A bit of a ‘here you go, this’ll do’ moment.
A bit of a ‘here you go, this’ll do’ moment.
Welcome to The Pulse.
Firstly let’s get the formalities out of the way. Happy Birthday to Frank Ocean and congratulations to Adele for breaking every record known to man. But let’s not dwell on that because here at the interns we like to reward mostly those who take less than four years to drop an album and all the artists below tick that box (apart from the ones that haven’t released an album so we’ll start the four year timer for them now).
Flesh Without Blood
Just when we thought we were beginning to nail down the best songs of the year Grimes comes in with a late entry. Flesh Without Blood is the first single from Art Angels (out next week) and it’s bloody good, to put it simply. It’s a little poppier and more forthright than what we heard on her last record Visions but it shows an artist who’s grown up and is far more comfortable making louder statements. The video is also brilliantly weird and wild but would you expect anything less?
We’ve been waiting to hear a solo track from Nicole Millar ever since we first heard her vocals on Peking Duk’s High last year and now we’ve finally got that. Wait is her major label debut and it’s dripping in neon synths and smouldering vocals just like every good electro-pop track should. It’s got a gorgeous production value to it which makes it feel really warm and accessible making us fall in love with it immediately.
Dev Hynes is using his status lately to make really powerful statements wrapped up in his usual Blood Orange style which means it’s reaching a deservedly wide audience. His latest is Sandra’s Smile which details the death of Sandra Bland who died in police custody in a Texas prison earlier this year. It’s delivered with a stylistically beautiful visual and the track itself is ’80s-tinged and groove-infused.
Hynes annotated the lyrics for the track too on Genius if you’d like to delve a little deeper into the story.
We introduced you to Bibi Bourelly with her firs track Riot a few months ago. She’s the writer of Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money and is rumoured to have worked on a few more song with her but for now she’s popping out solo tracks. Her latest is Riot – a vocally rock solid track backed by a bluesy, attitude-soaked instrumental. “You got me fucked up,” she sings with her voice cracking as she pushes it to its absolute edge. She’s a force to be reckoned with and we’ll no doubt hear much more from Bourelly in 2016.
It’s taken a minute but America has finally fallen in love with Alessia Cara with her debut track Here firing up the charts. She’s cashing in on that momentum by wacking out an album, Know It All, straight away and Wild Things is from that album. Much like her EP Four Pink Walls, Wild Things is about being a rebel and social outcast which is an overused theme in music but you really believe it when Cara sings it because her vocals are just so damn cool. It seems like what you see is exactly what you get with Cara and the world needs a popstar like that.
Chance The Rapper
Angels (Feat. Sabo)
At this stage of the year who really knows what Chance The Rapper is planning. He’s dropped a mixtape with Lil’ B, released an album with The Social Experiment and been featured on what seems like hundreds of songs – most without warning. Angels surfaced this week and he immediately performed it on Stephen Colbert. There’s been no word on whether it’s from an album or not but it is his first track to go on Spotify apparently which is exciting. The tracks itself is classic Chance – joyful, erratic and full of weird vocal sounds. Solid gold, as always.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper/angels-feat-saba[/soundcloud]
Jones is a London vocalist who put out a stunning EP earlier this year, Indulge, and is now gearing up to release her debut album New Skin early next year. Hoops is taken from that record and it’s a soulful, emotional sizzler with a melody that latches onto you immediately. Like a more experimental Lianna La Havas, her vocals are effortless and she doesn’t need to do much with them because her tone is so rich and sophisticated. It’s an A+ from us – Hoops is beautiful.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/iseejones/hoops[/soundcloud]
Air Max ’97
NLV Records is now in full swing. Last week saw the first release from Lewis Cancut and this week the label is firing on dropping Passage by Melbourne producer Air Max ’97. Passage is packed with wet-sounding beats and industrial synth-work that burns away at full intensity for over five minutes. It’s available as a free download for seven days so jump on it before it’s too late.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/nlvrecords/air-max-97-passage[/soundcloud]
Lontalius x Cut My Lips
We’ve already raved about Kiwi youngster Lontalius‘ tunes before and he just keeps giving us more reason to do so. His latest has been released via Ryan Hemsworth‘s Soundcloud label Secret Songs and it’s a collaboration with producer Cut My Lips. “I hope everyone gets something bewitching and inspiring,” Cut My Lips says of the track which exactly what we’re pulling for it. It’s got a really rich, emotional melody – the type that were actually all throughout Hemsworth’s last album Alone For The First Time.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/mooncatch[/soundcloud]
Be The One
Burgeoning popstar alert! 20 year-old singer Dua Lipa is poised to take over the world based off the strength of her new track Be The One. It’s a supremely cool, immediately catchy track with a chorus that will make you wish you knew how to sink into people’s hearts as easily as she can. It also helps that she’s got the perfect look but it’s even better that she has the voice to match. Don’t take your eye off Lipa, she’ll be huge before you even have time to blink.
To put it bluntly, we bloody love Alessia Cara here.
This week is absolutely huge for new music. Today The Weeknd, Foals, JOY., Alessia Cara, Halsey and Beach House, among others, have released records meaning we’re not leaving our headphones for the entire weekend. On top of that though we have a plethora of new tracks that have dropped during the week making our listening duties even more extensive. We’ve carved through everything that has come out this week and we think you should start with these 10 and see how you go.
What Do You Mean?
After teasing it for a lifetime Biebs finally dropped his Skrillex-assisted single today and it’s a really pleasant surprise to be completely honest. It takes the dance route of Jack Ü’s Where Are Ü Now but goes with more of a tropical house vibe that drips with an effortless pop melody. We belieb this one is going to do really well heading into Australian summer and might actually signal a shift in the sound of the mainstream into more of this kind of stuff.
The Weeknd‘s drops his record Beauty Behind The Madness today off the back of the massive Can’t Feel My Face. Even though this is technically his turn towards the pop world, he hasn’t sold-out and the album still features plenty of “pussy”, “pills” and “trills”. There’s plenty we could pluck from the album and put here but its pretty hard to beat the triumphant closer Angel. It’s a huge sounding ballad with the boldest instrumental he’s sung over yet and brings the album to a close with a giant crash.
Alessia Cara‘s Here is so good that she probably could’ve just ridden on its coattails for the rest of the year but she hasn’t. Instead, she’s dropped an EP Four Pink Walls with four other tracks that are just as strong. I’m Yours is potentially even stronger giving us an infectious pop melody delivered through Cara’s textured, smokey vocal. The lyrics are a stroke of pop brilliance too in the way she hates this guy because she’s falling in love with him – “I’m mad at your for being so cute”. Awwww, you guys.
Ready For Your Love
The Harpoons‘ debut album Falling For You was one of the strongest releases of last year and now so soon after it, they’ve followed it with the brilliant Ready For Your Love. Making us gush once again with their loved-up lyrics, they’ve chosen a more stomping electronic beat this time round. They have also pushed the chorus into gospel territory with the help of fellow Aussies Habits and it sounds glorious. Total jam.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/the-harpoons/the-harpoons-ready-for-your-love[/soundcloud]
The chart rise of Jamaican artist OMI‘s Cheerleader is one of this years most unlikely success stories but as always with an unexpected hit, you’ve then got an inexplicable amount of pressure for the follow-up. Well said follow-up has arrived today in the form of Hula Hoop and he may just of pulled it off. It’s basically Cheerleader part two in the way that it uses the same tropical house aesthetic but that’s probably exactly what he needed to do. It’s not our favourite song of the week but it’s certainly satisfied our curiosity of how he was going to avoid being a one hit wonder.
World’s End Press
Melbourne’s World’s End Press knocked it out of the park with their 2013 self-titled debut and followed it up this year with the equally brilliant but more dance-orientated Spirals. Now they have unleashed Tall Stories from a forthcoming EP moving even further in the direction of the dancefloor. Tall Stories is a thumping effort from the boys combing joyous deep house vibes with woozy vocals. It’s a damn smooth return that makes us real excited for the EP of the same name to drop 25th September.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/worlds-end-press/tall-stories-2[/soundcloud]
TĀLĀ & Sylas
London producer and vocalist TĀLĀ has teamed up with newcomers Sylas for this track Praise and they apparently came together through a mutual love of Boyz II Men. It’s a slightly bizarre connection but it actually comes through in Praise which feels like it has the gospel, R&B flavour of a Boyz II Men track albeit distorted by dense synths and scattered beats. TĀLĀ is great at taking what could be conventional songs and turning them on their head. She did it with How To Dress Well on The One and she’s done it here again.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/talaofficial/praise-featuring-sylas[/soundcloud]
We were hooked immediately by Sydney trio Noire’s Just Like Honey and now they’ve returned with something even better. Baby Blue is the new cut from them and it continues in the sonic direction of dark, lazy alt-rock. “When the lights go down and you’re beside me, Well baby do ya, love me like I do,” sings vocalist Jessica Mincher every so gently wrapping her voice around the honey-soaked guitars. It’s rare that you get a band in its infancy that can really take their time and melt into a slow tempo but these guys just do it so well. It feels like Anna Calvi met Savages and taught them how to trade intensity for sensuality. Beautiful.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/noireband/baby-blue[/soundcloud]
We gave you a banger alert on this one earlier in the week and we’re going to give you it one more time just incase you missed it. Zak Abel is a British vocalist and he’s teamed-up with Kaytranada on this one, together delivering certified pop-dance hit. Abel’s vocals are gritty and soulful and they blend so effortlessly into the crashing beat of this one. It’s kind of like a rougher, gutsier version of Disclosure and it’s sure to capture the attention of radio in the UK, at least. Hopefully here too.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/zakabel/zak-abel-say-sumthin[/soundcloud]
Clip My Wings
Montaigne rise in the past year has been nothing short of spectacular. She’s captured the attention of the triple j audience very quickly and that’s because her voice is so immediately affecting. Pair that with sweeping, grandiose tracks and you’ve got a product that you can’t help but notice straight away. Her latest Clip My Wings is just another step on her journey to stardom. It’s a huge sounding track that leaves nothing at the door. From the first second it sweeps you up with its heavy-strummed guitars and skyrocketing vocals never once dipping in energy.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/montaigne-music/clip-my-wings[/soundcloud]
Alessia Cara has joined the ranks of musicians throwing release dates to the wind sharing with us all her debut EP, Four Pink Walls, two days earlier than expected and announcing it in the most Generation Z way possible… via a tweet.
I COULDNT WAIT SO I LEAKED MY OWN EP LOL. instead of releasing boring pictures for the audio, I thought I'd make my own visuals for them
— ac (@alessiacara) August 26, 2015
Accompanied by super cute visuals shot and curated by Cara, each track holds its own with strong pop sensibilities blended seamlessly with injections of soul, hip hop and Cara’s own brand of honest social narration. In a completely refreshing twist-of the four new videos, Cara appears to be “selfie-taping” three of them, sans fancy pop-star outfits and makeup…Showing us that her honest approach spreads further than her lyrical content, she is unapologetically herself and totally adorable. Seventeen has all the makings on the next pop anthem so don’t be surprised if by Christmas it’s blasting out of every radio and TV station you tune in to (do people still watch TV? I don’t know…)
Four Pink Walls comes as a precursor to a promised full length debut album by the end of the year. Our prediction is that Cara’s trajectory will be a speedy incline. Get acquainted with the Generation Z’s new voice before she’s curating Hollywood film soundtracks and hanging out with Kanye at Paris Fashion Week.
It’s not easy to write and produce a song. Believe me if it were we’d be doing it and not writing about it. That’s why we should give these ten songs, the best of the week, our tender love and care. Listen to them, caress them, spend time with them. If you do that for seven days, we promise you next week we’ll bring you ten more and you can chuck the ones you hated from this week and move on. Sound good?
Melbourne’s LUCIANBLOMKAMPF only release his debut album Post-Nature this time last year and now he’s already smacking us with round two. From Afar is the first single from his forthcoming second album and it’s probably his most impressive output to date. It’s a track that just continues to flourish over its four minute duration, ending in a dense, affecting climax. He had a little chat with us following the release of the track to let us know a few things about it.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/lucianblomkamp/from-afar-2[/soundcloud]
Every so often there comes along a track like this that is just a certified banger and there’s not much else you can say about it. That’s exactly what Portland newcomer Grace Mitchell has delivered this week with Jitter. It premiered on Beats 1 Radio this week and her Raceday EP followed very soon after. The whole thing is excellent but start with this one and see how you go.
DJ Dodger Stadium
You Don’t Have To Be Alone
DJ Dodger Stadium, the collaboration between LAs Samo Sound Boy and Jerome LOL, have followed up 2014s Friend Of Mine with a brand new cut You Dont Have To Be Alone. Following the same repetitive aesthetic that made their debut so mind-bending, the pair have also drawn on sunshine-coated house vibes. Its definitely one of their lightest tunes to date and comes right on time for the end of Summer in the US.
Lights (Feat. Little Dragon)
ODESZA are gearing up to repackage 2014s excellent In Return with a few instrumentals and new tracks including this one with Little Dragon titled Light. If youre familiar with Little Dragons work on SBTRKTs Wildfire (If not, youve been napping since 2011), youd be aware that frontwoman Yukimi Nagano is a damn good dance vocalist and she proves it once again here with Light. Its a little more blissful than Wildfire – a slow-burning jam that makes way for Naganos beautiful harmonies.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/odesza/light-feat-little-dragon[/soundcloud]
Surrender (Produced By TOKiMONSTA)
Earlier this year TOKiMONSTA told us that she was working on a record with newcomer Gavin Turek. “I want this record to lift her up as an artist on her own but it will definitely have the sort of aesthetic that we have together,” she said and listening to Surrender from that record it seems like she’s nailed the brief. It doesn’t sound like TOKiMONSTA’s solo work, instead it’s a blend of electronica and more funk/disco influences that seem to come from Turek. It’s a smooth record proving that these two are an unlikely but perfect combination. It’s taken from the mini-album You’re Invited out 28th August.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/young-art-records/surrender-1[/soundcloud]
Loves The Jobs You Hate
Electro-pop duo HONNE are starting to gain some momentum and this week dropped Loves The Jobs You Hate from their forthcoming EP Over Lover out 2nd September. The track was debuted as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World on Radio 1 meaning it’s some seriously good shit and we agree. It’s got a definite Chet Faker vibe to it but they have traded the electronica for the funk giving us more Nile Rodgers than Flume. It also has one of those choruses that effortlessly takes flight and gets under your skin immediately. Keep an eye on HONNE.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/hellohonne/loves-the-jobs-you-hate[/soundcloud]
Lana Del Rey
Terrence Loves You
Lana Del Rey revealed the tracklist to her forthcoming LP Honeymoon this week due out 18th September. She was then asked by paparazzi as she was exiting an airport which song was her favourite on the album. She actually responded and said this one, Terrence Loves You. Why? “Because it’s jazzy,” she says. And she’s not wrong. It’s a beautiful, sweeping, jazz-tinged number close to the title-track than High By The Beach. LDR just keeps getting better and it’s an excellent thing to watch unravelling.
Alessia Cara has only released one original and done a cover of Bad Blood and now Drake’s Hotline Bling and we’ve already decided she’s the best thing to happen to 2015. This latest cover she did for Channel V, once again turning raps into sung verses. Her voice has these rich, soulful undertones that means she can insert personality into even the shortest of notes. This track is a perfect match for her voice and she hits it out of the park. Her EP Four Pink Walls is out next Friday, 28th August.
If youre like us youve been hanging out for Martha Brown AKA Banoffees next move following 2014s Got It and judging by her latest track With Her it was worth the wait. The song, which was co-produced by Oscar Key Sung, is taken off her forthcoming EP Do I Make You Nervous? out 2nd October. The track sees her channel some more deep-house influences melding them with R&B vibes (the tail-end of the track appropriates the lyrics of Marios Let Me Love You). Its probably the first time weve got to call a Banoffee song a banger and we couldnt be happier.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/banoffeeme/with-her-2[/soundcloud]
Habits are a Melbourne duo who have been working their way up the Aus music chain supporting the likes of Banoffee Oscar Key Sung and Black Vanilla. This track Ether is taken from their forthcoming EP Ugly Cry and it’s a twinkling yet industrial cut haunted by whispy vocals. There are pop cues in their but also a few R&B influences apparent. Best of all it sounds like not much else in the Aus music spectrum right now and that’s what interests you straight away.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/habits4ever/ether[/soundcloud]
We introduced you to 19 year-old Def Jam-signee Alessia Cara when she released her debut single Here and since then it’s grown and grown on us. Aided by her flawless cover of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood, her voice just continues to reveal itself as a soulful thing of beauty. New York beat-maker Lucian, who’s remixed for the likes of Aussie’s Alta and Sampha, has taken the track and given it a healthy injection of bass. However, he begins with lush keys and crsytalline beats, highlighting Cara’s voice in its optimum atmosphere.