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FI_18Aug

First Impressions: FKA twigs, Disclosure, CHVRCHES & More

FI_18AugFirst Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. This week we pick apart tracks by FKA twigs, Slum Sociable, CHVRCHES, Vic Mensa, Deer and Disclosure.

FKA twigs
in time

Zanda: More sparkly goodness from FKA Twigs here. This is actually one of the simpler tracks that I’ve heard from her, and it benefits from not trying to do too much. The modest melodic aspect of it ensures that her incredible vocals remain the centrepiece of the whole track, with strong bass lines also giving it another dimension and some depth. 3.5

Sam: All the most recent tracks we’ve heard from FKA twigs have all been pretty sparse and electronic but this one feels the most accessible. It’s bound by this early 2000s R&B aesthetic but then peppered with heavy, affecting electronic sounds. twigs sounds gentle and sensual bringing a real direct honesty to the song – the lyrics help that too. When twigs sings over a sparse beat she has this knack of making it feel startlingly intimate and that’s what in time achieves. This could actually be her best track since Two Weeks. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Slum Sociable
Anyway

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/slumsociable/all-night[/soundcloud]

Zanda: I’m immediately taken by the gorgeous, twinkly piano line that sits in behind the vocals. It’s an accompanying line but it sits above the vocals in pitch which makes it stand out. and that’s just one aspect of the superb layering that makes this track so impressive. With various piano, bass, guitar and synth/effect lines coming in and out of prominence, Slum Sociable explore a massive range of textures and timbres within a relatively limited melodic space. Oh and its funky as hell. 4.5 Zanda’s Pick

Sam: Wow. First single Anyway was good, but this one really makes you sit up and take notice. It sounds like an old-soul brought forward to the future with smokey, crackling vocals accompanied by a jazz-infused instrumental. Australia has really found it’s sound in terms of electronic music recently but it’s beginning to sound a little tired. No one else is really doing this in the country and it’s so damn refreshing to hear. 4

CHVRCHES
Never Ending Circles

Zanda: So far CHVRCHES new album sounds like it’s going to be exactly what you’d expect, an exploration in synth pop. They stick to a relatively simple formula, but it works incredibly well and happy melodies make people happy. Gorgeous contrasting sections of Lauren’s pure vocals vs affected vocals give this track another catchy dimension to it as well. 4

Sam: Totally with Zanda – CHVRCHES have delivered up a few solid tracks now and it’s exactly what you expected it to sound like. That’s a good and a bad thing. On one hand, Leave A Trace and this one are really excellent, which they are, but on the other hand it sounds like the album may be a bit of a sequel to The Bones Of What You Believe and it may get a little boring. In saying that, we’ve only heard two tracks so they could have some really interesting stuff lined-up for the album. In the meantime I’m just going to take Never Ending Circles for what it is which is a big, bold, sparkling electronic track that features Lauren Mayberry killing it once again. 4

Vic Mensa
I Been

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/vicsavemoney/i-been[/soundcloud]

Zanda: I remember listening to an interview Vic Mensa did on triple j about the huge success of Down On My Luck and he was honestly quite surprised as it was very different to most of his stuff. I Been is probably a bit more reflective of his true style; its grimier and definitely not as easy to listen to as DOML so if that’s what you’re expecting you’ll be disappointed. Having said that this is a dank track and his flow is excellent. 3

Sam: The first 15 seconds of this is so good. It sounds really dark and also builds you up for a tempo-raising, fire-spitting rap but we don’t really get that in the end. It’s a solid track that’s right up the alley of his most recent stuff particularly U Mad but in many ways it’s predictable and a little forgettable. It would be good to hear Mensa rapping over some more interesting beats – something a little faster and even a bit glitchier. I Been is demonic and abrasive but it needs a moment that really punches you in the gut – we never get that. 3.5

Deer 
Cry For Help

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/deermelb/deer-cry-for-help[/soundcloud]

Zanda: There’s a lot to like in this track. The effects and synths all work nicely to create some positive vibes and an overall pleasing aural aesthetic. However I feel like the EQ’ing sounds unfinished and overall the tune is lacking depth. There is also very little melodic development, it just seems like two very recognisable sections alternating back and forth. Lots of potential though, as this is in fact Deer’s first single release! 3

Sam: This one’s a really interesting one. It takes a few cues from that tropical, cartoon-like sound that producers like Paces and Sable have nailed but it darkens it a bit with darker, rumbling beats. Those beats really dig it into the ground and give the track a bit of strength. It’s kind of like TNGHT have been stripped-back to their bare-bones and recreated in paradise. As such, we’re left with ear-candy aplenty but alongside a hip-hop influenced weightiness that makes it feel less fleeting. Really promising stuff from the new producer. 4

Disclosure
Willing & Able (Feat. Kwabs)

Zanda: This track really showcases Disclosure’s ability to tailor their production to the style of any vocalist that they are featuring. Willing & Able has so much soul, and that is just as much to do with the tempered version of house music that lives underneath the awesome and catchy, soulful vocals by Kwabs. The typical bass used is held back in tempo, really allowing Kwabs to shine, whereas when featuring guys like Gregory Porter they’ll really up the anti and produce a track with much more intensity (ie. Holding On). It may not sound like it on first listen, but Disclosure are genuinely becoming one of the more versatile acts going around. 4.5

Sam: Kwabs is one of my favourite new vocalists and him teaming-up with Disclosure is an absolute no-brainer. Willing & Able is smooth as hell, soulful and built around a swelling chorus – but so are all Disclosure tracks really. At this point I’m starting to get a little nervous about the Disclosure album based on the fact that so far all the tracks have been solid but nothing has been different enough from Settle to really capture attention. I thought Bang That was a really positive step for the duo, delivering something with a little more gusto but since then it’s been a little predictable. That’s not to take away from the song as a standalone product – if I was hearing it with no context I’d say it was a banging song. The unfortunate fact is, I’m not and I’m just craving something that really catches me off-guard. 3

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10Songs_14Aug

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Lana Del Rey, FKA twigs, Disclosure And More

10Songs_14Aug

After a few quiet weeks it feels like this week has been jam-packed with new music. We got a new FKA twigs EP, a new Lana Del Rey song and an unexpected Joanna Newsom album announce. We probably could’ve done 30 songs you need to hear this week but we know you’re busy people and so we won’t take up too much of your time. Here is a much more concise 10 songs that you must hear.

Tirzah
Make It Up

Lorde and Fourtet love London artist Tirzah and that means so must the world. This latest single has been floating around for a while now but it’s only officially just been dropped on British label Greco-Roman’s Soundcloud. Produced by Micachu, Make It Up is a muted pop song with mumbling bass but crystal clear vocals. It’s an understated banger but after a few plays it really starts to sink under your skin.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/greco-roman/tirzah-make-it-up[/soundcloud]

Lana Del Rey
High By The Beach

It’s hard to believe this has only been out for a week. High By The Beach already feels like Lana Del Rey‘s best song to date and by the looks of it, it’s also going to be her highest charting – it’s held the number one position on the US iTunes for much of the week. The video revealed today is everything you’d imagine it should be. It’s melancholic, dramatic and hyperbolic. You don’t really see her getting high by the beach but she is by the beach and she shoots down a helicopter with one hell of a gun so we’ll take that as good enough.

CHVRCHES
Never Ending Circles

Glasgow trio CHVRCHES are well and truly back into the swing of things. They have announced their second album Every Open Eye, given us the first single Leave A Trace and now we have the second taster Never Ending Circles. With it’s sprawling synths and thudding bass, the track is probably a little more accessible than Leave A Trace. That’s not to say they give us a huge chorus here. Like many a CHVRCHES songs they cruise into the chorus and use the instrumentation to really swell the emotion and build climaxes – not pop hook.

Disclosure
Willing & Able (Feat. Kwabs)

After spending so long without Disclosure it feels like the new tracks are starting to flood in. Willing & Able featuring British soul singer Kwabs is the fifth track we’ve heard from Caracal and quite honestly, it’s probably the best. Kwabs’ voice is perfect for Disclosure’s deep house soundscapes and he brings the soul with a little more depth than Sam Smith does on previous single Omen. There are still plenty of feature to look forward too though with The Weeknd, Lorde and Miguel all set to appear on the album.

Reece
Don’t Go

Reece is an 18 year-old singer from Virginia who struck us earlier this week with this brilliant track Don’t Go. With so much stuff flooding Soundclpoud everyday, it’s often hard to stop upon something for more than a few seconds but Don’t Go is a song that immediately demands your attention. It’s the falsetto that hits you first and then those weighty beats that he sits back in so beautifully. Then by the time the chorus hits you’re already searching for more information about him. It’s an exceptional mid-tempo banger and given his young age, he’ll probably deliver plenty more of these in his time.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/officialreece/dont-go-prod-jumpa[/soundcloud]

FKA twigs
In Time

When you’ve woken up for the past month hoping to see a new Frank Ocean album it’s good to wake up and see something that’s equally exciting. FKA twigs‘ new EP M3LL155X is exactly that. Both because it’s new twigs and because it’s utterly arresting. In Time is the highlight of the five-song set. It’s a distorted, twisted track that manages to weave in both pop and R&B melodies making us think we’ve got a grasp on it before taking us on another detour. Her voice sounds fragile and the lyrics have this beautiful dark optimism to them – if there’s such thing.

Slum Sociable
All Night

Melbourne duo Slum Sociable make it two-from-two with the release of their latest track All NightAnyway released earlier this year is still one of the better Aussie tracks this year and now they’ve delivered another surefire winner. It’s a bluesy hip-hop flavoured track with a hook that grabs you in the first second of the song. The production feels polished yet organic and the samples are old school without sounding gimmicky. We just have so much hope for these guys now – a big one to watch for the rest of the year.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/slumsociable/all-night[/soundcloud]

Mallrat
Suicide Blonde

It’s stuff like this that makes us tick. Mallrat is a sixteen year-old rapper/singer/ridiculously talented citizen of Brisbane and Suicide Blonde is her debut. It was produced by Adelaide’s Tigerilla and sits somewhere between US rapper Kitty and Australia’s very own Allday. She manages to carefully tread a line between hip-hop and pop, serving up some thumping bass – the type that Robyn makes sure all her tracks don’t go without. It’s quite frankly ridiculous to think how young she is but so exciting to think of future possibilities. Also, sorry we’re late on this one – not exactly sure how this gem passed us by.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/lilmallrat/suicide-blonde-prod-tigerilla-1[/soundcloud]

Ginger & Drum
Habits

Sydney duo Ginger & Drum really caught our attention with the shimmering electro-pop song Ticking Boxes and they have us pricking our ears up once again for their latest Habits. They have this knack of easing you in slowly with the verse and then hitting you with a chorus that makes your heart bleed. The melodic undertones on the chorus of Habits are just ridiculously delicious and that’s not even mentioning the vocal which also gets us right here <3. They’re playing a few free shows in the next few weeks that if you have half a brain you’ll be at before someone plucks them out of this country and spits them overseas. Head to their Facebook for deets.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/gingeranddrum/habit-2[/soundcloud]

Joanna Newsom
Sapokanikan

It’s been five years since Joanna Newsom‘s triple-disc masterpiece Have One On Me but you can’t blame her for taking a little while with the follow-up because greatness simply doesn’t happen overnight. Sapokanikan is the first taste of the forthcoming Divers (out 23rd October) and it’s a delightfully perky number with a marching-band tempo that reminds us a little of Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel. That is, of course, a great thing and we find ourselves smitten once again by Newsom’s grace and delicate expertise.

91be6bde

FKA twigs Surprise Drops ‘M3LL155X’ EP And Incredible Video

FKA twigs Releases New EP M3LL155X

Last week we were gifted new song Figure 8 with the knowledge that a new EP was on the way from FKA twigs but with no solid release date. As everything in music is now apparently a surprise, twigs has surprise released her five track M3LL155X EP. It’s never enough for twigs just to do the normal so she’s also unleashed a twisted but beautiful 16-minute video to accompany the release. The EP features three new songs alongside the previously released Glass & Patron and Figure 8. It was produced by BOOTS, tic and Cy An shortly after the release of her debut album LP1.

FI_11Aug

First Impressions: Lana Del Rey, FKA twigs, JOY. + More

FI_11Aug

First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. This week we pick apart tracks by Lana Del Rey, James Vincent McMorrow, FKA twigs, JOY., Jamie Woon and Koreless

Lana Del Rey
High By The Beach

Ben Kyi: The most redeeming quality of what would be an otherwise pedestrian offering, are the bridge and verses of High By The Beach. The music and vocal delivery are at their best in these sections. However, this is undone due to the repetitive nature of the chorus, and somewhat shallow and contrived lyrics throughout. I have never understood the appeal of Lana Del Rey and to this day, I still don’t. 2

Alistair Rhodes: To me Lana Del Rey has completely flopped on this track. The chorus is repetitive and boring and with the words “All I wanna do is get high by the beach” appearing three times in one chorus in which there are 2 chorus’ to this song, as soon as the second chorus starts I was ready to turn off my speakers. Lana has a strong voice but during verse one and two and the bridge it is very weak and lacking that oomph that this song desperately needs. High By The Beach is the single off her fourth studio album, I only hope the rest of the album is a lot better. 2

Sam Murphy: After hearing Honeymoon I was not expecting LDR to go back to the pop/hip-hop stylings of Born To Die but nothing she does is really ever predictable. If you’re not already a Lana fan then this is a terrible entry-point – it’s annoying and a little grating but I am a fan and I think this is quite frankly f***king brilliant. She doesn’t even sound like she’s lifting a finger, vocally, but she manages to sound like a total badass – “the truth is I never bought into your bullshit.” The chorus is also a total jam with its woozy synths and nursery rhyme melody.

Here’s the thing about Lana Del Rey. Everybody made such a point of pointing out that she was fake after Video Games. And then she released Ultraviolence and proved she could release a great album. And now she can pretty much do what she likes because she’s got her fanbase. This will easily be her biggest hit and even though I still can’t quite figure her out, she’s utterly compelling. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

James Vincent McMorrow
How To Waste A Moment

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jvmcmorrow/how-to-waste-a-moment[/soundcloud]

Ben: Far from being a banger, How To Waste A Moment is one of James Vincent McMorrow’s more upbeat tracks. It also feels a bit more subtle than some of his past material, as the music isn’t entirely showing the emotional heft that McMorrow is often known for. Though, the lyrics are heavy and lush in content and detail as the title suggests, wasted moments. This great contrast aside, How To Waste A Moment is a good track, but doesn’t fully showcase McMorrow’s musical prowess or swoon inducing vocals that we all know he is capable of. 3

Alistair: On first listening to How To Waste A Moment I wasn’t all that sure if I liked it or not. So I went back and listened to his previous songs such as We Don’t Eat, Cavalier, Look Out and Higher Love in order to refamiliarize myself with James Vincent McMorrow’s work. Just like all of those songs James is taking you on a journey and telling you a story that relates to certain aspects of not only his life but the listener’s life as well. This is by far his most buoyant song to date. The more I listen to it the more and more I like it. 3

Sam: If anything, it’s really nice to hear James Vincent McMorrow expand his sound and put out something a little more immediate than Cavalier. This sounds optimistic, up-beat and perky which is a mode we haven’t heard from him yet. I can’t say it’s as intriguing as the last album but it’s a pleasant little track and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. 3.5

JOY.
About Us

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/joy-aus/about-us-1[/soundcloud]

Ben: Olivia McCarthy’s latest offering About Us is a pleasant low key jam of the electronic variety. The airy delivery of the vocals sit nicely in the scheme of things, while programmed beats, flourishes of keys and a few bars of great guitar work easily get the tick of approval. McCarthy is currently on the rise and her creative output far surpasses her 17 years. Definitely one to watch in the near future. 3.5

Alistair: Wow is my first impression of Olivia McCarthy’s latest tune and boy is it a TUNE! Her latest single About Us ticks all the right boxes. Her whispering vocals, the small amount of guitar meshed in with the electronically produced beat is outstanding. The only downfall to this song is that it seems to end quite abruptly. To think that this Brisbane producer/singer songwriter is only 17 years old and is about to drop her own self produced EP Ode later this month is unbelievable. Keep an eye out for this rising star. 4.5 Alistair’s pick

Sam: JOY. set such a high standard from the first tracks he released but she just continues to get better and a lot of that is that she’s really elongating her voice and tapping into its smokey textures. About Us is her best track to date, I think. It’s so subtle and downplayed but it still manages to be captivating. Usually those gentle guitar strums would make something sound sleepy but here they’re atmospheric and warm. And I haven’t even spoken about the lyrics yet – they’re deep, heartfelt and honest. It’s hard to tick all those boxes and sound eloquent too but she manages. 4

FKA twigs
Figure 8

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/alex-ia-5/fka-twigs-figure-8-zane-lowe-beats1-premiere-interview[/soundcloud]

Ben: Figure 8 is the second taster from forthcoming EP Melissa, and it boldly reaffirms why FKA Twigs is such a driving force in the wide field of electronica. The track’s production is off the charts, with so many dark, weird and wonderful nuances creeping into the mix. Twigs’ vocals are an absolute treat to process and display her trademark R&B sensibilities delivered with an experimental tilt. Figure 8 is an unpredictable and exciting new track from an artist that is at present, going from strength to strength. 4.5 Ben’s Pick

Alistair: Upon listening to Figure 8 it wasn’t at all what I expected to be hearing. I love the darkness and left field vibe I get from this song. The second single to come out of the FKA twigs camp which will feature on her latest EP Melissa truly cements herself as a pioneer within the indietronica scene. This dark and beautiful song really showcases FKA’s immense production talents. There is so much happening in this song and it all just works and flows into each other ever so well. Her vocals are absolutely sublime. Three years in the industry and it doesn’t seem like FKA twigs can do any wrong. 4.5

Sam: I’m of the opinion that twigs is one of the best musicians of our generation so it’s pretty hard to give her a well-rounded critique. What I love about her is that she’s so focussed on every facet of her craft and that includes talking about her music. The interview with Zane Lowe below is so well-expressed and honest – it doesn’t feel like there’s a detachment at all between the artist speaking and singing.

Figure 8 was phenomenal when I heard it live and she effortlessly carries that energy across to the studio recording. One of her greatest production techniques is the way she plays with balance. It constantly feels like the weight of the beat is shifting – it’s very off-putting but also gives the track an intriguing sense of movement. Brilliant. Again. 4.5

Jamie Woon
Sharpness

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/woon/sharpness[/soundcloud]

Ben: Four years since Woon’s debut Mirrorwriting dropped and we finally have some new material from the Brit. Sharpness moves along at a nice pace and makes great use of clean beats, a catchy bass line, and Woon’s smooth and soft vocals. This track is the epitome of low key R&B. It doesn’t break a whole lot of boundaries, but it is still a pleasure to listen to. 3

Alistair: The song’s title Sharpness really sums up this song. It is sharp and tightly produced. Woon’s beautiful voice coincides  with a very catchy beat really gets your head bobbing. It’s the type of song you’d listen to whilst chilling around a fire with your mates and having a bit of a sing along to. You can really get lost in this song. 3.5

Sam: It’s quality not quantity for Jamie Woon and that’s a very rare thing. He’s really shaken off all the pressure around releasing a sophomore record and taken his time. It’s a good move because Sharpness is great. It’s really subtly funky and never shoves itself in your face. He just sits back in the beat and let’s his vocals flow effortlessly. He feels like a real, old-school soul singer and that’s really cool to hear in 2015. 4

Koreless
TT

Ben: Plenty of deep bass, interesting voice samples and a great build over the first half of electronic producer Koreless’ new cut TT isn’t enough to save it from a slightly underwhelming finish. Unfortunately, the aforementioned build doesn’t amount to much at all. The samples begin to grate after a while and TT ends up teetering away and eventually stagnating over the last minute and a half.  2.5

Alistair: Koreless has released this latest record TT via Young Turks, now Young Turks very rarely seems to disappoint but with this record I’m left wondering. I’m getting a progressive electronica vibe from TT and I had high hopes for this track but it just seemed to let me down. The constant building up for nothing left me forever waiting for something to happen. The track should have finished at the 4:45 minute mark as the last 45 seconds is an absolute waste of time that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. 1.5

Sam: Everything Young Turks touch turns to gold so the fact that they’ve release this already has me sold really. Putting that bias aside though it’s actually one of the stronger electronic tracks I’ve heard this year. That vocal sample is really frantic and off-putting yet you never feel as if it’s all too much. The synth that kicks in gradually settles everything and turns into something quite relaxing in the end. Koreless is an absolute master at beat-less music – he builds and builds and builds until you’re sitting on the edge of your seat. 4

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Best First Impression Of The Week?

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10Songs_7Aug

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: FKA twigs, HAIM, Foals + More

10Songs_7Aug

This week everyone was talking about Lenny Kravitz and Jarred Leto’s penis’. Yep, it’s been a really (sh)long week and we’ve tried to keep ourselves concentrated the only way we know how – by dissecting and gathering the tunes. Turns out once we did that we realised there was actually a lot more going on this week than dick talk.

Autre Ne Veut
World War Pt.2

Arthur Ashin aka. Autre Ne Veut is gearing up to release the follow-up to his 2013 record Anxiety. The LP is set to be called Age Of Transparency and he’s preceding it with the first single World War Pt. 2. The track is accompanied by a definitely NSFW video that features some pretty confronting scenes. The track itself is a brilliant, expanding electronic-cross-R&B cut not straying too far from what we heard on Anxiety.

Jamie Woon
Sharpness

We’ve waited four years for the follow-up of Jamie Woon‘s debut album Mirrorwriting but it seems it’s finally on the way. This week we got the first track from Woon in a long, long while titled Sharpness. It’s an effortlessly funky track that sits somewhere between D’Angelo and Miguel. Woon’s voice is undeniable. So much so that even an acapella of this would be compelling.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/woon/sharpness[/soundcloud]

HAIM
‘Cause I’m A Man (Tame Impala Cover)

HAIM know exactly how to keep us in love with them. When they’re not posting pictures with everybody’s best friend Taylor Swift they’re covering one of the best tracks of the year and nailing it. The latters comment refers to this cover of Tame Impala‘s ‘Cause I’m A Man which in the hands of HAIM is transformed into a sensual, distorted track. There’s something really sassy about hearing a girl sing Kevin Parker’s already sarcastic lyrics and in many ways it actually works better than the original.

FKA twigs
Figure 8

FKA twigs is gearing up to release an EP after a year of non-stop touring because she apparently doesn’t know how to rest and stop being consistently brilliant. Figure 8 is taken from said EP and it’s a far darker cut than anything that appeared on LP1. It’s inspired by learning to vogue in New York and as such is has an effortless fluidity to it but is also twisted and experimental. Everytime you think twigs has reached her limit she expands her capabilities once again. Truly a once in a lifetime artist.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/alex-ia-5/fka-twigs-figure-8-zane-lowe-beats1-premiere-interview[/soundcloud]

Sui Zhen
Take It All Back

Melbourne-based artist Becky Freeman who goes under the moniker of Sui Zhen is gearing up to release her debut album Secretly Susan. Take It All Back is the second single from that record and it’s a pristine electro-pop track channelling the sonic stylings of Grimes. The track is accompanied by a wonderfully kitsch video that features the album’s namesake Susan – a blonde wig-wearing, disconnected character who, according to Zhen, is “someone’s digital doppelganger.”

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/sui-zhen/sui-zhen-take-it-all-back[/soundcloud]

Four Tet
KH – BACK2THESTART

“Made this on a plane end of last year… not sure what I was thinking or why it exists,” Four Tet tweeted as he released this track. KH – BACK2THESTART is not your usual Four Tet track so his confusion makes sense. It actually samples Cheryl Cole’s Fight For This Love, pitching-down her verses and accompanying it with a woozy dance beat. For something that was made on a plane, it’s pretty hard to fault.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/four-tet/kh-back2thestart[/soundcloud]

Chance The Rapper & Lil B
Last Dance

The Based God himself Lil B and Chance The Rapper have teamed-up for a freestyle mixtape and it’s plain and simple one of the best hip-hop projects of the year. The whole of Free Based Freestyles needs to be heard but if we had to choose one track it would have to be the opener Last Dance. After his work with The Social Experiment it’s so good to hear Chance rapping straight, particularly when it’s over a delectable vocal sample.

Foals
A Knife In The Ocean

A Knife In The Ocean is the third track to be released from Foals‘ upcoming fourth album What Went Down. It’s a cold, desolate sounding track that starts as one of the more sparse songs they’ve released so far and ends as one of the more epic. At nearly seven minutes, it’s a test of endurance, made easy by the fact that it just gets bigger and bigger. Foals have really developed as a band and these tracks just keep showing it.

JOY.
About Us

Olivia McCarthy aka. JOY. is probably one of the finest songstresses Australia has to offer and her ethereal new single About Us proves that again. It’s a breathy jam that flicks between R&B and atmospheric electronica. Her crisp voice elongates itself throughout the whole thing, never sounding stressed and always sounding effortless. “You know that I was too good for you,” she sings at one point. Slay girls. Slay. It’s taken from a new EP called Ode which will be out 28th August.

Read our interview with JOY. here.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/joy-aus/about-us-1[/soundcloud]

Paces
Bamboo

We’re right in the thick of winter right now here in Aus so it’s good to hear someone who has been unaffected by the cold. Bamboo is the second single to come from homegrown producer PacesHold It Down EP and it’s a sunshine-soaked, perky track. The title track of the EP featured Reija Lee but this one is a strictly instrumental affair. There’s plenty of melodic vocal samples in there though to keep it bouncing along. It’s refreshing to hear something like this at this time of year. Good vibes all round.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/pacesmusic/bamboo-2[/soundcloud]

fkatwigs

FKA twigs Premieres New Song ‘Figure 8’

Image: Facebook / FKA twigs 'Soundtrack 7'

Image: Facebook / FKA twigs ‘Soundtrack 7’

In the year since FKA twigs released her debut album LP1, she’s become a critics favourite, sold-out nearly every show she’s played and become tabloid fodder. Still she’s managed to consistently churn out art, whether it’s in performance or in song, that’s completely undistracted by everything going on around her. Her latest drop Figure 8 is taken from an EP that should be out very soon. It’s the second song to be taken from that release following on from Glass & Patron. Twigs debuted the track on Apple’s Beats Radio with Zane Lowe explaining that the song was inspired by vogueing which she learnt to distract her from the overwhelming things that happened after the release of the album. It’s a twisted, fluid and haunting listen that’s basically perfect – we’ve come to expect no less from twigs.

https://soundcloud.com/alex-ia-5/fka-twigs-figure-8-zane-lowe-beats1-premiere-interview

12Looks_10Jun

10 Looks In Music To Channel (Or Avoid) This Week

12Looks_10Jun

Here at the interns we give our ears and proper workout so we thought we would give our eyes a chance to prove their worth. Here are the best (and worst) threads worn this week by people in the fashion biz, from some festival favourites, all the way down to some total douchebags.

Rihanna in NY
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Looking cute but cas in her hoodie, pumas and stonewashed jeans whilst running errands during the day = Cool.
Rocking up to a nightclub in the Meatpacking district later that night in her hoodie, pumas and less exciting jeans = Not so cool.

FKA twigs at Parklife in Manchester

fka-twigs_glamour_8jun15_getty_b_426x639

Image: Getty

 

Absolute rockstar. Whether you think this framed denim Faustine Steinmet ensemble is ultra cool or just plain heinous, the UK goddess can basically pull off anything. The Agent Provocateur body suit though… No one can argue against that.

Pharrell at the Dope Premier in LA 

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Spending my week’s wage . Whatever, I don’t need to eat.

Chris Brown on set of Pia Mia’s new single Do It Again

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Image: Daily Mail

This guy just just keep confirming his douchebag title. The Bruce Jenner comment, this pose, this outfit. And they’re only examples from this week.

Sophie Ellis Bextor At the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards

Image: celebmafia.com

Image: celebmafia.com

She killed the groove again but did not murder the red carpet.

Ellie Goulding At the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards

Image: express.co.uk

Image: express.co.uk

“I’m sorry, do you have some prior commitment? Some hideous skirt convention you have to go to?”

Usher at the Gordon Parks Foundation Awards Dinner

Image: Daily Mail

Image: Daily Mail

Looking proud as punch (awww) after being honoured and accepting his award on the night, Usher looks very suave in his grey marbled, shiny suit.

Grace Jones at Parklife UK

Image: Daily Mail

Image: Daily Mail

Step aside Bey, Graces Jones might have just won most fearless on-stage presence. And she’s 67! Insane.

St Vincent 

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Mixing with fashion’s elite alongside gf Cara Delevingne, Annie Clark looked adorable whilst sticking to her style at Stella McCartney Spring 2016 Resort Presentation.

Nicki Minaj

Damn, gurl! Queen of Booty (sorry, Kim) looks amazing on her new Cosmopolitan cover.
Yay to her stripped down, more natural look that she’s recently adopted (well, not always but she’s getting better).

10BestLooks_25May

10 Of The Best Looks In Music This Week

10BestLooks_25May

All the best looks from this week to guide you on what to wear next week. However, if you’re taking a quick trip to the grocery store maybe ditch the FKA twigs or Bjork outfits. RiRi’s no-shoe ensemble will do just fine.

Elliphant rockin’ the best pair of Nike’s we saw all week

SpringTime ina StockholMTown!

A post shared by Elliphant (@elliphantmusic) on


The Love Me Badder singer continues to make it so easy to love her.

Solange strolling Marie Antoinette’s house
https://instagram.com/p/27aBR5woov/
The ever-stylish singer took to Versailles in France in this perfect combo, complete with a flowing trail on her top.

Rita Ora meeting Mariah Carey in a Chanel belt


If you’re going to meet Mariah Carey you better be prepared to bring the bling and that’s exactly what Rita Ora did. She looked near perfect in all black with a hint of gold.

Janelle Monáe becoming the Queen of the yoga studio
Janelle Monáe made a name for herself by rocking tuxedos but these days she’s moving away from that. Performing her latest track Yoga on Jimmy Fallon, Monáe donned a crown and channelled half-sport, half-chic.

Björk performing a surprise DJ set in a gold mesh mask

Image: Factmag

When you’ve defined avant-garde fashion for more than two decades it must be hard to keep churning out interesting stuff but Björk never fails. This week she took to Tri Angle Records fifth anniversary in Manhattan and DJ’ed for an hour looking perfect.

Rihanna going from Dior to denim

like a bo$$

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on


Last week Rihanna was glamming it up in the Dior ads and this week she’s strolling the streets barefoot. Bitch better have her shoes, RiRi is coming for you.

Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé winning everything in the Feelin Myself video
beyonce-nicki-minaj-FM4

It was a big week for clips but none featured better fashun than Nicki and Bey‘s video. With Nicki wearing Chloe and Moschino and Bey wearing Oscar de la Renta, the pair took Coachella like never before. Carry on…

Kanye going up in flames in a bullet-proof vest

Image: Hypetrak

Wearing all black, took the Billboard awards channelling early 50 Cent (not that he would condone the comparison). Is there a man who does all black better than Yeezus himself?

Taylor Swift fully-aware that she’s owning the Billboard Awards

Image: IBTimes

You debut a video that goes on to be the most watched Vevo in 24 hours and you turn up wearing a Balmain jumpsuit that makes everyone die. I die, you die, we’re all literally dying.

FKA twigs debuting Congregata in dominatrix leather

FKA Twigs_6

Image: CoS

By all accounts FKA twigs‘ all-encompassing Congregata show for the Red Bull Music Academy in New York was flawless as was this black leather-clad outfit.

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Here’s Everything You Missed At Coachella 2015

Coachella is in full swing in California at the moment and we’re here to cure your FOMO. There are plenty of celebrities here but there’s also this little thing called music which seems to take a little bit of a backseat for some. Here are the best moments so far.

UPDATE: Below are all the best moments from weekend one. Thanks Coachella, it’s been one hell of a ride.

Tame Impala Debuted Their New Songs Live

Tame Impala were visibly nervous when they took to the stage on Friday night for their biggest set to date. It didn’t seem to affect their sound though. They delivered a hearty, psychedelic set with tracks from both Innerspeaker and Lonerism. Elephant slammed and Apocalypse Dreams dazzled but it was the new more electronic tracks that really impressed. The bridge of Cause I’m A Man is an absolute scorcher which bridges into a beautiful chorus while Let It Happen is the most melodic, expansive thing they’ve done. This could be the year of Tame Impala.

tame impala

Source: The Picayune Leader

Run The Jewels Packed Their Set With Guests

El-P and Killer Mike have really turned this Run The Jewels gig into a full time thing and you  an see why. They’re best friends and they bounce off each other with charisma and enthusiasm. During their Saturday night set they brought out Travis Barker from Blink 182, Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha, Beyonce collaborator Boots and rapper Gangsta Boo. Their Australian sets over New Years were amazing but this was something else. They truly brought the album to life.

run-the-jewels_coachella_2015_oe_20150411_3

Source: music.mxdwn.com

SBTRKT Brought Out Basically Everyone He’s Worked With

Speaking off guest appearances, SBTKT’s set was full of them. On top of the strobing light show and pulsating instrumentals, SBTRKT had mostly live vocals from Wonder Where We Land guests. Denai Moore appeared for The Light, Caroline Polachek told us to Look Away and Raury went hard on Higher. The night belonged to Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend ough who delivered a super smooth version of New Dorp. New York.

There Are Hippos In Business Suits

We’re not kidding. There is an art installation that is a corporate building with ‘people’ in hippo masks destroying the office. You can pick up a phone and talk to them but they’re pretty intolerable. We’re not exactly sure what they’re doing but it’s a statement about corporate greed or something like that. Anyway we headed to the Heineken Bar to charge our Samsung Galaxy while listening to Coachella’s Spotify playlist to ponder some more.

Coachella Is Literally Pimping A Butterfly

What started out as a caterpillar art installation has today flourished into a beautiful butterfly. Last the spaceman was amazing but we think this one beats it. Still, it was never a good idea to set the caterpillar as a meeting spot. One, it moves. Two, it changed form somewhere between Saturday and Sunday.

FKA Twigs Performed New Songs

We know FKA Twigs has a new EP on the way so we were expecting some new tracks when she took to the stage at Coachella. Wearing an outfit that at first looked like nipple tassels, the Brit performed Figure 8 and Glass & Patron alongside a host of tracks from LP1. A night festival set backed by illuminated palm trees is the perfect setting for twigs and she was predictably brilliant. She elongated her limbs beyond the realms of possibility and sung with a beautiful fragility. Also Robert Pattinson was in the crowd and I hate myself for writing that.

Source: music.mxdwn.com

Source: music.mxdwn.com

Azealia Banks Completed Her Redemption

Banks has a turbulent history of live performances with spats, super short sets and the like but she was a different person on Friday. Backed by an American flag, the rapper delivered the most impressive set of the weekend so far bring tracks from Broke With Expensive Taste to life with a full band. She barely spoke to the crowd rather deciding to out her head down and get to work. This girl is phenomenal and it feels like she’s only just realising how to full express it.

Tyler The Creator Said “Fuck You” To Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner is here. At Coachella. And everyone is losing their mind. Tyler The Creator seems less impressed though saying “fuck you” to her during his set while calling out the”soft” VIP section. Jenner responded by putting her rude finger up at him. Apparently they’re friends and hung out last Halloween so this was probably a joke. I’m not sure, I had to read Perez Hilton to find out that information so I’m rightfully a little fragile.

Katy Perry Posed Next To A Shark Bin

Spotted @leftshark doing community service @coachella

A photo posted by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on

*insert line about Perry’s music being trash*

Drake Is Everywhere

Drake’s headline set is not until tonight but he’s already taken over the festival. People are holding up pictures of him in a wheelchair (circa Degrassi days) and plenty of punters are wearing OVO shirts. The Weeknd also performed Crew Love last night but Drake didn’t make an appearance.

As Far As We Know Kanye Is Not Here But He Is In Spirit

Vic Mensa kicked off the first day by debuting his latest collaboration with Mr. West titled U Mad and also played Wolves. Cashmere Cat, who produced Wolves also dropped the track in his set yesterday. If we’re going to see Kanye at all, it’s going to have to be in Drake’s set this evening.

The Drake And Madonna Kiss

As the third day of Coachella drew to a close there was a risk that the festival wasn’t going to deliver that ‘shock moment’ that it’s become so well known for. This is a festival that’s brought Tupac back to life and debuted Daft Punk’s Get Lucky so it’s not unreasonable to expect something out of the ordinary.

Thank goodness then for Drake’s headline set which saw the rapper introduce Madonna to the stage for a slightly out-of-place performance of Human Nature. The two then shared cringe-worthy kiss that blew up the internet in a matter of minutes. Madonna looked pleased with herself while Drake looked a little distressed. As the 100,000 strong crowd exited the festival grounds the most popular word thrown around was “creepy”.

Eric Andre’s Questionable Appearance During Mac Demarco

Mac Demarco is known for his NSFW onstage antics but it wasn’t him who was playing up at Coachella. Comedian Eric Andre joined Mac and the band onstage wearing a dildo and playing the theramin during Together. It was a pretty unforgettable end to the set and while it was at times uncomfortable to watch, it was actually quite effective as an instrument.

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Image: Twitter (@BreakOnACloud)

Florence’s First Festival Gig Since The Album Announcement

Florence Welch is the ultimate festival act. Her tunes are huge, her stage demeanour is charismatic and she actively uses every musical climax to rouse to the crowd. It’s been a long time in between drinks for Florence and co but you wouldn’t have thought so going by her Sunday evening performance.

She threw in What Kind Of Man, Ship To Wreck and the title track from her forthcoming album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful alongside crowd favourites. The crowd took to her new songs well but it was her already established hits that really created goosebumps. She finished the set with Dog Days Are Over using every moment of silence to prepare the crowd for the incoming climax. Just before she yelled “run fast for your mother,” she asked the crowd to take one item of clothing off, whipped her top off and ran the length of the stage in her bra. Her songs may be heavy at times on record but live she’s a fun-loving, big-hearted performer who knows her crowd like no other.

Father John Misty Awkwardly Serenading A Fan

Father John Misty was one of the surprise highlights from the weekend. The ex-Fleet Foxes member performed a set mostly consisting of songs from his new album I Love You, Honeybear. He stalked around the stage in a black suit, performing each song like a preacher with a perfect dose of sarcasm. The highlight of the set came when he brought a member of the audience up on stage and serenaded her with Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man while she sat in a chair covered in pink balloons. It was wonderfully awkward but was an act that only Father John Misty could have made bearable.

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Entertainment

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Entertainment

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