ALBUMS3

the interns' Best Albums Of 2015: Honourable Mentions And Staff Lists

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These are the albums that didn't quite make the main list but were brilliant nonetheless...

HiatusHiatus Kaiyote
Choose Your Weapon
If there was ever a band to not only recognise the rule book for genre conventions, but to then throw said book deftly into the wind, Hiatus Kaiyote would surely be at the fore. The Melbourne act’s sophomore outing Choose Your Weapon improves strongly on the foundations laid by their debut, faultlessly moulding jazz, soul, funk and a splash of electronica into an exhilarating and uncompromising 70 minute adventure. Never prone to incorporate half measures, the record is constantly changing with deep bass reigning supreme on the jittery Laputa, Nai Palm’s sultry jazz-infused vocals soothing on Breathing Underwater, and Atari receiving a breakneck tempo and 8-bit electronic treatment. Hiatus Kaiyote’s Choose Your Weapon is an incredible achievement by a band who fully deserve your attention. - Ben Kyi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gang Of YouthsGang Of Youths
The Positions
The Positions came to fruition over the space of a two year period and tells of the tumultuous relationship between Gang of Youths’ frontman David Leaupepe and a woman diagnosed with terminal cancer. An album birthed out of sheer necessity, The Positions manages to maintain an uplifting air of defiance while painting a sprawling picture of grief, loss and ultimately hope. It is one thing to delve into such a heavy subject matter on your debut long player, but it is another entirely when the kind of precision and finesse displayed in the execution reflects that of an act far beyond their mere years would suggest. Anchored by the incredible vocal range delivered by Leaupepe, from the rollicking Poison Drum and the triumphant Magnolia, to the heartbreak of Kansas and Sjamboksa, The Positions is beautiful, raw, honest and far reaching indie rock where risk pays off in hefty rewards. - Ben Kyi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AlisonAlison Wonderland
Run
There was no need for Alison Wonderland to release a full album. Before Run she was already playing some of the world’s biggest stages and had released a steady handful of stellar tracks including I Want U. She could’ve gone on releasing singles and had a huge year but instead she applied herself to an album and thank goodness she did. Run is by far the biggest Australian electronic album of the year - a conglomeration of huge drops, room-shattering synths and howling vocals that soundtrack hazy late nights. Opener Run is a swelling, behemoth of a song but tracks like Games prove she knows how to craft a perfect pop song. It’s an ambitious and honest project that establishes AW as the person most well-equipped to change the face of Australian electronic music. Listening to it now, it feels like a triumphant victory lap. - Sam Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SampaSampa The Great
The Great Mixtape
If you were asked to name an Australian female rapper right, you’d say Iggy Azalea. It’s nothing to be ashamed of but you would. Sampa may have been born and raised in Africa but she’s living in Sydney now and she’s the female voice in hip-hop we so desperately need. The Great Mixtape, as the name suggests, is just a mixtape but it’s still one of the best local releases of the year. It’s a vibrant trip through experimental, jazz-infused beats with verses that set her well on the way to being recognised among the likes of Lauryn Hill, Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper. She traverses topics of identity, feminism and race all the while laughing in between tracks. “I’m an F E M A L E from the ghetto,” she raps on F E M A L E simultaneously announcing to us all the she’s an absolute boss. No new artist in this country was as exciting as Sampa in 2015 and that’s because there was no other record worldwide that sounded like this. - Sam Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SamoSamo Sound Boy
Begging Please
People too often write club records off as not having heart. It may be because of the atmosphere that they’re consumed in and because they often lack lyrics but Samo Sound Boy’s emotional Begging Please disapproved that this year. The album is a story of heartbreak told through built up climaxes that are then scattered like dust and swelling vocal samples that are interlaced with isolated synths. He may only use vocals in the form of repetitive samples but he uses them to swell emotion. What Can I Do is full of desperation, Got It Bad is love drunk while Save Wait Time brims with hope. As dark as it gets, it still feels like he’s getting over the heartbreak with every song particularly when it ends with the nostalgic but euphoric You Come For Me. - Sam Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DawnDawn Richard
Blackheart
2015’s most underrated release comes courtesy of former Danity Kane member Dawn Richard who's making genre-defying music at a rapid rate. Blackheart effortlessly melds together eccentric electronica with R&B moving from instrumental epics like Calypso to stomping bangers like Blow. At times her voice sounds superhuman and manipulated within an inch of its life but that’s because it’s treated like an instrument rather than a vessel for words. You never get the sense she’s forcing the verse/chorus structure rather moving with the music wherever it demands her. She goes on tribal, tropical and club-inspired detours but nothing ever feels out of place. Rather it's just all part of her experimental journey. - Sam Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LanaLana Del Rey
Honeymoon
Lana Del Rey’s career was almost over before it even began. Label involvement and the wrong producers turned her debut Born To Die into a glossy, manicured missfire but inch by inch she’s showed her artistry with Ultraviolence and this year the even better Honeymoon. Honeymoon trades the rock roughness of Ultraviolence for vintage Hollywood glamour that’s often more heartbreaking than glamorous a la the life of Marilyn Monroe. Terrence Loves You is a gorgeous jazz-influenced number, the title track is an infatuated ballad and Music To Watch Boys To is a creeping tale of lust. She never sounds in a rush, consistently choosing style over an immediate hit which realises her vision of bringing together the past and the vintage more than ever before. When she sings, “all I wanna do is get high by the beach,” you know that Lana finally gives zero fucks and that’s her greatest weapon right now. - Sam Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BieberJustin Bieber
Purpose
2015 was the year that it became ok to like Justin Bieber. Not because he stopped being a twat or because we all got to see his penis but because the music was just too good to deny. With lead-singles What Do You Mean and Sorry, key-producer Skrillex found a sound that nurtured Bieber’s smooth but limited voice and pulled him back from the far less accessible R&B world of Journals. Purpose is self-obsessed particularly when it ventures into ballad territory but that’s kind of what we’ve come to love about Bieber. Any other popstar singing, “What about the children?” would sound ridiculous but somehow Bieber turns it into a banger on Children. It seems he can do no wrong and it’s because Purpose is the biggest guilty pleasure of the year. So much so that everyone has set out to make excuses as to why it’s ok to like it. It’s ok to like it because it’s full of bloody good tunes and that’s the only explanation necessary. - Sam Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JulioBashmoreJulio Bashmore
Knockin’ Boots
Julio Bashmore had a big hand in the house revolution that shot Disclosure to fame with their debut album Settle but even though he was riding with a trend he didn’t rush his debut album. Knockin’ Boots came just as Disclosure were releasing their second album which pales in comparison to this record. It’s a joyous, euphoric and dance-ready exploration of deep house and all the different influences that have impacted it from disco to the ‘90s. The vocal sample on the opening title track is “we danced and danced ‘til we fell in love,” which is basically the mantra of the whole album. From the soulful seduction of For Your Love to the giddy flirtation of Let Me Be Your Weakness, it’s all about falling in love on the dancefloor. Bashmore’s had a very successful relationship with the dancefloor and it only seems to be getting stronger. - Sam Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AdeleAdele
25
Adele’s 21 was a huge, earth-shattering record but given the sheer size of it, it’s a testament to Adele that she actually managed to disappear. When she returned with the now iconic line, “hello, it’s me,” it felt as if we were hearing from a long lost friend. The voice was back and so was the forthright honesty. Sound-wise there’s nothing shocking about 25. She may try some bigger notes but it’s still a cross between soulful ditties and big ballads. What’s so special about Adele is everyone actually cares about the lyrics. We know she’s moved on from the man that broke her heart for 21 and on 25 she’s dealing with new love, a baby and fame while saying goodbye to her youth. “I’m so mad about getting old it makes me restless,” she sings on album highlight When We Were Young. It’s one of the album’s select goosebump moments because she shrieks vocally. Worrying about getting old is not a new sensation but no one says anything quite as succinctly and honestly as Adele. That’s why she’s breaking records, because she’s able to write about universal emotions in a way everybody can relate too. She may make it sound easy but it’s not. - Sam Murphy

Adele's 25 is not available on Spotify.

Wolf AliceWolf Alice
My Love Is Cool
The debut album from London four piece Wolf Alice is one of contrasts. Chaotic and grungy one moment, refined and delicate the next. Despite its tonal variations and genre bending, My Love is Cool remains an engaging, fully coherent and cohesive body of work. Your Loves Whore and Bros are incredibly catchy and heartfelt, while the hectic duo of Lisbon and Giant Peach show a band not afraid in the slightest to get their hands dirty. Frontwoman Ellie Rowsell oozes charisma and uses a fantastic set of lungs to full potential, as the musical backdrop shifts between the light and dark with ease. My Love Is Cool showcases a true sense of both wonder and a certain familiarity with dazzling results. - Ben Kyi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UMOUnknown Mortal Orchestra
Multi-Love
The subject matter of someone's album can be a crucial part of its rendering - think about The Streets' A Grand Don't Come For Free.  That is a story told throughout multiple songs, an aural journey of British slang and everyday life. Multi-Love is a story on a whole another level. A story not told by many, a story of a love triangle practically unheard of in the musical world, a story told with lo fi funk from a front man who boasts some of the best guitar work you'll see or hear. This album is about so much more than just music, and that's what is so exciting about it. - Jack Cain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD What Went Down.jpgFoals
What Went Down
This latest creative effort seems to channel the varying styles of previous albums and does so in the most satisfying and successful way. What Went Down also includes several tracks that follow what seems to be a growing trend for the group towards a slower, more introspective style of song. After getting dark and emotional on such tracks like London Thunder, which references the musical journey they have taken over time, the album then starts to get into the luminous funk that those who’ve been listening since Antidotes have come to expect from Yannis, Jack and co. Night Swimmers throws back to the gorgeously light guitar countermelodies that caught the ears of many back in 2008. Those expecting some proper British rock are treated to a couple of tracks that involve some seriously heavy basslines and much more intense vocal, through tracks like Snake Oil. In short summary, It’s not a record that is necessarily enhanced by being listened to as a whole, and perhaps that’s not what they were aiming for. What Went Down is exactly what it intends to be. - Zanda Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click through to page 2 for staff lists.

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These are the albums that didn't quite make the main list but were brilliant nonetheless...

HiatusHiatus Kaiyote
Choose Your Weapon
If there was ever a band to not only recognise the rule book for genre conventions, but to then throw said book deftly into the wind, Hiatus Kaiyote would surely be at the fore. The Melbourne act’s sophomore outing Choose Your Weapon improves strongly on the foundations laid by their debut, faultlessly moulding jazz, soul, funk and a splash of electronica into an exhilarating and uncompromising 70 minute adventure. Never prone to incorporate half measures, the record is constantly changing with deep bass reigning supreme on the jittery Laputa, Nai Palm’s sultry jazz-infused vocals soothing on Breathing Underwater, and Atari receiving a breakneck tempo and 8-bit electronic treatment. Hiatus Kaiyote’s Choose Your Weapon is an incredible achievement by a band who fully deserve your attention. - Ben Kyi

Gang Of YouthsGang Of Youths
The Positions
The Positions came to fruition over the space of a two year period and tells of the tumultuous relationship between Gang of Youths’ frontman David Leaupepe and a woman diagnosed with terminal cancer. An album birthed out of sheer necessity, The Positions manages to maintain an uplifting air of defiance while painting a sprawling picture of grief, loss and ultimately hope. It is one thing to delve into such a heavy subject matter on your debut long player, but it is another entirely when the kind of precision and finesse displayed in the execution reflects that of an act far beyond their mere years would suggest. Anchored by the incredible vocal range delivered by Leaupepe, from the rollicking Poison Drum and the triumphant Magnolia, to the heartbreak of Kansas and Sjamboksa, The Positions is beautiful, raw, honest and far reaching indie rock where risk pays off in hefty rewards. - Ben Kyi

AlisonAlison Wonderland
Run
There was no need for Alison Wonderland to release a full album. Before Run she was already playing some of the world’s biggest stages and had released a steady handful of stellar tracks including I Want U. She could’ve gone on releasing singles and had a huge year but instead she applied herself to an album and thank goodness she did. Run is by far the biggest Australian electronic album of the year - a conglomeration of huge drops, room-shattering synths and howling vocals that soundtrack hazy late nights. Opener Run is a swelling, behemoth of a song but tracks like Games prove she knows how to craft a perfect pop song. It’s an ambitious and honest project that establishes AW as the person most well-equipped to change the face of Australian electronic music. Listening to it now, it feels like a triumphant victory lap. - Sam Murphy

SampaSampa The Great
The Great Mixtape
If you were asked to name an Australian female rapper right, you’d say Iggy Azalea. It’s nothing to be ashamed of but you would. Sampa may have been born and raised in Africa but she’s living in Sydney now and she’s the female voice in hip-hop we so desperately need. The Great Mixtape, as the name suggests, is just a mixtape but it’s still one of the best local releases of the year. It’s a vibrant trip through experimental, jazz-infused beats with verses that set her well on the way to being recognised among the likes of Lauryn Hill, Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper. She traverses topics of identity, feminism and race all the while laughing in between tracks. “I’m an F E M A L E from the ghetto,” she raps on F E M A L E simultaneously announcing to us all the she’s an absolute boss. No new artist in this country was as exciting as Sampa in 2015 and that’s because there was no other record worldwide that sounded like this. - Sam Murphy

SamoSamo Sound Boy
Begging Please
People too often write club records off as not having heart. It may be because of the atmosphere that they’re consumed in and because they often lack lyrics but Samo Sound Boy’s emotional Begging Please disapproved that this year. The album is a story of heartbreak told through built up climaxes that are then scattered like dust and swelling vocal samples that are interlaced with isolated synths. He may only use vocals in the form of repetitive samples but he uses them to swell emotion. What Can I Do is full of desperation, Got It Bad is love drunk while Save Wait Time brims with hope. As dark as it gets, it still feels like he’s getting over the heartbreak with every song particularly when it ends with the nostalgic but euphoric You Come For Me. - Sam Murphy

DawnDawn Richard
Blackheart
2015’s most underrated release comes courtesy of former Danity Kane member Dawn Richard who's making genre-defying music at a rapid rate. Blackheart effortlessly melds together eccentric electronica with R&B moving from instrumental epics like Calypso to stomping bangers like Blow. At times her voice sounds superhuman and manipulated within an inch of its life but that’s because it’s treated like an instrument rather than a vessel for words. You never get the sense she’s forcing the verse/chorus structure rather moving with the music wherever it demands her. She goes on tribal, tropical and club-inspired detours but nothing ever feels out of place. Rather, it's just all part of her experimental journey. - Sam Murphy

LanaLana Del Rey
Honeymoon
Lana Del Rey’s career was almost over before it even began. Label involvement and the wrong producers turned her debut Born To Die into a glossy, manicured missfire but inch by inch she’s showed her artistry with Ultraviolence and this year the even better Honeymoon. Honeymoon trades the rock roughness of Ultraviolence for vintage Hollywood glamour that’s often more heartbreaking than glamorous a la the life of Marilyn Monroe. Terrence Loves You is a gorgeous jazz-influenced number, the title track is an infatuated ballad and Music To Watch Boys To is a creeping tale of lust. She never sounds in a rush, consistently choosing style over an immediate hit which realises her vision of bringing together the past and the vintage more than ever before. When she sings, “all I wanna do is get high by the beach,” you know that Lana finally gives zero fucks and that’s her greatest weapon right now. - Sam Murphy

BieberJustin Bieber
Purpose
2015 was the year that it became ok to like Justin Bieber. Not because he stopped being a twat or because we all got to see his penis but because the music was just too good to deny. With lead-singles What Do You Mean and Sorry, key-producer Skrillex found a sound that nurtured Bieber’s smooth but limited voice and pulled him back from the far less accessible R&B world of Journals. Purpose is self-obsessed particularly when it ventures into ballad territory but that’s kind of what we’ve come to love about Bieber. Any other popstar singing, “What about the children?” would sound ridiculous but somehow Bieber turns it into a banger on Children. It seems he can do no wrong and it’s because Purpose is the biggest guilty pleasure of the year. So much so that everyone has set out to make excuses as to why it’s ok to like it. It’s ok to like it because it’s full of bloody good tunes and that’s the only explanation necessary. - Sam Murphy

JulioBashmoreJulio Bashmore
Knockin’ Boots
Julio Bashmore had a big hand in the house revolution that shot Disclosure to fame with their debut album Settle but even though he was riding with a trend he didn’t rush his debut album. Knockin’ Boots came just as Disclosure were releasing their second album which pales in comparison to this record. It’s a joyous, euphoric and dance-ready exploration of deep house and all the different influences that have impacted it from disco to the ‘90s. The vocal sample on the opening title track is “we danced and danced ‘til we fell in love,” which is basically the mantra of the whole album. From the soulful seduction of For Your Love to the giddy flirtation of Let Me Be Your Weakness, it’s all about falling in love on the dancefloor. Bashmore’s had a very successful relationship with the dancefloor and it only seems to be getting stronger. - Sam Murphy

AdeleAdele
25
Adele’s 21 was a huge, earth-shattering record but given the sheer size of it, it’s a testament to Adele that she actually managed to disappear. When she returned with the now iconic line, “hello, it’s me,” it felt as if we were hearing from a long lost friend. The voice was back and so was the forthright honesty. Sound-wise there’s nothing shocking about 25. She may try some bigger notes but it’s still a cross between soulful ditties and big ballads. What’s so special about Adele is everyone actually cares about the lyrics. We know she’s moved on from the man that broke her heart for 21 and on 25 she’s dealing with new love, a baby and fame while saying goodbye to her youth. “I’m so mad about getting old it makes me restless,” she sings on album highlight When We Were Young. It’s one of the album’s select goosebump moments because she shrieks vocally. Worrying about getting old is not a new sensation but no one says anything quite as succinctly and honestly as Adele. That’s why she’s breaking records, because she’s able to write about universal emotions in a way everybody can relate too. She may make it sound easy but it’s not. - Sam Murphy

Wolf AliceWolf Alice
My Love Is Cool
The debut album from London four piece Wolf Alice is one of contrasts. Chaotic and grungy one moment, refined and delicate the next. Despite its tonal variations and genre bending, My Love is Cool remains an engaging, fully coherent and cohesive body of work. Your Loves Whore and Bros are incredibly catchy and heartfelt, while the hectic duo of Lisbon and Giant Peach show a band not afraid in the slightest to get their hands dirty. Frontwoman Ellie Rowsell oozes charisma and uses a fantastic set of lungs to full potential, as the musical backdrop shifts between the light and dark with ease. My Love Is Cool showcases a true sense of both wonder and a certain familiarity with dazzling results. - Ben Kyi

UMOUnknown Mortal Orchestra
Multi-Love
The subject matter of someone's album can be a crucial part of its rendering - think about The Streets' A Grand Don't Come For Free.  That is a story told throughout multiple songs, an aural journey of British slang and everyday life. Multi-Love is a story on a whole another level. A story not told by many, a story of a love triangle practically unheard of in the musical world, a story told with lo fi funk from a front man who boasts some of the best guitar work you'll see or hear. This album is about so much more than just music, and that's what is so exciting about it. - Jack Cain

CD What Went Down.jpgFoals
What Went Down
This latest creative effort seems to channel the varying styles of previous albums and does so in the most satisfying and successful way. What Went Down also includes several tracks that follow what seems to be a growing trend for the group towards a slower, more introspective style of song. After getting dark and emotional on such tracks like London Thunder, which references the musical journey they have taken over time, the album then starts to get into the luminous funk that those who’ve been listening since Antidotes have come to expect from Yannis, Jack and co. Night Swimmers throws back to the gorgeously light guitar countermelodies that caught the ears of many back in 2008. Those expecting some proper British rock are treated to a couple of tracks that involve some seriously heavy basslines and much more intense vocal, through tracks like Snake Oil. In short summary, It’s not a record that is necessarily enhanced by being listened to as a whole, and perhaps that’s not what they were aiming for. What Went Down is exactly what it intends to be. - Zanda Wilson

Click through to page 2 for staff lists.

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Sam Murphy
Editor
1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
2. Jamie xx - In Colour
3. Grimes - Art Angels
4. Tame Impala - Currents
5. Empress Of - Me
6. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
7. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
8. Beach House - Depression Cherry
9. Dawn Richard - Wildheart
10. Carly Rae Jepsen - E.MO.TION

Bianca Bosso
Creative Director
1. Tame Impala - Currents
2. Jamie xx - In Colour
3. Grimes - Art Angels
4. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
5. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
6. Beach House - Depression Cherry
7. Miguel - Wildheart
8. Justin Bieber - Purpose
9. Christine & The Queens - Christine & The Queens
10. Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon

Zanda Wilson
Contributor
1. Tame Impala - Currents
2. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye
3. Foals - What Went Down
4. Grimes - Art Angels
5. The Wombats - Glitterbug
6. Hermitude - Dark Night Sweet Light
7. Last Dinosaurs - Wellness
8. San Cisco - Gracetown
9. Jamie xx - In Colour
10. Alison Wonderland - Run

Ben Kyi
Contributor
1. Gang of Youths – The Positions
2. Grimes – Art Angels
3. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
4. Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
5. Enter Shikari – The Mindsweep
6. Jamie xx – In Colour
7. Fightstar – Behind The Devil’s Back
8. The Staves – If I Was
9. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
10. Blur – The Magic Whip

Meshell Webb
Contributor
Point Point - Contrastive Focus Reduplication
Björk - Vulnicura
Tyler, The Creator - Cherrybomb
Mew - +-
Daniel Johns - Talk
Jaga Jazzist - Starfire
Towkio - .Wav Theory
Battles - La Di Da Di
Alina Baraz & Galimatias - Urban Flora
Dillon Francis - This Mixtape is Fire

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Sam Murphy
Editor
1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
2. Jamie xx - In Colour
3. Grimes - Art Angels
4. Tame Impala - Currents
5. Empress Of - Me
6. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
7. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
8. Beach House - Depression Cherry
9. Dawn Richard - Wildheart
10. Carly Rae Jepsen - E.MO.TION

Bianca Bosso
Creative Director
1. Tame Impala - Currents
2. Jamie xx - In Colour
3. Grimes - Art Angels
4. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
5. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
6. Beach House - Depression Cherry
7. Miguel - Wildheart
8. Justin Bieber - Purpose
9. Christine & The Queens - Christine & The Queens
10. Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon

Zanda Wilson
Contributor
1. Tame Impala - Currents
2. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye
3. Foals - What Went Down
4. Grimes - Art Angels
5. The Wombats - Glitterbug
6. Hermitude - Dark Night Sweet Light
7. Last Dinosaurs - Wellness
8. San Cisco - Gracetown
9. Jamie xx - In Colour
10. Alison Wonderland - Run

Ben Kyi
Contributor
1. Gang of Youths – The Positions
2. Grimes – Art Angels
3. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
4. Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
5. Enter Shikari – The Mindsweep
6. Jamie xx – In Colour
7. Fightstar – Behind The Devil’s Back
8. The Staves – If I Was
9. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
10. Blur – The Magic Whip

Meshell Webb
Contributor
Point Point - Contrastive Focus Reduplication
Björk - Vulnicura
Tyler, The Creator - Cherrybomb
Mew - +-
Daniel Johns - Talk
Jaga Jazzist - Starfire
Towkio - .Wav Theory
Battles - La Di Da Di
Alina Baraz & Galimatias - Urban Flora
Dillon Francis - This Mixtape is Fire

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Pages: 1 2

SongsOfTheYear_SoFar

The Best Songs Of 2015 So Far...

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

Illustrations by Bianca Bosso.

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

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

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TkayMaidza

29. Tkay Maidza
M.O.B.

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

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HotChip

28. Hot Chip
Need You Now

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

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Elliphant

27. Elliphant
Love Me Badder

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

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Nao

26. Nao
Apple Cherry

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

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TheWeeknd

25. The Weeknd
I Can't Feel My Face

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

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Eves

24. Eves The Behavior
Electrical

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

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TameImpala_Eventually

23. Tame Impala
Eventually

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

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FourFiveSeconds

22. Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
FourFiveSeconds

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

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Grimes

21. Grimes
REALiTi

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

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CourtneyBarnett

20. Courtney Barnett
Depreston

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

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Florence

19. Florence + The Machine
Ship To Wreck

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

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TobiasJessoJr

18. Tobias Jesso Jr.
How Could You Babe

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

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Jamiexx_Gosh

17. Jamie xx
Gosh

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

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FatherJohnMisty

16. Father John Misty
Bored In The USA

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

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KanyeWest

15. Kanye West
All Day

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

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Drake

14. Drake
Energy

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

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Miguel

13. Miguel
Coffee (Fucking)

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

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HudsonMohawke

12. Hudson Mohawke
Ryderz

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

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ActionBronson

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

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

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Years&Years

10. Years & Years
King

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

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

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Kelela

9. Kelela
A Message

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

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Kendrick

8. Kendrick Lamar
King Kunta

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

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Skepta

7. Skepta
Shutdown

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

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TameImpala_CauseImAMan

6. Tame Impala
'Cause I'm A Man

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

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UMO

5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Multi-Love

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

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Tink

4. Tink
Ratchet Commandments

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

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Kendrick_BlackerBerry

3. Kendrick Lamar
The Blacker The Berry

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

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TameImpala_LetItHappen

2. Tame Impala
Let It Happen

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

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Jamiexx_LoudPlaces

1. Jamie xx
Loud PLaces (Feat. Romy)

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

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

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[device]

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

Illustrations by Bianca Bosso.

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

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

TkayMaidza

29. Tkay Maidza
M.O.B.

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

HotChip

28. Hot Chip
Need You Now

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

Elliphant

27. Elliphant
Love Me Badder

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

Nao

26. Nao
Apple Cherry

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

TheWeeknd

25. The Weeknd
I Can't Feel My Face

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

Eves

24. Eves The Behavior
Electrical

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

TameImpala_Eventually

23. Tame Impala
Eventually

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

FourFiveSeconds

22. Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
FourFiveSeconds

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

Grimes

21. Grimes
REALiTi

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

CourtneyBarnett

20. Courtney Barnett
Depreston

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

Florence

19. Florence + The Machine
Ship To Wreck

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

TobiasJessoJr

18. Tobias Jesso Jr.
How Could You Babe

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

Jamiexx_Gosh

17. Jamie xx
Gosh

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

FatherJohnMisty

16. Father John Misty
Bored In The USA

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

KanyeWest

15. Kanye West
All Day

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

Drake

14. Drake
Energy

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

Miguel

13. Miguel
Coffee (Fucking)

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

HudsonMohawke

12. Hudson Mohawke
Ryderz

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

ActionBronson

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

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

Years&Years

10. Years & Years
King

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

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

Kelela

9. Kelela
A Message

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

Kendrick

8. Kendrick Lamar
King Kunta

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

Skepta

7. Skepta
Shutdown

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

TameImpala_CauseImAMan

6. Tame Impala
'Cause I'm A Man

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

UMO

5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Multi-Love

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

Tink

4. Tink
Ratchet Commandments

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

Kendrick_BlackerBerry

3. Kendrick Lamar
The Blacker The Berry

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

TameImpala_LetItHappen

2. Tame Impala
Let It Happen

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

Jamiexx_LoudPlaces

1. Jamie xx
Loud PLaces (Feat. Romy)

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

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

[/device]

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Stream Unknown Mortal Orchestra's New Album 'Multi-Love'

We've been waiting patiently for this one since we first heard the title track but today we wait no more. NPR are streaming Multi-Love, the debut album by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Helmed by frontman Ruban Nielson, the album is a dizzying journey through soulful melodies, psychedelic instrumentals and introspective tales. It's by far the most accessible record yet by UMO, marking a move towards more polished tunes. Multi-Love is officially out this Friday but you can stream it right now.

Listen here. 

Tracklist:
1. Multi-Love
2. Like Acid Rain
3. Ur Life One Night
4. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
5. Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty
6. The World Is Crowded
7. Stage or Screen
8. Necessary Evil
9. Puzzles

FI_27Apr_Small

First Impressions: Britney Spears, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lido + More

FI_27Apr_Small

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 Britney Spears, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lido + More. 

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Can’t Keep Checking My Phone

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jagjaguwar/unknown-mortal-orchestra-cant-keep-checking-my-phone?in=the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-10[/soundcloud]

Sam: I love that UMO have really expanded their sound. I loved II but at times it felt a little insular and restricted. Both this and Multi-Love have been a huge step forward and the album will most likely also continue this way. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone sounds like it would be right at home on a Blood Orange record - It’s got that minimal percussion loop with the funky guitars on top. As always though it’s the textured falsetto of Ruban Nielson that wins me over. 4

Bianca: The beginning transports me to a ‘70s crime detective TV show, which usually isn’t a good place to be, but in this circumstance sets the scene for a funky, hip-shaking, joyous tune. UMO keep offering multi-layered, instantaneously-enjoyable experiences and judging by Multi-Love and now Can’t Keep Checking My Phone, no detective work is required to realise that their upcoming album is going to deliver the goods. 4.5 Bianca's Pick 

Zanda: So much to unpack here that it’s hard to know where to start. The catchy vocal melodies are complimented superbly by that bass riff which sounds it has its origins in some seriously old school funk, and the sparing use of synth throughout is tasteful. The best aspect for me though, has to be that crazy percussion line; some sort of weird and wonderful mixture of clapping, sound effects, tambourine, and so much more. An absolute cracker. 4.5 Zanda’s Pick

Ta-Ku
Love Again

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/love-again-feat-jmsn-sango?in=the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-10[/soundcloud]

Sam: Ta-Ku has always had a few gospel flavours in his tracks but on this one he’s really gone all out and it works. JMSN’s vocal is an absolute killer throughout and Ta-Ku’s minimal production creates plenty of space for JMSN to work his magic. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed if Ta-Ku built the climax a little more, perhaps worked in some chords on an organ, Lido-style but there’s also a certain subtlety in not doing that which feels dignified. With or without, it’s a beautiful, flourishing production. 3

Bianca: *prayer hands emoji* The choir, combined with the piano and strings appearances, gives Love Again a gospel quality without being garish and over-the-top. The instrumental outro really makes it for me; the thumping kicks giving a taste of what was possibly missing from the rest of the song. Reading through Soundcloud, I found the comment: “This is cool just sent it to my ex who I miss alot (sic)”. Usually I wouldn’t recommend that but maybe this track might just give him a shot at redemption. 3

Zanda: I find myself pondering how Ta-Ku hasn’t really skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years. I guess part of the charm of his music it’s exactly what he wants to make and doesn’t cater to the masses. This is an incredibly soulful tune featuring some incredible acapella-esque vocals. Tasteful production underpins it, and it’s the sort of minimal but necessary style of production that Ta-Ku is known for. 3.5

Major Lazer
Powerful (Feat. Ellie Goulding/Tarrus Riley)

Sam: I have to preface this with I am going to be bias because I love Ellie Goulding’s voice so much that I would bathe in even her weakest songs. It goes without saying that the my favourite parts of this track is Goulding’s verses. It’s nice to hear her over a reggae-styled beat rather than Calvin Harris’ usual onslaught of synths. For me, this sounds like Major Lazer really trying to slip into the mainstream. First there was the politeness of Lean On and now this and good on them for trying to get on radio while still maintaining their signature aesthetic. Powerful is their strongest to date and the star-power of Goulding along with Riley’s catchy chorus will serve them well. 3.5

Bianca: Gamble on Major Lazer and you’re sure to win. They always manage to make the featured artist shine (hell, they even made me like a song that features Ariana Grande) and this time round is no exception; Ellie’s voice is delightfully chirrupy as usual and Tarrus’ contribution balances it with a bit of grunt. It’s not the most complex of tracks but it is Powerful enough to make you sit up and listen. 3.5

Zanda: Diplo has come out recently and said that he is planning on doing less work as ‘Diplo’, and with a host of other projects under his direction including Major Lazer it’s not too hard to see why. With the recent release of Lean On, and now with this new track, it’s clear that the master producer and collaborator is taking this venture outside the realms of banging dance anthems exclusively and venturing into new areas. Ellie Goulding is typically and undoubtedly brilliant as usual. 3.5

Gosh Pith
Child

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/gosh-pith/child[/soundcloud]

Sam: After hearing so much clean electronic, RnB music in recent years I’m very into the idea of reverb-soaked melodies slipping back into fashion. Gosh Pith are just the start of what I think will be a very big movement of music that sounds like this. As always the original purveyor is the best and Child is excellent. It kind of doesn’t go anywhere but it has this subtle appeal which revolves around the soulful vocal. It’s a vocal that you wouldn’t expect to slot into an instrumental like this. At first I was expecting something more skewed towards Sleigh Bells but was pleasantly surprised. I’m charmed by this. 4

Bianca: Totally read their name as ‘Goth Pit’ at first glance so was expecting a very different song to come out of my headphones. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to be serenaded by this lullaby-eque, ambling track. It’s subdued though still holds an unfinished grittiness that prevents it from being tedious. The vocal-run, “I said I got out of there sooner now” also shakes things up, almost tripping over itself and waking the track up from its cozy slumber. 4

Zanda: A very relaxed and guitar-riff happy tune from the Detroit-based group. I actually really enjoy the refreshing use of triple time in kind of a shuffle feel, as a nice break from all other music at the moment being in 4/4. Echoey vocals add to this relaxed feel… a great track for a chiller weekend. 3

Jeremih
Planes (Lido and The Social Experiment Remix)

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper/jeremih-planes-remix-lido-the-social-experiment[/soundcloud]

Sam: Another week, another Chance The Rapper feature or remix that isn’t actually a Chance The Rapper song 🙁 Based off this I would love to see Lido and The Social Experiment working together more often.

Lido’s instrumentals always oscillate between the minimal and the dense and Chance’s vocal always sounds best when it’s given plenty of space to exist in. Together it’s an interesting combination. Anyway, I’m not ignoring the fact that this is actually a Jeremih remix.

The original of Planes was good but this is just so much more interesting. In fact I actually completely forgot Planes existed until now. I have a feeling I won’t be forgetting this one though. 4

Bianca: This version makes for a much more exciting event in comparison to the original. You can immediately hear Lido's contribution to the track, in all of its flickering, blossoming goodness. Chance's appearance, with all his Willy Wonka references, is almost humorous and kinda strange, but after listening to it a couple of times I understand its necessity. 3.75 

Zanda: Jeremih and Chance The Rapper are typically smooth in this, but the real star for me is Lido and his unique style of production. He brings his own brand of melodic synths to everything he does, and this track has that typical Lido polish to it. He uses space and sparse textures to captivate his audience and leave you wondering what’s coming next after moments of almost complete silence. 4

Giorgio Moroder 
Tom’s Diner (Feat. Britney Spears)

Sam: I actually think Britney Spears can be really brilliant when she strays away from regular pop. There was a song on her Circus record called Unusual You which I still listen to know because it was so irregular for her but also had some really interesting production on her voice. Tom’s Diner sounds nothing like that but it does go with something more interesting than your regular Britney. The production here brings out the best in her usually paper-thin voice.

The whole idea of Giorgio Moroder and Britney Spears doing a Suzanne Vega cover is utterly ridiculous but for some equally ridiculous reason it works. The Sia song was just way too cheesy. This one is cheesy but it’s also got a sleek quality in the way it carefully treads between disco and the club. Who would have thought that a 70-something year-old could bring out the best in Brit. I can’t get enough of this. Ditch Iggy Azalea and create a whole album with Moroder please Britney. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: This track oscillates delightfully between 'lol' and head bopping acceptance. At first listen, the 'doo doo' intro was almost laughable, but soon Giorgio's brilliant production shined through and Britney-fuelled nostalgia took over, making me kinda...like it. The lyrics are so damn literal, by no fault of Britney or Giorgio, but I suppose that adds to its charm. It's all very odd that this was the song of choice for their collaboration but I'm glad they did it. 

Zanda: It’s weird how Giorgio Moroder’s work as part of Daft Punk’s latest LP seems to have thrust him back into the spotlight, or at least reclaimed the attention of popular music’s biggest stars. This track doesn’t do much for me to be honest, although the production value is undoubtedly high. I can’t quite pinpoint what aspects of it I don’t particularly like, maybe if Britney attempted less pronounced humming and there was more actual lyrical material. 1.5

Now time for your vote: 

[poll id="38"]

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
Contributor: Zanda

10Songs_24April

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Major Lazer, Ta-Ku, Wet + More

10Songs_24April
Another week dominated by Kanye West. When he's not jumping in lakes in Armenia, he's stealing The Weeknd's limelight at Coachella and inducting himself into the TIME Power 100. In honour of another week in which Kanye nabbed a headline a day, we present to you a 10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week with no mention of Kanye. Apart from this bit where we've mentioned his name three times. Seems we can stop travelling West. Time to head South and explore the best songs from the week below.

Wet
Deadwater

Brooklyn three-piece Wet are set to be one of the most talked about acts of the year. Their debut EP Dreams, released last year, was brilliant and we're hoping that their debut album, revealed to be called Don't You, will be even better. The first single off that record is Deadwater and it's one of their strongest tracks to date. Vocalist Kelly Zutrau sounds unbelievable over a washy, subtle instrumental. She hooks you in from the first second and after that the song just glides past, time seemingly standing still.

Ta-Ku
Love Again (Feat. JMSN and Sango)

Ta-Ku has quietly become one of the best Australian producers doing the rounds but it feels like this latest EP, set to be released via Future Classic, will really propel him to the front of people's mind. That said EP is called Songs To Make Up To and the first single is called Love Again. Love Again is Ta-Ku taking it to church with a piano instrumental complimented beautifully by JMSN's soulful vocal. It's without a doubt the most uplifting thing that Ta-Ku has done and while it's not traditionally designed for the club, we can imagine this really being a moment if someone snuck it into a set.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/love-again-feat-jmsn-sango[/soundcloud]

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Can't Keep Checking My Phone

Unknown Mortal Orchestra have made great albums in the past but it feels like he's really making a conscious effort in the lead-up to LP3 to appeal to a wider-audience. First single and title track Multi-Love was his most accessible pop track to date and the follow-up Can't Keep Checking My Phone is just as immediately likeable. It's a densely melodic, funky number that even manages to slip in synths in the bridge. It's the closest thing we're going to get to a euphoric UMO pop number and we'll happily take it.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jagjaguwar/unknown-mortal-orchestra-cant-keep-checking-my-phone[/soundcloud]

cln.
Hold Me

Brisbane producer cln. put out a few excellent tracks last year but it really feels like he's hit his stride with this latest one Hold Me. Not only do we get to hear him sing but we also get to hear him take on a more melancholic aesthetic. As sad as the melody may be, the synths and the lyrics are basically like a warm, electronic hug. If he continues to head in this direction we have every bit of confidence that he will be one of Australia's best electronic producers.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/callanalexander/cln-hold-me[/soundcloud]

Jordan Bratton
Prisoner (Feat. Chance The Rapper)

Chance The Rapper is a great drawcard. Every track he features on gets an immediate listen from us but in this case New York vocalist Jordan Bratton completely holds his own against Chance. Prisoner is a soulful, spacious track with some beautiful harmonies. Chance jumps on the track in the second half for a half-sung, half-rapped verse that is inline with a lot of the stuff he's been doing with The Social Experiment. Prisoner is taken off Bratton's forthcoming EP Youth.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jordanbratton/prisoner-ft-chance-the-rapper[/soundcloud]

Major Lazer
Powerful (Feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley)

Major Lazer have always had a cult following but this time around it seems that they are reaching for the mainstream. First was their collaboration with Mo which has shot up the charts here in Australia and now their collaboration with Ellie Goulding has surfaced. It's undoubtedly the most radio-friendly thing they have ever produced but that doesn't mean they have sold out. It still has the heavy-bass Major Lazer aesthetic that Diplo and co have mastered over the years. Reportedly Diplo is leaving behind his solo work to focus on Major Lazer and it may be a good decision considering the gold they have been churning out of late.

RKDA
Meta

Melbourne via Brisbane producer RKDA, is a newcomer to the Australian electronic scene. Meta is her debut tracks and it's a dark, experimental piece that pegs her as an artist not shy to get a little introspective. This is the kind of music that is born in the early hours of the morning. It's haunting and unsettling but also expansive in the way that it layers up instrumentally in the latter parts of the song. We'll take some more of this please, RKDA, don't make us wait too long.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/rkdamusic/meta[/soundcloud]

VÉRITÉ
Colors

We waxed lyrical about VÉRITÉ's last single Wasteland and we're going to do it yet again with this one, Colors. There's so much electronic, singer/songwriter music floating around at the moment but what makes VÉRITÉ different is her full-bodied voice which makes you sit up and listen immediately. It's not wispy and gentle, it's the type that needs dense instrumentals and sturdy melodies to give it wings. Colors does exactly that with a bolstered chorus that really allows VÉRITÉ to show of her killer voice.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/veritemusic/colors[/soundcloud]

Dej Loaf
U Me & Hennessy (Feat. Lil Wayne)

When Lil Wayne jumps on your track you better believe that you're something special. We pegged Dej Loaf as an artist to watch in 2015 and we've been consistently proved right. Me U & Hennessy is a downbeat masterpiece with Loaf slurring from one line to the other with an enviable effortlessness. At first Lil Wayne doesn't seem like the right fit for Loaf's brand of rap but he actually delivers one of his best verses in a few years, his scratchy voice perfectly complimenting Loaf's serene tones.

Lianne La Havas
Unstoppable

Lianne La Havas' debut album was so good that she made friends with Prince. That statement alone should make it well-worth looking forward to her sophomore album but we'll let her music do the speaking for now. Unstoppable is the first taste of new album Blood which will grace us with its presence in July. It's a cruisy, Erykah Badu-style number which beautifully showcases La Havas' coffee-soaked tones. She's one of the only artists that could easily occupy a five minute space without any big tricks. Her voice just wraps around the melody and carries you with it.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/liannelahavas/unstoppable[/soundcloud]

...of course we're joking about Kanye. Here's Good Life. What a #banger.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra Unleash 'Can't Keep Checking My Phone'

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

We've actually been waiting a little while to hear the second track of Unknown Mortal Orchestra's third record Multi-Love and today he's finally delivered in the form of Can't Keep Checking My Phone. II was an incredibly introverted record so it's good to see UMO branching out and giving us a far more expansive sound. Can't Keep Checking My Phone has a certain Dev Hynes groove to it with delicious guitar licks and a clattering beat that makes it, for the first time, possible to really get down to UMO. There's still about a month to go until the record drops but this should whet appetites until then. Multi-Love is out 22nd May.

10songs_6Feb

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Madonna, Young Fathers, Angel Haze + More

10songs_6Feb

This is, completely unintentionally, the most sensual 10 songs we’ve ever put together. There are plenty of bedroom jams, RnB stunners and sultry pop songs and we’re not sure whether it’s because that’s all that was released this week or because we’ve been selective because we’re in some sort of smutty mood. Either way, we can’t help but feel now we’ve peaked a week too soon. This would have been perfect for V Day.

Young Fathers- Rain Or Shine

Glasgow group Young Fathers would be feeling pretty happy with themselves right now. And that’s absolutely deserved. They won the Mercury Prize for their excellent record Dead and are now wasting no time in getting on with the next one. It’s a sense of immediacy that The Avalanches, D’Angelo and Guns N’ Roses never quite grasped. Rain Or Shine sounds like a carnival ransacked by a gang. Its perky yet distinctively dark with a carnivale synth slaughtered by a thumping back beat. It’s from the album White Men Are Black Men Too which will come into existence in early April.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/youngfathers/rain-or-shine-2[/soundcloud]

Shy Girls- Arrest (Feat. Tei Shi)

And herein commences the love-making section of 10 songs for this week. You may have heard Portland-based singer Shy Girls lay his voice down on tracks by ODESZA and Cyril Hahn in the past few years, but his solo work is equally impressive. Arrest is taken from a mixtape title 4WZ and it’s an after-dark, sweltering mid-tempo. Mid-tempo duets make my heart skip a beat and when Tei Shi joins on the second verse all self-control is lost. You can download the rest of the mixtape here which I highly recommend you do.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/shygirls/arrest-me-ft-tei-shi-1?in=shygirls/sets/4wz-mixtape[/soundcloud

Unknown Mortal Orchestra- Multi-Love

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruben Nielson was one unhappy man on his last record II. Despite being lonely, however, the record was delicious melodic and quaint. On the title-track from the forthcoming record, Multi-Love, he sounds considerably happier. And what does happiness sounds like? It sounds like less reverb, stomping pop-inspired percussion and sunshine-induced choruses.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jagjaguwar/unknown-mortal-orchestra-multi-love[/soundcloud]

Madonna- Iconic (Feat. Mike Tyson and Chance The Rapper)

I never thought I’d be writing about Mike Tyson in the same sentence as a new song but here goes. Madonna has released a new song and it features Mike Tyson alongside Chance The Rapper. The good news is Tyson barely even attempts to rap. The bad news is Madonna does. It’s not as bad as it sounds though. She basically does a lot of rambling about sweat and tears and makes a whole lot of boxing innuendo before she gets on with it and bursts into a massive, trap-inspired chorus. It’s worth sticking around for Chance too if you can make it that far.

Say Lou Lou- Nothing But A Heartbeat

After what seems like decades of waiting, Swedish sisters Say Lou Lou are finally releasing their debut album, Lucid Dreaming. With that announcement this week came a new song called Nothing But A Heartbeat which is another sprawling, magnificent pop song that only Swedes could manage. Where their last release, Games For Girls, plodded along with an effortless cool, Nothing But A Heartbeat is more a combustion of emotion. Both work for us.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/sayloulou/nothing-but-a-heartbeat[/soundcloud]

Angel Haze- CANDLXS

We already raved about this Angel Haze song earlier in the week so we won’t take up too much of your time here. Basically CANDLXS is the first song off Haze’s forthcoming release TFBAN. According to Haze herself this is about the fifth best song on the record which has us insanely excited (that was no doubt her intention and possibly a lie but we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt). CANDLXS shits over most of the stuff on her debut album because its unmistakably an Angel Haze song. As she oscillates between singing and rapping you get the feeling no other rapper could manage this.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/angxlhxze/candlxs-prod-troy-noka[/soundcloud]

Migos- One Time

After a slew of mixtapes and random drops, rap collective Migos are finally gearing up their debut album Y.R.N. The Album. One Time is our first proper taste of that album and to be completely blunt if you don’t like hip-hop go to song nine. If you do like hip-hop, you’re going to love this. Basically they run through everything they’ve done just “one time” over a badass beat by Deko. The “one time” hook is enough to keep us interested while the verses are where the magic really comes. These guys are charismatic rappers and in shines through in droves.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/migosatl/migos-one-time-prod-deko[/soundcloud]

Raye- Flowers

Raye is the girlfriend everyone will want after hearing this. Flowers by London newcomer Raye is about how she doesn’t want flowers and doesn’t need to be given them. Over a confident, fierce beat, Raye takes the bull by the horns. “You don’t wanna know how many little guys I met like you”, she sings sending every guy to the corner of the club immediately. Props should and will be given to her flow on the verse which is impeccable.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/arayeofcolours/flowers[/soundcloud]

Obey City- Waterbad (Feat. Anthony Flammia)

I don’t like to ever say the word “jam” unless I’m talking about the condiment but I feel like it’s more than warranted here. NYC producer Obey City felt like the world needed a slow jam so he gave us one that sounds like a prototype of D’Angelo crossed with Maxwell and Frank Ocean. Anthony Flammia takes to the sexy beat with a sensual finesse, using his falsetto to induce weak knees. It’s from his Merlot Sounds EP which is due out 23rd February on LuckyMe.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/obey-city/waterbed[/soundcloud]

 

 

 

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