So many good songs were released this week that we broke our rule of 10 and chucked in two more.
So many good songs were released this week that we broke our rule of 10 and chucked in two more.
Firstly let’s get the formalities out of the way. Happy Birthday to Frank Ocean and congratulations to Adele for breaking every record known to man. But let’s not dwell on that because here at the interns we like to reward mostly those who take less than four years to drop an album and all the artists below tick that box (apart from the ones that haven’t released an album so we’ll start the four year timer for them now).
Flesh Without Blood
Just when we thought we were beginning to nail down the best songs of the year Grimes comes in with a late entry. Flesh Without Blood is the first single from Art Angels (out next week) and it’s bloody good, to put it simply. It’s a little poppier and more forthright than what we heard on her last record Visions but it shows an artist who’s grown up and is far more comfortable making louder statements. The video is also brilliantly weird and wild but would you expect anything less?
We’ve been waiting to hear a solo track from Nicole Millar ever since we first heard her vocals on Peking Duk’s High last year and now we’ve finally got that. Wait is her major label debut and it’s dripping in neon synths and smouldering vocals just like every good electro-pop track should. It’s got a gorgeous production value to it which makes it feel really warm and accessible making us fall in love with it immediately.
Dev Hynes is using his status lately to make really powerful statements wrapped up in his usual Blood Orange style which means it’s reaching a deservedly wide audience. His latest is Sandra’s Smile which details the death of Sandra Bland who died in police custody in a Texas prison earlier this year. It’s delivered with a stylistically beautiful visual and the track itself is ’80s-tinged and groove-infused.
Hynes annotated the lyrics for the track too on Genius if you’d like to delve a little deeper into the story.
We introduced you to Bibi Bourelly with her firs track Riot a few months ago. She’s the writer of Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money and is rumoured to have worked on a few more song with her but for now she’s popping out solo tracks. Her latest is Riot – a vocally rock solid track backed by a bluesy, attitude-soaked instrumental. “You got me fucked up,” she sings with her voice cracking as she pushes it to its absolute edge. She’s a force to be reckoned with and we’ll no doubt hear much more from Bourelly in 2016.
It’s taken a minute but America has finally fallen in love with Alessia Cara with her debut track Here firing up the charts. She’s cashing in on that momentum by wacking out an album, Know It All, straight away and Wild Things is from that album. Much like her EP Four Pink Walls, Wild Things is about being a rebel and social outcast which is an overused theme in music but you really believe it when Cara sings it because her vocals are just so damn cool. It seems like what you see is exactly what you get with Cara and the world needs a popstar like that.
Chance The Rapper
Angels (Feat. Sabo)
At this stage of the year who really knows what Chance The Rapper is planning. He’s dropped a mixtape with Lil’ B, released an album with The Social Experiment and been featured on what seems like hundreds of songs – most without warning. Angels surfaced this week and he immediately performed it on Stephen Colbert. There’s been no word on whether it’s from an album or not but it is his first track to go on Spotify apparently which is exciting. The tracks itself is classic Chance – joyful, erratic and full of weird vocal sounds. Solid gold, as always.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper/angels-feat-saba[/soundcloud]
Jones is a London vocalist who put out a stunning EP earlier this year, Indulge, and is now gearing up to release her debut album New Skin early next year. Hoops is taken from that record and it’s a soulful, emotional sizzler with a melody that latches onto you immediately. Like a more experimental Lianna La Havas, her vocals are effortless and she doesn’t need to do much with them because her tone is so rich and sophisticated. It’s an A+ from us – Hoops is beautiful.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/iseejones/hoops[/soundcloud]
Air Max ’97
NLV Records is now in full swing. Last week saw the first release from Lewis Cancut and this week the label is firing on dropping Passage by Melbourne producer Air Max ’97. Passage is packed with wet-sounding beats and industrial synth-work that burns away at full intensity for over five minutes. It’s available as a free download for seven days so jump on it before it’s too late.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/nlvrecords/air-max-97-passage[/soundcloud]
Lontalius x Cut My Lips
We’ve already raved about Kiwi youngster Lontalius‘ tunes before and he just keeps giving us more reason to do so. His latest has been released via Ryan Hemsworth‘s Soundcloud label Secret Songs and it’s a collaboration with producer Cut My Lips. “I hope everyone gets something bewitching and inspiring,” Cut My Lips says of the track which exactly what we’re pulling for it. It’s got a really rich, emotional melody – the type that were actually all throughout Hemsworth’s last album Alone For The First Time.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/mooncatch[/soundcloud]
Be The One
Burgeoning popstar alert! 20 year-old singer Dua Lipa is poised to take over the world based off the strength of her new track Be The One. It’s a supremely cool, immediately catchy track with a chorus that will make you wish you knew how to sink into people’s hearts as easily as she can. It also helps that she’s got the perfect look but it’s even better that she has the voice to match. Don’t take your eye off Lipa, she’ll be huge before you even have time to blink.
This week, Kim Kardashian exposed her body all to #breaktheinternet. People say that sometime it’s harder to bare your true feelings and opinions than stand naked. In the interest of that, we’re going to show true bravery and give you our 100% honest opinion on what the best songs of the week were. Here’s hoping we #breaktheinternet.
There’s been about 53 remixes of Keep On Lying released this week thanks to Red Bull Studios who had artists from Pional to Nina Kraviz remixing the song. This one by TOKiMONSTA is our favourite one though. It’s a bubbling masterpiece that chops and changes tempo and switches between Ware’s original vocal and vocally manipulated samples. The song is great on Tough Love, but this breathes new life into it.
We already know the Swedes know how to craft a melody or two and this track by London-based Swede, Blende proves that fact once again. He’s recruited the vocals of Gustaph from Hercules & Love Affair for a funky number that glitters like a Donna Summer cut. It’s crisp, electro-funk that is just calling for some bouncing dance moves.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/eskimorecordings/blende-feat-gustaph-running-4[/soundcloud]
It’s true, TĀLĀ had unfinished business and by that we mean she was yet to drop the final track from her Alchemy EP. That track is infact aptly titled Unfinished Business and is another tightly-produced, innovative track. It sees TĀLĀ dabble in drum n’ bass influences with her voice hovering above in a haze of reverb. TĀLĀ’s expertise is in crafting songs with lots of noise but a killer melody at its heart. That’s the stuff you can really sink your teeth into.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/talaofficial/unfinishedbusiness?in=talaofficial/sets/alchemyep[/soundcloud]
Talk Talk was enough to stamp Aussie vocalist George Maple as one to watch but her latest, Vacant Space launches her to the stratosphere. Seducing with those dusky vocals, she ushers in a stomping dance beat that bubbles under for the entirety. Behind it, she whispers and hushes creating this dim-lit atmosphere that’s warm and encompassing. We can’t remember a song that was this good by an Australian female vocalist in a very long time.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/george-maple/vacant-space[/soundcloud]
We’ve never seen Hunger Games but we’re taking an unusually active interest in the latest film thanks to the Lorde-curated soundtrack. The latest track to drop off it features 2014’s queen of pop teaming up with Major Lazer for an absolute stomper. It’s one of the less-manic creations from Major Lazer, with Grande’s pop voice and melody taking total control. We weren’t aware that there was a dancehall scene but we’re so up for dutty dancing in the cinema.
London newcomer Jones dropped her debut track, Deep, last month and immediately drew comparisons to Solange but it seems on her latest track, You, she’s setting out to dispel that. Produced by A.K. Paul (who should probably not be referred to alongside his brother any longer), the track is an innovative, industrial RnB track that sees her really go for it vocally. It doesn’t have the immediate appeal of You but its longevity will surely be greater.
We’ve been waiting for a minute for a new track by Sydney duo, Cosmo’s Midnight, but finally we’ve got something new from them. Snare is the new track in question and it’s a cruisy track that’s caught up in the clouds. It’s one of those slow-burners that just hovers in your head, slowly working its way into your psyche. Keep them coming, Cosmo’s Midnight, don’t leave us hanging so long.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/cosmosmidnight/cosmos-midnight-snare-feat-wild-eyed-boy[/soundcloud]
In terms of new Australian music, this cut by Aussie producer Chiefs and Sons et al vocalist Nick Acquroff would have to be our pick this week. With the same kind of chemistry that Flume and Chet Faker fell upon, the pair have turned out a dense, melodically-sound track that peaks and troughs perfectly, both vocally and instrumentally. Inside Out is from a forthcoming EP that’s out next Friday, thank goodness.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/die-high/chiefs-nick-acquroff-inside-out[/soundcloud]
These days electronic-RnB floods our inbox everyday. It’s hard to find one that really stands out but when it does it’s a goosebump moment. Going Through It by enigmatic Bronx artist Wills, gives us that exact moment. It’s a confident, accentuated tracks that delivers a startlingly aggressive alongside silky smooth vocals. This is perhaps what Frank Ocean would sound like if he wasn’t a dedicated minimalist.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/willsslliw/wills-going-through-it[/soundcloud]
God damn the vocals of Years & Years just get us everytime. Memo is the b-side to their latest single Desire and it’s a slow-burning stunner. It’s good to hear the group stripped-back and really testing out those vocal chops. Splendour In The Grass should take note and book these guys know, it’ll be one of the most sure-fire bookings of the week.
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/yearsandyears/years-years-memo[/soundcloud]
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’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.
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]
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]
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 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]
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]
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]
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.
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‘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.