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Introducing Kentucky producer Ellie Herring and her new track, ‘Gem Landing’

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Ellie Herring is a producer from Kentucky who has been throwing gold up on her SoundCloud for the better part of a year now. Amongst jittery, atmospheric originals she’s done some stunning remixes of tracks by Janet Jackson and Cat Power proving that the beats still pump in the South. Last year she released her brilliant, Kite Day LP and followed it up this year with the slightly darker, Chipped EP. Now she’s popped a new song, Gem Landing, up on line, seemingly just for the hell of it. It’s a sunshine-induced tune with high-pitched vocal samples that err towards something you might hear on PC Music. It’s a tune for the headphones with plenty of delicious synths and bubblegum beats. File next to Ryan Hemsworth and Chrome Sparks. 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/ellieh/gem-landing[/soundcloud]

Hear the Chipped EP below:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/ellieh/sets/chipped-ep[/soundcloud]

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Banoffee: “I’m very much an internet artist”

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Banoffee is Melbourne artist Martha Brown’s first solo project, after coming from the band, Otouto. Beginning as a bedroom project, Brown wrote personal songs she never saw going anywhere outside her bedroom walls. Now she’s gearing up to release a five-track EP with those songs and a little bit of help from fellow Melbournite, Oscar Key Sung.

As such, the EP meshes together delicate and personal songwriting with an RnB sensibility often straying into areas of electronica. Got It cleverly depicts two narratives with Brown dueting alongside a vocally manipulated male while Let’s Go To The Beach sees her embrace a deep-house instrumental. The rest of the EP sits in between those two with Brown’s organic voice and honest lyrics always in the spotlight.

We spoke to Banoffee ahead of her East Coast EP tour which kicks off at Brisbane’s BIGSOUND conference.

How did Banoffee come to be?

Banoffee started a few years ago when a band I was in called Otouto started to come to an end and I wanted to continue to play music. I wanted to start making music for me. It was a project to keep me entertained at the start. I wasn’t really sure I would release it. Alot of people have commented on it being quite an honest release. Alot of the songs are very personal to me. They were made in my bedroom for my own comfort at the time. I guess I kept making songs and started recording things and when people started showing interest I thought “oh hey, maybe I could make this a proper project”. And that’s where it started from there.

Are you finding it interesting to come from a band to do everything like shows and press by youself?

I think a bit of both. It’s pretty crazy being solo. In the band everything was split by three. Decisions were always split by three so there was always someone there keeping things in line whereas with me I worry I’ve lost perspective and I think “oh God, what if i’m writing absolute crap and I have no one to tell me”. But it’s also really enjoyable in that way because I get to make decision purely because they’re right for me. I have a lot more freedom and a lot more choice in that way.

Have you still collaborated with a few people for the EP?

I have. Four of the songs are co-produced by Oscar Key Sung who is also on the same record label as me, Two Bright Lakes, and we had a lot of fun with that. I wrote the songs but I wanted help with beatmaking and bringing a bit of his feel to the table. And then the last song, Let’s Go To The Beach, I actually co-produced with Sam Perry who plays for Architecture in Helsinki. That was a really fun song to make because I’m just starting out making more electronic music and that song is the most electronic on the EP. They put alot into that piece with me in making it danceable and what I really envisioned it to be. So, I did still collaborate and work with others along the way.

How did you move towards your RnB/Electronic sound?

I think I listen to a lot of music that is RnB and electronic influenced. More present people who are playing around now like AlunaGeorge, Pikachu and Jai Paul are that. I listen to that a lot and could hear the more soulful elements of their music coming through but I really loved the…I don’t know, there’s something about electronic music that is harsher. It doesn’t have the warmth that electronic music has and I really enjoyed adding that element to my music, especially after playing around with synthesizers a lot in the last couple of years and listening to a lot of synth music like College of Desire and ‘80s artists. I really wanted to bring those together. I’ve always listened to RnB growing up and I’ve always listened to country growing but synthesizers and electronic music is something that only came to me in the last five years. I was excited to bring those elements together and hearing other people do it, even older artists like Arthur Russell, I felt really inspired to mix it up and create something that brought together all my musical enjoyments.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/banoffeeme/reign-down[/soundcloud]

Are there certain records that you keep returning to for inspiration?

Love Is Overtaking Me by Arthur Russell is a big one. I listen to that a lot. There are songs and areas that I go back to more than albums. There are quite a few Mariah Carey songs that I think are written brilliantly that I listen to again and again for inspiration. Aswell as late 90s, early 2000s RnB that included people like Ne-Yo and Mario. I think a lot of people think that it’s kind of easy, sell-out, pop/RnB but the production is amazing and the songwriting is really well done. So, I got back to that to remind myself that songwriting is important and a very big part of music to me to have a thought-through structure that goes with the lyrics and the instrumentation.

Have you found that working on your music in Melbourne and being around that scene has been inspiring?

Yeah, definitely. I think any city will be inspiring musically. The community has had a huge impact on the way I make music. Just working with such an array of musicians who make really interesting music like working with Nick Cousins since I was very young, like 14 until now has really helped me understand the instruments I’m using and more of the technical side of music. Nick taught me that you can love more organic sounding music like country music and folk and mix it with synthesizers and sequencers and put a beat to it and indulge in the two sides. Being a part of Two Bright Lakes has really helped me do that. If you listen to alot of the artists they mix a lot of genres together. They are not defined by one genre or one area of music and that’s really helped me.

A lot of overseas media and the moment are talking about how Australia is in this golden period for music. Are you noticing that?

Yeah, I think Australia is killing it at the moment and it’s really exciting to be a part of the music scene here. In Melbourne and Sydney and Brisbane, it’s really exciting to hear friends that have worked so hard, getting the appreciation they deserve. Like, watching Oscar Key Sung go up the ranks and seeing how internationally he’s doing so well and girls like Chela who’s now living in LA and being appreciated for her art and her hard work, that’s fantastic. These people really deserve it and whether it is that Australia is in the zone right now, I’m not sure it’s that we have gotten any better, I think that people are noticing there is some really great stuff going on here.

Are you finding it interesting to see when you release a song how many different places it goes?

It’s weird. It’s really weird. Yeah, I do find it interesting. It’s great. How the hell did people survive without the internet. I feel like I’m very much an internet artist. I don’t play live very often so the internet  has really helped me. You can go into SoundCloud and go into statistics and it shows you where your music is being made. I have more people listening to my songs in America than I do here and that weirds me out. I’m like, “I don’t know any of them”. They’re not listening to me because they feel like they have to because they’re my friends.

Are you excited to take the EP into the live arena?

Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I must admit, I’m quite nervous to play, just because I’m quite shy. But I’m really looking forward to playing songs and saying, “this is on my EP and you can get it now”. Instead of having one or two singles in my set that people know. This is my first release and I’ve never been able to say “this is from my EP that you can get online”, so I’m excited.

Where’s the visual influence from Banoffee come from?

Me and Alice Glenn worked very closely on all the clips and it was really like a close collaboration between her and I deciding what we wanted to do visually. Each of the clips for me have an element of fun but also a hint of meaning towards what the song is about. The wigs and sunglasses in Got It were about the two narratives that Got It has which is showing people who are in their element and people who can celebrate something that they’ve worked hard to be good at and that’s sort of the clips that go on in the lenses. But the other part is realising that you don’t who you’re close to and that can feel like a shock or a bit of an injustice. And the wig and the glasses was part of trying to communicate that sense of disguise.

Banoffee’s debut EP is out on Friday.

 

BANOFFEE AUSTRALIAN EAST COAST TOUR:

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 10

BIGSOUND Music Conference, Brisbane QLD

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 19

Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne VIC

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 20

Goodgod SmallClub, Sydney NSW

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Cyril Hahn delivers ‘Open’ off new EP

Open ft. Ryan Ashley

Cyril Hahn is gearing up for the release of his new EP Voices out via PMR. A few weeks ago we heard Slow with Rochelle Jordan and today he’s dropped Open with 18 year-old British singer, Ryan Ashley. In line with much of what Hahn does so well, he builds the track around an emotional and soulful vocal sample laying down an atmospheric, club-ready beat alongside. It tracks along without much variation but it’s not needed. The track is smooth and flavoursome enough to keep you entertained for the full four and a half minutes. This SoundCloud user below sums up the listening experience best:

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[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/cyrilhahn/open-ft-ryan-ashley[/soundcloud]

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Kelela teams up with Le1f for ‘OICU’

Kelela x Le1f x P Morris - OICU

With only one mixtape to her name, Kelela is already being hailed as the figurehead of future RnB and today she’s teamed up with a rapper of a similarly glowing status, Le1fOICU was produced by P. Morris and sees the pair enter into an altogether unconventional duet. Le1f sounds like Future while Kelela gently works her way around the melody like an early Janet. Meanwhile the beat clicks and slaps, only there to push the song along subtly while Kelela and Le1f do all the ground work. Let’s hope there are albums in the works for both Kelela and Le1f because this is pretty spectacular.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kelelam/oicu[/soundcloud]

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Haim & A$AP Ferg drop Ricki Lake-inspired video for ‘My Song 5’

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Daytime TV just got a whole lot sassier with the arrival of Haim and A$AP Ferg‘s video of the gritty, bass-driven My Song 5. Set like a talk show hosted by SNL’s Vanessa Bayer, it features a star-studded cast of the likes of Ke$ha, Vampire Weekend‘s Ezra Koenig and Grimes as both guests and audience members.

It’s not one to be missed, if not purely for Este’s signature facial expressions and A$AP’s bucket hat.

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The continuing influence of The xx’s debut 5 years on

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2009- a year in which Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors ruled the internet and The Black Eyed Peas and Kings of Leon ruled the charts. It’s always hard to revisit these memories. Boom Boom Pow in your head is never a kind gift and Sex On Fire only reminds us of the time when we ‘almost’ had the next U2. Five years later, The Black Eyed Peas are seemingly over and Kings of Leon are no longer on their rock n’ roll pedestal.

Fortunately there is fonder memories of that year. There’s one release from 2009 that has spread a subtle yet lasting web over the music world. The xx’s self-titled debut. While the band had an auror of hype surrounding them thanks to the blogosphere and NME, the album only reached number 16 on the British charts upon its release. Chart success never felt like the goal for the band, but it seemed like an inevitable byproduct of the minimalist, melodic music that quickly spread its influence by providing the soundtrack to shows like 90210 and Misfits.

While not so much an immediate chart success, it was a critical darling. Pitchfork called it “nuanced, quiet and surprising” while The Guardian said it “will win many friends for its beautifully haunting, understated charms”, further labelling it the best album of 2009. It took a while, but the “many friends” eventually gravitated towards the record. In 2010 it won the prestigious Mercury Prize over records by La Roux, Florence and the Machine and The Horrors.

Following the win, album sales rose by 448% in the UK to take them to a new chart height of number three. When their less critically-lauded second album, Coexist was released in 2012 it shot to number one, much off the merit of the first album, one would presume.

However, the legacy of the xx’s debut five years on is detached from sales. Rather it’s left a prominent impact on the face of music today with many artists making music that is a little more minimalist, has more space and breathes more vocally. Their debut was a record that relied solely on delectable melodies, coated in subtle emotion. When Romy and Oliver flip between telling each other “sometimes I still need you” on Heart Skips A Beat it’s not forced. It’s a statement of sincerity born in the darkness of the early morning when the club music mutes and the lights begin to blur.

The record always sat in the pocket of electronic music but further than that it was difficult to define. Looking on five years later, it shares many qualities with the recent outburst of future RnB. The vocals are placed on top of beats that are given adequate space to breathe. Guitars and synths are left to provide the emotional lacing for the music. In many ways the record championed an RnB revival far before critics and the public alike were talking about its emergence.

It’s a testament to the band’s ability to hold back and Jamie xx’s nuanced beatmaking that even pop remakes of the tracks were unable to make them sound more commercially appealing. Rihanna’s use of Intro fell far short of the xx’s stormy album opener and Shakira’s latin-flavoured version of Islands proved the songs always grew better in darkness than in sunlight.

Below are five artists that have taken a little something from the xx’s debut whether it was intentional or not.

London Grammar

Fellow British-band, London Grammar’s lead-vocalist, Hannah Reid, undoubtedly has more of a booming voice than Romy but there are definite instrumental comparisons between the two. While London Grammar’s brooding debut errs more to alternative-pop that electronic music, the delicate guitar plucks and use of space hark back to the xx’s discovery that melody could be crafted out of little to nothing. Place crescendoing beats and more immediate piano-work on top of the xx’s minimalist soundscape and you’ve got London Grammar’s Wasting My Years.

Reid recently told Gigwise, “I think we’re in a kind of post-xx era where a lot of people are quite influenced by that atmospheric pop vibe.” It’s a pertinent comment that very much reflects the state of alternative pop right now.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/londongrammar/london-grammar-wasting-my[/soundcloud]

Drake

Jamie xx held production duties on tracks from Drake’s Take Care record so it makes sense that he would be directly influenced by the xx. The title-track with Rihanna takes Jamie’s remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s I’ll Take Care of U,  with Drake singing and rapping over it. It’s arguably one of the first times Drake truly embraced his singing voice, delicately cooing over the track in a similar way to the xx’s Oliver. While Jamie didn’t have a hand over Drake’s latest effort, Nothing Was The Same, the influences still remain. Own It is hauntingly minimalist and also sees the rapper sing while From Time, has him add Jhene Aiko to the mix with the two flipping back and forth vocally a la Romy and Oliver.

FKA Twigs

Could it be that the most innovative artist of 2014 is in fact influenced by the biggest innovators of 2009? It doesn’t seem Twigs’ notable xx influence is something she is conscious of, but it’s hard to imagine her debut existing without the xx breaking down some walls before it. LP1 is impossibly sparse with Twigs rarely having to raise her voice to convey her point. She said in an interview recently that she didn’t like the RnB genre-label and she’s right, she’s not an RnB artist. But neither were the xx, explicitly. By making music that is so minimal, both artists carefully traverse a line of many genres including RnB, electronica, pop and hip-hop. You can’t really sit comfortably inside a genre and be innovative, can you?

Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware is a product of a time in music when Sampha was toning down SBTRKT’s dance music and RnB and electronica were beginning to combine, partly thanks to the xx’s debut. While she has a huge, booming voice, we never truly heard it on her debut Devotion, which was part of its sophisticated charm. The title-track is perhaps the best indicator of the xx’s influence of the record. Subtle jabs of guitar lay beneath Ware’s breathy vocal. Synths sit underneath simply for substance with not much else used to convey the smokey, lovelorn atmosphere. Tell me that description doesn’t also work to describe the xx’s Infinity.

In fact, only weeks ago Ware released a cut, Share It All, from her upcoming album, Tough Love, written with Romy.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jessieware/jessiewareshareit-all[/soundcloud]

Beyonce

Beyonce’s latest self-titled effort is very much a thoughtful and educated take on the current wave of future RnB. As we’ve discussed above, the xx have had a part in formulating that genre and the minimalist nature of it. Much of the appeal of Beyonce’s latest album is the way she creates delectable melodies from very little at all. On Superpower with Frank Ocean her only real-backing is vocal harmonies Ghost/Haunted is born from a thumping bass and haunting synths. It’s a far cry from the brass-laden, pop/RnB of her previous albums. As Spin said, Haunted is “Janelle Monaé’s delivery meeting the xx’s reverb-y stare”.

In an example of how meta the world is becoming, the xx covered Beyonce’s Frank Ocean-penned I Miss You which is the first track of hers to show obvious similarities to the xx. I Miss You dims the lights, clears the clutter and sees Beyonce in the most gentle vocal display of her career. When the xx covered it, they barely had to do a thing to bring it into their lane.

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Hear Charli XCX ‘Break The Rules’

Charli XCX - 'Break The Rules'

Charli XCX is quickly becoming the queen of anarchy with yet another song that shares the same sense of reckless abandon as I Love It. Break The Rules is lifted from her forthcoming album Sucker and was recorded after time spent listening to Swedish punk records. It’s shows too. While Break The Rules is firmly planted in ’90s pop, there are chaotic undertones to it that align with the punk genre. With a chorus that yells, “going to the discotheque, getting high and getting wrecked”, this one’s sure to reignite ‘that cocaine scene’ from Girls which had I Love It behind it. After the success of her feature on Iggy Azalea‘s Fancy and Boom Clap, Sucker could well be her breakthrough record.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/charlixcx/charli-xcx-break-the-rules[/soundcloud]

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Caribou shares the title track from the forthcoming, ‘Our Love’

It feels like it’s been a long and painful wait since Caribou dropped the delicious first track, Can’t Do Without Youfrom his forthcoming album Our Love. Today he’s put an end to that pain by releasing the title track from the new record, Our Love. In the same lane as Can’t Do Without You, it’s a subdued, mellow-burner that utilises delicate vocals before bursting into a club-ready beat. The producer has a knack for chosing how long to hold a song back before releasing it into its full potential and he demonstrates that expertly here. Really it’s just another reason to pick up the new record when it’s released on 3 October in Aus.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/caribouband/our-love[/soundcloud]

 

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Haters gon’ hate in Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’

Read our for & against arguments here. 

Just like clockwork, two years after we heard Tay Tay’s We’re Never Getting Back Together, she’s delivered the first single, Shake It Off, from her new album 1989. The track sees her move even further away from her country roots but keeps very much with the theme of ex-boyfriends, rumours and haters. It’s all good though because she’s just gonna shake it off. She shows this in the video from parodying pop clips with twerking, cheerleading and Gaga-esque oddities. Love her or hate her there’s no denying this is another huge hit and will most likely leave another ex quivering in the corner.

 

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London newbie Shannon Saunders unveils her debut ‘Sheets’

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Though the one-track on her SoundCloud tells a very different story, British songstress Shannon Saunders has been releasing music since she was 14. Starting off on YouTube, she eventually self-released her debut single and made a video from nine pounds. It seems she won’t have the same budgetary constraints now as she’s been snapped up by Warner Records who have released her single Sheets. With a Kate Bush trill and Ellie Goulding‘s electronic stylings, Saunders is set to make a bit of a splash. Sheets is an effortless track that ditches a huge pop chorus in favour of bolstered-up bass and subtle synth-work. It’s a grower and a fast one at that. Watch this space.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shannonsaunders/sheets[/soundcloud]

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Hear ‘PS’, the collaborative single from DJ Q & Flava D

DJ Q & Flava D - PS [LOC018]

The start of the week may not sound like the optimum time to drop a deep club throbber, but it seems it’s exactly what we needed. Both hailing from the UK, DJ Q has teamed up with Flava D on PS to mesh garage and grime together with an infectiously massaging bass-line. Alongside skittering yet soulful vocal samples, the pair lay down a tempo-raising, yet paced instrumental. Both of them have released stellar remixes of Tinashe‘s 2 On this year and this seems to be the lovechild of the two. Could it be? Could DJ Q and Flava D have the club going up on a Monday?

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/localactionrecords/dj-q-flava-d-ps-loc018[/soundcloud]

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First Impressions: Kindness, Drake, Anna Lunoe + more

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First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on first (or second) listen. Each week we each review six new songs from the week past, each giving them a score out of five and awarding one our pick of the week.

Kindness- World Restart

Hannah: Apparently the world restarting sounds a lot like sax, bass, shaking cow bells and a whole lot of groove. Suddenly the apocalypse doesn’t seem so bad. 3.5

Sam: Just when the whole world is seemingly dabbling in future RnB, Kindness throws it back to a time before throbbing bass while still keeping future RnB queen, Kelela on board. It just lays right back on the beat and cruises by with funky guitars. The whole visual aesthetic of Otherness beside this sound works so well. So well. 4

Bianca: Funky guitar riffs and sexy sax samples are always a sure-fire match made in heaven. Ade’s vocals are smoother than peanut butter but unfortunately I always prefer mine with a bit more crunch. 3

Lizzie: I feel I should be strutting down the streets of Brooklyn with this tune. I love the harmonising, and the snazzy saxaphone – it offers an effortlessly layered style which I wouldn’t usually have on repeat, but Kelela has converted me. Top tune! 4

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kindness/kindness-world-restart-feat-kelela-ade[/soundcloud]

TEED and Anna Lunoe- Feels Like

Hannah: There’s something very familiar in the glitchy samples and rolling crescendos here. I feel as though this is TEED all grown up. He’s ditched the 12am curfew and is out to party all night, bringing with him party gurl-done-good Anna Lunoe. 3.5

Sam: I love that this just goes all out, four-to-the-floor for about four minutes before even introducing the vocal. And once TEED comes in it detours into a hazy post-tropical land, before yanking us straight back out into club-territory. Feels like people are going to go hard for this one (not in that way, get your mind outta the gutter). 3.5

Bianca: I got a little lost and on the verge of disinterested somewhere around the middle but once TEED reared his dreamy head at the 3:55 mark, all the jigsaw puzzle pieces just came into place. 4 Bianca’s Pick

Lizzie: Wow, just wow. Anna is going from strength to strength in 2014. You can’t really go wrong with a TEED remix, EVERYONE loves TEED. I can feel myself getting trapped in a repetitive dance move with this, which is fine, but may lead to some serious cramping on the d-floor. Keep up these thumpers, Miss Lunoe. 4

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/t-e-e-d/totally-enormous-extinct-dinosaurs-x-anna-lunoe-feels-like[/soundcloud]

Collarbones- Turning

Hannah: I love the bass on this track… Such a shame it’s hidden beneath a whole lot of duck quacking samples and those jarring vocals. 2

Sam: It’s always been Collarbones style to disguise pop songs unders a sea of samples and glitchy synths and nothing’s changed in that regard. What has happened is it sounds way more explicitly melodic, with Marcus laying down some crazy pop vocals. I love how they so effortlessly melt together club, pop and RnB styles. 4

Bianca: I’m loving this smorgasbord of flavours and effects. One would think that the vocals and sporadic synths have no place in the same room but Collarbones have proved the exact opposite; a surprising pairing that will live happily ever after. 3.5

Lizzie: I like to call this “Pimp My Pop Song”. The poppy vocals of Marcus have totally been transformed to make this layered, bass thumping, catchy track. The 2 min 40 moment it just a bundle of joy, and sets up for an epic climactic close. 4 Lizzie’s Pick

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/collarbones/turning[/soundcloud]

ILOVEMAKONNEN- Tuesday (Feat. Drake)

Hannah: I love this. It’s a paired back, get low grind, totally appropriate for midweek debauchery. I think Tuesday is my new favourite day. 4 Hannah’s Pick

Sam: I was already digging the original of this but Drake takes it to a whole new drunk-level. In fact the whole thing sounds drunk. Not messy drunk, but hazy drunk with slightly slurred raps and swirling synths. Yes it is true, I do LOVEMAKONNEN. And Drake. 4 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: This track gets extra points from me purely because it has fulfilled the role of my musical companion on this rainy day. The slow grooves and lazy vocals are doing a fine job of replacing my big woollen jumper or cup of hot tea while the rain cascades outside. 3

Lizzie: I knew Sam and Han would choose this baby! I am not going to sucumm to peer pressure. His autotuned voice is agitating and slurry. Do I like it more than Rebecca Black’s Friday? Yes. Would I shout it out on top of a rooftop? No. 3

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/octobersveryown/makonnen-ft-drake-tuesday[/soundcloud]

Ella Henderson- Glow

Hannah: And here we have the title track from the next Twilight-esque film. 2

Sam: I know you’re never really meant to admit it but I do have a bit of a penchant for a pop song with a triumphant chorus. This one’s a little formulaic (think Katy Perry Fireworks) but it achieves what it sets out to do. Ella’s voice is a cracker and speaking of crackers I’m always a fan of a bit of ‘fire’ personification. 3

Bianca: Does she have the X Factor? Yes. But that should not be taken as a compliment. This song is as annoying as those people who think they’re clever for informing you that tomatoes are a fruit and not a vegetable. 1

Lizzie: And I get all this flack for EDM music!!! This is just a big no, no. It belongs alongside Shakira and Vanessa Amorosi – it just reeks of terrible song releases made exclusively for the World Cup or the Olympics. 1.5

Jessie Ware- Say You Love Me

Hannah: This a much softer Ware than the one we’ve come to know but she still hits all those R&B notes so effortlessly, it’s impossible to deny her talent as one of the best songstresses circulating at the moment. Admittedly though, this is a little too pop, too country and too aimed at popular appeal for my liking but if someone’s going to do it, she does do it well. 3

Sam: This is the first-time Ware has taken on a straightforward love song and she can’t really do anything wrong can she? Her vocals are just so enticing and seductive that she could cover the crazy frog and I’d be happy. I’m hoping the album is more in the lane of Tough Love but if this Ed Sheeran co-write gets her a little bit more exposure, then I’m happy. 3.5

Bianca: Jessie’s voice is perfect and on-point as per usual but the tempo and sappy lyrics are a bit too cringe-worthy for me. I think the root of the problem here is Ed Sheeran- the acoustic guitar plucks need to go. 2

Lizzie: It ain’t no Tough Love, but it is definitely the perfect Chick Flick accompaniment. Time to invest in a pack of Kleenex. 3

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