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FirstImpressions_4Aug_2

First Impressions: FKA Twigs, SOPHIE, Kate Boy + more

FirstImpressions_4Aug

Four people holding one rose each and yet there are six songs to choose from. Among them are some of the most eligible artists in the music world* with feisty females like Jessie J, arty types like FKA Twigs and the sentimental kind like Porter Robinson and #1 Dads. While some will be left brokenhearted, two artists in particular win the adoration of the interns.

*We can’t guarantee all these artists are eligible but they sound like they’re up for a good time.

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj- Bang Bang

Sam: Ugh. I’m all for a big diva anthem but nothing sticks with this one. The hook is like something from a Michael Buble meets the songs of Hairspray album and throughout I hear a lot of screaming cats. Nicki’s verse is fire, of course, but it feels like Ariana knows it’s shit and Jessie is way too into it. 1

Bianca: Jessie, Ariana AND Nicki? As suspected, three wrongs do not make a right. Excuse me while I go bang bang into my head. 0

blam

Lizzie: Although it pains me to say it, this song is going to be a hit. Ergh. 2

Hannah: Remember when Xtina jazzed up her sound in the most appropriate pop-diva way possible and released that killer cover of Car Wash with a verse from Missy Elliot…? Yeah that’s not what’s happening here as much as they wish it was. 0.5 

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/dafrican/jessie-j-bang-bang-ft-ariana-grande-nicki-minaj-2014-world-premier[/soundcloud]

FKA Twigs- Pendulum

Sam: After the above song I feel like I’m back in my happy place. I already decided off Two Weeks that Twigs is my favourite artist of the year so all this is just a bonus. Pendulum undulates with intricacy and Twigs takes all the time she needs with the melody. She’s the queen of subtlety and yet also a master at theatrics. This is supreme. 4.5  Sam‘s Pick  

Bianca: FKA Twigs is easily one of the most interesting artists right now. Pendulum is weirdly beautiful and manages to maintain power and intensity through the most delicate of nuances. It’s her ability to make these contradictions, to gently oscillate between subtle and intense, that keeps me coming back for more. 3.5 

Lizzie: Ain’t no one going to rush FKA Twigs through this one. Not too dissimilar to Two Weeks, the soft pops of her to-die-for angelic voice, blended with the slow pattering back beat make for yet another mesmerising track. I have no idea what she is saying, but I’m ok with that. 4

Hannah: This is a heart melting lullaby sung out in the heart of industry. As the pendulum cranks and croons all around, FKA Twigs’ melody is all centring and all soothing. She is simply undeniable. 4.5  Hannah‘s Pick  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw6H9YsTLek

SOPHIE- Lemonade

Sam: Oh I love dem candy noises. The trickle at the beginning of this track is total ear candy, literally. From there it’s just full of runaway melodies, Eurotrash synths and popping beats. I guess the whole experience is all a bit like eating popping candy. It doesn’t match the expertise of Bipp, but it comes close. 4

Bianca: There just seems to be no substance to this song, apart from way too many colours and preservatives. It’s a sickly-sweet, hands-rubbing-on-balloon headache of a song, although, admittedly, listening to this after I spent all day at a kids’ birthday party probably hasn’t worked in its favour. 

Lizzie: Straight out of Willy Wonka washing machine! Please go back to Oompa Loompa Land, SOPHIE. Not even Veruca Salt wants you. 1

Hannah: This sounds like Alvin and The Chipmunks found on their way to a DDR machine and now can’t decide if they want to battle it to the sounds of drum and bass or J-Pop. 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/msmsmsm/sophie-lemonade[/soundcloud]

Kate Boy- Self Control

Sam: I am pretty pissed that I had to wait almost two years after falling in love with Northern Lights for Self Control, but hey, I suppose it’s worse for fans of The Avalanches. That aside, Self Control has absolutely none of what its title suggests. It’s a big, bombastic pop song with a chorus that would make Dr. Luke salivate. From this point onwards pop music should only be made by the Swedish. 3.5 

Bianca: I’m enjoying the tribal beat and poppy synths but the vocal melody, particularly in the chorus, leaves a lot to be desired. 

Lizzie: Love the thump of the start. If only this was an instrumental version I could be left bopping awkwardly by myself for hours. There must be something in the water in Sweden, because they just keep churning out hit after hit! 3.5

Hannah: There really is something in the water over there in Sweden. Want to make a great pop record? Make like Kate Akhurst, hope a flight over and take one long glassy sip from the closest crystalline lake. This is exactly how all pop music should sound. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/kateboy/self-control[/soundcloud]

#1 Dads- So Soldier

Sam: Right off the bat that guitar riff hits me right in the heart, then Ainslie Wills comes in with this Cat Power-esque vocals and continues to just chip away at me. Tom Iansek and Wills sound so perfect together on the chorus. 3.5

Bianca: What a combo! Iansek’s strumming guitar has this essence of familiarity from the get-go, while Wills’ dreamy voice manages to transport me somewhere, far, far away. 3.5 

Lizzie: Definitely a Summer road trip kinda track – pack a picnic and set off! Ainslie’s voice is broody and seductive, but what truly shines in this track is the guitar, it’s just so floaty and nostalgic. 4

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/pieater/1-dads-so-soldier-feat-ainslie-wills-about-face-lp-2014[/soundcloud]

Porter Robinson- Flicker

Sam: Finally Porter just goes screw it with subtlety and includes the most explicit representation of his Japanese influences yet. This is a crescendoing, textural, dynamic soundtrack to an anime game that conveniently doubles as a great electronic track. 4

Bianca: ヽ(=´▽`=)ノ ♪♬  ☆*・゜゚・*(^O^)/*・゜゚・*☆ ♪♬ ヾ(。◕ฺ∀◕ฺ)ノ

I’m digging everything this song is throwing at me. It’s so multi-layered and kept me enthralled the entire time, first with the funky, almost disco-inspired guitar riff, punctuated by anime-inspired spoken word, before dramatically reaching its glittery finale. I feel like I’ve just successfully completed the final level of a Sega game.  Bianca’s Pick  

Lizzie: I am a bit torn with this song. Half of it sounds like my Furby keeps turning on and off. The other second half however, in typical Porter style, opens up to be a grand, layered big room sound we I know and love. He drops the bass like no one else around the 2:50 sec mark, but with his Japanese twang – genius. Not my fav on the new Worlds album, but still pretty damn good.   Lizzies Pick  

Hannah: A novice when it comes to the world of EDM and its producers, I’ve been listening to this track all week on Hype Machine (what was that about first impressions?) unsure if admitting to this kind of Porter Robinson over all others would have me vilified by those in the know. That said, as long as Sam likes it, I’m happy to admit I do too. 3.5

FirstImpressions_28July2

First Impressions: SBTRKT, BANKS, Jessie Ware + more

FirstImpressions_28July

In the midst of the Splendour in the Grass weekend bender we found some time to sit down with a few new tracks. Here’s our slightly sleep-deprived reactions to those tunes.

Jessie Ware- Share It All

Bianca: It reminds me of Intro by the xx. It’s really dreamy, it lulls you into a dream state. It could be on repeat and I wouldn’t realise.  4                        

Lizzie: it feels soft and whimsical. I feel I’m floating away on a cloud with it. It’s not too sickly sweet though. 4    

Sam: her voice is extraordinary. It just floats when she holds those notes. Romy’s co-write is also very evident. It has the same sparseness that the xx do and that does wonders for Ware’s voice.  3.5

HannahHer voice. It just floats and lingers. It pitches and ungulates so smoothly over the sparse, can’t hide nothing, melody. It’s got a really welcomed breathy quality complimented by her RnB grid. Admittedly, it errs on the repetitive, slightly predictable side but let’s be honest, if you’re listening to this song you probably have other things on your mind. So sexy. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/jessieware/jessiewareshareit-all[/soundcloud]

SBTRKT- New Dorp. New York (Feat. Ezra Koenig)

Bianca: It’s weirdly wonderful. I love Ezra’s voice and it’s good to hear it accompanied by something so different. It’s a great mixture of chaotic percussion and funky guitar that drives a subtle groove. 4.5 Bianca’s Pick

Lizzie: I don’t love Ezra’s talking voice on this it sounds a little bit like Flight of the Concords. But I love everything else about it. I feel that it would be crazy in a club.  4 Lizzie’s Pick

Sam: I thought Temporary View was way too safe so I am suitably thrilled that this one takes huge risks. That female vocal under Ezra’s voice is so New York chic. It’s very pretentious but done so well that it’s hard not to love. Wildly chaotic yet comfortably familiar.  4.5

Hannah: This is a totally new sound for SBTRKT, and a totally welcomed one at that. The licking bass and subtle, building percussion is irresistibly catchy, while the chorus brims with perfectly selected samples just long enough to remind you that this isn’t all funk. It’s a great way to reintroduce his new album, especially after that blip of a release last month. New York, New York! 4

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/detailsofmylifenet/sbtrkt-new-drop-new-york-feat[/soundcloud]

BANKS – Beggin’ For Thread

Lizzie: With all due respect to BANKS I feel like it fits in a Mandy Moore teen flick. It’s a bit teenie-bopper for me.   3.5  

Bianca: I’m with Lizzie on the 90s vibe but there’s an RnB vibe that’s much cooler than Mandy Moore. The broodiness of Drowning is there but this time it feels like she can breathe a bit better. The creeping quality is sexy. 4

Sam: This is her most forward pop moment yet and it’s brilliant. She’s so dark yet so so alluring. It’s great to hear a sound so consistent but also daring. The man who did BANKS wrong has done us all a favour.  4.5 Sam’s Pick

Hannah: This is a perfect example of how sultry, sexy pop should be done. The lyrics are hard hitting and belted with the type of confidence that comes when you’re being so bad it’s good. The breakdown that crescendos into her final chorus is impeccably placed, securing Banks as one to watch. Hannah’s Pick

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/banksbanksbanks/banks-beggin-for-thread[/soundcloud]

Ryan Hemsworth- Gods (Feat. UV Boi)

Bianca: It’s got nothing particularly distinctive about it other than giving me false hope that I recieved a few messages. In saying that it would be a fun addition to a dj set as a filler song. 2

Lizzie: there’s artists that use real sounds and others that use it in an annoying way. It’s like hearing a siren in a song when you’re driving. I thought it was going to go somewhere but it didn’t for me. 2.5

Sam: From the computer age straight to my heart. It’s got a PC Music quality to it and I love how he uses unconventional sounds to create melody. At this point, Hemsworth is one of electronic music’s most important names. This further proves that. 4

Hannah: Ryan Hemsworth can do no wrong. That effortlessly melodic intro, glitchy samples and surprise drum solo is the perfect introduction to what is a track perhaps ever so slightly less whimsical than what we’ve come to know him for. While playful and full obscure samples, this track has march, pace and guts, at times teetering on the side of too much but pulling right back before it falls. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/ryanhemsworth/gods-with-uv-boi[/soundcloud]

Rustie- Attack (Feat. Danny Brown)

Bianca: I like it. But I couldn’t listen to it on my own. I’d rather hear it in a club. I think I’d get low. But not that low. Medium low.   3.5

Lizzie: I really like this song. I think it would be much better live with a crowd of people. I love Danny Brown’s flow. 4

Sam: I just got smacked in the head with a bat and then thrown in a monster truck. This one goes so hard. Rustie and Danny Brown are a great pairing but I’d need anti-anxiety pills to hear this again.  3

Hannah: This is has the guise of being something you’d happily get low to in a dark club at 3am, before you quickly realise it’s just a cheap imitation and a headache waiting to happen. 2

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/rustie/attak-feat-danny-brown[/soundcloud]

Joe Goddard- Endless Love (Feat. Betsy)

Bianca: Hot Chip can never do anything wrong in my eyes. I liked the slow build and the 90s vocals but it didn’t have much body to it. 3.75

Lizzie: I really liked it. It wasn’t too weird to annoy me and it was interesting enough to keep me occupied. I could get lost on the dance-floor to this. 4

Sam: I found this alarmingly annoying. I like the one part where Betty got to sing a full voice but her chopped and screwed vocals had me clenching my teeth. Surely he could have done something more with that mediocre beat too. Love Joe usually but not today. 2

HannahI really don’t want to say this. But is anyone kind of bored? As far as lounge music goes it’s great and there’s some really crystalline moments, like the flickering “endless love,” vocal and the percussive samples that sneak in underneath that, but otherwise… Snooze. 2.5

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/greco-roman/joe-goddard-endless-love-feat-betsy[/soundcloud]

 

FI_21July2

First Impressions: Tkay Maidza, Perfume Genius, TOKiMONSTA + more

FI_21June

This week, dance-music reigns as we review a number of different takes on the genre from smooth RnB to EDM to PC Music. Enter the madness that is First Impressions below:

Tkay Maidza- U-Huh 

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/tkaymaidza[/soundcloud]

Bianca: U-Huh is a more than palatable pop song with some serious hip-hop influences. The hook is instantly infectious and I’m excited to see what else is to come from the Adelaide-born, PG-rated, Azaelia Banks Jnr. firecracker. Bianca’s Pick

Sam: This is a perfect example of when you let a great pop song eventuate under the most natural of circumstances. Every major label in Australia take note- this is how you craft a hit. It’s effortlessly melodic, full of personality and fun to boot. Tkay is surely bound for huge things. 4

Lizzie: I have been a Tkay fan for over a year now, I just think she is the shiz – not just because she is from Adelaide but she has this incredible universal appeal and at just 18 years old, her production skills are impressive. It’s not as punchy as Brontosaurus, but I feel this Summer-time nostalgia – similar to that, after listening to M.I.A‘s Paper Planes4

Hannah: Alright Lizzie, we get it. You’re from Adelaide, she’s from Adelaide, you can claim her. I agree though, Tkay Maidza is a much more bearable Australian answer to M.I.A. She raps across the beat with effortless attitude. It’s fun and instantly infectious. 4

Airhead- Believe

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/thump/a1-believe?in=thump/sets/airhead-believe-ep[/soundcloud]

Bianca: The ping pong echoes put the club into the church, evoking visualisations of a Sunday sermon that offers a little less bread and a helluva lot more wine. The record crackling sample also adds a subtle, nostalgic touch. The TV beep effect, however, is a little less welcoming on my ears. 3.5

Sam: The industrial production of this one makes sure that the bass bangs you right into next Saturday. The production feels icy cold, yet the preaching vocal sample that runs under it is comfortably familiar. Some of these sounds just echo around my head, bouncing off dead space (and believe me, there is quite a lot of that). 3.5 

Lizzie: I can feel myself float away with this track. This song could be on repeat for hours and I would have no idea – it’s very much a song that just blends into the background. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it just has its own special place in my iTunes library. 3

Hannah: The bass on this one is pure, paired-back house. Something you’d expect to find during the early hours of a Berlin warehouse rave or beneath a Jimmy Edgar track. Its intricate  and complex use of layered sampling keeps you interested, while the vocal pleads with you to believeee in the track just enough  to keep you pulsing right on through. 3.5

Steve Angello- Wasted Love (Feat. Dougy from Temper Trap)

Bianca: This song feels like it belongs in 2009 and I think my 19-year-old self would have loved it. Dougi Mandagy’s voice has a nice familiarity to it but, sadly, I ain’t 19 no more. 2.5

Sam: Dammit. Don’t get me wrong, this is more same, same EDM with barely anything to set it apart from the rest but I’m such a sucker for a crisp, pop hook. Dougy brings that in abundance but I’m so confused. I usually can’t stand the whiny aura of The Temper Trap but there is something somewhat euphoric about this. Also is this not Sky Full Of Stars p.2? DM me if you have answers. 2.5

Lizzie: This track is all about Dougy’s voice, and not about Steve Angello – his production here is subtle, and I think it works really well. It’s the perfect Summer tune; uplifting, all about love and just in time for the Tomorrowland after-movie soundtrack! 3.5

Hannah: This is just more of that tried and tested EDM formula circulating at the moment. Chiefly, hide the fact it’s yet another unbearable, stock standard EDM song, beneath some very cleverly placed, makes-you-want-to-sing-along vocals. Eh. 2.5

TOKiMONSTA- Realla (Feat. Anderson Paak)

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/tokimonsta/realla-feat-anderson-paak[/soundcloud]

Bianca: Was it really necessary to spell ‘real’ the way it’s being pronounced? Ugh this track is way too smooth for my liking. 4 realz. 2

Sam: *Adds Anderson Paak to iPod* TokiMonsta kills the productions of this one with those jabbing, brass undertones but Anderson Paak, am I right? The man just murders it on this one flicking between drawn-out RnB vocals and singing rap-like verses. 4 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie: Please listen to this track with your eyes closed. It is the only way to truly appreciate the layered sounds and surround-sound experience this song creates – it’s spine-tingling. Then the horns come in, oh when the horns come in. I’m sold! 4 Lizzie’s Pick

Hannah: For Realla baby, this track hits you with an instantly welcomed Frank Ocean, Channel Orange nostalgia. That brass, that bass, that cascading vocal sample that falls between Paak’s third verse rap. Grind. Just grind. 4.5 Hannah’s Pick 

Bianca: Yeah, okay. I see how it is…

GFOTY- Don’t Wanna/Let’s Do It

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/pcmus/dont-wanna-lets-do-it[/soundcloud]

Bianca: I really can’t seem to get into PC music. A kid pressing random buttons on a soundboard would produce better noise than this techy headache. 0

Sam: Unlike Bianca, I think PC Music is one of the most interesting and exciting things to happen in the last year or two. Like everything we’ve heard from the label, this is bonkers but it’s even more so than the others. The bipolar flick between I don’t wanna do it/Let’s do it is something I deal with on a daily basis. I have the same conflict with this song. I love it, I also hate it. I’m going to flick to I love it, purely because I keep going back to listen for more. There’s so much hidden melody in this, it’s just chopped up and displaced everywhere. Beautifully incoherent. 3.5

Lizzie: Please, I beg of you, tell me this is not music!? It sounds like a toy-store coming alive when everyone’s asleep. Wake me from this nightmare!! 0

Hannah: When an EDM queen dishes out a zero, you know the song’s clutching at straws. That said, this song has moments of rhythmic crescendo and almost satisfying bass, but ultimately it’s riding an escalator to nowhere. Is that the point of PC music? Who knows. I feel though in the hands of a remix master, that sample could have potential. 2

Perfume Genius- Queen

Bianca: Mike Hadreas is truly making a statement with his comeback track. The steady, marching beat sets the tone with more pomp than a high school graduation. His haunting vocals and synths are gloriously juxtaposed with the cheerful whistling instrument, giving Queen a slightly creepy quality. 3.5

Sam: I found Perfume Genius’ last album a little too introverted to completely get into but Queen is a different story. It’s so outwardly bold, that it feels like a different artists altogether. I would’ve liked a bit more of a climax in the final quarter but apart from that I’m captivated. Please sir, can I have some more? 3.5

Lizzie:  I took one whiff of this Perfume Genius and can’t say I am a fan of the broody and creepy vibe, it’s just not my style. While I can appreciate all the elements – the slow beat, variety of kooky instruments and echoing vocals – I just can help but feel a little sad after listening. It’s a Monday and I need a pick-me-up! 2.5

Hannah: If I was still the Hannah that listened to The Editors and Cold War Kids, I’d be right on board with this suburban angst track. As it is, the languid vocals over what feels like an incredibly lazy guitar-meet-drum-kit production just doesn’t do it for me. Why the dog barking sample? 2.5

fridaylockin_2

Friday Lock-in: La Roux – Trouble in Paradise

lockin_laroux

It’s been a long, five-year wait since La Roux‘s glorious debut album. Some thought it would never come, others forgot that La Roux was Bulletproof. Well, she’s still wearing that vest but this time she’s headed for paradise but rather than enjoying cocktails and learning to hula-dance she’s sitting in the hotel room weeping. Enter this week’s lock-in. We may be in the midst of winter but La Roux’s ’70s funk and tropical-synths may just be enough to pull us out of our Winter slumber.

Uptight Downtown

Lizzie: Did anyone live in the UK see Boots chemist flash mobs?

Hannah: Yeah and they do the jazz runs? Like- slide, slide, slide. Yeah they had an add campaign like that

Bianca: I think this is classier than a flash mob to be honest

Hannah: What’s classier than a flash mob

Bianca: QR codes. *laughs* This song never fails to get me moving

Sam: It’s such a perfect homage to ‘70s funk as well as re-appropriating it with the synths

Bianca: I love beginning the album with this

Hannah: Yeah, it throws you right to where she wants you to be

Sam: There’s something sombre about it too. It’s upbeat and tropical but also really dark

Bianca:  I think that’s her voice, it’s always been a bit pleady

laroux1

Kiss And Not Tell

Hannah: Both of the songs so far are very familiar. She’s hamming to those…

Bianca: Tropical beats

Hannah: Really familiar chord progressions

Bianca: It does remind me of a gameboy game a bit

Hannah: I’m jumping up and grabbing coins

Sam: Part of me wondered if her production partner, Ben Langmaid, was the melodic genius of it all and when I saw the album was nine tracks I thought she’d really struggled with it. I thought it would sound bland but I’m not worried at all so far

Hannah: It’s a modern twist on more classic combinations that we’ve already heard. She slots right back in after five years

Bianca: Yeah she’s back and better

Sam: No one writes slightly left-of-centre pop better than La Roux can

Cruel Sexuality

Hannah: It sounds like too much is happening

Lizzie: Going back to familiarity. I felt like I wanted to join in without knowing what’s going to come next

Sam: I think this one is beautiful, one of the best so far. It’s so subtle. The melody builds and builds and then the harmonies come in at the end. Everything is so non-explicit about it

Bianca: I really like the bass-line. I love that kind-of speaking part but it’s not speaking

Sam: She does a great third verse, La Roux

Bianca: I love how each song has their different ‘moments’. I remember with Klaxons it was A B A B A B, with this it is A B C B A C D…

Sam: This is so so perky but she’s talking about this guy who’s pissing her offlaroux2

Paradise Is You

Hannah: Really slow version of crocodile rock

Lizzie: Once you said that I couldn’t get it out of my head

Sam: I love this one. It’s a nice little break coming up to the mid-point of the album

Bianca: She needed a break

Sam: She does slow well. I can understand how this floats over you after listening to the whole thing

Bianca: I love how the synths sound like strings. It’s kind of like an electronic orchestra

Sam: I’m really impressed by how she’s kept the whole tropical paradise vibe running ever so slightly in the background. It’s not St.Lucia full-on or like when the Triple J thing was to sound like you’re in the Bahamas

Hannah: She’s using it as a thread to feed her way through the ‘70s and then the ‘80s. That’s the commonality but it’s such a subtle one

Bianca: It’s such a smorgasbord this one. She doesn’t need steel drums to get noticed

Sam: She’s not using obvious things. It doesn’t sound like anything in pop music today probably because she’s been isolated for five years

Sexotheque

Lizzie: Love it, love it. It’s on the money money money

Everyone: *laughs*

Lizzie: My work here is done

Sam: There’s many things I love about it. Firstly, she’s this omniscient narrator, fly on the wall that watches the whole situation go down and then comes out with this cracker “money, money, money” hook

Hannah: It’s such a funny way to express angst in a relationship with a pina colada and maracas

Lizzie: So passive-agressive

Bianca: Like crazy-eyes “I’m gonna kill you”

Sam: That’s why I love that she narrates it all. Like she’s not in the situation, well she probably was, but she’s detached and she’s watching over and dancing. There’s this girl that’s miserable because her boyfriend’s being a dick to her but it’s so upbeat. It’s like how cartoons have a way of expressing really sad moments in a really poignant and satirical way

Bianca: Comedic relief

Hannah: This is a song version of a meme

Tropical Chancer

Lizzie: It’s interesting. You can associate it with that tropical feel but she hasn’t gone too far. It’s been taken-back and it’s subtle. I love it

Sam: I think she was just born with good taste because she just knows where the line is and she treads it so carefully on her debut, holding back from going full-on into pop territory and on this one again she’s held back from getting people with maracas

Bianca: My favourite is the way she pronounces “chancer”. I really like her accent there

Sam: There’s something about the line, “You have to believe that I’m a dreamer”

Hannah: If you got back to the title Trouble In Paradise, the whole album really gives you that vibe. Everything is sweet but there’s still that darkness underneath

Sam: We’ve talked lots with other albums about not listening to the lyrics but this is the first time we’ve been picking them up

Bianca: It’s a heartbroken person on a really beautiful pacific island. Like you want to enjoy the scenery, the water is amazing but it’s not as good as it could be because you’re heartbroken

Sam: It’s like you’ve been left at the altar but you still have to go on the honeymoon

Silent Partner

Lizzie: I don’t like this song at all

Hannah: I feel a little bit anxious

Sam: It’s definitely the outlier of the album but there is something I do like about it which is on the first album she was part of La Roux and this time she sound like the lead-woman. She’s more aggressive and she’s taken control

Lizzie: Nah, I’m just anxious

Bianca: It’s a really long song. I would’ve loved for there to be a big drum break-down

Hannah: For a seven-minute song you have to have something that hooks you

Sam: But she’s been very restrained with her anger the whole time maybe this is when she’s decided to let loose. I like it actually

Lizzie: The breakdown is quite cool

Hannah: Yeah but it’s not good enough for 7 minutes

Bianca: I can definitely see how it was needed on the album. Everything was a bit crazy-happy

Sam: I feel a change. On Tropical Chancer she’s was a little bit annoyed and now she’s pissed offlaroux3

Let Me Down Gently

Bianca: That pause is just so good

Lizzie: And then the breakdown…ahhhhh

Sam: The silence just lingers almost too long

Hannah: It’s another perfect demonstration of her knowing where the line is and then pulling back

Sam: She’s just a brilliant pop writer. The whole album she’s mixed sadness with happiness and this is just total sadness

Bianca: So much angst, that guitar with the breakdown…

Sam: That brass sounds like she’s devastated

Hannah: There’s still the ‘70s feel but she’s gone from tropical to a much more subdued sound

Sam: The storm’s gone and this is the calm

Lizzie: It makes me feel sorry for her. Awww…

The Feeling

Sam: I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said apart from her voice sounds flawless

Bianca: How is her voice so high but not grating

Hannah: Or breathy

Sam: And she jams so many words into a voice…

Hannah: Without losing coherence. Ah, we’ve started finishing each other’s sentences

Lizzie: Think about the story of the album. She’s gone from paradise to the anger and the sadness and now this is mellowed out. Like, “ok now I’ve gotta move on”

Sam: The whole album sounds like a nice narrative packaged together and again, she’s found a line where it’s like “nine songs, that’s enough”

Bianca: Yeah, it doesn’t sound forced. She is just so natural. Maybe because she’s had five years to mull it over

Sam: Can you imagine that?

Bianca: Well, she couldn’t even sing for part of that because she had anxiety attacks, she thought she had throat cancer. But it was purely from stress and anxiety. I guess this is her breaking free

Sam: There was a point last year when I thought we weren’t going to see another La Roux album but the fact she’s come back and this is so impressive is amazing

Hannah: I think what’s impressive is she sounded like she never left. It’s slipped back into where you want to be

Sam: As soon as I heard Let Me Down Gently I was confident about this record

Bianca: This album also doesn’t make me pine for the old album. When we listened to Klaxons I wanted to go back and listen to their old stuff so I could remember how good they used to be

Lizzie: Yeah this stands on its own

 

Best Song

Bianca: Sexotheque

Hannah: Sexotheque

Sam: Yeah, Sexotheque

Lizzie: That one’s the money, money one yeah? Yeah, I like that one

Sam: Sexotheque and Uptight Downtown

Bianca: And Let Me Down Gently

 

Overall Score

Lizzie: 8.5

Hannah: 7, I don’t think it tops Jungle and I gave Jungle an 8. Maybe 7.5

Bianca: I’m going to give it a 9

Sam: Yeah for me it flies past Jungle. 9

 

Firstimpressions_14June_2

First Impressions 14 July

firstimpressions_july14

Another six new songs up on the chopping block. This week we walk a tight-rope between electronic music and pop with one curveball thrown in just to make sure everybody’s paying attention. While J-pop is appreciated by some other’s fail to get on board.

Read our reviews below:

Usher- She Came To Give It To You (Feat. Nicki Minaj)

Lizzie: Is it as good as Pharrell’s Hunter? Unfortunately not. However, on its own merit this track is a very groovy funk/disco number. I feel like it is a right of passage for every pop-artist to have Nicki Minaj feature in song – feels a bit like old news to me. 3.5

Bianca: I’m getting Blurred Lines vibes from this. Points for not actually featuring Robin Thicke and for the funky percussion and sassy backing singers. 2.5

Hannah: This is equal parts hits and misses. The walking bass? hit. Nicki M’s rhyming of Ush-her with her as the song fades out? Miss. There’s no climax here, but it certainly won’t crash and burn either. 2

Sam: I like that Usher is taking a different approach this time around. Both this and Good Kisser don’t sound like they’re reaching only for the charts and I suppose when you’ve been in the industry this long you can afford to be a bit creative. Pharrell’s production always sounds so effortless that sometimes his songs can sound too cruisy. Luckily, here Nicki Minaj steps up with this attitude-filled, sassy verse that brings the track home hard. 3.5

Arty- Up All Night

Lizzie: The vocalist packs a real punch here. It definitely has a that European summer festival vibe about it – getting people up and pumping. Annndddd, the build-up to the drop does not go for hours, thank god! I am curious as to who will tackle a remix of this baby. 4 Lizzie’s Pick

Bianca: The ‘drop’ was completely predictable but such is the life of an EDM banger? 2

Hannah: For a song about staying up all night… it’s really a little bit of a snooze-fest, isn’t it? Sounds like every other mediocre EDM song striving for popular appeal with a female vocalist. 2

Sam: EDM always gets a pretty hard wrap on First Impressions but I honestly think this is the best one we’ve had yet. Angel Taylor’s hefty vocals compliments Arty’s dense production and the drop shakes the room just like a big-room EDM track should. Is it groundbreaking? No. Is it enjoyable? Yeah, it is. 3

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/interscope/arty-up-all-night-feat-angel-taylor[/soundcloud]

Juce- Burning Up

Lizzie: C’mon everyone, do the hustle! This a lovely rosy little jam. It’s got that sassy edge that makes you want to get up in the morning and do great things with your self. I love the cheeky inclusion of “Juce it up” – that’s a little bit of fun isn’t it. 4

Bianca: So much sass, so little time! This track is hot, hot, hot and Chalin’s vocals are as smooth as ever.  3

Hannah: This is just so catchy. Despite being in the middle of a fairly non-existent winter, I’m still transported to a rooftop party in the middle of summer. 3.5 Hannah’s Pick

Sam: I always lose it when I hear lyrics directed towards a hometown and when a song is released in conjunction with a season. So, this week Juce get two big ticks from me for doing both. They earn a third gold star for the lyric “Juce it up”. If I was in a boy band I would make sure our name was used as innuendo in every second verse. Burning Up induces so much nostalgia. Juce have yet to put a foot wrong yet in my books. 4

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/jucelovemusic/juce-burning-up[/soundcloud]

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu- Kira Kira Killers

Lizzie: I don’t know what I just heard. Is it a song or a hyperactive chipmunk? 0

Bianca: A candy-pop, sickly sweet J-Pop number that would slip in quite easily to a Dance Dance Revolution track list. And I love Dance Dance Revolution so: 3

Hannah: For a j-pop track it’s incredibly insightful. The only english words used are happy, happy, happy, F-U-C-K and killer. It’s about a bad break up right? Digging the empathy. 2.5

Sam: Hang on give me 30 seconds to digest what I’ve just seen.

If pop music in this country was this interesting, commercial radio would be a much safer place. This sound is being appropriated into so many electronic tracks right now, which makes this sound very current, actually. I’m not sure if Kyary meant to be so of-the-moment but it is. And for that reason I love it. Please somebody insert me into this video so I too can dance with that odd looking beast-like character. 4 Sam’s Pick

Banoffee- Got It

Lizzie: The warped male voice in the background is just weird and unnecessary, and to be quite honest, it’s a little creepy. Martha’s voice on the other hand, is a tantalisingly fresh and unique sound that I’m totally diggin’. 3.5

Bianca: This is a quirky, RnB little number with Martha’s subtle vocals complimented by 80s-inspired synths. And the male voice? Unlike Lizzie, I like my men warped. Bianca’s Pick 

Hannah: Simultaneously sickly sweet, yet smooth and a little too heavy, just like the dessert itself, Banoffee gives us an Australian female voice that doesn’t sound like The Jezabel’s on one side or Rainbow Chan on the other and that is fine by me. 3

Sam: When stuff as interesting as this comes out of Australia I get so excited. Recruiting Oscar Key Sung on this one is a choice move by Banoffee and the production is just so particular and finicky. It’s almost hard to make out when one syllable ends and another one starts yet the track is so dynamic and melodic. Yeah, I’ll take this Banoffee. Even sweater than the real one. 4

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/banoffeeme/banoffee-got-it-1[/soundcloud]

RL Grime- Core

Lizzie: I did not think it was humanly possible to cram this many annoying sounds into one song. Well done RL Grime, you have successfully given me a migraine. 0.5

Bianca: Sounds like an apprentice snake charmer learning his scales for the first time. In the middle of a bomb raid. 2

Hannah: For about 3 seconds I want to get low to this track, and then I’m put off by the wailing siren sounds. I’m not sure if I should drop it low, or run for the hills. 2

Sam: This is murder on the dance floor. That alarming synth make me very anxious but at the same time I’m captivated by the war-like take on trap. Points for innovation but this one will have to sit with me for a little longer if it’s going to appease my tastebuds. 3

junglelockin

Friday Lock-in: Jungle- Jungle

junglelockin

“Right on time/ Back by the beach/ Still gonna bring the heat” is how enigmatic British collective, Jungle begin their debut album. And it’s the perfect foreshadowing for what is an album that continuously brings the heat. Jungle have been stirring up serious hype with their brand of disco-tinged funk, so what better way to groove right on into the weekend than to spin this baby.

We locked ourselves in, took away phones and attempted to keep ourselves cool against the flurry of heat that wafts from this record. Stream the album and play along at home. Just be warned this one contains sex with guns, Grand Theft Auto references and Venice Beach cruisin’.

The Heat

Bianca: Great start to the album. I usually hate police sirens when I’m driving because I feel like I’m being chased after but this time I’ll make an exception.

Hannah: This is the perfect cruising down Venice beach- police sirens, a little bit of ‘80s grime to it.

Lizzie: Yeah, watching the world go past, all the little scenarios.

Bianca: So GTA.

Lizzie: Yeahhhhhh, it’s got a soundtrack quality.

Sam: Perfect start to the album- “right on time, back by the beach…”

Accelerate

Sam: What d’ya think bitches?

Lizzie: It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Bianca: Lovin’ the chimes.

Lizzie: Yeah, lots of surprises.

Hannah: It’s got a kind of Aloe Blacc quality to the voice that then errs onto disco

Sam: The verses just creep. Creep on up thurrrr….

Bianca: I just feel like I’m playing a game. It’s definitely the soundtrack to my life. Life is a game guys. It’s kind of rainbow road-y

Lizzie: And we’re still cruisin’. Still in the car.

Sam: It’s not cruisy in the way it floats over you.

Hannah: Yeah, you’ve got your hands out the window doing waves in the air

Lizzie: We’ve got one of those….what is it? Take the roof off…

Bianca: Convertible.

Busy Earnin’

Bianca: I do not regret putting this as number one in our Top 20 of 2014 so far…

Sam: Me neither. I’m very content with the fact I feel like someone’s in a leather jacket with a baseball in their hand coming for me to beat me

Bianca: It’s all very evocative isn’t it

Sam: I think that’s the point with jungle. They’re very…

Lizzie: Cinematic

Sam: They’re one of those band whose video clips need to be there

Platoon

Lizzie: This is my favourite. They have lots going on but it’s a perfect mix. It’s new sounds. You’re questioning what those sounds are

Sam: I’m the opposite it’s my least favourite

Hannah: Yeah

Sam: It’s not dynamic enough

Hannah: It’s a nice track for approaching the middle of an album. You’re already hooked, you can just cruise on through

Lizzie: If the next song is not good then…

Bianca: Wait, you said it was your favourite song?

Hannah: Yeah, but there’s provisions around that obviously

Sam: It’s not unconditional

Drops

Bianca: I love the door creak samples

Hannah: It’s like Bon Iver but…

Bianca: …with a gun

Sam: I’m thinking American Hustle now. It’s something really sweet with something dangerous

Bianca: Having sex with a gun on your bedside table

Sam: I love this one. It creeps in a subtle way

Bianca: This is a creep. In a good way

Time

Sam: Love it love it love it love it love it

Lizzie: I just creamed my pants

Bianca: What?!

Sam: Why do we love it so? Like all of their songs, there is almost no dynamic, it flat-lines but they have this “we’re going on a bear-hunt” creep

Bianca: His voice stays at the same level but I’m ok with that

Hannah: I haven’t stopped nodding my head the whole time

Julia

Hannah: It’s definitely changed the tone

Sam: Julia has been a bad bad girl because this beat is dirty

Hannah: We’re no longer cruisin’. We’re not happy with Julia

Lizzie: More random sounds

Sam: It’s so textured. It’s yummy

Bianca: It’s not my favourite

Sam: Why?

Bianca: Because I just hate Julia. No, I don’t know actually. I love it of course, it’s just a bit pleady

Crumbler

Sam: This one’s neither here nor there for me

Lizzie: I was worried at the start but I think they redeemed themselves- sirens!

Sam: It’s funky. I think it’s something that grows on you

Bianca: This is the police chase in GTA. This is when I’m jumping out of the car and singing

Sam: It’s a bit Starsky and Hutch even

Son Of A Gun

Hannah: Venice Beach. Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet

Sam: It’s so interesting all the visual references that are coming out

Lizzie: It blends in but I’m not sure about it

Sam: I love it

Hannah: I think the second half of the album is already noticeable different to the first

Sam: This song’s the first one on the album that we’ve all been silent through the whole time because it’s interesting and there’s many different levels

Bianca: Does anyone know what he’s saying

All: Nup

Lizzie: I just got taken away by the whole sound

Lucky I Get What I Want

Bianca: This song has so many elements to it. I love the break-down when shit gets real

Sam: Shit gets real so many times on this album. This song is just so brilliant. It’s so melodically perfect

Hannah: Yeah. This one’s a winner

Lizzie: Damn, so smooth.

Lemonade Lake

Bianca: I love that this song actually sounds like a Lemonade Lake. It’s bubbly…

Hannah: Candy, Willy Wonka land

Lizzie: Euphoric

Sam: What an end

Hannah: I feel like that was a journey guys. We’ve been on a journey. We’ve killed some people, we’ve been in and out of gang wars and I’m walking away happy

 

Most Memorable Song

Bianca: Lemonade Lake

Sam: Lucky I Get What I Want and Accelerate

Lizzie: I love Time. I’ve always loved Time. And Lemonade Lake is the nicest surprise

Hannah: I like Lemonade Lake as the close to the album more than on its own

 

Overall

Bianca: Can I give it a 10?

Lizzie: I’m going with 9.5

Sam: I’m going to say 8. 8 is a solid number and that’s what it is a solid album. I’m not going to listen to it and be like wow wow wow. The whole How To Dress Well album was full of wow moments, this is just solid.

Bianca: Can I give a 9.5, maybe?

Hannah: I’m gonna give it an 8

 

firstimpressions_july7_2

First Impressions 7 July

firstimpressions_7july

This week’s First Impressions has something for everyone. There’s EDM, pop, disco, electronica and soul. Unfortunately, sometimes when the best things in life come together it can be catastrophic. We’re unable to agree on anything this week, as Ariana Grande’s banging anthem fails to please and Bon Iver falls at the mercy of one recurring sound. Meanwhile Flume and Chet Faker’s 3481st song together impresses some and leaves a sour taste for others.

Ariana Grande Feat. Zedd- Break Free

Bianca: Ariana has reached Grande heights around the world and I just can’t understand why. Her voice grates me in a way that I can’t describe and the higher she goes, the lower my volume goes. Just as Zedd entered the building at the 3:17 mark and it sounded like the song was peaking to something a little more exciting, it promptly ended. Well, I wasn’t entirely wrong about the exciting bit. 1  

Hannah: In need of a drinking game? Shots, shot, shots, every time this song features in a marketing campaign over summer. Plot twist? You’ll spend summer drunk and it’ll be better than remembering hearing this song. 2

Sam: I feel like the whole EDM meets pop thing is such a tired formula. But, Zedd and Ariana just get this one so right and it comes down to two things. The first is Zedd has no ego in this. He forgoes huge drops in favour of stellar verses and never overwhelms with bass. The second is Ariana has a ridiculous voice and this is the first time we’ve heard it in full force. This could be the biggest selling song of the year. 3

Lizzie: I am just going to pretend that this wasn’t in First Impressions this week. I actually had to play this on the lowest volume in my room – I just couldn’t let my housemates catch me listening to this. 1.5

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/canalselgomez/ariana-grande-break-free-ft-zedd-official[/soundcloud]

Nile Rodgers- Do What You Wanna Do

Bianca: Goddammit, I’m trying so hard not to dance to this song but my platform shoe-clad feet are thinking otherwise. Do what You Wanna Do is certainly a shameless little bit of fun. 2.5

Hannah: A decade in the making from the man himself, I kind of expected a little more. It’s got all the components of a ready-made disco sensation, electric guitar, catchy rhyming lyrics you can sing to slash guess at while succumbing to disco fever, a creepy voice over here and there, and when all else fails a whistle, but it just never really takes off? 2

Sam: So many warm fuzzies on this one. After five decades Nile Rodgers is still the king of disco. Yeah it’s a little corny but that synth-line puts the fattest smile on my face, so screw it. I can’t give this one a score. Rodgers is a legend, he’s paid his dues. As someone born in the ‘90s, it’s far beyond me to judge the king of disco.

Lizzie: Not my vibes at all. This feel like a dodgy karaoke song playing on a caribbean cruise ship. Please excuse me while I go jump ship. 1

Meg Mac- Roll Up Your Sleeves

Bianca: A lovely little Sunday School tune. Expect big things from Meg Mac. 3

Hannah: *Tactically side steps comparison to Adele.* It’s nice. 3 Hannah’s Pick 

Sam: Sometimes I feel like artists are trying to be so tricky nowadays that they’ve lost the art of writing a great tune. Roll Up Your Sleeves is a classic example of what can be achieved when you keep it simple. Mac sounds amazing and the song is optimistic and classy. 3.5

Lizzie: She has got these Nora Jones/Duffy soul vibes, but with a youthful kick. What a tune – I’m not usually a ballard gal, but this lady has got a gift. Bring on the next hit! 4

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/megmacmusic/meg-mac-roll-up-your-sleeves[/soundcloud]

Chet Faker- Gold (Flume re-work)

Bianca: Seems a bit same-old same-old for me. It doesn’t seem as if Flume has evolved this song much from the original and feels less like a re-work and more of a repeat. 2

Hannah: 2zooey

Sam: Another Flume and Chet Faker track. It was something unique at first but now it’s become about as common as going to the bathroom. Flume adds a skittering aesthetic with pulsating bass while Chet croons away over the top. Am I excited? Nup. I just fell asleep and dribbled a little. 2

Lizzie: Flume has once again put his Midas Touch on an already golden track. Chet Faker, you make me weak at the knees. Every song he produces is engulfed with this infectious energy and emotion, and Gold is no different. You may even convert me to beards.  4 Lizzie’s Pick

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/neighbors-hate-us-future/chet-faker-gold-flume-re-work[/soundcloud]

Basement Jaxx- Never Say Never

Bianca: Watching Bend It Like Beckham last night (I regret nothing) and hearing the soundtrack made me miss the old Basement Jaxx. In saying that, the piano chords and grooving synths are enough to get it onto my party playlist. Bianca’s Pick 

Hannah: Didn’t we already hear this one? 2

Sam: It’s a nice pleasant take on deep house. It sounds like Duke Dumont, Disclosure, Ben Pearce but it’s got no hint of Basement Jaxx’s identity in it. If I heard it in a club I’d love it I’m sure but right now just nothing sticks out to me. Blah. 2.5

Lizzie: Love love love the vocalist. There’s something very smooth about him. It’s definitely a step up from any of the other new tracks they have released this year, but would have loved for them to pushed the boundaries a little more. C’mon, surprise me. 3.5

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/basement-jaxx/never-say-never[/soundcloud]

Bon Iver- Heavenly Father

Bianca: I feel I can’t properly score this song because it seems my speakers are broken. Oh wait, it’s meant to sound like that? All I can say is this song would certainly not be an ideal remedy to a hangover. Thankfully, I didn’t drink last night and can appreciate Vernon’s beautiful-as-ever song amongst the mess of repetitive lulls of noise. 2.5

Hannah: This week. Just go home new music, you’re drunk. This is exactly what happens when Bon Iver sings over your 6th grand band rehearsal. While I love Bon Iver with the deepest crevice of my heart, and in many respects the redeeming feature of this song is indeed Bon Iver himself and his undeniable voice, I can’t help but want more. It feels kind of… lazy. 2.5

Sam: Justin Vernon strikes something for me that no other songwriter at the moment does. He always writes with a hint of sadness yet induces this peering glimmer of sunshine.  As a fan, it’s great to hear another track from Bon Iver but also bittersweet knowing that another LP may be a while off. 4 Sam’s Pick

Lizzie:Is the tape recorder stuck? There seems to be a terrible whiney sound on repeat, destroying what could have been a beautiful Bon Iver track! My ears are still ringing. 2

fridaylockin_sia2

Friday Lock-in: Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear

sia 1000 forms of fear the interns

Australian artist, Sia has gone from being our homegrown hero to an International songwriter to an enigmatic superstar. Her latest album, 1000 Forms of Fear follows a brilliant marketing campaign which has centred around Sia being played by everybody from 11 year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler to a clumsy Lena Dunham. This is Sia’s first album since writing hits for Rihanna, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and many more.

We locked ourselves in, donned our wigs and unfortunately refrained from swinging from the chandelier. Read below our track-by-track discussion of Sia’s 1000 Forms of Fear.

Chandelier

Sam: It’s a good start the the album. I love it, it’s such a good song

Bianca: Oh yeah I can’t even explain. It’s too much

Sam: Euphoric, big pop song. If you look at it in comparison to something like Roar by Katy Perry, it’s just got so much more guts

Hannah: Unapologetic ballad

Bianca: Stunning

Hannah: Dynamic

lena

 

Big Girls Cry

Bianca: It’s the answer to Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry

Hannah: It’s perfect for 3am karaoke when you’re already slurring

Sam: I don’t understand what she’s saying to be honest

Hannah: Apart from “Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking”

Sam: Mmmm how do we go from a song like swinging from the chandelier drunk to suddenly crying. Doesn’t resonate with me

Bianca: Well, you’re not a girl

Hannah: I like it, it’s kind of here nor there for me

Sam: Nup, she could palm it off to Christina Aguilera or something

 

Burn The Pages

Hannah: It’s like a pop ballad with a lot of Regina Spektor influences and credibility

Sam: Yeah, I love how she goes full on with the words in the verse and then she pulls it back and stretches them out in the chorus. It gives it so much more punch

Bianca: And the drums are always a welcome accompaniment. That marching band drum

Sam: It’s got kind of like a hip-hoppy, trap, Ryan Hemsworth touch. It’s cool. It’s back to Chandelier good.

Hannah: You could definitely dance along to this if you saw it at a festival. Chandelier you would just scream your lungs out

 

Eye of the Needle

Bianca: I don’t think I would choose to listen to this album in its entirety. It would just be too much Sia.

Sam: It’s a bit too much of pop track after pop track after hit after hit. But that said, I really, really like this song because of the vocal run in the verse.

Bianca: Her voice shines

Sam: I can imagine singing along to this if it came on in the car

Bianca: You wouldn’t know any of the words though

Sam: Yeah just make ’em up

Hannah: Sam’s in the car practising his vocals runs to Sia

Sam: Always up in da car working on my vocal runs

Sam: As far as a pop album goes she’s hitting it on the head so far

Bianca: Oh yeah. The fact I’m actually sitting through it says something

Hannah: It does that nice bridging between having mainstream appeal without being a sell-out

 

Hostage

Bianca: I just kept hearing Cyndi Lauper‘s Time After Time in that

Hannah: It sounds like a girl band of 10 Things I Hate About You, like that ‘90s grunge updated with a pop version

Sam: Like that movie, Josie and the Pussycats

Bianca: Don’t you dare say anything bad about Josie and the Pussycats

honk

Sam: I’m not! I love this song, it’s my favourite so far

Hannah: It’s Never Been Kissed-esque

Bianca: Yeah! Definitely. I love that calypso drum in the end

Sam: This is my favourite since Chandelier

Hannah: It’s nice that this one is not trying to be ballad-y

Bianca: Shameless fun

 

Straight for the Knife:

Bianca: It feels like she’s hyperlinking back to Big Girls Cry 

Hannah: Her mascara is running in this one

Sam: I like the really pop lyric of “you went straight for the knife and I prepared to die”. It’s so over-the-top but that’s what great pop music is I think

Hannah: This doesn’t have anything particularly grabby about it

Sam: No it doesn’t

Hannah: It has these big proclamations without any ‘oomph’ in the song

Sam: It needs like strings and a massive drum at the end. If you’re going to go over the top, go over the top, fall over the cliff. The thing is with this album I don’t hate it but at the moment I’m so-so

Hannah: This oscillates between being good background music and ballads

 

Fair Game

Sam: Love it

Hannah: It has R&B moments as well as indie moments

Bianca: Was that a glockenspiel?

Sam: I think it might have been

Bianca: Always glockin’

Sam: It’s like she’s taken the R&B thing and stripped it all back to one line of keys that runs underneath it. And the verses are so subtle and wordy

Hannah: The way she bounces between her words is very ‘90s R&B but also contemporary

Sam: Less is more

Bianca: I feel it could soundtrack the end of American Pie where they all finally lose their virginities after the prom

Sam: It is the calm after the storm

 

Elastic Heart

Hannah: I really like it

Bianca: I like the backing vocals

Sam: I think Diplo’s production gives it something extra

Hannah: It has a dance edge to it. If you sped it up a bit and thumped up the bass you could be dancing to that

Bianca: It would be really good remixed

Sam: Yeah. And I like that she’s dropped The Weeknd by the way. I think if you’re going to have no guests on the album, go all Sia

Hannah: She’s enough. She’s all we need

 

Free The Animal

Sam: I love everything apart from the chorus

Bianca: The chorus ruins everything

Hannah: The verses are great. They’re hi-hoppy and poppy and have sparse beats as well as a constant groove. They’re great verses. The rest is bland

Sam: It’s pure pop candy followed by an iron boot

Bianca: The breakdown after the chorus is good. She’s experimenting. Yelling Free The Animal is just too much though. Everytime it goes to the chorus it feels like I’ve switched to 2Dayfm

 

Fire Meet Gasoline

Bianca: A match made in heaven

Sam + Hannah: Ooooooooh

Hannah: A pun 3 minutes in the making

Bianca: No it just came to me. It just sparked (Laughs)

Sam: This is one of my favourite. It’s very overtly pop but at the sametime I think I just love how it is Fire Meet Gasoline, not Meets. It’s like she’s introducing the two and there’s something I find really cool about that. Taking off the ‘S’ I’m like, I’m sold and I don’t even know why

Bianca: Does she know fire or gasoline better?

Hannah: Fire

Sam: Fire and she’s not sure how it’s gonna go and she’s bringing the fire towards the gasoline like that shit’s gonna blow her up

Bianca: I think that wig is highly flammable

Sam: This album is very dangerous. There’s knives and fire and we’re about to go into cellophane. All those things together…

Hannah: Sia likes it rough

Sam: Did she write S&M?

 

Cellophane

Hannah: Least favourite so far

Sam: Yeah me too

Bianca: Doesn’t do it for me

Hannah: I think I’m already battered and bruised from the rest of the album

Sam: It’s too much. There’s cellophane and then the electricity has done something to her brain

Bianca: I don’t know how this could be the second last song on the album

Sam: I think the second last song is always the worst because people get complacent

Hannah: This is a bit of a filler

Sam: She’s gotta end well otherwise she’s leaving with a bad tatse

 

Dressed In Black

Bianca: I think it’s a good end to the album

Sam: Me too. She’s been able to use all those dramatic metaphors and is like “yeah, I’m happy now”. At the same time, it kind of gets there but it never hits the heights of Chandelier. When I first heard Chandelier I thought it was a great start to the album but now I think I would’ve started it with Elastic Heart and put Chandelier in the middle

Hannah: Yeah, after Chandelier it just bubbles

Sam: Maybe it grows on you

 

Overall

Bianca: Good work Sia, she did well

Sam: It’s a good pop album. When it comes down to it she’s a great pop writer, she’s got a great voice and she’s an Aussie girl who made it big. It’s a nice story

Bianca: I’m going to give it a 7/10

Hannah: 7.6 because it always has to beat Lana Del Rey’s Pitchfork rating

Sam: I was going to give it the same, 7. I think it’s good.

Bianca: On that note…Sia!

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robin2

10 things I learnt from Robin Thicke’s ode to his estranged wife ‘Paula’

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Oh how the mighty have fallen. Last year, Robin Thicke was riding high on the charts with his ode to rape, Blurred Lines. This year, he’s gone through a separation, written an album about said separation and been smacked in the face by the hands of social media.

I sat through Paula (all fifteen tracks) and am now feeling understandably exhausted.

Still, I had time to reflect on what I learnt and how Paula will be feeling after this little gift turns up on her doorstep.

Paula didn’t appreciate the gesture of having her arse ripped in two

“I kept tryna tell you, you were pushing me too far” ‘Paula’ sings back to Thicke in Lock The Door. But he’s always hated “those Blurred Lines”. On Get Her Back he adds that he “should’ve held you stronger”.

On Give It 2 U from the last album he told Paula or one of the girls he was courting at the time that he has “a big dick for you”. Who’s the big dick now?

Robin Thicke made the album in a month

And it shows. Paula sounds like it was recorded in a lobby elevator. Its arrangements are bare-as-anything and the lyrics sound like his iPhone message thread with Paula. Apparently he hasn’t spoken to Paula in four months. What was he doing for the three months he wasn’t writing the album? This apparently:

Robin Thicke needs Paula to cure an STI

In Love Can Grow Back, Thicke insists that if Paula returns she’ll be “scratching and scratching his itch”. If we can offer any advice to Paula should she return, it’s do not scratch that itch. It should be treated by a medical professional.

Robin Thicke uses 9/11 as a metaphor

“I thought I was livin’ (YEAH!) / ‘Till I woke up to a siren / I thought I was over (YEAH!) / ‘Till I met those New York soldiers / They keep on working (keep on working) / They keep on fighting (keep on fighting) / America (America) / It’s time to wake up (Time to wake up).”

Please make this stop. Could this be a reference to 9/11 in a song that also features the line “Girls are pretty, streets are witty”?

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Sweet cherry pineapple black is a colour

Thicke says this is the colour of Paula’s “new new new new new new new nails” in Love Can Grow Back. I think it may look a little like this:

Paula smashed Robin’s guitar, hit him with golf clubs and still this album exists

Robin is either thicke or very forgiving. In Black Tar Cloud he tells the tale of what was surely his relationship’s last days. Paula swung his golf clubs at him, smashed his “ride” and broke his guitar. No doubt in an attempt to prevent this album from being made.

Robin hasn’t learnt anything

While he spends most of the album begging for Paula to come back, there’s glimpses of the old Thicke that pop up every now and then. In Something Bad he sings “I know you wanna fly so baby open up your wings / Then I’ll walk out with your legs shaking while you’re screaming, ‘Robin please!'” How could Paula leave such a sexual deviant? Well, he believes that he didn’t “spank” her enough.

Just quietly, I think she’s had quite enough of your spanking:

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Paula is the eiffel tower, the Northern lights and Mona Lisa

A woman of many talents, obviously. How could she manage a relationship when she’s three tourist attractions at once?

Paula was born when she was 21

More metaphorical brilliance from Mr. Thicke. According to Lock The Door, Paula was “born in Paris at the age of 21”. Her poor, poor mother, how did she push that thing out?

Paula’s probably not coming back but we wish she would

I’ve been doing a little reading on divorce and apparently one goes through a number of phases: denial, crazy behaviour, sadness and acceptance. Based on the lyrics throughout Paula, one would think Thicke is in the denial stage. That means that there could potentially be three more albums named after Paula. This isn’t The Blueprint or Tha Carter. No more sequels should be made and there is only one person that can prevent that. Paula, we’re looking at you. I’m sorry.

 

I won’t tell you the release date, but I’m sure you can stream it somewhere if you still feel the need.

 

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