First Impressions: Cosmo’s Midnight, RL Grime, Major Lazer + More


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’re picking apart the new Major Lazer track with Ariana Grande, George Maple’s newie, Mark Ronson’s new Bruno Mars-featuring single + more. 

George Maple- Vacant Space

Sam: Talk Talk literally made George Maple the talk of the Australian music scene but Vacant Space has her well on the way to being one of the best female artists Australia has ever produced. There’s so much tension built up throughout with every throbbing beat and then she releases it with these instrument-free spaces. So finessed and so damn classy. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Hannah M: I could listen to George Maple’s echoey voice all day and I’m obsessed with Talk Talk (my current favourite song). Vacant Space didn’t garner the same instant love reaction. I found the drop into fast-paced clubbing territory a little incongruous and disjointed to listen to – it all gets a bit hectic. Before you call me a bore however, it’s definitely grown on me, significantly. 4

Bianca: This one George Maple track has seriously done it for me. Throbbing bass, undulated synths and that honey-smooth, seductive voice, all thrown into what sounds like the echoey expanse of a cathedral, combine to make a seriously affecting track. Do I dare call her the female Flume? Yeah, I do. But with an insanely incredible voice that Harley could never bring to the table. If there’s one word to describe this song, it would be sex. Excuse me while I go wipe my brow. 4.5 Bianca’s Pick

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/george-maple/vacant-space[/soundcloud]

Wills- Going Through

Sam: I was really championing the RnB revival in the beginning but to be honest I’m getting a little bit over half-arsed, ‘cool’ attempts at the genre. That’s the very reason why I love this one. It’s not being subtle or holding back, it just goes for it both instrumentally and vocally. The drums crunch, shuddering through the melody and the vocal is forthright and confident. The dense production really makes it something special. 4

Hannah M: This chaotic mix of girly singsong vocals, sparkly RnB effects and deep, dub-step style bass had me intrigued. I wanted to keep listening to break it down and work it out. I think once familiar with how it goes, the song grows on you. 4

Bianca: This is a heavy-hitter. It’s good to hear an RnB track that just gets straight to the point with a good melody, a great chorus and some thumping beats. 3.75

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/willsslliw/wills-going-through-it[/soundcloud]

Mark Ronson- Uptown Funk (Feat. Bruno Mars)

Sam: After Mark Ronson started producing for Paul McCartney and the like I thought he’d lost it but the fact that he’s got a bonafide number one right here shows that he’s still got it. It’s taking definite cues from Chic’s Le Freak, but that’s fine because it’s so convincing. I hate to admit it but Mars is the perfect vocalist for it, giving a hearty performance. Meanwhile Ronson’s instrumental is such an acute throwback it’s hard not to get lost in the joy of the whole thing. I don’t want to love it and I’m sure I won’t after I inevitably hear it 600 times over the Summer, but right now it’s great.  4

Hannah M:  I only needed to listen to a few seconds of Uptown Funk to picture white suits, dark sunnies and palm trees in Miami. This whole track is totally cheesy, like Will Smith circa Bad Boys. In fact, this feels destined to be a movie theme song. The sax and the trumpets are fun and soulful though the overall effect is so typically Bruno Mars. Unlike Sam, unfortunately I struggled to hear Mark Ronson’s influence.  3

Bianca: Is it bad that I laughed at first listen to this song? I was almost swayed by the brass and dat funky bassline but the cheesy lyrics delivered by Bruno Mars’ over-enthusiasm are just way too much for me. Excuse me while I go listen to its far more superior predecessor, Walk The Dinosaur (now, that’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.) 2.5

RL Grime- Kingpin (Feat. Big Sean)

Sam: So by now, I think we’re all pretty well acquainted with the fact that RL Grime’s forthcoming record is heavy on the war themes. This again, sounds like a stampede of alarms and brutal percussion. It will be interesting to see whether Grime can keep this soundscape for the entirety of the record without it getting overwhelming. This on its own, with Big Sean’s abrasive rapping is pretty full on. 2.5

Hannah M: The pretense for this entire song is just a little rap cliche for me. The word ‘kingpin’ gets old pretty quickly, much less because Big Sean’s voice isn’t exactly well tuned. In saying that, the actual rhythm isn’t bad. I’m a big fan of bass, and this is the kind of punchy beat that’s nice and easy to cruise to. 3

Bianca: This does absolutely nothing for me. Big Sean’s whingeing is abrasive to my ears and doesn’t allow me to even consider the bassline. Which actually sounds quite enjoyable in every place other than the chorus. 2

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/rlgrime/kingpin[/soundcloud]

Cosmo’s Midnight- Snare (Feat. Wild Eyed Boy)

Sam: This is the sort of song that’s either going to float straight over your head or pull at a heart-string. It’s definitely tugging at something for me and it comes down to the way the vocals are so restrained and relaxed, but also deliver a honey-soaked melody. Cosmo’s Midnight’s brilliance in this is that you barely notice they’re there. Their instrumental is simply a vessel for Wild Eyed Boy to work his vocal magic. 3.5

Hannah M: This was a definite heart-string tugger for me. Love Cosmo’s Midnight, love this track. Wild Eyed Boy’s ethereal voice combines with subtly layered drum and synth beats to create a cozy feel. Major attention to detail has been paid to composition here. 4 Hannah M’s Pick

Bianca: This is definitely a different sound coming from the boys. Wild Eyed Boy’s vocals have encouraged Cosmo’s Midnight to take down the synth-work a touch and it’s really working in their favour. Not that I don’t enjoy the jittery, squeaky beats they usually offer, but in this circumstance, the subtlety really triumphs. The hints of steel drum synths also is perfection. 3.75

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/cosmosmidnight/cosmos-midnight-snare-feat-wild-eyed-boy[/soundcloud]

Major Lazer- All My Love (Feat. Ariana Grande)

Sam: The Hunger Games soundtrack is just the gift that keeps on giving. I can’t help but think that this one was thrown together pretty quickly just because they knew Grande x Major Lazer would be good even if it was an Enya cover. And they were right in thinking that. All My Love is good. Grande delivers her standard trilling and Major Lazer give her a tribal beat to work with. It’s all very hard to dislike but after hearing what she did with Zedd, surely they could’ve aimed a little bigger, particularly for the chorus. 3

Hannah M: This song sounds like Ariana Grande feat. Major Lazer, not the other way around. Her voice totally dominates, and though I’m not a fan of her pop princess persona, there’s no denying that the girl can sing. I love the tribal bass during the verses but am not such a fan of the chorus – plucked straight from the Mockingjay soundtrack, the screechy, high-pitched effect sounds like an annoying bird. 3

Bianca: Ariana’s chirruping voice usually pains me to tears but, in this circumstance, Major Lazer has been her saving grace. The melody does a fine job of matching her usual screech, with the tribal bass line taking it straight to the depths of the jungle. 3.75



10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Major Lazer, George Maple + Cosmo’s Midnight


This week, Kim Kardashian exposed her body all to #breaktheinternet. People say that sometime it’s harder to bare your true feelings and opinions than stand naked. In the interest of that, we’re going to show true bravery and give you our 100% honest opinion on what the best songs of the week were. Here’s hoping we #breaktheinternet.

Jessie Ware- Keep On Lying (TOKiMONSTA Remix)

There’s been about 53 remixes of Keep On Lying released this week thanks to Red Bull Studios who had artists from Pional to Nina Kraviz remixing the song. This one by TOKiMONSTA is our favourite one though. It’s a bubbling masterpiece that chops and changes tempo and switches between Ware’s original vocal and vocally manipulated samples. The song is great on Tough Love, but this breathes new life into it.

Blende- Running (Feat. Gustaph)

We already know the Swedes know how to craft a melody or two and this track by London-based Swede, Blende proves that fact once again. He’s recruited the vocals of Gustaph from Hercules & Love Affair for a funky number that glitters like a Donna Summer cut. It’s crisp, electro-funk that is just calling for some bouncing dance moves.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/eskimorecordings/blende-feat-gustaph-running-4[/soundcloud]

TĀLĀ – Unfinished Business

It’s true, TĀLĀ had unfinished business and by that we mean she was yet to drop the final track from her Alchemy EP. That track is infact aptly titled Unfinished Business and is another tightly-produced, innovative track. It sees TĀLĀ dabble in drum n’ bass influences with her voice hovering above in a haze of reverb. TĀLĀ’s expertise is in crafting songs with lots of noise but a killer melody at its heart. That’s the stuff you can really sink your teeth into.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/talaofficial/unfinishedbusiness?in=talaofficial/sets/alchemyep[/soundcloud]

George Maple- Vacant Space

Talk Talk was enough to stamp Aussie vocalist George Maple as one to watch but her latest, Vacant Space launches her to the stratosphere. Seducing with those dusky vocals, she ushers in a stomping dance beat that bubbles under for the entirety. Behind it, she whispers and hushes creating this dim-lit atmosphere that’s warm and encompassing. We can’t remember a song that was this good by an Australian female vocalist in a very long time.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/george-maple/vacant-space[/soundcloud]

Major Lazer – “All My Love” (Feat. Ariana Grande)

We’ve never seen Hunger Games but we’re taking an unusually active interest in the latest film thanks to the Lorde-curated soundtrack. The latest track to drop off it features 2014’s queen of pop teaming up with Major Lazer for an absolute stomper. It’s one of the less-manic creations from Major Lazer, with Grande’s pop voice and melody taking total control. We weren’t aware that there was a dancehall scene but we’re so up for dutty dancing in the cinema.

Jones- You

London newcomer Jones dropped her debut track, Deep, last month and immediately drew comparisons to Solange but it seems on her latest track, You, she’s setting out to dispel that. Produced by A.K. Paul (who should probably not be referred to alongside his brother any longer), the track is an innovative, industrial RnB track that sees her really go for it vocally. It doesn’t have the immediate appeal of You but its longevity will surely be greater.

Cosmo’s Midnight – Snare (Feat. Wild Eyed Boy)

We’ve been waiting for a minute for a new track by Sydney duo, Cosmo’s Midnight, but finally we’ve got something new from them. Snare is the new track in question and it’s a cruisy track that’s caught up in the clouds. It’s one of those slow-burners that just hovers in your head, slowly working its way into your psyche. Keep them coming, Cosmo’s Midnight, don’t leave us hanging so long.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/cosmosmidnight/cosmos-midnight-snare-feat-wild-eyed-boy[/soundcloud]

Chiefs & Nick Acquroff- Inside Out

In terms of new Australian music, this cut by Aussie producer Chiefs and Sons et al vocalist Nick Acquroff would have to be our pick this week. With the same kind of chemistry that Flume and Chet Faker fell upon, the pair have turned out a dense, melodically-sound track that peaks and troughs perfectly, both vocally and instrumentally. Inside Out is from a forthcoming EP that’s out next Friday, thank goodness.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/die-high/chiefs-nick-acquroff-inside-out[/soundcloud]

Wills- Going Through It

These days electronic-RnB floods our inbox everyday. It’s hard to find one that really stands out but when it does it’s a goosebump moment. Going Through It by enigmatic Bronx artist Wills, gives us that exact moment. It’s a confident, accentuated tracks that delivers a startlingly aggressive alongside silky smooth vocals. This is perhaps what Frank Ocean would sound like if he wasn’t a dedicated minimalist.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/willsslliw/wills-going-through-it[/soundcloud] 

Years & Years- Memo

God damn the vocals of Years & Years just get us everytime. Memo is the b-side to their latest single Desire and it’s a slow-burning stunner. It’s good to hear the group stripped-back and really testing out those vocal chops. Splendour In The Grass should take note and book these guys know, it’ll be one of the most sure-fire bookings of the week.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/yearsandyears/years-years-memo[/soundcloud]


the interns Saturday Mix #4


Hold the phone, did someone say weekend!? It’s time to switch off the Blackberry, call the babysitter and put your party knickers on because Saturday is here and the interns’ mix is not going to let you stay indoors tonight watching Friends re-runs.

Major Lazer – Royal Speaking: Songs to hang with Mary Jane

Note: the interns do not condone the use of illegal drugs.

But Let’s just say you wanted to go green this weekend. And let’s hypothetically say, you need a token music mix to wake and bake or do some garden weeding to. Why don’t you hash out the idea of using this Major Lazer Jamaican jam? That ok with you, bud? If I said ‘People Everyday’ by Arrested Development was in the mix, would that spark up your interest?


Digitalism – In Session: Songs to bring back electro

How good was 2007 for dance music!? Daft punk toured the globe with their Alive tour, Justice, Boys Noize and Sulwax bought us dance hit after dance hit, and Digitalism fed our musical taste buds with their debut album ‘Idealism.’ This mix is a culmination of the old goodies and some fresh new head-bangers. It is the perfect mix of punchy, mischievous and dancey nostalgia to remind us all how electro is done properly.


Moby – DJ Mix / July 2014: Songs to take the new car for a spin

“Moby, you can get stomped by Obie, you 36 year old bald headed fag blow me
You don’t know me, you’re too old let go its over, nobody listens to techno.”

That guy that Eminem loved to diss, you remember him? Well, Daddy’s got a brand new car sound and he wants to take it for a spin around the block. Whether it is your mum’s Suzuki Swift, your sister’s Barina or your new sexy new Mercedes – windows down please, and subwoofers out. The local council are going to hate you tonight.


Karman – LFTF Mix: One for the ups and downs

This mix is going to get the blood pumping through the highs and lows of your relationship. We all know how it goes, one minute you are looking into their eyes, their beautiful soul – that’s a special moment.

Next moment you are at each other’s throats, threatening to change your Facebook relationship status.

Then you are all over each other again, grinding, kissing and loved-up like nothing ever happened.

All in the span of about 2 hours.


Jamie xx and Friends – BBC Radio 1: Songs to stay in bed for

Sunday morning has arrived. Stay right where you are, put your phone on silent and spend the next hour warm and cosy with this old faithful sound. Jamie xx does not judge if you are big spoon or little spoon. He does not throw prejudice over what you did the night before. This well-curated mix is here to let you just slide into the back-end of your weekend with ease and relaxation.

Listen to the “it’s too cold outside to move” mix here



Stay in the loop with new music and events by joining our newsletter list.


Best First Impression Of The Week?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...