First Impressions: Chance The Rapper, Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris + more


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 Taylor Swift, Tkay Maidza, Chance The Rapper, Calvin Harris, Marina And The Diamonds & Marion Hill. 

Taylor Swift- Out of the Woods

Lizzie: We can’t say Taylor doesn’t mix it up a bit. This carries very much a Broods ‘Mother and Father’ sound for me – the running track style. I am a massive fan of her voice in this, and while it is yet another Taylor Swift break-up heartache track, I wouldn’t be totally embarrassed to blast this song from my car… in public. 3.5

Bianca: The first verse was actually quite easy on my ears, which is quite a departure from my usual feelings towards Tay Tay. And then…the chorus came. Like a yapping chihuahua that keeps nipping at your ankles, begging for attention, so is the effect of the continuous repetition of the mind-numbing lyrics. In saying that, overall, this song was as mildly enjoyable as reading its accompanying YouTube comments debating whether or not this was written about Harry Styles. 2.75

Sam: Goddamit. It was a big step for me to admit I was a fan of Shake It Off but two tracks in a row is ludicrous. This is good isn’t it? I think it is. It’s like a HAIM-inspired, slightly left-of-centre track that’s like nothing she’s really done before. The final bridge is a little bit over the top, but for all its repetition, the chorus is golden. Maybe I’m out of the woods. Maybe it’s finally time to admit I’m a Tay Tay fan :/ 3.5

Hannah: I am a big, BIG closet Taylor Swift fan. Think Narnia big. But I love her for all her poppy, catchy, pretween, sappy tendencies. This is just a little… Well it’s a little too grown up for the pigeon hole I’ve put dear Taylor in. Yes it sounds like Broods. Yes it sounds like Haim. Yes it sounds like all those slightly left of field female artists making it big in the mainstream at the moment. Off the back of Shake it Off though, what’s wrong with just sounding like Taylor? 3

Tkay Maidza- Switch Lanes

Lizzie: Tkay continues to shine her versatile young talent to the world! I love the flow/switch lanes in and out of singing and rapping -an almighty talent in itself. But I what I really like is the stripped-back style and noticeably tight production (by Paces), very unlike her usual hard bass-heavy beat. 4

Bianca: Aaaaand, Tkay has done it again. What a delightfully minimal track with just enough  sass and badassery to keep things interesting. The contrast between her trilling vocals and quick-witted roll of the tongue is a perfect marriage, creating a multi-faceted layer over Paces’ minimal, plonky, yet polished, production. 

Sam: I feel like a broken record gushing over Tkay but she’s really yet to put a step wrong. Switch Lanes gives us more of that bratty, attitude over a wonderfully spacious beat courtesy of Paces. I love how effortlessly she flips between singing and rapping. It makes me think she’s got the potential to have a crossover hit like Nicki Minaj did with Superbass.  4

Hannah: As far as interns darlings go, Tkay takes the cake.I have to admit however, I’ve never quite been as ready to board the Tkay train bound for stardom as the rest of the interns. Switch Lanes is changing that though. It’s skillful and perfectly isolates between the sweet sounds of a new comer and bratty spits handled like a pro. All aboard! 3

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

Chance The Rapper- No Better Blues

Lizzie: So Chance apparently hates a lot of things, we get it. From the opening of the track I thought this was going to be a bit more of an optimistic track, but no “it don’t get no better, it just don’t get no better.” I am feeling a little bit blue too now (sigh). 2

Bianca: Nothing like a bit of negativity to get me interested. After all of Pharrell’s Happy-ness and Taylor’s shaking off of the haters, finally Chance tells it like it is and lets loose with his take on the realities of life. Much like life, though, this track plods along but, unlike life, it doesn’t bear any exciting twists or turns. 2.5

Sam: Along with the Arthur cover, Chance has been getting pretty emotional lately and it works for him. For a song that starts every line with the same few words, it’s pretty profound. The beat never really alters but somehow Chance injects an infectious personality in with his spoken-word. He may hate everything, but I am very much a fan of this. 4

Hannah: Does anyone else find this song incredibly relaxing to listen to? Chance’s spoken word is so melodic and perfectly paired with the intimate piano and bass-heavy backing track. I find myself kind of being lulled by this out pouring of hate. And hey, at least he hates hate, right? 4

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper/chance-the-rapper-the-social-experiment-know-betta-blues[/soundcloud]

 Calvin Harris- Slow Acid

Lizzie: I may have to eat my words on this one. I have spent to year slamming Calvin Harris for his lack of originality and experimentation with any of his tracks of recent. Slow Acid is a definite departure from his usual stadium hit recipe. Something you would find at the end of a Bourne film – the slower pace, less bass heavy and noticeable lack of Florence and the Machine/ Rihanna is refreshing and hopeful for his LP release next month. Phew! 4

Bianca:  Well, this is certainly a new sound from ol’ Calvin. It’s a hectic, grungey track with a similarly-sounding name. I guess it’s a nice change of pace from the regular, textbook method of song structure and irritating guest vocalists that Calvin usually follows but I can’t help but find the entire package- the ‘rough’ video clip, the contrived name, the ‘90s trance-esque “Woo!” vocal sample- a little bit, for lack of a better word, lame. It just feels it was made for the purpose of soundtracking an anti-piracy commercial. “You Wouldn’t Steal A Car”… and I definitely won’t be stealing this song. 1.75  

Sam: I’m the first one to rat on a Calvo song, but I’m in two minds over this one. I do hate it, but that’s more of a personal taste. I do applaud that he’s finally doing something different that’s not so explicitly made so that more dollar signs rain on him. But then again, I don’t praise every album for having a second track that sounds different to the first so I’m just gonna go right ahead and place this here: 2

Hannah: In terms of the typical Calvin sound, sure let’s call this track experimental and ok, we can even bandy around the phrase underground. In terms of the rest of the EDM catalogue or history of dark beat dance tracks, let’s just say YAWN! Calvin’s experimental track sounds remarkably like The Matrix soundtrack. 2

Marina and the Diamonds- Froot

Lizzie: Oh my word this is a long track. I am eerily attracted to Marina’s voice, but I thought I was listening to Eurovision for a second there! I do not really see the reason to push past the 5-minute mark. ‘Froot’ is a bit of a marathon if you ask me. 3.5

Bianca: Marina really makes us work for the chorus (which doesn’t come in until around the 1:20 mark) but the fructose-laden result is certainly worth it. Her gooey, honey-like voice drawls in the most positive of ways over the groovin’ bassline and jazzy melody. This one’s going straight to the fruit bowl. Bianca’s Pick 

Sam: If nothing else, I’ve always been a fan of Marina’s chorus’. She doesn’t go in all guns-blazing ever, rather subtly weaving in melodies with that drawling voice. On Froot, we really have to work to get the chorus. It feels like 17 verses before it finally arrives, but my goodness is it worth it. Those funky guitars roll-in and she just climbs up that vocal ladder, ever so slightly. Props for the title too. Too often is the power of ironic spelling ignored. 4.5 Sam’s Pick 

Hannah: Hey Chance, how do you feel about adding the line “I hate Marina and The Diamonds and ironic pronunciations of 5 letter words,” to your list of grievances? 1

Marian Hill- Got It

Lizzie: This performance offers up a little taster-plate of swagger, hip-hop sass, quirky production and raw vocal talent. I haven’t heard something like this smooth in a long time – oh and the sax is perfectly placed, that’s my favourite! 4 Lizzie’s Pick

Bianca: Samantha’s gossamer voice is the winner here, truly shining when paired with jangly cymbals and a pulsating backdrop. Once the trilling brass comes in, I’m immediately transported into a smokey club in the ’40s. Getting plenty of sultry Jessica Rabbit vibes from this. 3.5 

Sam: Love the almost-tinny, throbbing bass on this one. It would be nothing though if it wasn’t for the vocal personality of Samantha Gongol. The heights she reaches at some points is pretty breathtaking. That weird instrumental break helps it sound like a far more tasteful version of Jason Derulo’s Wiggle which is nice. I have been asking for that this year. 3.5

Hannah: This is as irresistible as a promising bowl of the richest chocolate cake mix and equally as seductive. Just try to say no. I love the bounce, the clap, the vocal acrobatics, the instrumental break and the bass. This ticks so many of the right boxes. 4 Hannah’s Pick 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/marianhill/got-it[/soundcloud]


Have two new Flume tracks just been leaked?


It seems that two brand new Flume tracks have been leaked onto Soundcloud. The first track, That Look, sounds like it features fellow Future Classic signee, George Maple, who appeared and performed the song in Flume’s set at this year’s Listen Out. The second (incomplete) track, Oddity, follows Harley’s staple sound of bouncing beats and rushing synths. Get in quick before they’re taken down!

Update: Oddity appears to be co-produced by Flume’s fellow What So Not member, Emoh Instead. 

Another update: Both tracks have since been taken down from Soundcloud. Sorry, we told you to get in quick. 🙁 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/newshyt/flume-that-look[/soundcloud]

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/newshyt/flume-oddity[/soundcloud]


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Gwen Stefani makes her solo return with ‘Baby Don’t Lie’

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Sometimes we do like to act as if we don’t follow mainstream pop but the truth is nothing pleases us more than an effortlessly constructed melody with a few “oohs” and “aahs”. That’s why we have absolutely no shame in posting the new single from Gwen Stefani, her first since 2006’s Sweet Escape. We’re not going to lie, we’re a little disappointed with the distinct lack of fruit-related lyrics, but apart from that Baby Don’t Lie is a bit of a #banger. Produced by Benny Blanco and Ryan Tedder, it’s a reggae-influenced track with some repetition, thumping drums in the chorus and a moody final bridge aka. all the makings of a perfect pop track. It doesn’t sound like a straight-out hit but that’s always been Gwenny’s strength. Don’t forget Hollaback Girl sounded weird as shit, when it was first brought to our attention.

Gwen Stefani solo single – tick. Now, all us pop enthusiasts need to complete 2014 is a proper solo single from Fergie that’s not shit. Oh, and an FKA Twigs Christmas album, please.


10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Future Islands, Marina & The Diamonds, Justin Bieber(???) + more


Goodie. We finished another week and now get to reflect on our successes and mistakes and the music that soundtracked them. Basically all we’ve done this week is listen to Anastacia and Savage Garden so forgive us if our musical radar is a little off. Given the circumstances though we feel we’ve pulled together a noteworthy list of up-and-comers, game-changers and dancefloor-murderers.

If we’re being totally honest, we were really struggling for a tenth song here, but are feeling pretty chuffed with what we dug up.

Oceaán- Grip

Oceaán is a producer from Manchester who has been putting out music recently that really requires you listen intently. The melodies are always hidden under beds of instrumental activity and the beat is intentionally off. On Grip it’s the same kind of deal. He howls from the distance onto a skittering beat which never quite feels comfortable. That’s certainly not a bad thing. There’s an art to making people feel uncomfortable. Like people who have sex in public.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/ocea-n/grip[/soundcloud]

Tink- Try Me

Chiacgo rapper Tink has it made really, doesn’t she? She could rap over a car insurance ad and it would sound good because her voice is so full of effortless personality. She flips in between singing and rapping without even letting you know on this remix of Dej Loaf’s Try Me. Need more reasons to listen? She name-drops the one and only North West and says “pussy wet”. Yeah…get those headphones.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/tink_g/try-me-tink-remix[/soundcloud]

Shura- Indecision

We’ve had mysterious, hazy Shura on Just Once and Touch and now the London up-and-comer is heading straight for the dancefloor with a quasi-disco beat and a Donner Summer-esque vocal. It’s an of the moment sound but Shura does it better than most. It’s never overdone. The whole song is full of nearlys. She nearly has a massive pop chorus, she nearly goes for a huge note and she nearly lets it stray towards a dance break. Such is the song’s charm. It’s restrained and beautiful.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shura/shura-indecision[/soundcloud]

Future Islands- Seasons (DJ Dodger Stadium Remix)

Well this is quite obviously the remix of the week. Future Island’s Seasons has become pretty much untouchable this year, but DJ Dodger Stadium don’t give a shit and thank goodness. They’ve taken the anthemic track, laid down a stomping beat, some swirling synths and sent it into euphoria. If we had to pick a season for this one we’d say it suits Spring- warm with a slight cool breeze.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/bodyhigh/future-islands-seasons-dj-dodger-stadium-remix[/soundcloud]

Tkay Maidza- Switch Lanes

The never-ending hitmaking machine, Tkay Maidza, is back to her old tricks again, releasing another new track produced by fellow Aussie producer Paces. Switch Lanes is full of ‘tude and sees her flipping once again between singing and rapping over some tropical percussion. She spits some aggressive lyrics but the song as a whole is pretty laid back. That’s the best kind of ‘fuck you’ you can give. When someone’s giving you hate and you’re just chewing on bubblegum giving zero fucks.

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

AOBeats- Feelsie

We’re big fangirls/boys of Moving Castle producer AOBeats mostly because he takes on this whole post-trap style that’s in vogue in the moment and injects a little energy and vigour. Feelsie sees him play it pretty cool with some some gently undulating percussion and a dense synth that punches in just when things are toning-down. Many feels, mostly good.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/runthetrap/aobeats-feelsie[/soundcloud]

Meanwhile OST- All For The Taking

We’ve posted about this Minneapolis born artist before, when he was hand-picked to support La Roux on tour. At the time we were gushing over Bigger City, but we feel this one may have just eclipsed it. There’s nothing like a huge synth-pop track with a beat that pumps in-line with your heart. All For The Taking has the grandiose of a queen song with the synth-bed of a Cut Copy track. That voice too can reach giddy heights.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/meanwhileost/meanwhile-all-for-the-taking[/soundcloud]

Swick & Lewis Cancut- Fizzy

Aussie producer Swick is a fast-moving man. Fresh from releasing an EP with Nina Las Vegas last week, he’s back with Lewis Cancut (who he crafted Wishes with) for a track that marries together the club and the island – Fizzy. Fizzy has a moombahton vibe to it alongside some tropical percussion and rushing synths. These two are pretty much a match made in heaven.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/enchufada/swick-lewis-cancut-fizzy-1?in=swickswick/sets/originals-286[/soundcloud]

Marina & The Diamonds- FROOT

Marina, where have you been? Eating plenty of sugar it seems. Electra Heart, from the last album, is seemingly dead (RIP :’( ) and in her place is a Desperate Housewife who’s found she actually quite enjoys letting loose on the dancefloor. It may take 1min 30secs to get to the chorus on Froot and there’s about three false alarms, but my goodness is it worth it. Marina has always had a knack with chorus’ and this one is one of her best. The funky riff in the back is just the cherry on the cake. Also, lets just take a moment to appreciate the way she’s written the word commonly spelt as ‘fruit’.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/marina-and-the-diamonds/froot[/soundcloud]

Justin Bieber- All About That Bass

We hate this song and we’re not really fans of Justin Bieber, so how does this end up here you may say? We call this songs you need to hear rather than the best songs of the week so we can place little nuggets like this right here. Only the Biebs would turn one of the most popular songs of this year into a grind-worthy club-banger that sounds like Lil’ Jon needs to jump on it. By all means, hate, but somebody make a good case for why the original is better.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/maejorali/meghan-trainor-all-about-that-bass-maejor-remix-ft-justin-bieber[/soundcloud]


Halloween costumes for the music enthusiast

The spookiest event on the social calendar has finally arrived and time is running out for you to find the perfect Halloween outfit. Instead of going down the regular sexy bunny or vampire route, why not be creative and emulate some of the most notable musicians of 2014? Allow our handy list to inspire and guide you, allowing you to truly stand out this October 31st. 


Sia was one of the most talked-about pop producers this year with her anthemic Chandelier making waves on an international level, thus putting the Australian singer, and her trademark blonde bob, on the map. Immortalised by the likes of Lena Dunham, Hilary Duff and Maggie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame, it seemed as though everyone was keen to go platinum in honour of the influential songstress. Follow their lead and pop into your local wig shop to get the shortest, blondest, fringiest blonde bob on offer to wear this Halloween. If you really want to pull out all the stops for this costume, go the Ziegler/Dunham route of taking on the role of Sia by picking someone to party in your place so you can stay home to finish a bag of candy corn as they pretend to be you, pretending to be Sia. How meta is that?

Pro: Blondes have more fun.

Con: If you enlist someone to party in your place à la Lena Dunham, you won’t be partaking in any of the fun.

mileyMiley Cyrus is always one to make it into the headlines but her glamorous ‘outfit’ that premiered at the Alexander Wang after party gave TMZ writers enough icy fodder for days. Show off your Joseph Pilates-sculpted body to the whole world, with a couple of nipple pasties for a touch of modesty, and stick some of your Mum’s vitamins onto cat’s eye glasses for good measure. Don’t use Inner Health Plus or anything like that, ‘cos that shit’s expensive. Enlist a party partner to pose as Miley’s most infamous muscle to make your costume that much more lickable likeable.

Pro: What better time to brush up on your twerking skills?

Con: Weather in October can be fickle and those ice cream pasties won’t be providing you with too much warmth. This may illicit elicit two large scoops of fripples.


Recreate the second most famous picture in the world, succeeded only by the Mona Lisa itself, by enlisting the help of your partner and your favourite subtle smiling, third-wheelin’ friend. Word on the street is that Queen Bey got herself some Grimes-style bangs today so better get those scissors out while you’re at it.

Pro: You’ll be highly topical and will also get to be Queen Bey for a night.

Con:  No one can truly pull off this look other than the Queen herself. But you can at least try your best.


If you’re up for a wild night come Halloween, why not replicate the stylings of party girls Elliphant and MØ from their One More music video? Do this by donning yourself, and your BFF, in head-to-toe Adidas, teaming funky slides with a pair of socks, slapping on some Geisha-style makeup and poking a pair of chopsticks in an oriental bun. Go that extra mile and attach LED light strips to your shoes for true dedication to the project.

Pro: Looking like badass, Scandinavian bitches.

Con: May induce drinking, vomiting, kissing, peeing in streets and other types of reckless behaviour (unless you consider this a ‘pro’).


There are Two Weeks to go until Halloween which means that time is running out for all the best costumes to be shipped from the US. Why not save the time, and the shipping costs, and emulate the captivating appearance and innovative stylings of London artist and producer, FKA Twigs instead? Simply head to your local chemist for a toothcomb and a jar of gel, smack on some maroon lipstick and pierce your nose septum for the full Twigs treatment.  Completely nail the ‘baby hair’ style currently #trending amongst future RnB producers with the handy video tutorial below.

Pro: Save wearing your heart on your sleeve by wearing it on your forehead instead.

Con: Finding a Twilight treat like Twig’s current BF, Robert Pattinson, to accompany you for the night might be a bit tricky.


If you don’t know QT, it’s high time you familiarise yourself with her. Born from the collaborative project of enigmatic producers and PC Music-promoters, A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, this “sparkling future pop sensation” is a fake figurehead of sorts who perfectly blends the genres of K-Pop, electrotonica, chiptune and trance, all before rolling them into a pile of sugar and glitter. Cutesy and kitsch, she’s the perfect way to honour both past and future with her nods to both ’90s fashion and millennial ideologies.

Pro: Reliving your holographic-wearing days of the ’90s.

Con: You’ll be hard-pressed finding any drunkards traipsing around Oxford St who will actually understand your costume’s significance.


Halloween is all about mystery and disguise, so what better way to fulfil this than to replicate the likeness of the enigmatic producer, SBTRKT? Instead of carving a custom mask out of wood, unless you have time for that kinda thang, we’ve designed a replica for your convenience, to print out, tie elastic through and place onto that face of yours. Download here.

Pro: The mask will be your key to anonymity.

Con: Good luck trying to drink out of this thing.


London pop songstress, Lily Allen, graced our shores for this year’s Splendour in the Grass, and brought along with her a plethora of outfit inspirations. With pinky purple hair, a colourful neon top and bottom combo and a Unif blotter kimono, she was a display of all things tight and bright. Emulate her style with an oriental kimono, her very own line of fake London-inspired nails and a tube of hair dye of desired colour. Also honour Sheezus’s penchant for emojis with a pair of bikinis or any other suitable item of that ilk. Feel free to take cues from her SITG set design by dragging along a giant, blow-up baby’s bottle for the night.

Pro: You get to show off that really great London accent that you seem to pull off really well after having a few too many.

Con: Fake nails + giant, inflatable object = tears.


When Kanye West embarked on his Yeezus tour in Australia this past September, he amazed, inspired and enraged his fans, and the greater public, with his mesmerising performances and supplementary rants and on-stage antics. His shows consisted of minimal set design and props, with one of the most captivating sights being the slew of embellished masks that Yeezus adorned throughout. While these Maison Martin Margiela-branded, 2,400 crystal-embellished masks may be a little too Haute Couture for a raucous event like Halloween, you’re only a packet of Spotlight-sourced, plastic rhinestones, a glue gun and a balaclava away from emulating the Messiah himself.

Pro: Inflate your ego for the night and blame any infractions on Yeezus. However, just be sure not to offend any people with disabilities in the process.

Con: You may be mistaken for a menacing, albeit fabulous, robber.

arianagrande-halloweenMirror the look of this fiesty feline pop star with a pair of cat ears and a giant, fake, clip-in ponytail to make up for what you lack in the height department.

Pro: You’ll fit in with all the other ‘sexy cat’ costumes on October 31.

Con: You must remain on your (more flattering) left side for the duration of the night.


10 things we learnt at NLV Presents | International Edition


Nina Las Vegas is currently touring around the country with three out-of-towners and one local boy as part of her International Presents series. UNiiQU3, Sam Tiba, Eclair Fifi, Swick and NLV giving punters a snapshot of the world’s upcoming electronic scene all in their own different ways.

We went to the gig in Melbourne and now are acting like crystal balls for all of you that still have NLV Presents to look forward to. Here are 10 things we learnt from NLV presents, not including our realisation that we have written so much about Nina recently that she’s potentially scared we’re stalking. It’s a valid fear.


1. Nina knows as International game-changer when she sees one

Earlier this year when the first NLV Presents toured around the country, Nina got her hands on a few Aussie game changers, most notably interns favourite, Tkay Maidza, who has exploded since then. This time around she’s set her sights further afield and delivered a motley but well-curated crew of artists. All of them are teetering on major success within the dance community – many of them relatively unknown in Australia until now. Each of the producers had something new and unique to offer. From Eclair Fifi’s bubblegum electronica to Sam Tiba’s hallowed Parisian beats, it all felt fresh.

2. UNiiQU3 & Nina were damn fine MCs

This wasn’t a play your set and get the shit out of there after a vodka kind of situation, each of the acts were there supporting each other and offering some damn fine MCing. Nina danced to the side of each of them like mother hen, amping the crowd with ease with UNiiQU3 also standing close-by. UNiiQU3’s dancing and spontaneous MC-ing made it look like each track played was made for the hip-hop world. Quite a feat when Eclair Fifi is playing PC Music.


3. Nina debuted her and Swick’s new tracks and they were killer

Releasing her debut EP last week in what would seem impeccable timing, Nina was able to launch both club-bangers Don’t Send and Flash Auto with co-producer and partner in crime, Swick, near her side. With the space imminently filling with the energy of a crowd that seemed to already be familiar with the tracks’ peaks and troughs, both translated from computer to club with ease.

4. PC Music is the soundtrack of 2014

It seemed that all the naysayers needed was a bit of club love to be convinced that the kawaii and kitsch sounds of PC Music are actually quite delectable. First Swick dropped, Hey QT, which caused us to bowl over all our way out of the bathroom, and then Nina gave Sophie’s Lemonade a play and for a brief moment it felt like life would never be this good again. In no other song can you get down to the sound of fizzy lemonade and follow it up with 30 seconds of rave. In all seriousness though, the club is where sounds first arise and we’re pretty sure PC Music will be making its way into mainstream sound very soon. Katy Perry, Hey QT!

5. A Nina crowd knows How To Dress Well.

Unfortunately he wasn’t playing but the crowd and the acts were a well-dressed, dapper bunch of people. With many NLV t-shirts sold with the ticket, there was always going to be a fair share of Nina-clad people. There was also an abundance of emoji tees, which ensured that good feels were maintained for the night. The five artists also had some pretty impressive cloth too. Swick donned a New Age T-shirt, the new label by TEED, Sam Tiba was wearing a Nattofranco long-sleeved tee and Nina was wearing socks with mega-high heels that looked as if they hurt like shit.


6. Eclair Fifi is just like a strawberry eclair

Just to clarify, the Scottish heartstarter does not look like an eclair but her set very much sounded like one. Her set was sugary and sweet, yet it held this density to it in the four-to-the-floor beat that permeated. She effortlessly skated through a number of genres from bubblegum electronica to hip-hop, still managing to maintain the same consistency.

7. Sam Tiba is a dark lord

Leave it to the Parisian to make things a little moody. Amongst a bunch of perky, tempo-raising artists, Tiba delivered a brooding set of tunes with pulsating beats and ghostly synths. A particular highlight was when he dropped fellow Parisian, Para One’s You Too, lifting the mood a bit for Swick who was to follow.


8. Australians hold their own

Nina and Swick were the only Aussies on the International bill and they more than proved how good Australian electronic music is right now. Their two tracks together went down superbly, as previously mentioned, but both of them showed an acute awareness for what is going on overseas as well as what is happening locally. Swick’s track, Wishes, with Lewis Cancut and Tkay Maidza sounded like a bonafide anthem when it dropped and Nina’s tip of the hat to Peking Duk with her spin of High was an unexpectedly euphoric moment.

9. People do like good music

At one point in the night Nina thanked the crowd for liking “interesting music”, and it did feel good to be in a crowd of Australians lapping up music that wasn’t contrived or pretentious but rather feel-good. The crowd was pumping and certainly large enough to justify the decision to collect together the International lineup. And throughout the night, the bar remained mostly empty with the dancefloor the place to be. Melbourne, you did good. Real good.

10. We don’t know how to use a camera

Yes, we had a camera. And yes, we have nothing to show for it. It seemed our camera did not like our anarchic dance style and as such our photos are a blur, just like our night.

Note to future self: Wikihow ‘camera shutter speed’.


Case in point.

Tkay Maidza High Res_185

Tkay Maidza drops Paces-produced track, ‘Switch Lanes’

Tkay Maidza High Res_185

Fresh from killer performances at this year’s BIGSOUND and Listen Out Festivals, Tkay Maidza has dropped her latest track, Switch Lanes. Premiering on Triple J this morning, it’s more of a downtempo affair compared to her previous released tracks, but by no means less effecting. Erring on the side of singing rather than rapping at times, the Adelaide MC’s signature rapid-fire roll of the tongue is still present, resting atop a trilling breakbeat courtesy of Gold Coast producer, Paces. The charming, Switch Lanes features on her debut EP, due for release on 24 October. Dates for Tkay’s upcoming Switch Tape tour can be seen below.

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



DJ Dodger Stadium take Future Islands’ ‘Seasons’ to the club


Seeing DJ Dodger Stadium live a month ago was one of the most euphoric, mind-bending experiences, so it’s music to our ears that they’ve remixed Future Island‘s Seasons. Seasons has become somewhat of a soundtrack for 2014 following on from the band’s brilliant David Letterman performance. Jerome LOL and Samo Soundboy accentuate the anthemic nature of the song adding climatic, strobing synths and a stomping backbeat. Couple that with the blood, sweat and tears that go into the vocal and you’ve got something pretty special. I suppose if we could gather together the best things in music in 2014 and put them into one song, it would sound a little like this. Top notch.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/bodyhigh/future-islands-seasons-dj-dodger-stadium-remix[/soundcloud]


Shura makes it three-for-three with ‘Indecision’


As a new artist, your third song is really the clincher. London artist Shura has dropped two brilliant singles, Just Once and Touch, and we’re glad to announce that her third track, Indecision, secures her as more than just a hype-name. The track has a quasi-disco beat to it that bubbles under Shura’s deliciously whispy vocal. All her three tracks have so far proved that she’s great at making love songs that are pretty cynical about love. “Tell me why we can’t make this work”, she sings with a danceable beat running underneath. Couple that with the heartbroken tenderness of the song and you’ve got something in the ball park of Robyn‘s Dancing On My Own. 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shura/shura-indecision[/soundcloud]


Bang Gang DJs made us a Bermuda triangle-inspired playlist


Sydney-based dance duo and local legends, Bang Gang DJs, will be representing Australia at the very first BACARDÍ  Triangle Festival, an epic music adventure taking place this Halloween. The festival will see guests from 22 cities around the world being whisked away to a private, Caribbean island, right in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle, for the massive three-day festival. Playing alongside the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris and Tensnake, both Gus Da Hoodrat and Jaime Doom are set for an overseas adventure in one of the most mystifying locations in the world. And you could be too.

BACARDÍ have announced that a total of twelve lucky fans from Australia have the chance to win an all expenses paid trip to this incredible event. Click here for a chance to win tickets and see below for the Bermuda Triangle-inspired playlist, hand-picked by Bang Gang DJs themselves.

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William Onyeabar – Fantastic Man

I don’t know about you but when I’m on holiday I aim to be a fantastic man and this song and a Pina Colada pretty much gets me there. The David Byrne on Jimmy Fallon version of this is also quite amazing.

 Circle Children – Zulu

Beach party bongo mayhem. Roll me in coconut oil and watch me go.

Ofo & The Black Company – Allah Wakbarr

A fuzzy Afro trip out meets morning prayer jam. Grab a shake and bliss the hell out of your tan.

Pachanga Boys – Time


A holiday is not complete without watching the sunrise. And this is the tune to accompany you on the task. In case the 15min version isn’t quite long enough, Hoodrat’s 26min edit will set you sail on your own special voyage.

 Esso Trinidad Steel Band – I Want You Back

Steel Drums? Tick. Jackson Five song. Tick. The ultimate, Bermuda, end of the night jam. Double tick.

Paul McCartney – Check My Machine

White boy tropo-dub session. Where can’t you take a Beatle ?

Jay Deee – Crushin’

Dilla. Just because this is holiday hip-hop. And when in “the triangle” I would like to crush all night and at least half of the day.

Yello – Bananas To The Beat

Have to have at least one song with ‘Banana’ in the title when spending time in a semi-tropical climate. Keeps you in the zone.

Despicable Me 2 – Minions Banana Song


Actually, make that 2 ‘Banana’ songs.

Pepe Bradock – Intriguing Feathered Creature

This is the type of classic house I want to be doing some fucking ‘air-piano’.


First Impressions: Charli XCX, A$AP Rocky, Tei Shei + more


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 Tei Shei, Nina Las Vegas, Swick, Cold Clinical Love, Charli XCX, BC Kingdom & A$AP Rocky. 

Tei Shi- Bassically

Sam: This is unbelievably smooth. I feel like Tei Shi has been doing cool things but this is her absolute standout moment. The moment when people actually look up from what they’re doing. It’s a thundering, late-night pop track with Shi slinkily winding her voice around the instrumentation like some sort of velvet scarf. 4 Sam’s Tied Pick

Hannah: I love the running, pulsating, synth laden bass line that quivers effortlessly below Tei Shi’s simultaneously sickly sweet yet totally seductive vocals. If this doesn’t get you in the mood for all kinds of debauchery, I don’t know what will. 4

Lizzie: This utterly seductive track does not need all the bells and whistles to capture my attention. It is soft and sensitive, yet punchy and interesting, plus there’s a healthy amount of bass and synth – all at the same time. Basically, what I am trying to say is that this is 100% my kinda jam. 4 Lizzie’s Pick

Bianca: This is so immediately affecting. Launching straight into a throbbing bass, further intensified with the help of Tei Shei’s dreamy vocals, it had me in a state of reverie that made me not realise that perhaps my speakers were up a little too loud for my neighbours’ liking. One extra point for the pun in the song title. 4  

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/tei-shi/bassically[/soundcloud]

Nina Las Vegas/Swick- Don’t Send

Sam: Oh lord. That PC Music-esque vocal sample on this just kills me every time. And then those string-like synths follow. And then the beat marches towards you. And I die. Ignore what Nina & Swick say! Send. Send to everyone you know. 4 Sam’s Pick

Hannah: I love everything about this collision. It’s drum, bass, *insert requisite PC music mention here,* jungle music, house music and all out synthy, bangers perfection. Perfect party starter, perfect party finisher. Wait, no. If this song is on, it’s all party, all of the time. Nina for da win. 4

Lizzie: Nina brings that same relatable PC sound which Porter Robinson does on his Worlds album – I cannot get enough of it. At the 1:50min mark I am truly booty hypnotised if that is even a thing. Wait, it’s called twerking. Killer track by Nina.

Bianca: Don’t Send has everything: throbbing bass, strings, dreamy, computerised vocals, drum n bass-inspired beat and, most importantly, horns. My word, those horns! Oscillating carelessly between the internet depths of PC Music territory and a full-on club-thumping beat, this track ebbs and flows with confidence. I was hooked at first listen but hearing this banger played at Nina’s own NLV: Presents show on the weekend further sealed the deal for me. Bianca’s Pick

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/nesthq/nina-las-vegas-swick-dont-send[/soundcloud]

Cold Clinical Love- Bullet Youth

Sam: Some super impressive, melodramatic production on this. It feels very cold and isolated but at the same time his delicately auto-tuned voice is quite warm. The good/bad thing about Soundcloud is you can see exactly when the drop is coming and I was expecting a big one for this. I wasn’t disappointed, it detours into this CHVRCHES-esque state of euphoria. 3.5

Hannah: This is a mixed bag of goodies and like any pick’n’mix, and their promise of overindulgence, I’m just left with a sugar headache and sore teeth. While individually pieces of this production work, as a whole I feel Cold Clinical Love have cast their net too wide and tried to appeal everyone without really appealing to anyone. Less is more. 3

Lizzie: While it only clocks in at around 2 ½ minutes, there is a lot of layers crammed in to create this universally appealing track. The confident warm vocals and pluck of the guitar are effortlessly indie-cool. If you haven’t already had CCL on your radar, after listening to Bullet Youth you will sure to have your ears pricked with curiosity – as this is the only their 2nd release. 4

Bianca: Unexpected twists and turns make this track continuously intriguing. The doleful, yet beguiling vocals in the beginning tricked me into expecting a very different point B but I was overall pleased with the end destination. There is nostalgia aplenty with the gradual build-up of glittery synths, brooding guitar and a thumping backbeat spicing up its life. Looking forward to hearing more from Cold Clinical Love. 3.75  

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/coldclinicallove/bullet-youth/[/soundcloud]

Charli XCX- London Queen

Sam: I love that Charli finally finds mainstream success and then she rolls out two singles inspired by Scandinavian punk. She’s in her own world and it’s probably going to give her much more longevity than her peers. This one just bundles through like a runaway train. It’s Charli XCX down to the ground. 3.5

Hannah: I skipped through a lot of this song. Charlie XCX never really did it for me and as much as I want to like this song purely because at times I feel like I am a London queen myself, she’s continued to not do it for me. I find it all horribly derivative and well… Boring. 2

Lizzie: Definitely a “wake up in the morning, got lots of things to do” kinda song. I also feel like this track was produced in your neighbour’s back garage. This is not suggesting it is an ameteur prodution, it is just exudes ’90s Clueless youthfulness – with its fast beat, claps and “ois”. I feel like I need to get a perm to fully appreciate the track. 3

Bianca: Isn’t this song in the bar scene from 10 Things I Hate About You when Heath Ledger *sigh* meets up with Julia Stiles? Whilst I’m more than happy to watch that ’90s classic over and over again, London Queen is a bit too ’90s alternative rock for my liking and I won’t be re-listening to this one in a hurry. Now where’s my local Blockbuster… 1.5 

BC Kingdom- Colours

Sam: This one is such a creeper. It really didn’t smack me in the face during the first verse but throughout the five minutes it really took grey. The chorus sounds pretty iconic in a very unaggressive way. Tucked in between tracks on an album, I think this song will really get its moment. Particularly with that preaching outro. A track with this much presence is too good to be by a fleeting hype-artist. 3.5

Hannah: Proving once again men are slightly colourblind, I’m pretty sure grey is technically a shade not a colour… Other than that I don’t really have an issue with this song but I don’t really like it either. He clearly has some stand out vocal moments that the misbehaving hairs on the back of my neck can’t help but raise to, and I do find it difficult to speak ill of anything featuring steel drums, or Moby for that matter, so I’m just going to evoke the age old saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say….” 2

Lizzie: I am ok with this song, the nice little Moby insert at around 3 minute mark was a weirdly welcome surprise. However, the robotic style siren that pops in every 3 seconds is just way too familiar – it’s the same sound they use on the Magic Mike soundtrack and that makes me think of all the wrong inappropriate things when really I should appreciating the track. It’s distracting. 3

Bianca: This is brooding, soulful and smooth; it’s like a box of chocolate all wrapped up with a tidy, velvet bow. The confident backbeat and feathering of steel drums are the heroes this track deserves, and also the ones it needs. Also, dat Moby sample and gospel sermon outro…Preach! 3.75 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/bckingdom/colours[/soundcloud]

A$AP Rocky- Multiply

Sam: I love this video so much that I almost forgot to listen to the song. It feels like the real A$AP is back on this one. It felt like his debut album was very much made to appease a wider audience and this ones back to the mixtape Rocky we loved. The hook may not be as melodic as, say his Santigold track Hell, but I feel like it has more of a long-lasting effect. Exciting stuff. 4

Hannah: Sam, be honest… You like the video clip so much because he dances just like to you. You can’t help but like A$AP Rocky. His songs are infinitely rappable and come laden with hefty serve of get low. Guarantee everyone will be preaching along to “when the really niggas die, fake niggas going to multiple,” while they sip on their vodka, fresh lime, sodas come the weekend. 3

Lizzie: This song falls incredibly flat for me. I find myself cruising in slowwwww motion so much that I almost fall asleep. Especially around the 1 minute mark, as the sound falls that bit lower I struggle to keep the motion going. 2.5

Bianca: The first half kinda treks along but 2:37 is really where this track gets going for me. The dramatic switch-up to the menacing, pulsating backbeat, introduced by the high-pitched siren, was enough to give me chills. It’s heavy and I like it. 4 

Don’t forget to vote in our First Impressions poll to your right –> 


Listen: Banoffee’s upbeat, ‘Let’s Go To The Beach’


Following up from her sell-out launch shows and stunning performance at this year’s BIGSOUND Conference, Banoffee (aka Martha Brown) has now released the sun-filled, Let’s Go To The Beach. Released just in time for Australia’s warmer months, this latest track from the Melbourne singer/songwriter is instantly playful through buoyant synths and Brown’s uniquely delicate vocals. Banoffee will be performing at our upcoming Block Party in December. Get your tickets here!