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


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 


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


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)


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


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


the interns Saturday Mix #4


Hold the phone, did someone say weekend!? It’s time to switch off the Blackberry, call the babysitter and put your party knickers on because Saturday is here and the interns’ mix is not going to let you stay indoors tonight watching Friends re-runs.

Major Lazer – Royal Speaking: Songs to hang with Mary Jane

Note: the interns do not condone the use of illegal drugs.

But Let’s just say you wanted to go green this weekend. And let’s hypothetically say, you need a token music mix to wake and bake or do some garden weeding to. Why don’t you hash out the idea of using this Major Lazer Jamaican jam? That ok with you, bud? If I said ‘People Everyday’ by Arrested Development was in the mix, would that spark up your interest?


Digitalism – In Session: Songs to bring back electro

How good was 2007 for dance music!? Daft punk toured the globe with their Alive tour, Justice, Boys Noize and Sulwax bought us dance hit after dance hit, and Digitalism fed our musical taste buds with their debut album ‘Idealism.’ This mix is a culmination of the old goodies and some fresh new head-bangers. It is the perfect mix of punchy, mischievous and dancey nostalgia to remind us all how electro is done properly.


Moby – DJ Mix / July 2014: Songs to take the new car for a spin

“Moby, you can get stomped by Obie, you 36 year old bald headed fag blow me
You don’t know me, you’re too old let go its over, nobody listens to techno.”

That guy that Eminem loved to diss, you remember him? Well, Daddy’s got a brand new car sound and he wants to take it for a spin around the block. Whether it is your mum’s Suzuki Swift, your sister’s Barina or your new sexy new Mercedes – windows down please, and subwoofers out. The local council are going to hate you tonight.


Karman – LFTF Mix: One for the ups and downs

This mix is going to get the blood pumping through the highs and lows of your relationship. We all know how it goes, one minute you are looking into their eyes, their beautiful soul – that’s a special moment.

Next moment you are at each other’s throats, threatening to change your Facebook relationship status.

Then you are all over each other again, grinding, kissing and loved-up like nothing ever happened.

All in the span of about 2 hours.


Jamie xx and Friends – BBC Radio 1: Songs to stay in bed for

Sunday morning has arrived. Stay right where you are, put your phone on silent and spend the next hour warm and cosy with this old faithful sound. Jamie xx does not judge if you are big spoon or little spoon. He does not throw prejudice over what you did the night before. This well-curated mix is here to let you just slide into the back-end of your weekend with ease and relaxation.

Listen to the “it’s too cold outside to move” mix here




10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week


Is it that music is getting better? Is it that we had a good week? Or is it that we’re overjoyed by the news that Adele will indeed be naming her album, 25? Whatever it is, these 10 tunes are just sounding that little bit better this week. Amongst the 10, we have the creme de la creme of hip-hop, a few triumphant comebacks and enough Ryan Hemsworth to fill our Pokedex. So go forth and check out the best 10 songs of the week. Gotta catch ’em all.

Click here for this week’s Soundcloud playlist. 

Kwamie Liv- comin THRU

Looking for Paper Planes without the tacky, dance-along moves? Look no further than the third offering from Danish-singer Kwamie Liv, comin THRU. There’s mellow, RnB undertones followed by a hip-hop-inspired chorus that pops like M.I.A’s hallmark track. Wanna’ get down, pop-it and lock-it this weekend? Yeah, you do. Press play.


Vic Mensa- Feel That

It was always going to be a hard job following up Down on my Luck but Chicago rapper Vic Mensa has done a valiant job. We don’t publicly condone it, but if your Saturday looks anything like this video then you’ve had one helluva weekend. As for the track, it’s a hip-hop banger that lays a runaway train flow over sparse hip-hop beats.

The Drums- Magic Mountain

The Drums have gone from the beach to the mountains on this trippy comeback single. There’s a bit more noise, there’s a little bit more psychedelic but The Drums are still there at the core of it all. Stick around for the 2min 30 mark when it all gets a little bit spooky and we descend down the mountain and into the rabbit hole.


Tkay Maidza- U-Huh

Is there something in the Adelaide water? Motez, Allday and now 18-year old Tkay Maidza has taken to the stage as one of the most exciting new talents to watch in 2014. After seducing us with her catchy track Brontosaurus back in 2013, U-huh is Maidza’s first single since signing with Brisbane label Dew Process – home to London Grammar, Mumford & Sons and Sarah Blasko. This track is crisp, sassy and the perfect blend of hip-hop and pop – in a way that Azealia Banks could only dream to replicate. Timed to perfection,this release comes as Tkay is set to play Splendour in the Grass next weekend, Listen Out and Big Sound in coming months. Be sure to catch her before the rest of the world eats her up!


Perfume Genius- Queen

Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) embraces his inner Freddy Mercury this week on the bold new track from his forthcoming album, Too Bright. It’s production is far denser than anything he’s done before with haunting whistles, brave percussion and a vocal that sees Perfume Genius take charge like never before. We’re not sure about the Perfume part but this one is definitely Genius.

Sinead Harnett- No Other Way (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)

Hemsworth is the guy you know and trust to do your work justice, and his re-work of London-based songstress Sinead Harnett‘s No Other Way is no exception. Production-wise, it is hard to fault him, serving up the perfect balance between soul, toyed melody and dancey electronica. The layered synths up the tempo of the catchy chilled-out original to produce the perfect mid-Winter pick-me-up.


Ryan Hemsworth- One For Me (Feat. Tinashe) (Lucas Remix)

*Wipes tears away*. Much Ryan Hemsworth this week, many feels. Seattle producer, Lucas does an emotional flip of Hemsworth’s album cut, One For Me. Tinashe’s vocals are taken down a few notches to sound like a soulful male, while Lucas lays down keys and a steady beat. This song was already beautiful but this just takes it to another level. If you’re going through a breakup this weekend, press repeat. If not, press next.


– Walk This Way (Lido Remix)

It’s everything video games and gaming arcades on the Lido remix of ’s track, Walk This Way. It introduces a whole new element of trickling synths and skittered beats that will possibly grate you and possibly won’t. Such is the joy of the democratic nature of music.


Astronomyy – Nothin On My Mind (Bearson Remix)

the interns have got tropical fever this week from La Roux’s Trouble in Paradise and the vibes are continuing with this remix of Astronomyy’s Nothing On My Mind. Oslo House producer, Bearson has reworked the already-chilled track with, taking us from beach to beach bar.


ODESZA – Memories That You Call (feat. Monsoonsiren)

Seattle-based duo ODESZA have dropped their dreamy first track from their upcoming second album, In Return. Awash with heavenly synths accompanied by purposeful percussion, Memories That You Call is an anthem of youth; painting pictures of wayward journeys across the plains.


And here’s another. We’re feeling generous:

Treasure Fingers & BOSCO- Names

Brooklyn label Fools Gold is quite literally a goldmine of tunes. Their latest delivery is from Atlanta Producer Treasure Fingers and it’s a disco cross hip-hop cross house number that’s exactly what it sounds like- a perfect amalgamation of sound. He’s joined by singer/songwriter BOSCO who effortlessly goes in between rapping and singing, sassiness and sensuality. Grab someone and grind them when listening to this. It will make so much more sense. Please make sure you know the person you grab.


Click here for this week’s Soundcloud playlist.  

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Friday Lock-in: La Roux – Trouble in Paradise


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


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


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



Listen to new Jhené Aiko, ‘The Pressure’


Jhené Aiko is quickly becoming the top lady in R&B. Her last track To Love and Die was exquisite and her collaborations with Drake and Childish Gambino have shown she can steal the attention from the boys. Apparently her record, Souled Out, has been delayed until much later in the year but she’s given us a peace offering in the form of The PressureThe Pressure is a mid-tempo RnB jam that sees Aiko lay her silky smooth vocals over top. In the words of Alicia Keys, this girl is on fire.



Jeremih and Shlohmo Release EP ‘No More’

Having given us Bo Peep (Do You Right), when the duo collaborated for a Yours Truly Song From Scratch,” last year, which conversely went on to be one of the best alternative R&B tracks of 2013, a year later, LA producer Shlohmo and Chicago local Jeremih are back and have finally released their highly anticipated, well-teased, collaborative EP just in time for the weekend. The 6 track EP, No More, is fully downloadable at in exchange for a humble email, while the title track No More, can be streamed below. Listen out for a guest appearance by Chicago local, Chance The Rapper, on the final track.




Chiraq or Chi-Town? Choose Your Own Chicago


A strangely anchoring dichotomy lies at the heart of Chicago’s hip-hop music scene, from which the most segregated and violent city in the United States pivots, bends, twists and turns itself around, looping together a rich tapestry of talent and cultural diversity.

One need only blink in the direction of the vastly differing career trajectories of Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco, two of the city’s hip-hop alumni, in order to realise this is a scene, filled with rules, codes and boundaries, yet undeniably open to contradiction and false word. Say what? On the one side stands self-proclaimed Messiah, Kanye, having irrevocably changed the face of hip-hop and R&B all the while *insert any one his “oh he just being Kanye,” antics here.* While on the other stands a comparatively humble Lupe Fiasco, conscious hip-hop advocate who takes advantage his position as a lyricist in the limelight to excoriate corporate America for its gas-guzzling tastes and establish youth empowerment initiatives.

Even the city’s latest YouTube-sensation-come-dance craze, “Bopping,” embodies the city’s unwillingness to present a unified whole other than in its collective and total abandonment of that very notion. Made famous by Lil Kemo’s appearance in Drill artist, King Louie’s video for My Niggaz, bopping, with its frenetic footwork on the bottom and loose freestyle of elbows and shoulder shrugs on top is, as Meagan Garvey notes, business on the bottom and party on top. 

In light of Vic Mensa’s new track, Feel That, come with us as we look at four of the cities male hip-hop artists, taking over from the Kanye’s and the Lupe’s and forging a path of their own. 

Young Chop 

19 year old producer Young Chop, is an embodiment of the unlikely collisions that happen in the windy city. Credited with essentially creating the city’s prominent, hyper-masculine and violent Drill scene from a desktop computer in his mother’s home, a gang-affiliation free, straight-edged and clean-record Young Chop can be seen being driven around the south of Chicago by his mum in the Beemer he paid for, and, despite having ventured to Paris to collaborate with Kanye West on the latest Pusha T album, had never been to The Chicago Bean before Vice forced him up town on a webisode of Chiraq. A true demonstration of just how racially and socio-economically segregated Chicago can be. Now signed to Warner Records, Young Chop is one of the most sought after hip-hop producers in the western world, and has been an integral cog in the sky rocketing career of Bieber from the wrong side of the tracks, Chief Keef. Producing songs for the 3 Hunna member like I Don’t Like, Love Sosa, and of course, 3 Hunna. Young Chop has gone on to collaborate with Big Sean, Soulja Boy, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and Travi$ Scott.

Chief Keef 

This kid. If you know anything about the Drill music currently pouring out of Chicago, it’s likely that you’re also acquainted, almost to the point of exhaustion, with Gucci-flashing, dread lock-sucking, belt-enthusiast, Chief Keef. At a mere 17 years old, Keef is the face, inspiration and indeed pin-cushion of the entire movement. Having hit Young Chop up on Facebook, while on house arrest in his grandmother’s living room the two collaborated on his 2012’s album Finally Rich. A boy of few words, Keef is also the semi-absent star of Vice’s 8-part web series Chiraq and gained even more exposure when Pitchfork took him to shooting range for their interview, whereby violating the conditions of his parole. Keef represents a reality of Chicago often neglected by the media, and outsiders. A reality of projects and extreme poverty, in which guns are prevalent, death is old news and gang-affiliations everything. It’s a world in which reality and social-media seamless collide; Twitter is one’s jury and cases are fought on the streets, often resulting in real loss and heartache. Now signed with Interscope Records, Keef has performed and produced with the likes of Drake, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent and fellow drill artists Lil Durk, King Louie and Lil Reese.

Chance The Rapper 

Unlike the “brawl out,” gun-toting, motherF*&King spits of Chief Keef and his Drill affiliations, so intimately entwined in the city’s gang wars and gun violence, 20 year old classicist, Chancelor Bennett, aka, Chance the Rapper, offers us a different perspective on the same place called home, reminding us instead of Chicago’s soulful history with his rich textures and smooth rap throwbacks. Since his first mixtape 10 Day, partially recorded while on a 10 day suspension from high school, Chance’s second mixtape Acid Rap, filled with acid jazz sounds, and equal parts Eminem / Kanye references, has graced multiple “Best” lists, including Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Complex Magazine’s. He has collaborated with the likes of future R&B stars, SZA and Tinashe, Childish Gambino, Joey Badass and fellow savemoney crew member Vic Mensa.

Vic Mensa

Off the back of the colossal popularity of his first solo mixtape Innantape that debuted earlier this year, Chicago local, and savemoney member, Vic Mensa has been touring with the likes of Disclosure and Danny Brown. Since turning his back on band Kids These Days and a shiny label deal, Mensa’s solo career has gone from strength to strength but it’s unlikely the bourgeoning superstar will be satisfied until he’s “earning more money than his dad.” Recently, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League producer, Cottontale, told The Fader “Mensa’s the rare talent who can write, produce and sing with equal flair. I don’t think he’s just a writer and rapper. He’s definitely a producer in his own right. He has a lot of potential.” Telling of the camaraderie that exists at the centre of Chicago’s hip-hop scene, Drill or otherwise, Mensa also appeared on an episode of Vice’s Chiraq, attempting to gather enough money to post bail for fellow savemoney crew member, the aptly titled, Joey Purp. That’s love.

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Courtney Barnett likes to eat ‘Pickles From The Jar’


Courney Barnett‘s recent stint to the US seems to have influenced her penchant for pickles, made evident through her latest Pickles From The Jar. Listen to her always-quirky, candid turn of phrase in her new track below:


Barnett’s debut album is due for release in 2015.


Ryan Hemsworth remixes Sinead Harnett’s ‘No Other Way’


Ryan Hemsworth serves up the perfect balance of soul and well-crafted production in his most recent rework of London songwriter, Sinead Harnett’s ‘No Other Way’. The layered synths up the tempo from the original chilled track, to produce a dancey, yet thoughtful augmentation of the original.



Throwaway Thursday 17 July


This will probably mean nothing to you all because you’re all cashed up on tax returns and dropping a bucket of cash on iTunes, but if that’s true you’re most likely downloading the new Madden Brothers‘ song. So, in the interest of improving your iTunes library, here are some great tunes that happen to be free.

This week we’ve got a bunch of stuff that errs on the dancey side and are  available to download for free. A-Trak has remixed Foster The People’s Best Friend which will ready you for their mighty Splendour in the Grass set next week. Throttle have also done a disco-inspired remix of Sam Smith’s mammoth hit Stay With Me while GANZ has flipped Alison Wonderland’s pumping track, I Want U. Rome Fortune’s second collaboration with Four Tet, Lights Low, is also worth a listen and download.

You’ll want to clear a space around you for this one, pop some headphones on and get ready to dance. The best part is free also means freedom. Download these tunes and listen to them without a Wi-Fi connection, just like the old days (circa 2005).


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Vic Mensa unleashes the drug-fuelled ‘Feel That’

Vic Mensa‘s Down On My Luck has quickly become an interns favourite this year, this we are suitably excited about this lated release. The latest track is called Feel That and it’s another drug-induced, party tune that comes with a video that emulates that. There’s girls, clubs, amazing LA homes and a shooting style that descends into hazy visuals. Chance The Rapper even appears at one point. It like a poignant feature given those two are the biggest new names in rap right now.