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Azealia Banks Has A Point And We Need To Accept It

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Earlier this week we praised Splendour In The Grass crowds for being generally great. Those of you who sung beautifully to Florence and The Machine, packed out SAFIA'S tent for a career-highlight performance or danced manically for Tkay Maidza's superstar turn - you were brilliant, energetic and, best of all, excited about live music in this country.

Unfortunately there's always going to be a select handful of people who ruin it for everyone else. Festivals are never going to go perfectly - a bit of pushing and shoving is to be expected but some things should not be tolerated. These include turning your back on the stage and talking through the performance, violence of any form, chanting derogatory things or letting off flares. I witnessed all of these things this year, perhaps more than any other year.

The last time Azealia Banks was here for Listen Out, she had bottles thrown at her on two separate occasions. She walked off stage and it was reported that she spat the dummy. Once again this time she had a water bottle thrown at her on stage at Splendour (she narrowly avoided it) and lost it on Twitter calling Australian crowds "belligerent" and "violent". This is a generalisation but unfortunately bad behaviour sticks out more than good behaviour and I would agree with this on a general level.

There were comments that followed that perhaps could've been more eloquently expressed but the core of her argument was that she'd flown a damn long way to get here and basically landed in a shit storm.

I must preface the rest of this opinion with the fact that I'm a big fan of Banks. Her debut album Broke With Expensive Taste was a brilliant, twisted hip-hop record that fused genres and set itself apart from most records released last year. Furthermore, I saw her at Coachella early this year where she debuted a new live show. She ran through the album with professionalism and, more importantly, flair and thought. The American crowd gave space to dance and offered Banks the admiration she deserved based off that sole performance. It felt like redemption and critics and punters alike left with that set as a highlight.

Banks basically committed career suicide after the release of 212, feuding with everyone in aim and eventually leaving a major record label. Based on her debut and resurgence in the live arena, the latter was a good move. She was 20 years-old when that track was released. Artists from Sky Ferreira to Miley Cyrus have made very public mistakes and screwed around with record labels.

From the start of Banks' set at Splendour, people chanted 212. It happens to most who have a standout set but it was particularly relentless for Banks. As an artist who probably feels they've just released an album full of great stuff, that's gotta be disheartening. And then to have objects pelted at you has got to be even more frustrating.

The minute Banks took to Twitter, seemingly the whole of Australia took it personally as if this is a surprise that our audiences can be like this. Sure, Banks could've toned her comments down and the use of homophobic attacks is not condoned by us but maybe it's time we considered how we act in the live arena. As an off-the-cuff example my Splendour companion had her foot stomped on by a punter. That's fine, it happens. But when she said "ahh," the person called her "precious". I also saw another punter elbow the person next to them in the face only to give them a cold stare and turn around.

Banks tweeted a few days ago:

Maybe that's all she had to say in the beginning. If you feel that you've been offended by Banks' behaviour in the past which you have every right to be, the best way you can act on it is don't attend her shows. Don't fuel the fire on Twitter in the hope that she'll snap back at you and you'll bag a few retweets. 

I've watched and read reviews of Banks' comeback around the world this year purely because I love an underdog story. She's been on fire and I was genuinely excited to see her down here. The chances of her coming back are small now and all because she pointed out a flaw in our crowds and attacked a smart arse radio announcer.

The way she's conducted herself on Twitter this week has not been exemplary but nor was the behaviour of those select few idiots at her shows. Let's not wash our hands of this and then point the blame at her as if her attack came out of nowhere. 

You can strongly dislike Banks and take offense at what she's said this week. That's your prerogative but don't pretend you didn't complain even once about shitty crowd behaviour at Splendour In The Grass.

If you have no idea what this is about read the Twitter timeline below:

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12 Looks In Music This Week

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Here at the interns we give our ears and proper workout so we thought we would give our eyes a chance to prove their worth. Here are the best threads worn this week by people in the fashion biz from high street to catwalk, all the way down under for some local threads.

Taylor Swift & Calvin Harris

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Date night! Wine and pizzas (gluten free though, ptfff) at Soho eatery L'asso in New York.
Looking every bit the demure pop princess she is, Tay Tay teams a crop top/skirt outfit (which retails for less than AUD$100!) with her tad bit more expensive Prada tote. Calvin looks a bit more casual but still cool in his black leather bomber and high tops.

Harry Styles & Mick Jagger

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Harry Styles channeling vintage Mick Jagger whilst standing NEXT to Mick Jagger. Apparently the two are friends. Cute. It’s hard to buy the '70s rocker vibe from the kid from One Direction wearing the women’s YSL shirt though.

Ciara

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Babe! Coinciding with her recent album release (Jackie), Ciara has been named the new face of Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli. However, unlike the underwhelming album, the campaign already seems to be a hit as she effortlessly models the beautiful collection, ever so seductively.

Lady Gaga

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Huh? Lady Gaga looks half Geisha, half drag at Vancouver Jazz Festival, performing alongside Tony Bennet. The braless look isn’t really working for her. The remaining outfits in the show got better. But only slightly.

Ke$ha

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Looks like Tinkerbell on acid.

Ke$ha hosted and performed at Hard Rock’s Rehab Pool Party in Las Vegas. The dancers that joined her on stage were dressed as a rabbit, tiger and chicken (according to the LA Times) so she probably just wanted to fit in.

Drake

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Looking the same as ever. Doesn’t matter though, whilst he doesn’t bang on about fashion as some of the other rappers out there, Drake knows what’s up and has got his own cool style.

Cher

The first face of our Fall '15 ad campaign ✨ @Cher ✨

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The trend of choosing older models in major fashion campaigns continues. Flawless and fierce. Cher is the first face of Marc Jacobs' Fall '15 advertisements.

Bey & Jay

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Bonnie and Clyde killing it yet again. Holidaying in Italy, Bey repping Australian label Zimmermann with Jay, looking equally as stylish in his cream coloured linen suit.

John Legend

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He’s so beautiful… Just like that chair, just like that suit and just like this setting. I guess like his wife as well, who he did the photoshoot with for DuJour magazine.

Florence Welch & Stevie Nicks 

Was a dream to harmonise 'happy birthday' with this magical woman, All my love to @stevienicksofficial xx

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Two of fashion's ethereal and bohemian, musical muses.

Azealia Banks

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Editorial on stage. Only few artists could rock a Christian Cowan glitter denim ensemble. Azealia pulls it off.

Yukimi

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Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon at one of their gigs in Calgary. Much like her music, her unique outfit choices are colourful and eclectic.

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What To Expect From Splendour In The Grass 2015 Based Off Coachella

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Splendour In The Grass' mighty lineup, released yesterday, basically covers off nearly every International artist doing the festival circuit overseas right now. One festival it shares a number of its acts with is Coachella, which has just wrapped up its first weekend. We were there (did you hear?) so we thought we would take you through a few of the acts that played there and are also playing Splendour as a loose guide of what to expect. Find below videos, setlists and a short recap of each of the acts' performance to help you get pumped for Byron Bay in July.

Florence + The Machine

Florence and co made their huge festival return at Coachella armed with a bunch of new songs from their forthcoming third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Off that album they performed the title track, the lead-single What Kind Of Man and Ship To Wreck proving that the new songs have just as much strength in the festival arena's as the well-established favourites. If Florence proved anything at Coachella it's that she's one of the best-suited festival performers in the world lighting up the stage with boundless energy and plenty of climatic moments. It seemed she might of gone a little too hard out of that gates as she broke her foot while leaping from the stage. It seems she will be back to full health by Splendour so expect her at her best. Also get ready to remove an item of clothing when she politely asks during Dog Days Are Over. Florence is back and festivals feel right once again!

Her Splendour 2015 headline set may differ a little from Coachella given that the album will be out by then but many elements will remain the same. If you dare to peek watch the video below.

Setlist:
What the Water Gave Me
What Kind of Man
Spectrum
Sweet Nothing (Calvin Harris)
How Big How Blue How Beautiful
All This and Heaven Too
Drumming Song
Ship to Wreck
Shake It Out
Dog Days Are Over

Tame Impala

Just like Florence + The Machine, Tame Impala's Coachella set was a much-welcomed return to the mainstage. They're gearing up for a new album titled Currents and played two of its tracks at the festival - Let It Happen and 'Cause I'm A Man. Their set delivered much of the same as we saw last time around except this time it feels like they understand that they're becoming one of the world's biggest bands. Frontman Kevin Parker was still bare-footed but he spoke to the crowd between every song and his vocals were on-point. Backed by a psychedelic backdrop they ran through a set mainly consisting of songs from Lonerism. Elephant was gifted an extended drum solo while Apocalypse Dreams closed the set in euphoric style. Don't expect any frills for their Splendour set. This is a band that dazzles purely off the strength of their own songs. They also entered to Can You Feel The Love Tonight which was an odd but inspired move designed to hook the crowd from the early moments.

No release date has been set for Currents yet so it's unknown whether we will have heard it before Splendour but regardless there should be a few new songs sprinkled through the set. Their oldies are brilliant but the new singles have an extra grunt to them that elated the Coachella crowd.

Setlist:
It Is Not Meant to Be
Why Won't They Talk to Me?
Mind Mischief
Let It Happen
Elephant
'Cause I'm a Man
Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Apocalypse Dreams

Peking Duk

Peking Duk know how to bring the party wherever they are. There's no denying that. Their songs have a euphoric energy that translate for any audience which is why their set at Coachella was so successful despite them being less known in the US than in Australia. During their set in Palm Springs they brought out Ben Woolner from SAFIA for a rendition of their track Take Me Over, which they also did at Splendour In The Grass last year. This year, however, expect the response to be 1000x bigger. Since them the track has reached number five on triple j's Hottest 100 and the top ten of the ARIA Charts. American audiences loved Peking Duk, but it will be hard to compare it to a mighty Splendour set in their home country.

They also played a new song at Coachella which featured Woolner on vocals once again. Hopefully they give us a studio version very soon so we can sing the hell out of it at Coachella. Watch a very rough version of it below.

Ryan Adams

It should be well known by now that Ryan Adams is a trustworthy performer. You won't get many tricks but you will always get a good, solid performance and that's exactly what he delivered at Coachella. His fourteenth album was released last year and his Coachella set featured a smattering of songs from that record and a few old favourites including set closer Come Pick Me Up. His brand of alternative-country is the type that Americans lap up so it will be interesting to see how the response differs in Australia. No matter the style though there's nothing like a heartfelt chorus to spark a spine-tingling singalong. He's just the artist Splendour needs to ground people after all the electronic music puts them in a sugar high. This will mark only his second solo tour of Australia.

Setlist:
Gimme Something Good
Let It Ride
Stay With Me
This House Is Not For Sale
Dirty Rain
Blue Light
Magnolia Mountain
When the Stars Go Blue
Oh My Sweet Carolina
Come Pick Me Up

Porter Robinson

Coachella's dance music Sahara stage has become one of if not the most popular stage at the festival. Porter Robinson has played the stage before but as a DJ, this was his first turn their with his newly created live show launched of the back of his debut album Worlds. Visuals and sound combined the show was a revelation in many ways. The stage had hosted EDM DJs for the majority of the day but none stimulated quite like Porter did with his glitchy, video game-inspired, cinematic set. It was bass-heavy and completely danceable but also at times moving. There's really no other producer doing what Porter is doing at the moment, walking the line of EDM and intelligent electronica, and hopefully he'll be able to capture that at Splendour on a stage with less bells and whistles than the Sahara.

Setlist:
Sad Machine (Song of Storms & Easy & Anamanagushi Remix)
Flicker
Easy
The Thrill (Porter Robinson Remix)
Sea of Voices
Unison
Spitfire
Fresh Static Snow
Divinity
Say My Name
Fellow Feeling
Hear the Bells
Lionhearted
Goodbye to a World
Language

Azealia Banks

You could say it's a risky move for Splendour to book Azealia Banks again. Last time she played, in 2012, she delivered only a 20 minute set. When she came back to play Future Music Festival she feuded with nearly the entire lineup backstage and when she returned once again for Listen Out Festival she stormed off stage twice (in Melbourne and Sydney). If Coachella taught us anything though, it's that Azealia Banks means business. Gone are the antics, and instead there is a performer that has something to prove. Last time we saw Banks she was accompanied by just a DJ and two dancers. The dancers are still there but there's now a full band behind her, helping her deliver a hip-hop show like no other.

Her Coachella set was energetic, fierce and well thought out. The crowd may not have been as familiar with her debut album Broke With Expensive Taste as they were with 212 but it didn't matter. Every song popped in the right places and it truly felt like Banks' whole vision had come to life. If you saw her last time and wrote her off, you're going to want to give her another chance.

Setlist:
Idle Delilah
Gimme a Chance
1991
Heavy Metal and Reflective
Wallace
Ice Princess
Chasing Time
Yung Rapunxel
Luxury
Miss Amor
Nude Beach a Go-Go
212

Alison Wonderland

You've gotta love a producer who uses her Coachella set to drop unreleased music by a fellow Aussie act, Cosmo's Midnight. As well as dropping tracks from her own brilliant debut album RUN, that's exactly what Alison Wonderland did. She's an artist who seems to be really proud of the Australian scene from which she was born and also exemplified how much the Americans are loving Aussie electronic right now. She drew a respectable crowd at Coachella and stepped out from behind the decks a number of times to directly hype the crowd. If Coachella proved anything it's that it won't be long until she's away from Aus a lot more often catering to her continually growing fan base. Don't take her Splendour set for granted.

Australia is only just being properly introduced to . Her track with Major Lazer, Lean On, has burnt up the charts and has probably done better here than anywhere else in the world. She was in Australia over New Years but Splendour will really feel like her introduction to Australia. Essentially at Coachella, she was there to hype the crowd into hysterics. She crowd-surfed, screamed and danced with everything she had on stage. It was only a six song set but it featured One More with Swedish artist Elliphant. Elliphant is also playing Splendour In The Grass so maybe we should expect a repeat meeting live on stage in Byron.

Setlist:
Walk This Way
Waste of Time
Don't Wanna Dance
One More (with Elliphant)
Glass
Lean On

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10 Acts That Could Appear On The Splendour In The Grass Lineup

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Splendour In The Grass is still six months away but the rumour mill has already started and who are we to deny the chance to add fuel to the flame. The ten acts below are basically unfounded predictions but we think that Splendour has the potential to have a huge year with the plethora of big acts releasing albums this year. Below are a few huge headliners, a few up and comers and a few big risks that Splendour could take.

Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson is probably the first proper rumour that has arisen for Splendour 2015. The producer has had a massive year with his album Uptown Special and he's just been in the country for a quick promo trip. While here he told Matt and Alex that he could neither “confirm nor deny” rumours that he would be making a return to the country in July. Usually, that means he could confirm but the festival and his management team would kill him. So lock him in? Not so fast. He’s currently got zero live shows booked and he also told triple j, “If I can figure out a great show, I’m going to be here." He clearly hasn’t worked out just how he’s going to tour the album yet and it may not be enough time to pull it together. If he doesn’t end up on any festival lineups before Splendour is announced you can almost bet it’s game over.

Hot Chip

Hot Chip are frequent visitors of the country. Last year in June, they toured their DJ set and were also here in early 2013 playing Falls Festival and Field Day. Joe Goddard was also just here playing as The 2 Bears at Sugar Mountain in Melbourne. They would no doubt be looking for the perfect excuse to head down-under again and their newly announced album, Why Make Sense?, is the perfect one. A headline set on the mix-up stage would perfectly round up one the days at Splendour particularly if they have a whole lot of new additions to their catalogue to spruce.

Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine’s inclusion on the Coachella lineup marked her live return and since then details have begun to seep through about her third album. It’s rumoured to be called What Kind of Man and has been teased today with a video entitled How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Florence and the Machine has played Splendour only once, in 2010, and gave one of the most valiant performances in the festival’s history. Splendour would no doubt be looking for a euphoric headliner whose style goes hand in hand with the aesthetic of the Byron Parklands and Florence fits that brief perfectly. If you look at her fast filling tour dates, July is wide open.

Years & Years

Looking at past years of the festival, Splendour has traditionally picked up on acts who are just about to make it big. It’s usually based off the BBC Sound of... which predicts the artists set to make a splash in the year ahead. Last year the festival booked Sam Smith, the year before they had HAIM on the lineup and in 2012 Azealia Banks appeared. We think it might be Years & Years year this year.

TV On The Radio

TV On The Radio have had a pretty shit few years to put it bluntly. Their bassist Gerard Smith died from lung cancer in 2011 and just recently they had to cancel their European tour after drummer Jahphet Landis was hospitalised. They haven’t toured Australia since 2013 when they played Splendour and we reckon it’s about time they made a trip down-under. They’d be playing songs from their 2014 album, Seeds.

Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks hasn’t had a great history with touring Australia. When she played Splendour in 2012 she was criticised for only performing for 20 minutes. When she toured with Future Music she fought with Rita Ora and The Stone Rose. And when she toured with Listen Out she left the stage mid-set twice, after objects were thrown at her. Lately, she’s had a beef with Igloo Australia (Iggy Azalea) which has probably tarnished her view of Australia even more but maybe Splendour have the guts to bring her back. Her debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste, turned out to be brilliant and she’s finding herself on festival lineups again. Although, she is playing in Japan at the end of March so does that mean she’ll extend the trip for some headline shows here in April?

Jessie Ware

British songstress Jessie Ware was a favourite when she toured with Laneway Festival back in 2012, so much so that we were surprised that she didn’t end up on it again this year. It makes sense, however, when you consider she’s just married and embarking on a national tour in her home country. There will be no excuses come July though. She’d fill a mid-afternoon slot expertly with tracks from her latest album Tough Love and it would give her the push she needs down-under.

Tame Impala

This will happen, right? Splendour has always been a place for bands to return to after immense overseas success and Tame Impala have enjoyed that in droves. They’re the second headliner at Coachella, below AC/DC, and with a new album on the way they’re the perfect candidates to potentially headline a night of the festival. They’re well acquainted with the festival, having played in both 2010 and 2012, so it would be a heartwarming return to see them on the mainstage as a more than worthy headliner.

Lana Del Rey

Enough playing LDR. We thought she would play Falls Festival, then Laneway and we’ve also speculated about solo shows but it’s time she just got the hell down here. 2012 was the last year she played Splendour, with good friend Azealia Banks, and she was a shy, amateur at that stage. Her latest album Ultraviolence is a massive improvement on Born To Die and her festival sets everywhere from Glastonbury to Coachella have been praised. If Banks ends up on the lineup again the pair could buddy up at Splendour once again. If not, we’ll probably have to accept she’s not going to make it down here this time round and forever call her Madonna.

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar toured with Eminem in Australia back in 2013 but now with a new album on the way he’s due for another visit. Splendour has a good history with booking big hip-hop acts. Last year Outkast headlined and Childish Gambino tore the mix-up tent apart and in 2011, Kanye West headlined. He’s playing Bonnaroo, Wireless and Sasquatch so his festival set would be well oiled by the time he got here in July. He also doesn’t have anything booked after 4th July. Lock it in.

 

 

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10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Frank Ocean, St Vincent, UV Boi + More

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Some of us are kicking it with the cool kids at Paradise Music Festival and some of us are heading off to OutsideIn and Stereosonic today so excuse us for being a bit rushed in introducing the following tracks. They are no less brilliant or loved, just written with the impending doom of fluoro-clad festival goers in mind.

Frank Ocean- Mesmerise

Oh how we’ve waited for any sign of a new Frank Ocean record since 2012’s brilliant, channelORANGE and this is probably our best indication yet. Overnight Ocean popped online this swirling number, Mesmerise. It’s doesn’t have that crisp production that we’ve become used to, rather borrowing a few of Tame Impala’s techniques, turning it into a psychedelic, under-the-radar number.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/bluntiqradio/frank-ocean-memrise[/soundcloud]

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment- Surf

Need a bit of a pick me up? Had a rough week? Look no further than this happy-go-lucky tune by Chance The Rapper’s The Social Experiment which is apparently now headed up by Donnie Trumpet. We’re not so sure what that’s all about but this is a gospel-flavoured ray of sunshine. Lets have a Chance The Rapper album soon tho, srlsly.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/donnietrumpet/donnie-trumpet-the-social-experiment-sunday-candy[/soundcloud]

Azealia Banks- Chasing Time (Max Tundra Remix)

So Azealia Banks is running a remix competition and giving away $10k for the person who gives her the best remix. Given the song is already a badbitch of a song, it was always going to be hard to make it sound better but British producer Max Tundra has done a mighty job. He’s induced it with a bit of happiness by pulling apart its RnB backbone and placing it firmly in the world of electronica. Bravo all.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/maxtundra/azealia-banks-chasing-time-max-tundra-remix[/soundcloud]

Lana Del Rey- Brooklyn Baby (Tom Vek Remix)

Another remix just cos’ it’s that time of the year where new music is drying up and people are starting to talk about retrospective lists. Speaking of retrospective lists, Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence was surprisingly brilliant and so was its centrepiece, Brooklyn Baby. Here Tom Vek strips away the reverb and goes heavy on the percussion. It no longer sounds like its been recorded in the darkness of a New York basement. It’s ready for the clubs now. Go forth, be free, Brooklyn Baby.

Hannah Diamond- Every Night

We just got our Saturday night jam. Hannah Diamond is the poster girl for PC Music, really and this song is her most dance-ready yet. It’s in the lane of QT’s, Hey QT- a glitzy, saccharine tune with vocals detached from any sort of human presence. It goes to show that a killer pop-melody goes along way. Pop has always been best wrapped in plastic (thanks Aqua) and this is proof of that.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/pcmus/every-night[/soundcloud]

Mark Ronson- Feel Right (Feat. Mystikal)

After hearing this and the mighty Uptown Funk, it’s very clear that Ronson is going all out with the brass on his latest solo record. This one feature New Orleans rapper Mystikal and sounds nothing like anything that’s come out of Britain. It does, however, sound alot like James Brown which was probably intentional.

BANKS- Beggin For Thread (UV boi فوق بنفسجي Remix)

UV Boi is our main boi since we spent last weekend snapchatting with him. His remix of BANKS’, Begging For Thread which dropped this week (hence why it’s in this article) is a blistering, post-trap rework that keeps intact her vocals melodies, rather chosing to have fun with the instrumental. And he has so much fun.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/uvboi/banks-beggin-for-thread-uv-boi[/soundcloud]

Young Father- Soon Come Soon

The internet is a funny thing isn’t it. Young Father won the prestigious Mercury Prize this year, yet when they drop a new single we don’t hear about it for two days. Maybe that’s our fault but at this stage we’d rather blame it on the www. than personal fault. The single, Soon Come Soon, is very worthy of attention. It’s an emotionally-charged number that swaps between singing and rapping. The singing parts are quite affecting, with the layering giving them a choral-effect. This could actually be on a soundtrack for the Lion King. There’d be so many tears.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/bigdadasound/young-fathers-soon-come-soon-3[/soundcloud]

St. Vincent- Pieta & Sparrow

Annie Clarke has been dropping these two live for a while now but she’s finally decided to make them available to us virtual folks online. It’s a tantalising taste of what we have to look forward to when she comes out to Australia for Laneway Festival next year. Pieta, is an elastic, floating tune while Sparrow is a dark, burrowing track that lifts for a holy chorus.

Listen here

Turtle- Lavendar

I often find my attention wanes on ambient tracks but not this. Oh definitely not on this one. Glasgow producer Turtle is about to drop his Colours EP and Lavendar is the first song from it. It’s ambient in every sense of the word but it has a cinematic quality to it thanks to the strings that holds your attention and your heartstrings. Then he adds in another genre with a house-like vocal sample. My mum always said you can mix as many ingredients as you like as long as they all like each other, once there is one wrong element the whole thing is stuffed. Well Turtle’s mum, Mrs. Turtle, was obviously also very wise.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/weareturtle/lavender[/soundcloud]

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

When she opens with the tropical beats of Idle Delilah

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

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

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

When she trades rapping for singing on Chasing Time

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

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

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

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

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

When she finds the perfect partner with Theophilus London in JFK

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

When she heads straight for the dancefloor on Soda

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

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

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

 

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

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

Little Simz x Jakwob - Time Capsule

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

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

Nao- Good Girl

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

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

Collarbones- Only Water (Feat. Oscar Key Sung)

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

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

Klo. - Under Lie

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

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

BenZel- Touch (Feat. Ryn Weaver)

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

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

Future- Never Satisfied (Feat. Drake)

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

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

Tourist- Illuminate (Feat. Years & Years)

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

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

CHVRCHES- Dead Air

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

Azealia Banks- Ice Princess

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

Ryn Weaver- OctaHate (Feat. Cashmere Cat)

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

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

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