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First Impressions: Miley Cyrus, Chance The Rapper, Grimes And More

Written By the interns on 12/05/2018

First Impressions is our chance to have it out over the songs from the past week and slap a score out of five on them. This week, we’re putting Miley Cyrus, Grimes and more under the microscope.

Miley Cyrus & Mark Ronson – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart

Ti Butler: The first time I heard this, I listened to it five times in a row, which I don’t think I’ve done since… the G Flip song? Mark Ronson is an absolute freak. Miley’s vocal is perfect. It has such a broad appeal that it’s getting played on pop radio, on triple j, *and* on Double J. IT’S A Q4 MIRACLE. 4.5

Nic Kelly: The more I listen to this, the more Jolene I hear, and the more I don’t care that it sounds exactly like Jolene. The lyrics are divine – they’re simple but not cliche – and I love that this will be the start of bringing Miley into credibility with woke 47 year old Dads from the Northern Beaches. Mark is at his best when his songs blend genres and this is the primest example of that since Valerie. A master stroke from both parties. 4.5

Sam Murphy: I couldn’t have cared any less about this before it arrived last week and now I can’t imagine my life without it. What a moment for both artists. Ronson finally found a way to let Miley have her way with country without it sounding as beige as her last record. It’s such a subtle, brooding track and it so effortlessly blends together country and disco. When Kacey Musgraves released High Horse I said country and disco would be the style of the year and while I was most likely wrong, I feel it’s now going to come to fruition. 4.5

Chance The Rapper – My Own Thing

Ti: I like it, and it’s good, but up against everything that’s come out this week… it’s just a big ask to get noticed amongst so much great music, and I feel like it’s not going to get noticed. 3

Nic: Chance is at his best when he’s melodic and playful, and this is another great example. Fun piano chords, topical lyrics & smiley delivery show him at his finest. This is great stuff. Nothing groundbreaking, but a great fun song. 3.5

Sam: I’ve really liked everything that Chance has put out recently but there’s something that’s stopping it from going to the level of Colouring Book. This is good but it just doesn’t have that extra bit of oomph that something like No Problems had. 3.5

Clean Bandit – Playboy Style (Feat. Charli XCX & Bhad Bhabie)

Ti: Remember when Lorde had the excellent Homemade Dynamite, and then for some reason the three buzziest artists on streaming services at the time – Khalid, Post Malone, and SZA – somehow appeared on a remix of it? And then that became the single? That is exactly what this feels like. I mean, someone’s sat there and gone, “hey, we’ve got Charli XCX on the song with Clean Bandit, and it’s really rather good; we need a Third Heat to really get it across the line,” and someone else has gone, “mate, I”ve got it, I’ll get Bhad Bhabie on line one right away”.
Side note: I understand why this was only featured on the deluxe version of the Clean Bandit album, but then, why the fuck is the completely perfect song Tears featuring Louisa Johnson only on the deluxe? 3

Nic: First thing’s first, the Ellie Goulding song they’re trying to make a single, is dreadful. Second of all, the bridge & outro of this song contain LOUD HORNS. Finally, Charli’s provided one of the great singalong choruses of her career (like, her seventh best?) and Bhad Bhabie is a rap superstar who I will defend til the day I die so I am obsessed with this combination. 4

Sam: This collaboration is wild. I really don’t understand who Clean Bandit are or what part they play in all this but good on them because they keep coming through with the tunes. I’m a fan of Charli’s verses on this but to be honest I’m probably not going to keep playing it. 3

Grimes – We Appreciate Power

Ti: I am OBSESSED with this. I need every single outfit in this video. If I did roller derby or wrestling or something, this would be my entrance song. Who would have thought the year’s best Muse song would come from Grimes? THIS IS SO Q4 AND IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. 5

Nic: TI THIS IS SO NOT Q4! This would be mediocre in Q2. Look, nothing is ever going to be comparable to Flesh Without Blood, but I appreciate the aggression & passion this manages to display whilst keeping a pop structure. 3

Sam: How the fuck are we supposed to feel about Grimes at the end of 2018? My judgement is completely marred by everything that is happened, particularly the kidnapping of Ms. Azealia Banks but let’s put that aside for a bit. This is definitely one of the most bonkers things I’ve heard in 2018 and while I’m not even going to try and go into the A.I. theory of it all, sonically it’s wildly inventive. I think Nic nailed it with the comment about it retaining a structure but also sounding experimental. Grimes is great at doing that and it saves this from being a hot mess. 3.5

The 1975 – I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)

Ti: You know the vibe I get from this? This feels like The 1975’s Champagne Supernova. 4

Nic: Backing Ti’s comparison here sonically, but as always with The 1975, this is in a lane of its own. I truly believe Matty Healy has a hundred of these songs in his brain. He is one of the few songwriters on the planet with zero borders around the work they do, he lives his life with zero cliches and complete autonomy. This is just another one of his many, many perfect songs across his career. But it could be one of his best. 5

Sam: Thank you Ti for accurately pointing out that it sounds like one of my least favourite songs. It’s definitely got that sweeping grandeur to it but I think the sincerity in this pulls it back from being Oasis. Less than a week since hearing it, it already sounds like a really important classic. Lyrically, it’s so succinct in portraying something that’s incredibly complex, allowing the music to do most of the emotional work. That chorus is so bloody stunning. 4.5

Nina Nesbitt – Colder

Ti: Nina Nesbitt is about to become a Big Deal on a global scale, not just in Scotland. In about a year and a half she’s going to be where Dua Lipa is now, and we’re going to be in awe of a properly brilliant popstar. #JusticeForLoyalToMe. 3.5

Nic: She’s doing everything right. The song is fine, the brand is fine, the voice is fine, but nothing is standing out. I’m intrigued, but I need the next single to be iconic or I’m tapping out. 3

Sam: It’s just a very nice, completely fine song that’s not going to top charts and win Grammys but that’s fine. 3

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