A very mixed bag to be completely honest.
A very mixed bag to be completely honest.
This song is like seeing your wild mate have a kid and become really boring – good on you, but we kinda liked you better dropping LSD in dirty club bathrooms. Six songs reviewed.
Recapping a week in which Frank Ocean lied about his hair colour…
If you’re reading this it’s a harsh reminder that you’re not at Glastonbury and no matter what you do you’re not going to have the best weekend of your life this weekend. But that’s ok because you’re housed and clean and don’t have to listen to Brits bitch about how Kanye West is no Oasis. Also, you’re reading this. That’s another positive. Here’s the best goodies we received this week.
Lianne La Havas
What You Don’t Do
Lianne La Havas is such a class act every time she releases a track it feels like she’s got nothing to prove. She’s got effortless, honey-soaked vocals that feel easy but probably aren’t really. What You Don’t Do is a far more slinky, slender tune that its predecessor Unstoppable. It’s armed with a radio-friendly tempo and a few doo-wops to please casual fans, but even for the avid LLH fans there’s plenty here to like. She absolutely slays it vocally at the end, all the while remaining calm, cool and collected. What a gal.
Years & Years
We’re used to hearing radio-friendly bangers from Years & Years but they took a slight left turn this week, dropping a moody, haunting number. The vocals, as always, are sweet but the instrumental is dark. The accompanying video goes for the same kind of vibe, showing frontman Olly come back to life in the middle of his own funeral. Funnily enough, everyone seems to be rather confused about the whole thing.
Its been said a number of times but it’s so apt we need to say it again – Quiet Achiever is the most perfect name for a Yeo song ever. The track has picked up an add on triple j this week and with a Peking Duk feature on the way, Yeo seems to be poised for major popularity after chipping away quietly for plenty of years. Quiet Achiever gives the people exactly what they want. There’s tropical steel drums, trap elements and delectable vocal samples. It’s by far his most accessible thing yet, but it’s also undeniably a Yeo song which is a major win.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/snackswithyeo/quiet-achiever[/soundcloud]
Disco crossed with EDM and electronica sounds like a devil of a genre-baby but Nero gave birth to one this week and it actually is pretty pleasing. Two Minds is taken from their forthcoming LP Between II Worlds and is by far their most melodically rich track from the album yet. We reckon this will be the track to really stand out on radio and return them to the chart-heights of UK number one Promises.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/nero/two-minds[/soundcloud]
We heard this a few months ago when Black Vanilla burnt the Sydney’s Civic Underground down (not literally obviously, it’s still very much in tact) and were instantly in a trance. Slug is a violent monster of a song driven by thumping bass and demonic vocals. It’s the kind of song that goes wasted if it doesn’t draw sweat from its listener – a track that’s heavy and yet full of space to weave in thrashing dance moves. There’s not enough violent dance music out there. Kudos Black Vanilla – we feel violated but pleased.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/factmag/black-vanilla-slug[/soundcloud]
Ngaiire was actually in the first season of Australian Idol but as people do in the space of XX years she’s flourished into one of Australia’s finest soul vocalists. Once is a track that doesn’t throw itself in your face. Rather it just slowly walks closer and closer until it sinks into you. It occupies a space somewhere between Solange and Erykah Badu with a coolness matched by a fine mastery. She’s worked with everyone from Paul Mac to Kilter but this feels like her defining track as an artist.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/ngaiire/once-blastoma-edit[/soundcloud]
There are a lot of Australian males crooning over electronic beats at the moment but Jack Grace stands out from the rest. Hills is an experiment in colliding electronic elements. There are sweet pop hooks, industrial beats and auto-tuned vocals are thrown into the mix and the result is thrilling, actually. The hook sounds a little Andy Bull but then the auto-tune is unashamedly Kanye and the production tips its hat to Hudson Mohawke. It’s a song that didn’t go unnoticed this week and that’s because its an artistic risk. It’s paying of if you ask us.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jackgraceofficial/hills[/soundcloud]
Not many South African artists have been able to cross over into the Western music spectrum but things are about to change with the introduction of Petite Noir. Yannick Ilunga possesses the voice of an old soul and on Down he melds that with a feel for organic rhythm into something that feels summery and cheery without a hint of gimmick. It’s taken from his debut album La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful which is due for release in September. Last time we wrote about Petite Noir we said we get naked to his music. We still feel that way.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/petitenoir/petite-noir-down[/soundcloud]
London vocalist Anne-Marie has toured with Rudimental as their live vocalist and this week she popped up on their latest track Rumour Mill but, dare we say, this one might be better. Gemini is taken from her debut EP and features production by Two Inch Punch who’s produced for Sam Smith and Jessie Ware. It’s a breezy, beautifully robust track centring around her airy, delicate vocals. Anne-Marie and Two Inch Punch are a dream team and if more stuff of this quality comes through she’ll be making Rudimental her support act.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/iamannemarie/anne-marie-gemini[/soundcloud]
This is all you need to know. Janet Jackson is back, she’s spelling sleep with three e’s and she really couldn’t care less what you think because she’s in her fourth decade as a superstar and at the point you become immortal.