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young franco uv boi

Hear what happens when Young Franco and UV Boi team up for ‘Anywhere’

young franco uv boi

Brisbane whizz-kids Young Franco and UV Boi have been busy as of late. While Franco has been making appearances at Laneway Festival and Splendour in the Grass, as well as playing alongside fellow Aussies, Alison Wonderland, Wave Raver and Flight Facilities, UV has been making some serious waves on the internet with his glitchy mixups, while also recently teaming up with Ryan Hemsworth and announcing a national tour in October. Now the duo have paired up for the vibrant, R&B-infused, Anywhere. Have a listen to the energetic track below and also don’t be tricked into thinking you’ve received about seven messages, as the iPhone notification noise makes several appearances.

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The American Electronic Music Scene & Australia’s Growing Influence

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America’s music scene is in a constant and blissful state of evolution. One of the fastest growing trends across the country is electronic music, and with hundreds of big-name and underground artists producing every style and subgenre you can name, its growth doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. In recent years, the skyrocketing popularity of large-scale music festivals has noticeably changed electronic producers’ experience in the creation and performance of their sound. Not only do the crowds expect to see acts they already know, the gigantic line-ups have also allowed artists from around the world to showcase themselves in an entirely new setting, leaving behind a growing influence on American artists and the scene itself. Acts like Flume, Emoh Instead (and their collaborative outfit, What So Not), Ta-ku, Chet Faker, and Wave Racer are only a few examples of Australians who are beginning to make huge waves over in the States, and it’s about time.

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My own introduction to Australia’s electronic scene came a couple years ago, on a lazy day while scrolling through Spotify. After an endless train of searches, I ended up on Flume’s page and listened to his most popular hits, Holdin’ On and Insane (feat. Moon Holiday). This quickly led me to check out the rest of his album and then go back to the top and start again three more times. I had no idea that years later, I would still be bothering my friends and family by insisting on hearing the album again and again, trying to breakdown each song and instrument for them, hoping to convert them to the Australian sound. I had never heard anything like it, nor been so affected by a series of strange, broken sounds and haunting, tribal melodies, and I wasn’t the only one.

While at a small show in northern California about a year ago, one of the openers played Flume’s remix of Disclosure’s You and Me. It was the first time I’d heard one of his songs played live, and naturally I made a commotion. After it ended and the crowd was able to take a breath, all I was able to hear were the people around me asking each other what song they had just heard, and who the artist was. It was a clear standout in the rest of the set. You would’ve thought I was working for Future Classic by the way I was shelling Flume’s name out to everyone. Getting to witness an entire venue’s first introduction to a piece of Australia’s sound was magical, and our immediate, frantic embrace only grew as the months went on.

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The mainstream electronic music scene in America nowadays, specifically trap music, follows several trends that are worth noting when comparing it to the stuff migrating from Australia. Hear me out. First, you won’t find much trap in the States without a snare on the 2’s and 4’s and a rolling hi hat coming in after the first half of the “drop”. These are givens. To go a little broader though, the underlying vibe of the songs often seems to be the same as well. The rhythms hit the off beats hard, inspiring you to throw your body around and pump your fists in the air. The vocal samples used are very provocative, usually short phrases or words meant to stimulate the crowd, make them feel in control of the song, and offend the older generations. Basically, America likes grime. We judge the success of our raves by the number of frowning ‘stank’ faces and the music’s level of aggression or badassery. This is where Australia’s recent assimilation has really opened our eyes.

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An example of a ‘stank face’

[soundcloud width=”750″ heigh=”200]https://soundcloud.com/wave-racer/wave-racer-streamers[/soundcloud]

The musical formulas I described still hold true with many artists such as Yahtzel, L D R U, Sable, Basenji, and even Flume, but the big difference lies in their creation of melodies and overall intentions for their songs. They are able to match the high level of energy without a sense of anger or inflated ego found in so much of America’s electronic sound, but instead replace it with an uplifting feeling of celebration and joy. For lack of better words, Australia’s music is optimistic. Just listen to any one of Wave Racer’s tracks and you’ll know what I mean. The melodies within the songs are complex and beautiful. It feels like listening to actual music, rather than just a cool beat. Even though the colossal scale of some popular American music may shadow it at times, it fully compensates with its vast, musical detail and melodic styling.

[soundcloud width=”750″ heigh=”200]https://soundcloud.com/whatsonot/sets/tell-me-rl-grime-x-what-so-not[/soundcloud]

A perfect comparison of the two styles comes in the form of an actual collaboration between our countries: RL Grime and What So Not’s Tell Me. The build up, created by What So Not, features warped vocal samples and tribal instruments layered over each other. It creates an ominous and yet elevating vibe, which sharply contrasts with RL’s drop. Only using one leading synth and three notes, he completely changes the vibe to be very minimal and hard-hitting. This collaboration shows the difference in technique and musical atmosphere of our countries’ sounds, and as you can tell from listening to Tell Me, they go quite well together.

What So Not’s ever-growing number of collaborations with American artists such as Dillon Francis and Skrillex, Flume’s wildly successful North American tour, and Ta-ku’s heavy involvement with LA-based label HW&W are only a few examples of the major moves Australians are making in the States. With their unique and refreshing approach to electronic music, they’re blowing the dust off America’s EDM book.

 American music often feels like a one night stand.

Australian music feels like your soul mate.

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Download Ryan Hemsworth’s latest Secret Song: Missing Peace

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Ryan Hemsworth introduced us to his first compilation of Secret Songs, a spotlight of his ten favourite songs at the time, last month and now the Canadian producer has released another secret song, Missing Peace, by Dream Beach. 

Dream Beach has noted the song was, “originally composed as a gift for someone special to me. It’s supposed to emulate the feeling I get when she calls me in the morning.” Set your alarm clocks as this shimmering track transports you from the land of Nod, to the bed, to the beach, and everywhere in between.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/shh011-dream-beach-missing-peace[/soundcloud]

Amateur Dance

Stream ‘Talking About Yourself – a Drake-sampling EP by Melbourne producer, Amateur Dance

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Incase you haven’t heard Australian music is kind of something to write home about at the moment. And keep that pen scrawling because Talking About Yourself by Melbourne producer Amateur Dance is a slice of house perfection. Released by Australian label October Records (who also released the Elizabeth Rose/Frames collaboration), Talking About Yourself is full of deep, rumbling bass and sprawling synths. One of the biggest triumphs of the EP is his use of vocal samples. On the title track he samples an interview Drake gave with a Canadian radio station. Rather than sounding blindingly vain, Drake’s statements sound resounding, almost like Gil Scott-Heron. This is music for the 5am, club-floor dwellers. It’s the type of music that demands you re-enter the world to sunrise and street-cleaners.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/octoberrecords/sets/ad_tay_ep[/soundcloud]

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First Impressions: AlunaGeorge, Avicii, Röyksopp + 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 AlunaGeorge, Les Sins, Maluca, Avicii, Röyksopp + Tinashe. 

AlunaGeorge- Supernatural

Bianca: The vocoder sampling and club-driven beat make this latest track a bit more mysterious than what I’m used to hearing from the duo. The subtle Summery, tropical-inspired percussion gives it a dancey feel with Aluna’s vocals floating effortlessly over the synths. 4 

Sam: AlunaGeorge are becoming a very reliable group. George’s instrumentals are delectably minimal and Aluna’s vocals are sweeping and melodic. Supernatural sees the duo embrace more of a dance-beat than we’ve heard previously and it’s a perfect fit for them. Let’s hope album no.2 comes very soon. 3.5

Lizzie: I’ve fallen hard for AlunaGeorge, really hard. This duo has gone from strength to strength with their effortlessly cool pop beats, and Aluna’s voice taking a commanding lead. Supernatural is not overwhelming like other tracks I’ve heard, but still holds it own as a gorgeous tropical dance-floor treat, just in time for the Summery months. 3.5

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/alunageorge/supernatural[/soundcloud]

Les Sins- Why

Bianca: This is funky in every kind of way. Really enjoy the shimmying vocals which make for the perfect accompaniment to the disco-inspired guitar licks and shoulder-swaying bass. Would have liked to hear it reach a bit more of a climax but other than that it’s a great addition to my ever-growing Summer playlist. 4  Bianca’s Pick 

Sam: I’m loving everything coming from Les Sins at the moment. Why takes on that disco-funk style that is very much in vogue at the moment and does so brilliantly as if Nile Rodgers fingerprints are on the track. It’s actually reminding me of Deadmau5′ Seeya with a whole lot more soul and human touch. A little genuine love in a song goes a long way. 4

Lizzie: If you are not really a fan of the disco-jam, I have a gut feeling you will find a soft spot for Les Sin’s newest track Why. The strong back beat grabs you and doesn’t let go for the entire duration of the song, and the synths and vocals offer an inviting soft dancefloor vibe, not too different to Daft Punk’s releases in 2013. 4

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/company-record-label/les-sins-why-ft-nate-salman-1[/soundcloud]

Maluca- Trigger

Bianca: This is some serious ghetto booty-shakin’ stuff. Maluca’s Dominican background and American/New York upbringing have collided brilliantly to create a unique sound of Latin-esque, tribal hip-hop. Her voice shines in the chorus in particular, as she really lets loose on top of a thumping bass. 3.5

Sam: Ooh, there’s nothing I love more than a muffled synth that exposes itself in the chorus as it does here. There’s EDM, dancehall and RnB undertones in this song, all colliding to form a rhythmic, vibrant track. Why doesn’t radio latch onto this kind of stuff. It’s so goddamn catchy that it’d be a crying shame to file it next to Robyn as songs that should’ve been number one but never made the top 100. 4 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: This oozes a very Major Lazer party vibe, with the layered build to the chorus, then a nice bouncy drop to get you up dancing on the table. Around the 2 min the song climaxes beautifully, only to be finished with these off-putting police siren cuts – they could have gone without them! 3.5

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/maluca-mala/trigger_single[/soundcloud]

Avicii- The Days (Feat. Robbie Williams)

Bianca: The pensive guitar, uninspired melody and the try-hard anthemic lyrics, all topped off with a screeching finale, make for one of the worst collaborations I’ve heard since Bang Bang. Between this and his God-awful alliance with Coldplay earlier in the year, why does Avicii continue to choose artists who aren’t doing anything revolutionary anymore and are just past their use-by date? 1

Sam: The concept of this is just so bizarre. It’s got these youthful, “we’re in our prime” lyrics sung by Robbie Williams, who is, no offence, far past his prime. Surely Avicii has a huge array of artists he can pick from? Not that it would’ve saved the song. I feel like it’s been made for a water-park commercial. Lame even by Avicii’s standards. 2

Lizzie: Huh? I’m confused. I thought a) Robbie Williams had retired & b) Avicii was in hospital, not touring and sick as sick could be??? If only this was true, but alas this song exists. Avicii continues to stamp his signature hillbilly style on every track without fail, and Robbie seems to think that this track will completely revive his career. Despite the chorus being somewhat catching, this still remains an incredibly odd mix. 2

Röyksopp- Skulls

Bianca: This is honestly a bit of an uneventful one from Royksopp. I love the brooding synths and overall tension of the track but the robot voice seems a bit tired and I can’t help but feel that they could have pushed this one a bit further. Perhaps an addition of a certain someone beginning with ‘R’? 

Sam: The songs on the EP with Robyn had such a strong, unforgettable presence that it’s quite hard to really get into this one. It’s certainly more demure and much more intricate which gives off a totally different vibe. In saying that it does grow expertly into a climatic, robot-built track. Definitely one that will talk a few listens unlike Do It Again which smacked you in the face from the get-go. 3

Lizzie: Well this is an almighty head-bopper. The levels of bass and sound are little all over the place, but that’s not what sits weirdly with me. I am not a fan of the warped voice at all, I didn’t sign up for the next installment of the Tron legacy! 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW1_IIn3W6s

Tinashe- Bet (Feat. Dev Hynes)

Bianca: This has great R&B undertones and Tinashe’s voice is smooth as per usual but I’ve unfortunately never been able to get into her style for some reason. Beautiful production at the hands of Hynes with the guitar ending providing a peculiar surprise but I’m afraid I’m just going to appreciate this one from afar. 2.5 

Sam: Not what I was expecting from a Dev Hynes-produced song but I’m loving it nonetheless. It’s the most contemporary sounding track that we’ve heard from him, sounding right in Tinashe’s lane. I love that all Tinashe’s tracks so far haven’t been immediately loveable. They just subtly grow on you, giving long-lasting value rather than a short-lived shot of ecstasy. That guitar solo at the end is brilliantly unexpected and would have to be a Hynes edition. 4

Lizzie: This could easily fit perfectly into the slow dance moment which always happens in every Step Up movie. HOWEVER, the production behind Tinashe’s beautifully moving voice plucks her right out of any chick flick and right into my radar as one of my favourite artist of the year. The guitar at the end is completely surprising, but heck, why not! I am instantly more relaxed and carefree when I listen to her voice and I love this! 4.5 Lizzie’s Pick

The 2 Bears

Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard & Raf Rundell stream ‘The Night Is Young’ under moniker, The 2 Bears

The 2 Bears

The Two Bears, a collaboration of Hot Chip‘s Joe Goddard and London producer Raphael Rundell, announced the release of their sophomore album, The Night Is Young, back in April and they’re now streaming it exclusively through Pitchfork. Encompassing a strong house influence with a heavy emphasis on brash ’90s keys and funky bass, the album is an animated offering from the duo, with Goddard’s vocals making the record feel instantly familiar. Stream The Night Is Young, along with captivating visuals, here.

BC Kingdom

LA duo, BC Kingdom, sample Moby in ‘COLOURS’

BC Kingdom

LA-based future R&B duo, BC Kingdom, have released the smooth, seductive track, COLOURS, ahead of their upcoming EP, Buckwild Spirit. Sampling Moby’s Natural Blues (highly apt addition, given the name of the song) and subtle steel drums, it is a brooding, powerful ballad that proves both Solange and James Blake‘s high praises of the producers should be taken very seriously. Came for the sample, stayed for the preachin’ outro. Ooh, Lordy!

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

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Nina Las Vegas & Swick team up for club bangers, ‘Don’t Send’ & ‘Flash Auto’

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the interns’ fave DJ, radio host and party gal, Nina Las Vegas, has teamed up with Diplo-certified, Melbourne beat-maker Swick on her very first official release. In the form of a two-track EP entitled Don’t Send, both singles are a promising first offering from Vegas with the trademark production finesse of Swick shining through. The title track, Don’t Send, ebbs and flows with funky horn instrumentals, high-pitched vocals and an energetic, throbbing bass line, whereas the second track, Flash Auto is a faster-paced affair, accessorised with quivering synths over a pounding, club-ready backdrop.

Nina has said of dipping her toe into the world of production:

“I’ve worked at triple j and DJed pretty much since I left high school, but before that I was in bands, musicals and sung a lot of jazz around Wagga (cool, aye?) Building up the courage to use all my production knowledge (shout out to using Abelton daily!) and admitting that I wanted to do something of my own… yeh, well it’s happened.”

Giving a shout out to her musical pals, Anna Lunoe, The Aston Shuffle, Emoh Instead and Ta-ku on her Facebook page, Vegas stated she was “super nervous” about the release but, judging by this strong first release, the Triple J Mix-Up Exclusives Host has nothing to worry about.

You can catch both Vegas and Swick at the upcoming NLV Presents: International Edition which kicks off this weekend. Get your tickets here and read our interview with Nina about the tour here.

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Sui Zhen releases first single, ‘Infinity Street’ from forthcoming album

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You may not have heard of Melbourne-based vocalist and producer, Sui Zhen, but there’s no time like the present to be introduced to her sugary-sweet pop melodies and floaty vocals. A participant of the Red Bull Music Academy in 2010, Zhen created an online buzz with the release of several EPs over the past year and now she has finally released her first single, Infinity Street, from her forthcoming debut album. It’s a dreamy, bubbly track with a disco-inspired electro beat guiding Zhen’s feathery vocals along.

Infinity Street is the first single from the forthcoming album, Secretly Susan, due out via Two Bright Lakes in 2015.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/sui-zhen/sui-zhen-infinity-street/[/soundcloud]

Grace Mitchell Runaway

16 year-old Grace Mitchell shares her latest single, ‘Runaway’

Grace Mitchell Runaway

Grace Mitchell had us feeling extremely unaccomplished with her debut singles Your Design and Broken Over You and now the Portland-based singer has released the spectacular, Runaway. Once again, with a voice wise beyond her years, she has achieved a pop ballad, heartfelt in its disposition and anthemic in its chorus. This latest single is a passionate offering from the teenager who, like predecessors Lorde and Adele, manages to elaborate on heavy issues unlike that of a regular 16 year-old. Keep your eyes and ears out for this one.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/imgracemitchell/runaway[/soundcloud]

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Jessie Ware shares ‘Pieces’ from upcoming album, ‘Tough Love’

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Jessie Ware has been drip-feeding the tracks from her sophomore album, Tough Love and it’s so far shaping up to be another stunning release from the London songstress. Already charming us with the soulful Tough Love, Say You Love Me, Want Your Feeling and Kind Of…Sometimes…MaybeWare has now released the  pop ballad, Pieces. Co-written with Jimmy Napes and Tourist, and produced by Emile Haynie, it exemplifies Ware’s delicate soulfulness as she once again delivers on the vocals with the confidence of a true star.

Jessie Ware’s album, Tough Love, is out 10 October.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jessieware/jessie-ware-pieces[/soundcloud]

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AlunaGeorge are ‘Supernatural’

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AlunaGeorge are headed back to Australia over New Years and it seems like they’ll be bringing a swag of new tracks with them. Today they have dropped, seemingly without rhyme or reason, a new track called Supernatural. As per usual, it’s an effortless piece of pop electronica, with Aluna sounding sublimely airy over George’s summer-tinged beats. It notably errs a little further towards the dance side than the RnB sound we heard from them on Body High but it feels like a great direction for them. They have also been working with Skrillex and Diplo‘s Jack U, so expect a few more dance tunes the duo.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/alunageorge/supernatural[/soundcloud]

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