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George Maple Premieres The Sensual ‘Vacant Space’

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Working with Flume, touring with Flight Facilities and signing to Future Classic earlier in the year, George Maple is steadfastly becoming the latest name on everyone’s lips. Although while she boasts an impressive roster of muso pals, the songstress holds her own and no longer needs to be introduced with an entourage of past collaborators anymore. After witnessing her seductive performances at both BIGSOUND and Listen Out, we instantly knew there was something special about this girl and it seems like the big guns are catching on. And by big guns, we mean The New York Times, who today premiered the 24-year-old seductress’ Vacant Space. Continuing with her ambience-filled, echoey trademark, it’s a chilling track with equally impressive melody and production. While Maple’s strong, seductive vocals power above silken-like production,  the breakdown at around the two minute mark is where her dulcet voice truly shines in its oozey, gooey goodness. Listen below at your own risk.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/george-maple/vacant-space[/soundcloud]

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8 Moments From ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ That Make Us Believe In Azealia Banks Again

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Let’s be honest, most people who were fans of Azealia Banks in 2012 have now moved onto Iggy Azalea and forgotten she even said the C word in 212. Who knows what’s happened with Banks over the course of the past two years. She got signed and then left, she’s started beefs with just about everyone and she’s left plenty a crowd disappointed. Despite her increasingly bizarre behaviour, one thing remained a constant – her talk of Broke With Expensive Taste.

On Twitter, she’s constantly spoken of Broke With Expensive Taste even though for a long time it felt as if it would never see the light of day. This weekend, finally she dropped the damn record in a Beyonce fashion and while it doesn’t trump Queen B’s effort, it reintroduces Banks as somebody to keep an eye on.

For somebody who’s managed to piss off everyone in the industry, Broke With Expensive Taste boasts a large list of impressive producers. Everyone from Lone to Araabmuzik to Ariel Pink have production credits on the album, proving that Banks still has her finger on the pulse musically.

Here are a few moments from the record that make us remember why we were so excited about Banks two years ago.

When she opens with the tropical beats of Idle Delilah

For an artist who’s made a career on shock value, Idle Delilah is a refreshingly relaxed introduction to the album. Pearson Sound delivers a ridiculously delicious beat of rhythmic sounds that couldn’t sound any further away from the sounds of New York that she usually channels. Banks is on form throughout and completely comfortable with laying back into the beat and leaving her ferocity behind. People will lose it for this one in the clubs.

When Ice Princess flips instantaneously from a hip-hop to a dance beat

Ice Princess is the most likely to be a crowd-favourite from the album. The Araabmuzik creation covers off everything that people came to love about Banks – she slays over a hard-hitting hip-hop beat but is also comfortable taking it to the club. The track moves from being a straight-up hip-hop song into a pop-dance number and then chops back again. It’s completely bipolar but isn’t that the very reason we fell for Banks in the first place? According to Banks herself it’s about “the story of how I met your man in the summer, stole him by September, and moved into the mansion in December.”

When she trades rapping for singing on Chasing Time

If you heard her early cover of Interpol’s Slow Hands you’d be clued into the fact that Banks has a voice on her. Chasing Time, however, is the first time we’ve heard it out in full force on one of her originals. It’s without a doubt the most radio-friendly track on the album without compromising any of her characteristics. It may actually be one of the best RnB-electronica crossover tracks of the year.

When Luxury creeps up and you remember how good it was in the first place

Luxury was originally from Banks’ Fantasea mixtape and even got the video treatment but got lost amongst her myriad of other headlines for things mostly unrelated to her music. It appears on Broke With Expensive Taste, sounding almost identical to the mixtape version, but still sounding phenomenal. It’s an impossibly smooth slice of RnB/dance, that was surely made for the social minglers of New York, sipping on Martinis in The W. There’s so many different facets to Azealia Banks and Luxury proves she’s capable of handling things without quick-witted raps or insults.

When she literally says “Cunt diddle cunt du cunt cunt” in Miss Amor

Yes, it’s true, the C word is back. Apparently Miss Amor was meant to be the first single from the album but we can see why her record label decided against it after a swift read of the lyrics. The ridiculous lyrics don’t stop there either. She continues with “rum diggy dum du dum” and “ump jiggle bump bu rrrump pump”. It’s completely nonsensical but that’s Banks’ charm. She’ll throw in anything to make sure those syllable keeps rolling effortlessly onto the next and it works here. Miss Amore is the slickest rap Banks delivers on the album.

When she finds the perfect partner with Theophilus London in JFK

Theophilus London is a rapper with the same kind of ethos as Azealia Banks. They’re both rappers at heart but are prone to err towards the pop side or the alternative side without delivering songs inside the lines of conventional hip-hop. JFK is a cocktail of personality. It’s an impossibly slick, fashionable track in the same vein as A$AP Rocky’s Fashion Killa. London’s verse is far more manic than Banks’ but together they compliment by operating in the same aesthetic.

When she heads straight for the dancefloor on Soda

When Banks dropped 212, it pleased both hip-hop and dance music lovers and it feels like she’s doing the same here on Soda. Soda brings with it the thickest, dirtiest beat of the whole record, with Banks singing over top. It’s the type of beat that pulsates through the head at 4 in the morning with a certain murkiness to it. It may not have the same energy as 212 but it has a club-ready strength to it which is undeniable.

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When she forgets she’s a rapper on Nude Beach A Go-Go

It’s surprising to see cult alt-hero, Ariel Pink, on the production credits for the album but after hearing Nude Beach A Go-Go, it makes total sense. Well, it makes no sense that she included it on the album, but it does make sense in that Pink is the only person who could’ve produced something like this. It sounds like the Beach Boys soundtracked a sunscreen ad, with Azealia Banks oddly doing her best Christina Aguilera vocal. If Banks is anything, it’s unpredictable and you can’t help but laugh when this emerges after the slick, Luxury.

 

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10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: CHVRCHES, Azealia Banks, Collarbones + More

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It’s coming dangerously close to the end of the year which means everybody is rushing out music before people replace new music with the Mariah Carey christmas album (the first one, of course) for a good two months. That’s very good news for us, as a website that likes to dabble in new music, because we have a plethora of things to choose from each week. Here’s 10 songs that we will be keeping locked away for the Christmas period new music drought.

Little Simz x Jakwob – Time Capsule

If you don’t know Little Simz, it’s time you got on her Soundcloud and got to know this London rapper. She’s firing off some killer verses over beautifully crafted beats and her latest, Time Capsule proves that. This retrospective track, goes from warm and encapsulating to industrial and hard in a matter of seconds, providing a thrilling listen.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/littlesimz/little-simz-jakwob-time-capsule-ft-caitlyn-scarlett[/soundcloud]

Nao- Good Girl

You may know London songstress Nao from the killer track she did with Jai Paul’s brother A.K., So Good. Good Girl proves that the singer has even more to offer, with a soulful, personable voice that finds just the right route through distant beats. It’s got the same kind of effortless pop vibe as Solange’s True EP and we’re more than ok with this.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/thisnao/nao-good-girl[/soundcloud]

Collarbones- Only Water (Feat. Oscar Key Sung)

We’re big fans of Australian duo Collarbones, basically just because they’re cool guys but we’re also very much obsessed with their music. A new album, Return, will find its way into your ears by the end of November but in the meantime they’ve dropped Only Water with Oscar Key Sung. The pair make perfect sense together and the track is a bubbling, dense creation of beauty.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/collarbones/only-water-feat-oscar-key-sung[/soundcloud]

Klo. – Under Lie

From one Australian duo to another, Melbournites Klo. have been churned out two great songs already and their third, Under Lie, may just be the best. It seems more ambitious than its predecessors, with the vocals of Chloe Kaul far more self-assured than we’ve heard before. She ducks in and out of the heights of her range over a broken-down, minimal beat that gives plenty of space for a slinky melody. This isn’t hype anymore, these guys are good. Real good.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/klomusic/underlie[/soundcloud]

BenZel- Touch (Feat. Ryn Weaver)

So Ryn Weaver popped out of nowhere to become the popstar most likely to in 2014 and BenZel also seemingly came out of nowhere (but then it turned out they were actually Two Inch Punch and Benny Blanco, so yeah). As such, this pairing makes total sense as a fresh little pop song of budding stars. Weaver delivers a few stunning verses in between BenZel’s beat-heavy assault. It’s an aesthetic we haven’t heard from them yet and makes us excited for the diversity of the Men EP

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

Future- Never Satisfied (Feat. Drake)

A clip of this track was actually on Future’s brilliant Honest, which is a little odd. The album was obviously snatched from them before they could finish the song but thank goodness Drake and Future got back to work and finished the track. The difference with this version is that there’s an extra Future and Drake verse and you don’t get that overwhelming sense of disappointment that comes with a song finishing at 1 minute and 56 seconds. Ugh.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/mikewillmadeit/future-never-satisfied-ft-drake-prod-by-mike-will-made-it[/soundcloud]

Tourist- Illuminate (Feat. Years & Years)

One night I got drunk and proclaimed that Years & Years were going to be the biggest band this year. Obviously, that was slightly hyperbolic but I still believe they’re going to be a big deal. Maybe more in the Alt-J way than The Rolling Stones way. Anyway, they’ve teamed up with budding British producer, Tourist for the delectable Illuminate. Basically, it’s one of the smoothest cuts we’ve heard since Disclosure’s Latch. The voice is velvety and malleable and the beat flicks and rush as if to orchestrate the heart.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/touristmusic/illuminate[/soundcloud]

CHVRCHES- Dead Air

It’s really not a week at all if Glasgow trio CHVRCHES aren’t in the news in someway. This week they’ve contributed to the soundtrack of small independent movie, The Hunger Games, which has actually been curated by fresh 18 year-old, Lorde. CHVRCHES suit the whole, dim-lit, serious vibe of The Hunger Games and bring a finessed loveliness to the table on Dead Air. The chorus is gloriously climatic, reminding just how freekend good this band is.

Azealia Banks- Ice Princess

If time is money, then it’s no wonder Azealia Banks is broke. Oh Azealia, how we’ve waited for this album. For all the fuss she’s created over the past few years, she dropped Broke With Expensive Taste with relatively little fanfare just dropping it straight on iTunes like she’s Beyonce. Upon first listen, Ice Princess, is the standout. A quick tongued track that oscilates between a traditional hi-hop instrumental and a four-to-the-floor dance beat. Banks sounds completely in control and refreshingly laid back.

Ryn Weaver- OctaHate (Feat. Cashmere Cat)

So this week is obviously all about Ryn Weaver, which we’re fine with if we’re going to jump on the next big popstar train. Our last mention of Weaver comes in the way of the remix Cashmere Cat did of her song Octahate, which he actually produced in the first place. The remix sounds far more CC than the original, with solemn, building verses and hell-raising drops. He keeps Weaver’s vocals pretty much intact which is nice because we quite like her voice.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/cashmerecat/cashylovesryn[/soundcloud]

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Collarbones Team Up With Oscar Key Sung For ‘Only Water’

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We are only weeks away from hearing the new Collarbones record, Return, but in the meantime they’ve dropped Only Water featuring Melbourne artist Oscar Key Sung. Both Collarbones and OKS are doing great things for the Australian electronic music scene so it’s great to see them pair up for Only Water. The track is exactly what you’d expect from them, a lush exploration of jittery RnB and dense electronica. Unlike the manic Turning, Only Water lies back in the beat more, cruising along with soulful vocals. Collarbones always impress and Return is going to be all time. We’re sure of it.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/collarbones/only-water-feat-oscar-key-sung[/soundcloud]

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8 Reasons Why Ryan Hemsworth Is One Of The Most Important Producers Right Now

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Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth has just released his second album Alone For The First Time, so we thought it would be nice to gush over him for a bit and look at where he sits in the world of producers right now.

1. He doesn’t attach to a clique

All you have to do is look at who is supporting Hemsworth on his ‘Sucker For Punishment’ tour to see how far and wide his admiration for electronic musicians stretches. Like many genres, electronic music has a tendency to place artists in a certain group or collective. The artists feature on each others tracks, nurture each other and inevitably churn out releases that sound similar. It’s not a bad thing, but part of Hemsworth’s charm is that he’s hard to place in a pre-determined group. He’s worked with Aussie producer, UV Boi, Japanese beatmaker, Qrion and has tracks on his latest album with Doss, The GTW, Little Cloud and many more. There’s hardly a common thread you can tie between them apart from Hemsworth himself.

2. He’s diverse

If you were following Hemsworth’s releases in the lead up to the new album, you may have been blindsided by Alone For The First Time. Cream Soda with Tomggg was full of candied sounds while Gods with UV Boi was a profound, iphone-sound borrowing track. Even Every Square Inch with Qrion, the most similar to the album, is far more dancefloor ready than anything on the sophomore album.

Turn from that to his remixes and you’ve got a completely different Hemsworth. His remix of Beyonce’s Mine is industrial and hard-hitting while his take on Future’s Honest, is a subtle, minimalist affair. It’s easy to forget even, that some of his early tracks like Day N Nite, had him pinned as a hip-hop/RnB producer. So, what do we learn from this? Hemsworth is a product of the internet generation – a producer who is consuming a lot of music and just like trends is constantly changing his mind. He told Dummymag, “I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to fully create one single, consistent sound… which I hope is a good thing…There is a short shelf life for a lot of sounds”

3. He’s not afraid to have fun

Alone For The First Time and to some extent, Guilt Trips are heavy listens. It’s more easily listened to knowing that the producer behind them is not afraid to have a little fun. His bouncing remix of the Backstreet Boys’ Show Me The Meaning, sampling Amanda Bynes still stands as one of his most impressive outputs.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/i-d-online-1/show-me-the-meaning-of-being[/soundcloud]

4. His instagram game is top notch

This is clearly the most important point. You can’t be an important producer if you don’t have an instagram with plenty of good shit on it. Good shit, Hemsworth has. It’s an instagram full of Pokemon, ironic selfies and travelling tidbits. Oh and shoes, plenty of cool shoes.

Basically, it just makes you like the guy. So many electronic producers remain enigmatic or become bitter and fan-shy, but Hemsworth is none of those things. He’s present, funny and a little dorky.

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5. He gives new producers a leg-up

All that social media presence, actually puts Hemsworth in a good position to spruik new music. Earlier this year he started his Secret Songs project which sees him release new music for free by new artists that he loves. For six months, he’s dropped songs by the likes of Tennyson, Ricky Eat Acid, Lucas, Little Cloud and more. And for many, giving them widespread exposure for the first time. Hemsworth writes a spiel about the song, as does the artist and then it’s dropped for free on the public.

“I have a following and people like my taste for whatever reason”, he told THUMP, further telling Dummymag that “it’s just trying to bring them [the producers] into the world that aren’t really in that much at the moment.” In that way, he is using his following to give exposure to artists that are still based on the internet – plucking them into the real world and exposing great but undiscovered music. Many of the artists are now touring alongside him.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/sets/shh-ffb6c1[/soundcloud]

6. He has his eyes on Japan where they should be

Japan is one of the most interesting countries for electronic music right now and Hemsworth is suitably fascinated. He told THUMP before even visiting the country, “I’m pretty in love with most things Japan. I was put onto a lot of Japanese horror movies when I was 13 by my older cousin, and just got obsessed with that. To me, I’m fully romanticising that world”.

Like fellow Japan-enthusiast, Porter Robinson, Hemsworth has a way of borrowing that Japanese aesthetic for his own songs. They have solemn, saddening undertones with perky, plastic synths layered on top. It’s mixing those two things just like anime does in juxtaposing its visual with the message.

He recently wrote a brilliant piece for The Fader on his trip to Japan. It tracks the experience of playing and getting by in a country where they don’t speak his language. He met Qrion, Tofubeats, Pa’s Lam System and Seiho, to name a few, and openly expressed, “I suck compared to these guys”. What’s most interesting is they can barely communicate with eachother because of the language barrier but are able to come together musically, with the help of a little alcohol. FYI, Qrion outdrinks Hemsworth.

7. He’s eloquent in the way he speaks of electronic music

An ambasador for anything, needs to be able to state their case. Hemsworth has given copious interviews over the course of his career. Here are a few of the most poignant things he’s said about electronic music.

“If you create a new sound, you’re top of the world for a minute, and then the next sound is the new thing.”Dummymag

“…from a young age, I got really into discovering music—that magical feeling when you find something new. Still to this day, every day, I have that. It’s what keeps me going when playing at shows playing new songs. It’s always such a fresh feeling.”Interview

“I’m still lumped into the electronic music world, which is totally a part of me. I’m booked for club shows and festivals and stuff, but I want to make music that’s a bit outside of that world. I want to make music that’s a little bit of everything.” Red Bull

8. His new album is spellbinding

I mean, really, you gotta hear it. Alone For The First Time is an expansive, emotional record that sees Hemsworth play around with life instrumentation and pull in artists that he’s admired for a while including Little Cloud, Dawn Golden and The GTW.

It’s a short, compact record but one that packs a real punch. Opener Hurt Me, is an orchestral heartwrencher, while closer By Myself, is an ode to being alone and one that sounds as profound as any words uttered by Gil Scott-Heron. In between, Hemsworth flips between showing influences like The Postal Service (Snow In Newark) to showing his admiration for Japanese electronica (Surrounded).

It’s a record that sees Hemsworth step out as an artist rather than a bedroom producer. It may be at times sad and lonely, but altogether it’s a heartwarming listen, finessed with love and care.

You can buy it if you like. Here.

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Tinashe Jumps On The Remix Of Nick Jonas’ ‘Jealous’

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When we first started this, we had a pretty good idea of the sort of artists we’d be writing about. Yep, Tinashe was most certainly on our list, but we’re not so sure about her duet partner, Nick Jonas. Yes, we are talking about the youngest Jonas brother who is now a crutch-grabbing, Usher-aspiring, grown-adult. His third self-titled album gave birth to Jealous- a smooth, beat-stomping track which we’re actually happy to admit, we’re quite smitten by. Today, he’s dropped the remix which features RnB lady-of-the-moment, Tinahse. Tinashe lays down a sweltering verse, helping Jonas to shed his teeny-bopper skin and embrace words like “dick” and “fuck”. Altogether it doesn’t actually sound that bizarre. Maybe Nick Jonas really is all grown up now.

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Little Simz slays on ‘Time Capsule’

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So, if you don’t know London firecracker, Little Simz, you should probably listen up. While American and Australian female rappers are in vogue right now, the UK is desperately in need of a girl like Lil Simz. Her latest track, Time Capsule, sees her rap over a Jakwob beat, opening with “They put me down as the one to watch/Haters put me down as the one to stop”. With Jakwob firing down some ridiculous beats and singer Caitlyn Scarlett delivering a stellar chorus, Simz is armed with the best sidekicks to ensure she is unstoppable. She’s aggressive, full of personality and rides the beat like a pro.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/littlesimz/little-simz-jakwob-time-capsule-ft-caitlyn-scarlett[/soundcloud]

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London songstress Billie Black unveils debut EP

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We’ve listened to Jessie Ware‘s Tough Love so many times now that we knew there would come a time where we’d have to search for something else. Well, that day is here and we’re more than happy to swap Tough Love with the elegant debut from London newcomer, Billie Black. Titled 00100 (yeah, us either), the EP is a collection of lush, dim-lit pop songs that centre around the rich tones of Black. I Don’t Need Another Lover, which we’ve already heard sounds like a more digestible SBTRKT song while Do You Really revels in simplicity, which seems to be the theme of the EP. Each song is delicately crafted to maintain a level of consistency. It never goes overboard nor does it stray from its sophisticated aesthetic. It’s a comprehensive and exciting set, that leaves us wondering what’s next for Black.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/billie-black/sets/ep-000100[/soundcloud]

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First Impressions: K Stewart, Giraffage, Shamir + 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 Giraffage, Shamir, Baauer, K Stewart, TĀLĀ & BenZel. 

Giraffage- Tell Me

Sam: Giraffage is such a lush, understated producer. He really doesn’t go straight for immediate appeal rather drawing you in slowly. Tell Me is full of crystalline sounds and a calming vocal sample. I love when he really lays it on in the fourth quarter with that dense, hearty synth. 4

Bianca: Giraffage always has the knack of creating these delightfully minimal, delicious slices of synth pop. Tell Me isn’t overly dense but, like a lemon meringue pie, it is fluffy and light, with just the right balance of sweet and tart. 4

Lizzie: This one took a couple of goes to wrap my head around. Not because of its complexity, because it is so simple and soft, I may have tuned out the first time (sorry). That may sound incredibly insulting, but I think maybe I just felt incredibly comfortable and at ease that I just melted away. It’s a solid 3.5

Hannah: 1:18 is perfection. There’s just so much space to indulge in a Giraffage track. He’s a producer gives every sample, every vocal, every bounce and every poppy synth equal parts loving affection and quality attention and makes for a truly harmonious ear party. 4
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/foolsgoldrecs/giraffage-tell-me[/soundcloud]

Shamir- On The Regular

Sam: The first time I heard Azealia Banks’ 212 I listened to it like 10 times in a row and thought she was the coolest person on the planet. On The Regular has that bratty, careless flow that 212 had. Shamir just beams with personality. XL Records have made a damn good decision- as far as I’m concerned this is on repeat for the whole summer. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: If Shamir could go ahead and just be my friend right now, that’d be great. So much sass, so much confidence, so little time! If this is Shamir on the regular, sign me up now. 4

Lizzie: Wow I did not expect this. I don’t even know what just happened but I think I may be a bit too sober to understand it. In saying that, this track is not about understanding, it is all about letting your guard down and totally just wiggling, bopping and dancing like a crazy person. Let loose! 4

Hannah: Well, say hello to the If-you-don’t-know-now-you-know-Mother-Fucker track of the summer! Shamir brings sass and cheek in a sugary sweet in a way that only a 5’10 skinny boy getting about in rainbow tie dye is capable of. It’s strength lies in its hypnotic bounce and studiously self-aware, yet totally rappable lyrics. This is on repeat, on the regular. 4.5 Hannah’s Pick

Baauer- One Touch

Sam: Hmm. I know this is First Impressions but I’ve had to listen to this song just under 10 times to really be able to understand what the hell is going on. One listen I don’t think Aluna works with Rae Sremmurd and then the next I do, so god knows what’s going on in my mind. One thing’s for sure, Aluna sounds slinky and sultry, really shining above the minimal beat like she so often does. 3

Bianca: I’m actually really enjoying the amalgamation of styles. Baauer’s bass is just heavy enough and Aluna vocals float on top ever so ethereally. Rae Sremmurd’s rhymes are rough and verging on angsty but, as long as I don’t listen to the actual lyrics, they surprisingly don’t irk me. An unlikely combination that happens to make a lot of sense. 4

Lizzie: Rae, you sound like a whiny croaky teenager whose voice is teetering on breaking. I am in such a love/hate relationship with One Touch, I wish they had just left Aluna alone to do her awesome thing (as always)! 3

Hannah: Rae Sremmurd is the rap equivalent of a yappy chihuahua. If you just ignore the yappy, bitey, over zealous – I’d say furball but really, what Chihuaha has anything worth considering as fur – thing running about your ankles while Alunageorge and Baauer bring it, you’d have a good song. 2.5

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

K Stewart- Close Enough

Sam: I’m such a sucker for airy, Aaliyah-esque RnB vocals so naturally I’m instantly in love with this one. There’s something really cool about artists that feel that they don’t need to bust their arse on the chorus. The chorus of Close Enough is free flowing, flirty and delicious. K Stewart is three for three right now in terms of solo singles. 3.5

Bianca: It’s boppy, it’s fresh, it’s girly and oh so Summery. K’s dreamy vocals are the perfect addition to the grooving melody that manages to be noticed but isn’t completely grabbing for your full attention. 3

Lizzie: Close Enough could easily slip into your Summer DJ mix. It’s nothing out-of-this world, but perfect for a chic outdoor get-together to get them in the mood for the season. Why do I get this feeling that Zhu could remix the shiz out of this and add a bit more depth to it? 3.75

Hannah: You know what, while I adore this song and its smooth groove, I really think K Stewart’s vocals get totally lost to production. Amp up those Aaliyah sounds. Close, but not close enough. 3.5

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kstewartmusic/kstewart-close-enough-1[/soundcloud]

TĀLĀ- Everybody’s Free

Sam: I absolutely love TĀLĀ and I can’t wait to hear how this one sounds in the context of the album. She’s gone with using one of the most recognisable vocal samples and transformed it into the glorious, euphoric number that ebbs and flows in waves of happiness. It’s almost worth doing another remake of Romeo + Juliet just to include this. Crowdfunding anyone? 4.5

Bianca: Don’t listen to what Sam says, Romeo + Juliet. You are perfect as you are so don’t go changin’. In saying that, TĀLĀ has somehow managed to improve on an already flawless song with her touches being oh so deliciously minimal. She has maintained the celestial feeling of the original, amplifying it to seventh heaven with undulating synths and a ricocheting beat. 4.5 Bianca’s Pick

Lizzie: Despite the initial corniness of the first 5 seconds (you will understand when you hear it), this is a gorgeously twist on an old favourite. It is perfectly tickled with a bit of electronica, R&B and well-crafted samples – and hold out to the the last 30 seconds, that’s where I am found myself utterly smitten. 4.5 Lizzie’s Pick

Hannah: Sam, where do I sign up? TĀLĀ is doing for this track what Luhrmann did for Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet in the first place. While the lofty vocals and original lyrics give it an undeniably uplifting character, TĀLĀ grounds her rendition in the dirt, grit and grime of street culture. With heavy bass, quivering percussion and wait, was that a motorcycle I heard, TĀLĀ’s vein of feel good is a seductively dark one. 4

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/talaofficial/everybodysfree[/soundcloud]

BenZel (Feat. Juicy J & Cashmere Cat)- Four

Sam: I’m not sure how I feel about BenZel as hip-hop producers. Their work with soulful vocalists has been so impressive that it’s quite different to hear them in this aesthetic. What I do love is that they make the chorus so tantalisingly melodic, just by taking the vocal down in pitch and laying down in soulful guitars. The rushing end is also great but it’s all not really enough to save Juicy J’s uninspiring verses. 3

Bianca: Like someone pouring a shit load of unnecessary ketchup on hot chips, this track has had a whole lot of uninspiring vocals laid over its deliciously steamy production. The ending is where things really start to pick up for me but unfortunately it’s all too little too late by then. Then again, I’m sitting in a cafe with Maroon 5 seeping through my headphones so my opinion could possibly be unfairly swayed. 3

Lizzie: Yawn. 1

Hannah: This is what happens when someone seasoned in tantric sex jumps into bed with a 16 year old gangly virgin. Juicy J just lacks the oozy sex of someone like Jeremih to rap this slow about hoes and fucking. Juicy gettin’ bored? Yeah me too. That said, if BenZel and Cashmere Cat just took their production elsewhere (cough Jeremih), we might have had a winner here. 2

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/officialbenzel/four[/soundcloud]

Lucas

Promising producer, Lucas, reveals ‘Her Room’

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If we’re going to talk feels, there’s one producer this year that stands out as being able to evoke rich emotion, and that is Seattle producer, Lucas. He first rose up the ranks thanks to Keep U Warm – a beautiful track released via Ryan Hemsworth’s Secret Songs project. He no doubt impressed Hemsworth with his heart-wrenching remix of Hemsworth’s own, One For Me. There’s a real bromance developing there but enough of that.

Lucas has released the first taster, Her Room, from his forthcoming Clearing EP. It sees him working with the atmosphere that we’re becoming accustomed to with the 23 year-old producer, pulling upon haunting vocal samples, crisp foliage and stripped-bare electronic percussion. He manages to create this dark, haunting world that’s also emotionally profound.

Clearing is out November 15.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/liveforthefunk/lucas-her-room[/soundcloud]

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Klo. release the sweltering, ‘Under Lie’

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Klo. have released two songs previous to this and they’ve been dazzling, minimal electronic numbers that feature the gentle vocals of Chloe Kaul. Not to say that False Calls and Make Me Wonder were bad, they were fantastic, but this latest one, Under Lie, is a giant leap forward. Beat-maker Simon Lam, lays down a moody, deep soundscape which Kaul matches with the deepest vocal we’ve heard from her yet. Both of them sound confident, melodic and best of all, comfortable. It’s most definitely the most instantly likeable thing they’ve done and will have even more people clamouring to see them live.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”215″]https://soundcloud.com/klomusic/underlie[/soundcloud]

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10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Nicki Minaj, Shamir, Baauer + more

141101 10 Songs

There’s been so much new music released this week that we considered doing 43 Songs You Need To Hear This Week but we’re time poor and ready for a wine so we didn’t. Sorry. But we did put together 10 and they are a dazzling set of tunes.

Shamir- On The Regular

Shamir has been an interns favourite since he released his Northtown EP earlier this year. Being the clever lads they are, XL Records have snapped him up and launched his campaign with the bombastic, On The Regular. Shamir just oozes sassy charisma and the whole song has the cool persona of something like Azealia Banks, 212. Something tells me Shamir won’t be having any beefs with musicians any time soon, either. This is Shamir on the regular, so you know.

JOY.- Stone

It’s been a good week for this Brisbane teen. First she dropped this stellar new single, Stone, and they she said “oi, listen up” to everybody in the country, performing an unbelievable version of Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head on triple j’s Like A Version with Peking Duk. Her breathy voice is utterly captivating on Stone and the brass stylings that swing in during the chorus give us shivers. And yes, we’re very jealous. She’s 17 for goodness sake.

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

Calvin Harris- Pray To God (Feat. HAIM)

It’s true, we tease Calvin a bit here on the interns. Oh gosh, how we tease, but give the man credit where it’s due. He’s gone from a dorky producer to arguably the biggest DJ in the world in a relatively short amount of time. His new album Motion sounds like one continuous song but this one with LA girls HAIM is a standout. Harris takes the backseat letting HAIM take most of the glory and they may have just helped us become Harris believers.

Nicki Minaj (Feat. Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown)- Only

Nicki Minaj is absolutely killing it with single covers right now. Anaconda was ridiculous and this one is just as great. Only sees Minaj pack three others into the one song with Drake and Lil Wayne delivering verses and Chris Brown singing the hook. “I never f**ked Drake, I never f**ked Wayne”, she opens with just to clear things up and from there continues to rap like a dark queen. Drake’s verse is great and Wayne’s is average but really it’s just nice to have Nicki down off her Spaceship and rapping like the bad bitch she is.

Jacques Greene- 1 4 Me

Montreal producer Jacques Greene is releasing a new EP this month called After Life, After Party and he’s starting it off with the brilliant 1 4 Me. “1 4 me was trying to challenge myself to keep an arrangement dead simple”, he says of the track and it shows. It feels spacious yet warm and brooding.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jacquesgreene/14me[/soundcloud]

Ara Koufax- Brenda

The delightful lads of Cut/Copy are releasing a mixtape full of all the wonderful tracks Melbourne has to offer called Oceans Apart. The first track they’ve dropped from it, is by Ara Koufax and it’s just so beautiful it makes us want to cry. It’s a emotion-packed, euphoric song that has these sad undertones that run beneath it and we can’t quite figure out where all these feels are coming from. Maybe it’s the lush, hearty vocal sample or the striking keys that drive the songs second half.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/cuttersrecords/6-ara-koufax-brenda-1[/soundcloud]

Drippin- Waterfall

We sung the praises of Norwegian producer Drippin’ a few weeks ago and we’re just going to keep on belting because he’s dropped another brilliant track. Waterfall is a dark, mesmerizing cut with gun-shot beats and icy, industrial synths. It sounds like something that Kanye would’ve easily rapped over on Yeezus, and we think he may just have a few rappers coming his way looking for beats. Ka-ching!

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/litcity/drippin-waterfall[/soundcloud]

Bauuer- One Touch (Feat. Alunageorge & Rae Sremmund)

Somehow Baauer has quite cleverly manoeuvred away from the shackles of a viral smash and has been able to go along doing his own thing unnoticed. One Touch is a million miles away from Harlem Shake with Aluna’s slinky vocals and Rae Sremmund aggressive rap sitting more in the category of RnB than electronica.

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

Thelma Plum- How Much Does Your Love Cost (Dugong Jnr Remix)

Thelma Plum is a fast-rising Australian queen of folk, so it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that she’d release anything club-bound but it worked for Emma Louise with Jungle and it’s definitely working again here. Fellow Aussie producer Dugong Jnr has transformed How Much Does Your Love Cost into a flickering, fluctuating track that actually shows Plum’s potential as an electronic vocalist.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/dugongjr/thelma-plum-how-much-does-your-love-cost-dugong-jr-remix[/soundcloud]

Saint Pepsi x Maxo- Celebrate Me

Saint Pepsi is one of the most unapologetically joyful producers around. Everything he churns out have sharp accents of happiness and smiling vocal samples. Celebrate Me is a bit more down-tempo than we’re used to but it also uses this delectable vocal sample that just fills you up with warm and fuzzies. I don’t even think I want to tell you what happens at the end. Just listen, it’s a beautiful, beautiful moment.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/saintpepsi/saint-pepsi-x-maxo-celebrate-me[/soundcloud]

 

 

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