A monumental banger.
A monumental banger.
It’s not what you would expect to hear from the three together.
All the snaps from a massive night.
There are two reasons you could be reading this. One because you’re not at Splendour In The Grass and the internet is the only interesting thing you’ve got going for you this weekend (sorry, love you all, but how ’bout dat FOMO?). The second reason is you’ve somehow found internet at Splendour In The Grass and you’re so addicted to tunes that the live music is just not enough, you need more new music. We get it. Don’t fret, here’s more music for you to devour.
Mountain At My Gate
UK outfit Foals premiered their new single, Mountain At My Gates on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 this week. This is the second single Foals have released from their forthcoming album, What Went Down, after releasing the highly-anticipated title track and clip last month. Mountain At My Gates is a more uplifting pop affair than its aggressive predecessor, What Went Down, turning into an all-out rock affair once the outro makes it appearance. The 10-track album is said, according to a press release, to be a “primal, intense, sometimes harrowing album of extremes” verging “upon the depths of madness whilst also exhibiting some of the most beautiful pop songs the band have ever written.”
When I Rule The World
Mad Decent’s pop princess Liz has always been a lover of all things kitsch and nostalgic so it’s no wonder that her and SOPHIE ended up with each other eventually, musically that is. When I Rule The World is their sugar-crazed collaboration which combines bubblegum beats with rushing soda-stream synths. Liz sounds completely in her element here, poised to give PC Music’s pop princess Hannah Diamond a run for her money.
Moving Mountains (Feat. Brendan Reilly)
Disclosure have been teasing a collaboration with Sam Smith called Omen for weeks now and what do they do? When anticipation is at its peak, they go and drop and completely different song Moving Mountains. Once the feeling of being let down subsides this track will win you over. It features the soulful vocals of US singer Brendan Reilly. It’s a classic Disclosure track with deep house vibes complimented by honey-soaked vocals in the same vein as much of their debut Settle. Caracal is the record it’s taken from and that is out at the end of September.
Now, that Sam Smith track next?
Listen to Moving Mountains here at the 1 hour and 30 minute mark.
Vic Mensa & Skrillex
A few weeks ago a clip surfaced of Vic Mensa performing this track No Chill, produced by Skrillex. It sounded huge just from the low-quality recording but now the studio version is here and we can confirm it’s MASSIVE. Driven by violent horns, it sees Skrillex enter Mensa’s world rather than the other way round. It sounds as if Mensa’s U Mad was a 10 and on this one he’s turned it up a notch to 11. Granted, Skrillex is very hit and miss but this is a bullseye if ever we’ve heard one (and we’ve heard a few in our time).
Major Lazer & MØ
Lean On (Frank Ocean Cover)
Just when everybody is on edge about a new Frank Ocean album, which we still don’t have, Major Lazer go and put Franky into the headlines for different reasons by covering Lost. It’s a great cover, very much in the lane of Lean On, but for goodness sakes Diplo and co do not stop our hearts with any new music from Frank Ocean unless it’s actually by Frank Ocean. Ps. MØ is in the country right now! That’s fun, isn’t it?
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/majorlazer/major-lazer-lost-feat-mo-frank-ocean-cover[/soundcloud]
Look Over Your Shoulder
If you haven’t heard of London electro-soul singer Kwabs yet, nows the time to get your head around him. He has this deep, wise voice that simultaneously melts your heart and makes you groove. Look Over Your Shoulder was produced by SOHN and is a dense, affecting track with a melody that really sticks the boot in. This is one of SOHN’s greatest works let alone Kwabs who’s absolutely nailed the vocal on this.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/sohn/kwabs-look-over-your-shoulder-produced-by-sohn-1[/soundcloud]
Codeine Crazy (Icarus Story)
Vic Mensa is a fire rapper but he’s also got a pretty great crooning voice. We heard it on Kanye West’s Wolves and it returns here for a cover of Future’s Codeine Crazy. This is Mensa in full on Miguel-mode. He howls over a hip-hop-meets-rock beat and just continues to get more and more intense. If he find a way to effortlessly meld this with his rapping on an original he’s going to be one of the greatest rapper of our time. Yep, we said it.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/vicsavemoney/codeine-crazy[/soundcloud]
East Londonder Alxndr London is your newest electro-pop addiction. His latest track DATE X is a soulful, tribal-fused track that showcases his voice in all its seducing-glory. With The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face finding favour with everybody that has at least one ear, it’s obvious the world is craving more of this stuff and London could be just the man to deliver it.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/mxiiixm/datex[/soundcloud]
Said That You Wanted
Melbourne’s Queen Magic will hit the Red Bull Music Academy Stage at Splendour In The Grass this weekend and he’s coming armed with a new track Said That You Wanted. Australia isn’t exactly the most obvious breeding ground for late night R&B jams but Said That You Wanted is exactly that. It’s a soulful and smooth track reminiscent of How To Dress Well. His falsetto is on-point and that snare is doing things to us.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/queenmagic/said-that-you-wanted[/soundcloud]
It’s been a little while since Empress Of returned to the alt-pop scene with Realize You but she’s finally given us a new single in the form of Kitty Kat. Kitty Kat goes bigger than Realize You, powering through with sprawling synth-work and a confident vocal. She shifts between being delicately purring and powerfully roaring as she builds each verse to a stunning climax of a chorus.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/empressof/kittykat[/soundcloud]
“Fuckin oafff dis tracks phatt as cuz”
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 apart tracks by Britney Spears, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lido + More.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jagjaguwar/unknown-mortal-orchestra-cant-keep-checking-my-phone?in=the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-10[/soundcloud]
Sam: I love that UMO have really expanded their sound. I loved II but at times it felt a little insular and restricted. Both this and Multi-Love have been a huge step forward and the album will most likely also continue this way. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone sounds like it would be right at home on a Blood Orange record – It’s got that minimal percussion loop with the funky guitars on top. As always though it’s the textured falsetto of Ruban Nielson that wins me over. 4
Bianca: The beginning transports me to a ‘70s crime detective TV show, which usually isn’t a good place to be, but in this circumstance sets the scene for a funky, hip-shaking, joyous tune. UMO keep offering multi-layered, instantaneously-enjoyable experiences and judging by Multi-Love and now Can’t Keep Checking My Phone, no detective work is required to realise that their upcoming album is going to deliver the goods. 4.5 Bianca’s Pick
Zanda: So much to unpack here that it’s hard to know where to start. The catchy vocal melodies are complimented superbly by that bass riff which sounds it has its origins in some seriously old school funk, and the sparing use of synth throughout is tasteful. The best aspect for me though, has to be that crazy percussion line; some sort of weird and wonderful mixture of clapping, sound effects, tambourine, and so much more. An absolute cracker. 4.5 Zanda’s Pick
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/love-again-feat-jmsn-sango?in=the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-10[/soundcloud]
Sam: Ta-Ku has always had a few gospel flavours in his tracks but on this one he’s really gone all out and it works. JMSN’s vocal is an absolute killer throughout and Ta-Ku’s minimal production creates plenty of space for JMSN to work his magic. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed if Ta-Ku built the climax a little more, perhaps worked in some chords on an organ, Lido-style but there’s also a certain subtlety in not doing that which feels dignified. With or without, it’s a beautiful, flourishing production. 3
Bianca: *prayer hands emoji* The choir, combined with the piano and strings appearances, gives Love Again a gospel quality without being garish and over-the-top. The instrumental outro really makes it for me; the thumping kicks giving a taste of what was possibly missing from the rest of the song. Reading through Soundcloud, I found the comment: “This is cool just sent it to my ex who I miss alot (sic)”. Usually I wouldn’t recommend that but maybe this track might just give him a shot at redemption. 3
Zanda: I find myself pondering how Ta-Ku hasn’t really skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years. I guess part of the charm of his music it’s exactly what he wants to make and doesn’t cater to the masses. This is an incredibly soulful tune featuring some incredible acapella-esque vocals. Tasteful production underpins it, and it’s the sort of minimal but necessary style of production that Ta-Ku is known for. 3.5
Powerful (Feat. Ellie Goulding/Tarrus Riley)
Sam: I have to preface this with I am going to be bias because I love Ellie Goulding’s voice so much that I would bathe in even her weakest songs. It goes without saying that the my favourite parts of this track is Goulding’s verses. It’s nice to hear her over a reggae-styled beat rather than Calvin Harris’ usual onslaught of synths. For me, this sounds like Major Lazer really trying to slip into the mainstream. First there was the politeness of Lean On and now this and good on them for trying to get on radio while still maintaining their signature aesthetic. Powerful is their strongest to date and the star-power of Goulding along with Riley’s catchy chorus will serve them well. 3.5
Bianca: Gamble on Major Lazer and you’re sure to win. They always manage to make the featured artist shine (hell, they even made me like a song that features Ariana Grande) and this time round is no exception; Ellie’s voice is delightfully chirrupy as usual and Tarrus’ contribution balances it with a bit of grunt. It’s not the most complex of tracks but it is Powerful enough to make you sit up and listen. 3.5
Zanda: Diplo has come out recently and said that he is planning on doing less work as ‘Diplo’, and with a host of other projects under his direction including Major Lazer it’s not too hard to see why. With the recent release of Lean On, and now with this new track, it’s clear that the master producer and collaborator is taking this venture outside the realms of banging dance anthems exclusively and venturing into new areas. Ellie Goulding is typically and undoubtedly brilliant as usual. 3.5
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/gosh-pith/child[/soundcloud]
Sam: After hearing so much clean electronic, RnB music in recent years I’m very into the idea of reverb-soaked melodies slipping back into fashion. Gosh Pith are just the start of what I think will be a very big movement of music that sounds like this. As always the original purveyor is the best and Child is excellent. It kind of doesn’t go anywhere but it has this subtle appeal which revolves around the soulful vocal. It’s a vocal that you wouldn’t expect to slot into an instrumental like this. At first I was expecting something more skewed towards Sleigh Bells but was pleasantly surprised. I’m charmed by this. 4
Bianca: Totally read their name as ‘Goth Pit’ at first glance so was expecting a very different song to come out of my headphones. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to be serenaded by this lullaby-eque, ambling track. It’s subdued though still holds an unfinished grittiness that prevents it from being tedious. The vocal-run, “I said I got out of there sooner now” also shakes things up, almost tripping over itself and waking the track up from its cozy slumber. 4
Zanda: A very relaxed and guitar-riff happy tune from the Detroit-based group. I actually really enjoy the refreshing use of triple time in kind of a shuffle feel, as a nice break from all other music at the moment being in 4/4. Echoey vocals add to this relaxed feel… a great track for a chiller weekend. 3
Planes (Lido and The Social Experiment Remix)
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper/jeremih-planes-remix-lido-the-social-experiment[/soundcloud]
Sam: Another week, another Chance The Rapper feature or remix that isn’t actually a Chance The Rapper song 🙁 Based off this I would love to see Lido and The Social Experiment working together more often.
Lido’s instrumentals always oscillate between the minimal and the dense and Chance’s vocal always sounds best when it’s given plenty of space to exist in. Together it’s an interesting combination. Anyway, I’m not ignoring the fact that this is actually a Jeremih remix.
The original of Planes was good but this is just so much more interesting. In fact I actually completely forgot Planes existed until now. I have a feeling I won’t be forgetting this one though. 4
Bianca: This version makes for a much more exciting event in comparison to the original. You can immediately hear Lido’s contribution to the track, in all of its flickering, blossoming goodness. Chance’s appearance, with all his Willy Wonka references, is almost humorous and kinda strange, but after listening to it a couple of times I understand its necessity. 3.75
Zanda: Jeremih and Chance The Rapper are typically smooth in this, but the real star for me is Lido and his unique style of production. He brings his own brand of melodic synths to everything he does, and this track has that typical Lido polish to it. He uses space and sparse textures to captivate his audience and leave you wondering what’s coming next after moments of almost complete silence. 4
Tom’s Diner (Feat. Britney Spears)
Sam: I actually think Britney Spears can be really brilliant when she strays away from regular pop. There was a song on her Circus record called Unusual You which I still listen to know because it was so irregular for her but also had some really interesting production on her voice. Tom’s Diner sounds nothing like that but it does go with something more interesting than your regular Britney. The production here brings out the best in her usually paper-thin voice.
The whole idea of Giorgio Moroder and Britney Spears doing a Suzanne Vega cover is utterly ridiculous but for some equally ridiculous reason it works. The Sia song was just way too cheesy. This one is cheesy but it’s also got a sleek quality in the way it carefully treads between disco and the club. Who would have thought that a 70-something year-old could bring out the best in Brit. I can’t get enough of this. Ditch Iggy Azalea and create a whole album with Moroder please Britney. 4.5 Sam’s Pick
Bianca: This track oscillates delightfully between ‘lol’ and head bopping acceptance. At first listen, the ‘doo doo’ intro was almost laughable, but soon Giorgio’s brilliant production shined through and Britney-fuelled nostalgia took over, making me kinda…like it. The lyrics are so damn literal, by no fault of Britney or Giorgio, but I suppose that adds to its charm. It’s all very odd that this was the song of choice for their collaboration but I’m glad they did it. 4
Zanda: It’s weird how Giorgio Moroder’s work as part of Daft Punk’s latest LP seems to have thrust him back into the spotlight, or at least reclaimed the attention of popular music’s biggest stars. This track doesn’t do much for me to be honest, although the production value is undoubtedly high. I can’t quite pinpoint what aspects of it I don’t particularly like, maybe if Britney attempted less pronounced humming and there was more actual lyrical material. 1.5
Now time for your vote:
If you feel the need to abuse us for our opinions, you can reach some of this week’s writers below:
Another week dominated by Kanye West. When he’s not jumping in lakes in Armenia, he’s stealing The Weeknd’s limelight at Coachella and inducting himself into the TIME Power 100. In honour of another week in which Kanye nabbed a headline a day, we present to you a 10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week with no mention of Kanye. Apart from this bit where we’ve mentioned his name three times. Seems we can stop travelling West. Time to head South and explore the best songs from the week below.
Brooklyn three-piece Wet are set to be one of the most talked about acts of the year. Their debut EP Dreams, released last year, was brilliant and we’re hoping that their debut album, revealed to be called Don’t You, will be even better. The first single off that record is Deadwater and it’s one of their strongest tracks to date. Vocalist Kelly Zutrau sounds unbelievable over a washy, subtle instrumental. She hooks you in from the first second and after that the song just glides past, time seemingly standing still.
Love Again (Feat. JMSN and Sango)
Ta-Ku has quietly become one of the best Australian producers doing the rounds but it feels like this latest EP, set to be released via Future Classic, will really propel him to the front of people’s mind. That said EP is called Songs To Make Up To and the first single is called Love Again. Love Again is Ta-Ku taking it to church with a piano instrumental complimented beautifully by JMSN’s soulful vocal. It’s without a doubt the most uplifting thing that Ta-Ku has done and while it’s not traditionally designed for the club, we can imagine this really being a moment if someone snuck it into a set.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/love-again-feat-jmsn-sango[/soundcloud]
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
Unknown Mortal Orchestra have made great albums in the past but it feels like he’s really making a conscious effort in the lead-up to LP3 to appeal to a wider-audience. First single and title track Multi-Love was his most accessible pop track to date and the follow-up Can’t Keep Checking My Phone is just as immediately likeable. It’s a densely melodic, funky number that even manages to slip in synths in the bridge. It’s the closest thing we’re going to get to a euphoric UMO pop number and we’ll happily take it.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jagjaguwar/unknown-mortal-orchestra-cant-keep-checking-my-phone[/soundcloud]
Brisbane producer cln. put out a few excellent tracks last year but it really feels like he’s hit his stride with this latest one Hold Me. Not only do we get to hear him sing but we also get to hear him take on a more melancholic aesthetic. As sad as the melody may be, the synths and the lyrics are basically like a warm, electronic hug. If he continues to head in this direction we have every bit of confidence that he will be one of Australia’s best electronic producers.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/callanalexander/cln-hold-me[/soundcloud]
Prisoner (Feat. Chance The Rapper)
Chance The Rapper is a great drawcard. Every track he features on gets an immediate listen from us but in this case New York vocalist Jordan Bratton completely holds his own against Chance. Prisoner is a soulful, spacious track with some beautiful harmonies. Chance jumps on the track in the second half for a half-sung, half-rapped verse that is inline with a lot of the stuff he’s been doing with The Social Experiment. Prisoner is taken off Bratton’s forthcoming EP Youth.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jordanbratton/prisoner-ft-chance-the-rapper[/soundcloud]
Powerful (Feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley)
Major Lazer have always had a cult following but this time around it seems that they are reaching for the mainstream. First was their collaboration with Mo which has shot up the charts here in Australia and now their collaboration with Ellie Goulding has surfaced. It’s undoubtedly the most radio-friendly thing they have ever produced but that doesn’t mean they have sold out. It still has the heavy-bass Major Lazer aesthetic that Diplo and co have mastered over the years. Reportedly Diplo is leaving behind his solo work to focus on Major Lazer and it may be a good decision considering the gold they have been churning out of late.
Melbourne via Brisbane producer RKDA, is a newcomer to the Australian electronic scene. Meta is her debut tracks and it’s a dark, experimental piece that pegs her as an artist not shy to get a little introspective. This is the kind of music that is born in the early hours of the morning. It’s haunting and unsettling but also expansive in the way that it layers up instrumentally in the latter parts of the song. We’ll take some more of this please, RKDA, don’t make us wait too long.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/rkdamusic/meta[/soundcloud]
We waxed lyrical about VÉRITÉ‘s last single Wasteland and we’re going to do it yet again with this one, Colors. There’s so much electronic, singer/songwriter music floating around at the moment but what makes VÉRITÉ different is her full-bodied voice which makes you sit up and listen immediately. It’s not wispy and gentle, it’s the type that needs dense instrumentals and sturdy melodies to give it wings. Colors does exactly that with a bolstered chorus that really allows VÉRITÉ to show of her killer voice.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/veritemusic/colors[/soundcloud]
U Me & Hennessy (Feat. Lil Wayne)
When Lil Wayne jumps on your track you better believe that you’re something special. We pegged Dej Loaf as an artist to watch in 2015 and we’ve been consistently proved right. Me U & Hennessy is a downbeat masterpiece with Loaf slurring from one line to the other with an enviable effortlessness. At first Lil Wayne doesn’t seem like the right fit for Loaf’s brand of rap but he actually delivers one of his best verses in a few years, his scratchy voice perfectly complimenting Loaf’s serene tones.
Lianne La Havas
Lianne La Havas‘ debut album was so good that she made friends with Prince. That statement alone should make it well-worth looking forward to her sophomore album but we’ll let her music do the speaking for now. Unstoppable is the first taste of new album Blood which will grace us with its presence in July. It’s a cruisy, Erykah Badu-style number which beautifully showcases La Havas’ coffee-soaked tones. She’s one of the only artists that could easily occupy a five minute space without any big tricks. Her voice just wraps around the melody and carries you with it.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/liannelahavas/unstoppable[/soundcloud]
…of course we’re joking about Kanye. Here’s Good Life. What a #banger.
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 apart tracks by Sia, Crystal Castles, Major Lazer, BenZel + more.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/giorgiomoroder/giorgio-moroder-deja-vu-ft-sia[/soundcloud]
Sam: It really is hard to dislike this song. It’s probably the most out-and-out disco track to come out since Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers decided it was time disco was resurrected. Sia’s voice soars and really makes the track but I can’t help but feel that it sounds like a bit of an ABBA b-side. That orchestral melody is super daggy and the chorus really falls flat after a huge bridge. It is what it is I suppose. 2.5
Meshell: I saw Giorgio last year in a small Q&A he held as a part of Vivid Live, where he proceeded to win over the audience with his charm and brilliance. So please forgive my bias in advance…This song is would have gotten my tick of approval even without Sia, but with her- it goes from fun disco track to melodic wonderland. There’s a bit of a Never Ending Story vibe hiding in there behind the Nile Rogers-esque guitar and topped off with a sprinkling of Sia’s own brand of cool. 3
Bianca: This is all a bit of fun, isn’t it? It seems like something found on a wedding DJ’s playlist, somewhere in between the bouquet toss and the Chicken Dance. Which, after a substantial amount of glasses of free champagne, can make you perform a certain type of dancing you’d prefer to not remember the following day. 2.5
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/foxtrottfoxtrott/driven[/soundcloud]
Sam: I actually stumbled upon this last week and was immediately drawn to it. It’s very rare that you hear a new artist for the first time and want to know who they are and if there’s more. The instrumental of this is so strong that it could’ve worked as a track on its own but the vocal also elevates it to another level. FOXTROTT is clearly quite a dark, brooding character but there’s an airiness to this (in the synths) that makes it much easier to listen to than your usual indie-artist-does-dark-thing. Throughout she builds on a simple drum loop, expanding it in the centre for an early climax. It’s well-thought out, smoothly-produced stuff. 4
Meshell: I’ve never heard of FOXTROTT before and all I can think is, what a great drum line. The synths are a little pre-programmed for my liking but it’s easy enough to just focus on her smooth vocals and the underlying pulse. The song starts incredibly strong but I must admit it does die off a little towards the end. My overall thought is that FOXTROTT is on the cusp of great things. I’d be interested to hear what comes next. 3
Bianca: The moment the tribal-esque drums made an appearance, I was in. The sugar-sweet synths and strong vocals made Driven a strong contender in the Soundcloud-scape. By the time halfway arrived, however, I found myself becoming a bit bored. I was looking for an introduction of a bit more bass or instrumental work but, no dice. And just like when a relationship turns sour, the things I liked in the beginning started to turn into the things that annoyed me the most (that sounded much harsher than intended). 3
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/hudsonmohawke/ryderz-rinse[/soundcloud]
Sam: Very First Breath was good but this is just so much better. It moves right away from that heavy-bass, TNGHT aesthetic and sees HudMo take on something a little softer and more euphoric. The vintage vocal sample is a choice move but it’s the way that it expands into this crushing, percussion-driven climax that makes it so glorious. This is the kind of song he should end every set on for the rest of his life. It sounds like a victory lap. He knows that. We all know it. 4.5 Sam’s Pick
Meshell: My co-worker just walked past and said, “Woah…can you send me this? This is fucking cool”. You’re right Joe, this IS fucking cool. I can’t even describe why I love this…I just do. I love everything about it. 5 Meshell’s Pick
Bianca: Flashback to Kanye West’s Graduation days. Vintage record-sounding tracks are a dime a dozen but Mohawke’s unique application gives a refreshing, grungy spin to what already sounds like a classic. All it needs is a bit of West to take these Ryderz into the sunset. 4 Bianca’s Pick
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/crystal-castles/frail[/soundcloud]
Sam: For me Crystal Castles never managed to capture the energy they expelled on stage within a record – and even then the live show was all about Alice. This basically sounds like Ethan Kath is trying to make something beneath the rubble of Crystal Castle’s own collapse. I don’t know what to say about this really. I guess it’s sad that he’s been left to pick up the pieces but maybe it’s time to move on. 1.5
Meshell: I am just so happy to hear Crystal Castles are soldiering on after losing Alice Glass. I can’t imagine a live show without her though as Ethan Kath was always a little bit boring…Production wise however, he is killing it as usual. With this new offering he has just waltzed back into the dark electronica scene and shouted, “Listen up fives, a ten is speaking”. 4
Bianca: If I wasn’t aware the Alice Glass had left Crystal Castles I would still be none the wiser after listening to this. This sounds like business as usual for CC…foreboding and glitchy, Frail cuts like Glass, despite the latter’s departure from the duo. I enjoy this track but perhaps Kath should’ve taken the opportunity to try something new and not try to resuscitate what he once had. 3
Meshell: Does Diplo sleep? Is he actually a robot? I’m trying to figure out how he is working on so much new music whilst touring AND keeping me occupied with selfies on instagram…What’s his secret?!In all seriousness though, this track is exactly my type of party jam. It’s got that dirty electronic sound going on, blended with Trap & Ragga and it’s all types of badass…I imagine Rihanna dropping low to this with a blunt in hand. 4.5
Bianca: As I’m sitting, staring outside at the most horrible, windy and rainy day, this song comes along and reminds me that it’s my least favourite day of the week (Tuesday) and that I’m not in the US anymore…which are depressing thoughts in their own rights. It’s a hot and heavy hip-hop track which, right now in my current state, is acting like a warm hug. The chorus is simplistic in melody but the medley of artists swapping lyrics on the verses give it some much-needed spice. 3.5
Stuck On You ft. Tory Lanez
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/officialbenzel/stuck-on-you-ft-tory-lanez[/soundcloud]
Sam: This is super smooth. It’s probably the most successful thing BenZel have done since they produced Jessie Ware’s Tough Love. The vocals of Tory Lanez are perfectly complemented by this all-encompassing yet spacious backdrop that detours into trap-inspired territory. The rap shakes things up a bit too. 3.5
Meshell: It may be because I listened to this directly after the production genius of Major Lazer but I find the production and instrumentation to be a bit cheesy and lacking. The vocals however are absolutely stunning, what a beautiful honey-toned voice. Trap love songs are my new favourite type of love song so I’ll ignore the mix for now and say that this tune is worth a play…or five. 4
Bianca: Stuck On You is a smooth as hell RnB track, modernised by elements of glitchy electronica and trap. BenZel and Tory manage to make this track smooth without being sleazy. 3.5
Now time for your vote:
If you feel the need to abuse us for our opinions, you can reach some of this week’s writers below:
We have already heard Major Lazer‘s Lean On with MØ and now they’ve officially announced their return with a new record called Peace Is The Mission. We’re not sure if it’s going to be classified as an album or an EP but given it’s got only nine songs on it we’re going to call it an EP – call it what you want. The release will feature the track Roll The Bass which has today been dropped all over the internet and is available for free release right here. It’s a high-octane, bass-heavy track that is inline with a lot of the shenanigans that took place on their last LP Free The Universe. Guests set to be featured on the new release include Ellie Goulding, Elliphant and Travi$ Scott. Let’s hope that Peace Is The Mission will bring Diplo and co. to Australia because their last visit here for Big Day Out was out of control.
There’s also a video for Lean On:
And here’s the tracklist for Peace Is The Mission:
1. Be Together ft. Wild Belle
2. Too Original ft. Elliphant & Jovi Rockwell
3. Blaze Up The Fire ft. Chronixx
4. Lean On ft. MØ & DJ Snake
5. Powerful ft. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley
6. Light It Up ft. Nyla
7. Roll the Bass
8. Night Riders ft. Travi$ Scott, 2 Chainz, Pusha T & Mad Cobra
9. All My Love ft. Ariana Grande & Machel Montano (Remix)