The week's best tunes, ranked.
Ed Sheeran has a little sing on it too.
Beyonce, Kanye, Diplo, Katy Perry and more all make somewhat unnecessary appearances.
Here's a collection of tracks we loved this week. Tick them off your list so you can move onto next week confident that you took everything from this week that you possibly could.
Years & Years
British trio Years & Years had a mighty task following up their UK chart-topping single King, but it seems as though they've done it with ease. Shine takes a slightly different pace to King but it's no less euphoric with frontman Olly Alexander's vocals once again sounding flawless. At this point it's hard to see the band making any missteps on their forthcoming album Communion which is due out 10th July.
Love Me Badder
Swedish songstress Elliphant has been churning out perfect pop for the better part of two years but it finally feels like she's hit her stride. Last year's MO-featuring One More was one of our favourite tracks of 2014 and this latest one Love Me Badder is just an impressive. It's a big-sounding, dancehall-sampling ballad with a chorus made for the masses. Elliphant's voice is smokey and full-bodied and tackles the huge melody without any problems at all. Her Splendour In The Grass shows should make her plenty of fans here.
Ignore And Wot
I've spent the better part of the week trawling through grime history for a piece that is about to go up on the site. It feels like an appropriate reward that at the end of it all a new Novelist track emerged. Ignorant And Wot popped up on Novelist's soundcloud and it's a corker. It's a ready-made anthem with a simple but hard-hitting hook bookended by fast-flowing verses. It's baffling that this guy is only 18 years-old.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/novelist/ignorant-and-wot[/soundcloud]
Rudimental collaborators have had a pretty good track record when it comes to moving onto their own solo careers. John Newman had a number single on his own, Ella Eyre is making waves with her solo tracks and Sinead Harnett looks set to make a big splash with She Ain't Me. Anne-Marie has toured with Rudimental as their live vocalist but looks to be more than ready to do it alone. Karate, her debut single, is a little more left-field than what the aforementioned names are making. It's experimental pop with a strong melody and airy vocals. It may not be a number one single in waiting but it doesn't feel like that was the goal.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/iamannemarie/anne-marie-karate[/soundcloud]
Bitch Better Have My Money (Diplo & Grandtheft Remix)
For one of Rihanna's less-successful tracks Bitch Better Have My Money keeps popping up everywhere. Last week we got the EDM remix courtesy of R3hab and now we have a remix firmly in the trap-world courtesy of Diplo and Grandtheft. It's far more true to the original than any other remixes we've heard but it does give it an extra dose of oomph with abrasive horns and hard-hitting beats. It's definitely one of Rihanna's more curious singles but it really does just keep getting better. Diplo and Grandtheft have helped that cause.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/diplo/bitch-better-have-my-money-diplo-grandtheft-remixofficial-you-losers[/soundcloud]
Doing It (Carmada Remix)
It's criminal that the original of this song didn't reach number one for 40 weeks on the Australian charts but Aussie duo Carmada may have the answer to ensuring its resurrection. They have been on the Groovin The Moo festival trail with Charli XCX playing their Doing It remix along the way but now we finally have the proper, final product. They keep that stellar chorus and around it build a world of flickering synths, high-pitched vocal samples and mournful keys. We reckon Charli would approve of this one.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/carmadamusic/charli-xcx-doing-it-carmada-remix[/soundcloud]
Rita Ora really doesn't get enough credit. She's currently trying to crack America and in that market she looks like an underdog but in the UK she's had four number one singles. That's damn impressive. Poison is the latest tune to be taken from her forthcoming second album and it's another perfect piece of pop. "I've picked my poison and it's you," she sings over a hard-hitting beat that only eases up for the euphoric verses. It may not be as immediate as I Will Never Let You Down but after two days of listening we can guarantee it's a grower. Listen here.
I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) (Feat. Young Thug)
Popcaan and Young Thug may not be the most likely suspects for a Jamie xx track but goddam does it work. This version that leaked this week only features Young Thug but you can see where Popcaan would happily slot in on the album version. While the feature-vocalists may suggest otherwise, it actually doesn't sound that far out of Jamie xx's world. There are still steel drums, warm bassy synths and a soulful throwback sample (of The Persuasions' Good Times. Like Gosh and Loud Places, it's uplifting music, which seems to be a theme of In Colour when you also consider the multi-coloured album art.[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/looie31007/young-thug-ft-jamie-xx-i-know-theres-gonna-be-good-times[/soundcloud]Laura Clock
Robyn is the queen of mournful dancefloor stompers but in her absence there are plenty of other artists keeping the space warm. One of them is Laura Clock (previously known as Butterclock) who's gearing up to release her debut EP under the new moniker, Baby - Part One. Fade is the first single from that and it's a dancehall-inspired track made for the latest point of the night when the dancefloor is empty enough to really cut loose - Dirty Dancing style.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/goldenbruise/fade/[/soundcloud]
We've been waiting a while for new material from London singer Billie Black but now we finally have it. Black has returned with a killer new hairstyle and a sleek sound that recalls Sade and Jessie Ware. Going Under is her most confident sounding track yet with the latter half exploding into a clean slice of electronica that immediately sounds like London. The track is taken from her forthcoming Teach Me EP which is due to drop 25th May.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/billie-black/billie-black-going-under[/soundcloud]
When you turn on the radio and the first thing you hear is “Dear future husband…”, it’s pretty easy to get down on the state of music. The truth is that the commercial world of music is full of injustice. They play a song about “finding a cheerleader” but they don’t play FKA twigs and they’d rather play a song called All About That Bass than anything that actually has bass like say, Run The Jewels.
The fact is any successful business knows their audience and they play these songs because they’re popular or they want to make them popular. It’s a stubborn, unchangeable business but that’s why it’s all the more joyful when something really memorable seeps through. For those who have lost hope with mainstream music here are nine reasons why we should hold our heads up about what’s popular at the moment:
The trajectory of this song has been very interesting to watch. When the song dropped out of the blue earlier this month it was almost to a collective “what the fuck”. Nobody knew if it was Rihanna or Kanye’s song or what on earth Paul McCartney was doing with two of the biggest stars in urban music. After being performed at the Grammys, the song has risen to number one on the ARIA Charts and is on high rotation on commercial radio.
It only took about three different instruments to make FourFiveSeconds and yet it’s easily one of the most captivating songs of the year. Kanye is obviously going through a spout of minimalism at the moment and it’s worked wonders for Rihanna. She sounds the most raspy and powerful she has in years. She’s an artist who’s always looked for new things to do and it’s almost comical that it took her to strip a song to the bone to create one of the highlights of her career. This is a game-changer. You can expect more and more songs to sound like this in the year ahead.
Who would’ve thought that such a straight-out pop album would’ve become one of the more divisive of last year (for triple j listeners at least)? The reason 1989 was so divisive is because people outside the mainstream started to show appreciation for what was a brilliantly conceived pop album. The naysayers were left wondering why they were suddenly left alone when every jumped to team Tay Tay.
Style is by far one of the highlights of 1989. It’s a slinky, immaculate pop tune with a throbbing bass-line. The song was written by Taylor Swift with Max Martin who’s made some of the biggest pop tunes of all time (Since U Been Gone, I Kissed A Girl, Shake It Off). What makes it so interesting is it actually sounds like nothing else on the charts right now. The melody is straight out of the how-to-make-a-pop-song book but the instrumental is dim-lit and brooding with the percussion taking cues from the ‘80s.
This may be hovering just past the top ten on iTunes’ around the world but it’s a pretty spectacular feat for a song that’s so angsty and raw. Florence has crossed over into the mainstream many time before but that was with the help of Calvin Harris or a cover, never with a song like this. A lot of its success comes from the fact that people are happy to have Florence back but this is a testing song. Her voice wails amongst growling guitars and thrashing percussion while all the while she taunts “What kind of man loves like this?”
Florence Welch has done a brilliant job over the last five years of bringing interesting, challenging ideas to a wider audience and it seems she’ll be stretching that ever more on her next album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. The best thing is, as soon as you hear one of her songs it couldn’t be anybody else in the world singing it. That’s a quality that many songs on the charts miss.
More than a year after its release and Australian audiences are starting to catch onto this tune by US RnB singer Tinashe. It’s already been a hit in the US but radio has just put this on high rotation which is odd for such a bare urban track. You’d have to go as far back as Ashanti to find a song as minimal as this climbing up the charts.
It works because Tinashe’s melodies in the verses are so tight and she struts vocally with gusto. She’s confident and immediately gives us a whiff of her personality on 2 On. It’s obvious she’s young, it’s clear she’s cool and best of all it sounds like she’s a self-made artist. This type of song doesn’t usually seep through on the Australia charts but it could open a door for many more.
Commercial radio have shyed away from many Future Classic artists in the past. They only started playing Flume’s Holdin’ On once it was a certified alternative hit and Chet Faker can owe most of his success to triple j’s build-up. It seems, however, that one artist in particular has caught their attention of late. That man is Hayden James who is currently sitting at number 24 on the Radio Airplay Chart with Something About You.
The track which appeared on Future Classic’s Teen Idols compilation and has since become a budding commercial hit. It’s warm synths and deep-house-esque beats have struck a chord with Australian audiences (he may have Chet Faker to thank for warming them up). It’s actually quite rare to find a track like this finding favour on the charts. Even mainstream Australian audiences passed on much of Disclosure’s efforts despite their obvious pop notions.
It may be driving most insane now but don’t forget the first time you the blaring horns of Uptown Funk coupled with that infectious beat. Uptown Funk reached sales in excess of one million this week in the UK and in Australia it’s been certified platinum five times but sonically it stands by itself on the charts. Ronson was very clever in pulling Bruno Mars into this song because not only does he do a brilliant job vocally, he also brings a certain likeability for audiences that may not be so familiar with Ronson’s work.
Uptown Funk is the kind of song that demands you listen the first time you hear it. It’s almost obnoxious how in-your-face it is. It does so on its own terms though. It’s not following a mainstream trend, there’s no EDM-flavours, almost none of that typical Max Martin-sheen and no lyrics regarding forbidden love.
Charli XCX is one of the first popstars of this millenium that’s done it completely on her own terms. Nowadays jumping on an Iggy Azalea track is a planned career move but we’ve got to remember that when Charli featured on Fancy Iggy was yet to achieve any mainstream success. Charli then took her newfound fame and released a record inspired by obscure Swedish punk music. It’s an odd route to take but it’s one that have made the charts far more interesting.
Doing It sees Charli team up with Rita Ora for an unlikely pop anthem about “doin it like we’re doin it”. The video sees her dressed as a glamourised cowboy. It’s not pretty, neither of them look like models but it’s cool because it’s sets her apart from any other popstar. Even Beyonce and Lady Gaga’s Telephone (a video similar to Doing It) made them look like sex symbols. This does nothing of the sort but it makes pop videos look like shit loads of fun which is what they should be.
By the time you get to the drop every Calvin Harris song is exactly the same by LA singers HAIM bring something different to a classic Harris song. They build-up the track with a gospel-inspired grunt that makes you actually live for the drop. It sounds like they’re levitating towards the heavens as they sing “I pray to God I just don’t know anymore”. HAIM go EDM was such an unlikely headline but here they make it work purely because their own artistic identity is so strong.
It’s been a while since Calvin Harris has sounded inventive but HAIM’s super tight melodies and unbreakable chemistry means that the song sounds sleek and cool rather than being simply your run-of-the-mill EDM song with a guest vocalist plopped on for good measure. This is HAIM featuring Calvin Harris because they completely own it.
So often political and cultural statements that end up on commercial radio are “heal the world” mantras dreamt up by some big-wig in a large record company who’s decided that compassion sells. Kendrick Lamar is a rapper who knows how powerful his voice can be and when he’s at his best no message could be more clear.
The Blacker The Berry features some of the most powerful lines by a major label rapper for a long time and he’s completely committed to selling the cause. “My hair is nappy, my dick is big, my nose is round and wide/You hate me don’t you?”, he raps with a grittiness to his voice. He calls out stereotypes and re-writes people’s thoughts in one of the most powerful moments of his career and yet he does so in a way that is managing to climb up the charts.
Tove Stryke is a Swedish songstress who been released some boisterous pop music in 2014 and now she's gearing up for a full-length release, Kiddo, in 2015. Sweden is the land of pop music and quite frankly, pop's not worth listening to unless it comes out of Scandinavia so obviously, Ego is brilliant. It's elevated by a sprawling, elated chorus, the type that would make Dev Hynes squirm and Robyn dance. Very excited to see how Tove strikes in 2015 (see what I did there).
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/tovestyrke/ego-1[/soundcloud]
The PC Music mastermind A.G. Cook is at it once again, combining pop with nostalgic bubblegum video game sounds. This time he's remixed the new single by Charli XCX, which has Rita Ora on it for some unknown reason. The remix sees XCX and Ora's vocals pitch manipulated and backed by rushing, toy-like synths. It's a choice move from Charli XCX to support this remix as it continues her appeal as both a mainstream and alternative pop hero.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/charlixcx/charli-xcx-ft-rita-ora-doing-it-ag-cook-remix[/soundcloud]
Paris Hilton is not a singer and she shouldn't try, but that doesn't mean she can't release music. On Never Be Alone, which surfaced this week, her voice is manipulated within an inch of its life and surprisingly its a nostalgic hit. The production (seemingly by DJ Poet? Who?) channels early 00s club music- think DJ Sammy or Scooter. It's not going to win a Grammy nor will it set the charts alight but its nostalgic quality makes it a likely contender for an internet cult hit. Also, don't pretend you don't revisit Stars Are Blind at least once a year.
We included Tobia Jesso Jr in our Class of 2015, and we're feeling pretty happy with ourselves after he dropped yet another stellar track, How Could You Babe, this week. The song was endorsed by Adele on Twitter and raved about by nearly everybody with an IP address this week. It's a throwback track once again showing Jesso Jr's old soul and immaculate song writing prowess. In an age where the production possibilities are endless, he shows that sometimes the greatest beauty is found in simplicity.
Enigmatic British producer Burial is readying the release of his new single, Temple Sleeper, through Keysound Recordings and this week we were treated to a three minute sample. Temple Sleeper has the appeal of a heart-beat racing '90s rave tune which sees Burial explore far more energetic territory than we've heard in the past. You can buy the vinyl now and here the whole track if you like.
Kylie's street cred seems to have sky-rocketed in the past few months. First she teamed up with Flight Facilities and now she's taking to the dancefloor with Italian producer and Daft Punk-collaborator Girogio Moroder. Right Here, Right Now is from his forthcoming album 74 Is The New 24 which will also feature collaboration with Charli XCX, Britney Spears and Sia. It's a sprawling, disco-flavoured track with a chorus that shoots into the stratosphere.
Coming off the back on an absolutely hectic year of touring nationally and through the States, brass-infused indie-pop Sydneysiders, Lime Cordiale, have just released their new single, Hanging Upside Down. Produced by Sydney’s Jean-Paul Fung (Art vs. Science, Jinja Safari, Glass Towers), Lime Cordiale delivers an insanely catchy tune which will be a Summer soundtrack essential. Of course, a little Lime charm couldn’t be resisted and includes lyrics mentioning ‘perky tits.’ Also, the track was released with a super trippy film clip with artwork by Louis Lime and animated by wolfboy.
We're very, very close to having St. Vincent grace our shores for Laneway Festival. She's one of the greatest live performers on the planet at the moment and this new track, Bad Believer, will make a hearty addition to her already formidable set. It's being added to a re-release of her self-titled album and it's probably the most up-tempo, funky track of the album. It's a warped, grungy pop track with one of the catchiest choruses she's ever produced.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/st_vincent/bad-believer[/soundcloud]
From one funky tune to another, Julianne is the first official single from US artist, Roy English. It's a fuzzed-out pop tune backed by Dev Hynes-esque guitar-jabs and vocals that feel as if they've been caught in a dispersing cloud. A few years-ago this brand of lo-fi pop would've been could've been lost due to the sheer volume of tracks like it being released but in 2015 it's actually refreshing to hear an alt-pop tune that doesn't sound like a crisp, RnB renewal.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/royenglish/julianne[/soundcloud]
Producer Emilie Haynie is gearing up to release his star-studded album, We Fall. He's already dropped tracks featuring everyone from Dev Hynes to Charlotte Gainsbourg and now he's revealed Wait For Life with vocals by Lana Del Rey. Haynie was responsible for much of the production on Del Rey's debut Born To Die and once again here they swell a grandiose atmosphere of old school charm. Del Rey seems to be going from strength to strength lately and no doubt her third album, which is apparently more similar to her debut, will be one to look out for this year.
...And we’re back into it. 2015 is well and truly here and the new music is rushing once again. It seems, however, that the only musicians not taking an extended break is rappers because they are unleashing music like nothing else. Joey Bada$$ has an album dropping, so does Action Bronson and ILOVEMAKKONEN seems to release new music every 23 minutes. Here are 10 songs you must pass by your ears this week.
Future Brown- Room 302 (Feat. Tink)
Future Brown is an electronica supergroup of sorts and they seemed to have mustered up a nice musical friendship with Tink. She featured on their debut, Wanna Party, and now returns for Room 302, the opening track off their forthcoming record which is out February 23. Room 302, is an after-dark banger that does for Tink what Shlohmo did for Jeremih.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/future-brown/room-302-feat-tink[/soundcloud]
ILoveMakonnen- Super Clean
Super clean probably best describes the style of production on the latest track by iLoveMakonnen. It’s the slickest thing he’s done yet, characterised by an aqua-inspired synth. It actually sounds like the type of thing you would hear on Tinashe’s debut album, which incase you haven’t heard it, is a very good thing. As for iLoveMakonnen he just does his thing. He sounds a little drunk and maybe a little high. It’s all good.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/noisey/ilovemakonnen-super-clean[/soundcloud]
Sam Smith- Leave Your Lover (Motez Remix)
Just about every producer on earth has picked up on the fact that Sam Smith’s voice is very suited to a dance-beat (thanks Disclosure). Motez has taken on Leave Your Lover off Smith’s criminally ignored debut, In The Lonely Hour. He takes the track straight to the clubs, laying down a deep-house beat and chopping and screwing the vocals for some great climaxes.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/motezmusic/sam-smith-leave-your-lover-motez-remix-sutured[/soundcloud]
Action Bronson- Actin Crazy
Action Bronson cancelled his Australian tour for the 401st time this year to concentrate on finishing his album, Mr. Wonderful. While we’re sure many disgruntled Australian fans would disagree with that title, there’s no denying that Actin Crazy is a very good song indeed. Bronson has borrowed Drake’s producer Noah 40 Shebib for a demure, melodic beat that he runs all over with his characteristically aggressive rapping.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/actionbronson/action-bronson-actin-crazy[/soundcloud]
Years & Years- King
We’re still not quite sure why Desire wasn’t a huge hit, but it took everybody about five years to realise Charli XCX was brilliant, so we’ll have patience. King, however, is an absolute banger and if it’s not picked up by radio everywhere then we’re going to have to have words. The vocals are, as always, silky smooth and the instrumental is inspired by the tropics but also planted firmly on ‘90s dance floors. This is the type of song that everyone will forget and then in 15 years it will be played on a golden oldies radio station and commuters will simultaneously lose it.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/yearsandyears/king[/soundcloud]
Susanne Sundfør- Delirious
The last time we heard Norwegian songstress, Susanne Sundfør, she was trilling all over Royksopp’s Running To The Sea. It was a dark, sordid affair, but her latest solo track Delirious is far more effortlessly enjoyable. It starts with dark, brooding vocals and we instantly fear we’re headed back to the sea, but then this strobing bass sets in and she delivers one hell of a chorus. She says she wanted to write a “cinematic” song and she’s done exactly that. It’s an expansive, lush pop song.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/susannesundfor/delirious[/soundcloud]
Dan Shake- Out Of Sight
The dancefloor has become such an intellectual place with all these producers laying down intricate melodies and vocal melodies that are not so much to be enjoyed as they are considered. It’s refreshing to hear a producer go four-to-the-floor and produce an instant classic which is exactly what Dan Shake has down with Out Of Sight. The track meshes together live instrumentation with electronic elements, taking us back to the days when Detroit Techno rained supreme.
The Fader is hogging it, so you'll have to go here to listen.
Jimmy Napes- Give It Up
You may not know of Jimmy Napes by name but chances are you’ve heard plenty of the songs that he’s written. He’s served up songs for Disclosure, Sam Smith and Mary J. Blige, to name a few, and now he’s stepping out on his own, prepping an EP for March, The Making Of Me. Give It Up is our first taste of the EP and sees him team up with half of Disclosure (we’re not sure if it’s who Azealia Banks would classify as the ugly one or not). The track is a straightforward, RnB-pop tune and shows that he’s got some serious vocal chops.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jimmynapes/give-it-up[/soundcloud]
Joey Bada$$- Teach Me (Feat. Kiesza)
We saw Joey Bada$$ at Falls Festival over New Years and we’re pretty sure that he doesn’t need Kiesza to teach him how to dance, but she’s giving it a shot anyway. Teach Me is a bonus track on his forthcoming album, B4.DA.$$ and is pretty different from anything he’s done in the past. It sits firmly in the lane of pop and has the potential to be Joey’s biggest hit to date. Is now a good time to contemplate why Kiesza hasn’t had much success since Hideaway? The girl’s on fire.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kanyetothestream-1/joey-badass-ft-kiesza-teach-me[/soundcloud]
Charli XCX- Doing It (Feat. Rita Ora)
Charli XCX’s, Sucker, came out in December for much of the world, but she’s making the UK sweat it out until February (probably because they were one of the only countries not to send Fancy to number one). As a gift for sticking in there, she’s added Rita Ora to one of the highlights of the album, Doing It. The two singers actually sound quite similar so it’s a really difficult spot the difference between the original and this. But if this is what it takes to get her a number one, then so be it. We couldn’t care less if she threw Celine Dion on the track as long as people got to hear XCX. She's coming to Australian shores in April, head here for all the details.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/charlixcx/charli-xcx-doingit-ft-rita-ora[/soundcloud]
If you can't be bothered reading, cut straight to the chase below:
This week, the(in)terns are dating pop. From the euphoria of a Cut Copy dance floor to ear candy from rising pop queen, we've cast our fairly invalidated judgement on a new batch of singles. While there's plenty of love this week, there's also a few spiteful tongues as alt-country music falls flat and Drake gets a little too sleazy.
One tune this week made us all fall in love, with three willing bachelorettes naming it the pick of the week.
Hannah: Nothing to see here folks. 2
Bianca: As a self-confessed Cut Copy fan girl (the rest of the(in)terns can confirm this) it pains me to say that this song should have perhaps remained a left-over. Dan Whitfords usually on-the-beat voice sounds drawly and at times whiney and the guitar riff in the instrumental breaks sound like new school Coldplay (thats not a compliment). Luckily this gal takes a man with their flaws. 3
Sam: I'm also an avid Cut Copy fan and like Bianca I ain't giving up. For me, this song is redemption after an album less impressive than those before it. It's expansive, atmospheric and melancholic. The synths come on thick and fast- just the way I like it. Add glitter bombs for extra effect. 3.5
Lizzie: Errrgh my ears are still ringing. I feel like I am stuck in some weird psychedelic Star Trek episode...that never made it to air. 2
Hannah: This song is infectious. With hand-clap percussion and catchy guitar riffs, Krell makes heartbreak sound sweet like only an R&B enthusiast with a killer upper register could. Taking on Mariah with his tingling Even broken, my heart will go on is a bold but totally welcomed move. I repeat, Mariah territory is never bad territory. 3.5
Bianca: The clap is infectious. Now lets talk about the song.. Straight out of the 90s, this head-boppin, toe-tappin good time takes me right back to the day with its rhythmic beatine, surface-lying guitar strums and Tom Krells soothing falsetto. Im keeping this pleasure on repeat. 4.5
Sam: Tom Krell has gone from strength to strength. And It Was You was a total jam and Repeat Plesure betters that. It's straight out of Ashanti's song book with a fairly flat-lined melody but buttery instrumentation aplenty. I also heard him gush over Ciara with Jacques Greene and ever since then I've been a massive fan. 4.5 Sam's Pick
Lizzie: This song belongs in Give a song a chance! The first time I listened to it I was not sold. Second time, it really blossomed into a beautiful track. I agree with you Bianca, straight out of the 90s. And now to listen again, again and again. 4
Hannah: The best and worst part about this is the teasing Rihanna sample. More RiRi please. 2.5
Bianca: Too R&B sex playlist for me. Keep this locked away in the after-dark collection. 2.5
Sam: Surely this is a left-over from Nothing Was The Same. It sounds in the same lane as Own It or Furtherst Thing. And I'm ok with that. It's another understated jam where Drame proves he's becoming a more effective singer than a rapper. Rihanna and Drake are going out now right? That sample is so kuwaii. 3.5
Lizzie: Hellooooo stripper pole. Not your best Drake. 2
Hannah: Its reassuring that in the lead up to her second album Rita Ora will never let you down. Good one Calvin, youve given this pop princess the credibility she deserves. 3
Bianca: Very simple, classic pop song. Neither here nor there for me. I didnt have high hopes to begin with so fortunately Rita hasnt let me down. Although in saying that, Calvin is better on his own and needs to ditch the poor mans Rihanna - theres no love found in this hopeless place. 2.5
Sam: So this is what talented couples do in their spare time. As far as pop songs go this is an A+. I like how Calvin tones down his synth break but I'm starting to grow tired of him. I feel he's up for a Guetta style fall from grace as it seems he's oversaturated the market. This could be his last moment in the sun. Rita on the other hand will surely have yet another hit record on her hands. 3
Lizzie: Calvin and Rita - bangin couple in real life but they do not hit it as a music duo. At all. Rita is still too cookie cutter, Aria Top 40 for me and I Will Never Let You Down is no different. I really want her to do something risqué with her beautiful voice. 2.5
Hannah: The title track off Brooklyn producer Jeremy Malvins forthcoming EP, Goddess is flawless. Sucking you in with deep synths and an almost Seekae sound, Goddess builds into two climatic crescendos so effortlessly imbued with vocal loops and twinkling galactic samples, youll be up, down and back up again before you even notice it. Scared to miss a single moment of this stellar roller coast ride, Goddess is on repeat. 4 Hannah's Pick
Bianca: Love the moodiness to this track and its underlying intergalactic feel. Very Fritz Lang-esque. Hot tip: listen to this song whilst feasting your eyes on this classic on mute. 4 Bianca's Pick
Sam: Such a velvety slice of ear candy. It just ticks all the boxes. A slow, brooding start and a gloriously climatic finish. It's got so much texture and dynamic to it- impressive for such a young gun. It's probably not immediate enough for it to really take off but a cult-following is sure to ensue. Count me in. 4.5
Lizzie: This track is beautiful- a pure, layered delight to listen to. If only the drop (for lack of a better word) at 4min 35 secs came earlier, thats when I experienced some serious earporn. 4.5 Lizzie's Pick
Hannah: Sure to find itself on The Js high rotation soon, My Silver Lining brings you the midwest straight out of Sweden (wait, what?). With big strings and even bigger harmonies, the latest offering from duo First Aid Kit promises long dusty road trips and hopelessly hopeful mornings spent in forgotten hotel rooms. Bring on Summer. 3
Bianca: Hannah: Summers gone and this track should go with it. Adios, Amigos! 2
Sam: The Lions Roar was a standout record for me when it was released. And I like this. It's confident and assured but I can't help feeling it's more of the same. Hopefully the album has a little more variation but this is enough to whet the appetite. 3.5
Lizzie: Did Lana Del Ray go on a Western adventure? Sure sounds like it. I do like the sway this song has, and the violins, banjo and vocals work well together to produce and digestible cowboy track. Yee-haa!! 3.5