"Fuckin oafff dis tracks phatt as cuz"
"Fuckin oafff dis tracks phatt as cuz"
Here's a collection of tracks we loved this week. Tick them off your list so you can move onto next week confident that you took everything from this week that you possibly could.
Years & Years
British trio Years & Years had a mighty task following up their UK chart-topping single King, but it seems as though they've done it with ease. Shine takes a slightly different pace to King but it's no less euphoric with frontman Olly Alexander's vocals once again sounding flawless. At this point it's hard to see the band making any missteps on their forthcoming album Communion which is due out 10th July.
Love Me Badder
Swedish songstress Elliphant has been churning out perfect pop for the better part of two years but it finally feels like she's hit her stride. Last year's MO-featuring One More was one of our favourite tracks of 2014 and this latest one Love Me Badder is just an impressive. It's a big-sounding, dancehall-sampling ballad with a chorus made for the masses. Elliphant's voice is smokey and full-bodied and tackles the huge melody without any problems at all. Her Splendour In The Grass shows should make her plenty of fans here.
Ignore And Wot
I've spent the better part of the week trawling through grime history for a piece that is about to go up on the site. It feels like an appropriate reward that at the end of it all a new Novelist track emerged. Ignorant And Wot popped up on Novelist's soundcloud and it's a corker. It's a ready-made anthem with a simple but hard-hitting hook bookended by fast-flowing verses. It's baffling that this guy is only 18 years-old.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/novelist/ignorant-and-wot[/soundcloud]
Rudimental collaborators have had a pretty good track record when it comes to moving onto their own solo careers. John Newman had a number single on his own, Ella Eyre is making waves with her solo tracks and Sinead Harnett looks set to make a big splash with She Ain't Me. Anne-Marie has toured with Rudimental as their live vocalist but looks to be more than ready to do it alone. Karate, her debut single, is a little more left-field than what the aforementioned names are making. It's experimental pop with a strong melody and airy vocals. It may not be a number one single in waiting but it doesn't feel like that was the goal.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/iamannemarie/anne-marie-karate[/soundcloud]
Bitch Better Have My Money (Diplo & Grandtheft Remix)
For one of Rihanna's less-successful tracks Bitch Better Have My Money keeps popping up everywhere. Last week we got the EDM remix courtesy of R3hab and now we have a remix firmly in the trap-world courtesy of Diplo and Grandtheft. It's far more true to the original than any other remixes we've heard but it does give it an extra dose of oomph with abrasive horns and hard-hitting beats. It's definitely one of Rihanna's more curious singles but it really does just keep getting better. Diplo and Grandtheft have helped that cause.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/diplo/bitch-better-have-my-money-diplo-grandtheft-remixofficial-you-losers[/soundcloud]
Doing It (Carmada Remix)
It's criminal that the original of this song didn't reach number one for 40 weeks on the Australian charts but Aussie duo Carmada may have the answer to ensuring its resurrection. They have been on the Groovin The Moo festival trail with Charli XCX playing their Doing It remix along the way but now we finally have the proper, final product. They keep that stellar chorus and around it build a world of flickering synths, high-pitched vocal samples and mournful keys. We reckon Charli would approve of this one.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/carmadamusic/charli-xcx-doing-it-carmada-remix[/soundcloud]
Rita Ora really doesn't get enough credit. She's currently trying to crack America and in that market she looks like an underdog but in the UK she's had four number one singles. That's damn impressive. Poison is the latest tune to be taken from her forthcoming second album and it's another perfect piece of pop. "I've picked my poison and it's you," she sings over a hard-hitting beat that only eases up for the euphoric verses. It may not be as immediate as I Will Never Let You Down but after two days of listening we can guarantee it's a grower. Listen here.
I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) (Feat. Young Thug)
Popcaan and Young Thug may not be the most likely suspects for a Jamie xx track but goddam does it work. This version that leaked this week only features Young Thug but you can see where Popcaan would happily slot in on the album version. While the feature-vocalists may suggest otherwise, it actually doesn't sound that far out of Jamie xx's world. There are still steel drums, warm bassy synths and a soulful throwback sample (of The Persuasions' Good Times. Like Gosh and Loud Places, it's uplifting music, which seems to be a theme of In Colour when you also consider the multi-coloured album art.[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/looie31007/young-thug-ft-jamie-xx-i-know-theres-gonna-be-good-times[/soundcloud]Laura Clock
Robyn is the queen of mournful dancefloor stompers but in her absence there are plenty of other artists keeping the space warm. One of them is Laura Clock (previously known as Butterclock) who's gearing up to release her debut EP under the new moniker, Baby - Part One. Fade is the first single from that and it's a dancehall-inspired track made for the latest point of the night when the dancefloor is empty enough to really cut loose - Dirty Dancing style.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/goldenbruise/fade/[/soundcloud]
We've been waiting a while for new material from London singer Billie Black but now we finally have it. Black has returned with a killer new hairstyle and a sleek sound that recalls Sade and Jessie Ware. Going Under is her most confident sounding track yet with the latter half exploding into a clean slice of electronica that immediately sounds like London. The track is taken from her forthcoming Teach Me EP which is due to drop 25th May.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/billie-black/billie-black-going-under[/soundcloud]
The spookiest event on the social calendar has finally arrived and time is running out for you to find the perfect Halloween outfit. Instead of going down the regular sexy bunny or vampire route, why not be creative and emulate some of the most notable musicians of 2014? Allow our handy list to inspire and guide you, allowing you to truly stand out this October 31st.
Sia was one of the most talked-about pop producers this year with her anthemic Chandelier making waves on an international level, thus putting the Australian singer, and her trademark blonde bob, on the map. Immortalised by the likes of Lena Dunham, Hilary Duff and Maggie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame, it seemed as though everyone was keen to go platinum in honour of the influential songstress. Follow their lead and pop into your local wig shop to get the shortest, blondest, fringiest blonde bob on offer to wear this Halloween. If you really want to pull out all the stops for this costume, go the Ziegler/Dunham route of taking on the role of Sia by picking someone to party in your place so you can stay home to finish a bag of candy corn as they pretend to be you, pretending to be Sia. How meta is that?
Pro: Blondes have more fun.
Con: If you enlist someone to party in your place à la Lena Dunham, you won't be partaking in any of the fun.
Miley Cyrus is always one to make it into the headlines but her glamorous 'outfit' that premiered at the Alexander Wang after party gave TMZ writers enough icy fodder for days. Show off your Joseph Pilates-sculpted body to the whole world, with a couple of nipple pasties for a touch of modesty, and stick some of your Mum's vitamins onto cat's eye glasses for good measure. Don't use Inner Health Plus or anything like that, 'cos that shit's expensive. Enlist a party partner to pose as Miley's most infamous muscle to make your costume that much more
Pro: What better time to brush up on your twerking skills?
Con: Weather in October can be fickle and those ice cream pasties won't be providing you with too much warmth. This may illicit elicit two large scoops of fripples.
Recreate the second most famous picture in the world, succeeded only by the Mona Lisa itself, by enlisting the help of your partner and your favourite subtle smiling, third-wheelin' friend. Word on the street is that Queen Bey got herself some Grimes-style bangs today so better get those scissors out while you're at it.
Pro: You'll be highly topical and will also get to be Queen Bey for a night.
Con: No one can truly pull off this look other than the Queen herself. But you can at least try your best.
If you're up for a wild night come Halloween, why not replicate the stylings of party girls Elliphant and MØ from their One More music video? Do this by donning yourself, and your BFF, in head-to-toe Adidas, teaming funky slides with a pair of socks, slapping on some Geisha-style makeup and poking a pair of chopsticks in an oriental bun. Go that extra mile and attach LED light strips to your shoes for true dedication to the project.
Pro: Looking like badass, Scandinavian bitches.
Con: May induce drinking, vomiting, kissing, peeing in streets and other types of reckless behaviour (unless you consider this a 'pro').
There are Two Weeks to go until Halloween which means that time is running out for all the best costumes to be shipped from the US. Why not save the time, and the shipping costs, and emulate the captivating appearance and innovative stylings of London artist and producer, FKA Twigs instead? Simply head to your local chemist for a toothcomb and a jar of gel, smack on some maroon lipstick and pierce your nose septum for the full Twigs treatment. Completely nail the 'baby hair' style currently #trending amongst future RnB producers with the handy video tutorial below.
Pro: Save wearing your heart on your sleeve by wearing it on your forehead instead.
Con: Finding a Twilight treat like Twig's current BF, Robert Pattinson, to accompany you for the night might be a bit tricky.
If you don't know QT, it's high time you familiarise yourself with her. Born from the collaborative project of enigmatic producers and PC Music-promoters, A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, this "sparkling future pop sensation" is a fake figurehead of sorts who perfectly blends the genres of K-Pop, electrotonica, chiptune and trance, all before rolling them into a pile of sugar and glitter. Cutesy and kitsch, she's the perfect way to honour both past and future with her nods to both '90s fashion and millennial ideologies.
Pro: Reliving your holographic-wearing days of the '90s.
Con: You'll be hard-pressed finding any drunkards traipsing around Oxford St who will actually understand your costume's significance.
Halloween is all about mystery and disguise, so what better way to fulfil this than to replicate the likeness of the enigmatic producer, SBTRKT? Instead of carving a custom mask out of wood, unless you have time for that kinda thang, we've designed a replica for your convenience, to print out, tie elastic through and place onto that face of yours. Download here.
Pro: The mask will be your key to anonymity.
Con: Good luck trying to drink out of this thing.
London pop songstress, Lily Allen, graced our shores for this year's Splendour in the Grass, and brought along with her a plethora of outfit inspirations. With pinky purple hair, a colourful neon top and bottom combo and a Unif blotter kimono, she was a display of all things tight and bright. Emulate her style with an oriental kimono, her very own line of fake London-inspired nails and a tube of hair dye of desired colour. Also honour Sheezus's penchant for emojis with a pair of bikinis or any other suitable item of that ilk. Feel free to take cues from her SITG set design by dragging along a giant, blow-up baby's bottle for the night.
Pro: You get to show off that really great London accent that you seem to pull off really well after having a few too many.
Con: Fake nails + giant, inflatable object = tears.
When Kanye West embarked on his Yeezus tour in Australia this past September, he amazed, inspired and enraged his fans, and the greater public, with his mesmerising performances and supplementary rants and on-stage antics. His shows consisted of minimal set design and props, with one of the most captivating sights being the slew of embellished masks that Yeezus adorned throughout. While these Maison Martin Margiela-branded, 2,400 crystal-embellished masks may be a little too Haute Couture for a raucous event like Halloween, you're only a packet of Spotlight-sourced, plastic rhinestones, a glue gun and a balaclava away from emulating the Messiah himself.
Pro: Inflate your ego for the night and blame any infractions on Yeezus. However, just be sure not to offend any people with disabilities in the process.
Con: You may be mistaken for a menacing, albeit fabulous, robber.
Mirror the look of this fiesty feline pop star with a pair of cat ears and a giant, fake, clip-in ponytail to make up for what you lack in the height department.
Pro: You'll fit in with all the other 'sexy cat' costumes on October 31.
Con: You must remain on your (more flattering) left side for the duration of the night.
Elliphant and MØ had us enamoured when we first heard One More in this week's First Impressions and now they've definitely grabbed our attention again in the accompanying clip. Donning Geisha-inspired hair-dos and Adidas-clad in matching jackets and light-up slides, the pair get messy out on the town on a night of drunken debauchery. Directed by Tim Erem, it features the two gals drinking, dancing, fighting, kissing and making up.
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. This week we introduce our guest contributor, Peter Rubinstein, who joins us all the way from Los Angeles.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/madeinheights/ghosts[/soundcloud]
Sam: I played DEATH by these guys about 1413 times which is about 1413 more times than I've listened to the U2 album, so as you can imagine I'm pretty enamoured with Made In Heights. Ghost only furthers my fascination with their minimal RnB-cross-pop sound. From the get-go the melody just effortlessly flows out with breathy vocals adding to the ease of he whole aesthetic. It's almost as if JJ stopped smoking pot and went outside. 4
Lizzie: This track grabs your hand and instantly pulls you up to dance. The cow-bell-esque beat is a a bit of fun, and the glistening backing track is a little '90s R&B. My favourite part of this song is the pace, ain’t nothing slow and boring about Made In Heights at the moment, that’s for sure. 4
Bianca: From the very first second, the syncopated rhythm of the cow bell bounces along with energy, setting the perfect backdrop to Kelsey’s sugary-sweet vocals and the romantic, wobbling synths. Love both the scratching breakdown and the synth solo finale which meld into the track so effortlessly. 4 Bianca's Pick
Peter: The tight percussion and rumbling synths are a great side order to Kelsey Bulkin’s soft and melancholy vocals in this track. I would have loved to hear more of the sexy R&B soloing introduced near the end, but the frequent evolutions throughout the song definitely kept my head bobbing. This is another great addition to the group’s already impressive catalog. 3.5
Sam: Following the abrasive masterpiece that was Core this is a serious change of pace for RL Grime. So much so that it really sounds like a How To Dress Well song more than an RL Grime song. Tom Krell moves in and out of falsetto providing a sweet vocal that punches when it needs to. As for the instrumental, there's really not much to say. It's more of a subtle accompaniment to the vocal. 3
Lizzie: Is it just me, or does this sound like Justin Timberlake’s brother? I could easily add this heartfelt track to my depressed hangover playlist - that sounds like an insult, it’s not, there is just a time and place for tracks like these. 3.5
Bianca: Classic Krell, fitting more syllables into each line than one would think humanely possible. This is definitely a departure from Grimes’ usual trap offerings but it was definitely necessary to strip the production right back in order for the beat to live harmoniously Krell's emotionally-stirring voice. Although downtempo & RnB in nature, it still has an underlying current of intensity, one that doesn’t sit too well with me at this time in the morning. 2.5
Peter: Following Steinway’s colossal release of Core, by far my most-played song of the summer, I expected this release to blow me away, especially with support from How To Dress Well. Sadly, I was pretty disappointed by the production on this one. The vocals seem very out of place and even off key at some points, and the lack of any musical progression left me wanting much more. Where Because of U succeeded in being a refreshing, slower anthem, Reminder missed the mark in this humble RL Grime superfan’s opinion. 1.5
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/elliphantmusic/elliphant-one-more-featuring-mo[/soundcloud]
Sam: Oh hell yes. This just proves my theory that Scandinavian girls are the best people in the world. The instrumental of this is so understated yet both their vocals are so cool and full of reckless abandonment. And this sentimental, Robyn-esque chorus hits and it's like, why bother making music if you're not from Scandiavia? This is a duo I whole-heartedly endorse and this may be the best work of both their catalogues yet. 4.5 Sam's Pick
Lizzie: I am all smiles after listening to this. Such talent bundled all up into one song with a pretty bow on top. It has this perfect balance of pop and street grunge cool with MO’s short interlude sounding just magical. Love. 4.5 Lizzie’s pick
Bianca: There is such a youthful energy that emanates from these two. The vocals of the Swede and the Dane unite to make a sweet-talking duo that could get away with murder. Once the synths begin to escalate, their badassery really shines through amongst rumbling synths. Girl power, indeed. 4
Peter: These girls are truly talented. Elliphant and MØ’s vocal ranges complement each other perfectly as they maintain a provocative harmony throughout the track, transforming into a back and forth shouting match as the song comes to a close. The swell of energy keeps the whole production exciting and forward-moving. I think they’ve got a hit on their hands. Now if only they could get Grimes in the studio with them… 4 Peter’s pick
Sam: Yung Lean's hook in this is gold in my opinion. It's dark and haunting that has this clumsy attitude that's hard not to like. I know Travi$ Scott is the one to watch in hip-hop right now but his verses on this sound a little clunky. Only when Lean distorts the rap a bit does it sound in tune with the song. Having heard Iggy Azalea on booty this week I think I can forgive an offshoot verse because the rest is pretty great. 3.5
Lizzie: I am always a sucker to a warping synth, but it needs to be with the appropriate accompaniment. Young lean is an off-note distraction, who ruins the poor synths! Thank god for auto-tune, it is an attempt to make sense of all this mess. 2
Bianca: Yung Lean’s warped chant is giving me vibes of a monk’s sermon and not in a palliative, Enya kinda way. Seems like he’s Yung Leaned too hard onto the auto-tune. Which, by the way, doesn’t do much to disguise his inability to hit certain notes. 2
Peter: I made sure to recline against a wall before checking out Yung Lean’s new release. While the beat had me moving, the overall setup of this track is pretty basic. The autotune and lazy vocal hook were nothing new. He also mentions that he doesn’t “give a f*** about no one expect Lean” but later includes an entire section about all of his homies. Well, which is it?! I just want answers. 2
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/iohyouparty/montgomery-war-cry[/soundcloud]
Sam: Tom from Big Scary is having a great year so far. First he was involved with Airling and now he's jumped on production duties for this one. Montgomery's voice is sweet and the whole instrumental of this is part-polished and part-industrial pop making for a Lorde-esque soundscape. It's a good start but I'm sure there is more in the tank. 3
Lizzie: A classic example of a song that would blow you away if you away if you saw it live. It hits straight to the heart, whether you are a fan of her music or not. I am admittedly not the biggest fan, but I could appreciate it in its big room glory. 3
Bianca: Beautiful, clean production accompanied by an ethereal voice. I'm definitely getting Airling vibes from Montgomery and who better to produce her tracks than Tom Iansek? Dreamy and pensive, War Cry definitely has arresting qualities, although I did find myself becoming a bit bored towards the end. 3
Peter: This one was way too corny for me. Even though Montgomery’s voice is pretty and controlled, the lyrics completely took me out of the vibe. Wishing she had said things she didn’t, trying to forget someone, “feeling the cold”…bleh. Not up my alley. 1.5
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/t-o-l-d/lucifers-eyes[/soundcloud]
Sam: We've always had a bit of a thing for steel drums at the interns and on Lucifer's Eyes it's really the hero of the song. I feel as if this is a guilty pleasure because it's so outwardly enjoyable on first listen, but I suppose given he's a new artist with a dark, mysterious look, it's not really in the same way that Fancy is, is it? This track comes just in time for our Summer and it's actually kind of faultless. And for that I remove one point. Nobody’s perfect. 4
Lizzie: This track could have easily found itself on the Tomorrowland After movie released this week. The floaty nostalgia is present throughout, creating this Summertime love story soundtrack. On my first listen I had this desire for the song to become more layered and intense, however after a couple more spins I have come to appreciate it just how it is, in all its simplicity. 4
Bianca: The second the steel drums hit my ears, I was sold. If an artist ever were to win my heart, it would be through the clanging of these Caribbean pans of heaven. Creating happy, tropical vibes, they provide a wonderful juxtaposition to T.O.L.D's dark, brooding voice which leaves me to wonder whether I should be feeling celebratory or melancholic. Either way, it's a nostalgia-ridden, evocative tune that's dropped just in time for Summer. 4 Also Bianca's Pick
Peter: “I sleep with no voice, and wake with no name”: vague with extra cheese. I didn’t want to like this one, but the steel drums and droning guitar plucks reminded me too much of seeing big, magical acts like this at music festivals. Take these sounds and rhythms and add 30,000 swaying people, and I’ll listen to Lucifer’s Eyes any day. 3
The stars have finally aligned. Two goddesses at the top of their game have combined their talents to produce 'One More', the latest cut from Swedish singer (and occasional rapper) Elliphant''s upcoming One More EP, out on October 14. An effortlessly natural combination, MØ plays the perfect musical guest, offering up her cool pop vocals but with her own unique edgy twist. Enjoy...