The A to Z of Charli XCX’s 2014


In light of the release of Charli XCX’s new album Sucker and her brilliant 2014, in which she finally conquered the pop world, we decided to run through her year using the alphabet. Yes, it was hard but also rewarding. Charli XCX, this is your life (for 2014, at least).

A is for All-star producers

You only have to look at the producer credits on Charli XCX’s Sucker to see that she’s been working with the best of the best in 2014. On Sucker she’s worked with Benny Blanco who expertly worked on Jessie Ware’s, Tough Love, Greg Kurstin, who weaved his magic over Lily Allen’s Sheezus and Ariel Rechtshaid who’s worked with everyone from HAIM to Kylie Minogue this year. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a few left-of-centre choices in the writing credits with Young & Sick, Ariel Pink and Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow all lending a hand.

B is for Bratty

The whole Sucker era has been centred around Charli XCX being a brat. On Break The Rules she sings “I don’t want to go to school, I don’t want to break the rules” and while it’s hilariously cliche she owns it with an unmatched attitude. Sometimes pop thinks it’s being subtle but it never usually is. Charli knows that and she uses its obviousness to her advantage.

C is for Clueless

The Clueless references began in the video for Fancy with Iggy Azealia but she’s carried them with her for the rest of the year. The Break The Rules video also draws upon ‘90s school fashion as its key reference. She told Oyster, “I’m inspired by Clueless and Jawbreaker and lots of 90s cult movies like The Craft, Scream, and also Josie and the Pussycats and stuff like that. I like fashion to be fantastical and fun.”

D is for Dance Moves

Charli XCX is a self-confessed, terrible dancer but it hasn’t stopped her pulling some choice moves this year. When she took to SNL last weekend to perform Break The Rules she thrust like nobody was watching, getting down like a rebellious teen. It’s terribly untechnical but everybody’s going to want to dance like Charli XCX.

E is for England

Maybe America has taken to Charli XCX so well because she is a different type of popstar (or anti-popstar, if you like) for them. She represents the alternative vibe of east London expertly, taking the sheen off being a popstar. Instead she turns up with scruffed hair, platform shoes and dark eyes. Brit cool has always been very different to American cool and maybe XCX is proving the Brits win out on this one. And that accent, my goodness.

F is for Fugly

Pop music and fashion go hand in hand and XCX has embraced it head-on this year with some brilliant costumes. I think Regina George would call them fugly?


G is for Goth

Charli XCX’s brilliant, 2013 debut True Romance was a record that dazzled in darkness. There were plenty of brooding, industrial ballads leading her to be labelled a goth. In 2014, she ditched that darkness. Sucker is a much lighter affair, although she’s lost none of the attitude.

H is for Hair

Scruffy and sexy all at once. And it looks like Lorde’s. If you’re interested there’s a whole article on it.


I is for Iggy

Fancy isn’t Charli XCX’s best song but without it she wouldn’t have been able to make her break. Both Iggy and Charli fit together perfectly and Iggy liked her so much she got her to pen her latest single, Beg For It. 

J is for Joker

These days if you’re going to be a popstar you have to be #real and part of that is being able to share a joke. One of our favourite #real moments by XCX this year was her introduction at  the Billboard Woman Of The Year Awards where she said, “It’s really cool to be at a music industry event where over half the people in the room have vaginas. P—y power!”.

K is for Katy Perry

She opened for Katy Perry on her Prismatic tour this year. I wonder if Katy Perry knows Charli XCX is better than her?

L is for Live Performances

This year’s basically been one neverending prom and here are the videos to prove it. Oh, and at that prom, I Want Candy played.


M is for Money

Apart from the fact she’s probably earnt a shitload this year, we’re going to take this opportunity to talk about Gold Coins. Gold Coins is one of the album’s highlights with a stomping bass-line and crunching guitars that rumble under Charli’s reverb-soaked vocal. It’s got all the ingredients of an indie-rock anthem, with the lyrics of a hip-hop song and the melody of a pop song.

N is for Nineties

Charli XCX is a ‘90s kid through and through. Born in 1992, she lived most of her formative years in the decade and it shows on Sucker. On Doing It, she references early Mariah with a flighty funk and on Hanging Around she channels ‘90s indie rock. In a market where most artists are turning to ‘90s RnB for inspiration, it’s refreshing to hear its other genres appropriated.

O is for Octahate

She wrote this alongside Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos, Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat. This will probably be a huge hit next year once radio get its act together.

P is for Punk

Sucker is in essence a punk-pop album. In January she shared a track called Allergic To Love which was a runaway punk track and while she’s toned it down a little since then for the album, the punk element is still very much there. Before this release she scrapped a punk album, telling Popjustice, “I was making a punk album! I was over the music industry, I was over all of it. And I went to Sweden and made a punk album.” That release was scrapped and Sucker eventuated. But tell us that the thumping, two minute wonder Breaking Up or the frantic drums of London Queen aren’t punk.

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Q is for Queen

We’re using queen to talk about Charli XCX, the feminist, because we used F for Fugly, which we don’t regret. Earlier this year she called out a journalist for asking her if she was fingering herself on the radio. She took straight to Twitter and naturally the issue erupted. She’s been criticised for calling herself a feminist and then wearing what she wears. And to that she says, “I still believe in equality, I still run my own shit. I’m not a dumb idiot just because of what I wear.”


R is for Rebellion

A hit song can be a gift and a nightmare. In 2012, Charli XCX wrote I Love It for Swedish duo Icona Pop, which was a huge hit around the world FYI. While it’s obviously been a blessing, it’s also left Charli being heckled by her record company to write a hit. To that she said, “you know what, fuck off” and also turned down a guest spot on a Christina Aguilera record.

S is for Sweden

Charli XCX spent some time in Sweden recording a punk album which hasn’t seen the light of day but she also record Break The Rules after spending a lot of time listening and covering songs by Swedish punk acts like Snuffed By The Yakuza. 

T is for Twitter

Charli XCX has had a glorious year on Twitter. Here are some of our favourites:

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U is for Underappreciated

By Hilary Duff, at least. Apparently she offered Boom Clap to her but she turned it down. “…her people were like, ‘this is NOT cool enough for Hilary’”, she told Popjustice. Oh, the irony. Apparently this was cool enough though:

V is for Videos

All Charli XCX’s videos have been great this year. Mostly going with the Clueless thing, they’ve been nostalgia-inducing masterpieces that leave plenty of room for her personality to shine through. TBH, the Boom Clap one is a bit of a bore but the song is great, so we’ll leave it at that.

W is for Weezer

It may be a bit of a strange friendship but it seems Charli XCX and River Cuomo of Weezer fame have buddied up to form quite the partnership. He came to the studio to hear her lay down vocals for Boom Clap after she reached out to him and he knew who she was. They did two days in the studio together and he liked the pop tracks more than the tracks that had been inspired by him which is either rude or cool. He only ended up with a writing credit on one of the songs, Hanging Around.

X is for XCX

Just because it’s her name and apart from xylophone (which she doesn’t play) what the hell else does X start with?

Y is for YOLO

While the acronym hasn’t been around for the whole lifespan of pop, pop has always been about YOLO really. The whole of Sucker has a sense of reckless abandon to it. On Die Tonight, she’s singing “til the sun comes up” because she “could die tonight” while on Famous she’s singing “got one night…and we’re gonna come and crash the party”.

Z is for Zero to hero

In an interview with Shazam, Charli XCX described herself before this year as “a songwriter who had a cool album which no one bought”. It’s true too. Her album, True Romance, produced no top ten singles and charted at 85 in the UK. It’s likely that Sucker, out this week, will have much more luck. Boom Clap has already been a top ten hit around much of the world and Break The Rules looks to be doing the same thing.

Charli XCX is touring with Groovin The Moo and doing some sideshows too. Check out the details below:

29th April
Metro Theatre, Sydney

1st May
Corner Hotel, Melbourne

7th May
The Met, Brisbane

Tickets: Frontier Touring


Hear The Latest Track Off Future Classic’s ‘Teen Idols’: ‘Gotta Choose’ by 123Mrk


It should be news to everybody now that Aussie label Future Classic have some serious cred in the tastemaker game. We all know they have had a huge year with Chet Faker, but if you’re sick of his reign over all thing triple j, then maybe turn your attention to Parisian producer, 123Mrk. The producer has recruited the dulcet tones of Martin Mey on Gotta Choose, a song that will feature on Future Classic’s Teen Idols compilation out December 19. It’s very much down the lane of Mr. Faker with sparse beats and a soulful croon but ultimately it’s aesthetic is a lot more polished. It’s sure to be another win for the label and should rightfully pick up some airplay in Aus.

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Ryan Hemsworth Unveils The Sexiest Song Of His Secret Songs Project Yet

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If you haven’t been living under a rock this year, you may be privy to the fact that Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth has been dropping free tracks by his favourite, up-and-coming artists by way of his Secret Songs project. The latest free download is by Philadelphia producer, Moon Bounce, who’s delivered up this bubbling, sexy number, Body, apparently written “to celebrate my lady’s body and worship carnal desire.” It’s followed the perfect recipe for a sexy song too with pulsating beats, lingering synths and smooth vocals. Get ready to jam-out.

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Recycle Culture Wraps Up 2014 With A Retrospective Mixtape


It’s that time of year when everybody is gathering together their life-changing lists of the best songs of 2014. Producer, Recycle Culture, has decided to put together his faves of the year in his MMXIV mixtape which sees him mash-up and remix the likes of How To Dress Well, QT, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift. It’s an extremely entertaining run-through some of the most notable tracks of 2014 and one that would make a good christmas party playlist if your office was more inclined to listen to this instead of the Mariah Carey christmas album. Both are completely ok btw. But, you can name your price with this one, you can’t with MC unless you nick it out of your Mum’s car.

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Listen To A New Spooky Black Song Produced By Shlohmo

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Spooky Black released his brilliant Leaving EP a few months back. The introspective, dusky record revealed him as more than just a sad boy and now it seems he’s decided to drop his moniker of Spooky Black and go by his birth name, Corbin on new track, Worn. The song was produced by thestand4rd and We Did It (Shlohmo‘s collective) and is a hazy hip-hop-flavoured number that descends into reverb-laden anger . It’s one of the more icy songs you’ll hear this year, but it’s also great to see Corbin and Shlohmo team up as their respective styles really go hand in hand.

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the interns’ Top 30 Songs of 2014


The year’s top tracks according to us and why we think they topped the class in 2014.

[one_half_last]If 2014 was all about the bum, then this is its theme song. At first listen, this song was a joke to many. A cheap rip-off of Sir Mix A Lot‘s Baby Got Back, the track seemed nothing more than a publicity stint, to spruik Nicki Minaj’s third album following a lacklustre first single, Pills N Potions. However, Minaj worked it and the song eventually ate up radio and TV. And for good reason. Minaj is utterly fierce throughout the whole track, also commanding when she performed it live. No other artist today could’ve pulled off this track and got it onto radio. Find me one other track on radio this year that sounds like Anaconda.[/one_half_last]


[one_half_last]In the Summer of 2012, an up and coming rapper named Azealia Banks dropped a track called 212 and made her way to the top of every ‘cool list’. Las Vegas artist, Shamir, doesn’t have that same brattiness to him but what he lacks in ferocity he makes up for in sass. On The Regular is cool. It’s incredibly cool. It sits somewhere between singing and rap with words that flow out of him unconsciously. It’s an anthem that introduces him as an outsider without any cliche ‘take me as I am’ notions. This is Shamir on the regular, just so you know.[/one_half_last]

[one_half_last]Take the BANKS album as an entire dosage and you’ll be thrown into a world of hefty darkness. Take it in little bites and it’s some of the sweetest pop made all year. Beggin’ For Thread is the highlight- a track dropped right before the album was released and one that is the centrepiece of the record. It combines all BANKS’ strengths into four minutes. From the RnB tinges, to the dark brooding voice to power-backed bridges. The final minute is a climatic showcase of melodic perfection- finally giving the song itself some thread.[/one_half_last]

[one_half_last]Girls won 2014, let’s be honest. FKA Twigs schooled everyone, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Jessie J came together for a world-dominating anthem and even Pharrell tipped his large hat to GIRLS. The coolest girl-power anthem of the year came courtesy of two tipsy Scandinavians. One More is a warm, after-dark track about clutching at that one person to stay and enjoy the little moments of the early morning. Elliphant and make a heart-warming pair both in the song and the video. They cavort the streets, peeing in gutters and working their light-up slides, but at all times seeming totally enamoured by their friendship. The final moment where the girls yell the chorus back at each other is one of the best pop moments of the year.[/one_half_last]

[one_half_last]Tkay Maidza is something new for Australia. We have hip-hop, yes, but it’s always been shut-off from any international influence. It probably wasn’t the hip-hop influence that ensured Tkay sounded ready for the world stage in 2014, it was her willingness to experiment with Australian electronica. Australian electronica has been competing on the world stage for the better part of a year now and Maidza capitalised on that. Switch Lanes produced by Paces is the type of song that Angel Haze or Azealia Banks would kill for.[/one_half_last]

[one_half_last]Jamaican dancehall artist, Popcaan’s debut album Where We Come From is one of the most consistent records of the year. On that album is this gem, Number One Freak– a song so goddam rhythmic it could have even those with steel hips wiggling. Everyone knows love found on the dancefloor (or in a hopeless place) is the strongest love of all and Popcaan capitalises on that. “Some girls say she bad but me know shes badder”, he sings, creating a sweltering atmosphere that breathes heat (body heat, that is).[/one_half_last]

[one_half_last]CHVRCHES may not have had an album this year but it didn’t stop them from releasing a handful of excellent songs. This one’s from the rework of the Drive soundtrack. And while the concept may be slightly confusing, this song makes it all worthwhile. CHVRCHES adopt that dimly-lit, luminescent feel that Drive conveys and add a sweetness to it. Lauren Mayberry singing “never let you get away”, is one of the more heartwarming things we’ve heard all year. Particularly from someone who was last year singing, “I’ll be a gun, and it’s you I’ll come for”.[/one_half_last]

[one_half_last]Perfume Genius has always been a profound songwriter but until this year he hadn’t really ventured far afield, instrumentally. Grid throbs with a relentless synth, turning like an industrial fan. It gives Mike Hadreas’ voice a bolstered power when he sings something like “this is it”. The kids voices that come in then start to play with your find as if you are being surrounded by chanting children yourself. It’s a dizzying listen but an amazing one, if you consider he achieves this feeling in under three minutes.[/one_half_last]

[one_half_last]An Azealia Banks comeback in 2014 seemed very unlikely. For an artist who’s been a storm for most of her career, she’d gone awfully quiet for a while with barely a feud in sight. It seems it was the calm before the storm. In the second half of 2014, she delivered, Chasing Time– a track supposedly written to prove to her previous label Universal that she could write a hit. And what a hit it is. Chasing Time sees Banks both sing and rap over a schizophrenic beat that pops and bubbles. The song would be nothing without its richly melodic chorus which combines a Prodigy-esque strength with late ‘90s RnB.[/one_half_last]

[one_half_last]Kimbra has always been an interesting character but after seeing her live for the first time in 2012, it was immediately apparent that her debut Vows was merely scraping the surface of what she could do. It seems, in 2014, she realised her true potential and embraced her creative oddities. To say ‘90s Music was a shock, is an understatement. An artist like Kimbra could have easily ventured into the realms of adult contemporary but instead she delivered this chopped-up, candy-cane flavoured, beautiful mess with a chorus that soared into the stratosphere. It’s nostalgic while also being futuristic aka. a pop music triumph. [/one_half_last]


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Nicki Minaj Drops Two New Tracks Featuring Beyonce and Jessie Ware

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Nicki Minaj has just dropped two very different songs featuring two very different girls. The first, Feelin Myself, features up-and-coming songstress, Beyonce, while the second, The Crying Game, features interns favourite Jessie WareFeelin Myself is about as sassy and fierce as Minaj songs come with even Beyonce bringing a little sass to the table. The pair switch back and forth between Yonce’s sensual verses and Minaj’s characteristically cute yet stinging rapping. The highlight comes when Beyonce simply coos “carry on”, after throbbing hook. The Crying Game is far more introspective with Minaj taking a lesson in Ware’s well perfected subtlety. It’s so good to hear Minaj pack up the circus and deliver a straight-up rap record where she’s repping the skill she so obviously possesses. Ware adds an element of sophistication which Minaj easily matches. At this stage it looks like The Pinkprint will be her best album by far.


Andras Fox on Moscow, Melbourne & Megan Fox

andrasfoxCafé Romantica is the debut album by Andras & Oscar, also known as the brilliant Melbourne-based producers, Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung. Respected artists in their own rights, the twosome have been travelling the world since the launch of the album, promoting their solo projects. Now, upon their return to the mainland, both Andras and Oscar have been busy promoting their latest collaboration at the likes of Outsidein festival, Melbourne Music Week and Astral People’s Summer Dance, as well as an Australia-wide Cafe Romantica tour. Suffering from a slight case of jetlag, Andras managed to set some time aside to chat to us about his overseas adventures, his experience with the Melbourne music scene and his blossoming bromance with Oscar Key Sung.

Are you in Melbourne at the moment?

Yeah, I just got home.

Where were you?

I’ve been in Europe for six weeks.

Awesome. How’s the recovery going?

Can’t tell you yet but it’s going to be a while.

Where was your last stop on the trip?


Have you done all that before?

I did a tour in April/May and that was the first time I’d played shows in Europe.

Where was your favourite place this time around?

I’m a big fan of Moscow because it’s really peculiar and cold. It’s really frightening and foreign.

What was the music scene there like?

Kind of the same. There’s weird, ghetto clubs and then some really glitzy, cocaine-fuelled, fur-wearing Moscow fashion parties.

So what are the plans now that you’re back in Melbourne? Heading on tour?

I’ve got a show for Melbourne Music Week and then I’ve got a tour with Oscar Key Sung for the album we just recorded together.

How’s the reception to the album been so far? Were you in Europe when it was released?

Yeah, luckily I’ve been away for the entire thing and haven’t had to think about it. I worked pretty hard to get it finished before I left. Hopefully it goes alright, I’ve just got to not think about it too much.

Have you had much time yet to practise the live show with Oscar?

No, we played a couple of launches prior to me going overseas.

How did it come together, you two working together?

He moved into the warehouse I was living in, in West Melbourne, right across the road from Embassy cafe, which we named the first record after. We both realised pretty quickly that we preferred to hang out in dressing gowns and make track mixes than go out every night. Most weekends, instead of hanging out with cool, fun people, we were in a dark room together making mixes.

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I suppose on the flip side of that is that you go out and play in Melbourne. Have you found Melbourne a good place to grow up musically?

I wouldn’t say when I grew up I was proud of it but the last four/five years have been incredible, meeting all these people and seeing all these people put out records and do parties, there’s some really great stuff happening in this town right now. And even after touring Europe for six weeks, I didn’t go to as many parties as I would have at home.

Do you think that was just a product of growing up and finding more stuff or do you think the Melbourne music scene has matured in the last few years?

I think the scene’s matured in a lot of ways. Like, the older generations, guys who are in their late thirties now were doing parties as I was just getting old enough to go out and then there was a bit of a lull. Now a lot of people my age have stepped up and started doing things of their own; running their own labels and throwing their own parties. There’s some really good venues here, and the council supports them. Objectively there’s a lot of good stuff happening. There’s a lot of crossover between the live music scene and the dance music scene.

Do you feel like, because Melbourne’s been making waves all around the world because of its artists, has that helped you in terms of exposure?

Yeah, absolutely. It just gives me encouragement to keep going. I think it’s important to have that relationship with your local scene. We have a scene that really gives my music some kind of value.

Did you meet many other musicians overseas that you’d like to collaborate with?

Yeah, I met a few. I caught up with all the people that I’ve been working with; the people who put out my records and the guys who support them. It was a really good combination of business and pleasure.

Moving onto talking about the album. what is it about the cafe aesthetic that draws you guys in?

I think that it’s ‘cos it’s really daggy. I grew up listening to Cafe del Mar and electronic house, chill-out CDs and I just really like how not-tough they are. Just a sense of relaxation and the fact that they’re not quite club records so they sit well with this cafe ethos. I guess I’m drawing on all that legacy of these slightly lame chillout CDs. I guess it’s also a piss-take of Melbourne cafe culture and all that kind of crap. I guess as well because of places that have fancy names, there’s this kind of idea of French-Italiano parody that I like as well.

I feel like the music on the album is very visual and it’s well-complemented by videos in the way you just described it as well. Do you feel like the visual and the music go hand-in-hand?

Yeah, that’s kind of important to me, to have that. I do all the design stuff myself. It’s not so hard to do that stuff if you do it on a budget, to do it in kind of a cheap way. Having a lot of fun just playing around with that still.

And I suppose your style lends itself to not spend so much money on it and still achieve what you want to achieve.

Yeah, you can just maintain control over everything if you do it yourself.

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When did you first latch onto that style and thought that’s what you wanted to do?

I’m constantly working out what I do and how I do it. I think I realised that I didn’t want to sample stuff anymore and I didn’t want to be something like an American hip-hop producer because that’s not what I am, that’s not my culture. So, the moment that I started doing things for myself and do something that hopefully is well-respected there, indicative of where I grew up and who I am, the rest follows from that.

How do you distinguish between writing your own solo work and when you’re writing for your tracks with Oscar? Do you have a distinguishment?

It’s not as much distinction. The early tracks we did together were just stuff that I was working on and Oscar happened to be around so we worked on it together or put vocals over it and there’s still a degree of that. I still write the music I wrote for Cafe Romantica. Some of them started out as solo tracks and ended up being tailored towards that project because they work better with vocals and it’s more fun and more enjoyable to play that music with someone else. My solo stuff can kind of tend to be more New-Agey and I have more fun doing more pop music with Oscar.

Do you each of you bring different influences that the other normally wouldn’t have considered?

Absolutely. It’s a total meeting point between a more dance music world that I come from and the garage and R&B influences that Oscar swims in.

What’s the kind of music that you grew up with?

I didn’t play in a punk rock band as a kid, I was buying dance records in my early teen years onwards. I grew up listening to a lot of terrible dance records. Just a reflection of the stuff that I like and that I play when I DJ.

Are you the type of person that can write on the road or are you more comfortable writing at home?

I don’t write on the road at all. I think if you write music on a plane it sounds like you wrote it on a plane; minimal, boring music that you can write when you’re in a cubicle surrounded by dickheads. For better or for worse, all my equipment is heavy and chunky. I don’t use a computer to record so it kind of rules out the possibility to write on the road but I’m okay with that.

5 Quick Questions

1. If you had to describe you and Oscar as a coffee, what would it be?

We both drink a long black. Actually, an Australian-style long black so I guess it’s more of a medium black? It’s probably a good description. It’s kind of in-between and a bit bitter sometimes.

2. In terms of movies, would you pick Fantastic Mr Fox or a Megan Fox movie?

Definitely Megan Fox. I kind of loathe the fact that I have Fox in my name for the fact that people associate it with the animal.

3. Oscar pulls out of a show and you have to replace him with either Usher, Lauryn Hill or Stevie Wonder, who do you choose? 

Musically, obviously Stevie Wonder’s the dude but I think he’s too good a musician for me, to ever play with. Usher would probably be a lot more entertaining.

4. Would you ever consider pulling a U2 move with your next album and putting it into everybody’s iTunes?

No, I could think of absolutely nothing worse than forcing your music onto people who don’t want it.

5. What’s your favourite Paddle Pop?

I’m going to say banana because I like the colour yellow and I like how artificial-tasting it is. If you’re going to get cheap, shitty ice-cream, you might as well pick a fun one.

Catch Andras & Oscar’s Cafe Romantica Album Tour at Goodgod tonight, Thursday 11th December. Tickets available here


ODESZA Remix Sia’s ‘Big Girls Cry’

It seems everyone has fallen in love with ODESZA‘s debut album, In Return, this year. They’ve become the dance act on everybody’s lips and they’re soon to tour Australia with tours selling out left, right and centre. An artist who has also been killing it in 2014 is Aussie songstress, Sia. ODESZA has taken on the duty of remixing Big Girls Cry from Sia’s mighty pop album, 1000 Forms Of Fear, and the results are quite stunning. The style is unmistakably ODESZA with breezy synths, elated percussion and a cruising tempo. They barely leave any of the Sia song but what is salvaged is just enough to recognise it’s our gal Sia. Good work all involved.

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The Rubens Guide Us Through Their Instagram


We stalked The Rubens’ Instagram for inspiration ahead of our interview to find out a little bit more about what they’ve been up to, based on what they’ve been posting recently. Drummer, Scott Baldwin, gave us the low down on everything from the band’s new album to their go-to NYC haunts and even his favourite Disney movie.

Let’s start from 2 months ago on October 11th. There’s a photo of Sam and yourself in front of an American flag where you announce that you’re spending time in NY to record your new album. How long where you guys over there in total, have you just gotten back?

I’ve been back for a week. We started out the whole process down in Wollongong, which is quite close to home, just writing songs. We got David Khane our producer who also worked on the first album to fly out and we spent some time with him in Byron Bay for about a month, then about 5 days after that we flew over to NY and got underway with recording. So it’s been quite a long process. We haven’t done much playing, we miss that.

There’s a video a couple of days later of Zaac skateboarding down a hallway – Was that in your NY apartment?

Unfortunately that is our apartment. He didn’t ruin the floor but probably not ideal for the people who lived below because it was like 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s right near Madison square gardens, on 7th and 28th. It’s really close to everything; it’s a great spot.

Hippie jump.

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You posted a few photos at Avatar studios where you were recording album #2 – Can you tell me a bit about what we can expect to hear? 

It’s a much bigger sound. We tried to keep the original sounds of things; we tried to keep it really raw and big and real, that’s the main thing. The songs, some of them are a little bit faster and have a little bit more energy. Zaac the guitarist features a lot more in it, there’s some cool guitar lines. Elliot the back-up singer who also plays keys, he featured quite a lot on it with his vocals as well. In my view it’s a much more developed and more mature album.

Zaac, Will and Scotty doing their thing.

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Was NY an inspiration?

NY is mad. We spent time there doing the first album, so it’s like our second home, we know where everything is. It’s been very inspiring. I enjoyed it a lot more than the first one and I think it shows. We had a lot more fun in the studio in the booth, we were jumping around and all having fun and encouraging each other. With the first one I suppose we were all green so we didn’t really know how things happen, and we were nervous. This was a lot of fun and I think it shows in the album.

Can you see yourselves ever moving to America or do you want to always be Australia-based?
I would probably never move to America, I just like Australia too much. My friends and family all want to travel and that’s great, but people don’t realize how lucky we are out here. It’s just ridiculous. We have really good weather, we have extremely good food, the people are super nice. Even though we complain about our government, our government’s way better than heaps around the world. So we’re extremely fortunate. There are no beaches in the world like here. So I don’t think I would go to America. I would go for like a year but then I’m pretty much done.

3 weeks ago you posted a picture with Andrew from Grouplove, and last year you toured with them – this time did you work together on any new music?

No they’ve been flat out. We toured with them in America then caught up with them when they did Big Day Out. They came down to Wollongong when we were writing down at the beach so we hung out. We catch up with them when we’re in the same town, they’re good friends. We haven’t collaborated with them or anything. Maybe one day. Andrew is an insane surfer, he’s super good.

Who is the best surfer out of you guys?

I am definitely the best surfer because the others don’t really surf. They have a go. They’re better at other things.

Three weeks ago you posted a photo of a restaurant sign with the caption quoting Seinfeld – did you eat anywhere amazing in NYC? 

Definitely compared to the first time we were there. The first time we recorded we were actually on a $10 a day budget. We saved up to get over there then we couldn’t really eat. We all lost like 10kg and didn’t have a home. This time it was much better.

"What's with aeroplane seats lol" jerry seinfeld.

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Was there a favourite place for you?

Yeah up from the studio there’s like this Mexican Lime place and that was awesome. They had a happy hour every single day and awesome fajitas. If you want to go there it’s on 51st and 9th. It’s really good. Spend some time down at Lower East Side as well. There’s a pub called Donnybrooks. That’s like our local.

Back to your caption – are all of you Seinfeld fans (or one of you in particular)?

What’s the guy with the frizzy hair?


Yeah, we keep bagging out Will because he looks and acts exactly like Kramer. Will, who plays bass and Zaac, who plays guitar, they love that show and we all just watch it anyway because it’s hilarious. If we’re not watching Seinfeld we’re watching like CSI or something, or South Park.

Did you see Book Of Mormon in NY?

No, because it’s too expensive! It’s all booked out. I saw Phantom of the Opera, that’s just started up again. That was awesome, it was unbelievable, their voices and things are just crazy. Book of Mormon is meant to be extremely funny.

Yeah, see I love South Park but I feel like the humour didn’t translate as effectively on to real people. I think I’m the only person that thinks that though.

Sometimes it depends on the actors you get. I’ve seen the Lion King twice and if the character is having an off night or they’re not as good at it, it’s a downer. I went and saw the Lion King in Sydney again and Scar just wasn’t enthusiastic. It’s like they need to re-watch the Lion King.

I love the Lion King, it’s my favourite Disney Movie.

Yeah it’s so good, so good. It’s easily my favourite. I have a Simba doll. Not a doll, a teddy and you put your hand inside and make it roar. And I don’t still have it and it’s not still on my bed.

Ok, I believe you. Two weeks ago you posted about the fact that you guys are playing Falls at Marion Bay – how do you feel about it? Will that be the first time you play some of your new stuff live? 

We played there last year and it was awesome, we did the whole set, but because the album won’t have released yet we’re just doing that one off festival in Tasmania. We’re hopefully going to play a few songs. I’m not sure how many yet. We don’t want to spoil too much but we want to see how it goes. I’m really looking forward to playing them.

 When are you hoping to release the new album?

I want to release it in January but that’s not going to happen. Hopefully it’ll be out by May but that’s just me guessing, I don’t know.

Your most recent post was 1 week ago, of blurry Zaac on his birthday – How did you celebrate?

We went to the Camden Hotel, our local bar in our hometown, then we went to The Bunker. This is like a WW2 Bunker under the ground where officers used to hide and everything during the war and our friend owns it. So we go there and jam and stuff. It’s awesome. We just hung out there.

It's this slightly blurry guy's birthday today. Happy birthday @zmargin we love you too much! Xx

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You can catch The Rubens at the Marion Bay leg of Falls Festival, Dec 29-Jan 1. Tickets available here

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Exclusive: Musica Copa x Sweat It Out Mixtape

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Music Copa, the inaugural dance music industry football tournament, is set to kick off for its second year and it’s looking to be bigger than ever before. Featuring 16 premier music industry teams competing for a $12,000 prize to be donated to a charity of the winner’s choice, the day will also involve DJ sets from the likes of Bag Raiders, Touch Sensitive, Basenji, Yahtzel, Yolanda Be Cool, Indian Summer and many, many more.
Of those many more is mixmaster Wongo of Sweat It Out Music, who has made an exclusive mixtape for the event, premiering exclusively on the interns. Wongo has said of the label:
“Sweat It Out, is not just my favourite label, they are my family. So I have put together this mix to show my love for all the artists on the label.”
Musica Copa kicks off tomorrow, 5 December, at Kikoff, Fraser Park, Marrickville.

Mixtape Tracklist:

1. Boot Action – Bosun (Wongo Edit)
2. Go freek – We Can Ride (Wongo Edit)
3. Yolanda Be Cool – Sugarman (Wongos Len Faki Mash)
4. Crooked Colours – In Your Bones (Craig Williams Remix (Wongo Edit))
5. Sinden Pres. Crystal System – Got Me Moving (Wongo Edit)
6. Cassian – Running (Wongo Edit)
7. Rufus – Sundream (Wongo Dub Edit)
8. Benson – Hot Mess (Wongo Edit)
9. Motez – Own Up (Wongo Edit)
10. Playmode – Hypnotic (Wongos Stephane 1993 Mash)
11. Terrace – Fashion (Wongos Klaxon 2016 Edit)
12. Danny T – Take Me (Wongo Edit)
13. Wongo – Name It (VIP mix)



Paradise Music Festival | Review


Absolute props to Andre Hillas- Paradise Music Festival Creator, this was truly one of the best festivals we have been to in a long time. Paradise was a testament to young guns nailing it, other music festivals could definitely take a leaf out of Andre’s book.

Paradise is also officially the first festival we have ever seen grandparents at, spotted late on Friday night amongst the palm trees in Club Land. Not totally sure at first, given the fluorescent green haze and mesh of bodies but it was later confirmed on the Paradise Instagram. (see below)



Take the Elephant Graveyard out of The Lion King and place it amongst the scene of FernGully. That is Lake Mountain. A weird, eerie surrounding turned into the most magnificent home to the freshest festival in Australia. Lake Mountain and the surrounding suburbs were completely burnt down during the 2009 Victorian Bushfires. Andre Hillas has turned what normally symbolizes an area of an unfortunate result from a natural disaster into a playing field for electro music lovers. 



 In the lead up we knew what we were in for with fellow bloggers over at We Talk You Die posting a solid in-depth guide on the ins and outs of the festival, including menu options which catered to the veggies, vegans and gluten free humans. Being a BYO festival, we did bring 2 trays of coconuts, we kind of felt like wankers but the Sailor Jerry’s mix was spot on.


Kirin J Callinan


We both agreed this dark babe blew our mind like no other guitar head. Kirin and his interesting counterparts draw you in like nothing else. So much darkness in their music that really hits you inside and brings out an emotion that can be hard to find. I think we are both in love with him but cannot figure out if it is a physical connection or a weird obsession with his engaging personality. The three slick humans dressed in all black, with an exception of Kirin’s delicious silver belt in combination of their use of newly invented instruments such as “The Ball” (still don’t understand that amazing contraption) made for a real future is now performance.

Kirin’s intense performance to “Embracism” and “Come on USA” were the two stand out tracks during their set. The typical frustrations of a musician is expressed through his music and you can really tell he means every lyric sung.

We were in stitches when a punter yelled out, “ Labour won the state election and the Greens have won three seats”.. then Kirin replied, “I don’t give a fuck, I’m from NSW”.

What an absolute God.



She took us into the Saturday sunset, really suiting the Paradise theme with her dreamy style and soothing layered vocals. Annie was particularly stoked about her intro cover of Drake’s Marvin Room. (Side note: Could someone please let us know where she got her patent bucket hat from?)

Doesn’t matter how many times we see her live, it just gets better every time.

Banoffee acts like she is another punter with a real emphasis on crowd involvement. Rei Barker helped kick start everyone at the beginning of her set and then throughout she would try and get people up on stage but the security didn’t allow this. She has a real fuck it attitude that everyone loves about her. Cannot wait to see her set at the Semplesize Block Party.



Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam were incredible and got us excited for the night ahead of music. It was still daytime during their set and what a perfect sound to lie on the grass to. This duo are really strong and I can only sense great things ahead for them. “Under Lie” continues to be on repeat after this set. Chloe has such a strong, beautiful voice for someone so young.



Karina chatted to Dan from I’lls before they played to discuss the geography of Lake Mountain (this riveting conversation will be up on the interns soon). It was from that conversation she could tell they were legends. These three Jazz musicians have developed into a dynamic electro pop trio producing some of the freshest tunes around Melbourne. The lights throughout their set reflecting on the Lake Mountain woods complemented so nicely with their new music (don’t ask us for song titles).



We were worried arriving 11pm on Friday meant we would miss out on the best acts. Turns out every artist at this festival is quality so doesn’t matter what you are watching you are amongst the best. Friendships made us want to keep cracking coconuts, these two cool kids took us back to another decade with their ‘90s lad style. The combined energy between Nic and Misha have on stage is enough to make anyone twist their ankle.


The twisted ankle actually did happen during Club Land. Annie miraculously didn’t feel the pain on Friday night, which meant Saturday morning called for a hop to meet paramedics, Elle and John. We exchanged stories for around an hour, and realised their festival stories were way better than ours.


Kenny’s services were not needed, 5 star facilities were provided.