Miley_Review

Album Of The Week: Miley Cyrus – ‘And Her Dead Petz’

Miley_Review

When Miley Cyrus attempted to break from the Disney mould in 2010 with Can’t Be Tamed nobody could’ve anticipated just how far she’d go. Since then she’s  gyrated Robin Thicke and her vagina with a giant styrofoam hand live on stage, stripped off for most magazines and even rapped on a Mike Will Made It track, however, this latest one seems to be the most surprising. Back then it would’ve almost been impossible to anticipate a drug-influenced Miley Cyrus collaboration with The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne packaged as a 23 track free album. Actually, two weeks ago it would’ve been impossible to anticipate that but it’s happened and well, it’s not all bad.

The fact is Cyrus broke away from the Disney mould a long time ago. Nowadays, nobody expects her to be Hannah Montana on stage nor on record and we’re somewhat not shocked by her nudity and drug-use now. She’s at the point at her career where she’s an actual grown-up evolving sonically just like Madonna did and even Beyonce to a certain extent if you look at Dangerously In Love as compared to her surprise album. Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz though goes from one extreme to the other in a heartbeat. She’s gone from rebellious pop princess to drugged-up alternative singer in a matter of months and the issue is her fans may not be heading down the same path quite as fast, if at all.

First the bad. The 23 track collection just drags on far too long. Cyrus seems to have been influenced by Coyne’s inability to self-edit and instead of cutting the dead-weight and delivering a knockout, she’s let down the golden moments by a few real shockers. Opener Dooo It! is obnoxious and painfully literal almost acting as a foreword to the album that says “I take drugs, I’m grown and if you think I’m going to stick to the same sound you can fuck off.” Thankfully this one is a stylistic outcast on what is mostly a heartfelt record but her desire to ostracise the old-Miley listener continues on Milky Milky Milk and BB Talk, although the latter is one of the more entertaining moments on the album. She also ruins 1 Sun’s ‘80s-inspired energy with a preachy, ill-informed save the earth lecture.

If you pulled out a chisel and chipped away at this record, you’d uncover a gem. Unbelievably, the good actually outweighs the bad and for all its weaknesses, this is actually some of Cyrus’ best work. Her voice is in its best habitat here and the roughness of the production throughout houses her better than some of the crisp, manicured work on Bangerz.

Coyne’s involvement is the weak link for most of it but he does help out on a few moment of brilliance. Karen Don’t Be Sad is beautifully sparse and benefits from Coyne’s comfortability in imperfection while Tangerine is a woozy daydream weighted by Big Sean’s impressive verse. It seems the pair work when they’re mixing said with elated euphoria and avoiding hallucinations that are really hard to connect with. On Evil With A Shadow, the pair take a trip down a rabbit hole that seemingly just keeps going and going with no resolve. It’s clear both of them suffer from getting carried away and it just happens on so many occasions.

Thankfully Coyne isn’t the only collaborator. Bangerz champion Mike Will Made It is back and unsurprisingly contributes most of the best moments of the LP. Most of his inclusions are on tracks about relationships rather than trips or dead pets and it’s really refreshing. Fweaky is the album’s first really intimate, slow-burning number and acts as a companion to a career highlight for Cyrus. Both of them use notions of drug use but compare them to that feeling of euphoria in a relationship. “When I need the fire, you’re always my lighter,” she sings on Lighter grabbing at the heartstrings ‘80s-tinged thundering percussion. Mike Will even manages to tap in on some of the weirder tracks like I Forgive Yiew which feels like 4×4 replaced country with psychedelia.

Oren Yoel who worked on Adore with Cyrus, returns here for a number of great tracks. Like Lighter and Fweaky, his tracks feel as if they’re channeling the comedown when real life realisations rear their ugly head. I Get So Scared is beautifully tender and forthright with Cyrus singing, “I get so scared thinking I’ll never get over you.” It’s a reminder that while she’s great at being weird and OTT, she’s actually a really honest songwriter with a voice that cuts through emotionally. “I get so high because you’re not here smoking my weed,” she sings on Space Boots, once again combining drugs and relationships for a lonely but poignant image.

As for her dead pets – the dog and the blowfish – they both get a song. The Floyd Song (Sunrise), about her dog that died a few days before her tour feels like another Coyne/Cyrus tangent which is let down by its lo-fi production while Pablow The Blowfish’s melody is touching but its lyrics are hard to swallow, particularly when she breaks down towards the end. 

In many ways Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz is exciting. It’s exciting that an artist of her age is willing to take changes and give us something completely off the beaten track, particularly when she is a pop icon. It’s hard to imagine any pop star taking on a song like BB Talk and go on a fuck-filled tangent about cutesy shit and actually pull it off. There’s so much to enjoy here but that’s only if you can stomach it long enough.

Here’s some advice – listen through once, cherry-pick 12 to 14 tracks and make your own Miley Cyrus album. Then you’ll fully be able to sit with the songs and realise that at its core, this album has a really tender heart, beautiful melodies and a voice behind it that’s actually captivating, if not at times infuriating. 

Listen to the album here. 

Miley_Score2

 

FI7SEPT

First Impressions: Miley Cyrus, Kelela, Club Cheval And More

FI7SEPT

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 Kelela, Miley Cyrus, Basenji, Tory Lanez, Club Cheval and Her

Kelela
Rewind

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kelelam/rewind[/soundcloud]

Michelle: What’s with the high-pitched range? Despite Kelela’s soulful vocals, the high pitch of this song has the unfortunate side effect of transforming an otherwise soulful song into something strangely saccharine. The ebbs and flow in tempo keeps the tune interesting and while the bridge stuns, the echoes are somewhat (entirely) excessive. 2

Annie: Kelela has been showing up everywhere lately, and this song is the perfect example of why I don’t mind. Her vocals remind me of a young Janet Jackson, but rather than overpowering, they work with the beats behind them to create the ideal modern R&B track. 3

Sam: Wow, what a production team on this one – Nugget, Kingdom and then bits by Obey City and Girl Unit. Despite the massive team behind it though Kelela still manages to remain front and centre with her distinctive brand of future R&B translating immediately. I love how she’s gone for a bit of a banger with this one, rather than serving out another slow-burner. In some ways it reminds me of like a pared-back I Wanna Dance With Somebody, probably due to the ‘80s-tinged beat and full-bodied chorus. It feels sexy and joyous which is a rare combination for Kelela but it really works. She’s easily one of the best new artists, if not the best, out there right now and deserves every accolade she gets. 4.5

Miley Cyrus
Do It

Michelle: Coyne, we know how much you love the fuzz pedal but Miley’s voice could have done with a lighter touch on the damn thing. The lead single on her experimental / dancing unicorn / psychadelia record comes  from left field but still manages to pay homage to the dance-heavy hip hop vibe of Bangerz. However, this track is hardly representative of the rest of Dead Petz – it’s quite possibly the most energetic of the 23-track LP that’s all mild guitars and whimsical ballads. The lyrics, meanwhile, sound like she’s trying too hard to cement her position as the biggest happy hippie there ever was. 3.5

Annie: Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love Miley Cyrus. Even through the Robin Thicke debacle I defended her, ‘she’s just expressing herself!’ I said, ‘let her explore!’. But no, this is too far. I am so pissed off at this song and the album that came with it. Firstly, I knew that this musical ‘evolution’ was impending (anyone that follows Miley on instagram would), and yet that still doesn’t soften the blow of this god-awful piece of work. Secondly, it’s just shit. Like, really, really shit. The song itself is boring as fuck, and the lyrics are so embarrassing they bring literal tears to my eyes. Am I being too dramatic, too sensitive? Absolutely. But listen to the rest of My Dead Petz, and I assure you, you will come out of that 24 track monstrosity feeling the exact same way. 1.5

Sam: The Miley album surprisingly has some really beautiful moments – mostly the MikeWillMadeIt-produced tracks. Unfortunately Wayne Coyne really hasn’t done anything of value for a while now and he’s just shat all over this track, not that Miley delivers much either. It’s obnoxious, shouty and try-hard and barely delivers any melody. I understand that she wants to do something different and evolve but this was just a shocking end to the VMAs and a really alienating first single – if that’s what it is. Lighter or Fweaky would’ve been a much better introduction to the album and actually much more indicative of what the album is. This just sucks arse, really. 1

Basenji
Can’t Get Enough

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/basenji-cant-get-enough-1[/soundcloud]

Michelle:  The melody works but I don’t know what’s with the preschool vocals. It could have done without the prepubescent singing because the tune is quality on its own – that is, until the breathy, mismatched vocals come in. Luckily, the horns, backed with hints of jazz piano, save an otherwise average brass-influenced track. 2

Annie: I already liked Basenji on a ‘can listen to, but probably won’t download’ level, but this track may have just made a real fan out of me. The vocals add a certain cuteness to the track that makes it sweet enough, but when the horns start to play it brings it up to a whole new platform. I can’t get enough of this song. 4 Annie’s Pick

Sam: Basenji is just absolutely nailing it right now. He’s taken that cutesy, kawaii sound that has been doing the rounds on Soundcloud and really cleaned it up, adding pop sensibilities at the same time. Petals perfected that formula and this one goes even one better. It’s so euphoric and gives off so many warm and fuzzies while also hitting with a really killer brass-driven instrumental. Right now I think Basenji could be Australia’s answer to SOPHIE and could actually work with mainstream pop artists and give them something really interesting. People are going to have problems with this vocal but that’s a shock to no one, it’s meant to be divisive but if it’s your kind of thing it’s like a brilliant sugar-rush. 4

Tory Lanez
Initiation

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/torylanez/initiation[/soundcloud]

Michelle: Above-average hip hop but Initiation isn’t striking. It’s delicate and well-constructed with cadenced melodies yet unlike Lanez’ past releases, it doesn’t have much built into the track. Slow-moving and unremarkable and, having heard his last few releases, I suspect Lanez can do better. 2

Annie: The introduction to Initation gave me high hopes, but they were quashed pretty quickly. It’s not altogether a bad song, it’s just really forgettable. With that said, I definitely don’t have the finest ear for hip-hop, so that may just be my lacking knowledge of the genre. 2.5

Sam: Tory Lanez is kind of like the new Jeremih. He’s good at the mainstream R&B stuff but he’s also been really open to working with different producers like BenZel (like on this one) and the WeDidIt crew. On Initiation, BenZel really build the production around his style coming into Lanez’s world rather than the other way around. I really like BenZel’s much softer approach to urban production and it means Lanez is left to bring a tougher edge with his voice. The hook really doesn’t grab me too much but it’s a cool song, I’m just not going crazy for it like I was with Say It. 3

Club Cheval
Discipline

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/clubcheval/discipline-original-mix[/soundcloud]

Michelle: While not terribly original, Discipline is another solid, heady club beat from the DJ supergroup. What it lacks in originality, however, it makes up for in melody, and despite its repetitive and unoriginal rhythm, it’ll still do brilliantly in most strobe-filled rooms. 1

Annie: To be honest, I’ve never listened to Club Cheval before this, but knowing that they’ve mixed with the likes of both Brodinski and Gesaffelstein, I had relatively high expectations. Discipline met none of them. It’s not a terrible song, if anything it’s standard EDM, but it doesn’t feel like a solid track. It just feels really lazy. I would hate to hear this in a club, but obviously there’s a huge market for tracks like this so undoubtedly it will be successful. 1.5

Sam: I love that DJ Dodger Stadium and Club Cheval are really championing that hard-hitting brand of nostalgic techno. While DJDS use repetition where Club Cheval have used a more conventional verse, there’s still that really thumping beat and alarm-like synth that really smacks hard on the dancefloor. It’s really cool to hear an R&B type verse amongst a track like this but it’s that synth-line in the chorus that is getting me really excited. It feels like so many styles have been combined here and it just works so well. There’s so much trendy electronica floating around at the moment but this feels detached to any kind of movement. I just bloody love this. 4.5

Her
Five Minutes

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/thebandher/five-minutes[/soundcloud]

Michelle:  I love how stripped back Five Minutes is – it maintains a perfect balance between the lyrics and sparse instrumentals. This is the very definition of minimalism because there’s enough to fill the voids but remains empty enough for the listener to cleanly focus on the groove. Shame it doesn’t make it all the way to five minutes. 4 Michelle’s Pick

Annie: Such a good display of minimalism. Through stripping back this song it allows the listener to pay more attention to the beautiful lyrics that come with. The vocals too, are stellar. They’re so strong in a way that fits superbly with this song. 4

Sam: Her’s debut Quite Like made me take an invested interest in this band immediately with only one track to their name and in some ways that’s been justified after hearing song number two Five Minutes. This one’s a little less sexy and sounds more Jungle than alt-j but it’s another really smoothly-produced track that triple j listeners would just eat up if they added it to heavy rotation. I like it and I think it will probably grow on me even more but it doesn’t really blow me away completely – maybe it’s that the chorus doesn’t hit hard enough. It could’ve probably done with a bit of amping up for the final part – some more vocal layering. 3.5

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10Songs_4Sep

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Basenji, Miley Cyrus, Ryan Hemsworth And More

Pattern: Msrizag

Pattern: Msrizag

This week started off with a blast thanks to the MTV VMAs which seemingly featured more controversy than ever and left us with a new Tay Tay video, a new Bieber video and an entire Miley Cyrus album. With that in mind, we’d like to award every artist who released a track this week off the back of that a bravery award because it takes something really profound to outshine a shit storm like the VMAs. Luckily, there were plenty of tracks this week that did exactly that and to them we say well done and acknowledge them below with a short spiel of sorts.

Basenji
Can’t Get Enough

Basenji is destroying it right now. His last single Petals picked up rotation on triple and is undoubtedly one of the strongest local tracks of the year, now he goes even one better on his new track Can’t Get Enough. It’s more of his cute poptronica hybrid driven by melodic, high-pitched vocals and a perky brass-line that are headed straight for the heavens. It’s taken from his Trackpad EP which will be sold as a USB that looks like an Evian water bottle which is just fantastic news for all involved.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/basenji-cant-get-enough-1[/soundcloud]

Marc E. Bassy
That’s Love (Feat. Ty Dolla Sign)

LA singer Marc E. Bassy has enlisted a big name in Ty Dolla Sign for his latest single That’s Love. The track is a total throwback to smooth, mid-tempo R&B bangers with Dolla Sign killing it with a much gentler edge than we’re used to with him. There’s a bit of autotune at play here, but it really works within this aesthetic and somehow smacks you more in the heart than untampered vocals would’ve. These two are excellent duet partners to, we must say.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/marc_e_bassy/thats-love-ft-ty-dolla-sign[/soundcloud]

Kelela
Rewind

Kelela‘s A Message was a stunning start to her 2015 and ever since we’ve waited for the EP is was supposedly off. Well no more supposedly because the EP is definitely coming on 9th October. It’s called Hallucinogen and it will feature the aforementioned as well as this new track Rewind. Rewind was produced by Kelela herself with help from Nugget and Kingdom – the latter had a big hand on her excellent mixtape Cut 4 Me. This one’s more upbeat than what we’re used to from her but she really delivers serving up silky vocals and crisp ’90s-tinged production.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/kelelam/rewind[/soundcloud]

Miley Cyrus
Lighter

Miley‘s surprise album Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz is a real mixed bag. A REAL MIXED BAG. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some plenty of gold on there. In fact, Mike Will Made It, who had a big hand on Bangerz, delivers most of the good stuff on the LP including this one Lighter. Lighter is a beautiful, lingering ballad driven by big, punching drums and a raw vocal from Miley herself. It essentially uses smoking weed as a metaphor for someone always backing her (“when I need the fire, you’re always my lighter”) but it’s really not as dumb as it sounds.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/mileycyrus/lighter[/soundcloud]

Ryan Hemsworth & Lucas
Angel

Last year Seattle producer Lucas dropped a ridiculously beautiful remix of Ryan Hemsworth‘s One For Me, then later Hemsworth dropped one of Lucas’ originals through his Secret Songs project. It makes total sense that the pair have now come together for a collaborative EP led by this track Angel. It’s one of the more emotional Hemsworth tunes we’ve heard with the chopped vocals really heading straight for the heartstrings. Goosebump-inducing is the general consensus on Soundcloud and we have to agree.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/angel[/soundcloud]

Empress Of
Standard

Empress Of‘s debut album Me is released next week and we’ve been given plenty of reason to get excited about it. First there was Water Water then there was Kitty Kat and this week we got How Do You Do It? and this one Standard. And it may just be the best one yet. Built upon industrial, post-pop production, Empress Of howls throughout really lengthening her notes and hitting giddy heights on many. Calling it now – Me will be one of the year’s best albums.

Friendships
Pedal To The Medal

Nicholas Brown and Misha Grace are Melbourne duo Friendships who are making really tough, forceful electronic music that demands your attention on first listen. Pedal To The Medal is one half of their new double-sided single that also includes Ded Soun Konduktah and it’s a primal, tribal-inspired track with heavy-hitting bass and a grinding, repetitive vocal sample. It may sound like audible murder but it’s one hell of a thrilling listen – one that feels like your simultaneously listening to dancehall and heavy metal.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/friendships/sets/p2m-dsk[/soundcloud]

World Champion
Avocado

Future Classic have become known for signing some of the finest electronic acts in the country but there’s something slightly different about Julian Sudek and Will Campion’s World Champion. Their debut track Avocado definitely has electronic stylings but it also has a dreamstate, indie-rock vibe – one that we haven’t heard any Future Classic artists dabble in until now. It feels sleek and sexy bound for intergalactic travel. If we had to make a comparison we’d say there a definite nods to Jagwar Ma (probably because it was co-produced by Jono Ma) but even then this feels more bare-boned.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/world-champion-avocado-galaxy[/soundcloud]

Florence + The Machine
Queen Of Peace (Hot Chip Remix)

Florence + The Machine‘s Queen Of Peace centres around it’s massive chorus which on the original is elevated by huge stabs of brass. But in many ways it was crying out for a dance remix where the brass was replaced by climatic synths and that immense amount of energy was translated into euphoria. That’s exactly what Hot Chip have done, rebuilding the song on a minimal beat that just continues to build and build until we get that chorus blanketed by dense synths. It sounds just as triumphant as the original but in a completely different way.

Janet Jackson
Unbreakable

Janet Jackson is well and truly back, gearing up for the release of her first album since 2008, Unbreakable. We’ve already heard the excellent first single No Sleeep and now we have the title track. It’s definitely not as modern and forward-thinking as its predecessor but there’s a certain charm to Janet singing about undying love over a vintage-sounding beat. The album is out 2nd October via her own label Rhythm Nation.

Miley

Miley Cyrus Just Dropped An Entire Free Album

Miley

As was kind of expected Miley Cyrus closed the VMAs, performing a new song and has now followed it with an entire album that can be downloaded for free. It follows on from her 2012 effort Bangerz and if we could hear it we would tell you what it sounded like but alas the website crashed almost immediately. It would’ve been nice if it was Frank Ocean or Kanye instead but we can definitely handle a new Miley album. You can get it here when the website eventually sorts itself out. Be patient.

EDIT: Hear the whole thing here.

Here’s Wrecking Ball because it’s a certified banger.

TrashTreasure11August

Trash Or Treasure? The Week’s Most Iconic Looks In Music

TrashTreasure11August

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. Trash or treasure gives us a chance to look over the week past’s most eyeball worthy looks and decide if we’re going to copy them or appreciate them from afar.

Beyoncé
Beyonce
Beyoncé has bought out a line of temporary tattoos and has announced this with a smouldering black and white photo series featured in CR Fashion Book. Because if you want to make your product launch cool, who else to associate yourself with but Carine Roitfeld. The new festival accessory. Still… Chanel did it first.

Frank Ocean
tumblr_nseskqTums1ratxo2o1_500
You’re not my favourite person right now Frank. He was looking very unimpressed in New York last week, probably because he’s sick of being heckled. I get it, it’s annoying but god dammit Frank, hurry up, just HURRY UP! Ooo is that an Acne bag I see.

Miley Cyrus
2B364FBF00000578-3190717-image-a-27_1439067751867
Well isn’t this a nice change from those Borat mankini things Miley frequently seems to wear. She should definitely channel this Edie/Twiggy look more often. Whilst the dress screams disco chic, her hair and make-up are the flawless feature of this cover. One of her best looks to date.

Vic Mensa & ASAP Rocky
https://instagram.com/p/58R2uRG2m7/
Lollapalooza attendees were prettyyyyy excited to see these two together on stage. Chilling backstage at the festival posing with some major attitude, this duo has legit street cred in the fashion world (Vic Mensa has his own shoe deal with Puma and well A$AP is the number one pretty boy).

Rihanna

I ? @zuluinternational

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Dear Lord. She looks like she could easily fit into the Capulet party scene in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, which has pretty much been my costume goals ever since I saw that movie 17 years ago . So in my eyes, she’s winning. The native was attending the Barbados Crop Over Festival which held annually to celebrate the end of the sugarcane harvest. She wearing a custom made Kadooment Day ZuluIntl Mockingjay costume.

ILoveMakonnen

Red Dragon

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“I like to wake up with none of my clothes or phones by me and just not know what happened and try to spend the next day figuring it out.” But by the look of his colour coordinated outfit, I still think he has his shit together.

Rachel Clark


Music is a huge part of the brand Burberry. If you didn’t know this, just have a look at one of their advertisements and fashion shows frequently featuring new musicians. More so they have dedicated a component of their website to showcasing them. In 2010, Christopher Bailey (Creative Director) established Burberry Acoustic to use the brand as a platform to expose local music talent.

17 year old indie folk singer songwriter Rachel Clark from Cambridge, who plays the guitar, cello and piano was selected for the latest shoot. Judging by her online following she is still very unknown. For now.

Sam Smith

After the kicks there's little old mixed-up me

A post shared by Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) on


Stealth. The new face of Balenciaga has definitely upped his fashion game since he emerged onto the scene.

Willow Smith
https://instagram.com/p/5yFYqnTPCp/
An icon photo series shot by icons themselves. Carine Roitfeld and Jean Paul Goude have collaborated for Septembers issue of Harpers Bazaar and Willow Smith was chosen to represent one of Carine’s favourite figures, Hindu goddess Kali of power/empowerment.

Lenny Kravitz
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Woah… Drop it like it’s hot Lenny. The trending story last week: Lenny’s wardrobe malfunction. This guy really does stay true to his style, accessories are his thing…. His necklace. I was talking about his necklace.

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