The best and worst stuff that happened over the fortnight from Justin Bieber's merch to Justin Timberlake's lame-ass song.
The best and worst stuff that happened over the fortnight from Justin Bieber's merch to Justin Timberlake's lame-ass song.
Sideline is probably the most accessible and matured drop we've heard from the local producer yet. He takes pop melodies delivered by Californian singer Eden Xo and twists them amongst glassy synths and throbbing beats. It's sadness taken to the dancefloor - a Dancing On My Own for a much later, weirder time of the night.
Swick's prepping a new EP so keep an eye out for that but in the meantime dive into Sideline below.
The best tunes of the week ranked including Nicki Minaj's verse on Yo Gotti's 'Down In The DM' and Club Cheval's new slapper 'Young Rich And Radical'.
If you needed any more proof that 2015 is a massive year for music then this week was just that. We had blockbuster video premieres, huge tracks leak by the dozen and many drop more tracks of some of the year's most anticipated albums. Here's another jam-packed 10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week.
Indian Steps (Feat. Antony Hegarty) & Scud Books
We're just patiently hanging out for HudMo's Lanterns but he's not making it easier because every time he releases a new track it's better than the last. Today, we have two new tracks from the producer. The first, Scud Books, is trademark HudMo with brassy synths and crushing bass. Indian Steps, however, is a slightly different sound than we're used to. It features Antony and the Johnson's' Antony Hegarty. It's a melancholic, emotional track that flourishes into a battlefield of bursting beats and swelling instrumentation.
I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) (Feat. Young Thug and Popcaan)
This was also in 10 Songs last week but this version is the proper album version featuring Popcaan. Instrumentally there's not a lot of difference but vocally now we have Popcaan interjecting Young Thug on the verses. That sample still sounds as triumphant as last week and the steel drums are euphoric as ever. Jamie xx told Pitchfork this week, "You can make it [the steel drum] sound quite melancholy but at the same time it reminds me of paradise." That's certainly the most apt way to describe this song.
Nina Las Vegas & Swick
Nina Las Vegas and Swick dropped their second EP Cool Sports this week via Fool's Gold records. All three songs are excellent but Birthday is the one that has really stuck with us. It bursts colour with through these abrasive, blood-rushing synths that sit alongside candy-coated beats. The vocal sample holds the same kind of monotone excitement that Hannah Diamond has become so known for, using the instrumental to really build its personality. Hold on for the last minute when things really get down and dirty.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/foolsgoldrecs/nina-las-vegas-swick-birthday[/soundcloud]
We raved a about Danish newcomer Kwamie Liv last year but then she disappeared off the radar. This week, however, she re-emerged with this beautiful cut Higher. It's built off lushes synths that allow Liv's vocal to just sink in. "I wanna trust you tonight, I'm sick and tired of running," she sings with the utmost sincerity, creating this wonderfully warm atmosphere. Hopefully this is a sign of more things to come.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kwamieliv/higher-kwamieliv[/soundcloud]
We're just a fortnight away from hearing A$AP Rocky's new album A.L.L.A and so far he's kept us on our toes about what to expect. LSD (Love x Sex x Dreams) is a hazy, spaced-out number that sees A$AP sing more than rap. It's something completely different from him and proves once again that his versatility is one of his most impressive qualities. It changes tack towards the end and introduces back into A$AP-rap territory, complimenting that woozy, unfamiliar instrumental with something that feels much more familiar.
Antony & Cleopatra
You may not have heard of Antony & Cleoptra but you would've definitely heard some of the work of Alex Burnett. Burnett has written and collaborated on tracks for George Maple, Hayden James and Flight Facilities but now he's turning his attention to his own project. Take Me is a stellar track with its feat planted heavily in the British club scene. The vocals of Anita Blay howl through the track with an airy vitality while the instrumental echoes like steel coming together.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/vitalic-noise/antony-cleopatra-take-me-1[/soundcloud]
Florence + The Machine
So far all the tracks from How Big How Blue How Beautiful have shown a slightly more reserved side to Florence Welch but now we've got Delilah. Delilah is a classic Florence + The Machine track with bluesy undertones and a big, soaring chorus ready-made for Welch's massive voice. The melodic detour at the end of the track is the cherry on the top, adding an extra bit of sweetness to what could've been a slightly overwhelming track. Our bodies are now ready for this album.
Famous (Brenmar Remix)
Charli XCX's Famous is almost six months old now so it's about time that it go a fresh-coat of paint. Jersey producer Brenmar is the best man for the job as he has a knack at taking already energetic songs and turning them up one more level. Brenmar centres the whole remix around Charli's infectious hook using it to build the track up to a mighty drop complete with horn-synths. We're big fans of Charli when she's operating in the club-world so this remix is understandably up our alley.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/charlixcx/charli-xcx-famous-brenmar-remix[/soundcloud]
Bad Blood (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)
We've seen Kendrick and Tay Tay go back and forth about how much they love each other and we knew that Kendrick was going to appear in the Bad Blood video but never could've we expected two verses on the radio edit. The track benefits from a beefed-up, hip-hop remix and while Kendrick's verses are super impressive it's Swift's final chorus that brings it home with an effortless strength. This is a genius marketing tactic and is sure to breathe some new life into 1989. Somewhere Katy Perry is breaking her teeth on candy-canes working out how to one-up Taylor.
Chains (Feat. Stormzy)
If Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift was unexpected then this collaboration is basically unbelievable. Grime newcomer Stormzy has jumped on Nick Jonas' Chains adding some distinctively British verses to the track alongside Jonas' soulful verse. Speaking to Radio 1 the former Jonas Brother (meaning the band, not the family) said he was inspired by Kanye West's performance at the Brits where he shared the stage with a number of big grime names. A weird collaboration, yes, but it actually works.
Nina Las Vegas and Swick are back with another EP following their 2014 EP released via Nest HQ. This time the legendary Fool's Gold have released the hyperactive set of tracks otherwise known as the Cool Sports EP. The multi-coloured cover image is probably the best depiction of what to expect from the three tracks features on the EP. They're malleable, toy-like tunes with a curious nature born from a world of video-game make-believe. Birthday is the highlight of the EP bringing together a flurry of ADD synths with a sweet, computerised vocal that hits the perfect sugar high. They're the kind of songs that are intricate and interesting enough to dissect at home but loud and proud enough to blow your head off in the clubs.
First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. This week we pick apart tracks by Earl Sweatshirt, Swick, Of Monsters And Men + more.
Zanda: A bit less melodic than a lot of Sweatshirt’s other stuff, but the droning style of synth that accompanies his smooth rapping is captivating enough for the most part. If I’m being completely honest my favourite part is the conclusion of the track. Not only does it provide some needed sectional variation, but the symbol-dominated drumming and various drum-licks reference a gorgeous style of lounge jazz. 3.5
Sam: Just when poor Earl couldn’t be any more disillusioned with the world his record company go and fuck up his album release. This is some of the darkest hip-hop we are bound to hear this year. It circles around your head with minimal beats and washy undertones which ultimately blend in with his deep, affecting rap. I’m not sure I’m interested in this as much as I am intrigued by it. The video is dark as hell and it’s pretty distressing to watch. This is probably the tightest we’ve ever heard Sweatshirt rap but it’s going to take play after play to make this devilish tune completely sink in. 4
Meshell: Ah, the first taste of new Earl. After the success that was Doris the bar has been set incredibly high for the young rapper. Grief takes the angst felt throughout his debut and twists it up tighter and tighter into psychosis. The low-fi production and undulating synth are the perfect backdrop for Earl’s smooth, lagging rap style. As he tells us all how much he hates going outside, I’ve decided that although the track is angry… it’s not aggressive and by the time we hit the sweet little outro I absolutely love it. 4
Bianca: I'm all about dat outro; a dramatic turnaround from the deep, dark depths of Sweatshirt's thoughts, giving us a chance to reflect on the outpouring of grief in the form of his threadbare rapping style. Hot tip for iPhone users: Invert the colours to the clip via Settings > General > Accessibility > Invert Colors for an even trippier viewing experience. 3.5
Zanda: Undeniably catchy, and really just a fun tune to jam out to. The chorus is definitely on point, but I’m a little disappointed with how same-same the chorus is compared with the bridge and the verse. A fun track nonetheless. 3
Sam: I think we can agree that we’re due for another naturally cool girl group and I’ve been saying for a long time that these girls are the group to do it. This is a breezy, effortless RnB anthem that showcases the group’s biggest strength - their harmonies. I’m really not sure why the UK charts haven’t given M.O. any love yet, but hopefully this will be the tune to change their luck. They’re so tight. 3.5
Meshell:I feel it’s my responsibility as a reviewer to be completely honest with you dear reader. What we’re hearing with this latest offering from M.O is a poor woman’s Destiny’s Child ¯_(ツ)_/¯
I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s totally fine, but therein lies my problem…fine is the only word I can muster for this track. Its kind of catchy but not enough that I’m going to be singing it whilst making my lunch. The classic pop stylings of it make me feel like it was just written with the intent of cracking the charts and music for the sake of a rating lacks sincerity. I don’t know the origins of M.O but to fresh eyes they look like the major label machine is now manufacturing hip-stars instead of pop-stars. These girls look fresh as f**k and I think that might be the only thing I really like about them. Brilliant marketing…average music. 2.5
Bianca: It’s funky, it’s kinda catchy and good on them for championing the return of girl groups with matching outfits and dance moves...though I really can’t shake the feeling that I’m listening to a Jessica Mauboy song that I’ve already heard 1,500 times. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s just not my thing. 2.5
Years & Years
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/yearsandyears/worship[/soundcloud]
Zanda: Years and Years seem to have just about perfected a crossover between boy-band and stand-alone electro production. Proved by the fact that the track would work perfectly well as an instrumental, but at the same time the vocals compliment the track rather than detract from the excellent production. This is the sort of track that gets stuck in your head, especially that chorus. 4
Sam: So these guys aren’t a hype act anymore, it’s already confirmed that they’re huge (a number one single will do that to you). Worship doesn’t have the same immediacy as King but it’s a crisp, funk tune nonetheless. It’s nice to hear this mid-tempo verse flourish into an almost gospel chorus. Like any good pop tune, its chorus is its heart and soul built around layered vocals and well-placed words (any religious word in pop always goes down well). Olly’s voice is just so impossible not to be wooed by. 4
Meshell: God dammit, I listen to Years & Years every day at the moment and I cannot get over how wonderfully unique this dude’s voice is. Having an excellent range is one thing, but having a voice that is so incomparable is just next level awesome. Excellent instrumentation again from these boys, sometimes I get too excited by their singer but of course credit needs to be given where credit is due, the whole band pulls their weight when it comes to excellent songwriting and musicianship. Worship might not take out a number one spot like King did, it has however given their loyal fan base (points at self) a little sneak peak at how epic their album is going to be. 4.5 Meshell’s Pick
Bianca: How have these guys not completely blown up on Australian airwaves yet? Their sound is so refreshing and immediately affecting with each of their tracks hooking me in at first listen. Worship, with its lush, tropical-inspired synths and just enough pop, is no exception. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album. 4 Bianca's Pick
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/swickswick/swick-crystal-palace[/soundcloud]
Tropical vibes for days. Swick has delivered a polished, up-beat, catchy tune here that will have you wishing it was still summer. The echoey, steel-drum sound melodic lines give off the aforementioned tropical feels, and I would describe a lot of the production as almost Kilter-esque. That is, if you like Kilter, you’ll love this. 4.5 Zanda’s Pick
Sam: The thing I really like about Swick is that he’s operating in that kitsch, PC Music-esque world but there’s more weight to it. That thumping bassline really drives it home and sets it apart from some of the lighter rave-tunes that are floating around. That build-up in the middle is one of the more exciting things I’ve heard in electronic music this year and as far as synth-lines go it’s one of Swick’s more approachable ones. At the moment the Nice Age label is really being defined by hearty bass and it’s something that defines being in a club after midnight. Really exciting stuff once again from Swick. 4 Sam’s Pick
Meshell: While I can imagine myself loving this in the middle of a DJ set, it’s not doing anything for me at the moment. It’s punchy and up-beat and all a bit fun but it’s nothing new. With so much stupidly impressive electronic music being made in Australia alone, you really have to pull some magic out of your arse to get noticed around here. Swick has put together a track that will surely get your head bopping but you won’t be sharing it on your wall with all your mates saying, “TUUUUUUNE”. 2.5
Bianca: Crystal Palace isn't super multi-instrumental or three-dimensional but, like PC Music, that's not its point. What it does do for me in terms of dimensions is take me to another one: right now I'm riding along the rainbow road and there are no banana peels or red shells on the horizon. It's smooth sailing alllll the way while I leave all the other players in my dust. Suck it, Princess Peach. 4
Of Monsters And Men
Zanda: Of Monsters and Men seem to just constantly deliver captivating, emotion-filled music. It’s the simple things that are always done so well, with the use of guitars and other melodic instruments never encroaching on the amazing use of texture and aural space that creates so much room for variation and interest. The vocals are always given so much space, and are so powerful that they could stand alone, but are complimented by a complex yet minimal use of drums and other instruments throughout the track. 4.5
Sam: This is sure to delight many but it makes me feel slightly ill. That whole epic, inoffensive pop-rock genre helmed by Coldplay is driven by its desire to be as beige as possible and in that sense this song succeeds. There’s plenty of metaphors in this but none that really show any sense of genuity. The voices are actually quite affecting and I feel like if they weren’t trying so hard to craft a song that will light up a stadium with smartphones it would hit at the heart a little better than it does. 2
Meshell: I actually really like the drums in this song. I’m kind of not listening to anything else first time round and now that I’m on second listen I’m going to try and pay a little more attention. Vocally this song is nowhere near as annoying as Little Talks so that’s a step in the right direction. Subtle horns are a nice added touch too. My imaginary hat (I look terrible in real ones) goes off for great mixing of this song, does it reach me on an emotional level? No, it’s not actually that good, but I guess there’s plenty to appreciate. 3
Bianca: Ughhhhh. Not even the elimination of the banjos made this palatable. I also take away half a point for Youtube's autoplay feature leading to Little Talks. 2
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/nero/the-thrill-1[/soundcloud]
Zanda: Pretty much exactly what you’d expect from Nero. Appropriately placed vocals accompanying bass-heavy production and dark riffs, with sections of build up that will satisfy most fans of the genre. Nothing special, but a well-produced track nonetheless. 3
Sam: To me this is an Imagine Dragons song disguised as an electronic track. Ok, that may be a little bit far, this is much better than Imagine Dragons but it does have a soft-rock heart. I just find this quite confusing. It’s like a slowed-down hardstyle track that you can neither dance nor head-thrash to. When the instrumental drops out and you just hear the vocals it’s easy to enjoy but apart from that it’s just a bit assaulting. They’re better off when they’ve ramped the tempo up and are going OTT. Promises still remains their greatest triumph. 2.5
Meshell: This is all very loud, genre-confusing and wildly disappointing. I’m talking super basic lyrical content, loud overdone synth and drops that I cannot figure out if they’re meant shove the song into the EDM pile or the shit stadium-rock pile. I felt really uncomfortable playing such a terrible song out loud…what happened to the Nero who won a grammy? 1
Bianca: The ear-thrashing that follows the drop was definitely not worth the headache. 1.5
If you feel the need to abuse us for our opinions, you can reach some of this week’s writers below:
Content Director: Sam
Managing Director: Bianca
Nina Las Vegas and Swick are becoming a force to be reckoned with within the Australian club scene. The pair released two collaborative tracks last year, Don't Send and Flash Auto, and also teamed up for a national tour with some pretty special international guests. Together they are blurring the lines of what's expected in Australian clubs, forging forwards with new, interesting sounds that traverse a number of genres. Both NLV and Swick are in the middle of an Australian club tour that, by all reports, is electric. We asked them a few questions on collaboration, the next big trend in electronic music and building the Aussie club scene.
Both of you are big fans of collaboration. What do you think makes collaboration so important within the electronic music sphere?
Swick: I think it's a lot more fun than sitting by yourself for starters although sometimes by yourself is really fun too but anyway yeah working with someone else is really fun especially Nina. It's also cool seeing how other people work and usually more people hear it when there are two people involved.
NLV: I learnt Ableton by watching other people work, so when I started to get serious with making music I thought the best way to get motivated would be to share the experience with someone. I have a (ultra uncool) band life behind me, so I know that working on music with other people is always more motivating that sitting solo. Even if you’re doing something on your own, even having someone else in the room with you is cool and more encouraging than trying to make all the decisions by yourself. Plus you swap ideas and get to share sounds, samples, contacts… blah blah blah, it’s just cooler.
You both get along to plenty of shows. Who are some DJs that you think put on the most entertaining sets and what sets them apart from others?
Swick: I really like Brodinski .. i love how he mixes rap with techno. I like DJ EZ he is super cool he makes djing on cdjs fun and every track he plays is a classic also Eclair FIfi she is always playing the coolest music.
NLV: I agree with Swick on this, EZ is the best. So tight on the CDJs, it’s super impressive. I love seeing Jimmy Edgar play too. He’s so smooth, yet can play anything from a EDM fest to small club. Anyone that sings the words as they play too, like Anna Lunoe, Sam Tiba, Jubilee and RL Grime all seem to know every lyric to every song they play… I love that.
You both toured together in November. Where do you think Australia sits right now in terms of accepting electronic music that is different to the norm?
Swick: I think it's getting a little bit better. It definitely helps a lot having people like Nina pushing cool music on the radio every week! I guess it's probably cooler here than lots of America.
NLV: We’re building a scene… it’s exciting. We just need the nightclubs to stay busy… that’s when the cool stuff will really happen. We have no shortage of music makers now, and lovers, but we just need the whole community to embrace the culture a little more. Go see DJs because you’re intrigued about what they’re gunna play, not because you know what they’ll play.
Can we expect any more original collabs from you two?
Swick: Yep. We have an EP coming out later this year. We have lots of fun working together so i think we will do more stuff together help each other out with solo stuff etc.
NLV: What Swick said. And we’re both writing solo EPs… club stuff and pop stuff. Things we want to play out and at home.
The web seems to think that electronic music is heading in the direction of PC Music but what do you two think is the big new trend? We're also hearing a lot about grime.
Swick: I don't think anyone really knows what the next big trend is. Maybe Nina does? I am really into every kind of music so i don't think the trend stuff effects me too much.
NLV: mmmm… I think people are stripping stuff back a bit. I mean, take the new Kanye and Rihanna songs with Sir Paul. About 3 sounds? That’s so tight. It’s always a cycle. PC Music is a derivative of K Pop, with more rave elements. So maybe more of that… and yeah, grime… because of the whole cycle thing. The UK top 40 sound (Disclosure, Duke Dumont, Gorgon City etc) shaped a lot of different producers work last year. Like wise Flume… they’re all writing second albums, so we’ll have to see.
Do you think the resurrected Pirate Bay is an FBI-run honeypot?
Swick: Was thinking about this yesterday... I hope not!
NLV: I rarely use Pirate Bay anymore so I don’t care, aye.
Who do you think would kill it at Eurovision?
Swick: Sacha Baron Cohen as any one of his aliases or maybe even himself.
NLV: I love seeing Jess Mauboy do anything so I wanna see her have another crack.
Nina Las Vegas and Swick's tour kicked off in Brisbane last Saturday. You can catch the rest of their shows on the dates below.
Nina Las Vegas is currently touring around the country with three out-of-towners and one local boy as part of her International Presents series. UNiiQU3, Sam Tiba, Eclair Fifi, Swick and NLV giving punters a snapshot of the world’s upcoming electronic scene all in their own different ways.
We went to the gig in Melbourne and now are acting like crystal balls for all of you that still have NLV Presents to look forward to. Here are 10 things we learnt from NLV presents, not including our realisation that we have written so much about Nina recently that she’s potentially scared we’re stalking. It’s a valid fear.
1. Nina knows as International game-changer when she sees one
Earlier this year when the first NLV Presents toured around the country, Nina got her hands on a few Aussie game changers, most notably interns favourite, Tkay Maidza, who has exploded since then. This time around she’s set her sights further afield and delivered a motley but well-curated crew of artists. All of them are teetering on major success within the dance community - many of them relatively unknown in Australia until now. Each of the producers had something new and unique to offer. From Eclair Fifi’s bubblegum electronica to Sam Tiba’s hallowed Parisian beats, it all felt fresh.
2. UNiiQU3 & Nina were damn fine MCs
This wasn’t a play your set and get the shit out of there after a vodka kind of situation, each of the acts were there supporting each other and offering some damn fine MCing. Nina danced to the side of each of them like mother hen, amping the crowd with ease with UNiiQU3 also standing close-by. UNiiQU3’s dancing and spontaneous MC-ing made it look like each track played was made for the hip-hop world. Quite a feat when Eclair Fifi is playing PC Music.
3. Nina debuted her and Swick’s new tracks and they were killer
Releasing her debut EP last week in what would seem impeccable timing, Nina was able to launch both club-bangers Don’t Send and Flash Auto with co-producer and partner in crime, Swick, near her side. With the space imminently filling with the energy of a crowd that seemed to already be familiar with the tracks’ peaks and troughs, both translated from computer to club with ease.
4. PC Music is the soundtrack of 2014
It seemed that all the naysayers needed was a bit of club love to be convinced that the kawaii and kitsch sounds of PC Music are actually quite delectable. First Swick dropped, Hey QT, which caused us to bowl over all our way out of the bathroom, and then Nina gave Sophie’s Lemonade a play and for a brief moment it felt like life would never be this good again. In no other song can you get down to the sound of fizzy lemonade and follow it up with 30 seconds of rave. In all seriousness though, the club is where sounds first arise and we’re pretty sure PC Music will be making its way into mainstream sound very soon. Katy Perry, Hey QT!
5. A Nina crowd knows How To Dress Well.
Unfortunately he wasn’t playing but the crowd and the acts were a well-dressed, dapper bunch of people. With many NLV t-shirts sold with the ticket, there was always going to be a fair share of Nina-clad people. There was also an abundance of emoji tees, which ensured that good feels were maintained for the night. The five artists also had some pretty impressive cloth too. Swick donned a New Age T-shirt, the new label by TEED, Sam Tiba was wearing a Nattofranco long-sleeved tee and Nina was wearing socks with mega-high heels that looked as if they hurt like shit.
6. Eclair Fifi is just like a strawberry eclair
Just to clarify, the Scottish heartstarter does not look like an eclair but her set very much sounded like one. Her set was sugary and sweet, yet it held this density to it in the four-to-the-floor beat that permeated. She effortlessly skated through a number of genres from bubblegum electronica to hip-hop, still managing to maintain the same consistency.
7. Sam Tiba is a dark lord
Leave it to the Parisian to make things a little moody. Amongst a bunch of perky, tempo-raising artists, Tiba delivered a brooding set of tunes with pulsating beats and ghostly synths. A particular highlight was when he dropped fellow Parisian, Para One’s You Too, lifting the mood a bit for Swick who was to follow.
8. Australians hold their own
Nina and Swick were the only Aussies on the International bill and they more than proved how good Australian electronic music is right now. Their two tracks together went down superbly, as previously mentioned, but both of them showed an acute awareness for what is going on overseas as well as what is happening locally. Swick’s track, Wishes, with Lewis Cancut and Tkay Maidza sounded like a bonafide anthem when it dropped and Nina’s tip of the hat to Peking Duk with her spin of High was an unexpectedly euphoric moment.
9. People do like good music
At one point in the night Nina thanked the crowd for liking “interesting music”, and it did feel good to be in a crowd of Australians lapping up music that wasn’t contrived or pretentious but rather feel-good. The crowd was pumping and certainly large enough to justify the decision to collect together the International lineup. And throughout the night, the bar remained mostly empty with the dancefloor the place to be. Melbourne, you did good. Real good.
10. We don’t know how to use a camera
Yes, we had a camera. And yes, we have nothing to show for it. It seemed our camera did not like our anarchic dance style and as such our photos are a blur, just like our night.
Note to future self: Wikihow 'camera shutter speed'.
Case in point.
It’s the 10th of the 10th and why don’t we just throw another 10 in the mix, in the form of the latest and greatest tracks from the week. Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, these are the 10 most important things you should be listening to this week.
When two of the hottest young Australian talents team up, you know you’re in for a treat. Very much like the duo themselves, Anywhere is a fresh, youthful track that bounces along with a playful charm and vigour. Referencing R&B, trap bass, tropical disco funk and modern day sound samplings, it’s a smorgasbord of genres and textures that the boys have successfully amalgamated into the next dancefloor ditty.
When you’re touring with Lorde, you know you’re doing something right. Fellow Kiwis, Yumi Zouma, are a fairly new band but by no means any less accomplished. First making an impact with their debut track, The Brae, they’ve now released the first track since their EP, Alema. Summery, hazy and evoking feelings of holiday nostalgia, the feather-light vocals and lush synths are carried confidently along by carefully-restrained ‘90s dance-keys. Feel free to add this one to your road trip playlist.
Sometimes it’s just inevitable that a band is going to breakthrough. Years & Years give us that feeling of inevitability with their dance/indie-rock/RnB crossover sound. They’ve got a sound that pleases the bloggers as well as having the potential to crossover onto radio. Desire is a perfect example for the aforementioned. It’s an upbeat, delectably melodic track with a tropical dance-vibe to it taking us to a jungle we haven’t seen since Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda track. Terrible timing to release this for British winter. Perfect timing that we get it for our Summer.
We’re still unable to put a face to a name for any of these PC Music releases but who cares when they keep churning out the most mind-bending, divisive songs since Aqua’s Dr. Jones. The latest is from Danny L Harle and it’s actually one of the more digestible tunes we’ve heard from the label. In saying that, it still sounds like Siri’s debut single built on manic strings and climaxing toy beats. This may sound like a bad thing but it’s not at all. Brilliant, again.
Oh, Jessie, Jessie, Jessie; you can do no wrong! Pieces is another bold statement from the London songstress as she executes each and every note and its subtle nuances like a true goddess. Bordering on pop territory but restraining just enough, Ware has pulled off another stunning ballad to add to the Tough Love collection. Just try not to shout this one from the rooftops.
Jeremo LOL and Samo Sound Boy’s DJ Dodger Stadium record is one of our favourites of this year so it’s with absolute delight that we accept a new Jerome LOL song into our hearts this week. Burton Hall sees LOL step away from the abrasive personality of the DJ Dodger Stadium tracks and embrace a gently undulating tune that’s far softer but no less effective. The man is a genius in choosing the most easily swallowed vocal samples. Every time that high-pitched vocal makes an appearance we melt.
Nina Las Vegas has dipped her toe into the world of production and the result is most excellent. Teaming up with fellow beatmaker, Swick, Flash Auto is an instant club banger that delves into trance heavy electro and is just anxious to be tested out on a real-life dancefloor. Nina’s sure to get people’s blood pumping and heart racing when she (hopefully) tests this one out at her NLV Presents tour, kicking off in Perth tonight.
No, we haven’t picked up a CD from your parents’ dinner party music collection. Toronto trio, BADBADNOTGOOD, have taken the jazz from the smokey club and transformed it into a modern day melody. While jazz can be a tricky one to get a hold of, why not just let the smooth grooves of Velvet get a hold of you, and allow them to whisk you away to yesteryear. Crack open a cigar and ask for another scotch on the rocks; you’re in this one for the long haul. Good times and great classic hits, brought to you by BBNG.
You heard the euphoric, full-bodied melodies of La+ch’s, Nights, and now the Toronto producer has laid his midas touch on Shan Vincent de Paul’s, lush, anthemic, Some Girls. Donate all your clothes to this collection bin, ladies and gentlemen, cos’ this tune is hot, hot, hot. Summer is here and de Paul’s smooth melodies will get you grooving all night long.
In a somewhat pensive reflection of their dance-pop extravaganza that was their pairing with Swedish singer, Robyn, Röyksopp’s latest offering, You Know I Have To Go provides a different mood to what we’ve seen from the Tromsø synth duo lately. They’ve taken the mood down several notches, reducing the thermostat from red hot and plunging it right down to sub-zero temperatures. Slow-building with a sense of foreboding, the frosty synths combined with Jamie McDermott’s imploring vocals create a tension that teeters on the edge, right until the very end, so don’t expect any kind of relief from the finale. In a statement about the song, Röyksopp has said:
“The attraction and the doubt; the dilemma as whether to succumb to one’s feelings or not. The sheer length of the track is meant to illustrate the prolonging internal struggle between reason and lust.”
Catch the song and the accompanying, ellipses-abundant lyrics here.
the interns' fave DJ, radio host and party gal, Nina Las Vegas, has teamed up with Diplo-certified, Melbourne beat-maker Swick on her very first official release. In the form of a two-track EP entitled Don't Send, both singles are a promising first offering from Vegas with the trademark production finesse of Swick shining through. The title track, Don't Send, ebbs and flows with funky horn instrumentals, high-pitched vocals and an energetic, throbbing bass line, whereas the second track, Flash Auto is a faster-paced affair, accessorised with quivering synths over a pounding, club-ready backdrop.
Nina has said of dipping her toe into the world of production:
"I've worked at triple j and DJed pretty much since I left high school, but before that I was in bands, musicals and sung a lot of jazz around Wagga (cool, aye?) Building up the courage to use all my production knowledge (shout out to using Abelton daily!) and admitting that I wanted to do something of my own... yeh, well it's happened."
Giving a shout out to her musical pals, Anna Lunoe, The Aston Shuffle, Emoh Instead and Ta-ku on her Facebook page, Vegas stated she was "super nervous" about the release but, judging by this strong first release, the Triple J Mix-Up Exclusives Host has nothing to worry about.