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10SONGS7

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week

10SONGS7

If you’ve been sleeping on new music this week, consider this your cramming. You probably haven’t escaped the week without hearing about the new La Roux track, but there are a few other gems here that have slipped under the radar. You can read along below or jump straight to the Soundcloud playlist here.  10LAROUX

1. La Roux- Uptight Downtown

La Roux’s first track from Trouble In Paradise, Let Me Down Gently, introduced us…gently. It was lovely, but we were all waiting for the heart-racing, pop moment she delivered up time and time again on her debut. Well, this is it. Uptight Downtown is an ’80s-inspired number that encourages dancing in the street, inappropriate grinding and hairbrush singalongs. In other words, it’s pop perfection.

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

10PREATURES2. The Preatures- Two Tone Melody

The Preatures have been busy overseas showing why Australian bands are the shit at the moment, however, they’re returning at the end of July for a run of shows. Along with the announcement they’ve released this newie. Two Tone Melody sees the band ease-up, creating a dusky, slow-burning track that centres around Isabella Manfredi’s smokey vocals.

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3. Kyan- Taking The City

For an artist who’s been around for barely a minute, Kyan’s song-writing is so self assured and confident. Taking The City is another notch in his belt. It’s a glisteningly, clean production with a huge chorus to boot. Just try and resist the foray into rock territory in the song’s final third.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/kyanmusic/taking-the-city-2[/soundcloud]10SEEKAE

4. Seekae- Test & Recognise

This is the second taster off Seekae’s forthcoming album The Worry. It sees the band take a more accessible approach to songwriting, ditching a largely instrumental aesthetic in favour of dark, RnB inspired vocals. It’s working well for them. Following Another, Test & Recognise is yet another hugely enticing track.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/seekae-test-recognise-1[/soundcloud]

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5. Rebecca Clements- Wildlife

If you’re in need of a cry at the end of the week, this is the track to do it to. This is 19 year-old British-singer, Rebecca Clements’ debut track and it’s a haunting ode to breaking free. Instrumentally, it’s really only the guitar and Clements voice but she has a lyrical prowess holds your interest. “We try to run free but we’re two lost strays, all caught up in the mess we’ve made”, she sings ethereally and in total control.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/rebeccaclements/wildlife-1[/soundcloud]

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6. TALA- On My Own In Hua Hin

TALA is quickly becoming one of the key innovators on the scene at the moment. This is the latest cut from her upcoming The Duchess EP is another chopped and screwed beauty. There’s a touch of Santigold to it, a bit of M.I.A and a whole lot of TALA.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/talaofficial/on-my-own-in-hua-hin?in=talaofficial/sets/the-duchess-ep[/soundcloud]

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7. DEADMAU5- SeeYa (Feat. Colleen)

This is a bit of a detour of sound for the man in the Mickey Mouse hat. Seemingly inspired by Daft Punk, he’s opted for a funky bassline and robotic synths in yet another indication that EDM is changing its tack sound-wise.

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

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8. jj- All White Everything

Enigmatic Swedish duo, jj, are certainly not a conventional pair. They occasionally cover rap songs, drop songs out of the blue and are short on imaginative album titles (V is the forthcoming effort). It’s lucky then that they’re music speaks volumes. All White Everything is a delicate track that builds that effortlessly builds but never quite reaches the climax. It’s that restraint that makes it so intriguing.

[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/secretlycanadian/jj-all-white-everything[/soundcloud]

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9. Meanwhile- Bigger City

Meanwhile is sure to become a name to watch. He’s been hand picked by La Roux to support her on her upcoming comeback tour which seems like a perfect match. Like La Roux, this track is coated in ’80s pastiche with unapologetic synths and hip-shaking bass. Bigger City may be the funnest track you hear this week.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/meanwhileost/bigger-city-1[/soundcloud]

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10. Digitalism- Wolves (Feat. Youngblood Hawke) (RAC Remix)

RAC have a knack of remixing songs to make them even more accessible than their original. This is a radio-ready, indie-pop remix of Digitalism. It’s perky, sunshine-induced and you’ll want to hate it. But you can’t. The careless indie-pop textures are irresistable.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/rac/digitalism-wolves-ft-youngblood-hawke-rac-mix[/soundcloud]

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Random Access Memories: A Year On

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As of this month, a year has passed since the release of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. The hype has somewhat dissipated, the dust has settled. Now it’s time to ask: Did RAM live up to the hype? Is it a Daft Punk classic? What does Daft Punk’s journey into disco past mean for our music present and future? (for the TL;DR version of the answers, scroll to the end)

Few artists in the history of time have had the enigmatic effect on the music industry quite like Daft Punk. It takes someone or something special to cause such a whirlwind of rumours and myths to circulate constantly over two decades’ time, ranging from surprise appearances to the actual identity of the persons in question, Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. In the 12 year time gap between their last album and RAM, (excluding the Tron soundtrack) the rumour mill was still well-oiled and running, with people predicting release dates of the next album, asking the questions “is there even going to be a next album?”, “when are they touring again?” or, as one internet punter asked an online Daft Punk FAQ, ‘are they dead?’

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I personally found this ‘partially’ helpful.

In February last year, Daft Punk finally came out of the shadows with a solitary image of the iconic split-helmet posted on both their website and Facebook. This first contact from the pair, in what felt like decades, sent the online world into a frenzy, with Facebook, Twitter, music blogs and forums alike going into overdrive. Even their manager, Paul Hahn, was staggered by the internet’s reaction, commenting that his favourite tweet was, ‘Daft Punk posts jpeg, crashes internet.” The incredible fact was that nothing about a new album was mentioned, though everyone was taking from that simple image the same message:

Daft Punk were back (and were definitely alive).

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Rudy Mechekoff (above) makes a good point 

With tongues wagging and fingertips furiously a-typin’, Columbia Records slowly rolled out the  remainder of the Random Access Memories campaign to the bated breath of fans worldwide. But there was something different about this promotion. The helmet image posted onto the internet was typical of an album release but it was one of only a few engagements in the digital sphere. Instead, as hinted in a blog announcement by Chic guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers, it seemed that Daft Punk (with Rodgers as a suspected collaborator) were opting for a campaign encompassing all things retro. This was the first clue that Daft Punk was taking a new, funky direction.

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Billboards began to pop up along Sunset Boulevard, replacing ads for “fat-reduction pills and local car-insurance companies,” imparting a “physical, visceral quality” and creating “something of permeance,” according to Paul Hahn. A 15-second teaser advertisement also bookmarked a Saturday Night Live episode (overshadowing Macklemore’s appearance on the show), both giving a nod to “pre-MTV era of marketing”, as Paul Hahn put it, with the latter subsequently crashing the Daft Punk website within 4 seconds of its appearance. It was a delightful mix of eras, with the clever use of varied media elements thought to be antiquated in the music realm.

Columbia Records still had more surprises up its sleeve; slowly giving away more and more pieces of the puzzle that was Random Access Memories. These consisted of a retro-futuristic web series, a multi-part YouTube documentary revealing some of the collaborators, more billboards (this time at prime positions of SXSW & Ultra Music Festival) and another SNL advertisement. This was all topped off with an extended 60-second teaser projected to the audience at Coachella, revealing Pharrell as a collaborator and stirring rumours that Daft Punk would be doing a surprise set (little did they know that the two men they craved so much were actually watching the teaser from the crowd amongst them. Truly Gods amongst mere mortals).

Kermit Cintron vs Walter MathysseThe campaign continued to stir up hype and demand attention, certainly a contrast to the two Frenchmen who have insisted on keeping their identities hidden underneath robot heads since the ‘90s. It exuded a promise of something great, with Columbia’s Chief Executive, Rob Stringer, likening it to when record companies used to have the “confidence that they had a big, big record.” There was no question they had the confidence. At this point it was bordering on cockiness.

Finally, the time had come for their 4th studio album to be released and in classic Daft Punk style, the launch was to be held in where else but ‘Wee Where..?’, only adding to the mystery and intrigue of the saga.

The time came, the time has passed, and now we’re left to ponder the question:

Did the machines live up to the hype?

Now that the dust has settled, the rumours have calmed (for now) and everyone has a copy of RAM in their once-hot little hands, I beg the question: did the album live up to its hype as the most anticipated album of last year/decade/century/millennia?

Obtaining the status of most critically successful album with a score of 87/100 on Metacritic, winning numerous Grammy Award wins, including Album of the Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album and Record of the Year, and debuting at number one in twenty countries, I’d be stupid to say no. I’d also be lying.

They gave life back to music.

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As the introductory song to RAM states, Guy and Thomas-Manuel aimed to revive the magic of albums apparently lost in the riff-heavy EDM haze. Professing to be bored with the electronic music style they so happened to help create, the pair chose to shy away from samples and other immediately-gratifying features of electronic music. Instead, they opted to bask in the styles and techniques of the disco era, turning back the clock to the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. In an age where so many songs are conceived so quickly and proficiently on computers, Daft Punk’s reintroduction of disco is refreshing, with The Scissor Sisters’ frontman, Jake Shears, comparing it to a “giant, fresh glass of water that so many people have been thirsty for for so long.” This style is evident in their use of multi-layered vocals, accompanied with a slew of instruments and expert instrument implementation (dem guitar licks), adding to the intricate level of detail and musical thought rendered throughout the album.

They spared no expense to accomplish this; rounding up the best musicians, recording in the finest studios around the world and incorporating orchestras and choirs at will. With this, they’ve managed to create a new sonic-age while still maintaining their classic Daft Punk . Many would prefer for them to simply stick to what made them what they are, but at some point, purely programmed music would become tiresome. As Giorgio Moroder said, “they had to do something which is different – still dance, still electronic – but give that human touch back.” And it’s that simple idea of personifying electronic music again which has so influenced the disco/funk trend so evident today.

RAM was an Instant Crush, but was it an Instant Classic?

crushRandom Access Memories‘ cinematic nature makes it an album that needs to be heard in full, a style which doesn’t make it a classic in the way that its predecessors are. Of course discluding popular Get Lucky and Lose Yourself to Dance, you wouldn’t expect to hear many of their tracks, such as the musings in Giorgio by Moroder or the cinematic story of Touch in any old club. This is where Daft Punk’s style in RAM is noticeably different from their past works. It seems they have created this to be more of an event, more of a journey from start to finish, not dissimilar to the records of the past. This in turn requires a lot more effort from the listener, proving difficult for some, who would prefer the immediate gratification from one of their more electronic numbers such as Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

Although this way of approaching the album may be labour-intensive, it is greatly rewarding. RAM manages to surprise you with something new every listen, whether it be the instantly funking guitar lick on Lose Yourself to Dance, the steady beat of Doin’ It Right or the Broadway production that is Touch. It’s the complete disregard for trend that makes RAM stand out as an innovator, jam-packed with music of an older-age for a future generation.

Disco is Alive and Stayin’ Alive.

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Although many artists have quietly been making disco-influenced music, it seems that all we required was the Daft Punk effect to really start the trend. Sonically, it’s re-introduced the idea of human-sounding music into the dance genre. Ironic, considering it came from a pair of robots. Nile Rodgers, one of the main collaborators on the album and the ‘Mozart of disco’, has attributed this renewed affection for his beloved disco to its “complex simplicity” and absolute “bliss of grooves.”

nilerodgersIt has the ability to encourage people to get up and dance, rather than “people standing there” and “nodding their heads”, as stated by Dec Lennon, the head of a dubstep/grime radio station, comparing the new disco wave to the dubstep era.

Mixmag’s Duncan Dick positioned RAM as a “game-changer for dance music,” getting out of the EDM comfort zone that so many artists are stuck in. “It’s as if they’re trying to turn the clock back to a time not only before EDM but before even acid house,” he wrote. “This isn’t Daft Punk trying to get back to the warehouse or the rave but back to the discothèque.” Dec Lennon has also attributed it to people “opening up, getting loose, having a drink and a dance.” Hugo Gruzman of Flight Facilities has also chimed in on the subject, comparing EDM to electronic disco, stating “it’s the difference between a quick shag and an all-night love-making session”.

It seems everyone has the fever, with artists adopting the disco trend at a critical mass. This past year, we’ve already seen artists such as Jungle, Chromeo, Chris Malinchak, Juce, Flight Facilities, Todd Terje, Blood Orange and La Roux (just to name a few) creating ‘70s/’80s-inspired tunes. Not to mention the slew of artists like Clean Bandit and Avicii who have found huge commercial success with their disco-flavoured numbers.

Pharrell Got Lucky.

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No, not in that way! Well, probably also in that way. 

Another artist who has greatly benefited from the success of Random Access Memories is none other than former N.E.R.D pioneer, Pharrell Williams. Although quietly producing tracks with a host of other artists, it seemed he’d been hiding in the shadows for the past few years, appearing his best days were behind him. Pharrell himself confessed that his first solo album, In My Mind, was a “dreadful experience”, making him think that his “days as an artist were over.”

It wasn’t until he met with Guy and Thomas-Manuel and pleaded to their manager for a chance at collaborating, saying “anything you want me to do, I’ll do. I’ll play tambourine on your next album,” that his luck began to change. He stated that he was “happy guesting” or “producing work” but the French dance stars asked much more of Pharrell,  inviting him to sing on their hit single Get Lucky and further collaborate with them for the entire album.

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This turn of events has him convinced that Daft Punk brought his solo career back from the brink of nonexistence.”Working with Daft Punk has been a huge part of the journey to where I am today… I was appreciative when I did it and I’m still appreciative of the chance I was given,” he has commented. Daft Punk, with their album Random Access Memories, helped shine the spotlight back on Pharrell, breathing life back to his career and revealing the producer for the amazing talent he is, helping him re-emerge into the music world as, what The Guardian describes him, a ‘one-man disco revival.’

TL;DR: Random Access Memories was great, Daft Punk revived the disco era, they inspired other artists to emulate electro-disco, they kick-started Pharrell Williams’ solo career and, basically, boogie is back and it’s, hopefully, here to stay (at least until Daft Punk’s next album).

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tonyabbout22

Throwaway Thursday


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Another week and another brand new bag of toys. Unlike waiting around the bakery of an afternoon for leftover bread rolls, we’re bringing you the freshest of what we’ve found without even asking for three $9.99 instalments. This week, we’ve got a documentary from Eats Everything, D’Angelo in conversation and Kaytranada’s family project, amongst other things. So, put those coins away because they ain’t necessary here.

WATCH: Behind the Eaters: A documentary on super fans

It turns out British producer, Eats Everything, has quite the sense of humour. This mockumentary follows brilliant super fans (called ‘Eaters’) Brenda and Gwyn as they admit their obsession with the producer is probably ruining relationships. One could liken the Fandom surrounding Eats Everything in this film to One Direction. That said even one of the fans admits, “the thing about DJing is the music’s already done for you. You Just gotta press play”. It’s brilliantly dry humour and not too dissimilar to the brand of mockumentary we’re used to seeing from Chris Lilley.

WATCH: D’Angelo live in conversation

Last week US RnB singer, D’Angelo took to the stage to answer questions in front of 500 people as part of the Red Bull Academy Festival in New York. The singer hasn’t released an album in 15 years, however, speculation is building. Throughout the hour-long conversation, D’Angelo reminisced on his career and spoke about the recording process. He spoke of kicking everybody out of the recording studio when it’s time for him to lay his vocals, describing it as “trying to go deep, deep in the onion”.

Watch the video over at the Red Bull Academy

LISTEN: Omarion- Fader Mix

You’d be forgiven for not immediately remembering who Omarion is. You’re not forgiven if you go here, and still don’t remember who he is. For those of you who still need some help, Omarion was part of boyband B2K before going it solo. He hasn’t been around for the better part of a decade, but he’s set to release his new album Sex Playlist. Yes, Sex Playlist. That aside, he’s thrown together a great mix for The Fader which includes Shlohmo, LL Cool J and Chrome Sparks. I guess you could consider it a, er, Sex Playlist.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/fadermedia/fader-mix-omarion[/soundcloud]

LISTEN: The Celestics- Supreme Laziness

Montreal beatsmith Kaytranada has been making a name for himself with a handful of great originals and remixes but now he’s joined hands with his rapping brother as The Celestics. Supreme Laziness is their debut and it’s absolutely free. Aside from that great fact, it’s full of Kaytranada’s woozy production and his brother, Louie P’s quick-witted words.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/huhwhatandwhere/sets/supreme-laziness-the-celestics[/soundcloud]

LISTEN: Sable- Foolin’ (Basenji Remix)

Sydney producer Basenji has just unleashed his first official remix for WA newcomer Sable. Basenji has slowed down Foolin’ off Sable’s Feels So Good EP, adding breathing space and sparsity to the WA producer’s manic original. Still, it’s not short of trap-inspired drops to make sure you get down. WAY down.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/pilerats/sable-foolin-basenji-remix[/soundcloud]

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Newcomer Kyan drops ‘Taking The City’

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RnB singer Kyan is quickly becoming an interns favourite. We were enamoured by his song, Shuttle, and now he’s just dropped a new track, Taking the City. Taking The City has been lifted from his forthcoming EP, Days In A Triangle, which is set to be released on 14 July. It sees Kyan further craft out his sonic identity with velvety, Frank Ocean-esque verses and beefed up chorus. All the while it tips its hat to iconic 80s rock ensuring the song screams into a mighty finish.

[soundcloud] https://soundcloud.com/kyanmusic/taking-the-city-2[/soundcloud]

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What We’re Listening To

Another week, another load of new songs to trawl through on the Internet. Luckily, theinterns performed that laborious job and have hand-picked the ripest of the bunch.

So sit back, plug in those headphones and have a listen. But only if you’re game.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/what-were-listening-to[/soundcloud]

Want more of this? Follow us on Soundcloud! 

 

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Four Tet Remixes Sia’s ‘Chandelier’

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It’s a hard job taking on one of the most euphoric pop songs of the year but British producer Four Tet has done a mighty job with Sia’s Chandelier. This time it seems Sia is not swinging from the Chandelier but being tossed into an alternate universe, one created by sparkling keys and a hip-hop inspired beat. Despite the song being turned on its head, Sia’s unbelievable chorus still sounds as huge as ever. Four Tet just adds some extra edge as if to take it from the hands of Commercial Radio and plop it in Triple J’s lap.

Listen to the world premiere at PagesDigital

Watch the video below featuring 11 year-old dancer, Maddie Ziegler.

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Seekae release ‘Test & Recognise’ off forthcoming album, The Worry

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Seekae have released a new song off their forthcoming album, The Worry. Test & Recognise is a crescendoing, experimental track that centres around vocals, something that previously the Australian group shied away from. The Worry is set to be released on 12 September through the Future Classic label and will feature this track and the dark, slow-burner from last year, Another. 

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/seekae-test-recognise-1[/soundcloud]

Here is the The Worry‘s track-listing:
1. Back Out
2. Another
3. Hands
4. Test & Recognise
5. Boys
6. The Worry
7. Further
8. Oxen Calm
9. The Stars Below
10. Monster
11. Still Moving
12. Tais

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La Roux releases second single, ‘Uptight Downtown’

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We may have waited five years for La Roux but now the new tracks are coming in thick and fast. Following in the demure, lovelorn, Let Me Down Gently, Elly Jackson has dropped Uptight Downtown, one for the dancefloor. The track kicks off with an instantly iconic guitar riff and a beat straight out of the ’70s before adding brassy  synths that ’80s Bowie would be proud of. It’s one that is likely to satisfy those who fell for Bulletproof and In For The Kill. While it doesn’t explicitly look like a bid for the charts, it’s almost impossible to see Uptight Downtown not repeating the same success as Bulletproof. And what a refreshing sound it would be to hear nestled in between some of the other fodder that radio is taking to presently. Do not click play on this if you’re not ready to go uptown, downtown and turn the beat around town. This is a masterclass in pop music.

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

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