SongsOfTheYear_SoFar

The Best Songs Of 2015 So Far...

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After half a year of solid listening, we gathered together a list of thirty songs that most made their mark on us to this point in 2015. 

Illustrations by Bianca Bosso.

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WhatSoNot
30. What So Not
Gemini (Feat. George Maple) 

Amidst all the tears and tantrums that followed the news that your boy Flume was 2kewl4skewwwl and had departed duo What So Not, the boys released one (probably final) absolute banger. Mysterious songstress and all round babe-town George Maple lent herself to the track and produced some seriously entrancing vocals. Literally cannot think of another team-up in the world of Electronic this year that could have been as explosive as this. The song has cemented itself in the sets of every Future Classic/OWSLA DJ…for like…ever. If that doesn’t talk of its staying power, I don’t know what will. - Meshell Webb

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TkayMaidza

29. Tkay Maidza
M.O.B.

Catchy is one word to describe this song, and it’s probably also the most apt. It’s infectiously up-beat and easily Tkay Maidza’s most polished work to date. It’s a gorgeous cross between electro and hip-hop, and not only showcases the irrepressible Maidza’s ability to both sing and rap but also her awesome knack of transitioning seamlessly between the two. Not hard to guess why it’s already been one of triple j’s most played songs this year, and when you take into account the relatable topic material, ‘money over bitches’, now who can’t relate to that? - Zanda Wilson 

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HotChip

28. Hot Chip
Need You Now

Hot Chip are the definition of an act that understand the importance of texture and layering. These guys are masters at hiding complexity in simplicity, especially with regards to the enveloping individual rhythms, instrumental lines and samples that cascade in and out of prominence throughout Need You Now. The addition of vocal counter-melodic lines gives the track another level of polish and professionalism. Need You Now is a deceptively diverse sectionally-perfect banger. - Zanda Wilson 

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Elliphant

27. Elliphant
Love Me Badder

Elliphant is known for her bad bitch personality, take no prisoners, middle fingers up whilst driving into the sunset vibes, but with Love Me Badder she’s showing some vulnerability. The track sees the singer open up a whole new world in her music. She’s at her rawest and most vulnerable but still packing a powerhouse whallop into that chorus. If versatility is the key to longevity in an artist career then Elliphant is showing that she’s got what it’s got to keep fans interested for years to come with this change up. - Alexander Wilkinson

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Nao

26. Nao
Apple Cherry

Nao properly arrived in 2015 as one of those artists you can’t help but fall hopelessly in love with from the first listen. Her use of harmony, play with rhythm and rhyme, and the minimal instrumentation playing off heavy synths in Apple Cherry make it a compelling track, which continually moves and evolves. Of course, one can draw many similarities to FKA twigs, but that’s more a sign of the times than anything else. Like twigs, Nao is one of the rare few standout artists that are nailing the future RnB genre. - Donna Maria Arendse

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TheWeeknd

25. The Weeknd
I Can't Feel My Face

If there’s anything surprising about The Weeknd's new single, it’s the departure from his usual dark, hazy efforts to this radio-friendly yet overtly capturing track. What’s unsurprising, however, is that it hits every mark that a good single should. Abel Tesfaye has been on the radar for some time now, progressing strongly since 2011’s House of Balloons. But if he wasn’t well regarded before, he will be now. This is one of the better (or best) examples of a song that explores the relationship between love and drugs. The lyrics are transparent, but there’s really no need for them to be anything but. Carrying an irresistible bassline and Michael Jackson-esque vocals, this song is an explosion waiting to happen. - Annie Cooper

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Eves

24. Eves The Behavior
Electrical

Eves The Behavior’s next move following the brilliant TV was always going to be anticipated and she didn’t disappoint with Electrical. The track and its subsequent Warpaint remix has seen Hannah skyrocket into headphones of the general public. Comparisons to female artists like Lorde, Lauren Mayberry (CHVRCHES) are common among the bloggers but Eves The Behavior’s distinguishes herself with icy synths and hushed yet anthemic-in-feeling vocals that wash through the chorus - “I’m nothing more than skin and bone, with wires that make me tremble”. Splendour In The Grass will mark her proper arrival as one of Australia’s best assets right now. - Alexander Wilkinson

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TameImpala_Eventually

23. Tame Impala
Eventually

In a Reddit AMA earlier this year Kevin Parker noted that Eventually was “still very moving” for him to listen to. And that’s seems to have translated to the rest of the public as well. Eventually has two modes - those expansive, crunching guitars that elevate the verses and the crystalline, stillness that illuminates the bridge and the chorus. “I know that I’ll be happier and I know you will too,” Parker sings, giving us both his most personal and fragile moment yet. Lonerism had its sweet, introspective moments but never did it break down the walls as much as Eventually does. Tame Impala have a break-up song and it’s not jaded nor is it angry, it’s hopeful. - Sam Murphy

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FourFiveSeconds

22. Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
FourFiveSeconds

Rihanna has always come out all-guns-blazing on lead-singles from new albums so it’s an understatement to say FourFiveSeconds was a surprise. It’s no Only Girl, We Found Love or Diamonds, it’s not even Russian Roulette. Instead it’s an acoustic number featuring music royalty of young and old. That initial shock stumped people at first but the song eventually gained momentum and that’s because it’s got an undeniably brilliant melody that only took one instrument to orchestrate it. Rihanna’s voice is at its grittiest and even Kanye sounds like a crooner. One of the few risks in pop music this year and it turns out all that was needed was a little simplicity.

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Grimes

21. Grimes
REALiTi

After a clear division between fans over Go, Grimes shot back earlier this year with a forgotten off-cut from the fabled “lost-album” that she began and canned in 2013. The song rode the fine line between her sounds from Oblivion and something new and exciting. It didn’t matter what your thoughts on Go were…Grimes fans worldwide rejoiced at the release of the amazing single (and totally tumblr-worthy film-clip). The real baffler was that Grimes herself thought that this song wasn’t album worthy in the first place, reminding us all that she is a superior being. - Meshell Webb 

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CourtneyBarnett

20. Courtney Barnett
Depreston

It’s hard to argue now that Courtney Barnett isn’t one of the greatest songwriter is the world. She manages to take the mundane and amplify the emotions surrounding it. It’s never more clear than on Depreston - a song about looking for suburban real-estate in Melbourne. Instrumentally Depreston is her most solemn sounding track with Barnett gently spilling out her thoughts over a simple but effective arrangement. In the song’s latter parts she manages to create a stirring hook out of the line, “If you’ve got a spare half a million/You could knock it down and start rebuilding.” Not many, if any, could do that. - Sam Murphy

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Florence

19. Florence + The Machine
Ship To Wreck

The expectation for Florence + The Machine’s third LP was that they would continue aiming for the grandiose like, the at times overwhelming, Ceremonials. But they didn’t. They reigned it right in and delivered a career best with Ship To Wreck being the hallmark of that. At first it sounded limp but as time when on Ship To Wreck flourished into a loose-limbed masterpiece that evoked something freeing inside all of us. It’ll bring out the interpretive dancer in all of us and that seems to be exactly what Flo and co would’ve wanted. - Alexander Wilkinson

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TobiasJessoJr

18. Tobias Jesso Jr.
How Could You Babe

We all keep saying it but how goddamn refreshing is it to hear a plain old great ballad in a market that is saturated with overproduction? For all the bells and whistles in the world won’t write you a song as great as this one. One listen and you’re hooked. The retro recording techniques only lend to the charm of Jesso Jr. The baby-faced singer teeters on the edge of a sound that could be cheesy but the sincerity of the lyrics along with the no-bullshit presentation give this song the kind of timeless appeal that means you can totally rock out to it in the car and your grandma will love it too. How cool is that? - Meshell Webb

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Jamiexx_Gosh

17. Jamie xx
Gosh

When Jamie xx debuted this song on BBC Radio 1, Annie Mac compared it to Orbital’s Belfast. While they’re are distinct differences in terms of tempo, she was spot on. The two songs correlate because they both find their euphoria in a finessed melody that runs underneath a club-ready beat. Gosh is Jamie xx’s love letter to the British club-scene. His kisses are blown in the form an alarm-like synth that sweetens a frenetic, industrial beat. When the synth comes out at the midway points its as if the lights are completely blurring out club-goers vision. They can’t see a thing but they know they’re in good company. It even translated to Glastonbury over the weekend where you could see hearts melting. - Sam Murphy 

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FatherJohnMisty

16. Father John Misty
Bored In The USA

Father John Misty arrived back on the scene with an unusual piano ballad that that darkly scrutinises the societal problems afflicting the US of A. Different from his trademark folk, it’s a treatise on White America and its disillusionment. But hey, don’t let that deter you - the gentle piano melody is arresting paired with his voice echoing the vacant melancholy of Americans who find themselves “bored” with their lives. While downbeat, the acutely-written lyrics strike at the heart of Middle America making it both a humorous and unnerving listen. - Michelle He

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KanyeWest

15. Kanye West
All Day

Even sans flamethrowers, All Day is one of the finest gifts Kanye has blessed us with for a long while. It’s angry, substantial, and subverts any preconceived ideas as to what his next album will sound like. This is Kanye showing us what he is capable of as a rap artist, this is Kanye rapping harder, faster, sharper, so it is clear that his war waged against those running radio is not yet done, and far from. Allan Kingdom and Theophilus London both contribute vocals to the track, which glide well with Kanye’s verses, however, they are incapable of detracting any attention from the real monster here. If this track is any indication of what the bulk of his album will sound like, there's something very exciting in store for us. - Annie Cooper

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Drake

14. Drake
Energy

Try as hard as you might, there’s no avoiding Drake. In 2015 he's been everywhere - from Coachella to Apple Music to dropping a surprise mixtape outta nowhere. However, coming from someone that typically feels nothing but ambivalence for Drake, this track is an objective standout. What’s so attractive about Energy is that it’s a big fuck you to pretty much everyone. That is, everyone that uses the internet. Drake disregards us all by spitting "I got bitches askin me for the code for the wi-fi/ so they can talk about they timeline/ and show me pictures of they friends/ just to tell me they ain’t really friends". It’s tongue in cheek, it’s hard hitting, and it’s beguiling because essentially, he’s speaking about you. - Annie Cooper

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Miguel

13. Miguel
Coffee (Fucking)

It’s no surprise that Miguel can write an acutely sexy song. Kaleidoscope Dream was full of them but he’s returned with something that gives us a little more than the usual RnB sextalk. Coffee, the first single from WildHeart, is a love song centred around sex. But rather than portraying it as cheap and fleeting like so many of his contemporaries he’s tender and respectful with the same smooth charm as a song like D’Angelo’s Untitled. “Wordplay, turns in to gun play/And gun play turns into pillow talk/Pillow talk turns into sweet dreams/Sweet dreams turns into fucking in the morning,” he sings, giving us the most poetic turn of events we’re likely to hear this year. - Sam Murphy 

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HudsonMohawke

12. Hudson Mohawke
Ryderz

Ryderz is part of a new but pleasing direction for Hudson Mohawke, known affectionately to those who’ve been listening to his stuff for a while as HudMo. The new side of HudMo increasingly features vocal collaborators after an early career focussed on bizarre sounds and a genre loosely known as Wonky. His production is smooth as ever though, whilst being definitely more melodic. Ryderz features some old school HudMo samples, especially in its conclusion which draws on sounds from an earlier track of his called Hummus. - Zanda Wilson

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ActionBronson

11. Action Bronson
Baby Blue (Feat. Chance The Rapper)

The “go f**k yourself” lyrics, the production from an on fire Mark Ronson, a team up with another leader of the pack rapper and of course the ultimate coolness that drips off anything Bronson does. Baby Blue was going to be a winner even if you just looked at this shit on paper. It’s great to hear Bronson singing in the choruses-something about his drawl and tone makes me love him even more. I cannot fault Ronson’s instrumentation and production chops on this either. Top that all off with a “Coming to America” rip-off music video and you have Hip Hop gold. Also props to Chance The Rappers' contribution, featuring the most sharp-tongued quips heard this year - "I hope you never get off Fridays, And you always work at Friday's, That's always busy on Fridays." Burn. - Meshell Webb

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Years&Years

10. Years & Years
King

Crowned as the Kings of the coveted BBC Sound Of...award this year, an honour that boasts graduates such as Adele, 50 Cent and Sam Smith, British trio Years & Years had big, big shoes to fill. And fill it they did. It was a slow start but their massive single King skyrocketed to the top of the charts and, soon enough, the once relatively unknown boys from Britain (and one from Australia) firmly made their mark on the international music scene. The reasoning behind the brassy synth-driven King's popularity isn't hard to put a finger on. With a sound that's best described as radio-ready pop, transformed by elements of RnB, pop and deep-house, and impossibly smooth vocals courtesy of lead vocalist Olly Alexander, Years & Years are the much-needed breath of fresh air we've all been waiting for. Watch this space. - Bianca 

Read: Years & Years And The Pressure of Being The World's Most Hyped Band 

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Kelela

9. Kelela
A Message

Venezuelan producer Arca did masterful work on Bjork’s return-to-form Vulnicura this year and it only continued with Kelela’s A Message. With both artists he managed to make the use of space more important than what’s in between. The breath-halting pauses are what makes A Message spectacular. “If I was your ex,” Kelela sings before briefly coming to a stop and then continuing, “girlfriend.” It’s that moment that energises the song, builds its sensuality and distorts its use of time. There are definite recollections of Aaliyah here but it’s also Kelela pushing the future RnB envelope even further. - Sam Murphy 

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Kendrick

8. Kendrick Lamar
King Kunta

King Kunta is To Pimp A Butterfly’s most accessible moment. It’s funky with ‘70s boogie and where The Blacker The Berry was an angry, fierce Kendrick Lamar, King Kunta is a chest-puff. Like he did on Big Sean’s Control last year Lamar gives us a rare ego - “Now I run the game got the who world talking.” He even amplifies his own voice adding a call and response between him and his back-up singers. When he raps “I’m mad”, they reasset “he mad”. It’s Lamar mocking the rap-game to a certain point, but you also get the feeling he enjoys stirring things sometimes. - Sam Murphy 

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Skepta

7. Skepta
Shutdown

2015 arrived with a promise of being the year grime finally got his break. And it hasn’t really let us down this far. Kanye’s BRIT Awards performance of All Day with Skepta, Novelist, Stormzy and more was a big hallmark but a lot should be owed to Skepta’s Shutdown. Skepta beats out any MC on this monster of a song, centreing it around the British government's shutdown of grime gigs with a cool confidence rather than anger. With the video assisting, it also has a distinct group-mentality that demonstrates to all those who didn’t know already that grime is all about its community, and as the audio snapshot in the track proves certain people find that “intimidating.” It’s more so empowering. - Sam Murphy 

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TameImpala_CauseImAMan

6. Tame Impala
'Cause I'm A Man

Tame Impala are proving time over that psychedelic music still has a prominent place in Australia’s burgeoning music scene. ‘Cause I’m A Man drives forward in a relaxed way, but also in a manner where the instrumental line establishes a deep groove so early on means that it’s impossible not to be caught up in the depth of the funk. The chorus is undeniably the star, along with some gloriously affected vocals. The other highlight has to be the incredible and seamless shifting between conventional bass playing to the more gorgeous bass harmonics which creates undeniable diversity in both the melodic and bass layers of sound. - Zanda Wilson 

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UMO

5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Multi-Love

The title track of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s 2015 LP illustrates why these guys are one of the most diverse and unique acts going around at the moment. Multi-Love is a melodic and rhythmic exploration in subtle psychedelic sounds, with gorgeous echoey vocals at its epicentre. Instrumental sounds range from mandolin-style guitars to more conventional strumming, all backed by instrumental and vocal sound effects and heavy use of delay. Part of the intrigue of the track actually lies in that some of the effects are so heavy in places that it’s hard to establish what precisely is going on in terms of vocal and melodic harmonies. - Zanda Wilson 

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Tink

4. Tink
Ratchet Commandments

Timbaland has reinvented himself a few times now. He rose to fame with Aaliyah in his hey-day and then returned with Justin Timberlake, only to also assist with Nelly Furtado’s rebirth. 20 year-old Tink is his third-coming but Tink’s not going to let Timbaland play the star in this story. Ratchet Commandments beat is unmistakably Tims but everything else is Tink - a quick-fire feminist ready to call out fake shit. “I thought we had some young Queens what you mean?” she raps as she deconstructs “phoney hoes.” A socially conscious, highly intelligent track that also manages to double as a banger. - Sam Murphy 

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Kendrick_BlackerBerry

3. Kendrick Lamar
The Blacker The Berry

Kendrick Lamar has always been an eloquent speaker when it comes to social issues but never has he been as potent as he is on The Blacker The Berry. The Blacker The Berry came after i, a track criticised by many for being too fleeting and light for Lamar. This is the opposite. Lamar is angry but he’s also totally is control. “You hate me don’t you? You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture?” he raps, digging to the depths of his vocal grunt. It’s without a doubt the most powerful song of 2015 and yet he still manages to add a fire Assassin hook and convert it to one of his most musically successful tracks. It’s also his lyrical peak, at this point. - Sam Murphy

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TameImpala_LetItHappen

2. Tame Impala
Let It Happen

The first track to be released off their still unreleased forthcoming album Currents, Let It Happen needed to be remarkable to set the tone for Tame Impala in 2015. Remarkable indeed, sitting at a cool seven and a half minutes, yet somehow not feeling long or overdone. This epic is a journey of exploration into psychedelic layering and texture. Typically, expressive vocal and guitar techniques are used to substantial effect, but the sectional interplay is where Let It Happen really gives a glimpse into the soul of the band and showcases the fact that Kevin Parker is one of the most talented songwriters of his time. - Zanda Wilson

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Jamiexx_LoudPlaces

1. Jamie xx
Loud PLaces (Feat. Romy)

“I go to loud places to search for someone to be quiet with,” Romy sings on Loud Places, the standout moment from Jamie xxs club-nostalgic debut solo album. Loud Places is a song caught between two emotions - sadness and joy. Romy’s verses are melancholic and beautiful while the Idris Muhammad sample is euphoric and ready for the masses.

Loud Places is that moment in the club where everyone’s moving in slow-motion and you’ve for a moment remembered some of the problems you entered with and are brought down for a split second. If you watch Jamie xx drop this song during a live set and watch the crowd’s reaction you’ll see their heart in their throat but they’ll still have their arms in the air. The dancefloor's most potent moments have always traded in heartbreak and Jamie xx understands that flurry of emotion better than anyone. A beautiful and fragile moment that’s going to be incredibly hard to beat this year. - Sam Murphy 

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After half a year of solid listening, we gathered together a list of thirty songs that most made their mark on us to this point in 2015.

Illustrations by Bianca Bosso.

WhatSoNot
30. What So Not
Gemini (Feat. George Maple) 

Amidst all the tears and tantrums that followed the news that your boy Flume was 2kewl4skewwwl and had departed duo What So Not, the boys released one (probably final) absolute banger. Mysterious songstress and all round babe-town George Maple lent herself to the track and produced some seriously entrancing vocals. Literally cannot think of another team-up in the world of Electronic this year that could have been as explosive as this. The song has cemented itself in the sets of every Future Classic/OWSLA DJ…for like…ever. If that doesn’t talk of its staying power, I don’t know what will. - Meshell Webb

TkayMaidza

29. Tkay Maidza
M.O.B.

Catchy is one word to describe this song, and it’s probably also the most apt. It’s infectiously up-beat and easily Tkay Maidza’s most polished work to date. It’s a gorgeous cross between electro and hip-hop, and not only showcases the irrepressible Maidza’s ability to both sing and rap but also her awesome knack of transitioning seamlessly between the two. Not hard to guess why it’s already been one of triple j’s most played songs this year, and when you take into account the relatable topic material, ‘money over bitches’, now who can’t relate to that? - Zanda Wilson 

HotChip

28. Hot Chip
Need You Now

Hot Chip are the definition of an act that understand the importance of texture and layering. These guys are masters at hiding complexity in simplicity, especially with regards to the enveloping individual rhythms, instrumental lines and samples that cascade in and out of prominence throughout Need You Now. The addition of vocal counter-melodic lines gives the track another level of polish and professionalism. Need You Now is a deceptively diverse sectionally-perfect banger. - Zanda Wilson 

Elliphant

27. Elliphant
Love Me Badder

Elliphant is known for her bad bitch personality, take no prisoners, middle fingers up whilst driving into the sunset vibes, but with Love Me Badder she’s showing some vulnerability. The track sees the singer open up a whole new world in her music. She’s at her rawest and most vulnerable but still packing a powerhouse whallop into that chorus. If versatility is the key to longevity in an artist career then Elliphant is showing that she’s got what it’s got to keep fans interested for years to come with this change up. - Alexander Wilkinson

Nao

26. Nao
Apple Cherry

Nao properly arrived in 2015 as one of those artists you can’t help but fall hopelessly in love with from the first listen. Her use of harmony, play with rhythm and rhyme, and the minimal instrumentation playing off heavy synths in Apple Cherry make it a compelling track, which continually moves and evolves. Of course, one can draw many similarities to FKA twigs, but that’s more a sign of the times than anything else. Like twigs, Nao is one of the rare few standout artists that are nailing the future RnB genre. - Donna Maria Arendse

TheWeeknd

25. The Weeknd
I Can't Feel My Face

If there’s anything surprising about The Weeknd's new single, it’s the departure from his usual dark, hazy efforts to this radio-friendly yet overtly capturing track. What’s unsurprising, however, is that it hits every mark that a good single should. Abel Tesfaye has been on the radar for some time now, progressing strongly since 2011’s House of Balloons. But if he wasn’t well regarded before, he will be now. This is one of the better (or best) examples of a song that explores the relationship between love and drugs. The lyrics are transparent, but there’s really no need for them to be anything but. Carrying an irresistible bassline and Michael Jackson-esque vocals, this song is an explosion waiting to happen. - Annie Cooper

Eves

24. Eves The Behavior
Electrical

Eves The Behavior’s next move following the brilliant TV was always going to be anticipated and she didn’t disappoint with Electrical. The track and its subsequent Warpaint remix has seen Hannah skyrocket into headphones of the general public. Comparisons to female artists like Lorde, Lauren Mayberry (CHVRCHES) are common among the bloggers but Eves The Behavior’s distinguishes herself with icy synths and hushed yet anthemic-in-feeling vocals that wash through the chorus - “I’m nothing more than skin and bone, with wires that make me tremble”. Splendour In The Grass will mark her proper arrival as one of Australia’s best assets right now. - Alexander Wilkinson

TameImpala_Eventually

23. Tame Impala
Eventually

In a Reddit AMA earlier this year Kevin Parker noted that Eventually was “still very moving” for him to listen to. And that’s seems to have translated to the rest of the public as well. Eventually has two modes - those expansive, crunching guitars that elevate the verses and the crystalline, stillness that illuminates the bridge and the chorus. “I know that I’ll be happier and I know you will too,” Parker sings, giving us both his most personal and fragile moment yet. Lonerism had its sweet, introspective moments but never did it break down the walls as much as Eventually does. Tame Impala have a break-up song and it’s not jaded nor is it angry, it’s hopeful. - Sam Murphy

FourFiveSeconds

22. Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
FourFiveSeconds

Rihanna has always come out all-guns-blazing on lead-singles from new albums so it’s an understatement to say FourFiveSeconds was a surprise. It’s no Only Girl, We Found Love or Diamonds, it’s not even Russian Roulette. Instead it’s an acoustic number featuring music royalty of young and old. That initial shock stumped people at first but the song eventually gained momentum and that’s because it’s got an undeniably brilliant melody that only took one instrument to orchestrate it. Rihanna’s voice is at its grittiest and even Kanye sounds like a crooner. One of the few risks in pop music this year and it turns out all that was needed was a little simplicity.

Grimes

21. Grimes
REALiTi

After a clear division between fans over Go, Grimes shot back earlier this year with a forgotten off-cut from the fabled “lost-album” that she began and canned in 2013. The song rode the fine line between her sounds from Oblivion and something new and exciting. It didn’t matter what your thoughts on Go were…Grimes fans worldwide rejoiced at the release of the amazing single (and totally tumblr-worthy film-clip). The real baffler was that Grimes herself thought that this song wasn’t album worthy in the first place, reminding us all that she is a superior being. - Meshell Webb

CourtneyBarnett

20. Courtney Barnett
Depreston

It’s hard to argue now that Courtney Barnett isn’t one of the greatest songwriter is the world. She manages to take the mundane and amplify the emotions surrounding it. It’s never more clear than on Depreston - a song about looking for suburban real-estate in Melbourne. Instrumentally Depreston is her most solemn sounding track with Barnett gently spilling out her thoughts over a simple but effective arrangement. In the song’s latter parts she manages to create a stirring hook out of the line, “If you’ve got a spare half a million/You could knock it down and start rebuilding.” Not many, if any, could do that. - Sam Murphy

Florence

19. Florence + The Machine
Ship To Wreck

The expectation for Florence + The Machine’s third LP was that they would continue aiming for the grandiose like, the at times overwhelming, Ceremonials. But they didn’t. They reigned it right in and delivered a career best with Ship To Wreck being the hallmark of that. At first it sounded limp but as time when on Ship To Wreck flourished into a loose-limbed masterpiece that evoked something freeing inside all of us. It’ll bring out the interpretive dancer in all of us and that seems to be exactly what Flo and co would’ve wanted. - Alexander Wilkinson

TobiasJessoJr

18. Tobias Jesso Jr.
How Could You Babe

We all keep saying it but how goddamn refreshing is it to hear a plain old great ballad in a market that is saturated with overproduction? For all the bells and whistles in the world won’t write you a song as great as this one. One listen and you’re hooked. The retro recording techniques only lend to the charm of Jesso Jr. The baby-faced singer teeters on the edge of a sound that could be cheesy but the sincerity of the lyrics along with the no-bullshit presentation give this song the kind of timeless appeal that means you can totally rock out to it in the car and your grandma will love it too. How cool is that? - Meshell Webb

Jamiexx_Gosh

17. Jamie xx
Gosh

When Jamie xx debuted this song on BBC Radio 1, Annie Mac compared it to Orbital’s Belfast. While they’re are distinct differences in terms of tempo, she was spot on. The two songs correlate because they both find their euphoria in a finessed melody that runs underneath a club-ready beat. Gosh is Jamie xx’s love letter to the British club-scene. His kisses are blown in the form an alarm-like synth that sweetens a frenetic, industrial beat. When the synth comes out at the midway points its as if the lights are completely blurring out club-goers vision. They can’t see a thing but they know they’re in good company. It even translated to Glastonbury over the weekend where you could see hearts melting. - Sam Murphy 

FatherJohnMisty

16. Father John Misty
Bored In The USA

Father John Misty arrived back on the scene with an unusual piano ballad that that darkly scrutinises the societal problems afflicting the US of A. Different from his trademark folk, it’s a treatise on White America and its disillusionment. But hey, don’t let that deter you - the gentle piano melody is arresting paired with his voice echoing the vacant melancholy of Americans who find themselves “bored” with their lives. While downbeat, the acutely-written lyrics strike at the heart of Middle America making it both a humorous and unnerving listen. - Michelle He

KanyeWest

15. Kanye West
All Day

Even sans flamethrowers, All Day is one of the finest gifts Kanye has blessed us with for a long while. It’s angry, substantial, and subverts any preconceived ideas as to what his next album will sound like. This is Kanye showing us what he is capable of as a rap artist, this is Kanye rapping harder, faster, sharper, so it is clear that his war waged against those running radio is not yet done, and far from. Allan Kingdom and Theophilus London both contribute vocals to the track, which glide well with Kanye’s verses, however, they are incapable of detracting any attention from the real monster here. If this track is any indication of what the bulk of his album will sound like, there's something very exciting in store for us. - Annie Cooper

Drake

14. Drake
Energy

Try as hard as you might, there’s no avoiding Drake. In 2015 he's been everywhere - from Coachella to Apple Music to dropping a surprise mixtape outta nowhere. However, coming from someone that typically feels nothing but ambivalence for Drake, this track is an objective standout. What’s so attractive about Energy is that it’s a big fuck you to pretty much everyone. That is, everyone that uses the internet. Drake disregards us all by spitting "I got bitches askin me for the code for the wi-fi/ so they can talk about they timeline/ and show me pictures of they friends/ just to tell me they ain’t really friends". It’s tongue in cheek, it’s hard hitting, and it’s beguiling because essentially, he’s speaking about you. - Annie Cooper

Miguel

13. Miguel
Coffee (Fucking)

It’s no surprise that Miguel can write an acutely sexy song. Kaleidoscope Dream was full of them but he’s returned with something that gives us a little more than the usual RnB sextalk. Coffee, the first single from WildHeart, is a love song centred around sex. But rather than portraying it as cheap and fleeting like so many of his contemporaries he’s tender and respectful with the same smooth charm as a song like D’Angelo’s Untitled. “Wordplay, turns in to gun play/And gun play turns into pillow talk/Pillow talk turns into sweet dreams/Sweet dreams turns into fucking in the morning,” he sings, giving us the most poetic turn of events we’re likely to hear this year. - Sam Murphy 

HudsonMohawke

12. Hudson Mohawke
Ryderz

Ryderz is part of a new but pleasing direction for Hudson Mohawke, known affectionately to those who’ve been listening to his stuff for a while as HudMo. The new side of HudMo increasingly features vocal collaborators after an early career focussed on bizarre sounds and a genre loosely known as Wonky. His production is smooth as ever though, whilst being definitely more melodic. Ryderz features some old school HudMo samples, especially in its conclusion which draws on sounds from an earlier track of his called Hummus. - Zanda Wilson

ActionBronson

11. Action Bronson
Baby Blue (Feat. Chance The Rapper)

The “go f**k yourself” lyrics, the production from an on fire Mark Ronson, a team up with another leader of the pack rapper and of course the ultimate coolness that drips off anything Bronson does. Baby Blue was going to be a winner even if you just looked at this shit on paper. It’s great to hear Bronson singing in the choruses-something about his drawl and tone makes me love him even more. I cannot fault Ronson’s instrumentation and production chops on this either. Top that all off with a “Coming to America” rip-off music video and you have Hip Hop gold. Also props to Chance The Rappers' contribution, featuring the most sharp-tongued quips heard this year - "I hope you never get off Fridays, And you always work at Friday's, That's always busy on Fridays." Burn. - Meshell Webb

Years&Years

10. Years & Years
King

Crowned as the Kings of the coveted BBC Sound Of...award this year, an honour that boasts graduates such as Adele, 50 Cent and Sam Smith, British trio Years & Years had big, big shoes to fill. And fill it they did. It was a slow start but their massive single King skyrocketed to the top of the charts and, soon enough, the once relatively unknown boys from Britain (and one from Australia) firmly made their mark on the international music scene. The reasoning behind the brassy synth-driven King's popularity isn't hard to put a finger on. With a sound that's best described as radio-ready pop, transformed by elements of RnB, pop and deep-house, and impossibly smooth vocals courtesy of lead vocalist Olly Alexander, Years & Years are the much-needed breath of fresh air we've all been waiting for. Watch this space. - Bianca Bosso 

Read: Years & Years And The Pressure of Being The World's Most Hyped Band 

Kelela

9. Kelela
A Message

Venezuelan producer Arca did masterful work on Bjork’s return-to-form Vulnicura this year and it only continued with Kelela’s A Message. With both artists he managed to make the use of space more important than what’s in between. The breath-halting pauses are what makes A Message spectacular. “If I was your ex,” Kelela sings before briefly coming to a stop and then continuing, “girlfriend.” It’s that moment that energises the song, builds its sensuality and distorts its use of time. There are definite recollections of Aaliyah here but it’s also Kelela pushing the future RnB envelope even further. - Sam Murphy 

Kendrick

8. Kendrick Lamar
King Kunta

King Kunta is To Pimp A Butterfly’s most accessible moment. It’s funky with ‘70s boogie and where The Blacker The Berry was an angry, fierce Kendrick Lamar, King Kunta is a chest-puff. Like he did on Big Sean’s Control last year Lamar gives us a rare ego - “Now I run the game got the who world talking.” He even amplifies his own voice adding a call and response between him and his back-up singers. When he raps “I’m mad”, they reasset “he mad”. It’s Lamar mocking the rap-game to a certain point, but you also get the feeling he enjoys stirring things sometimes. - Sam Murphy 

Skepta

7. Skepta
Shutdown

2015 arrived with a promise of being the year grime finally got his break. And it hasn’t really let us down this far. Kanye’s BRIT Awards performance of All Day with Skepta, Novelist, Stormzy and more was a big hallmark but a lot should be owed to Skepta’s Shutdown. Skepta beats out any MC on this monster of a song, centreing it around the British government's shutdown of grime gigs with a cool confidence rather than anger. With the video assisting, it also has a distinct group-mentality that demonstrates to all those who didn’t know already that grime is all about its community, and as the audio snapshot in the track proves certain people find that “intimidating.” It’s more so empowering. - Sam Murphy 

TameImpala_CauseImAMan

6. Tame Impala
'Cause I'm A Man

Tame Impala are proving time over that psychedelic music still has a prominent place in Australia’s burgeoning music scene. ‘Cause I’m A Man drives forward in a relaxed way, but also in a manner where the instrumental line establishes a deep groove so early on means that it’s impossible not to be caught up in the depth of the funk. The chorus is undeniably the star, along with some gloriously affected vocals. The other highlight has to be the incredible and seamless shifting between conventional bass playing to the more gorgeous bass harmonics which creates undeniable diversity in both the melodic and bass layers of sound. - Zanda Wilson 

UMO

5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Multi-Love

The title track of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s 2015 LP illustrates why these guys are one of the most diverse and unique acts going around at the moment. Multi-Love is a melodic and rhythmic exploration in subtle psychedelic sounds, with gorgeous echoey vocals at its epicentre. Instrumental sounds range from mandolin-style guitars to more conventional strumming, all backed by instrumental and vocal sound effects and heavy use of delay. Part of the intrigue of the track actually lies in that some of the effects are so heavy in places that it’s hard to establish what precisely is going on in terms of vocal and melodic harmonies. - Zanda Wilson 

Tink

4. Tink
Ratchet Commandments

Timbaland has reinvented himself a few times now. He rose to fame with Aaliyah in his hey-day and then returned with Justin Timberlake, only to also assist with Nelly Furtado’s rebirth. 20 year-old Tink is his third-coming but Tink’s not going to let Timbaland play the star in this story. Ratchet Commandments beat is unmistakably Tims but everything else is Tink - a quick-fire feminist ready to call out fake shit. “I thought we had some young Queens what you mean?” she raps as she deconstructs “phoney hoes.” A socially conscious, highly intelligent track that also manages to double as a banger. - Sam Murphy 

Kendrick_BlackerBerry

3. Kendrick Lamar
The Blacker The Berry

Kendrick Lamar has always been an eloquent speaker when it comes to social issues but never has he been as potent as he is on The Blacker The Berry. The Blacker The Berry came after i, a track criticised by many for being too fleeting and light for Lamar. This is the opposite. Lamar is angry but he’s also totally is control. “You hate me don’t you? You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture?” he raps, digging to the depths of his vocal grunt. It’s without a doubt the most powerful song of 2015 and yet he still manages to add a fire Assassin hook and convert it to one of his most musically successful tracks. It’s also his lyrical peak, at this point. - Sam Murphy

TameImpala_LetItHappen

2. Tame Impala
Let It Happen

The first track to be released off their still unreleased forthcoming album Currents, Let It Happen needed to be remarkable to set the tone for Tame Impala in 2015. Remarkable indeed, sitting at a cool seven and a half minutes, yet somehow not feeling long or overdone. This epic is a journey of exploration into psychedelic layering and texture. Typically, expressive vocal and guitar techniques are used to substantial effect, but the sectional interplay is where Let It Happen really gives a glimpse into the soul of the band and showcases the fact that Kevin Parker is one of the most talented songwriters of his time. - Zanda Wilson

Jamiexx_LoudPlaces

1. Jamie xx
Loud PLaces (Feat. Romy)

“I go to loud places to search for someone to be quiet with,” Romy sings on Loud Places, the standout moment from Jamie xxs club-nostalgic debut solo album. Loud Places is a song caught between two emotions - sadness and joy. Romy’s verses are melancholic and beautiful while the Idris Muhammad sample is euphoric and ready for the masses.

Loud Places is that moment in the club where everyone’s moving in slow-motion and you’ve for a moment remembered some of the problems you entered with and are brought down for a split second. If you watch Jamie xx drop this song during a live set and watch the crowd’s reaction you’ll see their heart in their throat but they’ll still have their arms in the air. The dancefloor's most potent moments have always traded in heartbreak and Jamie xx understands that flurry of emotion better than anyone. A beautiful and fragile moment that’s going to be incredibly hard to beat this year. - Sam Murphy 

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Album_Miguel

Album Of The Week: Miguel - 'WildHeart'

Miguel

When Miguel released his breakthrough sophomore record Kaleidoscope Dream in 2012 it took a little while for the momentum to build. It was immediately clear to critics that the album was great but while the mainstream tastes were shifting further to RnB it took a little while for Miguel to be completely accepted. His 2013 Grammys performance of Adorn was a big moment for him in his rise. It announced to everybody who didn’t already know that the world had a supreme male RnB vocalist, the likes of which had not been seen since, perhaps, D’Angelo.

So what does Miguel do now that the genre he rode to fame with has flooded the mainstream to the point where Selena Gomez is even doing it? He takes a left turn. Miguel's third LP WildHeart is closer to soulful rock n’ roll than it is RnB, as synths are traded for howling guitars and reverb is introduced. You won’t find the smooth sheen of Adorn on this record and maybe that’s the record’s greatest strength - it allows you to discover a different element to Miguel.

That’s not to say WildHeart is a total departure from the RnB genre. It’s still sensual, smooth and at times beat-driven, but from its opener a beautiful exit, it’s immediately clear that it’s a far more organic, rough listen. “We’re going to die young,” he sings a beautiful exit, echoing a long-established rock n’ roll sentiment of freedom. That idea of being free, whether it be sexually or mentally is something that binds each song on the album.

Kaleidoscope Dream was a sexually-charged record and WildHeart is really no different in that sense. “Confess your sins to me while you masturbate,” he sings on The Valley over dirty, grinding synths. It’s the most explicit track on the album and the instrumental suggests that. Similar themes re-emerge on other songs on the album but never to that degree. On Waves he wants to “ride that wave,” as he sings on the funky, playful track. It’s times like these that you actually have to read the lyrics to realise the lyrical content. He’s so damn smooth he sings everything with careful tenderness.

First single Coffee is the most successful bedroom track. It’s an under-the-sheets, lyrical masterclass that oozes intimacy. While Miguel holds nothing back when it comes to singing about sex, it’s done with love, never sounding like a cheap, one-sided romp. The singer has been with his girlfriend for a decade, which probably explains that. “I wish I could paint our love,” he sings, surely melting girls hearts around the world.

Away from the sex, WildHeart paints Miguel as an outsider. Most of the music has this Harley-into-the-sunset toughness about it that’s both freeing and lonely. It’s the howling guitars and grungy production that do it but it’s also his autobiographical lyrics. “Too proper for the black kids, too black for the Mexicans,” he sings on the most introspective track What’s Normal Anyway? It’s a rare, intimate look into the makings of an on-the-surface suave Miguel. “I never feel like I belong,” he adds alongside a sonic-backing that’s happy to be contained.

The next song Hollywood Dreams sees Miguel let loose musically piling on the guitars and booming beats to help the track take flight. From this point on the rock guitars become his greatest weapon. He uses them to expand the soundscape which in turn allows him to let loose vocally. Even Cashmere Cat’s contribution ...goingtohell rumbles with distorted instruments - a far cry from Cashy’s flashy remix of Do You...

California is the geographical heart of the album and it’s the best possible place to explore the idea of freedom. Miguel called it a “beautiful and hopeless place” in Rolling Stone and that’s exactly how it’s portrayed here. “Sweet California, bitter California,” he acknowledges on leaves backed by zero percussion, just hopeful and mournful guitars. Miguel surely knows all too well how it feels to be both jaded and inspired by the city.

Album closers leaves and face the sun are the two that really make you feel something for WildHeart. They have these big uplifting melodies that sweep from beneath and elevate the record into the clouds. In terms of imagery it’s as if he’s at the point on the motorcycle where he’s slowly becoming one with the horizon. Face The Sun is his love letter to his girlfriend and it’s the perfect closer in the sense that WildHeart paints an uncertain Miguel at many points but here he’s sure of one thing - “I belong with you.” A simple, perhaps cliché, statement but one that really resonates in a flurry muscular guitars and heart-stomping percussion.

Lyrically intimate yet sonically expansive and stadium-ready - that’s the heart of WildHeart.

Miguel_Score

FI_24June

First Impressions: Robyn, Selena Gomez, Thundercat And More

FI_24June

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 Robyn, Selena Gomez, Thundercat and more.

Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique
Love Is Free

Zanda: This is just dripping funkiness. The bass oozes out over a bunch of fun and funky samples and sound effects in a way that will make you want to boogie. Again, another track from Robyn that has a typical rawness about it, not that there’s anything missing from the production. The rhythms, bass and beat are just raw in such an organic way, it feels natural from start to finish. 4

Sam: Well this is one way to make people dance their sweaty arses off. Robyn has always made killer bangers. She had Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do and We Dance To The Beat and this is in the same kind of vein as that. It’s so dirty and commanding yet the production is so pure and clean. Robyn has literally not made one bad thing for a decade and this is no exception. 4.5 Sam's Pick 

Raury
Devil’s Whisper

Zanda: This feels like it should be part of a Hollywood blockbuster in that mandatory scene where they go and do peyote or shrooms in the desert and one of them has a bad trip. My main gripe with this track lies in that it’s more than half over before that dope bassline kicks in. Up until this point there’s nothing that really makes it stand out for me, but in saying that the rap verse in the second half is, as they say; straight fire. 3

Sam: I don’t know if I’m fully on board with what Raury is doing yet. It’s kind of like Mumford & Sons cross Vic Mensa and that’s not really my thing. I do appreciate that he’s a passionate musician and he’s trying to do something different so props for that. In saying that, the latter half of this track is killer. His raps have this really organic darkness to them and he injects so much rhythm into the song in just those final seconds. More of that please. 3

Miguel
face the sun (Feat. Lenny Kravitz)

Zanda: Miguel is about to be a much bigger name in the near future if he keeps writing stuff like this. Everything he does is just the definition of smooth, and this track really compliments his uber-smooth vocals with its up-beat, almost pop/rock style instrumentation. The intensity builds nicely throughout the track, however I get a bit of a murky vibe towards the end where if anything there are a few too many elements crammed on top of each other. 3

Sam: Cliche alert- Miguel could sing the phonebook and I’d be entertained. His voice is just a cut-above the rest and this kind of song allows it to shine unobtrusively. The Lenny Kravitz feature is pretty unnecessary but other than that it’s a blazer. It’s sensual and yet rough and raw. Miguel slowly builds and builds it until its soaring at the end. It’s not as modern or innovative as Kaleidoscope Dream but it’s the mark of an artist who’s discovered his voice's best pockets and is using them. 4

Selena Gomez
Good For You (Feat. A$AP Rocky)

Zanda: Selena Gomez’s voice is clearly heavily edited on this track, but I actually don’t mind it too much. The production is decent without being anything special, and A$AP Rocky is undeniable in his delivery as always. Definitely listenable. 2.5

Sam: Shit. I hadn’t heard this before now and I thought it would be a bit of a laugh to listen to but goddammit, I think I actually really like it. Gomez hasn’t done anything of significance in her career to this point, but this one actually makes a stamp on her artistry. Everything from her slightly twisted accent to her reluctance to explicitly create a climax shows that she’s actually trying to forge a career as an artist who’s capable of making interesting music. I’m so entranced by Gomez’s verses that by the time Rocky comes in, I’m unphased. Look, if liking a Selena Gomez track is the worst thing that happens to me this week it’s going to be an excellent week. 3.5

Japanese Wallpaper
Arrival

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/japanesewallpaper/arrival[/soundcloud]

Zanda: The first thing that comes to mind when listening to this is, ‘holy crap Dustin Tebbutt’s voice is epic on this’. The Aussie producer/singer is really killing it right now, and suits Japanese Wallpaper’s style of delicate melodic production perfectly. This track contains some glassy smooth melodies and the interplay between layers brings joy to my eargasm. 4.5 Zanda’s Pick

Sam: Japanese Wallpaper is absolutely creaming it at the moment. He’s reached that point where triple j worships the ground he stands on and tickets fly out the door like free candy. I’m not sure this really sets me alight with excitement but it’s definitely a sweet, nuanced listen. I had to go back and listen to where this sits on the EP to really understand it and in that context it shines. As a standalone though it wafts in and wafts out for me barely even leaving dust in its tracks. 3

Thundercat
Them Changes

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/brainfeeder/thundercat-them-changes[/soundcloud]

Zanda: There’s so much to like in this it’s hard to separate some of it. The interplay between synthetic sounds and organic instrumentation gives it a really real and raw feel, and I love the use of both piano and sax sporadically underneath the dominant guitars and bass. The vocals are complimentary to all of the above as well, allowing each aspect of the complex instrumentation to have its own space and shine on its own. 4

Sam: Thundercat is the go-to guy for funk right now. He was a winning inclusion on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and seems to have a new shot of career-momentum. Teaming up with Flying Lotus is a choice-move as the two operate in the same musical spectrum. It shows on Them Changes as it all seems so damn right. There’s so much of this funk stuff floating around at the moment and so much of it is imitation. The effortless vocal and floating bassline on this show that it’s the real deal - no imitation here. 4

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10Songs_19June

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Robyn, Foals, Miguel And More

10Songs_19June

Bitch, these are the 10 tracks that you should be all over this week with 100 percent less Madonna, Beyonce and Kanye. However, we would've been happy to have them on board if we knew how to get in contact with them :/

Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique
Love Is Free

We're always waiting on new Robyn material and we're yet to be disappointed by anything she's churned out. Her latest project is Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique and the first single is Love Is Free - a '90s house-inspired tune. Robyn half-raps the whole thing, in control and bringing the cool as always. It's a stylish track but it's also designed for those inclined to get down and dirty on the dance floor. The production may be clean but there's nothing clean about what will happen when this drops after midnight in a club.

Little Boots
No Pressure

Little Boots is killing it at the moment with her Ariel Rechtshaid-produced work from her upcoming Working Girl LP. It feels like she's finally found away to entertain her pop sensibilities while also bringing a point of difference and operating in the dance world. No Pressure is far less breezy than the first single Better In The Morning, sounding more closely aligned to the sublime pop on her debut Hands. There are twinkling synths, heavy beats and a pop-laden chorus. It's her biggest shot at a radio-pleaser in a long time.

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

Tashka
Taken (Dugong Jr Remix)

Tashka's Taken was already a throwback RnB winner but now Melbourne producer and Moving Castle-affiliate Dugong Jr has turned those original vibes up even more. Dugong Jr has given the track a slight renovation, moving it into a dream-like realm where airy RnB vocals circulate the atmosphere. Now we're starting to hear Ciara and Aaliyah in Tashka's vocals, giving the tune a second life at the interns' office.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/dugongjr/tashka-taken-dugong-jr-remix[/soundcloud]

Little May
Home

Little May are finally prepping the release of their debut album and Home is the first taste from that. They're one of Australia's finest exports at the moment, even managing to catch the attention of The National's Aaron Brooking Dessner who produced the single. It's a slightly more haunting style for the three girls who have generally traded in lighter folk music but it's a great direction to go in. The track was filmed in New York, offering up a few of the city's most iconic themes while the girls jam it out in a church.

R.W. Grace
Shell

There's been a little confusion surrounding this Aussie artist lately. She was previously known as Grace, however, there is now another Grace tearing up the charts with her cover of You Don't Own Me, meaning that the first Grace has had to add an R and a W to the beginning of her name to distinguish herself. Luckily, it hasn't affected her music at all as she's effortlessly followed up 2014's beautiful Pluto with Shell. Her smokey vocal sinks into a part organic, part electronic instrumental-arrangement. She sounds like an artist who's completely in charge of her artistic path and as such she sounds confident and in control on this track.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/rwgrace/shell[/soundcloud]

Charles Murdoch
Straws

Future Classic have turned ten this year and while the label is known for Flume and Chet Faker, every week we're reminded of the wealth of other talent they have. Sydney producer Charles Murdoch is an example of one of those talents and he's getting ready to release his debut album this year. Straws is the first single from that LP and it's a heavenly slice of electronica that's both melancholic and uplifting. The track is bound by a hushed vocal sample which wanders around the delicate synths. Stick around for the subtle drop at the end - not much bass but plenty of bliss.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/charles-murdoch-straws[/soundcloud]

Miguel
face the sun

We've had plenty of great album releases this year but Miguel's WildHeart looks set to rival them all. Coffee was a sure-fire winner and this week he dropped three other album tracks just to prove there's plenty more where that came from. The Lenny Kravitz featuring face the sun is the one that stood out to us the most. Despite its big-name feature the focus is completely on Miguel who blitzes his way through a sleek, electric guitar-driven track. "I belong to you," is the general notion of the song and Miguel uses those four words to lead the song straight into a full-force climax.

Raury
Devil's Whisper

Atlanta rapper Raury is a hard one to work out. He's got this folk-side never explored before in hip-hop and then he's got a more traditional rap side. Somehow he brings the two together effortlessly and his latest Devil's Whisper is an example of that. It begins as a dark, spiritually-twisted track and then detours into strobing-synths and rapping. He's a damn good rapper and we have to admit we're keener on the second half of the song than the first, but the whole thing is killer.

ABRA
Roses

Awful Records have released some of the year's more challenging electronic tracks but ABRA's output is perhaps their most accessible yet. She's just dropped a brilliant lo-fi RnB album Rose and with it launched a video for Roses. The track is bound by a sweet melody and bounces along with hollow beats which create a certain DIY charm. Sweet as the melody may be, ABRA's image is strong. "I'm young and I'll waste you away," she sings, suddenly making it very clear why she's dropping from Awful Records.

Foals
What Went Down

It's hard to believe this is the same band that released songs like Cassius and Two Steps, Twice. It's not that Foals are unrecognisable now, it's just that they have bolstered up their sound and puffed out their chests, evolving into a fully-fledged rock band. What Went Down, the title track from their forthcoming fourth LP is a foot-hard-on-the-accelerator type track with frontman Yannis Philippakis howling throughout. It feels anxious and chaotic yet in control. This is a band ready to become a festival headliner.

Miguel Coffee

Watch Miguel Strip Down In The Video For 'Coffee'

We've been spoilt with new Miguel material lately. First we had his Hudson Mohawke collaboration Deepspace and yesterday we got three tracks from WildHeart. Now, we have a particularly racy video for the first single from the album Coffee. Miguel spends the whole time shirtless either wandering around or in bed with his on-camera girlfriend. It's definitely NSFW but it's also done tastefully, as is always the case with Miguel.

Miguel is heading to Australia in October for Soulfest with Mary J. Blige, Ms. Lauryn Hill and more. Check out dates and buy tickets here.

©2017 THE INTERNS MUSIC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.