was really set on the age thing.

Taylor_noitsbecky3. no its becky

The “hackers known as 4chan” uncovered that www.taylorswift.com was herself lurking on the mysterious, notoriously malicious, underground network under an anonymous moniker of jumbled numbers. This was further confirmed when T.S took to the streets with a shirt emblazoned with a prominent reference.jpg to a post in a /b/ thread that had her caught up in a horrible case of identity theft when she was falsely ‘suspected’ to be Becky, a girl who purportedly died from snorting an entire marijuana.

If Sasha Fierce was Beyonce’s alter-ego, then Becky is most certainly Tayluh’s. 1989 sees Mrs. Styles as a completely new girl. She’s embraced the world of pop and left behind any hint of country. On Red she was still flirting with the genre but now she’s completely committed and is reaping the rewards. Piste 5 is a ridiculously delectable hit, while I Wish You Would is an ‘80s-inspired marvel. All of it combines to deliver what will undoubtedly be the biggest pop album of the year.

Taylor_ANOTHERDIRECTION4. Another Direction

There’s plenty of songs about love on the album (roughly 10) but it actually feels like her least whiney album to date. She takes to a lovelorn song on 1989 just like Gwen Stefani once would’ve. On Shake It Off she moving straight on, right past the haters, even putting her feelings into a rap. On Style, she’s even speaking positively about love, aptly singing “we never go out of style”. It’s an odd quote given she goes through boys faster than a box of Kleenex but it’s nice to hear Selena Gomez’s friend happy. And just to think she once thought there was only one direction.

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5. Pink

Red had Alison angry, very angry. I Knew You Were Trouble was her most aggressive track together while We Are Never Getting Back Together had a wonderful air of Mean Girl-brattiness to it. It seems, however, on 1989 we’re greeted by an artist who’s exploring different shades. From the illuminated glossiness of Welcome To New York to the rebellious RnB stylings of Blank Space, 1989 is an uplifting album that makes us feel that there may just be the right boy out there who makes us feel special and worthwhile <3

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6. Days Are Gone

We never thought we would say this, but 1989 actually takes a lot of stylistic cues from HAIM’s Days Are Gone. While it’s not anywhere near as badass the Californian trio’s album, it’s pop, driven by a thumping drum-beat and peppered with delicious melodies. Out Of The Woods is the biggest testament to this. It has the same kind of pulsating energy as something like The Wire while Bad Blood has that same kind of drum-induced spite as My Song 5. I don’t think they’d notice if she stole their title.

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7. So Fresh Songs of 2014

Shake It Off, Out Of The Woods, Welcome To New York, Bad Blood, Style, Piste 5, I Wish You Would…let’s be honest she has like 33 #1 songs on this album and most of them are better than everything else that’s risen to the top this year.

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8. Me. I am Taylor (The Elusive Chanteuse)

Mariah Carey named her album this with the kind of cockiness that said “I’m still the queen”. Unfortunately she may have to give that crown over to Ms. Bleachers. There hasn’t been a female artist who’s ruled the charts for this long, probably since Mariah and she probably deserves it. With each album, she’s served up something different and 1989 truly feels like a great pop album. It’s all killer, no filler and has songs that our kids will dance to in the way we still go batshit for Whitney Houston’s, I Wanna Dance With Somebody. All props to Swizzle, she may be a meme machine but you have to put yourself out there to gain #haterz and she happily does that.

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