"You cannot go anywhere without hearing a f**king Ed Sheeran song."
"You cannot go anywhere without hearing a f**king Ed Sheeran song."
"The kind of girl that is going to love this track probably wears 3-Eye Doc Martens with lacey socks and smokes weed on the weekends at her best girlfriends’ feminist slam poetry event in Marrickville": New music roundtable reviewed.
The Preatures are back baby!
The music scene in Sydney is bursting with talent, but between the plethora of international acts and growing number of lesser known artists performing each week, it can be tricky to choose where to spend your time and cash. Here at the interns, we make it our mission to fit in as much music into each week as humanly possible. This week there’s plenty to get around including some live bands, producers, and a brand new festival concept around Oxford Street.
Friday 28th August @ Newtown Social Club
How Much: $15.00
Known best for implanting his unique style on killer remixes of music by artists like the xx and SAFIA, electro beatmaker Paces has really come into his own recently, releasing a bunch of killer original tracks. Now you can catch him bringing his beats live down at Newtown Social Club this Friday for a one-off show. Tickets available on the door or here.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/pacesmusic/bamboo-2[/soundcloud]
Friday 28th August @ The Metro Theatre
How Much? $39.81
Having jaunted around the country more than once in support of last year's stonking debut album Blue Planet Eyes, The Preatures are once again bringing their live act to the stage for a tour in support of their latest single Cruel. The local five-piece, led by charismatic singer Isabella Manfredi, are playing a late-winter show this week at the Metro Theatre. Tix at Ticketek.
Friday 28th August @ Oxford Art Factory
How Much: $23.10
Oh Mercy are in the midst of an Australia-wide tour in support of their latest LP, ‘When We Talk About Love’. The album was written across three American cities and finished off back him in Australia, and carries a worldly feel to it. Their Sydney stop comes this weekend in the form of a show at the Oxford Art Factory, and you can still grab outrageously cheap tickets here.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/ohmercyhq/sandy[/soundcloud]
SAFIA (DJ SET)
Friday 28th August @ Chinese Laundry
How Much: $27.70
Taking time out of their busy national tour schedule, SAFIA will be down at notorious nightclub Chinese Laundry for a DJ set that will be sure to include some of their latest releases. Don’t miss this chance to see the Canberra boys get down and dirty in a bass-vibed atmosphere that will surely shed a new light on their music. Tickets at Chinese Laundry.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/safia-music/safia-embracing-me[/soundcloud]
VOLUMES 2015 FESTIVAL
Saturday 29th August @ Brighton Up Bar, Oxford Art Factory and The Cliff Dive
How Much: $43.90 - $64.30
VOLUMES 2015 is a brand new music concept debuting this weekend across three incredible venues on and around Oxford Street. From the VOLUMES website; “from tropical psychedelic discos to gritty post-punk dungeons and all-encompassing walls of sound, VOLUMES will be an experience which will push the boundaries of dynamics and energy in a truly unique live music event.” It’s shaping up to be the start of something incredible, and final release tickets are selling fast here.
Friday, 28th August @ Goodgod Small Club
How Much? $15.00
Party legends Heaps Gay have lined-up a killer bunch of artists for their Heaps Good party at GoodGod on Friday. Bad Ezzy, DJ Levins, Victoria Kim and more will be spinning tunes alongside performers, projections and drag. Apparently it's also wear purple day, so you'd better get your colour for the night sorted. All proceeds from the event will be going to Oxfam so go and do your good deed for the week and boogie-down while doing so. Check the deets here.
In a climate where many of its fellow festival are dropping like flies, Groovin The Moo is an unexpected success story. Now in its tenth year, the festival has continually grown, delivering a better and better lineup each year. This year it has sold out four of its six legs and while Canberra was one of those that didn't sell out, the grounds were packed with excitable punters ready to dip into all the goodness the lineup had to offer.
A$AP Ferg perhaps looked a little out-of-place on the lineup as the only international hip-hop act but it didn't stop him from tearing the join apart. The trap-king had the Moolin Rouge pumping very early in the day, making a small but extremely hyped crowd very sweaty. While his set was mostly light-hearted he used part of it to address the situation in Baltimore saying, "I don't give a fuck if you're black, I don't give a fuck if you're white, I don't give a fuck if you're Puerto Rican or Asian." It was good to see that behind some of his ridiculous lyrics, there was someone very willing to use his status for messages of equality.
The Preatures are worlds away from A$AP Ferg but both of them are masters of swelling the crowd into hysteria. With their gritty, Aussie rock aesthetic Isabella Manfredi and co delivered a stellar set of tracks mostly taken from their debut album Blue Planet Eyes. The band is tight but Manfredi is a phenomenal front woman with her effortless charisma recalling images of the late Chrissy Amphlett. In songs like Better Than It Ever Could Be she adopts a vocal growl but then can switch it to a sweet trill on something like Somebody's Talking. As she emptied a bottle of water on her head it was clear that Manfredi intended to leave everything she had on that stage. Closer Is This How You Feel? is still the crowd favourite but there are plenty others, like the funk-driven Cruel, which are just as pleasing.
As the sun began to set on what had been a rare warm day in Canberra, 11 year-old native Black Summer took to the stage for his first DJ set, warming up for Carmada. triple j Unerathed may be hyping him up because it's a great story but there's no doubt the kid has serious talent and will be a force to be reckoned when he's the age of most of the producers on the bill. Around the same time we also spotted a kid wearing an RL Grime hat, confirming that kids these days have traded totem tennis for electronic music.
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Carmada had a tough job ahead of them to outshine Black Summer but they're seasoned pros at this now and looked more comfortable than ever as a duo. They delivered essentially a party set with throbbing bass filling every corner of the Moolin Rouge. Their latest single On Fire received the biggest wrap from the crowd sans Charli XCX. That was until they dropped Blink 182's What's My Age Again and awoke the frustrated teen in all of us.
Charli XCX was probably one of the biggest drawcards on the bill. With plenty of hits and a number of all-star collabs in the bag, she's perfectly tread a line between cult-hero and mainstream popstar. They're the kind of acts that go down the best at festivals and Charli took to the stage, dropped a bag of hits on the crowd and left them in a sweaty mess. To go into a little more detail, Charli stalked the stage in a leopard print onesie and moved through everything from the punk-inspired Break The Rules to Icona Pop's I Love It which she wrote herself. She said little more in between songs than the titles but she didn't need to. She's naturally charismatic with the charm of Josie (& the Pussycats) combined with rough and tumble of Joan Jett. It was interesting to see that Boom Clap was the one that really resonated with the crowd given that tracks like Gold Coins and Doing It have far more raucous energy. Her solo version of Fancy proved she was there to have a good time and give the crowd exactly what they wanted even without I.G.G.Y.
Canberra gets mighty cold when the sun disappears but the Moolin Rouge became suddenly steamy when Broods took to the stage. In 12 months the brother and sister duo from New Zealand have gone from shy newbies to confident highlights with frontwoman Georgia Nott killing it in a Rita Ora Adidas getup. Their mild debut album Evergreen is given a total facelift live with bolstered percussion and vocals with added grunt. Bridges blew the roof off with its dazzling electronic chorus while Everytime was aggressive and forceful. Nott's smooth dance moves proved she'd successfully transformed into a fully-fledged popstar. The way she handled the chorus of closer Mother & Father showed she was perfectly capable of pushing things more and more. The crowd adored them and it really felt as if Broods had fully realised the capabilities of their music in the live arena.
Following Broods, Phil Jamieson warmed-up the crowd with party hits but nothing could have prepared them for the onslaught that was RL Grime. Word has spread around the country over the last few weeks about just how special his shows have been and he showed Canberra exactly why. The WeDidIt producer held nothing back as he absolutely tore the joint apart with pulsating track after pulsating track hitting every accent with a sharp hook and moving towards climaxes as if he had an army to conquer. He dropped everything from Drake to Kanye but nothing could beat the moment that Core created. The track, which has become a staple of many DJ sets over the past year, created a death circle and sweaty bodies moshing from the front row to the back. From there things just got crazier and crazier with the crowd descending into anarchy (safe, might we add). It had the aggression of a rock show and he orchestrated the whole thing masterfully. Just phenomenal.
RL Grime was always going to be an almost impossible act to beat, but leave it to local heroes Flight Facilities and their ability to make a whole crowd swoon to do it. They occupy a far calmer spectrum of the dance world to RL Grime but the crowd was just as adoring. As we took flight the boys infused funk, deep-house and retro pop together for a flawless hour-set. While they're brilliant up there in their aviation costumes, they would be nothing without sex-kitten Owl Eyes up the front prowling around. Her voice is sublime and her dance moves are slinky and angular. She played the perfect host weaving her honey-soaked vocals through Crave You and her own feature Heart Attack. Flight Facilities have amassed so many great tunes and they rightfully deserve their place at the helm of most festival lineups.
Based on the strength of this year it seems as if Groovin The Moo will continue to be a main player in the Australian festival scene. It's a great way of bringing business and music to rural areas and is also well-organised. It seems as if it has the formula down-pat. Now all it needs is a lineup better than this year's to keep punters flooding back.
Gallery: Groovin The Moo, Canberra 3 May 2015
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
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
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]
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]
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. 1
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kerokerobonito/sick-beat[/soundcloud]
There's certainly somebody talking, and that's the fans of The Preatures who woke up this morning to an official release date for their album as well as a new single from said album. After Two Tone Melody soothed our ears and calmed our souls a few months back, Somebody's Talking is one to get you up and moving again with a bouncy tempo shining through the Sydney outfit's signature '80s-inspired pop rock sound. Driven by a groovy guitar riff, it is the closest thing to Is This How You Feel yet.
Blue Planet Eyes is out on September 26 in Australia.
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/thepreatures/somebodys-talking[/soundcloud]
For this week's reviews we're delving into all things pop. Whether it's straight up, glitter-pop or left-of-centre pop, we're dipping our toes in all things melodic. It takes us to some unsettling EDM territory, vintage Hollywood and the '80s. Those things combined have to mean a good time...right?
Sam: I did love Let Me Down Gently but this is what I expected from La Roux. Elly Jackson is an exquisite pop creator and this sort of reminds me of Bowie’s Let’s Dance . Mandating everyone to ‘move, move move’ is always a good idea. I’ve probably played this in excess of 20 times this week. 4.5 Sam’s Pick
Lizzie: Can I really understand what she’s saying? No not really. Do I care? No a cent. I’m mesmerised too much by her boppy poppy beat. La Roux delivers again and again. My vote for consistently giving me chills! 4 Lizzie’s Pick
Hannah: This song reminds me of a long lost old friend that suddenly walks back into your life. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable and it’s damn good to see them again. Now move, move, move. 3.5
Bianca: So good to have Elly back in my ears. Does my vote still count if this listen was about my 30th impression? 4.5 Bianca’s Pick
Sam: Damn Dev Hynes is such a brilliant pop-producer. There’s a glistening charm to this, which he’s done, without much help from Kylie I’m sure. It’s for a good cause but my goodness the video is a stinker. Truth be told, I really don’t mind the song though. #TeamKylie. 3
Lizzie: NOTE: DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO CLIP. It is god awful. The song on the other hand, follows yet another perfect recipe for pop catchiness. Produced by Blood Orange (say what!?), I feel I’ve been transported back to a 90’s Blue Light Disco…may have even caught myself singing this in the shower this morning. Miss Minogue you’ve done it to me again. 3.5
Hannah: ….but… but… it just doesn’t go anywhere? 2
Bianca: I want to hate this video clip so bad but it takes me back to my hairbrush-singing-in-the-mirror days that I can’t help but feel nostalgic. That’s probably where my affection ends though. To put it bluntly, I certainly wouldn’t be turning my chair around for this one. 2
Sam: Isabella Manfredi’s vocals are pure sex. I feel like they hark back to Chrissy Amphlett in the way of that really gritty, smokey tone. I’m so glad they’ve gone for a slow tempo and understated melody so that Manfredi can take the spotlight. 4
Lizzie: Well hello Ministry of Sound Chill Out album 2014. It kinda makes me want to move to Byron Bay for some reason. I feel that’s a good thing…The vocals by Manfredi, really own this song. Simple, majestic and fluid. 4
Hannah: Manfredi, I’m yours, I’m yours I’m yours. Simultaneously melancholic, whimsical and strangely hopeful, this song is destined for “soundtrack to your life” type lists everywhere. Excuse me while I go back to staring dreamily out of my rain strewn window. 3
Bianca: It’s an emotionally genuine, honest song but it wouldn’t feature on the soundtrack of my life. 3
Sam: Haxan Cloak’s production on this is the beginning is minimal brilliance but it’s all about 2:13 when it takes flight. The rollicking beat really smacks you in the stomach. It’s a very bold move for Wife to introduce himself this way, but it captures your attention. It’s all about the ebbs and flows. 3.5
Lizzie: This song does nothing for me. It’s too slow, harsh for the ears and general vibe is too intense for me. Just not my cup of tea sorry. 2
Hannah: The perfectly practised, totally atmospheric restraint of the first half of this track, coupled with the dark seduction and bone shattering anger of the climactic second has me hooked. Big, big, big fan. 4 Hannah’s Pick
Bianca: Probably not the best song for a hungover Monday morning but I can appreciate the raw emotions of the track. Hot tip: Do not search ‘wife + tongue’ on Youtube. Unless you’re into that kinda thing. 2.5
Sam: This is Lana’s second album and I still feel like we’re as far away from knowing who she actually is as ever. It’s still very vintage Hollywood. I like that she’s roughed it up a bit for Ultraviolence but it sounds like something I’d do at Karaoke at 4am in the morning, swaying, slightly off pitch and thinking I’m seducing everyone around. 2.5
Lizzie: Bond… James Bond. Is anyone else feeling that vibe – Daniel Craig shooting his gun into the distance in his newest franchise with this track echoing in the distance? I have utterly succumbed to the sexy broodiness of this song. 4 Lizzie’s very close second
Hannah: This week we’ve got the work of two major songstresses featured on First Impressions. First Kylie and now Ms Del Rey and yet I really feel neither of them delivers a track that goes anywhere I’m willing to go. Kylie’s chugs along a predictable pop princess route and Del Rey’s just crumbles into a sepia-toned car crash of messy guitar and percussion. It probably doesn’t help I hate Lana Del Rey at her best. 1.5
Bianca: If you’re a Lana Del Rey fan, you’ll no doubt be singing her praises for her latest track. If you’re not a fan, don’t worry, nothing’s changed. She’s the same Lana you know and don’t love. 2
Sam: Frankly, it’s a cheap rip-off of Daft Punk and the disco flavoured-EDM sound that has followed. The vocalist is devoid of any type of human-appeal and the instrumental is so bland I’d rather be eating wet wipes. If Deadmau5 took me for a ride in his car and made me endure this, I’d open the door and roll-out. Seeya! 0.5
Lizzie: He said he had this track lying around for a while, waiting to be released. He should have released it way back when…now it just sounds like a shitty electro attempt to cover the current funk disco vibe doing its rounds atm. (deadmau2.5)
Hannah: Yes Colleen D'Agostino you can move my body… away from the speakers pronto. And my mind is already well and truly asleep. Mission accomplished. Total yawn. 0.5
Bianca: Colleen’s voice makes me want to put a giant mouse on her head just so I don’t have to hear that screech. The track certainly has amiable disco vibes about it but fails to take me to funky town. Points for effort, I guess. 2
If you've been sleeping on new music this week, consider this your cramming. You probably haven't escaped the week without hearing about the new La Roux track, but there are a few other gems here that have slipped under the radar. You can read along below or jump straight to the Soundcloud playlist here.
1. La Roux- Uptight Downtown
La Roux’s first track from Trouble In Paradise, Let Me Down Gently, introduced us...gently. It was lovely, but we were all waiting for the heart-racing, pop moment she delivered up time and time again on her debut. Well, this is it. Uptight Downtown is an '80s-inspired number that encourages dancing in the street, inappropriate grinding and hairbrush singalongs. In other words, it’s pop perfection.
The Preatures have been busy overseas showing why Australian bands are the shit at the moment, however, they’re returning at the end of July for a run of shows. Along with the announcement they’ve released this newie. Two Tone Melody sees the band ease-up, creating a dusky, slow-burning track that centres around Isabella Manfredi’s smokey vocals.
3. Kyan- Taking The City
For an artist who’s been around for barely a minute, Kyan’s song-writing is so self assured and confident. Taking The City is another notch in his belt. It’s a glisteningly, clean production with a huge chorus to boot. Just try and resist the foray into rock territory in the song's final third.
4. Seekae- Test & Recognise
This is the second taster off Seekae’s forthcoming album The Worry. It sees the band take a more accessible approach to songwriting, ditching a largely instrumental aesthetic in favour of dark, RnB inspired vocals. It’s working well for them. Following Another, Test & Recognise is yet another hugely enticing track.
5. Rebecca Clements- Wildlife
If you’re in need of a cry at the end of the week, this is the track to do it to. This is 19 year-old British-singer, Rebecca Clements’ debut track and it’s a haunting ode to breaking free. Instrumentally, it’s really only the guitar and Clements voice but she has a lyrical prowess holds your interest. “We try to run free but we’re two lost strays, all caught up in the mess we’ve made”, she sings ethereally and in total control.
6. TALA- On My Own In Hua Hin
TALA is quickly becoming one of the key innovators on the scene at the moment. This is the latest cut from her upcoming The Duchess EP is another chopped and screwed beauty. There’s a touch of Santigold to it, a bit of M.I.A and a whole lot of TALA.
7. DEADMAU5- SeeYa (Feat. Colleen)
This is a bit of a detour of sound for the man in the Mickey Mouse hat. Seemingly inspired by Daft Punk, he’s opted for a funky bassline and robotic synths in yet another indication that EDM is changing its tack sound-wise.
8. jj- All White Everything
Enigmatic Swedish duo, jj, are certainly not a conventional pair. They occasionally cover rap songs, drop songs out of the blue and are short on imaginative album titles (V is the forthcoming effort). It’s lucky then that they’re music speaks volumes. All White Everything is a delicate track that builds that effortlessly builds but never quite reaches the climax. It’s that restraint that makes it so intriguing.
9. Meanwhile- Bigger City
Meanwhile is sure to become a name to watch. He’s been hand picked by La Roux to support her on her upcoming comeback tour which seems like a perfect match. Like La Roux, this track is coated in '80s pastiche with unapologetic synths and hip-shaking bass. Bigger City may be the funnest track you hear this week.
10. Digitalism- Wolves (Feat. Youngblood Hawke) (RAC Remix)
RAC have a knack of remixing songs to make them even more accessible than their original. This is a radio-ready, indie-pop remix of Digitalism. It’s perky, sunshine-induced and you’ll want to hate it. But you can’t. The careless indie-pop textures are irresistable.