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Top20_2

Top 20 Songs of 2014 (So Far)

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

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

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

PharrellEOFYS

20 Pharrell – Hunter

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

– Lizzie

stvincentEOFYS19 St Vincent – Digital Witness

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

Sam

jamesvincent18 James Vincent McMorrow – Gold

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

Bianca

RobynEOFYS17 Röyksopp + Robyn – Do It Again  

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

Sam

PorterrobinsonEOFYS16 Porter Robinson – Lionhearted

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

– Lizzie

glassanimalsEOFYS15 Glass Animals – Gooey

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

Bianca

EOFYS_JessieWare14 Jessie Ware – Tough Love

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

 Sam

sia13 Sia – Chandelier

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

Bianca

LANAEOFYS12 Lana Del Rey – West Coast (Zhu Remix)

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

Lizzie

chromeoEOFYS11 Chromeo – Old 45s

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

Hannah

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

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

Lizzie

howtodresswell29 How To Dress Well – Repeat Pleasure

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

Sam

jamirxx8 Jamie xx – Sleep Sound

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

Hannah

littledragon27 Little Dragon – Pretty Girls

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

Hannah

laroux6 La Roux – Uptight Downtown

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

Bianca

chromesparks5 Chrome Sparks – Goddess

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

Hannah

chetfaker4 Chet Faker – 1998

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

Hannah

EOFYS_Caribou3 Caribou – Can’t Do Without You

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

Lizzie

EOFYS_BANKS

2 BANKS – Drowning

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

Sam

Jungle3
1 Jungle – Busy Earnin’

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

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

Bianca

Head to page 2 for our individual Top 10s

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

 

Individual Top 10s

BIANCA:

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

SAM:

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

LIZZIE:

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

HANNAH:

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

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Firstimpressions_22June_2

First Impressions 23 June

FirstImpressions_22June

Truth be told, this week we were feeling a little confused after First Impressions. We heard Alt-J sample Miley, Riff Raff team with Childish Gambino and we gave tough love to everything apart from Tough Love. It may raise more questions than answers but such is the appeal of a first impression: the mystery.

Jessie Ware- Tough Love

Sam: I was wondering what Jessie was going to do following Devotion, sound-wise and this is a perfect answer. The upper-echelons of Ware’s vocals are crystalline and Benny Blanco’s production is sleek and sophisticated. That strobing synth off the back of the second chorus is a more than welcome punch through to the song’s third quarter. Stunning. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: I had this strange feeling of knowing this song at very first listen. The soft sweeps and subtle backbeats are homely and comforting and Jessie’s stirring vocal-layered crescendo at 2:48 makes me just melt. 4.5 Bianca’s Pick

Lizzie: “You have me crying out, crying out for more.” Um yes, her words exactly. You know what is real tough love, the fact that her album is not here yet. This song is elegant, slick and effortlessly bouncy. Tick, tick, tick! 4.5 Lizzie’s Pick

Hannah: This song has been on repeat since theinterns shared it early last week. It’s a perfectly restrained combination of poppy bouncy beat, synth and can’t-help-but-sing-a-long lyrics. Said before and will say it again, ain’t nothing tough about listening to this one. 4

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/jessieware/tough-love[/soundcloud]

Alt-J- Hunger of the Pines

Sam: Miley and Alt-J, these are a few of my favourite things…but for some strange reason Hunger of the Pines is not. There’s no huge change in sound from An Awesome Wave and it sounds odd for odd’s sake. The Miley sample is beyond clumsy. 2

Bianca: This song sounded like it was about to go somewhere and then Miley came in with her big wrecking ball and ruined any chance of that happening. The cutting of her sample at 3:37 seems very odd to me. Points for the strings & sax though, and the return of Alt-J onto the scene. 3

Lizzie: The strings, the sax, it sounds like an orchestra warming up for a concert. Instruments are a little all over the place, but I am at peace with that. I am so glad Alt-J is back in my life, and…what the heck, I’m gonna go ahead and say that I’m a-OK with the Miley sample. #sorrynotsorry 3.5

Hannah: Having Miley Cyrus sing “I’m a female rebel,” really? Good one Alt-j, you’re so meta. With that said, I am never opposed to a Miley appearance, I love the slow climb crescendo and I do love where this song goes from 3:07. Welcome back Alt-j. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/alt-j/hunger-of-the-pine[/soundcloud]

Riff Raff- Lava Glaciers (Feat. Childish Gambino)

Sam: I can’t help but think this song would be more of a success with James Franco rapping. Riff Raff’s rapping goes down like a poor person at the Opera, while the hook is just, ugh…I kind of like it, it’s frustrating. Luckily Childish Gambino comes in and guides the song through the storm. It’s the first time I’ve felt relaxed with Troy Barnes at the helm. 3

Bianca: “It’s pointless like the use of Emojis.” Umm…how else would I let my friends know I feel like eating a dragon head from a plate while wearing my finest red ball gown? Despite that minor misdemeanor, and Raff’s overuse of similes, this song is surprisingly inoffensive. 2

Lizzie: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. No. Just no. I have no idea what I just heard. 1

Hannah:  2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/riffraff/lavaglaciers[/soundcloud]

Duke Dumont- Won’t Look Back

Sam: It’s a bit more of the same for Duke Dumont. ‘90s rave keys, a deep house beat and a soulful female vocal sample. It’s enjoyable but very safe, a bit like a glass of water- it’s hard to dislike, but it ain’t gonna get you drunk is it? 2.5

Bianca: Won’t Look Back is like the poor man’s Ride on Time (see, Riff Raff? I can do similes too!). The raspy vocals, purposeful keys and ‘90s groove are all the right ingredients for a dancefloor anthem but unfortunately the ingredients used here are Home Brand. 2

Lizzie: I am massively underwhelmed by this track. Duke Dumont, why did you go back to your 90s safe place? You were nailing it with I Got U and Need U – I feel you have gone back 20 steps (…or 20 years). 2

Hannah: Well this all sounds very familiar doesn’t it? 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/dukedumont/wont-look-back[/soundcloud]

BROODS- Mother and Father

Sam: BROODS’ debut EP was just so solid, it was hard to imagine how they’d top it. But they have. Mother and Father is their most abrasive pop moment yet. It packs an emotional punch and is just so damn hard to dislike. 2Dayfm will pick it up, Triple J will pick it up, heck, it may even be the Royals of 2014. 4

Bianca: Ooo, well isn’t this lovely? The defiant drum beat and gushing lyrics are definitely bringing back the memories and emotions of leaving home. brb, going to call my Mum. 4  

Lizzie: Am I “wowed” by this track? No. Would I run and tell my friends about it? Probably not. But in saying that, Broods have delivered a sweet musical gem that blends very well into my uni study playlist. 3.5

Hannah: I am having a solid BROODS’ moment right now. Mother & Father bridges the gap perfectly between what was and what is to come. 4.2 Hannah’s Pick

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/broods/broods-mother-father[/soundcloud]

Chloe Howl- Disappointed

Sam: Howl was part of the BBC’s Sound of 2014 and unfortunately the title of this song is a good indication of her career since. Ironically, this song may be the one to turn her fate around. Her vocals in the verses are buttery and the melody has a straight-up, Katy Perry-esque likeability. Surely this will find her a home in the British charts, it’s as if Adele has had a firecracker stuck up her arse. 3

Bianca: Sam, Mother and Father has no place in between Sophie & Jules on 2Dayfm. Disappointed, however, does. Ugh. 0.5  

Sam: Bianca, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Broods have been added to 2Dayfm’s playlist.

Bianca: I still stand by my statement.

Lizzie: I am not angry or annoyed, I am just disappointed. 0.5

Hannah: Did she just say “You think I’m stupid-o?” I’m not even going to check that lyric. I like my version better already. 0.5

Don’t forget to cast your First Impressions vote in our poll on the right! (Not available for mobile users) 

FNLI_HTDW2

Friday Lock-in: How To Dress Well – What Is This Heart?

FridayNightLockin_HTDW

We’ve locked ourselves in with a box of tissues for an emotional Friday Lock-in. This week’s record up for review is the third album by Tom Krell (aka. How To Dress Well) titled What Is This Heart? Listen along with us (by streaming here) as we discuss Celine Dion, tears and the many pleasures of a marching band.

2 Years On (Shame Dream)

Bianca: It takes me back to Christmas time as a child. It sounds like a Christmas carol.

Lizzie: I found myself tearing up a little bit.

Sam: Actually?

Lizzie: Yeah, a little bit. I got emotional.

Sam: First song and we need the tissues already. I’m really torn, I love his voice but what an odd start to an album.

Lizzie: Yeah, it’s like at a One Direction concert where they sing their songs and then bring out the acoustic set.

Hannah: I love that his voice holds you there. I do question putting that as the first song though.

What You Wanted

Sam: I fricken love it.

Hannah: I adore it.

Lizzie: It’s JT, but just with so much more talent. At the start I thought it was going to go a bit slow but he just built it up and built it up and brought you into the song effortlessly.

Sam: Now the first song makes sense to me. It’s so layered.

Bianca: Ohhhh, once the synths come in I was so gone. That was sooooo good.

Hannah: I love how the vocals bounce between Destiny’s Child and TLC. They bounce, they cascade down. And then it has this dirty grimes bass with a twinkle above it.

Bianca: It’s a bit poetic isn’t it?

Face Again

Sam: I feel like I can sing along early on. It’s got a pop quality but it’s also weird.

Lizzie: This one’s a bit darker than the other ones. The back sounds get broody but he’s still true to himself.

Bianca: it’s like BANKS‘ Drowning, where it has this demonic voice that’s behind the other voice.

Hannah: There’s this desperation that finishes off the end of his verses. The end of each sentence is throat, gut wrenching desperation.

Sam: It teeters on this edge where I feel like it’s going to fall off at any second.

Lizzie: It would be cool to see in the recording studio how into it he is.

Sam: He says things that I imagine I would say and they would sound really lame. I have to say I’m very happy to be third song in and still interested. Last week (Love Frequency Lock-in) I was already gone.

Hannah: Last week was dire. This one makes everyone drop about 5 inches.

Bianca: In a good way, of course.

See You Fall

Bianca: Speaking of getting low, that voice just drops.

Sam: When he says “fall” and there’s that deep voice under it. MWAH!

Lizzie: The strings is another thing you just don’t expect. He could ride a pretty good wave with his voice, it’s incredible. But he brings in new components to every song.

Hannah: Each one of his songs demonstrates an intricate knowledge of a lot of music genres. He’s really happy going between all of them. This is springy and poppy and happy but then when it starts talking about strange faces, there’s RnB/Hip-Hop.

Sam: When that throbbing bass comes in I’m just like “aww shit”. Love it. Lizzie this wouldn’t be something you’d generally listen to would it?

Lizzie: No. But it creates little experiences in your head that you don’t even think about. I wouldn’t usually listen to this but it makes me wanna have a happy time. Cry a bit more.

Sam: Disclaimer- Lizzie’s had a hard week.

Repeat Pleasure

Hannah: Still love it, still love it, still love it

Bianca: It’s nice to go to an album and hear a song you already know. It brings you back down to earth, you’re familiar with it and you can just…

Sam: …groove

Bianca: We finish each other’s…

Sam: …sandwiches.  

Lizzie: It’s a good wake up in the morning and get-your-head-together song.

Hannah: I love that he cites Celine Dion. I love that he goes there.

Sam: It’s all these potentially tacky references, and he makes them fresh.

Hannah: Love that he goes there.

Words I Don’t Remember

Lizzie: This is not my favourite

Sam: Me neither

Lizzie: I don’t like that synth sound…It’s a great song and a 3am, sexy song but…

Sam: It’s not as rising as the other songs.

Lizzie: Yeah, it’s familiar electronic sounds but just nothing new.

Bianca: It makes the album a little tiring for me. 6 songs in and I’m feeling weary.

Bianca: Oh wait, it kinda got good at the end.

Pour Cyril

Sam: That one is literally almost making me tear up.

Lizzie: Welcome to the club, honey.

Bianca: My orchestra days are all coming back to me

Sam: Ahhhh the strings. And then his voice introduces this perfect melody.

Lizzie: It deserves its own movie. A movie needs to be made around this song. I feel like I wanna go chase my lover that I don’t have…before he boards the plane.

Bianca: Can we really underline the fact Lizzie’s had a bad week.

Precious Love

Sam: I love it. It’s so everything I love in a song. His is my music in an MP3. I love my white-boy RnB.

Lizzie: It’s not your typical RnB though. You kind of have to think. It’s a new modern, but slightly old and familiar.

Sam: There’s an 80s jingle behind it.

Bianca: I really like the kick-drum, the claps. The clap is infectious. 😉

Sam: This is the most mainstream in a way. It’s good to have the beat back to. Everything on the album is ever so slightly different.

Lizzie: It’s like a good fashion collection everything’s a little different but it all comes together.

Sam: Like ya classic LBD. Everybody needs a LBD.

Bianca: ‘How to dress well…’

Childhood Faith In Love (Everything Must Change)

Sam: This one’s all about the throb.

Lizzie: Yeah, I think I can go and do good things with my life now. I feel like it’s turned me.

Bianca: This album has just been a roller coaster of emotions.

Sam: I feel genuinely excited about this album.

Bianca: You know what? This isn’t my favourite of the album.

Sam: it’s not my favourite but I feel it’s necessary. I feel like every album needs ones that don’t pack a huge punch.

Lizzie: He loses his beautiful voice in this.

Sam: No, I like the reverb in it.

A Power

Sam: Again, I love that beat.

Lizzie: This whole album I could not listen to by myself. I find it too broody and emotive. It’s brilliant but this is an album I’d recommend. I want people to listen to it. But don’t get me alone with this album because I’ll break-down.

Sam: It’s interesting to watch how everybody reacts to it and it’s made it so much better for me.

Bianca: I’d have to be in the complete right mood for it.

Sam: It’s not a bus record.

Bianca: No. And it’s not a getting ready record either. Even though it is How To Dress Well. If I got dressed to this I would not dress well. Darkest clothes and think I really need to throw my whole wardrobe out.

Sam: The way this album builds. I’m dead…it’s the best reaction I’ve had to an album all year. I think it’s amazing.

Very Best Friend

Sam: This one doesn’t pack a punch for me.

Lizzie: in the last song we were in our comfort zone and we needed something to push us to the end. At the start, the Flume-y skip gave us something.

Sam: I love the vocal break-down though.

Bianca: Nup.

Lizzie: You realise the corniness of the lyrics.

Sam: There’s too much space.

Bianca: I prefer Foster The People‘s Best Friend.

House Inside (Future Is Older than the Past)

Bianca: Such a good climax.

Lizzie: He’s done what every artist should do on an album. It was cyclical. He closed it off well. Althouht here was a bit of a clusterfuck with instruments after the start. The ending is beautiful.

Bianca: The marching band brought it home.

Sam: I felt like we’d reached the top of the mountain and we were all holding hands and hugging. You guys had mascara dripping down your face. That slow song that didn’t make sense at the start suddenly makes total sense. What an album.

Lizzie: I’m going to give it 8.5

Bianca: Agree. 8.5

Sam: I’m going to give it 9.5. I think it’s the best album of the year so far.

Hannah: I’m with you, Samos. 9.5. Touchdown!

touchdown

 

Stream the album at whatisthisheart.com 

throwawaythursday_june19_2

Throwaway Thursday

throwawaythursdays19juneWe’ve been cleaning out the internet in preparation for EOFY and we’ve found a number of things that are too good to dispose of. Find this week’s treats for the eyes, ears and booty below.

STREAM: How To Dress Well- What Is This Heart?

Get a box of tissues and lay into the new LP by Tom Krell. It’s a contemporary RnB masterpiece and it feels like his most complete record yet. He pulls in sounds from all over the place, using decadent orchestral strings alongside ‘90s nostalgia-inducing beats. It’ll tug at your heart strings but will also allow the occasional groove-off. Have a listen before it’s released in Australia tomorrow.

Stream it at whatisthisheart.com

WATCH: Warpaint’s full Bonnaroo set

If you were at Bonnaroo in Tennessee over the weekend then you have our undivided jealousy, if you weren’t then you can join us in being couch appreciators. YouTube has deleted most of the full set videos but Warpaint’s has remained. It’s odd to watch them in the full light of day and without the festival atmosphere surrounding, but there’s no doubt they rate 100 on the cool scale and can shred guitar like no other girls.

DOWNLOAD: LPLX- STNR

Lapalux clearly doesn’t like vowels as of late. His track, the Young Thug-sampling DNY GLVR also left out it’s O’s and E’s and it’s no different with his Young Thug remix, STNR. Lapalux keeps it true to the hip-hop genre adding some thumping bass and cascading percussion. Get it fresh, get it free.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/lapalux/lplx-stnr[/soundcloud]

WATCH: DJ Rashad + DJ Spinn: Teklife in Monterrey (Documentary)

DJ Rashad tragically died earlier this year but before he passed Pitchfork went to Mexico to film a short documentary about a weekend in the life of the Chicago DJ and his fellow producer, DJ Spinn. The black and white affair is an interesting but ultimately bittersweet watch. There’s plenty of weed, alcohol and a few beats at DIY music-festival NRMAL.

STREAM: Kaskade releases free album ‘The Calm’

The Santa Clause of Deep House has now gifted us with his 2006 album The Calm; the third installment in a series of releases from his YouTube channel. Labelled as one of his more ‘difficult collections to get your hands on’ by none other but Kaskade himself, this stream is sure to take you right back to yesteryear, when lockouts weren’t a thing and you had to actually pay for music. Featuring songs Soft Upon the Lips and Wink of an Eye, let Kaskade take you away to a simpler time (and don’t forget to check out his other album offerings). Merry Christmas.

WATCH: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour bootleg

In celebration of this loveable country gal coming down-under we’ve found a bootleg of a full show on YouTube. Yes, it’s a little bit of a shotty filming job but not even a camera phone can miss the giant hotdog. Once you’re done watching you can bet on whether or not she will be deported from the country or whether she will spray-paint a wall. See, you could make money out of Throwaway Thursdays this week.

FirstImpressions_16June_2

First Impressions 16 June

FirstImpressions_16June

For this week’s First Impressions, theinterns travel to East Africa with Bag Raiders and find some Love in High Places with Kimbra before being seriously weirded out by a Trippy Turtle Theme Tune. It’s OK though because we’ve brought Bianca’s mum Trish along for the ride and she’s grooving to Anna Lunoe!

Bag Raiders- Nairobi

Trish: Too processed. Sounds like stomach gurgling and teeth chattering. I think I’d only enjoy it if i were in Brazil, celebrating the World Cup (with a few Mojitos under my belt). 2

Sam: Agree with Trish. Unless I’m swilling a mojito round in my hand, this song does very little for me on a cold winter day. That marimba almost had me. Almost. 2.5

Lizzie: Is everyone ready for Mardi Gras, cause this song sure makes you want to don a giant sequin feather head piece. I had high hopes for this song and I was smacked right in the face with a conga line. Just a bit much, but I will try and give it another chance in a couple of days. 3

Hannah: I lost interest the second I heard that horrible old car horn sample. Not even steal drums can redeem this colourful collision. 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/modularpeople/bag-raiders-nairobi-1[/soundcloud]

Kiesza- Giant In My Heart

Trish: I don’t mind her. Nice new sound. (Male vocals come in) Oh. I don’t like him. The male vocals spoil it. She’s got a nice singing voice and a lot of potential but the song doesn’t do her justice. 3

Sam: Kiesza is the next Roisin Murphy in my opinion. That voice hits giddy heights and provides a great juxtaposition over a deep, massaging beat. There’s more in here. This is a little generic. Hopefully an album will give her some space to explore, less trodden territory. 3

Lizzie: I cannot decide whether I like the roughness in her voice, or I am utterly pained by it. It’s got a very 90s/early 2000s vibe. Yep, I’ve decided I like it. The male vocals just make me laugh though. 3.5

Hannah: WOW I was just getting into it when that I’m-not-quite-a-Scat-Man male vocal came in. Despite that, the beat’s pumpy, the desperation in Kiesza’s voice during the chorus is truly addictive and the melodic samples are perfect placed. There’s a lot of fun to be had here. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/seanxcx/kiesza-giant-in-my-heart-radio-rip[/soundcloud]

Kimbra- Love In High Places

Trish: I really like her. There’s a lot of variety in her voice. The vocals, the percussion, they all fit together nicely like a jigsaw puzzle, to make for a complete listening experience. 5 Trish’s Pick

Sam: Oooh the vocals at the start of this just melt with every syllable. I love that construction-wise it’s quite a textbook soul track, yet she adds subtle oddities that make it so much better like the little synth-breaks. The people saying this album is a desperate attempt to draw attention back after Somebody I Used To Know need to pull their heads out of the sand. What she’s doing right now is supreme. 4 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: Oh thank god Kimbra, I really didn’t want to be as harsh as I was with 90s Music a couple of weeks ago (that was horrible). She’s slowed it down in this one, swollowed a chill pill and taken us on a 5:17 minute journey, a real Flight Facilities Claire de Lune style lengthy journey. Such an improvement!! 3.5

Hannah: Guys, guys, guys. It’s finally happened. I actually like, NAY love a Kimbra song! The verses in particular really have me swimming in a pool of smooth 90s RnB-flavoured nostalgia (Hey Kimbra, here’s your 90s Music). I say quit forcing your usual “oh I’m a quirky female artist and I have a quirky female artist sound” and stick with this new buttery-soft goodness. 

Trippy Turtle- Trippy’s Theme

Trish: Very disjointed. It’d be really good if you were tripping. But I’m afraid that’s not my cup of tea. 1

Sam: At first I was a little disappointed that this one wasn’t more like Schnappi das Kleine Krokodil but I’ve moved past that now and am utterly confused. It sounds like Boyz II Men remixed by Cashmere Cat. I really don’t know. The tune is half decent but the whole Trippy Turtle thing…am I late to the party? What on earth is it? A jamster mobile creation? 3

Lizzie: This song starts so well, so smooth, almost J.T like. Then, I am not sure what happens – a squeeky bed appears? The song is called called Trippy Turtle so I should not have been surprised! In all its nonsensical-ness, I can have fun with song. 3.5

Hannah: Trippy Turtle? More like Awkward Turtle. I totally agree with Sam. I’m pretty sure this IS just a Cashmere Cat song in poor disguise and now I feel weirded out by the additional turtle-themed vocals. I just don’t know… 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/maddecent/trippy-turtle-trippys-theme-jeff075[/soundcloud]

Anna Lunoe- Bass Drum Dealer

Trish: Oh no, not more of this stuff. *puts head in hand* It delivers like yesterday’s sour bottle of milk 0.5 (sorry)

Sam: I love that an Aussie girl has delivered this beefed-up EDM track that cracks most of the male big-room names over the head. It uses a lot of cliche sounds but that deep bass wins me over every time. Aussie gal does good. Bravo. 3.5

Lizzie: The lyrics put it perfectly. “And I always deliver.” She delivers alright. Flying the Aussie flag for dance music and female producers, this song has a Swedish House Mafia style pull but with her own distinct breakdown. You are not teased into a drop like most big-room EDM songs (thank god), and she brings this modern electro jungle vibe. Go girl. 4 Lizzie’s pick

Hannah: This is just a great dance track. It’s not particularly preoccupied with forging new ground but hey, is new ground always necessary? Lunoe’s just happily captislising on some seriously great sounds we already know and love. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/nesthq/anna-lunoe-bdd-nest031?in=nesthq/sets/anna-lunoe-bass-drum-dealer-nest031[/soundcloud]

Fractures- Won’t Win

Trish: Very easy listening. I just arrived in cold Sydney and his voice makes me feel like I’m sitting in front of a fire, all warm and comfortable. His voice is husky like a good cognac and seems to have a lot of soul to it. I enjoyed the vocals and change in tempo at 2:30 in particular. 4

Sam: I too enjoy the change of tempo but this is just all very pleasant. It’s good and his voice is wistful in a great way but it plants its foot too far in James Blake territory to carve his own identity. Lyrics like  “You won’t win, I’ll rid myself of this war you started” are so loaded yet the music is so placid. Me a little confused. 3

Lizzie: This song has a Matt Corby pensiveness to it. Beautiful sound to come out of Melbourne, I’ve never heard them before. I really loved the thick breakdown of instruments towards the close of the song, a nice touch to finish. 4

Hannah: I really should like this song shouldn’t I? It hits all the Seekae come James Blake, electronica meets wistful, longing vocals that usually appeal to me, but truth be told, I’m just a little bored. 2.5

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/fractures-music/wontwin[/soundcloud]

10SONGSFRI13_2

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week

10SONGS_FRI13

It’s Friday the 13th which should be enough to give you the spooks. If not there’s a few scary numbers below including a sad Porter Robinson, a brooding remix of BANKS and two Lana Del Rey tracks. Yes, two. Spooky.

Porter Robinson – Lionhearted (feat. Urban Cone)

Crowned ‘The Hottest Record in the World Right Now,’ by BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, Lionhearted is a true departure from 21 year-old Porter’s usual heavy EDM thumpers. Teaming up with Swedish indie-pop band Urbane Cone, this electro house anthem comes off of his hotly anticipated Worlds album, set to be released on August 12. All we can say is watch this space, Porter is about to be reborn with a new sound peppered with playful melodies, atmospheric vocals and dancey sentiment.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/porter-robinson/lionhearted-feat-urban-cone-zanelowe[/soundcloud]

 

Lana Del Rey – West Coast (Zhu Remix)

Sex, sex and more sex, this track just ooses seduction. “It really makes you want to fuck your way up to the top.” Zhu dropped this track on the eve of Lana’s Ultraviolence album release, and his timing could not have been more perfect.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/zhu/zhu-x-lana-del-rey-west-coast[/soundcloud]

 

Banks – Drowning (Lido Remix)

As we wait patiently for Banks’ debut album, we’re left to satisfy ourselves with remixes. And this one’s a corker. Strings creep the remix along at a casual pace taking some of the burn of Banks’ spiteful lyrics. A James Blake-esque intensity meets the chorus before plunging the track into trap territory.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/banksbanksbanks/drowning-lido-remix[/soundcloud]

 

Lana Del Rey – Brooklyn Baby

Lana’s getting more press than Solange in the elevator at the minute but this one redeems her musically. Brooklyn Baby is sleek and sophisticated. The heights of her vocal range sound flawless while the 70s-inspired chorus is a winner. Apparently Loud Reed was meant to be on this one but he died the day they were meant to record. What could’ve been…

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/lana_delrey/lana-del-rey-brooklyn-baby[/soundcloud]

 

La Roux- Tropical Chancer

Lana Roux just continues her run of stellar tracks. This one follows Uptight Downtown and keeps the good vibes going. Tropical Chancer centres around all things tropical, focusing on lush synths and rhythmic drums. It doesn’t sound like there’s any Trouble In Paradise here.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/la-roux-official/la-roux-tropical-chancer[/soundcloud]

 

Shamir- Sometimes a Man

Shamir continues his penchant for disco-funk with this number off his Northtown EP. Sounding slightly androgynous, Shamir sits right on the minimal beat. You can almost imagine him right there boogieing with you.

Bag Raiders- Nairobi

It’s been a long time in between drinks for these Aussies and it seems they’ve been hanging in the tropics in their down-time. Nairobi is all about the Marimba. Think Survivor Nicaragua without the rations and tribal council.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/modularpeople/bag-raiders-nairobi-1[/soundcloud]

 

Para One- You Too

The host at the start of this video really makes this song but the tune is also quality. Think a big, tropical club in the early hours of the morning. The 90s-influenced beats are throbbing and the keys are driving it home. Resist it. I dare you.

 

Hoodie Allen- Nolan Ryan

Free track just for fun is what Hoodie Allen calls this. Well if this Motown-inspired slammer is ‘just for fun’ we can’t imagine how good the album’s gonna be. It’s due soon.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/hoodieallenmusic/nolan-ryan[/soundcloud]

Popcaan – Number One Freak

The reggae vibes of Popcaan‘s debut Where We Come From has had us dutty dancing all week long and this one’s a favourite. We have no idea what he’s saying but that Jamaican flow is hard to pass on.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/mixpak/03-number-one-freak?in=mixpak/sets/popcaan-where-we-come-from[/soundcloud]

FLI_KLAXONS

Friday Lock-in: Klaxons- Love Frequency

FLI_KLAXONSFriday night lock-in is all about the record. We lock ourselves away with no phones and no way to escape (apart from fire exits of course. OH&S). It’s a way to dissect a new album in a roundtable format as well as completely disregard other’s ideas and talk loudly as you assert your own opinion.

The first LP we are taking on is the Klaxons’ new one, Love Frequency. Love Frequency is the third album from the British band. It sees them take a more electronic-route with production touches from people like LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Gorgon City. We’ve got our dancing shoes poised ready to take to Love Frequency.

New Reality

Hannah: It feels like the song your high school band would cover at your graduation ceremony or something. Like at a high school talent show.

Sam: I liked it. I thought it was nice and really overtly melodic.

Lizzie: It reminded me of what I used to like and that was all wrong. His voice is screechy.

Sam: Screechy?

Lizzie: Yeah it’s just kind of like, whiny. It was just a little bit off.

Bianca: Purposely off. But I think it was a good intro to the album.

Sam: I agree. Good intro. With a nice little twinkly synth bit.

There Is No Other Time

Hannah: Chromeo, Chromeo, Chromeo

Bianca: This is the first song I heard from the album and it made me really excited for it. I think it’s classic Klaxons with a twist.

Sam: I don’t think it’s classic Klaxons at all.

Bianca: I know it’s a new style but it is still THEM.

Sam: I think the only thing left is the voice. It’s like what is the rest of the band doing? But it’s a classic. I feel like a Klaxons fan would wait for that in a set.

Bianca: I goes intro, verse, chorus, verse etc. Very textbook but it’s really good. My favourite part was when the breakdown and the final chorus combined. It builds in a really nice way. But the thud really grates my ears. It’s just a constant big thud that runs though the chorus and the verses.

Hannah: I dunno. I quite like it.

Bianca: Maybe it’s just my shit speakers.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/klaxons/there-is-no-other-time[/soundcloud]

Show me a Miracle

Bianca: I like it. It’s really catchy. My favourite bits are the chorus and the breakdown.

Sam: The vocal samples are cool.

Lizzie: It sounds like Fragma’s “Toca’s miracle,” so every time he started singing I couldn’t concentrate on it because I had another dance song in my head (classic Lizzie).

Sam: I think his voice is familiar. It’s comforting. But at the same time it sounds like Yeasayer four years ago. Which is weird because they’re trying to be so new.

Bianca: Yeah I’m feeling a bit of nostalgia.

Hannah: To say they consider this album their debut album, they’re not heading in any new direction or breaking any ground.

Bianca: Maybe they’re even moving backwards?

Sam: They’ve struggled since their first album.

Bianca: Their first album was much less predictable

Lizzie: There are some cool things happening here, but like you said, there’s a familiarity…which isn’t a Klaxons familiarity, it’s from other established artists.

Hannah: It’s a bit of a teaser song. It hints at some really great moments but never fully goes there.

Sam: But at the same time… I kind of feel like… Indie Pop Rock is kind of… dead

Girls: OOOOOHHHHHHHH, big declaration!

Sam: It’s not around in the same way it would have been if Friendly Fires came back when they released that 8 minute song two months ago. I just don’t feel like there’s a place for it anymore.

Hannah: I think we’re just a little Klaxoned out.

Out of the Dark

Lizzie: Favourite song of the album.

Bianca: I think someone really needs to give him a light to go home to his wife Keira.

Hannah: Go home and stay home.

Sam: I find the lyrics, “If you believe in love, I believe in you,” inexcusable.

Lizzie: … Bit vomit worthy.

Hannah: …Offensive.

Sam: Unnecessary.

Sam: You know what? I prefer that Kylie Minogue song “ IIIIII believe…” to this.

Lizzie: I think this song made sense. You know, there was rhythm, the voice was ok…. everything was ok, it wasn’t great.

Bianca: I think there were some nice little moments. The bridge in particular.

Hannah: Definitely the most… cohesive of all the songs on the album. It’s very catchy, it doesn’t overpower you. People will like it and will listen to it again.

Sam: I think they’re gone in with the attitude ‘Ps get degrees’ and if that’s the case then… you’ve got an album.

Children of the Sun

Bianca: Hate it. He’s so purposely off tune it’s offensive. I find with all of their songs, I’m able to sing along to after the first verse and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing…it’s the same formula over and over again.

Hannah: Yeah, really, really, predictable with their song formula and they really, really like to recycle the song title throughout the song.

Sam: I don’t think this song even deserves us talking about it. It just sounds like an awful cover of Kasabian.

Hannah: Can we just skip it?

Lizzie: Yep. No time for it.

Invisible Forces

Hannah: So far on this album the Klaxons have proved they’re really good at a first impression, that first four bars, and then it just goes into their predictable formula and you tire of it quickly.

Sam: It’s like they have all these little notes saying, “Yeah we’re going to do that,” and then they just bulldoze over it with what they’ve already done.

Lizzie: They give you so much potential, plateau and then bring it back at the end.

Hannah: Yeah, great intros, a bit of a break down and some serious crap in between.

Sam: I feel like it’s when you come back from a long exchange and you have all these ideas that you’re going to be changed. Be nice to your mum, be nice to your friends, when really you’re just the same person you were with little intermittent changes.

Hannah: Yeah, maybe you vacuum a little more now?

Bianca: Hey! I drink cider now!

Lizzie: I just can’t get over the corniness of their lyrics.

Bianca: They’ve always had corny lyrics.

Sam: I don’t mind the corny lyrics.

Bianca: Agreed. I’m more of a tune gal than a lyric gal.

Rhythm of Life

Bianca: Soooo they need a lesson in minimalism.

Lizzie: Yeah, it’s just noise. So much noise. There’s no clarity.

Sam: Someone just needs to come in and slash away the shit.

Lizzie: And get some rhythm.

Hannah: They have a lot of potentially good ideas…and then they just don’t know how to cull.

Sam: I feel like, where is James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem in all of this? They’re the kings of just keeping it really simple and letting it build.

Lizzie: I don’t like muffled guitar. It’s not sexy. There’s nothing sexy about this, I feel like British guitar solos can be so much sexier than this cloudy bullshit they’re giving us.

Sam: Yeah, like Arctic Monkeys for example.

Lizzie: Yeah. Clean and clear.

Hannah: Sometimes it’s really good to be smacked in the face by a song… but with these ones it’s just… not.

Bianca: Yeah! Their old album used to smack you in your face but in a good way!

Hannah: Yeah! This isn’t a loving smack.

Sam: That’s because their old album was really driven by those drums, whereas they’ve replaced the drums in this one with a beat and then gone “wer, wer, wer,” with a guitar. Can we have sound FX in the article?

*All break into sound FX*

Liquid Light

Bianca: It was nice.

Sam: It was pleasant.

Lizzie: I liked…. that he wasn’t singing.

Bianca: C’mon, you said you like his voice.

Lizzie: Yeah… but in this circumstance I like that is wasn’t there?

Hannah: I like it… in its absence. It perhaps went on a verse too long?

Bianca: It probably would have served well as an interlude rather than a stand-alone song. I would have liked them to take on more of this sound in their other songs. Change it up a bit.

All together: Yeaahhhhh.

Hannah: I like it. We like it

The Dreamers

Hannah: I think this is the most inoffensive song, and it’s also the most forgettable song we’ve heard so far.

Sam: I think it’s more subtle than the rest and I like that. I think the melodic harmonies are more subtle and that’s really nice.

Bianca: I wouldn’t listen to this song on its own, but it’s a nice addition to the album

Sam: See, I would listen to it on its own and I think it’d like it even more. Here it’s after 8 songs and I’m a bit over this song now.

Lizzie: It’s like a relief.

Bianca: It gives me a chance to mop up the blood from my ears from the first series of ear-fucks.

Sam: It is necessary though.

Bianca: Chance to gather our thoughts.

Hannah: Yeah, it allows time for reflection… I just feel like you didn’t need to sing “La, la, la, la, la…” to give people this reflection.

Sam: True. But then I feel like it wouldn’t sound right on the album if they weren’t singing “ la, la, la, la…”

Hannah: You mean if they didn’t have lame lyrics?

Atom to Atom

Hannah: Well, that’s a surprise.

Sam:…I don’t know, I just don’t know….

Hannah: I’m exhausted by this album.

Sam: That drop was absolutely ridiculous. I feel like someone was speeding around me on a motorbike and hitting a tin can.

Lizzie: No words for this album.

Hannah: It’s like a woodpecker pecking the side of your head

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/klaxons/atom-to-atom[/soundcloud]

Love Frequency

Bianca: I waited THAT WHOLE TIME, and it was so close but it never climaxed.

Lizzie: Left. Hanging.

Hannah: It was never great to begin with.

Sam: Really?

Bianca: I had really high expectations for that.

Sam: I liked it and I actually liked that it didn’t drop. None of the music I listen to have a drop, so I don’t know why I got so excited for one but I’m actually feeling quite anxious and panty.

Bianca: Well, all the other songs follow the same method.. this one is kind of a little different in a good way.

LIzzie: True. That was my favourite, weirdly. I don’t know why. I hated it but I loved it.

Sam: That’s because there was a chance of a drop and you were like, “Oh Fuck yeah!”

Hannah: It’s just like when you first start having sex… It’s not all that great it begin with, it’s a little all over the place and then there’s promise of something great at the end… that just never really happens either.

Sam: Wait. That was only when you first started having sex?

*Laughter*

firstimpressions10june2

First Impressions 10 June

firstimpressions10june

Here are six songs that we kept in our company over the long weekend. While some were pleasant, others came armed with expletives and harsh beats. We reviewed them at the end of the weekend, taking particular note of their willingness to please the ears and their likeness to snozberries.

AG Cook- Beautiful

Sam: PC Music just sounds so futuristic and inhuman that it’s hard to attach yourself with. I think I’ve finally come around to it. Beautiful is so kitsch yet so melodic and lolly-like. It’s something new and I’m loving it. 4

Hannah: This is what happens when some seriously great production goes full throttle towards those shimmery, euphoric, highs we came to know and love during the happy house wave. It really hits its stride around the 1:20 mark, and from there on in it’s all rainbow coloured streets and snozberries that ACTUALLY taste like snozberries. #PLUR 3.5

Bianca:

 2.5

Lizzie: I feel like I just stepped out of an episode of Rugrats. When the song thickens at 1:20 seconds, it’s really hard not to bounce along. However, I’m still not sold on the whole Hello Kitty sound – its a very very new sound to my ears. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/pcmus/beautiful[/soundcloud]

Caribou- Can’t Do Without You

Sam: I’m still not really over Odessa so it’s hard to accept that something new has come along. In saying that Can’t Do Without You is a grower and that climax at the end is well worth the wait. The vocal sample is also a total winner too. 4

Hannah: This is what I like to call a ninja song. See, you think you’ve heard all there is to hear and then all of a sudden some new crystalline layer creeps in so perfectly you begin to wonder if it wasn’t there all along. The climax is epic. The fade out is insane. The vocal sample is too too smooth. Caribou I’m glad you’re back. Ninja’d. Hannah’s pick

Bianca: I was so ready for another Odessa-style poppy track from Dan Snaith but certainly was not disappointed in its more relaxed successor. Can’t Do Without You is a slow-burner with a satisfying climax, topped off by a lovely vocal surprise at the end. Snaith’s Album Our Love is due out in three long months’ time so I guess I’ll just have to listen to this on repeat until then. 4 Bianca’s pick

Lizzie: Please excuse me while I just go eargasm. The climax of this song is unnervingly good. I’m left a little hot and flustered. 4 Lizzie’s pick

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/caribouband/cant-do-without-you[/soundcloud]

Drake- O to 100

Sam: Drake says it best when he raps “Fuck being on that chill shit”. He’s become a bit melancholic lately and it’s good to hear him rapping hell for leather again. And then he flips to The Catch Up and we get lush synths and a melodic Drake that proves he can swap between the two effortlessly. Kanye and Future are really the only other two rappers that can do that. 3.5

Hannah: Drake, I’mma let you finish but, James fucking Blake. 3.5

Bianca: Something, something n***a. Something, something bitches. Hold up, James Blake? This song really went from 0-100 real quick. Real fucking quick. 4

Lizzie: Could not stand to listen past the first 30 seconds of this track, but I obliged. I should probably get some medal or something. This song is painful. 1

SBTRKT- Temporary View

Sam: I do like this but my problem lies with the fact that it’s just so similar to his debut. It’s three years on and yet we’re back to Sampha and a wash of synths and sporadic beats. It’s a formula that works but one I’m going to soon tire of. 3

Hannah: SBTRKT really pushed some boundaries with this one… 3

Bianca: It’s a harmless, glittery number that doesn’t really go anywhere. 2.5

Lizzie: The synth sounds like its have a seizure in the background. Completely missed the mark. 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/sbtrkt/sbtrkt-temporary-view-ft-sampha[/soundcloud]

Fishing- Your Mouth

Sam: Well this is a bit of fun isn’t it? It’s full of tropical keys and a nice leaping beats. It’s really quite cruel to drop this in the midst of winter. It’s quite different to any Australian music right now. That’s refreshing to hear. 3

Hannah: Fishing have been on my “Welll… if there’s no one else playing at this time,” festival list for a good 3 years now. If I ever do get to see them, I will be suitably clad in an hawaiian-shirt and drinking from a pineapple. 2.5

Bianca: There’s a little bit too much going on for me to fully sink into this song. 2.5

Lizzie: Just another song to add to the “Made in Chelsea” soundtrack. Upbeat and a little smarmy but nothing to rave home about. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/fishing/your-mouth[/soundcloud]

Starchild- All My Lovers

Sam: Blood Orange and Solange have done such a good thing re-designing this sleek, brand of NYC RnB. Starchild hangs in that click and it shows. All My Lovers is all about subtlety. It grows ever so slowly, he sings like a male-Aaliyah and there’s this smoke-machine like haze that runs through it. I’m so excited by Starchild. Quite frankly, this is the most promising debut I’ve heard all year. 5 Sam’s Pick

Hannah: I just can’t get on board with this one. It’s too slow and too derivative and just doesn’t hold its own against all other producers with a similar sound floating around at the moment. 2.5

Bianca: Saving this one for a purple rainy day. 3

Lizzie: Toured with Solange, collaborated with Blood Orange – what could go wrong with this artist? For all its beauty (damn there is a lot of talent within this 19 year old), I struggle to digest a song this slow. It’s just sooooooo slow. 3

Sam: You’re all crazy.

firstimpressionshomepage

First Impressions 2 June

firstimpressions

For this week’s reviews we’re delving into all things pop. Whether it’s straight up, glitter-pop or left-of-centre pop, we’re dipping our toes in all things melodic. It takes us to some unsettling EDM territory, vintage Hollywood and the ’80s. Those things combined have to mean a good time…right?

La Roux– Uptight Downtown

Sam: I did love Let Me Down Gently but this is what I expected from La Roux. Elly Jackson is an exquisite pop creator and this sort of reminds me of Bowie’s Let’s Dance . Mandating everyone to ‘move, move move’ is always a good idea. I’ve probably played this in excess of 20 times this week. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: Can I really understand what she’s saying? No not really. Do I care? No a cent. I’m mesmerised too much by her boppy poppy beat. La Roux delivers again and again. My vote for consistently giving me chills! Lizzie’s Pick

Hannah: This song reminds me of a long lost old friend that suddenly walks back into your life. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable and it’s damn good to see them again. Now move, move, move. 3.5

Bianca: So good to have Elly back in my ears. Does my vote still count if this listen was about my 30th impression? 4.5 Bianca’s Pick

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/la-roux-official/la-roux-uptight-downtown[/soundcloud]

Kylie Minogue- Crystallize

Sam: Damn Dev Hynes is such a brilliant pop-producer. There’s a glistening charm to this, which he’s done, without much help from Kylie I’m sure. It’s for a good cause but my goodness the video is a stinker. Truth be told, I really don’t mind the song though. #TeamKylie. 3

Lizzie: NOTE:  DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO CLIP. It is god awful. The song on the other hand, follows yet another perfect recipe for pop catchiness. Produced by Blood Orange (say what!?), I feel I’ve been transported back to a 90’s Blue Light Disco…may have even caught myself singing this in the shower this morning. Miss Minogue you’ve done it to me again. 3.5

Hannah: ….but… but… it just doesn’t go anywhere? 2

Bianca: I want to hate this video clip so bad but it takes me back to my hairbrush-singing-in-the-mirror days that I can’t help but feel nostalgic. That’s probably where my affection ends though. To put it bluntly, I certainly wouldn’t be turning my chair around for this one. 2

The Preatures– Two Tone Melody

Sam: Isabella Manfredi’s vocals are pure sex. I feel like they hark back to Chrissy Amphlett in the way of that really gritty, smokey tone. I’m so glad they’ve gone for a slow tempo and understated melody so that Manfredi can take the spotlight. 4

Lizzie: Well hello Ministry of Sound Chill Out album 2014. It kinda makes me want to move to Byron Bay for some reason. I feel that’s a good thing…The vocals by Manfredi, really own this song. Simple, majestic and fluid. 4

Hannah: Manfredi, I’m yours, I’m yours I’m yours. Simultaneously melancholic, whimsical and strangely hopeful, this song is destined for “soundtrack to your life” type lists everywhere. Excuse me while I go back to staring dreamily out of my rain strewn window. 3

Bianca: It’s an emotionally genuine, honest song but it wouldn’t feature on the soundtrack of my life. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/thepreatures/two-tone-melody-album-version[/soundcloud]

Wife- Tongue

Sam: Haxan Cloak’s production on this is the beginning is minimal brilliance but it’s all about 2:13 when it takes flight. The rollicking beat really smacks you in the stomach. It’s a very bold move for Wife to introduce himself this way, but it captures your attention. It’s all about the ebbs and flows. 3.5

Lizzie: This song does nothing for me. It’s too slow, harsh for the ears and general vibe is too intense for me. Just not my cup of tea sorry. 2

Hannah: The perfectly practised, totally atmospheric restraint of the first half of this track, coupled with the dark seduction and bone shattering anger of the climactic second has me hooked. Big, big, big fan. 4 Hannah’s Pick

Bianca: Probably not the best song for a hungover Monday morning but I can appreciate the raw emotions of the track. Hot tip: Do not search ‘wife + tongue’ on Youtube. Unless you’re into that kinda thing. 2.5

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/tri_angle_records/wife-tongue[/soundcloud]

Lana Del Rey- Shades of Cool

Sam: This is Lana’s second album and I still feel like we’re as far away from knowing who she actually is as ever. It’s still very vintage Hollywood. I like that she’s roughed it up a bit for Ultraviolence but it sounds like something I’d do at Karaoke at 4am in the morning, swaying, slightly off pitch and thinking I’m seducing everyone around. 2.5

Lizzie: Bond… James Bond. Is anyone else feeling that vibe – Daniel Craig shooting his gun into the distance in his newest franchise with this track echoing in the distance? I have utterly succumbed to the sexy broodiness of this song. 4 Lizzie’s very close second

Hannah: This week we’ve got the work of two major songstresses featured on First Impressions. First Kylie and now Ms Del Rey and yet I really feel neither of them delivers a track that goes anywhere I’m willing to go. Kylie’s chugs along a predictable pop princess route and Del Rey’s just crumbles into a sepia-toned car crash of messy guitar and percussion. It probably doesn’t help I hate Lana Del Rey at her best. 1.5

Bianca: If you’re a Lana Del Rey fan, you’ll no doubt be singing her praises for her latest track. If you’re not a fan, don’t worry, nothing’s changed. She’s the same Lana you know and don’t love. 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/north-bound-beats/lana-del-rey-shades-of-cool[/soundcloud]

 

Deadmau5- Seeya (Feat. Colleen D’Agostino)

Sam: Frankly, it’s a cheap rip-off of Daft Punk and the disco flavoured-EDM sound that has followed. The vocalist is devoid of any type of human-appeal and the instrumental is so bland I’d rather be eating wet wipes. If Deadmau5 took me for a ride in his car and made me endure this, I’d open the door and roll-out. Seeya! 0.5

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Lizzie: He said he had this track lying around for a while, waiting to be released. He should have released it way back when…now it just sounds like a shitty electro attempt to cover the current funk disco vibe doing its rounds atm. (deadmau2.5)

Hannah: Yes Colleen D’Agostino you can move my body… away from the speakers pronto. And my mind is already well and truly asleep. Mission accomplished. Total yawn. 0.5

Bianca: Colleen’s voice makes me want to put a giant mouse on her head just so I don’t have to hear that screech. The track certainly has amiable disco vibes about it but fails to take me to funky town. Points for effort, I guess. 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/mau5trap/deadmau5-featuring-colleen-dagostino-seeya[/soundcloud]

 

FIRSTIMPRESS

First Impressions 26 May

firstimpressions29may

It seems new music is caught in a funk. In the best possible way. This week everything has been struck by the rhythm stick, with funky guitars, wobbling synths and MJ-esque vocals permeating the collection. Get out your favourite Disco Stu boots and let’s boogie through this week’s collection.

Juce – (H)ours

Sam: Juce are tomorrow’s big news. I’m getting flashbacks to All Saints, Jamiroquai and Macy Gray. I can understand how that combination sounds awful but I mean it in the best way. This is a modern, disco classic. 4

Bianca: I’m really enjoying the girl band revival that’s going on right now. Juce’s sound is kind of a disco and ‘90s hybrid which makes for a delightful funk when teamed with lead singer Chalin’s raspy vocals. Juce are certain to be the next big thing, with their unique groove, a touch of sass and a whole lotta girl power. 4

Lizzie: 

This track really warms up after about 40 secs, so hang in there. It’s a real flare-pant-wearing, hustle-inducing, head bopper. 4

Hannah: To be honest, I was really hesitant to get involved in this week’s First Impressions, mainly because it would mean putting down Chromeo’s White Woman album for the first time in a long time. Having done so, I think we can safely say disco is having a very happy revival and I’m loving it. 4

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/annie-mac-presents/fmm-juce-hours[/soundcloud]

BANKS- Drowning

Sam: I’m struggling to keep finding different words of praise for BANKS. That bellowing voice, those ball-crushing lyrics, that skittering beat- it’s all perfect. This album needs to be in my ears stat. And I swear, if people start adding this to ‘chill’ playlists, I’ll burst a blood vessel.  4.5  Sam’s Pick

Bianca: The sultry vocals accompanied with the ratchety backbeat certainly paint a picture of Banks’ entrapment in a bad relationship, further hammered into us by the ghostly echo of her lyrics. Her style is verging slightly on Lana Del Rey territory but thankfully is unique in her right. 4.5

Lizzie: This is a darkly seductive track. A Lana Del Rey on steroids, Banks just oozes raw talent. You find yourself just melting into a song like this, I’m literally itching in excitement for the release of her debut album. 4 Lizzie’s Pick

Hannah: BANKS does Lana Del Ray better than Lana Del Rey. Let’s just go ahead and replace her on the Gatsby soundtrack and forget that god awful Young and Beautiful blip ever happened, Ok? Every hair on my body stands up as that bass drops heralding the chorus. Quite simply put, I’m hooked. 4.5 Hannah’s Pick

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/banksbanksbanks/banks-drowning[/soundcloud]

Chris Malinchak (Feat. Mikky Ekko)- Stranger

Sam: First things first, this will be a massive hit, no doubt. Secondly, it deserves to be. It’s got an effortless disco groove that’s only bettered by Ekko’s crystalline vocal. Malinchak and Ekko do MJ better than posthumous MJ does MJ. 3.5

Bianca: Digging the on-trend shimmering disco vibe of this track. Ekko’s going to find it hard to Xscape from Michael Jackson comparisons and, admittedly, his vocals are almost too ‘a-hee hee!’ for my liking but he’s definitely got something special going on. 3

Lizzie: What’s with the funk, disco vibe going around at the moment? It’s everywhere! It’s going to take every ounce of effort not say this song sounds like Michael Jackson. This is a glittery performance by the up and coming DJ/producer. It doesn’t shine as much as So Good To Me did for me last year, but I am still excited to see what else this guy offers up in 2014. 4

Hannah: Lizzie, apparently I don’t have the same restraint as you. This is a Jackson sound. This is a Daft Punk meets Pharrell sound. This is a Chromeo sound. This is a GREAT sound that makes you want to break out your brightest Lycra and throw on a Jane Fonda workout video or two but this is by no means a new sound. I like it because well, how can you not? Now where are my sweat bands? 3.5

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/chrismalinchak/stranger[/soundcloud]

Nicki Minaj- Pills and Potions

Sam: Minaj is a great rapper. It took Starships for people to forget her insane verse on Monster, but this one may regain her some cred. Its barebone production makes it hard to get overly excited but she’s heading in the right direction. 3

Bianca: This is somewhat different from Minaj’s other work. Good for her for trying something new, I guess. 1.5

Lizzie: Well, this is different. A big departure from her usual sassy geddup. This raw, stripped back track, is well…meh. Hats off for her trying something different, I just can’t see her fitting into the whole cookie-cutter vibe. 3

Hannah: When Rihanna momentarily steps down from her pop princess pedestal, she produces raw, stripped back, KILLER tracks like Stay that remind you why she’s held in such high esteem to begin with. When Minaj tries to do the same thing, you find yourself imploring her to jump back on her throne (slash Starship) and stick to what she knows. Who needs creative diversity anyway? I do like the bass though. 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/hits-only/nicki-minaj-pills-and-potions[/soundcloud]

Zeds Dead and Twin Shadow- Lost You

Sam: It’s very last-year-Disclosure, but as an imitation it does a good job. Twin Shadow’s vocal is wonderfully soulful and the chorus he musters is hands-in-the-air stuff but Zeds Dead’s production just feels a little bland. But I suppose who cares when you’re getting down at 4am. 2.5

Bianca: The Disclosure-esque syncopated percussion could get me dancingbut can’t see this getting stuck in my head any time soon. 2.5  

Lizzie: I totally agree with Sam on this one, it sounds like some un-released (shitty) Disclosure stuff.

Why it works? Great catchy vocals.

Why it doesn’t work? The backbeat runs too light and too fast fast for me – it doesn’t really pack a punch. 3

Hannah: Sam, we live in Sydney. Ain’t nobody getting at 4am these days. Why bother with imitation when the real thing is just so darn good at any time of the day or night? 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/zedsdead/zeds-dead-twin-shadow-lost-you-feat-dangelo-lacy/[/soundcloud]

Jungle- Time

Sam: Tune after tune after tune, Jungle are funking me over. I feel like the whole cast of Saturday Night Fever is marching fervently towards me to the beat, backing me into a dark corner. It’s awesome. 4

Bianca: Jungle win me over time and time again with their modern day Bee Gees vibe. 4.5 Bianca’S Pick

Lizzie: This is groovy track with some damn sexy vocals. I just want to break down and boogie! 4

Hannah: Something, something, disco. Something, something, funk. 3.5

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/pierre-della-monica/jungle-time[/soundcloud]

 

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