fbpx
fi_1april

First Impressions: Rihanna, Jamie xx, FKA twigs + More

firstimpressions_31march
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 Rihanna, Jamie xx, FKA twigs + more. 

Rihanna
Bitch Better Have My Money

Meshell: PRAISE ALMIGHTY QUEEN RIH! The bitch is back, and this piece of juicy trap goodness is getting put on REPEAT. After the sickly sweetness of her new animated film Home and the heart on her sleeve of Fourfiveseconds, we can all finally breathe a collective sigh of relief that our blunt-smokin-titty-showin-not-givin-a-f**k-Rihanna is back stronger than ever. 4.5

Sam: Last week I read that Rihanna was making an album that was “timeless” and then we get this. I ain’t mad though. RiRi has always used trends to her benefit and this one sees her at her best bat shit craziest. From the first bet she digs in and goes hard. What she’s doing is not singing and it’s not rapping, it’s simply doing Rihanna. God bless her for putting the word bitch back into the charts. 4.5

Zanda: Definitely a dark side to Rihanna that we’ve seen glimpses of before. Grimey synths and bass suit her slightly altered vocals to a tee, and it’s really quite a captivating track in its simplicity. I don’t really think the outro with the male vocals adds a whole lot and I’m not quite sure why it’s there. Other than that, a cool tune. 3

Jamie xx
Loud Places (Feat. Romy)

Meshell: The opening of this song has an effortless grace and sadness that we have come to know and love from Romy and Jamie. The song almost sounds like it was written for The xx, until we reach an unexpected build-up right before the chorus. As the bubble pops I am both joyous and confused. It’s an interesting arrangement in the choruses, Jamie has used an old Idris Muhammad sample that both lifts the song to a nostalgic place and also draws the song away from being a melancholic xx number. It was not what I was expecting and I think that’s why I love it so much. 4

Sam: “I go to loud places to search for someone to be quiet with,” is such a beautiful beginning to a song and it’s made even more heartbreaking by Romy’s heartbreaking voice. This is the warmest thing we’ve ever heard from Jamie xx and it’s also his most accessible. The gospel-influences in the chorus elevate the song while Romy brings it back down to earth. This rise and fall makes it such a subtle journey of emotions which is something I feel xx hasn’t achieved before in his solo career. Stop saying we can pretend this is a new xx track because it’s so much more than that. The xx have never been this uplifting. 5 Sam’s Pick

Zanda: There is just so much to love about this track, from the haunting lyrics from Romy to the chilling harmonies when the group vocals are introduced. A master of musical texture, Jamie xx again showcases his ability to build a very specific mood in his music, and to then explore the complexities of that mood through subtle variations in timbre and repetition. It’s hauntingly intense and almost could be interpreted as a teaser for his album, which unfortunately isn’t due to be released til June. 5

FKA twigs
Glass & Patron

Meshell: There’s just not much left to say about this new offering from FKA twigs as it’s already flooded every corner of the internet and I’ve already sung its praises in my coverage of the YTMAs. To re-iterate though, this is the song that has given me my FKA twigs appreciation breakthrough as nothing else she has done had really stuck with me. I think I just love the raw energy at the start of the song and the unusual transition into something that’s…kind of sassy. 4

Sam: I’ve tried to listen to this without watching the visuals because I didn’t want to get caught up in the whole image of it. Luckily the song is just as intriguing on its own. The start is mystifying. I really didn’t know where she was going with the whole minimalist almost acapella part but I’m completely digging where she went. Speeding it up makes her sound almost sub-human and sounds like it could’ve been produced by SOPHIE in parts. It’s distinctly FKA twigs but at the same time it offers up something different from her LP. It’s exciting that she’s clearly got plenty of creativity left in the tank. 4.5

Zanda: There’s no denying FKA twigs is an incredible and unique vocal talent, but personally I find her music a little bit hit and miss. There are sections of this track that are super engaging and pleasing aurally, but other parts that I struggle to make sense of musically. A track that isn’t for everyone, but I can at least appreciate that’s her aim, to polarise an audience. I’m not even going to start on the video because I can’t even. 3

MAS YSA
Look Up
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/masysa/look-up[/soundcloud]
Meshell: This song kind of makes me want to tear at my shirt and run screaming through a rainy street in a London. Y’all feel the same…right? In seriousness though this vocal delivery is devastating…it’s beautiful but it’s so damn sad which is in completely juxtaposition with the very preppy drum-beat and washy synths. I like it…I’m just a bit unsure what I like. 3.5

Sam: You’ve got to listen to this in headphones. It’s so beautifully and intricately textured with crisp, glassy beats and popping vocal samples. I think it could’ve done with a more defined chorus but it’s enthralling nonetheless. I just can’t get over the production value of this, it’s so rich and measured and that really makes the song for me. I find myself listening for nothing else but those little ear prickers. 3.5

Zanda: Gorgeous production by MAS YSA here. He is part of a growing number of artists bridging the gap between indie instrumental and electronic music. The texture builds nicely throughout, but unfortunately there’s nothing here that really makes it stand out musically. Not a huge fan of whatever the effect is that makes the vocals sound increasingly shaky throughout. 3

Brandon Flowers
Can’t Deny My Love

Meshell: Brandon Flowers has so much to live up to every time he releases a track…a lot of his earlier work with The Killers essentially defines my teenage years. So do I think this lives up to the excellence I expect off him? I think it does, it’s got a lovely unique melody that jumps around quite a bit, the percussion drives the song and there is fantastic layering, especially in the chorus. It’s not the best I’ve heard from him but there is a subtle excellence in this song. I feel like Brandon Flowers is akin to a great bottle of scotch, he is getting smoother and easier to sip with age. 4.5

Sam: I feel like Brandon Flowers’ opinion of what he’s bringing to the music world is much larger than what he is. Nonetheless it’s a smart move on his behalf getting Ariel Rechstaid on board. It sounds just as good as any of the alt-pop music going around at the moment. It probably won’t be remembered by the end of the year but that euphoric chorus is something to behold for the moment. 3

Zanda: An emotional track that showcases Brandon Flowers’ immense vocal talent. The chorus is incredibly catchy and is built up really well through each verse, and I really enjoy the guitar-synth effect that echoes the vocal chorus line. Not hard to see why his popularity is booming with songs like this. 3.5 

Japanese Wallpaper
Forces (Feat. Airling)
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/japanesewallpaper/forces[/soundcloud]
Meshell: When I saw that Airling had paired with the unfairly talented wonder-child Japanese Wallpaper I knew it was going to be epic before I even listened. Then I saw Andrei Eremin mixed and mastered the track because OF COURSE HE DID HE IS A GENIUS. This song is so easy, everything about it just works together perfectly. I’d be really happy to see this partnership do a few more tracks as they’ve really created some magic here. (Side note, wrote the word “magic” as Airling sung it…totally freaking out). 5 Meshell’s Pick

Sam: I’ve been pretty nonchalant about Japanese Wallpaper’s previous offerings but how good is this? Airling’s voice is so crisp and pure and this is the perfect atmosphere for her to show off in. The verses are stronger than the choruses melodically but for a song that sticks on the same waveform for the most part it keeps my attention. It’s mindblowing to think about how young these two are but that shouldn’t matter. This track would be great whatever age they were. 3.5 

Zanda: I was a massive fan of Between Friends, and although this follow-up has taken a while to be released it’s been well worth the wait. Japanese Wallpaper has an almost unbelievable maturity and polish to his production for someone so young. The production itself is deceptively complex (despite sounding quite simple), with various aspects of melody and effects slowly added and removed throughout, to complement Airling’s ethereal vocals. Airling has been killing it recently by herself, and it’s truly a testament to Japanese Wallpaper’s talent to really feature her in a way that shows off such a huge amount of her ability. 5 Zanda’s Pick

If you feel the need to abuse us for our opinions, you can reach some of this week’s writers below:

Content Director: Sam
Contributor: Zanda

Best First Impression of the Week?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
10songs_27March2

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Rihanna, Jamie xx, Shamir + More

10songs_27March

We’re going to use this space above the important stuff to describe the week using comments left on One Direction’s Facebook post announcing Zayn Malik was leaving:

  • “Don’t do this Zayn man! please stay,life awaits for no man, living a normal life won’t pa the bill at the age of 44 build ur empire while you still can.”
  • “he’s the reason for my tear, yesterday, today and tomorrow. It was hard to accept those statements.”
  • “im crying again damn”
  • “”I don’t want you to leave!!!!!” Says my daughter Elizabeth.”

This week the world mourned together but the music must go on. It’s what Zayn would’ve wanted. Let’s also hope this cheers Elizabeth up.

Rihanna
Bitch Better Have My Money

Bitch (me) does have Rihanna‘s money and bitch used some of that money to buy Rihanna’s new single. Bitch also stayed up until 3am last night only to be directed to an app to hear 20 seconds of her new song, so bitch thinks he might keep Rihanna’s money at least until she gives us her album. Ransom. Lord knows what Rihanna’s doing right now. First she releases a song with Paul McCartney that both your Dad and you could sing along to and now she drops an absolute banger who’s chorus has to be censored on the radio. It’s not the most sure fire way to grab a number one hit but it’s a song dripping in RiRi swagger and a level of ridiculousness that only she could get away with.

Jamie xx
Loud Places (Feat. Romy Madley-Croft)/Gosh

Jamie xx, the beatsmith of the xx has had a cracker of a week, announcing his debut album In Colour and dropping these two unbelievably great tracks. The first, Loud Places, features his xx bandmate Romy Madley Croft and is a stunning slow-burner that ramps up into a gospel-flavoured chorus. Gosh is centred very much in the club world with a sound that harks back to last year’s All Under One Roof Raving. The synth that creeps up towards the end of the song creates so many warm and fuzzies, it’s hard to imagine life beyond the end of the song.

Tei Shi
Go Slow

Tei Shi is ready to just explode all over the internet in the next few weeks with the release of her Verde EP. Go Slow is taken from that and it’s the strongest cut we’ve heard from her yet. A humble, smooth verse explodes into an expansive, flourishing chorus that brings the track home strong. It’s voices like Shi’s make you believe that there is still life left in the electro-RnB genre.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/tei-shi/go-slow[/soundcloud]

Hudson Mohawke
Very First Breath (Feat. Irfane)

Producer Hudson Mohawke delivered an incredible show at the Fader Fort at SXSW last week and he continued the hype this week by dropping Very First Breath featuring French vocalist Irfane. It’s taken from his forthcoming album Lanterns and sees him hold things back a little to make way for the delicious melody delivered by Irfane. Fans of abrasive HudMo need not worry though. There’s still plenty of pulsating bass and dense synth-work to keep you happy.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/hudsonmohawke/very-first-breath-feat-irfane[/soundcloud]

FKA Twigs
Glass & Patron

Only FKA Twigs could have video where she gives birth to dancers who she then competes with in a voguing battle and makes it look beautiful. This is probably the most unconventional song and video we’ve heard from Twigs yet (and that’s saying something). The track goes from plodding along at a snails pace to speeding up into something altogether extraterrestrial. It was the best video from the YouTube Music Awards by a mile and we are now convinced that Twigs would make an excellent Anna Wintour.

Shamir
Call It Off

“It’s not time to get started, it’s time to call it off,” may be a rather negative notion to begin a song with but Shamir manages to move upwards and onwards from there on latest track Call It Off, crafting another effortlessly charismatic pop song. The cow bells from On The Regular are back and while there is notably less sass there’s muppets in the video so it all equals out really. This one’s taken from his debut album Ratchet which is due to change your life in about seven weeks.

Club Cheval
From The Basement To The Roof

Electronica supergroups are all the rage at the moment and by that we mean we can name one other from this year off the top of our heads – Future Brown. Club Cheval consists of French producers Canblaster, Myd, Sam Tiba, and Panteros666. It’s quite the lineup and naturally this song is as smooth as the French are. An unobtrusive vocal sits atop lushes synths and candied beats creating the kind of tune you want to hear when you’re popping bottles of champagne in a Parisian club. So classy, so chic.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/clubcheval/from-the-basement-to-the-roof-2[/soundcloud]

Tourist
Holding On (Josef Salvat & Niia)

UK producer Tourist is building a reputation for creating some of the best emotional electronica around and this latest track Holding On on builds on that. It features London-based Australian vocalist Josef Salvat and NYC singer Niia. That little bit of Aussie in the song probably makes it eligible to win an ARIA and it probably should given how beautifully nuanced and textured it is. It’s the type of song that you’ll jam to in a club but will also go home and cry in the shower to (if you have a waterproof radio).

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/touristmusic/tourist-holding-on-feat-josef-salvat-niia[/soundcloud]

Kehlani
How That Taste

Kehlani is an LA-based RnB vocalist who’s been mixing in circles with Chance The Rapper and Travi$ Scott so needless to say she knows what she’s doing. We’ve heard a few of her tracks but this is the first one that’s really made out ears prick up. How That Taste is essentially a diss song for her haters which also manages to double as a victory lap. She sounds flawless throughout with a vocal that’s part unbreakable and part husky. She told The Fader of the track, “It’s a Tsunami Mob anthem, ready to wake people up and ask them how that shit taste!” What a rude awakening.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kehlanimusic/kehlani-how-that-taste[/soundcloud]

Skepta
Nasty

It’s always a good week when you finish it off with a bit o’ Skepta. The UK grime rapper has barely allowed us to recover from the mammoth Shutdown and he’s dropped out another banging cut. It may be just over two minutes but it’s more than enough for him to pack in a real punch. Basically it’s just like a runaway-train, free-style that sees Skepta call out all the people that have hated on him. He’s no doubt enjoying his well-deserved time in the spotlight while the people who have hated on him will have their tails between their legs.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/skepta/nasty[/soundcloud]

https://soundcloud.com/the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-8

YouTube Music Awards

Highlights From The 2015 YouTube Music Awards: FKA Twigs, Action Bronson, Shamir + More

YouTube Music Awards

After taking a year off the YouTube Music awards are back. The game has changed slightly this year as there will be no live awards show and the contending videos have all just been dropped via YouTube and VICE media. As a music video enthusiast it’s wildly refreshing to see directors and musicians teaming up to try and create something memorable and unique. Here are my top picks and predictions from the 2015 crop.

Action Bronson – Baby Blue (Directed by Lil Chris)

The world’s most lovable chef (sorry not sorry Jamie), rapper and all round cool dude Action Bronson is my personal favourite pick this year. In an ode to “Coming to America” he travels through NYC to find his queen (who has serious guns). Playing multiple characters along the way, we get to watch with delight as his effortless cool flows through each and every character he portrays…it’s fun, it’s well shot and it’s really fucking clever. It’s also worth a mention that this single was produced by Mark Ronson, further adding to the excellence of Baby Blue. It won’t take out the top spot but I’d really like it to.

FKA twigs – Glass & Patron (Directed by FKA twigs)

This will win best video because of course it will (also, VICE is involved). FKA twigs has self-directed her new clip (of course she has) and it’s making every indie blog and my entire news feed freak out (of course…). A pregnant (OMFG) Twigs gives birth in the back of a van to an entourage of well-dressed fierce dancers with perfect bone structure who join her in a total vogue-off atop a luminous catwalk in the middle of a dark forest…because of course.
I am one of the few humans on the earth somewhat immune to the hype that surrounds FKA Twigs…she did not wow me at Laneway, her ad for Google glass did not make me wet myself and her first self-directed clip, Pendulum was not “everything” to me. I’m saying this because it’s important you know I am not totally bias on this one and that when I say that this song is fucking brilliant in all its genre-defying beauty and that this video is going to win not just on hype but because it is outstanding…that I really mean it.

Shamir – Call it Off (Directed by Philip Hodges)

Youngster Shamir was definitely given a decent budget for this one. The muppets are totally adorable and fitting for his personal brand of weird-cute. The video is all fun colours and happy dancing and easily makes my top five as well as making me want to try and pull off white denim. As a follow-up single to the brilliant On The Regular it goes alright too.

 

Charli XCX – Famous (Directed by Eric Wareheim)

Mark my words, if you make it to the end of this clip you will have nightmares. With that, you have been warned. In what begins as a seemingly innocent clip we watch a Charli obsessed lookalike go totally selfie crazy (like, what better way to pass the time than just STARE AT YOURSELF IN A TINY SCREEN). Things go from weird to weirder though when both her Apple devices run out of battery and she is forced to hang out in the real world (which is not very real at all) minus the shiny filter provided by our virtual realities. Wareheim is obviously making some serious social commentary with this clip and I dig that, seeing as most of the other entries are just weird for weird’s sake. Charli is the perfect platform for this kind of statement, as her fan base would be made up of mostly culprits akin to the clip’s protagonist. It’s definitely in the running for an award, though as I mentioned above, once FKA twigs put herself in the mix there is just not much hope for anybody else…not even ’90s lovin’ candy baby Charli.

KYGO – Stole the Show (Directed by Saman Kesh)

As a fan of a few of KYGO’s remixes, I did have high hopes for this song but it’s a bit of a slow burner so I guess it will have to grow on me. We’ll definitely be hearing it in some party mix tapes though and that is totally fine. At first glance it’s kind of a boring messy house party but if you can stick it out till about 2:47 you’ll be rewarded with some SERIOUS dance moves and then the storyline morphs into a cute extra terrestrial love story. Also, the FX graphics at the end of the clip are excellent. A quick FYI…music videos generally have a really shitty budget so either KYGO has splurged for this or Saman Kesh has some excellent 3D graphic mates who put in the hard yards on this and that deserves credit.

Ed Sheeran & Rudimental – Bloodstream (Directed by Emil Nava)

This song is getting a mention because the film clip is TERRIBLE and I’m annoyed that director, Emil Nava probably had triple the budget of most of the better clips. The big issue here is that the director is using shots that are clearly meant to make us sympathise with the protagonist but we have ZERO back story except for his walls full of gold and platinum records in his big expensive house. Poor you middle aged musician with your expensive scotch and all your awards in your big beautiful house full of groupies ready to bang you. I feel SO BAD for you, WHAT DID YOU DO TO DESERVE THIS? Give me a break, if you want to make anybody feel bad for a dude like that you need a feature length film with an excellent back story and an Oscar worthy lead. This clip has zero heart in it and makes me sad that it even made the short list.

Lindsey Stirling – Take Flight (Directed by Joe Sill)

Lindsey is a two-time YouTube music winner & performer so it only felt right to include her in this list. The song is what I imagine classical music students would consider a banger and the clip is a trippy Escher-esque wonderland. Chasing down the remedy to cure her dying flower, Lindsey scales buildings in a very Insurgent manner whilst donning a cape that looks like it belongs to Frodo Baggins. It’s all very ethereal and reminds me a bit of a dark Japanese video game. The graphics are pretty awesome and I can only imagine how much time and effort went into producing this.

MAX feat. Hoodie Allen – Gibberish (Directed by Greg Jardin)

I am clearly not young enough to know who MAX is (apparently he came to fame covering songs on YouTube) and I kind of never want to hear this song again because it sounds like Jason Derulo and Nick Jonas had a baby but if you can stomach it, you have to see this one. The clip is a piece of technical genius, which would have been a total bitch to shoot and cut together (I work in Post Production ordinarily and just watching this makes me anxious at how many hours would have gone into getting it right). On video merit alone this could win some awards but I’m hoping it does not beat out the few excellent songs that also made the cut.

 

 

IMG_8469 copy

REVIEW: St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Melbourne

IMG_8217 copy

For a festival that started with the humblest of beginnings, in a Melbourne laneway, it’s somewhat startling to see the event sold-out at $160. For the purpose of comparison, when Big Day Out raised its ticket prices to over $150 in 2012, the event failed to sell-out and forced organisers to offer two for one tickets in Sydney. So why does it work for Laneway? Probably because punters can see the heart that goes into the festival. Each year the lineup makes total sense, the venues are carefully picked and the experience is paramount. This year was arguably the festival’s greatest lineup, justifying every dollar of that $160.

If we’re going to chatter on a little more about the excellent lineup, might we add that at 3pm the Footscray venue was almost packed, a testament to both the festival and Aussie artist Andy Bull who pulled an excitable crowd. Despite the blaring sunlight, Bull captivated with his collection of melodically on-point tunes. Baby I Am Nobody Now proved early on his heighty vocal-chops while a cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World kicked the crowd into full-gear. He may have been one of the more no-frills performers of the day, but with his keyboard at his side, he delivered perky renditions of Talk Too Much and Keep On Running.

A performer who captured the energy of Laneway perfectly was Chicago’s Vic Mensa who hyped the crowd into an absolute frenzy. Almost ignoring the blazing heat, Mensa’s DJ hyped the crowd up so much that by the time the rapper entered the stage they were bouncing off each other to every shuddering beat. Without an album to his name, Mensa easily entertained full the whole set traversing both traditional hip-hop and electronic styles. It takes an impressive rapper to effortlessly open a set with Wimmie Nah and finish it with Down On My Luck despite their obvious stylistic differences. Mensa was an absolute warrior on stage thrashing around the microphone stand, launching into the crowd and climbing on stage scaffolding. Never was there a dull moment, event when he took some time to showcase his vocals on slow-tempo numbers. The response to Drive Me Crazy which is all of a week old proved just how dedicated the crowd was.

IMG_7926 copy

Sneakers were aplenty this year, both as a fashion statement and a measure of practicality. The Footscray site is beautiful but spread out and making it to the main stage directly after an act proved to be a workout. It’s why we only caught the end of the charismatic Mac Demarco, floundering about on the main stage. Thankfully, we were given a little more time to return to see his Mum, Annie Demarco, introduce British band Jungle like a pro. Jungle were last here for Splendour In the Grass but their on stage entourage was noticeably bigger this time around. The leading duo were dressed in a baseball outfit and an ARMY uniform, ready to bring the funk.

Jungle

And bring the funk, they did. With the extra band mates they were able to deliver a far more instrumentals-dense set, that added just that little bit more gusto to their performance. It’s nice to see a band that’s been touring for so long still show signs of joy and as such it was heartwarming to see Tom and Josh look to each other and smile when they realised just how far back the crowd stretched. Busy Earnin’ was the highlight of a brilliant set, largely thanks to a guest appearance by Vic Mensa who prolonged the song’s end and made us realise that we’d be happy for him to add a verse to every song today.

From one Brit to another, the crowd waded towards the main stage for FKA twigs. There had been murmurings for the Laneway’s previous that twigs was the one to see and it seemed those Chinese whispers had spread as a massive crowd turned out. As three (!!!) drummers took to the stage it was pretty clear that this one was going to be a rib cage shaker and it turned out to be exactly that. Twigs is probably the only solo performer who could’ve weathered the shuddering beats and somehow come out as the centre of attention. Her ethereal, slight vocals pierced above all else as she stalked around the stage like a beast searching its prey. The way she moves to the, mostly irregular, beats is utterly mesmerising. She understands fluidity in a way no other does. She hits accents with hearty force and in between moves like a gust of wind over water, extending limbs beyond the impossible. All of this comes together most evidently on Pendulum where she acts as if the drum stick is within her body, beating her around the stage. As she ends on Two Weeks, it all comes together. The voice sounds crystalline, the instrumental is full-bodied and she dances like a pop star who actually understands the artistic power of movement. Quite frankly it’s hard to remember a performer like twigs. She’s not weird, her friendly encounters with the crowd prove that, but she’s got a sharply artistic mind which she conceives with perfection.

IMG_8492

When the sun goes down at Laneway there’s always a strong sense that shit’s about to get real. And when you’re standing front-row at Caribou where the entire band is illuminated and the bass is shuddering through every inch of your body, nothing could be more true. Dan Snaith aka. Caribou was one of the older members of the lineup, but he’s as relevant as ever. His set melded together warm melodies with hard-hitting bass and forceful synths making his performance one of the more profound of the day. Set opener Our Love kicked the dance-vibes into gear while a mid set drop of Odessa raised thousands of arms in the air. He focused more on his most recent record Our Love more than anything else but nobody cared. The record is a knock-out and nothing proved it more than when he added an extra chorus to Can’t Do Without You and knocked the crowd-over with a rush of the most textured yet abrasive synths you’ve every heard.

Caribou

Caribou was always going to be hard to beat but if anybody was going to do it it’s Annie Clarke, better known as St. Vincent. A little like twigs, Clarke is otherworldly. As she enters the stage all her movements are clean yet a little alien. She shuffles about the stage as if she’s on a conveyer belt on Mars and also moves her arms about in a robotic yet beautiful motion. Essentially her songs operate in the realms of pop but live she brings a real rock grunt to them. She absolutely shreds on the guitar and despite her crisp look, she gets down and gets to work. It’s never more evident than on Birth In Reverse where she marries pop synths with a growling guitar, fusing for a massive chorus. Her voice is also crystalline for the entirety of the performance making quieter numbers like Cheerleader captivating. She deserved every bit of the Grammy she won today even if she herself couldn’t give a toss.

_MG_8736

Running down the hill to catch the final moments of American BANKS, we were immediately hit by a flurry of smoke and lights in which she waded around in her dark gown. There were rumours that she only wanted photographers to take photos of her left side and as such photographers were blocked from shooting from a certain side of the stage. She’s definitely got the songs, as brilliant closer Beggin’ For Thread proved, but the whole thing felt a little measured. That’s why it was so good to hear her let loose and say “Melbourne, this has been one of the best fucking shows of my life”.

On that point, BANKS’ sentiment was one that many of the acts echoed. Many were overwhelmed by not only the size of the crowd but the palpable energy which occupied every space of the festival. There was barely any rogue behaviour, rather just 12,000 plus who appreciated good music and showed their appreciation respectfully. Every year Laneway reminds us why festivals aren’t dead. They just need to be treated and attended with love.

GALLERY: St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival Melbourne

[metaslider id=8215]

 

 

LanewayTinder2

Get To Know The Laneway Festival Artists Through Tinder

LanewayTinder

With St Jerome’s Laneway Festival just around the corner, the time has come for all you festival-goers to get up to scratch with the artists that will be on display. In order to connect with the youth of today, we thought we’d present some of the musicians in an easily-identifiable format. Swiping fingers at the ready…

[metaslider id=7964]

Swipe right for conversation with Courtney. 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/milk-records-2/pickles-from-the-jar-courtney[/soundcloud]

BANKS
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/banksbanksbanks/banks-beggin-for-thread[/soundcloud]

Mac

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/capturedtracks/passing-out-pieces[/soundcloud]
eagulls
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/partisan-records/nerve-endings[/soundcloud]
[metaslider id=7977]

Swipe right for conversation with FKA twigs. 

raury

stvincent
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/st_vincent/digital-witness[/soundcloud]

[metaslider id=7960]

Swipe right for conversation with Vic. 

 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/fuck-vic-mensa/down-on-my-luck[/soundcloud]

Tkay

Laneway Festival kicked off in Singapore and Auckland last weekend. For full lineup + tickets to the Australian shows, click here.  

Saturday 31 January – Brisbane Showgrounds (16+)
Sunday 1 February – Sydney College Of The Arts SOLD OUT
Friday 6 February – Harts Mill, Port Adelaide (16+)
Saturday 7 February – Footscray Community Arts Centre And The River’s Edge, Melbourne
Sunday 8 February – Esplanade Park and West End, Fremantle

halloween4

Halloween costumes for the music enthusiast

The spookiest event on the social calendar has finally arrived and time is running out for you to find the perfect Halloween outfit. Instead of going down the regular sexy bunny or vampire route, why not be creative and emulate some of the most notable musicians of 2014? Allow our handy list to inspire and guide you, allowing you to truly stand out this October 31st. 

sia2

Sia was one of the most talked-about pop producers this year with her anthemic Chandelier making waves on an international level, thus putting the Australian singer, and her trademark blonde bob, on the map. Immortalised by the likes of Lena Dunham, Hilary Duff and Maggie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame, it seemed as though everyone was keen to go platinum in honour of the influential songstress. Follow their lead and pop into your local wig shop to get the shortest, blondest, fringiest blonde bob on offer to wear this Halloween. If you really want to pull out all the stops for this costume, go the Ziegler/Dunham route of taking on the role of Sia by picking someone to party in your place so you can stay home to finish a bag of candy corn as they pretend to be you, pretending to be Sia. How meta is that?

Pro: Blondes have more fun.

Con: If you enlist someone to party in your place à la Lena Dunham, you won’t be partaking in any of the fun.

mileyMiley Cyrus is always one to make it into the headlines but her glamorous ‘outfit’ that premiered at the Alexander Wang after party gave TMZ writers enough icy fodder for days. Show off your Joseph Pilates-sculpted body to the whole world, with a couple of nipple pasties for a touch of modesty, and stick some of your Mum’s vitamins onto cat’s eye glasses for good measure. Don’t use Inner Health Plus or anything like that, ‘cos that shit’s expensive. Enlist a party partner to pose as Miley’s most infamous muscle to make your costume that much more lickable likeable.

Pro: What better time to brush up on your twerking skills?

Con: Weather in October can be fickle and those ice cream pasties won’t be providing you with too much warmth. This may illicit elicit two large scoops of fripples.

beyoncejayz_halloween

Recreate the second most famous picture in the world, succeeded only by the Mona Lisa itself, by enlisting the help of your partner and your favourite subtle smiling, third-wheelin’ friend. Word on the street is that Queen Bey got herself some Grimes-style bangs today so better get those scissors out while you’re at it.

Pro: You’ll be highly topical and will also get to be Queen Bey for a night.

Con:  No one can truly pull off this look other than the Queen herself. But you can at least try your best.

elliphantMo

If you’re up for a wild night come Halloween, why not replicate the stylings of party girls Elliphant and MØ from their One More music video? Do this by donning yourself, and your BFF, in head-to-toe Adidas, teaming funky slides with a pair of socks, slapping on some Geisha-style makeup and poking a pair of chopsticks in an oriental bun. Go that extra mile and attach LED light strips to your shoes for true dedication to the project.

Pro: Looking like badass, Scandinavian bitches.

Con: May induce drinking, vomiting, kissing, peeing in streets and other types of reckless behaviour (unless you consider this a ‘pro’).

fkatwigs_halloween

There are Two Weeks to go until Halloween which means that time is running out for all the best costumes to be shipped from the US. Why not save the time, and the shipping costs, and emulate the captivating appearance and innovative stylings of London artist and producer, FKA Twigs instead? Simply head to your local chemist for a toothcomb and a jar of gel, smack on some maroon lipstick and pierce your nose septum for the full Twigs treatment.  Completely nail the ‘baby hair’ style currently #trending amongst future RnB producers with the handy video tutorial below.

Pro: Save wearing your heart on your sleeve by wearing it on your forehead instead.

Con: Finding a Twilight treat like Twig’s current BF, Robert Pattinson, to accompany you for the night might be a bit tricky.

hey_qt_halloween

If you don’t know QT, it’s high time you familiarise yourself with her. Born from the collaborative project of enigmatic producers and PC Music-promoters, A.G. Cook and SOPHIE, this “sparkling future pop sensation” is a fake figurehead of sorts who perfectly blends the genres of K-Pop, electrotonica, chiptune and trance, all before rolling them into a pile of sugar and glitter. Cutesy and kitsch, she’s the perfect way to honour both past and future with her nods to both ’90s fashion and millennial ideologies.

Pro: Reliving your holographic-wearing days of the ’90s.

Con: You’ll be hard-pressed finding any drunkards traipsing around Oxford St who will actually understand your costume’s significance.

SBTRKT_Halloween

Halloween is all about mystery and disguise, so what better way to fulfil this than to replicate the likeness of the enigmatic producer, SBTRKT? Instead of carving a custom mask out of wood, unless you have time for that kinda thang, we’ve designed a replica for your convenience, to print out, tie elastic through and place onto that face of yours. Download here.

Pro: The mask will be your key to anonymity.

Con: Good luck trying to drink out of this thing.

lilyallen_halloween

London pop songstress, Lily Allen, graced our shores for this year’s Splendour in the Grass, and brought along with her a plethora of outfit inspirations. With pinky purple hair, a colourful neon top and bottom combo and a Unif blotter kimono, she was a display of all things tight and bright. Emulate her style with an oriental kimono, her very own line of fake London-inspired nails and a tube of hair dye of desired colour. Also honour Sheezus’s penchant for emojis with a pair of bikinis or any other suitable item of that ilk. Feel free to take cues from her SITG set design by dragging along a giant, blow-up baby’s bottle for the night.

Pro: You get to show off that really great London accent that you seem to pull off really well after having a few too many.

Con: Fake nails + giant, inflatable object = tears.

kanye_halloween

When Kanye West embarked on his Yeezus tour in Australia this past September, he amazed, inspired and enraged his fans, and the greater public, with his mesmerising performances and supplementary rants and on-stage antics. His shows consisted of minimal set design and props, with one of the most captivating sights being the slew of embellished masks that Yeezus adorned throughout. While these Maison Martin Margiela-branded, 2,400 crystal-embellished masks may be a little too Haute Couture for a raucous event like Halloween, you’re only a packet of Spotlight-sourced, plastic rhinestones, a glue gun and a balaclava away from emulating the Messiah himself.

Pro: Inflate your ego for the night and blame any infractions on Yeezus. However, just be sure not to offend any people with disabilities in the process.

Con: You may be mistaken for a menacing, albeit fabulous, robber.

arianagrande-halloweenMirror the look of this fiesty feline pop star with a pair of cat ears and a giant, fake, clip-in ponytail to make up for what you lack in the height department.

Pro: You’ll fit in with all the other ‘sexy cat’ costumes on October 31.

Con: You must remain on your (more flattering) left side for the duration of the night.

fkatwigs copy

Watch FKA Twigs’ breath-taking performance of ‘Two Weeks’ on Jools Holland

Mercury Prize nominee, FKA Twigs performed the hauntingly beautiful Two Weeks on Later With Jools Holland earlier in the week, proving her oscillation between fragility and soul-rendering, sexually-charged confidence further transcends onto the stage. Carefully filtering words such as ‘mother fucker’ with breathy vocals that would have us none the wiser about its M-rated content, while simultaneously pulling off the bleached eyebrows look, Twigs has once again achieved a dazzling performance. Fingers crossed the wild rumours regarding her upcoming appearance at next year’s Laneway Festival aren’t so wild.

Read our review of FKA Twigs’ LP1 here. 

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week

10songs_13sept

Quality over quantity they say, but it seems we’ve been able to enjoy both recently. BIGSOUND delivered us a plethora of great new Aussie talent, SBTRKT offered up not one, but two new songs and Tkay Maidza has seemingly dropped about seven albums worth of material recently. Here at the interns we also believe in quality and quantity and that’s why we’re serving up not one, not five but 10 songs you need to hear this week.

SBTRKT- Higher (Feat. Raury)

SBTRKT’s Wonder Where We Land is only weeks away from release already we’ve heard four tracks from it. The latest, Higher, features much-hyped Atlanta artist Raury, who lays down some masterful verses before a triumphant chorus. Raury is great but the hero of this track is the British producers instrumentation. The lightly laid-on triumphant-synth in the chorus takes us to the club and to church in the same moment.

TĀLĀ- Black Scorpio

British producer/singer TĀLĀ’s latest delivery, Black Scorpio, feels like four songs in one. It goes from a Mission Impossible-like beginning into a triumphant, trumpet-synth which elevates the song to a new level. It’s the first time we’ve heard her solely focus on the instrumentation and as such she establishes herself as a formidable songwriter as well as a finessed producer.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/talaofficial/black-scorpio[/soundcloud]

SAFIA- You Are The One 

Canberra trio SAFIA are riding a wave of success at the moment of the back of Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds and it’s most likely set to continue with the release of You Are The One. You Are The One kicks off with a brooding, piano-led verse which sees lead-vocalist, Ben Woolner-Kirkham, show off his incredible vocal chops. The beat eventually kicks in but none of the magic is lost as the instrumental heads straight for the stars. Strap yourself in.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/safia-music/you-are-the-one[/soundcloud]

Ryan Hemsworth- Difficulties (Feat. Trim)

It seems every week we are talking about Hemsworth. Whether he’s releasing other people’s music through his Secret Songs series or just dropping his own stuff, just cos. Difficulties sees him team up with British Grime artist Trim who puts down a strangely melodic rap that is softened by Hemsworth’s gentle instrumental. For a track that has a lyric like, “hung like a horse, scuba-dick” it’s actually quite affecting. Good work Hemmy and scuba-dick.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/djoneman99/ryan-hemsworth-feat-trim-difficulties-taken-from-solitaire-vol3[/soundcloud]

Becky Hill- Losing

Becky Hill is mostly known as the vocalist on Rudimental’s Powerless but know she’s stepping out on her own, with Losing marking her official arrival to the pop spectrum. Losing is a soulful, MNEK-produced number that is more of a groove-inducer than a fist-pumper. It has a massive final chorus with layered vocals and dense synths making it almost impossible not to dance. BRB, we’re gonna go boogie.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/becky-hill-official/losing-3[/soundcloud]

JONES- Deep

From one pop-newcomer to another, Deep is the first taste from British artist JONES and it’s groovy-looped affair. It’s been produced by Jai Paul’s brother Anup, who’s probably the only person who knows what the hell Jai Paul is doing right now. That aside, he does a brilliant job here holding JONES’ hand with mellow undertones. The Solange-influence is very prominent, but hey, there’s room for two in this elevator.

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

Kilter- They Say (Feat. Tkay Maidza)

At this point we may aswell turn this site into a Tkay Maidza fansite. The Adelaide rapper has been churning out tracks at a rapid rate recently and this latest track comes courtesy of fellow Australian, producer Kilter. Kilter has already released They Say without vocals on it but this version sees Maidza jump on the track and lay down soulful vocals that see her sing rather than rap. It takes the already brilliantly anarchic track to another level and once again we find ourselves saying bow down bitches – Tkay is in the house.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kilterbeats/they-say-feat-tkay-maidza-1[/soundcloud]

FKA Twigs- Stay With Me

We’ve heard plenty of covers of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me as its become the year’s Adele – Someone Like Me, but Twigs’ one is particularly different. She’s never been one to do things by the book and this cover is a left-of-centre, late night re-work. At times the original song is almost unrecognisable as she picks and chooses lyrics and cuts up the song structure. The result is an arresting, illuminated version.

Flight Facilities- Two Bodies (Feat. Emma Louise)

Two Bodies is the first single to come from Flight Facilities long-time coming LP, Down To Earth and it’s a surprisingly demure affair which recruits Emma Louise on vocals. The video does the best job of explaining the songs charm. Two pale figures dance around in a dark room, sliding in and out of each others embrace, quite like the way Louise effortlessly slips her vocals into a soundscape built from unobtrusive beats and windy synths.

Seekae- Monster

Seekae‘s latest album, The Worry has just been released via Future Classic and with it they announced the next single from it, Monster. Monster is perhaps their biggest departure from a predominantly electronic aesthetic. Gentle guitars accompany a delicate, brooding vocal that’s eventually joint by jabs of brass. As the title would suggest, it’s a little bit creepy but it’s also one of the best offerings we’ve heard from new-era, Seekae.

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 9.50.46 am

FKA Twigs covers Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 9.50.46 am

You’re usually pretty sure what Sunday is going to throw at you, but sometimes you wake up to something like this and your world is sent spinning. Yes, it’s true, FKA Twigs has covered Sam Smith‘s megahit, Stay With Me for Radio 1’s Live Lounge and it’s amazing. In true Twigs fashion this is not your stock-standard cover. It’s a jittery, late-night rendition of the track with Twigs taking melodic detours and leaving out lyrics where she pleases. The result is an illuminating and haunting cover that resonates in a completely different but no less emotional way as Smith’s original. Just try living a normal Sunday now. Just. Try.

 

fka_twigs_figgy

Listen to Figgy’s rework of FKA Twigs’ ‘Two Weeks’

fka_twigs_figgy

NYC Producer Figgy has taken on one of the best songs of the year, FKA Twigs’ Two Weeks. In a brave move, he’s maintained the back-bone of the track but layed on the bass, giving it a certain skittering rhythm. As such, the song transforms from being a delicate, anxious treat into a club-ready, tempo-raiser that is the perfect way to take the song to a wider audience.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/figgy/fka-twigs-two-weeks-figgy-remix[/soundcloud]

Stay in the loop with new music and events by joining our newsletter list.

Polls

Best First Impression Of The Week?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

©2017 THE INTERNS MUSIC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.