Kanye West Wolves

Kanye West Debuts 'Wolves' With Sia And Vic Mensa

Kanye West Debuts

Image: Adidas Twitter

Kanye held the launch of his new shoes for Adidas overnight and as part of the proceedings he dropped the first track from his new album titled Wolves. Once again there's no sign of rapping as Kanye opts for auto-tuned verses over an industrial Yeezus-esque beat. It's certainly a far cry from Only One and FourFiveSeconds in terms of production but the vocal stylings remain. Vic Mensa and Sia join him on latter verses adding a little bit of soul to the track. Below is a shitty recording from what seems like a cinema where the launch was being aired. The song is easy to make out but lets hope we get a studio recording and some album news soon.

The track is another notch on Cashmere Cat's ever expanding belt as he produced it with Sinjin Hawke.

PS. Did anyone hear Kanye stormed the stage when Beck won the Grammy?!

https://soundcloud.com/anoski/kanye-west-wolves-ft-vic-mensa-sia-yeezy-season-1-recording

Sia-Big-Girls-Cry-2014

ODESZA Remix Sia's 'Big Girls Cry'


It seems everyone has fallen in love with ODESZA's debut album, In Return, this year. They've become the dance act on everybody's lips and they're soon to tour Australia with tours selling out left, right and centre. An artist who has also been killing it in 2014 is Aussie songstress, Sia. ODESZA has taken on the duty of remixing Big Girls Cry from Sia's mighty pop album, 1000 Forms Of Fear, and the results are quite stunning. The style is unmistakably ODESZA with breezy synths, elated percussion and a cruising tempo. They barely leave any of the Sia song but what is salvaged is just enough to recognise it's our gal Sia. Good work all involved.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/odesza/sia-big-girls-cry-odesza-remix[/soundcloud]

JAwards

10 Albums That Could've/Should've Won The J Award

JAwards

Last year, Flume, probably deservedly, took home the J Award for the Best Australian Album of the Year according to triple j. Flume’s album featured one particular collaboration with fellow Aussie Chet Faker, Left Alone, which exemplified a bromance which has flourished ever since. Come 2014 and like a mother feeling sorry for the other sibling, triple j has awarded Chet Faker’s, Built On Glass, the J Award.

This means that in a year where Australia had arguably one of the most excitable musical climates in the world, Chet Faker’s was the one that stood out over all. While we aren’t arguing the fact that Built On Glass was a good debut record, great even, there were plenty of other albums that had a little more flair, originality and energy.

Also file this under our favourite Australian albums of 2014.

The Preatures- Blue Planet Eyes

The Preatures have had a massive year, not losing any of the momentum they gained from Is This How You Feel? Their debut album Blue Planet Eyes validated all the hype. It was a sexy, melodic record that smouldered with slow-burners and ate into our hearts with its catchy up-tempos. Somebody’s Talking is a cracker of a single, while the album as a whole is unmistakably Aussie. Surely that’s worth celebrating.

Sia- 1000 Forms of Fear

Sia was once a triple j darling but since she started writing for the likes of Beyonce and Christina Aguilera she’s failed to gain much traction there. That’s fair enough, it’s not like she really needed it, but nonetheless 1000 Forms Of Fear is a mighty pop record. Led by the soaring lead single, Chandelier, the album is a collection of mid-tempos that go way over-the-top with metaphors, huge chorus and billowing vocals. It would be definitely worth celebrating the success story that was Sia in 2014, particularly given her humble beginnings.

Remi- Raw x Infinity

Remi is one of the finest rappers to come out of this country in a long time. He understands the overseas flavour but also has his feet firmly planted within Australian hip-hop. Raw x Infinity was a combustion of youthful energy, with a constantly bouncing beat and effortless flow. Remi really proves his credentials when he takes to the live arena with a show that’s more impressive than any local offering this year.

Allday- Cult

Allday is one of the first Australian rappers to really admit to overseas influence over local. His debut album Cult, exemplifies that with beats that sit somewhere between Mike Will Made It  and Kaytranada. The most impressive thing about Cult is his effortless feel for melody. On the lead single Right Now, he sounds almost sleepy but still manages to carve out this tune that just hovers around your head. It’s the type of aspirational record that a 23 year-old should be delivering for his debut which is a lot easier said than done.

Kimbra- The Golden Echo

She may be from over the pond, but Kimbra’s debut Vows was nominated in 2011 so surely she could have nabbed the award in 2014. The Golden Echo far surpassed her debut both in ambition and in result. It was a cosmic journey through soul, RnB and pop collisions delivered by a confident vocalist whose mind is out of this world. ‘90s Music was wildly unexpected and while the rest of the album isn’t as left-of-centre, it’s still a refreshing take on a number of genres that have been overdone. Just when you feel like you’ve got a grip of The Golden Echo it takes a sudden turn. If we’re rewarding innovation and bravery here, the prize has to be Kimbra’s.

Broods- Evergreen

So, if we give the award to Kimbra then we have to also consider fellow New Zealanders, Broods, who delivered a polished, pop debut this year. Evergreen was full of, excuse the pun, brooding vocals and swirling beats that came together to form expert pop songs. Songs like Mother & Father tugged at the heartstrings while those like L.A.F. dazzled in happy giddiness. They’re the newcomers most likely to do big things overseas and, while a J Award would be slightly presumptuous, it would make triple j look damn good once they finally took off.

Andy Bull- Sea Of Approval

It took Andy Bull five years to deliver his follow-up record, Sea Of Approval, but impossibly it was worth the wait. While Chet Faker erred toward electronica to deliver what is essentially a pop record, Bull dabbled in RnB. At times it’s cinematic, at times it’s uncomfortably intimate but it’s always honest. Leading the album with a one-two-three punch of Keep On Running, Baby I Am Nobody Now and Talk Too Much, shows that he’s a popstar in disguise and deservant of far more attention than he’s been dealt.

Kylie Minogue- Kiss Me Once

Oh, what a world it would be. This would never happen and if it did it would be because triple j had been bought by ARN. But if we’re talking about great pop records it’s hard to look past Kylie’s 11th album. Yeah, it was a commercial flop but it was probably one of her most left-of-centre records since her 1994 self-titled effort. Written by the likes of Sia, Pharrell Williams and Ariel Rechtshaid, Kiss Me Once was one of the tastiest records of the year and gave us I Was Gonna Cancel- a moment of pop brilliance from the princess herself.

DZ Deathrays- Black Rat

Many might be declaring rock dead in 2014 but DZ Deathrays are the best argument as to why it isn’t. On Black Rat, the duo's second album, they’d cleaned themselves up a bit and rather than grunge gave us expansive, anthemic rock songs bound by crunching guitars and organic, thumping percussion. Northern Lights beats out any rock song released by an Australian acts in 2014. They’ve also quietly gone about their business, finding success overseas.

The Harpoons- Falling For You

Melbourne group The Harpoons quietly released their excellent, funk-tinged debut this year and while it didn’t attract the fanfare it deserved, it’s one of those records that grows with age. From sensual slow-burners to quirky electronica, Falling For You was an album for lovers, which in many ways sits in the same lane as Chet Faker’s Built On Glass. It’s as if somebody remixed The Preatures with great success and repackaged it as The Harpoons. A brilliant, low-key stunner that reveals itself with every listen.

halloween4

Halloween costumes for the music enthusiast

The spookiest event on the social calendar has finally arrived and time is running out for you to find the perfect Halloween outfit. Instead of going down the regular sexy bunny or vampire route, why not be creative and emulate some of the most notable musicians of 2014? Allow our handy list to inspire and guide you, allowing you to truly stand out this October 31st. 

sia2

Sia was one of the most talked-about pop producers this year with her anthemic Chandelier making waves on an international level, thus putting the Australian singer, and her trademark blonde bob, on the map. Immortalised by the likes of Lena Dunham, Hilary Duff and Maggie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame, it seemed as though everyone was keen to go platinum in honour of the influential songstress. Follow their lead and pop into your local wig shop to get the shortest, blondest, fringiest blonde bob on offer to wear this Halloween. If you really want to pull out all the stops for this costume, go the Ziegler/Dunham route of taking on the role of Sia by picking someone to party in your place so you can stay home to finish a bag of candy corn as they pretend to be you, pretending to be Sia. How meta is that?

Pro: Blondes have more fun.

Con: If you enlist someone to party in your place à la Lena Dunham, you won't be partaking in any of the fun.

mileyMiley Cyrus is always one to make it into the headlines but her glamorous 'outfit' that premiered at the Alexander Wang after party gave TMZ writers enough icy fodder for days. Show off your Joseph Pilates-sculpted body to the whole world, with a couple of nipple pasties for a touch of modesty, and stick some of your Mum's vitamins onto cat's eye glasses for good measure. Don't use Inner Health Plus or anything like that, 'cos that shit's expensive. Enlist a party partner to pose as Miley's most infamous muscle to make your costume that much more lickable likeable.

Pro: What better time to brush up on your twerking skills?

Con: Weather in October can be fickle and those ice cream pasties won't be providing you with too much warmth. This may illicit elicit two large scoops of fripples.

beyoncejayz_halloween

Recreate the second most famous picture in the world, succeeded only by the Mona Lisa itself, by enlisting the help of your partner and your favourite subtle smiling, third-wheelin' friend. Word on the street is that Queen Bey got herself some Grimes-style bangs today so better get those scissors out while you're at it.

Pro: You'll be highly topical and will also get to be Queen Bey for a night.

Con:  No one can truly pull off this look other than the Queen herself. But you can at least try your best.

elliphantMo

If you're up for a wild night come Halloween, why not replicate the stylings of party girls Elliphant and MØ from their One More music video? Do this by donning yourself, and your BFF, in head-to-toe Adidas, teaming funky slides with a pair of socks, slapping on some Geisha-style makeup and poking a pair of chopsticks in an oriental bun. Go that extra mile and attach LED light strips to your shoes for true dedication to the project.

Pro: Looking like badass, Scandinavian bitches.

Con: May induce drinking, vomiting, kissing, peeing in streets and other types of reckless behaviour (unless you consider this a 'pro').

fkatwigs_halloween

There are Two Weeks to go until Halloween which means that time is running out for all the best costumes to be shipped from the US. Why not save the time, and the shipping costs, and emulate the captivating appearance and innovative stylings of London artist and producer, FKA Twigs instead? Simply head to your local chemist for a toothcomb and a jar of gel, smack on some maroon lipstick and pierce your nose septum for the full Twigs treatment.  Completely nail the 'baby hair' style currently #trending amongst future RnB producers with the handy video tutorial below.

Pro: Save wearing your heart on your sleeve by wearing it on your forehead instead.

Con: Finding a Twilight treat like Twig's current BF, Robert Pattinson, to accompany you for the night might be a bit tricky.

hey_qt_halloween

If you don't know QT, it's high time you familiarise yourself with her. Born from the collaborative project of enigmatic producers and PC Music-promoters, A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, this "sparkling future pop sensation" is a fake figurehead of sorts who perfectly blends the genres of K-Pop, electrotonica, chiptune and trance, all before rolling them into a pile of sugar and glitter. Cutesy and kitsch, she's the perfect way to honour both past and future with her nods to both '90s fashion and millennial ideologies.

Pro: Reliving your holographic-wearing days of the '90s.

Con: You'll be hard-pressed finding any drunkards traipsing around Oxford St who will actually understand your costume's significance.

SBTRKT_Halloween

Halloween is all about mystery and disguise, so what better way to fulfil this than to replicate the likeness of the enigmatic producer, SBTRKT? Instead of carving a custom mask out of wood, unless you have time for that kinda thang, we've designed a replica for your convenience, to print out, tie elastic through and place onto that face of yours. Download here.

Pro: The mask will be your key to anonymity.

Con: Good luck trying to drink out of this thing.

lilyallen_halloween

London pop songstress, Lily Allen, graced our shores for this year's Splendour in the Grass, and brought along with her a plethora of outfit inspirations. With pinky purple hair, a colourful neon top and bottom combo and a Unif blotter kimono, she was a display of all things tight and bright. Emulate her style with an oriental kimono, her very own line of fake London-inspired nails and a tube of hair dye of desired colour. Also honour Sheezus's penchant for emojis with a pair of bikinis or any other suitable item of that ilk. Feel free to take cues from her SITG set design by dragging along a giant, blow-up baby's bottle for the night.

Pro: You get to show off that really great London accent that you seem to pull off really well after having a few too many.

Con: Fake nails + giant, inflatable object = tears.

kanye_halloween

When Kanye West embarked on his Yeezus tour in Australia this past September, he amazed, inspired and enraged his fans, and the greater public, with his mesmerising performances and supplementary rants and on-stage antics. His shows consisted of minimal set design and props, with one of the most captivating sights being the slew of embellished masks that Yeezus adorned throughout. While these Maison Martin Margiela-branded, 2,400 crystal-embellished masks may be a little too Haute Couture for a raucous event like Halloween, you're only a packet of Spotlight-sourced, plastic rhinestones, a glue gun and a balaclava away from emulating the Messiah himself.

Pro: Inflate your ego for the night and blame any infractions on Yeezus. However, just be sure not to offend any people with disabilities in the process.

Con: You may be mistaken for a menacing, albeit fabulous, robber.

arianagrande-halloweenMirror the look of this fiesty feline pop star with a pair of cat ears and a giant, fake, clip-in ponytail to make up for what you lack in the height department.

Pro: You'll fit in with all the other 'sexy cat' costumes on October 31.

Con: You must remain on your (more flattering) left side for the duration of the night.

popprincess2

Genre-pushing pop princess pairings of 2014

popprincessSomething’s been happening in the world of pop this year. Well, duh. Let me rephrase. A lot  has been happening in the world of pop this year. From Beyonce’s sly-dog release of Beyonce, to the alarming growth that’s firmly attached itself to Nicki Minaj’s behind, to Tay Tay getting busy exacerbating racial stereotypes while she’s shaking it off to Lily Allen’s comeback tour, it’s been a busy year for pop and its chart toppers. Controversial MTV appearances and obligatory twitter beefs aside though, what’s really interesting is that, in its fatigued 2014 state, pop just isn’t pop anymore. Blame exhaustion or simply growing out of that awkward preteen stage, pop is increasingly becoming less and less like the pop of the the late '90s and early 2000s.

Once guarded by boy bands in matching outfits and bad die jobs, pop was a pristine domain reserved for the Britney Spears’ and Christina’s -before she was X-tina - of the world. A clearly defined realm, with the occasional true diva slash pop princess flourishing amongst a sea of Mandy Moore’s and Jessica Simpson’s. This year however, those same pop princesses that, in say 1999 or even 2009, would’ve been left to their preordained place on So Fresh of Summer and Ryan Seacrest’s weekly Top 40, have become, for all intents and purposes, transcendent. Chameleon-like, female pop artists of 2014 are opting to work with some seriously unlikely producers, and no, we’re not just talking about the David Guetta’s and Calvin Harris’s of the world. Suddenly, Ariana Grande is bosom buddies with Cashmere Cat and Miley’s a female rebel with Alt-J. And, do you know what’s even more interesting? As pop fatigues of its own pop game, and grows out of its own pop boots, those same unlikely producers are choosing to work back and undeniably helping to carve a new path for the future of a now more mature, dynamic pop. Here we have a look at just 5 unlikely pop princess pairings released over the last year that are helping to push the boundaries of the genre ever onward.

Ariana Grande and Zedd: Break Free

When Break Free dropped earlier this year, Grande’s Zedd produced mega hit broke all the rules on its way to freedom. Music camps everywhere sat perplexed facing the same conundrum, to like or not to like. Here was a song with undeniable pop appeal. With vocals bellowing out from yet another sequin-clad Disney Channel escapee, and a house-anthem quality to its thumping bass and roller coaster rise and falls, this song was surely destined for Top 40 success, buoyed by the starry eyed 12 to 16 year old girl market, while simultaneously anticipating ridicule from more discerning music snobs. Remarkably, however, it wasn’t just the aspirational tweens that found themselves crooning along to Grande’s grammatically incorrect chorus. Zedd’s production gave not only the song a level of unexpected credibility, but Grande herself. Instead of lampooning the 21-year-old for, well, what else are Disney graduates for? Pitchfork evoked comparisons to “Swedish pop mastermind, Robyn,” while noting Grande’s “sky scraping voice” was in top form. And Slate called it a “soaring pop ballad... propelled by synth chords and a pounding bass beat.”

Ariana Grande and Cashmere Cat: Be My Baby

Grande’s debut album My Everything is riddled with collaborations from Nicki Minaj and Jessie J, to The Weeknd and Childish Gambino. It’s well and truly old news, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, everyone wants a piece of this intergalactic pop princess. Perhaps the album’s most unexpected cameo however is by Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat who, not only produced Be My Baby, but in more recent weeks has released an alternative version to the sanitised edit that made its way onto Grande’s album. Brimming with blippy synths, all out gun shots and punch-packing chorus breakdowns, Cashmere’s re-edit is effortlessly cool in a way that the original could never be. While superficially the two artists find fans in diametrically opposed walks of life, collectively the same-same-but-different tracks somewhat unashamedly demonstrate a rumbling conversation currently taking place between chart toppers and the underground. It seems intrigue and a genuine desire to bust genre wide open is a priority on all fronts at the moment: Alien-pashing pocket rocket or super-side fringed cat alike.

Miley Cyrus and Alt J: Hunger of the Pine

Of all the pop princess collabs on this list, Miley’s sample on Alt-J’s track Hunger of the Pine was critically the least well received. Lifted from 4x4, a non-single track on Cyrus’s Bangerz album, Sam called the sample “beyond clumsy,” while Bianca vilified Cyrus for bringing her “big wrecking ball” in and ruining the track’s chance of truly “happening.” Billboard simply lamented Alt-J’s oversight in not sampling Nelly’s verse from the same song. A non-appearance by Nelly on any track is already disappointing enough, let alone when it’s replaced by Miley. Hunger of the Pine remains however, a crystalline example of how reworks, samples and collaborations between unlikely bedfellows attribute a fresh sense of credibility artists and their music. Suddenly Miley was not just Miley of Robin Thicke infamy, but Miley, an artist in the eyes of incomparable (thank god) Alt-J.

Jessie Ware and Cyril Hahn: Tough Love

Labeled breakout producer of 2013, Cyril Hahn has steadily been making a name for himself remixing and sampling the lofty vocals of female artists at the top of their game. From Destiny’s Child, to baby sister Solange and Californian outfit HAIM to a truly x-rated, quivering pants-party rendition of Mariah’s Touch My Body, it’s not surprising that the Swiss R&B re-animator quickly turned his hand to Jessie Ware’s Tough Love. Described as “the missing link between SBTRKT and Sade,” Ware was praised for the release of her down-tempo R&B, synth-infused pop album (yes, there is such a thing), Devotion, earlier this year. While there ain’t nothing tough about the original Tough Love, when in Hahn’s hands, the breathy pop-ballad is easily transformed into a house beat that bubbles frenetically under a vocal tapestry rich in high highs and slow burn crescendos. A Hahn remix is quickly becoming the tell tale sign of a true pop princess. Watch out Ariana Grande, he’s coming for you.

Sia and Four Tet: Chandelier 

Sia’s Chandelier caught attention for a myriad of reasons. Firstly it was her bold, unapologetic announcement of return after an extended hiatus between albums. Secondly, dat video clip, am I right? And thirdly, the incredibly powerful press and TV talk show performances that accompanied its debut, all seeming to herald the return of this unique artist, while firmly maintaining her shadowy space, just beyond the limelight's desperately creeping finger tips. Read, Lena Dunham’s doppleganger act on Late Night with Seth Meyers and her back-to-the-camera recreation on Ellen. Pitchfork claimed Chandelier made “her previously released solo material seem impossibly minor by comparison,” while our own writer Sam noted a presences of guts in Chandelier absent in the work of contemporaries like Katy Perry. In the face of such pop stardom, producers and DJ reactionaries have two choices, run in the opposite direction, save daring to take on soon-to-be pop classic or conversely dive straight in, rework and take the track in a totally new direction. For his take on Sia’s Chandelier, British producer Four Tet chose the latter. Stripping out the instrumentals, Four Tet left Sia’s impossible audio intact, twanging over an fresh hip-hop inspired beat and softly sparkling keys. Like the Cashmere Cat re-release of Grande’s Be My Baby, Four Tet’s Chandelier is more than a remix or mere dialed up BPM. It reinforces pop's sky rocketing power to transcend what has been a chaste genre and a willingness on the behalf of certifiably non-pop producers to encourage this fresh approach to limits and genre. As Sam says, the Four Tet interpretation just “adds extra edge as if to take it from the hands of Commercial Radio and plop it in Triple J’s lap.”

fi_1sept

First Impressions: TOKiMONSTA, The Preatures, Eminem + more

fi_1sept

First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on first (or second) listen. Each week we each review six new songs from the week passed, each giving them a score out of five and awarding one our pick of the week.

TOKiMONSTA- Steal My Attention

Bianca: Awash with shimmering synths and layer upon layer of electronic goodness, TOKiMONSTA’s latest melancholic offering spins around and paces back and forth. She is apparently “going through some tough shit right now” and you can sense some kind of underlying sorrow in there. The marching drums and male chants really bring this one home for me. 4

Sam: I really dug TOKiMONSTA’s Realla and this one proves she’s on a bit of a roll right now. The high-pitched vocal sample just cuddles your ears along with the mellow synths. It may be a rehash of what’s doing the rounds right now stylistically but she does a damn good job of it. 3.5

Lizzie: The back beat really strikes straight to the heart. I love the squiggle horn beats - I know that only make sense to me but that's how it sounds in my head. That, mixed with the high pitched-voice, is just gorgeous. 4 Lizzie's really close second

Hannah: I'm a sucker for a great vocal sample and this is filled with them. I love the juxtaposition of the high-pitched Furby vocals layered with an almost ominous beat and deep house synth. It's a perfect demonstration of how to maintain melodic integrity while citing some of those Japanese pop-culture influences we're loving at the moment. 4 Hannah's Pick

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/tokimonsta/steal-my-attention-off-the-upcoming-desiderium-album[/soundcloud]

The Preatures- Somebody’s Talking

Bianca: Look, it’s not you, The Preatures, it’s me. You have so much to offer and will make someone very happy one day but I’m afraid that person’s not me. 2.5

Sam: The Preatures are going to be that band that I’m still listening to when I’m a Dad (heaven help us) and my kids will think it’s really dorky. They’ve got a certain quality of longevity to them and it feels as if they’ll go down as a classic Aussie band. Somebody’s Talking helps that legacy. It’s funky, effortlessly delectable and Manfredi, once again, is a growling, charismatic frontwoman. 4

Lizzie: Great tune. Great tune. It's got the energy to get everyone up and dancing - coordinated or not. Sam I totally agree with you! I feel I'm going to be dragging my kids onto the dance floor at a wedding with this gem. 4 Lizzie's Pick

Hannah: Yep, that sounds like The Preatures talking alright. 2

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/thepreatures/somebodys-talking[/soundcloud]

QT- Hey QT

Bianca: Admittedly, when I was first introduced to PC Music, I was not sold. So purposefully kitsch and jam-packed full of ‘90s cultural references in the most obvious of ways, I wasn’t about to be tricked into enjoying it. SOPHIE’s Lemonade made no sense whatsoever, neither lyrically nor structurally, while A.G.Cook’s Beautiful  just sounded like a song from Dance Dance Revolution. Now the two producers have teamed up and it seems that two wrongs have somehow made a right. Upon my very first listen to Hey QT when dropped in SOPHIE’s Boiler Room set, I was immediately addicted to the so-called “Energy Elixir” and everything PC Music-related started to make so much sense. Trapped in my head like a gummy earworm and played in excess as a result, I can’t get enough of the candy goodness and matter-of-fact lyrics, the latter being curiously on point with the line: “I’ve got this new song and it’s the only one I want to play.” Maybe I’ve been converted, or perhaps I’m just on a sugar high, but this track is like a delicious pick ‘n’ mix that just keeps on giving and giving. 4.75 Bianca’s Pick

Sam: I have personally been a fan of all releases by A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, seperately, but I admit that they aren’t the most objectively likeable songs. I knew, however, that they were only moments away from a breakaway hit that would suddenly see people come around to PC Music. Well, this is it. What needs to be said about this song that it doesn’t already say. “They played your new song, it’s like nothing I heard before”, sings the character in Hey QT and surely she is talking about this song. Its melody is impossibly irresistible, the beats sound like bursting bubblegum and it unlocks ‘90s nostalgia aplenty. Something new and yet something so familiar. Unequivocally brilliant. 5 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: It sounds like I am about to break into a cheer-leading routine. A chipmunk cheer-leading routine. However, in saying that I did find myself joyfully bopping along to the chorus. This is a lot me palatable than the other PC songs I have been regrettably exposed to. 3

Hannah: In every great pursuit, there's an initial phase of innovation brought on by a forward thinker's desire to push the boundaries of the box ever onward. That is what PC Music has been about until now. Now, however, comes the phase where people begin to understand that innovation. When unique concepts, or in this case unique music, become attainable and more importantly accessible. This retains the PC Music we've come to know, but does it in a manner aimed straight at the jugular of popular appeal. 3

Eminem Feat. Sia- Guts Over Fear

Bianca: I feel I’ve heard this one before, although this time with a constant, reverberating siren distracting me from what’s going on. Probably for the best. Sia’s voice is perfect as usual but the chorus renders it into tired, mainstream territory. Maybe I’m just not angry enough to relate so the impact is lost on me. 2.5

Sam: More inspirational rapping from Eminem with quips about the media and what everybody says about him. It really does feel like more of the same with Sia delivering her second hook for Eminem. She sounds floaty and melancholic but nothing could save Em from dishing up this wet cloth of a song. Also Eminem in general, ugh. 2

Lizzie: When I heard Eminem and Sia, I set the expectation bar so high...and *sigh* what a disappointment. Eminem is on a comeback and Sia is at the top of her game, why is there no chemistry? 2

Hannah: Eminem says "I just want to play my part," and that's exactly what he's doing here. Still running that old poor-little-white-boy-rapper act he's become known for, only this time he's doing it with Sia not Rhi Rhi. Eminem peaked with Superman. 2

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/igapromotion/eminem-guts-over-fear-feat-sia[/soundcloud]

Redihno- Get You Off My Mind

Bianca: Just a little bit too much funk in the trunk for my liking. 2

Sam: Redinho describes this song as having a “cheeky kinda optimism” to it and he’s right. The instrumentation is perky with bouncing beats and sunshine-filled synths. Brendan Reilly’s vocal harks back to ‘90s soul and does a perfect job of working up lustful butterflies. However, just like summer love it feels like this song could be forgotten once the sun weakens. 3

Lizzie: It's very Disco Stu peppered with a bit of R&B cool. With the turn of the season, I think it a great tune to bring that little spring in the step! 3.5

Hannah: The first 30 seconds of this failed to captivate me so I didn't listen to the rest. I don't think I missed much. 2.5

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/nmbrs/redinho-get-you-off-my-mind[/soundcloud]

Kero Kero Bonito- Sick Beat

Bianca: I Shazamed this bad boy a couple of days ago so surely that’s a pretty definitive sign that it made a good first impression on me. The flurry of in-your-face nostalgic references and washes of synths and glitchy pops are enough to have me hooked. Surely trumps Taylor Swift’s ‘sick beat’, anyway. 3.5

Sam: This has the same kind of feel as Japanese producer Tofubeats. It oscillates between j-pop, indie-pop and electronica with a bubblegum instrumental alongside kawaii vocals. Like the perfect dessert, it never goes overboard with the sugar pulling the instrumentation right back at times leaving the lead-vocal spraying off, what sounds like, Japanese. Such a fan. 4

Lizzie: Of all the Japanese style songs I've heard (except Porter Robinson), this one actually sits ok with me. It's definitely the chorus which grabs me and keeps me. How does one dance to this though? 3.5

Hannah: Oh no, it's a Eurasian M.I.A. Make her stop.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kerokerobonito/sick-beat[/soundcloud]

fridaylockin_sia2

Friday Lock-in: Sia - 1000 Forms of Fear

sia 1000 forms of fear the interns

Australian artist, Sia has gone from being our homegrown hero to an International songwriter to an enigmatic superstar. Her latest album, 1000 Forms of Fear follows a brilliant marketing campaign which has centred around Sia being played by everybody from 11 year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler to a clumsy Lena Dunham. This is Sia’s first album since writing hits for Rihanna, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and many more.

We locked ourselves in, donned our wigs and unfortunately refrained from swinging from the chandelier. Read below our track-by-track discussion of Sia’s 1000 Forms of Fear.

Chandelier

Sam: It’s a good start the the album. I love it, it’s such a good song

Bianca: Oh yeah I can’t even explain. It’s too much

Sam: Euphoric, big pop song. If you look at it in comparison to something like Roar by Katy Perry, it’s just got so much more guts

Hannah: Unapologetic ballad

Bianca: Stunning

Hannah: Dynamic

lena

 

Big Girls Cry

Bianca: It’s the answer to Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry

Hannah: It’s perfect for 3am karaoke when you’re already slurring

Sam: I don’t understand what she’s saying to be honest

Hannah: Apart from “Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking”

Sam: Mmmm how do we go from a song like swinging from the chandelier drunk to suddenly crying. Doesn’t resonate with me

Bianca: Well, you’re not a girl

Hannah: I like it, it's kind of here nor there for me

Sam: Nup, she could palm it off to Christina Aguilera or something

 

Burn The Pages

Hannah: It’s like a pop ballad with a lot of Regina Spektor influences and credibility

Sam: Yeah, I love how she goes full on with the words in the verse and then she pulls it back and stretches them out in the chorus. It gives it so much more punch

Bianca: And the drums are always a welcome accompaniment. That marching band drum

Sam: It’s got kind of like a hip-hoppy, trap, Ryan Hemsworth touch. It’s cool. It’s back to Chandelier good.

Hannah: You could definitely dance along to this if you saw it at a festival. Chandelier you would just scream your lungs out

 

Eye of the Needle

Bianca: I don’t think I would choose to listen to this album in its entirety. It would just be too much Sia.

Sam: It’s a bit too much of pop track after pop track after hit after hit. But that said, I really, really like this song because of the vocal run in the verse.

Bianca: Her voice shines

Sam: I can imagine singing along to this if it came on in the car

Bianca: You wouldn't know any of the words though

Sam: Yeah just make 'em up

Hannah: Sam’s in the car practising his vocals runs to Sia

Sam: Always up in da car working on my vocal runs

Sam: As far as a pop album goes she’s hitting it on the head so far

Bianca: Oh yeah. The fact I’m actually sitting through it says something

Hannah: It does that nice bridging between having mainstream appeal without being a sell-out

 

Hostage

Bianca: I just kept hearing Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time in that

Hannah: It sounds like a girl band of 10 Things I Hate About You, like that ‘90s grunge updated with a pop version

Sam: Like that movie, Josie and the Pussycats

Bianca: Don't you dare say anything bad about Josie and the Pussycats

honk

Sam: I’m not! I love this song, it’s my favourite so far

Hannah: It’s Never Been Kissed-esque

Bianca: Yeah! Definitely. I love that calypso drum in the end

Sam: This is my favourite since Chandelier

Hannah: It’s nice that this one is not trying to be ballad-y

Bianca: Shameless fun

 

Straight for the Knife:

Bianca: It feels like she’s hyperlinking back to Big Girls Cry 

Hannah: Her mascara is running in this one

Sam: I like the really pop lyric of “you went straight for the knife and I prepared to die”. It’s so over-the-top but that’s what great pop music is I think

Hannah: This doesn’t have anything particularly grabby about it

Sam: No it doesn’t

Hannah: It has these big proclamations without any 'oomph' in the song

Sam: It needs like strings and a massive drum at the end. If you’re going to go over the top, go over the top, fall over the cliff. The thing is with this album I don’t hate it but at the moment I’m so-so

Hannah: This oscillates between being good background music and ballads

 

Fair Game

Sam: Love it

Hannah: It has R&B moments as well as indie moments

Bianca: Was that a glockenspiel?

Sam: I think it might have been

Bianca: Always glockin’

Sam: It’s like she’s taken the R&B thing and stripped it all back to one line of keys that runs underneath it. And the verses are so subtle and wordy

Hannah: The way she bounces between her words is very ‘90s R&B but also contemporary

Sam: Less is more

Bianca: I feel it could soundtrack the end of American Pie where they all finally lose their virginities after the prom

Sam: It is the calm after the storm

 

Elastic Heart

Hannah: I really like it

Bianca: I like the backing vocals

Sam: I think Diplo’s production gives it something extra

Hannah: It has a dance edge to it. If you sped it up a bit and thumped up the bass you could be dancing to that

Bianca: It would be really good remixed

Sam: Yeah. And I like that she’s dropped The Weeknd by the way. I think if you’re going to have no guests on the album, go all Sia

Hannah: She’s enough. She’s all we need

 

Free The Animal

Sam: I love everything apart from the chorus

Bianca: The chorus ruins everything

Hannah: The verses are great. They’re hi-hoppy and poppy and have sparse beats as well as a constant groove. They’re great verses. The rest is bland

Sam: It’s pure pop candy followed by an iron boot

Bianca: The breakdown after the chorus is good. She’s experimenting. Yelling Free The Animal is just too much though. Everytime it goes to the chorus it feels like I’ve switched to 2Dayfm

 

Fire Meet Gasoline

Bianca: A match made in heaven

Sam + Hannah: Ooooooooh

Hannah: A pun 3 minutes in the making

Bianca: No it just came to me. It just sparked (Laughs)

Sam: This is one of my favourite. It’s very overtly pop but at the sametime I think I just love how it is Fire Meet Gasoline, not Meets. It’s like she’s introducing the two and there’s something I find really cool about that. Taking off the 'S' I’m like, I’m sold and I don’t even know why

Bianca: Does she know fire or gasoline better?

Hannah: Fire

Sam: Fire and she’s not sure how it’s gonna go and she’s bringing the fire towards the gasoline like that shit’s gonna blow her up

Bianca: I think that wig is highly flammable

Sam: This album is very dangerous. There’s knives and fire and we’re about to go into cellophane. All those things together…

Hannah: Sia likes it rough

Sam: Did she write S&M?

 

Cellophane

Hannah: Least favourite so far

Sam: Yeah me too

Bianca: Doesn’t do it for me

Hannah: I think I’m already battered and bruised from the rest of the album

Sam: It’s too much. There’s cellophane and then the electricity has done something to her brain

Bianca: I don’t know how this could be the second last song on the album

Sam: I think the second last song is always the worst because people get complacent

Hannah: This is a bit of a filler

Sam: She’s gotta end well otherwise she’s leaving with a bad tatse

 

Dressed In Black

Bianca: I think it’s a good end to the album

Sam: Me too. She’s been able to use all those dramatic metaphors and is like “yeah, I’m happy now”. At the same time, it kind of gets there but it never hits the heights of Chandelier. When I first heard Chandelier I thought it was a great start to the album but now I think I would’ve started it with Elastic Heart and put Chandelier in the middle

Hannah: Yeah, after Chandelier it just bubbles

Sam: Maybe it grows on you

 

Overall

Bianca: Good work Sia, she did well

Sam: It’s a good pop album. When it comes down to it she’s a great pop writer, she’s got a great voice and she’s an Aussie girl who made it big. It’s a nice story

Bianca: I’m going to give it a 7/10

Hannah: 7.6 because it always has to beat Lana Del Rey’s Pitchfork rating

Sam: I was going to give it the same, 7. I think it’s good.

Bianca: On that note...Sia!

sia_wave

Top 20 Songs of 2014 (So Far)


TOP202

2014 has been full of highlights so far. Kimye finally married, Solange threw a punch at Jay ZLana Del Rey found favour with the critics and Kylie Minogue joined The Voice. Yep, 2014 is making memories one-by-one and to celebrate we’ve put together our Top 20 Songs of the year to date. Call it a soundtrack to the trials and tribulations of months passed and a cheers to the months ahead.

Together we sat down, fought, laughed and cried over our favourite songs of the year. What is immediately apparent is that 2014 has been a year for new artists. Four of our top five artists only released their debut this year and three of the Top 20 are yet to release an album. While many of us had to forego personal favourites in the name of democracy, we’ve attached them for the aural pleasure on the next page.

Scroll below and read our spiel about how each song appeased our little ears in the first half of 2014 or head right to the bottom for our custom-made Top 20 Soundcloud playlist.

 

PharrellEOFYS

20 Pharrell - Hunter

Of all the songs we could have pulled from Pharrell’s 2014 release Girl, why did we pick Hunter? This song makes you want to hit the town on a Saturday night. In the signature Pharrell Williams style, it offers up a slow blues and catchy swagger brimming with confidence. From the moment we all heard this track, we were hooked.That infectious guitar line that has been stamped across Pharrell’s tracks since Get Lucky is in its purest form here. It’s a song for those on the prowl- stalking around, chest puffed, Saturday Night Fever style.

Lizzie

stvincentEOFYS19 St Vincent - Digital Witness

A pop song centred around brass. St. Vincent has never been one to follow trends and yet again she’s carved a masterpiece from the oddest of stones. Digital Witness is an extension of the chapter started between her and David Byrne but introduces a new-found attitude that permeates her self-titled album. Upon the album’s release, Annie Clarke said “I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral”. Digital Witness is an apparent critique of people’s need to document everything rather than experience. She told Under The Radar “I wrote a will not too long ago, and in it I wrote 'When I die, I want you to scatter my ashes in the Internet”. No doubt this song will accompany that.

Sam

jamesvincent18 James Vincent McMorrow - Gold

James Vincent McMorrow’s Post Tropical was one of the more surprising releases of the year. After a pretty mundane debut, Post Tropical was a spectacular melting pot of genres from hip-hop to folk and pop. Gold is the centrepiece of that album. The brass instrumentation shines through amongst his flawless falsetto. The staccato in the second chorus rings like a military-call leading the song into a powerful crescendo. Stunning.

Bianca

RobynEOFYS17 Röyksopp + Robyn - Do It Again  

Everyone knows the feeling. The wines flow, the music throbs and bed doesn’t beckon until sunlight. The aftermath is never fun yet it never deters. Do It Again is the perfect anthem for early-morning club dwellers. It’s got a thumping bass-line, lush synths and an uber-melodic bridge that couldn’t be by anyone else but Robyn. The Swedes are yet to screw anything up, ever, so three of them together could only mean good things. The lyrics are almost pain-stakingly obvious but such is the song’s charm. It worked for Daft Punk (One More Time) and it works again here. No need to think about when the drop is. Like a valiant host, Robyn tells you and then unleashes a mighty chorus. The marriage between pop and electronica has never been more glorious.

Sam

PorterrobinsonEOFYS16 Porter Robinson - Lionhearted

Crowned ‘The Hottest Record in the World Right Now,’ by BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, Lionhearted, offers up something completely different to Porter’s usual heavy EDM thumpers. For those who call themselves die-hard Porter Robinson fans, you may not warm to the new sonic territory he is breaking. However, the interns felt that as one of our “Rebels of EDM", this incredibly talented 21-year old has stepped up to the plate as an exciting artist to watch in 2014. His hotly-anticipated Worlds album is set to be released on August 12, until then, this electro house anthem teamed with Swedish indie-pop band Urbane Cone, offers up a reborn sound peppered with playful melodies, atmospheric vocals and a dancey sentiment.

- Lizzie

glassanimalsEOFYS15 Glass Animals - Gooey

The Alt-J of 2014 had something more to offer- an RnB-inspired swagger that reached under the skin and slid along with its icky lyrics.The title of the track is perhaps the most pertinent depiction of its slippery melody. The mention of perfume, pooh bear and peanut butter further contribute to making this song the most slinky piece of matter since flubber.

Bianca

EOFYS_JessieWare14 Jessie Ware - Tough Love

While Devotion was brilliant, the question was always what Jessie Ware would do next. It turns out all she needed to make was the subtlest of changes. In Tough Love, she reaches for the heights of her vocal range taking us to territory she's never explored before. With the help of Two Inch Punch and Benny Blanco, she's delivered a song that ebbs and flows with the most subtle of dynamics. The flurry of synths that greet the second chorus are the perfect climax to a song that could've easily flatlined without the right care.

- Sam

sia13 Sia - Chandelier

Beyond having one of the most brilliant visual marketing campaigns this year, Chandelier is an absolute tune. The RnB-tinted verses suggest that Sia had the intention of writing a hit for Rihanna but the chorus crushes that belief. There ain’t no way Rihanna could scale the vocal heights that Sia hits in the chorus' main hook. It’s a song to drink to, a sequel to R.Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly and a statement that cements Sia as one of the best pop writers in the game. As far as a pop song goes, that’s three ticks.

Bianca

LANAEOFYS12 Lana Del Rey - West Coast (Zhu Remix)

No one has polarized the interns’ opinions more than Lana Del Rey - as an artist, as performer and as a person. However, on the eve of Del Rey’s new album, Zhu slapped down this baby with impeccable timing, doing her work justice and much, much more. The signature Del Rey nostalgia is replaced with the punchy thump of percussion, killer chopped vocals and effortless hypnotic 3am house energy. While the song remains sultry, oozing sex, sex and more sex – it brings about an overwhelming power to make you want to dance uncontrollably in a club.

Lizzie

chromeoEOFYS11 Chromeo - Old 45s

C’mon, how could you not enjoy this song. It’s catchy, evocative, totally nostalgic for an era we had absolutely nothing to do with and just a good old bundle of fun. I dare you NOT to dance to this baby.

Hannah

zedzdead10 Zeds Dead - Lost You (feat. Twin Shadow)

In our ‘First Impressions’ back in May, we struggled to say a nice thing about this track. look how the turntables have turned. Canadian bass producers Zeds Dead have snuck into our Top 10 with their track Lost You, a nifty collaboration with Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy. This Mad Decent release is just another example of how versatile and ambitious their catalogue of music has become. With the rubbery sound and colourful trippy video to compliment this house anthem, directed by Grandson & Son, prepare to be taken on a psychedelic trip of sonic creativity.

Lizzie

howtodresswell29 How To Dress Well - Repeat Pleasure

It's true- RnB has been revitalised in a big way. The issue with that is the genre quickly gets crowded with mediocrity. That's why Tom Krell's Repeat Pleasure is such a triumph. His falsetto is flawless while the songs subtle guitar and light-as-a-feather beat allow the melody to be the hero. It's a touch of Ashanti with a little bit of Baby Face and a hint of Mariah. He keeps it tasteful by putting his own nuanced touches on it. The name doesn't lie. This one has truly been a repeat pleasure.

Sam

jamirxx8 Jamie xx - Sleep Sound

This is a hazy pink sunset dancing on a darkening ocean just as much as it is first light come morning. It’s with you for the long haul and will see you the whole night through. That vocal sample and RnB edge is an absolute killer combination. Everything Jamie xx touches is pure gold and this is no different.

Hannah

littledragon27 Little Dragon - Pretty Girls

When I first heard Frank Ocean’s Lost last yearI was certain, and let’s be honest, I am still certain, he’d written it exclusively for me. While I don’t have “double D, big full breasts,” I do have a tendency to get “lost in the thrill of it all” and trains and I just don’t get on. Similarly, when I first heard Pretty Girls, it spoke directly to the escapist in me and perfectly crystalised that vulnerable, quivering moment before you grab the bare essentials, cut all ties and dare to run without looking back for fear of getting stuck.

Hannah

laroux6 La Roux - Uptight Downtown

The song that made us all realise we’d actually missed this loveable red head. Uptight Downtown is La Roux saying “Yeah I’ve been gone five years, but a pop song is a pop song and I write a damn good pop song”. Throughout, she strategically places bits and pieces that lure you straight to the dancefloor- the lyric “move, move, move”, the carnivale synth and the Bowie-like guitar riff. A 70s-tinged, spot of brilliance.

- Bianca

chromesparks5 Chrome Sparks - Goddess

This song elicits such a strong visceral response. It’s otherworldly in its ability to capture every inch of your mind, body and spirit and take you, full throttle on an intergalactic journey to destinations unknown, before nursing you gently back to earth. It’s rich, dynamic and full of texture and stardust twinkle.

Hannah

chetfaker4 Chet Faker - 1998

This song is everything we’ve come to know and love from our bearded mate, Chet Faker; undeniably smooth and incredibly sexy. I get a little more “swagger” in my walk every time shuffle pulls this gem out... And by shuffle I really mean it’s on repeat. It’s got the right amount of pulse and bounce to keep you moving the whole way home. And that brief moment where you think he’s finally done wondering why you’re no longer “in a circle” before coming back for round two? WOW.

- Hannah

EOFYS_Caribou3 Caribou - Can't Do Without You

We really cannot do without you in our top three Caribou. This track was an instant hit with the interns. Described as the “ninja song” - a song where you think you’ve heard all there is to hear and then all of a sudden (WHAM!), you are hit with a new crystalline layer of sounds. The killer vocal sample kicks, a quiet motif of synth and drums, and an epic crescendo that swells up in the final minute, Can’t Do Without You, leaves you with a climatic eargasm.

- Lizzie

EOFYS_BANKS

2 BANKS - Drowning

Without an album to her name, BANKS' is the success story of 2014. From Waiting Game to Goddess to Brain, she's fired out brooding brilliance one after another. Drowning is the standout release from her so far. The lyrics are cold ("you try to hide I can see that you don't need me") yet the skittering vocal samples and the depths of  BANKS' vocals are warm and encapsulating. As far as new artists go, you don't get many so confident and self-assured in the early moments of their career. What a class act.

Sam

Jungle3
1 Jungle - Busy Earnin'

Before embarking on the strenuous journey of the Top 20, the interns knew that it would take something special to earn the top spot of the best song of (half) the year. So what was it about this newly-established UK band that inspired us to make this song our work motto? Mantra, if you will?

This track has something for everyone; polished hip-hop, a touch of dance and a hell of a lotta funk. Its underlying message of ‘busy earnin’’ has an almost dark undertone, evoking the mundanity of life while gloriously juxtaposing this thought with a disco dancefloor-inspired celebration of soul - it’s the Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! It’s off to work we go of the modern age. You may “never have things for a normal life” and think that “all your time is used, busy earnin’” but you’ve just got to keep on truckin’, keep moving forward. And this track has the ability to inspire you to do just that; get up, move, keep going through the motions of life. The lyrics mirror the monotonous reality of eating, sleeping, working, and repeating (the grown-up version of Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat) but, with the assistance of a funky bassline, rhythmic falsetto and shining synths, it shows that it ain’t all that bad and sometimes all you need to do is live life to the fullest and, most importantly, get on that dancefloor and shake dat booty.

Bianca

 

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/the-interns-top-20-songs-of[/soundcloud]

Head to page 2 for our individual Top 10s

Individual Top 10s

BIANCA:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/biancas-eofys-top-10[/soundcloud]

SAM:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/sams-top-10-of-2014-so-far[/soundcloud]

LIZZIE:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/lizzies-top-10-of-2014-so-far[/soundcloud]

HANNAH:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/hannahs-top-10-of-2014[/soundcloud]

Pages: 1 2

Top20_2

Top 20 Songs of 2014 (So Far)

2014 has been full of highlights so far. Kimye finally married, Solange threw a punch at Jay ZLana Del Rey found favour with the critics and Kylie Minogue joined The Voice. Yep, 2014 is making memories one-by-one and to celebrate we’ve put together our Top 20 Songs of the year to date. Call it a soundtrack to the trials and tribulations of months passed and a cheers to the months ahead.

Together we sat down, fought, laughed and cried over our favourite songs of the year. What is immediately apparent is that 2014 has been a year for new artists. Four of our top five artists only released their debut this year and three of the Top 20 are yet to release an album. While many of us had to forego personal favourites in the name of democracy, we’ve attached them for the aural pleasure on the next page.

Hover over the images below and click to scroll down and read our spiel about how each song appeased our little ears in the first half of 2014 or head to the very bottom for our custom-made Top 20 Soundcloud playlist.

PharrellEOFYS

20 Pharrell - Hunter

Of all the songs we could have pulled from Pharrell’s 2014 release Girl, why did we pick Hunter? This song makes you want to hit the town on a Saturday night. In the signature Pharrell Williams style, it offers up a slow blues and catchy swagger brimming with confidence. From the moment we all heard this track, we were hooked.That infectious guitar line that has been stamped across Pharrell’s tracks since Get Lucky is in its purest form here. It’s a song for those on the prowl- stalking around, chest puffed, Saturday Night Fever style.

Lizzie

stvincentEOFYS19 St Vincent - Digital Witness

A pop song centred around brass. St. Vincent has never been one to follow trends and yet again she’s carved a masterpiece from the oddest of stones. Digital Witness is an extension of the chapter started between her and David Byrne but introduces a new-found attitude that permeates her self-titled album. Upon the album’s release, Annie Clarke said “I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral”. Digital Witness is an apparent critique of people’s need to document everything rather than experience. She told Under The Radar “I wrote a will not too long ago, and in it I wrote 'When I die, I want you to scatter my ashes in the Internet”. No doubt this song will accompany that.

- Sam

jamesvincent18 James Vincent McMorrow - Gold

James Vincent McMorrow’s Post Tropical was one of the more surprising releases of the year. After a pretty mundane debut, Post Tropical was a spectacular melting pot of genres from hip-hop to folk and pop. Gold is the centrepiece of that album. The brass instrumentation shines through amongst his flawless falsetto. The staccato in the second chorus rings like a military-call leading the song into a powerful crescendo. Stunning.

- Bianca

RobynEOFYS17 Röyksopp + Robyn - Do It Again  

Everyone knows the feeling. The wines flow, the music throbs and bed doesn’t beckon until sunlight. The aftermath is never fun yet it never deters. Do It Again is the perfect anthem for early-morning club dwellers. It’s got a thumping bass-line, lush synths and an uber-melodic bridge that couldn’t be by anyone else but Robyn. The Swedes are yet to screw anything up, ever, so three of them together could only mean good things. The lyrics are almost pain-stakingly obvious but such is the song’s charm. It worked for Daft Punk (One More Time) and it works again here. No need to think about when the drop is. Like a valiant host, Robyn tells you and then unleashes a mighty chorus. The marriage between pop and electronica has never been more glorious.

- Sam

PorterrobinsonEOFYS16 Porter Robinson - Lionhearted

Crowned ‘The Hottest Record in the World Right Now,’ by BBC Radio 1’s Zane LoweLionhearted, offers up something completely different to Porter’s usual heavy EDM thumpers. For those who call themselves die-hard Porter Robinson fans, you may not warm to the new sonic territory he is breaking. However, the interns felt that as one of our “Rebels of EDM", this incredibly talented 21-year old has stepped up to the plate as an exciting artist to watch in 2014. His hotly-anticipated Worlds album is set to be released on August 12, until then, this electro house anthem teamed with Swedish indie-pop band Urbane Cone, offers up a reborn sound peppered with playful melodies, atmospheric vocals and a dancey sentiment.

- Lizzie

glassanimalsEOFYS15 Glass Animals - Gooey

The Alt-J of 2014 had something more to offer- an RnB-inspired swagger that reached under the skin and slid along with its icky lyrics.The title of the track is perhaps the most pertinent depiction of its slippery melody. The mention of perfume, pooh bear and peanut butter further contribute to making this song the most slinky piece of matter since flubber.

- Bianca

EOFYS_JessieWare14 Jessie Ware - Tough Love

While Devotion was brilliant, the question was always what Jessie Ware would do next. It turns out all she needed to make was the subtlest of changes. In Tough Love, she reaches for the heights of her vocal range taking us to territory she's never explored before. With the help of Two Inch Punch and Benny Blanco, she's delivered a song that ebbs and flows with the most subtle of dynamics. The flurry of synths that greet the second chorus are the perfect climax to a song that could've easily flatlined without the right care.

- Sam

sia13 Sia - Chandelier

Beyond having one of the most brilliant visual marketing campaigns this year, Chandelier is an absolute tune. The RnB-tinted verses suggest that Sia had the intention of writing a hit for Rihanna but the chorus crushes that belief. There ain’t no way Rihanna could scale the vocal heights that Sia hits in the chorus' main hook. It’s a song to drink to, a sequel to R.Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly and a statement that cements Sia as one of the best pop writers in the game. As far as a pop song goes, that’s three ticks.

- Bianca

LANAEOFYS12 Lana Del Rey - West Coast (Zhu Remix)

No one has polarized the interns’ opinions more than Lana Del Rey - as an artist, as performer and as a person. However, on the eve of Del Rey’s new album, Zhu slapped down this baby with impeccable timing, doing her work justice and much, much more. The signature Del Rey nostalgia is replaced with the punchy thump of percussion, killer chopped vocals and effortless hypnotic 3am house energy. While the song remains sultry, oozing sex, sex and more sex – it brings about an overwhelming power to make you want to dance uncontrollably in a club.

- Lizzie

chromeoEOFYS11 Chromeo - Old 45s

C’mon, how could you not enjoy this song. It’s catchy, evocative, totally nostalgic for an era we had absolutely nothing to do with and just a good old bundle of fun. I dare you NOT to dance to this baby.

- Hannah

zedzdead10 Zeds Dead - Lost You (feat. Twin Shadow)

In our ‘First Impressions’ back in May, we struggled to say a nice thing about this track. look how the turntables have turned. Canadian bass producers Zeds Dead have snuck into our Top 10 with their track Lost You, a nifty collaboration with Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy. This Mad Decent release is just another example of how versatile and ambitious their catalogue of music has become. With the rubbery sound and colourful trippy video to compliment this house anthem, directed by Grandson & Son, prepare to be taken on a psychedelic trip of sonic creativity.

- Lizzie

howtodresswell29 How To Dress Well - Repeat Pleasure

It's true- RnB has been revitalised in a big way. The issue with that is the genre quickly gets crowded with mediocrity. That's why Tom Krell's Repeat Pleasure is such a triumph. His falsetto is flawless while the songs subtle guitar and light-as-a-feather beat allow the melody to be the hero. It's a touch of Ashanti with a little bit of Baby Face and a hint of Mariah. He keeps it tasteful by putting his own nuanced touches on it. The name doesn't lie. This one has truly been a repeat pleasure.

- Sam

jamirxx8 Jamie xx - Sleep Sound

This is a hazy pink sunset dancing on a darkening ocean just as much as it is first light breaking come morning. It’s with you for the long haul and will see you the whole night through. That vocal sample and RnB edge is an absolute killer combination. Everything Jamie xx touches is pure gold and this is no different.

- Hannah

littledragon27 Little Dragon - Pretty Girls

When I first heard Frank Ocean’s Lost last year, I was certain, and let’s be honest, I am still certain, he’d written it exclusively for me. While I don’t have “double D, big full breasts,” I do have a tendency to get “lost in the thrill of it all” and trains and I just don’t get on. Similarly, when I first heard Pretty Girls, it spoke directly to the escapist in me and perfectly crystalised that vulnerable, quivering moment before you grab the bare essentials, cut all ties and dare to run without looking back for fear of getting stuck.

- Hannah

laroux6 La Roux - Uptight Downtown

The song that made us all realise we’d actually missed this loveable red head. Uptight Downtown is La Roux saying “Yeah I’ve been gone five years, but a pop song is a pop song and I write a damn good pop song”. Throughout, she strategically places bits and pieces that lure you straight to the dancefloor- the lyric “move, move, move”, the carnivale synth and the Bowie-like guitar riff. A 70s-tinged, spot of brilliance.

- Bianca

chromesparks5 Chrome Sparks - Goddess

This song elicits such a strong visceral response. It’s otherworldly in its ability to capture every inch of your mind, body and spirit and take you, full throttle on an intergalactic journey to destinations unknown, before nursing you gently back to earth. It’s rich, dynamic and full of texture and stardust twinkle.

- Hannah

chetfaker4 Chet Faker - 1998

This song is everything we’ve come to know and love from our bearded mate, Chet Faker; undeniably smooth and incredibly sexy. I get a little more “swagger” in my walk every time shuffle pulls this gem out... And by shuffle I really mean it’s on repeat. It’s got the right amount of pulse and bounce to keep you moving the whole way home. And that brief moment where you think he’s finally done wondering why you’re no longer “in a circle” before coming back for round two? WOW.

- Hannah

EOFYS_Caribou3 Caribou - Can't Do Without You

We really cannot do without you in our top three Caribou. This track was an instant hit with the interns. Described as the “ninja song” - a song where you think you’ve heard all there is to hear and then all of a sudden (WHAM!), you are hit with a new crystalline layer of sounds. The killer vocal sample kicks, a quiet motif of synth and drums, and an epic crescendo that swells up in the final minute, Can’t Do Without You, leaves you with a climatic eargasm.

- Lizzie

EOFYS_BANKS

2 BANKS - Drowning

Without an album to her name, BANKS' is the success story of 2014. From Waiting Game to Goddess to Brain, she's fired out brooding brilliance one after another. Drowning is the standout release from her so far. The lyrics are cold ("you try to hide I can see that you don't need me") yet the skittering vocal samples and the depths of  BANKS' vocals are warm and encapsulating. As far as new artists go, you don't get many so confident and self-assured in the early moments of their career. What a class act.

- Sam

Jungle3
1 Jungle - Busy Earnin'

Before embarking on the strenuous journey of the Top 20, the interns knew that it would take something special to earn the top spot of the best song of (half) the year. So what was it about this newly-established UK band that inspired us to make this song our work motto? Mantra, if you will?

This track has something for everyone; polished hip-hop, a touch of dance and a hell of a lotta funk. Its underlying message of ‘busy earnin’’ has an almost dark undertone, evoking the mundanity of life while gloriously juxtaposing this thought with a disco dancefloor-inspired celebration of soul - it’s the Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! It’s off to work we go of the modern age. You may “never have things for a normal life” and think that “all your time is used, busy earnin’” but you’ve just got to keep on truckin’, keep moving forward. And this track has the ability to inspire you to do just that; get up, move, keep going through the motions of life. The lyrics mirror the monotonous reality of eating, sleeping, working, and repeating (the grown-up version of Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat) but, with the assistance of a funky bassline, rhythmic falsetto and shining synths, it shows that it ain’t all that bad and sometimes all you need to do is live life to the fullest and, most importantly, get on that dancefloor and shake dat booty.

- Bianca

Head to page 2 for our individual Top 10s

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/the-interns-top-20-songs-of[/soundcloud]

 

Individual Top 10s

BIANCA:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/biancas-eofys-top-10[/soundcloud]

SAM:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/sams-top-10-of-2014-so-far[/soundcloud]

LIZZIE:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/lizzies-top-10-of-2014-so-far[/soundcloud]

HANNAH:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/hannahs-top-10-of-2014[/soundcloud]

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