SingleCovers_Mundane

6 Single Covers Transformed Into Mundane Advertisements

Artists are so often endorsing brands by filming new ad campaigns or posing with products that they probably sent their Nanny down to the shops to buy once. But, why don't they save the time and see the gold that is sitting right in front of them? Here, we've taken their single covers or press shots and re-appropriated them into advertisements.

Florence + The Machine
Delilah 

MundaneAd_Florence

Charlie Puth 
Marvin Gaye (Feat. Meghan Trainor)

MundaneAd_Charlieputh

Rihanna 
Bitch Better Have My Money 

MundaneAd_Rihanna

Taylor Swift 
Bad Blood 

MundaneAd_Taylor

 

Rihanna And Kanye West And Paul McCartney 
FourFiveSeconds 

MundaneAd_FourFiveSeconds

Sam Smith 
Lay Me Down

MundaneAd_SamSmith

Albumsin2015

Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Year's Most Anticipated Albums

Albumsin2015

2015 has already gone above and beyond its call of duty in terms of dropping great albums. Sufjan Stevens, Björk, Kendrick Lamar, Jamie xx and plenty more have delivered fantastic albums that easily beat most LPs released last year. It's not stopping there though. There are impending releases from the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna and Frank Ocean all due for release this year if they get their act together. Below is a guide of what to expect and when to expect it.

Kanye West
Swish

Nobody really knows what the hell is going on with this one. It was originally called So Help Me God but it has since been renamed Swish and we’re really not sure what is going to be on the album apart from one song. During the Yeezy x Adidas launch, it was revealed that Wolves would be track one of the new album, but Yeezy himself is yet to confirm whether All Day, Only One or FourFiveSeconds will be on the album.

In terms of collaborators, there’s Theophilus London, Vic Mensa, Sia, Rihanna, Paul McCartney and apparently even Diddy on the album. He kind of revealed to Zane Lowe in an interview that he and Rihanna would be touring together, so you’d imagine she will feature quite heavily on the record.

As for a release date, we haven’t even got a hint yet. There was a period around his Adidas launch when it was looking pretty certain that it would come soon but since then things have slowed down with the rapper most relying on All Day when it comes to live appearances.

Rihanna
#R8

It feels as if we’ve been seeing tweets about #R8 for years now. It’s been a little under three years since Rihanna’s last album Unapologetic which is unheard of in the world of one-album-a-year RiRi so it’s understandable that everyone’s getting a little restless.

Hold tight because there’s a lot to get through with this one. Firstly, we’ve heard FourFiveSeconds, American Oxygen, Bitch Better Have My Money and James Joint which are all assumed to be from the album. The producer of BBHMM Bibi Bourelly has reportedly also written Higher which was teased on her Instagram. We’ve also heard the Florence + The Machine-sampling Only If For A Night which featured on the Dior ad. So there’s six songs that may or may not be on the album.

Kanye West is understood to be the executive producer of #R8 but so far no other producers have been confirmed. As for the songs, Rihanna told MTV News, “I wanted songs that I could perform in 15 years. I want an album that I could 15 years, not any songs that were burnt out.”

Surely this album will come out this year but at this point we have no idea. Rihanna is yet to really nail a full album so it seems like she’s taking her time with this one to get it completely right.

Lana Del Rey
Honeymoon

This week Lana Del Rey revealed that her third album Honeymoon would be released in September. That’s just over a year since the release of Ultraviolence showing that she’s moving things along pretty quickly. On Instagram Del Rey described the record as “a beautiful futureretro record,” and that she’s already shot two videos for it.

Mark Ronson revealed in an interview with Interview Magazine that he was going into the studio to work with LDR but there has been no confirmation as to whether any of his work will end up on the album.

In terms of songs, she revealed to Billboard that she’s doing a cover of Nina Simone’s Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood which will probably end the record just like her cover of The Other Woman did on Ultraviolence. She’s currently on tour with Courtney Love and on that tour she’s selling a tour book with the lyrics to Honeymoon printed. But that’s all the information we have. For all we know, she could be planning an EDM record.

Grimes
TBA

Grimes hasn’t had an album since 2012’s Visions but she has by no means been quiet. She’s released her Rihanna-reject Go, a brilliant demo called REALiTi and a track with Bleachers for Girls titled Entropy. It seems putting the album together has been a pretty long process. She binned a whole album worth of material because she found it “depressing” and wants the new album to be “as good as possible.”

Now details are finally starting to emerge about when to expect the album. She took to Twitter to reveal that the album will drop in October and then counter-intuitively said that it would be a surprise-drop because she wants fans to get it at the same time as press. It’s been recorded with “real instruments” and is a lot different to anything she’s done in the past. Also, every track on the album is “super different.”

https://twitter.com/Grimezsz/status/602299845995470848

https://twitter.com/Grimezsz/status/602328389601644544

Miguel
Wildheart

Earlier this year it was revealed that Miguel’s album was tentatively called WildHeart. Now it’s been confirmed that his album is definitely called WildHeart and we’ve got confirmation that the album is coming this year. Even better, we have a release date of 30 June which he revealed in an interview.

The record has been preceded by Coffee (Fucking) which features Wale and is an extended version of the song that appeared on his EP at the end of last year. He told Rolling Stone that the album was made with the intention of crafting "an ode to love of self...? [and] the ongoing infatuation with whatever you're fucking into." He also wants the record to “feel and taste like twilight in L.A." Rolling Stone also revealed that three track names being Leaves, A Beautiful Exit and N.W.A. which features Kurupt.

He’s worked with Kaleidoscope Dream producers Pop and Oak as well as Benny Cassette and Benny Blanco. He began working on it in January of 2014 and credits a trip to Australia as slowing the process down, so well done us.

#WILDHEART

A post shared by Miguel (@miguel) on

Drake
Views From The 6

Drake confirmed that the title of his fourth album would be Views From The 6 last year but since then we really haven’t heard anything off it. Of course, we got his surprise mixtape earlier this year in the form of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late but we still have no official word on when to expect his next studio album, which we’re going to assume is still called Views From The 6.

In March, Ernest Baker, a journalist who spent time with Drake during Coachella said that the rapper has two songs that he likes for the new record. The first is one that features Beyonce and the second is one that “he expects to inspire a paradigm shift.” Last week a song called Can I featuring Beyonce leaked, however, there has been no word from the OVO camp as to whether it’s bound for the next album or not.

Two other songs have also leaked this week, On A Wave featuring Tinashe and Go Out Tonight, which could be on the album, but they might also not be so, there you go.

Drake’s currently on his Jungle tour which is due to finish in a week’s time so maybe he’ll get to work when he returns from that.

Sky Ferreira
Masochism

Sky Ferreira is currently working on the follow-up to 2013’s brilliant Night Time My Time. Last month she took to Twitter to confirm that album number two will be called Masochism. Details are scarce on what to expect from the record but she told Billboard that she’s working with Ariel Rechtshaid and Justin Raisen who worked on her debut and was also looking to get into the studio with Gesaffelstein. She also revealed that she is collaborating with Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes of Primal Scream.

She’s performed one new song live, Guardian, late last year but we’re yet to get any official tracks from the record. Just this week she posted to Instagram a picture of Fever Ray’s album cover for her self-titled debut and captioned it “big big big influence for Masochism.”

Frank Ocean
Boys Don’t Cry

Back in April Frank Ocean kind of revealed on his Tumblr that his new album would be called Boys Don’t Cry and would be accompanied by a magazine. Since then, he’s been pretty much mute on what to expect from the album which is due to drop in July.

This week French pianist Christophe Chassol told BBC 6 Music that he had been asked to record piano for the album. He revealed that Ocean had been recording the album at Abbey Road and that Ocean had asked him “to do some speech harmonization on a song with him.”

Last year his frequent collaborator Nabil said, “Everyone should be excited about this new album — that shit is fire. He’s making a great record. It blows the sophomore-album myth out of the water.” Meanwhile Pigeons and Planes reckon he’s cooking up a rap album. They could be right.

Beach House
Depression Cherry

Only today Beach House announced the release of their forthcoming album Depression Cherry. It follows the release of 2012’s Bloom and is said to be a return to the more minimalistic sound of Devotion and their self-titled debut.

“This record shows a return to simplicity, with songs structured around a melody and a few instruments, with live drums playing a far lesser role,” the duo said in a press release.

“With the growing success of Teen Dream and Bloom, the larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove us towards a louder, more aggressive place; a place farther from our natural tendencies. Here, we continue to let ourselves evolve while fully ignoring the commercial context in which we exist.”

It’s due to be released on 28th August and the cover is actually made of red vinyl. Check the tracklist and cover below:

Beach House Announce New Album Depression Cherry and World Tour

1. Levitation
2. Sparks
3. Space Song
4. Beyond Love
5. 10:37
6. PPP
7. Wildflower
8. Bluebird
9. Days of Candy

10BestLooks_25May

10 Of The Best Looks In Music This Week

10BestLooks_25May

All the best looks from this week to guide you on what to wear next week. However, if you're taking a quick trip to the grocery store maybe ditch the FKA twigs or Bjork outfits. RiRi's no-shoe ensemble will do just fine.

Elliphant rockin' the best pair of Nike's we saw all week

SpringTime ina StockholMTown!

A post shared by Elliphant (@elliphantmusic) on


The Love Me Badder singer continues to make it so easy to love her.

Solange strolling Marie Antoinette's house
https://instagram.com/p/27aBR5woov/
The ever-stylish singer took to Versailles in France in this perfect combo, complete with a flowing trail on her top.

Rita Ora meeting Mariah Carey in a Chanel belt


If you're going to meet Mariah Carey you better be prepared to bring the bling and that's exactly what Rita Ora did. She looked near perfect in all black with a hint of gold.

Janelle Monáe becoming the Queen of the yoga studio
Janelle Monáe made a name for herself by rocking tuxedos but these days she's moving away from that. Performing her latest track Yoga on Jimmy Fallon, Monáe donned a crown and channelled half-sport, half-chic.

Björk performing a surprise DJ set in a gold mesh mask

Image: Factmag

When you've defined avant-garde fashion for more than two decades it must be hard to keep churning out interesting stuff but Björk never fails. This week she took to Tri Angle Records fifth anniversary in Manhattan and DJ'ed for an hour looking perfect.

Rihanna going from Dior to denim

like a bo$$

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on


Last week Rihanna was glamming it up in the Dior ads and this week she's strolling the streets barefoot. Bitch better have her shoes, RiRi is coming for you.

Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé winning everything in the Feelin Myself video
beyonce-nicki-minaj-FM4

It was a big week for clips but none featured better fashun than Nicki and Bey's video. With Nicki wearing Chloe and Moschino and Bey wearing Oscar de la Renta, the pair took Coachella like never before. Carry on...

Kanye going up in flames in a bullet-proof vest

Image: Hypetrak

Wearing all black, took the Billboard awards channelling early 50 Cent (not that he would condone the comparison). Is there a man who does all black better than Yeezus himself?

Taylor Swift fully-aware that she's owning the Billboard Awards

Image: IBTimes

You debut a video that goes on to be the most watched Vevo in 24 hours and you turn up wearing a Balmain jumpsuit that makes everyone die. I die, you die, we're all literally dying.

FKA twigs debuting Congregata in dominatrix leather

FKA Twigs_6

Image: CoS

By all accounts FKA twigs' all-encompassing Congregata show for the Red Bull Music Academy in New York was flawless as was this black leather-clad outfit.

Tidal

Your Free Month Of Tidal Is Up, What Are You Going To Do?

Tidal

Image: Capital Xtra

One month ago Jay Z, joined by the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna, Madonna and Daft Punk, launched Tidal, a streaming service that bragged high-quality audio, exclusive content and a raft of high-profile owners who could afford its $20 a month subscription. It all sounded great at the start. Jay Z gushed about the large royalties going to artists, the high-quality sound and content exclusive to Tidal but its fortunes turned pretty quickly.

With the world's biggest musicians all owning a streaming service, it begged the question - what could possibly go wrong? Well a lot apparently. Tidal has received a lot of press over the last month but not a lot of it has been good. Musicians not involved in the project have come out in droves to criticise the price and exclusivity of it while the app itself has dropped out of the top 700 on iTunes.

There are a number of benefits to Tidal. Jay Z tweeted that Tidal pays a 75% royalty rate to artists which, if true, is fantastic. It also does have great sound when played in hi-fi mode. And it does, unlike Spotify, have Taylor Swift, apart from her most recent record, 1989.

If you signed up for Tidal right from the get-go you would have received a free month subscription. That month is now up and you're going to have to fork out your $20 soon. Are you going to stick around? We've compiled a few thoughts to help you.

Here's What Artists Are Saying

Grimes
Grimes is one of the few artists that has been complimentary about Tidal. A few days ago she posted an instagram of a screenshot of Jay Z's tweet along with a comment that read:

"Mad respect for tidal!! I literally know musicians who live in cars and storage spaces etc. And I know some pretty popular musicians who still struggle to make ends meet. Unless artists have a popular live show there aren’t a lot of income streams available. People have characterized tidal negatively but I promise it’s 100% artist friendly, and fan friendly since yall have the option to pay the same rate as other streaming respect to everyone involved for doing the right thing for struggling artists – this kind of thing is so important, especially for indie music! PS I AM SIGNED TO 4AD!! The misconception that I am not an independent artist anymore is incorrect, i can speak as an independent artist here. Roc nation manages me, I’m not signed to them nor do I have any investment in tidal, nor did anyone ask me to say this. Ps to everyone who buys music respect! Glad to hear many of u buy music rather than stream which is the best way to support smaller artists! ^_^ and also, for those who can’t afford streaming or buying music, I do not judge anyone for that! This is a suggestion, not a demand, in sorry it has created so much anger amongst yall"

The comment has since been deleted.

A post shared by Grimezsz (@grimes) on

Marcus Mumford
The frontman of Mumford & Sons says he never would've been part of the project because he doesn't want to be "tribal." In an interview with The Daily Beast he said, "I think smaller bands should get paid more for it. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don’t think you can complain. When they say it’s artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists... I don’t want to align myself with Spotify, Beats, Tidal, or whatever. We want people to listen to our music in their most comfortable way, and if they’re not up for paying for it, I don’t really care."

It seems he's mirroring many people's feelings about Tidal which is they "don't really care."

Lily Allen
Lily Allen has probably been one of the most vocal about Tidal. In a series of tweets she said, "unless TIDAL start sending everyone good quality headphones, the resolution thing is kinda redundant." You've got to hand it to her, it's a good point.

She also wrote, "i think i may have spoken too soon, and that there is a lot to celebrate where TIDAL is concerned."

Ben Gibbard
Death Cab for Cutie frontman, Ben Gibbard has criticised the streaming service for only appealing to mainstream artists. In an interview with The Daily Beast Gibbard said, "If I had been Jay Z, I would have brought out 10 artists that were underground or independent and said, 'These are the people who are struggling to make a living in today’s music industry. Whereas this competitor streaming site pays this person 15 cents for X amount of streams, that same amount of streams on my site, on Tidal, will pay that artist this much.' I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid."

Madonna
Madge is obviously going to praise the streaming service as she is one of the 16 artist-owners. She took to Instagram to defend the service against the backlash writing, "Tidal is not about consumption and greed! Its about protecting an art-form that is beloved to all of us MUSIC". She continued, "If you refer to Tidal as Illuminati, you are paying us the highest of compliments. As I've stated before it is another name for "The Enlightened Ones" a group of scientists, philosophers and artists that emerged after the dark ages. They changed and shaped the world for the better! Do the research and find out for yourself!"

Kanye West
Reports surfaced last week that Kanye West had deleted the Tidal blue as his Twitter picture and deleted tweets about the streaming service. True as it may be the same week a piece also appeared in Paper Magazine where the rapper defended Tidal fervently. Like Madonna, he touched on the illuminati comments saying, "I heard a comment -- a joke -- about the Tidal press conference being an Illuminati moment. If there was actually an Illuminati, it would be more like the energy companies. Not celebrities that gave their life to music and who are pinpointed as decoys for people who really run the world."

On 22nd April West tweeted this:

Sounds like he's sticking with Tidal. We may also take this opportunity to note that the reports about him ditching Tidal are ridiculous. Many of the 16 artists involved in Tidal changed their profile picture to blue when Tidal was launched and gradually went back to their original after a few weeks. For some reason Kanye also deleted his tweets about Tidal which is what sparked a media barrage.  He hasn't spoken out as to why he did that.

Steve Albini
Legendary music producer and engineer Steve Albini commented about the sound quality aspect of Tidal. He told Vulture, "If you want your music to play at the push of a button, convenience is going to trump sound quality 100 percent of the time."

Jay Z
As the owner of Tidal Jay Z has said a lot. Most of that is here on his Twitter. He took to Twitter over the weekend to defend Tidal with a series of #TidalFacts tweets. Time fact-checked the tweets and found that most of them are true.


Also, for those of you who were wondering, Jay Z did actually send his cousin to Nigeria as noted. Complex did a little investigative digging here.

Here's What You Might Get If You Stick Around

Nicki Minaj Material
We're not exactly sure what, but Nicki Minaj is preparing to drop something exclusively on Tidal. She tweeted this:

And then tweeted this:

A Beyoncé and Jay Z Album
This one might not happen, but we're hoping that it does. DJ Skee (yeah, us either) has said that the couple are nearing completion of a collaboration album and will be a Tidal exclusive when it's released.

#R8
There are no reports regarding this one but Rihanna has already dropped American Oxygen exclusively to Tidal so it would make sense if she also dropped the whole album on Tidal. The risk of doing this would be that less people would hear it immediately and it would make its way onto torrent sites immediately but that's the risk you take if you're going to fully dedicate yourself to Tidal.

Plenty More From Tidal's Owners
So far we've already gotten exclusives from Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Jack White, Daft Punk, Madonna and more. Surely Tidal have a strategy that goes further than just its first month so it would make sense to think that this content is going to keep coming for the next few months at least. One thing to consider though is if you're going to release something exclusively to Tidal, you're really not looking for it to chart very high. Rihanna released her single American Oxygen to iTunes the week after it went up exclusively on Tidal. Beyond a video or off-cut from an album you won't see many of these tracks remain Tidal exclusives for long if the artist is looking at nabbing a hit.

What Are We Going To Do?
All things considered we're impressed by Tidal. The hi-fi sound is excellent on good quality headphone (which is not helpful to many, mind you) and the exclusive content is definitely appealing. The issue is that that exclusive content does ostracise many that can't afford Tidal's excessive subscription fees. The interface of Tidal is arguably nicer than Spotify, making it incredibly easy to use.

Our biggest issue is that Tidal needs time to grow. It needs time to expand its library and iron out some of its problems. The streaming service needs time to stand on its own two feet. Perhaps the worst thing Jay Z did was launch it on stage with a bunch of music stars. What seemed like a great publicity stunt has backfired and taken the attention away from the actually service itself and translated to a bunch on critiques about rich people getting richer.

We couldn't care less if this adds to Jay Z's empire or not. If the artists do receive their 75% royalty rate then that's great. If it forces artists to make a decision about what streaming service to make their content exclusive too then that's problematic. Users will have to either subscribe to multiple services or resort to torrenting the content that isn't exclusive to their chosen service.

For the time being we will be sticking with Spotify as it's a more reliable and established service. If Jay Z or Jack White give us a courtesy call in a few months time and ask us to reconsider then we may think again. They need to do a number of things before that though. They need to remove their high-profile owners from the marketing strategy and they need to concentrate on expanding the music library and increasing some of the creative content on the site. Tidal has a chance to integrate articles, interviews and more written content with its music and video library and that could be what will really set it apart.

It's too early to write Tidal off but it's also too early to fork out the money in favour of Spotify or another established streaming service.

Here's the situation explained in pictorial form: 

Tidal

 

10Songs_17April

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Sia, Vic Mensa, Kanye West + More

10Songs_17April

Stepping out of the haze of the Coachella weekend and back into the new music world, here are 10 songs that you need to wrap your ears around this week.

Samantha Urbani
1234

Samantha Urbani was the lead-vocalist of uber cool Brooklyn band Friends who broke out with I'm His Girl back in 2011. It seems now though she's stepping out on her own with the assistance of her boyfriend and our favourite producer Dev Hynes. 1 2 3 4 is her first audible endeavour as a solo artist and was apparently half-recorded on a train which is both impressive and confusing. Its sound is a little cleaner than the scuzzy vibes of Friends but it's still melodically tight and buoyed by an impressively strong chorus. Dev's influence is all over it which is a ok with us, as per usual.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/samantha-urbani/1-2-3-4a[/soundcloud]

Aeroplane
Let's Get Slow (Feat. Benjamin Diamond)

When you go by the moniker of Aeroplane you better be serving up euphoric, head-in-the-clouds type music and that's exactly what this Italian-Belgian producer does. Aeroplane has done remixes of everyone from Charli XCX to Justin Timberlake but he's also fully-capable of crafting his own tracks of smooth, melodic electronic music. Let's Get Slow features the vocals of Stardust's Benjamin Diamond (remember this?) who helps bring equal parts of funk and sensuality. "Let's get together baby, let's get high," is exactly the kind of lyric the dancefloor needs.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/aeroplane/lets-get-slow-feat-benjamin-diamond[/soundcloud]

Made In Heights
Forgiveness

Made In Heights have trickled out brilliant tracks for the better part of two years now with never any word of an album. Now though it seems we are finally going to get that LP with their new track Forgiveness coming with word that an album is set to drop on 26th May. The US duos latest track has us swooning once more with a percussion-driven hook bookended by swelling synths and fragile vocals. They nail the rarely-trodden genre of subtle pop music and we can't wait to see what else they have on their album.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/madeinheights/forgiveness[/soundcloud]

Empress Of
Water Water

Empress Of made a name for herself in 2013 with a brilliant run of tracks starting with Don't Tell Me but since then she's been pretty quiet. That's because she's been working on a debut album set to be released via Terrible Records and XL Records. XL usually don't waste their time with artists unless their pretty damn sure about them (Adele, Shamir, FKA Twigs) so you can feel pretty confident about what Empress Of has been crafting. Our first taste is Water Water, a rushing synth-driven track which is darkened by the brooding vocals that teeter between Robyn and Zola Jesus. This has the potential to be one of the most captivating records of the year.

BenZel
Stuck On You (Feat. Tory Lanez)

Two Inch Punch and Benny Blanco are in their own right brilliant producers so it's not surprise that together they've been churning out some pretty impressive stuff. Stuck On You is the latest track to come from the duo and it's the first BenZel track to feature a solo male vocal. Canadian rapper and singer Tory Lanez perfectly weaves through BenZel's smooth, spacey instrumental switching between his two crafts effortlessly. This tracks up for free download so grab it while you can.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/officialbenzel/stuck-on-you-ft-tory-lanez[/soundcloud]

Hudson Mohawke
Ryderz

Incase you haven't heard HudMo is prepping the release of his debut album lantern which will be with us in June. First we heard Very First Breath and now we've been gifted Ryderz - a soulful, triumphant number centring around a sample of D.J. Rogers' Watch Out For The Riders. These type of songs are the ones that convert a set from being great to being mind-blowing. It's so grand that it manages to both tug at the heart and raise your hands to the air.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/hudsonmohawke/ryderz-rinse[/soundcloud]

Giorgio Moroder
Déjà Vu (Feat. Sia)

The reaction to Giorgio Moroder's collaboration with Kylie, Right Here, Right Now, was lukewarm but it's likely that this one with Sia will excite much more. Sia dons her disco diva alter-ego for Déjà Vu, the title track from Moroder's forthcoming LP. There's lush strings, funky guitar-riffs and a blue-light-disco-ready beat sitting below Sia's euphoric vocal. This is the funnest thing Sia has ever attached her name to and it might just have the same effect on people that Daft Punk's Get Lucky did two years ago.

Vic Mensa
U Mad (Feat. Kanye West)

If you're gonna drop a collaboration with Kanye West it's probably best you make a moment of it. That's exactly what Vic Mensa did with U Mad last weekend. He performed the song at Coachella to an elated crowd and then shot it out all over the internet. The track has Mr. West all over it both vocally and instrumentally. There's big horns, abrasive raps and a thudding beat. While Kanye is an undeniable presence, Mensa holds his own proving that he can kick it with the big kids. In fact his rap is probably more abrasive and attention-grabbing than Kanye's.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/fuck-vic-mensa/u-mad-feat-kanye-west[/soundcloud]

Erik Hassle
No Words

We go crazy for a big pop tune over here at the interns and No Words by Swedish singer Erik Hassle ticks all the boxes. Despite making brilliant pop songs since 2008 Hassle is yet to have his huge commercial breakthrough as a solo artist. He wrote Shakira and Rihanna's Can't Remember To Forget You but it's about time he had some chart success with his own face lit up in lights. Surely this will do it. It sinks right into the ears effortlessly without being too in-your-face and compliments a happy-go-lucky instrumental with mournful vocals.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/erikhassle/no-words[/soundcloud]

Sinead Harnett
She Ain't No

You would have heard British songstress Sinead Harnett's name pop up a number of times over the last few years. She featured on Discolsure's Boiling and also was the vocalist on Ryan Hemsworth's Small + Lost. It seems, however, Harnett is done with paddling other people's boats as she's gearing up to really push her own solo career with the release of She Ain't No. Harnett's smokey voice is the perfect antidote for the industrial RnB beats. It's a slight step away from the dance world she's operated in as a featured vocalist which seems like the logical step to differentiate herself.

For your convenience, here are all/most of the songs together:

https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-9

tidal3

Breaking Down The Hashtag: What Is #TIDALforALL?

tidalforallThe basics - What is Tidal?

Tidal is a new music streaming service that will offer high fidelity sound quality, HD music videos and expertly Curated Editorial. In a nutshell, Tidal will be a hybrid of Spotify, Vimeo and perhaps even our high fashion online zines of choice (I mean…surely, if Kanye is involved). Apart from promising the highest quality in sound and video, Tidal are also making sure that their service is available when you’re offline…excellent if you like to blast tunes whilst on road trips to Byron and your service provider is anybody but Telstra.

tidal-share.9d1c0023How is this any different from Spotify or Vimeo?

The major difference is that you’re getting both music and video in the same place, something Spotify does not offer and Vimeo (or Youtube) generally don’t have excellent sound quality either. That’s the technical difference. The big campaign behind Tidal however is not about its features but about the fact that it is owned directly by a group of musicians rather than corporations.

artists_tidalWait…who owns it?

Musicians…namely- Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Win Butler & Régine Chassagne (of Arcade Fire), Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin (of Coldplay), Daft Punk, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Kanye West, Deadmau5, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Usher.

During the press conference yesterday in which Tidal was officially re-launched, all of the above artists stood united together on the same stage in a very Hunger-games-esque moment of rebellion (Calvin & Chris were there via video screens but hey, they tried). As a very excited Alicia Keys gave a speech about the new service in which she didn’t actually say a whole lot except that what they were doing was “so powerful”. So of course, many are still a bit confused as to why Tidal is such a big deal.

NAVY, turn the tide…#MakeMusicHistory #TurnitBlue #TIDALforALL

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Do you know why?

Tidal is going to be the first streaming service in which artists are calling the shots and setting the standards, so yeah…it’s a big f**cking deal. Currently a streaming service like Spotify pays artists an appalling amount in royalties. To put it into perspective…if you’re an emerging Sydney artist and you manage to get your song streaming in the playlist, “Triple J’s Hitlist” and by some miracle Spotify users play your song a total of 50 000 times…you’re going to make about $260 (and that’s before your label/agency/management take their cut). That. Is. Horrendous…considering so much money (and heart) go into the writing and recording of new material. Maybe most of you don’t give a shit about how much of your $9.99 a month subscription is going towards the musicians but you should, because sooner or later that music might just stop… Can’t keep releasing new tunes if you got no cash flow, son!

Tidal is the first streaming company that is fighting to take back what rightfully belongs to the artist and that alone should be worth the $19.99 a month.

jay_z_tweet$11.99 a month? That’s daylight robbery!

No, the two $10 burgers you’ll eat at Grill’d this month are daylight robbery. This is a small price to pay to put some of the cash and power back in the hands of the people who are constantly giving to the rest of us with their songs.

If AUD$11.99 (or AUD$23.99 for premium) is too big a stretch for you, Tidal is offering a $9.99 a month package in which the song quality is only at standard definition (which unless you’re a tech/audio geek or a muso, you probably won’t notice the difference anyway). The difference in price to the musicians however is that Tidal are offering their artist double the standard royalty rate if you buy into their premium music package so if you can bear to part with $20 a month (which if you’re honest you probably can) I would suggest going with this package as you are aiding the growth of a company that will hopefully do great things in the long term.

jayzilluminatiGreat things? Like what?

Tidal is essentially Jay Z’s baby and maybe that’s got you making weird illuminati signs at your screen and calling this whole thing bullshit but put your stupid conspiracy theories away for two minutes to consider a future where musicians are calling the shots on what happens to their own music. The promise Jay & the team at Tidal have made is that the service will be constantly evolving…my personal hope is that involves taking on artists who may not see a dollar for their craft otherwise. The owner’s board is currently filled with some of the richest and most influential artists alive today but perhaps there will be a future for Tidal where a small indie band from Ulladulla can move out of their parents’ basement because companies like Tidal have payed them for their hard work and their gift to the rest of us.

As Alicia Keys so cleverly pointed out in her keynote speech, Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Without music, life would be a mistake”.

So maybe it’s time to give back some, huh?

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10 Things That Should And Could Happen At Coachella 2015

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In just a week's time, the interns will be going international, following our Aussie artists around the US, discovering a few international artists and covering one of the biggest festivals in the world, Coachella. We're going to the land of the free and because we like ruining surprises we're attempting to guess what's going to happen at Coachella. Coachella is the festival for surprises. We've seen 2Pac appear as a hologram, Daft Punk debut Get Lucky and Beyonce get up to dance with Solange. Never does a year go by where something special doesn't happen so here are our educated guesses as to what the festival will bring us in 2015.

Nicki Minaj Comes Out For Drake

Every year at Coachella there’s a number of acts who jam-pack their set with special guests. Last year it was Pharrell who brought out the likes of Usher, Gwen Stefani and Jay Z. This year, it looks like Drake is the most appropriate artist to bring out a plethora of guests. Of course, Kanye West has been everywhere at the moment and also had a collaboration album in the works with Drake last year, so he is an obvious guess.

Another possibility is Nicki Minaj who is a label-mate of Drake and they each feature on a number of each other's tracks. Drake has made Minaj’s Truffle Butter a staple of his recent sets so a Nicki appearance would make so much sense. The bad news? She’s in the UK during weekend one so weekend two would be the only possibility.

The Weeknd is also on the lineup and could make an appearance for Crew Love. Lil Wayne is a long shot but his tour schedule leaves room for a weekend one appearance so all the fingers and toes are crossed.

We’d also be happy if Rihanna jumped up on stage with him. She stomped around the festival grounds last year and is also building hype for her eighth album and this would be an easy press grab.

Run The Jewels Collaborate With Until The Ribbon Breaks

Run The Jewels feature on Until The Ribbon BreaksRevolution Indifference and UTRB feature on RTJ’s Job Well Done so an on-stage collaboration at Coachella wouldn’t be out of the blue. Run The Jewels’ recent shows makes them an early favourite to be one of the best acts of the weekend so an opportunity to see them twice is not one we would pass up.

The Kardashians Dominate The Coachella Headlines

Coachella last year was all about Kendall Jenner. The second youngest of the klan strutted around Palm Springs just when her career as a model was starting to blow up. Kylie was also there last year but all eyes will be on Kim Kardashian this year. If Kanye jumps up on stage with Drake it would be rude of Kim not to make an appearance.

Of course the Kardashians only distract from the main focus of the weekend (music) but Coachella has always encouraged a little celeb spotting.

The Aussies Hold Their Own

We’ve got a pretty impressive contingent this year. Alison Wonderland, Peking Duk and What So Not will be pumping out their tunes over the weekend proving why Aussie electronica is impressing the world right now. Vance Joy, Angus and Julia Stone, Chet Faker, AC/DC and Tame Impala are also playing but we reckon all eyes will be on our electronic artists. Since Flume blew the roof of the festival last year, Americans seem to be keen for more and more of our brand of electronica and these three acts are probably the best representation of where we’re at in 2015.

Also, Wonderland is one of a very small handful of female producers taking to the stage (including Annie Mac!) and she’s got more than enough gusto to take on the boys. Anna Lunoe held her own last year and Wonderland will have no problem this year.

AC/DC Draw The Smallest Headline Crowd Of The Weekend

They may be Aussie but AC/DC is a very confusing choice for Coachella, a festival known for drawing a largely youthful audience. It’s impressive that Aussies Tame Impala and AC/DC will finish-up night one but it’s hard to be sold on the fact that the veterans are a great fit for the festival. Glastonbury has so far announced Foo Fighters and Kanye West. AC/DC would arguably be a must better fit for Glasto while the Foos would’ve been a perfect headliner. Last year Coachella nailed it with Outkast, Muse and Arcade Fire. This year the headliners feel a little flat. It will be interesting to watch but we reckon a lot of people will be looking for alternatives on the first night.

Electronica Rises While EDM Falls

It took a while for EDM to find its way to America but it’s now well and truly established. Last year Calvin Harris broke attendance records on the mainstage at Coachella and it seems this year it will be left up to veterans like David Guetta to do the same. What’s more striking about this years lineup, however, is how many electronic producers features. Bixel Boys, Cashmere Cat, Jon Hopkins, Ryan Hemsworth, Kaytranada, Odesza and Todd Terje (just to name a few) all standout as prominent additions to the lineup in 2015. For the most part, these acts really grew their profile last year (Jon Hopkins is a legend, so maybe not him) and built their own hype. They also have great records to stand on. Cashmere Cat could really make a big impression as he’s the only one here really reaching into the pop-world. With Ariana Grande on side he could really give the EDM acts a run for their money.

On the other hand the EDM lineup seems stale. David Guetta is the biggest name on there and he’s joined by the likes of Martin Solveig, Alesso, Axwell ^ Ingrosso. Bar perhaps Oliver Heldens there are no young guns that are really pushing the boundaries. The highlight, although you’d be hard-pressed to call him EDM anymore will be Porter Robinson who has a vision far beyond playing the Beatport top 10.

It’s our prediction that even if EDM-loving festivalgoers stumble into say Kaytranada or Odesza they will be swayed. Coachella may mark the minute EDM reaches the downward side of the bell-curve. We’ll see.

Vic Mensa Collaborates With Jungle And Kaytranada

We saw it here in Aus with Jungle and now we’re hoping to see it again. Vic Mensa has to be one of the most promising rapper around at the moment and while in Australia on the Laneway Festival tour he made a name for jumping up on stage with other acts most notably Flight Facilities and Jungle. With the pair on the lineup together it’s likely that Mensa will add a verse to Jungle’s Busy Earnin’ live on stage.

It’s also likely that Mensa will jump up during Kaytranada’s set to perform their excellent new track Drive Me Crazy. It may not be quite as exciting as Drake and Kanye but it shows a new wave of artists collaborating with each other and represents an exciting spark in the music community.

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Florence + The Machine, Tame Impala Prove They Are Headline-Ready

Florence + The Machine and Tame Impala are both sitting just under the headliners on the bill. Both of them are about to release their third record and seemed poised to be future headliners of major festivals.

Coachella will be their major test. If they can bring the euphoria and climaxes needed to create a memorable Coachella set then we reckon this will be the last time you’ll see them at the festival as a non-headliner.

Each of them have a song that hits all the right accent to create goosebumps - Florence with Dog Days Are Over and Tame Impala with Elephant - so it’s likely that these two will be many people’s highlights. We’re also more than likely to hear tracks from their new albums live at Coachella so keep the camera-phones at the ready.

David Guetta Has A Little Too Much Fun

Oh, please let it happen.

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Mac Demarco Gets Naked

It’s happen more times than we care to count but what better occasion to strip down to your birthday suit that the world’s biggest festival. 2014 really introduced Mac Demarco as more than an indie-cult hero. He’s proved himself to be a charismatic, highly-capable performer with a swag of excellent songs to boot and Coachella will hopefully bring a much wider audience to him.

 

 

minimal2

Nothing Is Everything In 2015: The Resurgence Of Minimalism

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Early last year we dreamt up the concept of the interns as an all-encompassing music website which focussed on the alternative-side but embraced pop from an arms length. Immediately we were thrown into the direction of electronic music inspired by a number of producers, namely Ryan Hemsworth, Cashmere Cat, Kaytranada, who were all doing interesting, genre-pushing things. RnB flavoured electronica was in vogue and trap was being worked in every direction, popping up in pop songs, replacing choruses.

This year has been a great year for releases so far. Drake dropped a surprise mixtape which was brilliant, Cashmere Cat has been on game and Kaytranada, Samo Sound Boy and Arca have been repping it for the electronica genre. But there's one thing that's rising above all and that's minimalism. 2015's truly great, defining releases so far have all been strikingly minimal. We're going to lay aside the other big trend of 2015, grime, for the sake of this article and come back to it in a later article so we can pull apart minimalism for the moment.

"2015's truly great, defining releases so far have all been strikingly minimal."

Minimalism is an incredibly broad trend, we're aware. It's one that's possible in any genre and certainly not something that's new. But we're talking about two or three instruments and a forthright vocal. Songs where silence is used just as effectively as noise. Where a crappy vocal or lyric can't hide behind a bed of abrasive beats or flushing synths.

Kanye West's New Year Rebirth

When we woke on New Years Day we woke to Kanye West's new single Only One. West's Yeezus was minimal at times with producer Rick Rubin pulling layers off each track to reveal their bare bones, however, the production was still dense with West's voice coated in reverb. Only One was the most organic thing West has ever put out. It was simply Paul McCartney on keys with West murmuring over in his auto-tuned voice best related to 808s and Heartbreaks.

It would've been easy to write it off but then came Rihanna's FourFiveSeconds. Once again McCartney was on board with Yeezy as well. It wasn't the huge first Rihanna single we've become accustomed to. Rather it sounded like a campfire ditty with the only instruments an organ and an acoustic guitar. It wasn't initially rewarded with the same kind of chart love Rihanna is used to (5 of her first singles from 7 albums have gone to number one in the US) but eventually it scaled the charts, peaking at number four. It may not be the peak of her career but it's certainly impressive for a song that's basically skeletal. Their performance of the song at The Grammys is one that will go down in the history books. When we look back at 2015 being the year that pop stars stripped it back we'll look straight to FourFiveSeconds for answers.

To further understand how Yeezy has contributed to minimalism you've also got to look at his set design and Adidas Yeezy Season 1 collection. While Wolves is less organic than Only One and FourFiveSeconds, it's still minimal, backed pretty much only by a singular synth. When he performed it on SNL with Vic Mensa and Sia they were backed visually by nothing but a white white screen. Dressed in black the trio basically looked like a blank canvas. It was a look that was paired back but also powerful with the only things to focus on being the movement and the words. Yeezy has always dealt in poignancy. Even if you look at his Twitter, it's always short sharp words with full stops at the end. When simplicity is executed well it's more powerful than any tricks and it's clear Kanye has learnt this. It's even more clearer in his Adidas collection which focusses on dark, blank colours with no patterns. Once the king of grandiose, West has pulled everything back in order to amplify what he has to say. That alone could be the main notion for music in 2015.

Rise Of The Singer-Songwriter

Electronica and RnB was the last big bandwagon that everyone was keen to jump on. Last year's greatest records came from the likes of FKA Twigs, Caribou and How To Dress Well. It seemed the singer-songwriter was now the producer-songwriter-singer with dabbling in the electronic world essential to cross-through. That's shifting this year.

It's only been three months but already there's a trend emerging as to what kind of music is nabbing the critics' thumbs up. Tobias Jesso Jr's latest record Goon is one of the early contenders for album of the year and it's completely stripped-back. If Kanye West has introduced Paul McCartney back into pop music then Jesso Jr has re-introduced Lennon. His songwriting is sincere and forthright, rarely backed by anything more than a piano. It sounds timeless and maybe that's the appeal of minimalism, that it survives trends because it's open to interpretation. It's easy to see Hollywood being remixed into a big-room dance track like Lana Del Rey's Summertime Sadness. 

"His songwriting is sincere and forthright, rarely backed by anything more than a piano."

Another album that will no doubt be a contender for album of the year is Sufjan Stevens' Carrie & Lowell. Stevens followed the general trend towards electronic production on his last set Age of Adz but this record has seen him return to his roots delivering his most sparse record yet. With only a few instruments at the helm, Stevens has reigned things back in, amplifying his message which is at times pretty touching. The record needs no time stamp attached to it because it's so timeless except for it sounds like a record that makes sense in 2015 in the context of the other albums that are coming out.

It's still to be seen as to whether we will see more of this in 2015 but these are the kind of seminal records that start a shift. Think about the alt-folk movements that Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver started or the future RnB trend defined by releases by Kelela and FKA Twigs.

The Producer Reigns It In

One man seems to be set to really carve-out the electronic sound for 2015 and that is Arca. Venezualan producer Arca, who released his own debut record Xen last year, has worked on LPs for Kanye West, FKA Twigs and most recently Björk. He's forging a new sound that incorporates elements of RnB and fuses them with industrial beats, silence and experimentalism. His soundscapes are beautiful but they never sound particularly dense. While his sound is at times aggressive and forthright it's only ever made with a few key noises.

"It may not be simple, but it appears so and that's its biggest appeal."

There are two reasons why we're including him in a piece of minimalism and that's because of his work on Björk's best album in more than a decade, Vulnicura and his production on Kelela's A Message. Björk has never been one to deal in skeletal arrangements but Vulnicura is perhaps her most pulled-back LP ever. Opener Lionsong could have expanded into strings delivered by a full-piece orchestra but instead it remains constrained by subtle electronic murmurings and her billowing voice. Even the video for the song takes the same kind of white-screened aesthetic than Yeezy has been using of late, allowing her digitally manipulated body to remain the only visually complex element. It may not be simple, but it appears so and that's its biggest appeal. Compared to her last record Biophilia, Vulnicura is immaculately sparse free of the electronic density that cluttered Biophilia. As such, it's the most emotionally affecting Björk has ever been. Footage from her live performance at Carnegie Hall in New York shows her backed by a strings section, a drummer and a producer. Everybody is dressed in white. Her outfit is characteristically intriguing but her surroundings offer the audience a blank canvas. It's beautifully affecting.

The RnB-electronica genre may be growing a little tired but it seems Kelela and Arca are the first ones to revive it in 2015. Backed by nothing but extended hums of sound and a gentle beat, Kelela delivers her most powerful vocal to date. When the instrumental departs for her to sing "If I was your ex-girlfriend," it sends shivers down the spine. The song needs no instrumental climaxes because Kelela's vocal melody is so strong. The accompanying video is just as minimal as the track itself with Kelela joined only by a white background and haunting projections. Minimalism is the type of genre that swallows anybody who has no personality. Luckily Kelela bleeds the kind of emotion necessary from her face and her body.

Minimalism Meet Pop

Madonna is often one who jumps on the trend-bandwagon and while the opening single, Living For Love, from her latest record Rebel Heart is a tip of the hat to the house music revolution, the rest of the album is actually quite bare. In comparison to her previous set MDNA which operated firmly in the realms of EDM, Rebel Heart see Madonna sing amongst acoustic guitars (Devil Pray), warm keys (Ghosttown) and subtle percussion (Wash All Over Me). We are, of course, ignoring bass-heavy moments like Bitch I'm Madonna and Iconic, but these gentler moments are what make the record sound slightly current rather than taking bits from dance trends that have been and gone.

If we look at the charts today it's a very different picture from the Guetta and Harris-run charts of 2011. Sam Smith's Lay Me Down is notably bare-boned as is Hozier's Take Me To Church. Even Major Lazer's Lean On is far less full-bodied approach for them. It's a trend that's clearly still developing but we're willing to bet our money on the fact that there will be plenty more FourFiveSeconds moments in 2015 as artists ditch the dense, bass-heavy sounds for an approach the centres more around the vocals.

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First Impressions: Kanye West, Chromatics, M.I.A & More

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First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. This week we pick part tracks by Kelela, Kanye West, Chromatics, M.I.A + more. 

Kelela
A Message

Sam: “If I was your ex...girlfriend” - that line is everything to this song. At first it’s mystifying and haunting but that line grabs you and brings you closer. It’s the most subtle of hooks but Kelela and Arca have done a masterful job of creating an intriguing track that rarely wavers if we’re talking waveforms.

This song trades in silence, with the quick breaks in noise building the intensity and making Kelela’s voice even more powerful. It’s as if Bjork and Janet Jackson reproduced and it’s unbelievably good. 5 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: Take one glance at the Youtube comments surrounding this track and you’ll notice constant comparisons of Kelela to FKA twigs. Whilst she does bear some similarities to the London songstress (produced by Arca, synonymous R&B stylings and their unique explorations of love and sexuality), Kelela is an artist in her own right. While treading a bit slow for my liking, it’s a hauntingly beautiful song with a truly sensational video clip to boot. 3.5

Alex: There’s a quiet intensity to this track which demonstrates a haunting vocal. A Message shows a raw and vulnerable side to Kelela there’s a true sadness and hurt behind the lyrics which really evokes something within me. The video for the track is equally beautiful in comparison to the song with her twitching sharp movements which exaggerate the breaks in the song. 3.5

Cashmere Cat
Adore

Sam: To me, this song is like Be My Baby part 2 but the thing that makes it ever so slightly better is Grande loosens up a bit. The hook of this song is absolutely ridiculous. She seems to be just singing anything that comes to mind, but it shows that she’s having a little fun with Cashmere Cat in the studio. We’ve kind of lost the appreciation for vocal runs over the past decade. When Mariah was the queen of RnB you got the sense that she was doing anything she could to shock with her voice. Grande is doing the same thing here and she sounds brilliant. 4.5

Bianca: Meh. Ariana Grande never really strikes a chord with me so it’s no shock that she hasn’t in this circumstance either. Cashmere Cat’s production is crisp and catchy but not enough to detract away from Grande’s voice. 2.5

Alex: I’ve never really been a fan of Ariana Grande and this track isn’t doing anything to help that opinion. I mean if you loved Ariana’s last album then this track will be right up your alley. Stylistically it sounds just like something that many of ended up as a bonus track on the album. That being said if we isolated Ariana’s vocals and just focused on Cashmere Cat’s production on the track it’s clear that there was some potential to the track. I would have just liked to see a bit more oomf. 3

Kanye West
All Day

Sam: What more is there left to say about Kanye? He’s spent the last few weeks owning Paris, New York and London with fashion, music and speech with his most impressive promotional campaign of his career. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was such a success because it was a communal effort where Kanye brought out the best in every artist that featured on that record. Then Yeezus was Kanye’s solo chest-puff. On All Day it feels as if he’s adopted that communal atmosphere again, blending together hip-hop, grime, organic whistles and trap in what could be his largest sounding track yet. 4.5

Bianca: Has it only been a week since All Day has been released? I feel like this track has already been amongst West’s repertoire for an age. It manages to mix old Kanye with new Kanye in a beautiful way; it’s a punchy, genre-smorgasbordin’ smackdown that traverses between a manifold of stylings without sounding messy. McCartney’s jovial whistle is a pleasant addition. With its credits expanding to 17 individual artists, it seems that too many cooks doesn’t spoil the broth. 4.5 Bianca’s Pick

Alex: Well, well, well Mr West it seems there is something I like of yours. I’ve always been a hard line no when it comes to Kanye’s music in the past, but I’ve got to admit this track is absolutely killing it.. The pumping bass that runs as the heartbeat to the track cuts straight to your bones and could make even the stiffest person break into a little groove. 4

Deutsch Duke
Battleground

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Sam: I love when new Aussie talent release tracks early on in their career that stack up to what’s going on internationally. That’s exactly what Battleground does. The production is crisp yet interesting and the vocals melt around the track. They are buried under so much production and yet they still manage to tug at the heart strings, aided by dense, rushing synths and the beat that falls in and out. Pretty special stuff. 4

Bianca: This is truly mesmerising. Soulful vocals enveloped in a delicious combo of house and funk have me hooked from start to finish. There’s not really more I can say about this except that I love it. 4.5  

Alex: Yess now this is more my style. Soul-Funk to the core. Effortlessly cool and electrifying. 4

Chromatics
I Can Never Be Myself When I’m Around You

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Sam: So far Chromatics’ forthcoming record is turning out to be a pretty melancholic affair. I suppose that’s always the case but on their previous record they were yearning for love and on this one it seems like they’ve found it but they’re not completely satisfied. On I Can Never Be Myself When I’m Around You, it feels as if the lyrics are given more breathing space than the band have ever offered and it’s because they’re some of the best they’ve ever offered up. The central lyric of “I can never be myself when I’m around you” really cuts to the core as the dense, atmospheric production is halted in the verses to drive home the central message of the song. 4

Bianca: I'm getting nostalgic vibes for the washed-out electro-pop of the late 00's with this one. The shimmering synths wash over you as Ruth Radelet’s pensive vocals lull you into a dreamstate. It’s a beautifully bittersweet ode to love. 4

Alex: It’s an uptempo affair into indietronic which will wash over you like a wave in the sea. Punching beats, soaring synth work and muted echo-y vocal that has massive potential. I wouldnt be surprised if some DJ out there at the moment is currently remixing this with a deep house or banger feel and getting ready to play this in a club. 4

M.I.A.
CanSeeCanDo

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Sam: I thought M.I.A.’s last record Matangi was brilliant because it seemed like she’d finally found a way to meld together her pop sensibilities and her penchant for experimentalism. CanSeeCanDo almost does that but it’s let down by a chorus that doesn’t really go anywhere. Bad Girls had a similar vibe but it was bolstered by the various instrumentals behind the track that reinforced its melody. As much attitude as she brings to this one it really feels a little forgettable by the end. Maybe if she’d incorporated the “na, na, na” part at the end as the main hook of the song it may have added something more to it. 3

Bianca: I feel this track had so much potential. I’m really into “CanSeeCanDo” part of the track but unfortunately all parts surrounding that fall flat. Literally. Is she sounding flat to anyone else? 3

Alex: Can anybody say Bad Girls  2.0? It’s M.I.A people. As if you need any more reasons to give this track a listen and then subsequently slut drop it low to the floor. 4.5 Alex’s Pick

 

If you feel the need to abuse us for our opinions, you can reach this week's writers below:

Content Director: @sam_interns

Managing Director: @bianca_interns

Contributor: @alexMYCS

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10Songs6March_2

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Kanye West, Cashmere Cat, George Maple + More

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Sometimes we really hate writing this article because some weeks can just be so slow that all we want to do is write 10 songs you shouldn’t listen to this week or 10 reasons you should fly to the US to witness Shania Twain’s final tour ever (yes, it’s a thing). This week, however, we’re delighted to be able to write this because there was such a wealth of new music this week. Kanye continued to edge closer to his album release, we got our first reason to really believe in grime’s resurgence and RnB-electronica proved why it’s still a genre that can be exciting.

Sink your teeth (and ears) into these brilliant tracks that coloured our week and keep listening to the Soundcloud playlist (below the tenth song) so you can impress your friends this weekend by knowing how many times Kanye says “all day” in All Day.

Deutsche Duke
Battleground

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You may not have heard much about Deutsche Duke but you’re soon to. We’re leading 10 songs this week with the new track by this Australian newcomer because we feel while you may have been privy to the other nine track this week, this one could’ve slipped by and it shouldn’t. You know the first time you heard Drake’s Hold On We’re Coming Home, how you thought you’d never heard anything that effortlessly smooth? It’s the same kind of feeling with Battleground, everything from the vocal production to the silky synths make this song a total knockout. If you feel like you’ve heard the vocal before that’s because he turns up on Flight Facilities Down To Earth. If FF are already on to him you can be pretty sure that he’s worth listening to.

Tobias Jesso Jr
Without You

Tobias Jesso Jr’s Goon is shaping up to be an instant classic. We’ve heard three songs from the record now including this latest cut Without You and each song has been a masterclass in simple, heartfelt songwriting. This one feature Danielle Haim on drums and Jesso Jr on the vocal, of course. It’s a mournful, sombre tune with the American singer sounding once again like John Lennon at his best. Jesso Jr may be just the guy to remind people in 2015 that a song starts with a tune and sometimes it’s best just left at that.

Kelela
A Message

RnB inspired electronica has nearly run its course but every so often a song comes along that twists the arm of the genre and makes it sound exciting. Here Kelela teams up with Bjork/Kanye/FKA Twigs collaborator for a sparse, dusky track in which Kelela’s vocals are given plenty of room to breathe. She creates the an Aaliyah-esque melody among seas of rushing synths that come and go as the the intensity compresses and releases. This girl just adds so much more to RnB than what is being offered right now and Arca is the perfect producer to help her fully realise that.

George Maple
Where You End And I Begin

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/george-maple-where-you-end[/soundcloud]

So, George Maple is at least in the top five best things that this country has to offer right now, musically. Her Vacant Space EP was so beautifully sophisticated and this latest cut Where You End And I Begin is just another extension to an already brilliant back-catalogue. For the first time she channels ‘90s RnB with a throwback beat complemented by her airy vocals. Rapper Grande Marshall jumps on the end of the track and makes us feel as if we’re back in Busta Rhymes/Mariah Carey territory and maybe we are.

Skepta
SHUTDOWN

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/skepta/shutdown[/soundcloud]

Sometimes for inexplicable reasons it takes really talented people a long time to get recognised. For example, it took Kim Kardashian until she was 23 to be cast in a sex tape and it’s taken Skepta 32 years to finally get his moment in the sun. A little thanks to his appearance with Kanye on All Day at the BRITS and a lot because SHUTDOWN is a career highlight, Skepta is finally a name on many people’s tongue. SHUTDOWN is viciously good. The horns make it sound majestic, the “shutdown” hook is impossible to argue with and the beat is industrial and raw. 2015 is the year that grime will come to the mainstream and it needs a leader - Skepta is your man. 

Cashmere Cat
Adore

The Ariana Grande/Cashmere Cat love affair continues with Grande this time hopping on the Norwegian producers solo track. Grande is such a well-manicured popstar but the main Kitty Kat manages to convince her to let her guard down. The chorus of Adore is basically just Grande doing vocal runs to absolutely nothing and that’s the best thing about this song. It sounds like the pair of them are just playing around and in the meantime have created an effortless RnB classic, more than worthy of the top of the charts. I hope it does well too, together these guys have a real chance to change the sonic atmosphere of mainstream music right now.

Courtney Barnett
Depreston

If somebody told me they were going to write a song about moving to the outer-suburbs of Melbourne I would literally cry right in front of them with boredom. Thank goodness Courtney Barnett never pitched Depreston to me because it may have never been made, or worse I would have cried in front of Courtney Barnett. Oddly, Depreston is probably one of the softest songs we’ve heard from the Melbourne singer. The vivid imagery in this track is testament to the strength of her songwriting and it genuinely makes me feel as if I’m inspecting depressing homes with her and gradually lowering my expectations.

Tink
Ratchet Commandments

 Yas. Yassss. YASSSSSS. Timbaland’s tracks with Missy Elliot are some of his most impressive work and while it’s been a long time it seems he’s onto something good again with Chicago rapper Tink. Like Elliot, Tink has an effortless cool where’s she’s unconcerned with being the most-hyped name in music, she just wants to make great music. Ratchet Commandments is great and “Yo a hoe so do better,” is just the greatest lyric.

Kanye West 
All Day

I’m a longtime Kanye West fan and these past few weeks have been like ecstasy. He’s finally making sense not only as a rapper but as a creative and he seems to be genuinely enjoying the process of releasing an album rather than doing it purely to prove a point about his own genius status. All Day has the same industrial feel as Yeezus but it feels more communal. Rather than playing for a team of one, the song feels like Yeezy is on a team of hundreds. It feels like a rap army storming towards you only to be stopped by Lucy in the sky with diamonds whistling. As I write this is number one on iTunes in the US. Nothing from Yeezus reached that height.

Nocturnal Sunshine
Take Me There

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/nocturnalsunshinemusic/nocturnal-sunshine-take-me-there[/soundcloud]

London producer Maya Jane Coles is going back to her moniker Nocturnal Sunshine and dropping a full LP. Take Me There is the first single off it and it’s notably different to her deep-house inspired work as Maya Jane Coles. Take Me There smacks you in the face immediately. The beat pulsates hard, the synths growl behind and the tribal-influences make it sound primal. It’s a wonderfully dark reintroduction to Nocturnal Sunshine and makes us incredibly excited for the album. This is some of her best work to date, moniker or no moniker.

https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-7

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