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Listen to new Jhené Aiko, ‘The Pressure’

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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.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/jhene-aiko-1/the-pressure[/soundcloud]

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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 nomorenomorenomore.us 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.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/shlohmo/shlohmo-jeremih-no-more[/soundcloud]

 

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Chiraq or Chi-Town? Choose Your Own Chicago

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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’

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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:

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/milk-records-2/pickles-from-the-jar-courtney[/soundcloud]

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

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

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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.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/sineadharnettmusic/no-other-way-ryan-hemsworth-remix[/soundcloud]

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Throwaway Thursday 17 July

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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).

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/throwaway-thursdays-17-july[/soundcloud]

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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.

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Montaigne on Michel de Montaigne, dragonflies and being a t-shirt and shorts kinda gal

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You only have to look at the top of the Singles and Album Charts in the US to know Australian females are killing it at the moment. Sia’s sixth album, 1000 Forms of Fear is the number one album while Iggy Azalea is holding the number one single in the country for the eighth week in a row. 18 year-old singer/songwriter Montaigne may be slightly more like the former than the latter, but she is nonetheless further proof of the healthy state of the Australian music scene.

Sydneysider Jessica Cerro has only just released her second single, I Am Not An End, and already she’s been added to high rotation on Triple J and become a buzzworthy name on websites around the country even before the release of her debut EP, Life of Montaigne.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/montaigne-music/i-am-not-an-end[/soundcloud]

Born from a diet of Owen Pallett, Arcade Fire, clouds and theatrics, Montaigne is crafting self-assured, pop-music with a grandiose far beyond her years. Speaking to the interns, Montaigne described her music as “Regina Spektor with the epicness of Coldplay”. The Coldplay reference comes from her first live encounter with the band whilst here on their Mylo Xyloto tour- a show she describes as “the best night of my life”.

She goes onto further cite her references as influences from Bjork to The National to Florence Welch and Marina and the Diamonds. This perhaps explains why her music sounds so epic for an 18 year-old singer who, two years ago, wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a musician.

In 2012, Cerro was a finalist on Triple J’s Unearthed High. While she didn’t win, she calls it a “blessing in disguise”. “I didn’t even know if I wanted to be a musician full time”, she said, continuing, “but now I am sure that’s exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

She’s used the two years since to finish her studies, define her sound and find an image. “Everybody kept asking what my image was going to be and I wasn’t sure. I’m a t-shirt and shorts kinda girl”, she says. Since then she’s cut her hair off and found an image revolving around her “obsession of clouds”.

Both singles off Life of Montaigne, I’m A Fantastic Wreck and I Am Not An End have been picked up by Triple J. “It’s awesome Triple J and blogs are picking it up, it seems to be happening so quickly”, she says. Until recently Montaigne was managed by her Mum. She explains, “I’ve only just got a manager which is great because now I can go back to having a normal relationship with my Mum”.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/montaigne-music/im-a-fantastic-wreck[/soundcloud]

Cerro sounds genuinely giddy about her success and confident in talking about her influences both sonic and sociological. She says, “I’m more influenced by concepts than sounds”. In particular, she is most influenced by French Renaissance writer, Michel De Montaigne, who was known for his depictions of the human-race. His most famous phrase, “Que sçay-je?” meaning literally ‘What Know I?’ comes across in Cerro’s songs as she takes on a very personal self-exploration, particularly on the self-deprecating yet triumphant, I’m A Fantastic Wreck.

However, Montaigne says that Michel De Montaigne’s theories are not the topic of her songs, rather just a notion. “He’s not a direct lyrical influence”, she says, “I just kinda want him to be attached to my music, so people think of my music kinda like that”.

The EP, which is due out this year, is described by Cerro as “a mix of everything…a mix of the two styles of the singes”. She “just hopes everybody likes it”.

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1. What is the best end to a movie?

“That’s hard. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Kings… It’s really cute.”

2. If you had to re-record an entire album, what would it be?

“ Bjork- Post. I just love that record.”

3. Describe your music with one animal?

“Dragonfly.”

4. Do you believe Shakespeare wrote his own plays?

“Yeah, I reckon he did.”

5. Your favourite trend from your childhood?

“Definitely tamagotchi.”

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Kwamie Liv is ‘comin THRU’

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What happens when you cross M.I.A with a little bit of Lana Del Rey and Robyn? You get Kwamie Liv– a Danish artist who is an amalgamation of the best qualities of all three. Already she’s impressed with 5am and Follow You but comin THRU is by far her most immediately likeable taste. Sweet, solemn verses are juxtaposed with a chorus that has the effortless flow of M.I.A’s Paper Planes without the need for ridiculous hand actions. There was a certain lo-fi quality to her last track, Follow You, but comin THRU is having none of that. It’s a crisp, slice of perfection that is difficult to box into one genre.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/kwamieliv/comin-thru-1[/soundcloud]

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GEoRGiA follows-up ‘Be Ache’ with ‘Digits’

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We featured GEoRGiA‘s first track, Be Ache, on the interns back in June and have waited for a follow-up to the l0-fi wonder ever since. Today, as if by magic, another one has appeared titled, Digits. Where Be Ache was a manic collision of sounds, Digits is a far more demure, streamlined affair. The beat still packs a punch but you really get to hear GEoRGiA’s sweet and sour vocals here alongside a mellow synth-line. It’s a definite nod to RnB but there is also an industrial rawness to it not unlike Kanye West‘s Yeezus. Digits has a progressed feel for melody than Be Ache and is likely to work it’s way into the playlists of more listeners. One of 2014’s names to watch.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/georgia_hb/digits[/soundcloud]

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Listen to Perfume Genius’ bold, ‘Queen’

Perfume Genius Announces New Album Too Bright, Shares One more comeback for the day, I promise. You may remember Seattle-based artist, Perfume Genius‘ 2012 record Put Your Back N It. It was a haunting and melancholic yet underrated record that still sounds relevant today. If that record didn’t put him in some people’s psyche, his bold new single, Queen, is bound to. Queen is taken from his forthcoming album, Too Bright, which will be released on 23 September. It’s production is far denser than anything he’s done before with haunting whistles, brave percussion and a vocal that sees Mike Hadreas (aka. Perfume Genius) take charge like never before.

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Hear Jamie T’s first track in five years, ‘Don’t You Find’

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2014 is quickly becoming known as the year of the comeback. Apparently The Avalanches second album is currently being mixed, La Roux is due to release her sophomore LP Trouble In Paradise this week and we just featured a new song from The Drums. Add to that once more because British anarchist Jamie T has released his first new song since 2009 and it’s called Don’t You Find. T’s most notable track from his record, King & Queens was the ramped-up, Stick N’ Stones which well and truly grabbed the attention of any who didn’t know about him before. Don’t You Find takes a totally different path with the Brit sing with guitar in hand and a female vocal beneath at points. While it’s different, it’s not an unwelcome departure. It sounds unmistakably British like Noel Gallagher produced by Damon Albarn with a touch of Kasabian.

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