LA newcomer VOKES dropped his second single over the weekend, it’s a cruisey little alt-soul track called ‘Value’, and it is certainly showing us just how much talent this young singer/songwriter/producer has up his sleeve.
‘Value’ will be seen on VOKES’ upcoming debut Fractalism EP, which we should be coming our way very soon.
Elizabeth Rose’s debut album Intra is the product of unbridled creativity, hard work and passion. With her distinctive brand of electro-pop; her sound is unique and unpredictable with lyrics that are full of attitude and hit close to home. Addressing issues such as marriage equality, wars, gun violence and anxiety, Elizabeth Rose is unapologetic and honest.
Intra has a varied sound that can’t be pinned. All 12 of the tracks on this album are brilliantly unique in their own way. ‘Should Woulda Coulda’ featuring M-Phazes is smooth and relaxing. ‘In 3’s’ has a light trappy feeling – a bit like Flume’s early work. ‘One Shot’ is spacey and hip-hoppy in a Glass Animals kind of way. ‘Playing with Fire’ featuring Remi is an uplifting, layered combination of the orchestral and electronic. ‘Same old Song’ is slow and ambient.
My favourite two songs on this album are ‘Kensho’ and ‘Anxiety’. ‘Kensho’ is a purely instrumental piece, operating as a kind of interlude. It feels panicky and tense, leading you one way and then another. It meshes perfectly with ‘Anxiety’ – a song which sounds like the title. Her voice is harsher in this, her lyrics are straight up – it’s a song that you can connect with. ‘Division’ is another favourite of mine due to its message and unpredictability. It starts off slow with a piano intro – her voice is percussive and sounds a bit like Missy Higgins. When it picks up it travels quickly, with dense layering and heavy beats.
In Intra, it’s the twists and turns in sounds, and the stories within the songs, that mean that you can’t stop listening.
Intra is set for release for March 4, but you can pre-order it now through Inertia.
Each week we collect a neat little assortment of remixes that aren’t suitable for our Friday MixTapes, but they are so damn good they deserve a place on the site. So we have the Non-MixTape Mixes set up to showcase some of these great finds.
Click through to the associated Soundcloud profiles below to get more info on each of these tracks/artists.
Annabel Jones – IOU (Golden Coast Remix)
Låpsley – Love is Blind (Sam Gellaitry Remix)
Jamie Woon – Sharpness (KAYTRANADA EDIT)
Justin Timberlake x Snoop – Signs (Robots Can’t Dance Version)
Today we are premiering the debut single from a mysterious newcomer out of Sydney who shall be known only as LJ Hawk (for now at least), who is taking us on a chilled adventure of melodic synths and cruisey, 80’s bass-grooves with, ‘Love On The Pyrmont Bridge’.
“I wasn’t hearing a vocal on this track as I felt the elements just bought about the right emotion on their own, I love how it builds and flows, dropping in and out, it’s a proper little journey; sophisticated in it’s delivery yet thumping like an runners pulse, this is merely a prelude of some brilliant music to come” – LJ Hawk
Melbourne songstress Woodes is prepping her debut solo EP for release over the coming months, and last Friday she released its first gorgeous single, ‘Daggers & Knives’ – if this track is anything to go by, we are all in for quite a treat
You can keep yourself up to date on Woodes’ 2016 release plans via the social buttons below.
ZHU snuck in with a brand new track over the weekend called ‘In the Morning’, giving us another very infectious house-pop groove with a pulsing beat, a dark synth drive, and those seductively unique vocals.
If this is just a taste of what ZHU has in-store for us in 2016, then my ears are ready and waiting fed.
Remix This is a place where we get to showcase some of the best booty-shaking remixes that are featured in our Friday MixTape each week. If you’d like to know more about any of the artists below, just go ahead and click through to their Soundcloud pages – and always remember to just be smooth and groove.
1. Gold Panda – Time Eater
2. Junior Boys – Big Black Coat
3. Massive Attack, Young Fathers – Voodoo In My Blood
4. Pantha du Prince – The Winter Hymn (ft. Queens)
5. Moderat – Reminder
6. RYAL – LONELY LOVE
7. Monogem – Gone
8. WILDHART – WE MADE UP A DREAM
9. New Order – Singularity
10. Saul Williams – The Noise Came From Here
11. Pairanoid – Carry On (ft. Alexandria)
12. LAFAWNDAH – ALLY
13. Hoodlem – Kintsugi
Tracklist: 1. Kanye West – Ultralight Beam (cln remix)
2. Justin James – Right Here (ft. Brooks) (3 Monkeyzz Remix)
3. Pairanoid – Carry On (ft. Alexandria)
4. Curt Reynolds – Gone Away (ft. LondonV)
5. Moi Je – Profite (Kazy Lambist Remix)
6. James Bay – If You Ever Want To Be In Love (Nick Talos Remix)
7. French Horn Rebellion – Foolin’ Around (That’s Nice Remix)
8. Kungs Vs. Cookin’ On 3 Burners – This Girl
9. INSTRUM – Night Rolls (ft. Somni)
10. DiRTY RADiO – Numbers (The Writers Block Remix)
11. Fred Falke – It’s A Memory (Ferdinand Weber Remix)
12. DEAMN – Only U
13. NIHILS – Not A Man Of Violence (GHOSTS Remix)
14. option4 – Love Is Lonely (ft. Rose Quartz)
15. Joe Maz & Adam Foster – Together
16. Nas – Life’s A Bitch (Andie Roy Remix)
17. TT – WCWLT (FLUSH Edit)
18. Christa Vi – Invisible (James Curd Remix)
19. COLOUR VISION X RICHARD GREY – PIÑA ELECTRIQUE
20. NR& – Taste Like
Sufjan Stevens is back in the country at the moment doing a few performances in promotion of his new album Carrie & Lowell, and I am so glad I got to see him again.
I want to start by saying; if you’ve never seen Sufjan Stevens live before, do yourself a massive favour and catch him next time he’s in your vicinity – you will never regret it
Unfortunately we arrived a little bit late and missed Ngaiire‘s set completely (sorry Ngaiire), but some of the friends I spoke to afterwards said she put on a really great show and her voice sounded amazing.
As we were settling into our seats, I was watching the stage being set up with enough instruments to suit an orchestra; there were two sets of keys, a piano, a drum kit, a rack of percussion and an assortment of stringed instruments including a banjo, a ukulele, an electric guitar, and a variety of different acoustic guitars. Turns out this was all for just 5 people, and I’m pretty sure they all touched every single piece by the end of the night.
No matter how many times I’ve seen Sufjan Stevens live (let’s say that’s maybe 5 or 6-ish), he still manages to make every performance unique, interesting, and wonderful. From his incredibly sweet voice to his weird & wonky dances moves, and his interesting little stories. It all adds so much to what you take away from a Sufjan Stevens show.
They played out the entire Carrie & Lowell catalogue without really saying much at all, which I think is to not ruin the moment as we are taken on a journey into his childhood, and he performs those songs with a deep emotion that is felt in almost every word. There isn’t a single peep coming from anyone in the audience, and it is so hard not to get a little choked up sometimes – goosebumps are just a constant companion
After the Carrie & Lowell tracks are done, Sufjan comes out of his shell a little bit, tells us a story about Prince, makes a few jokes and raises the mood of the entire room. He and is four band-mates begin to play some of the golden-oldies we all love so much, and he jokes saying “now for some happier songs…well actually I think all of my songs are about death, but these ones are just happier songs about death”.
The night ends on a massive high as he asks the crowd to join in on a sing-a-long and everyone leaves with a smile on their face from ear-to-ear.
One of Sufjan Stevens’ classic albums, Come on Feel the Illinois, had its 10th anniversary in 2015, and in celebration of that, the album is getting a special anniversary reissue which comes with a 12″ in the shape of a star – featuring this previously unreleased demo of ‘Chicago’:
The 10th anniversary edition of Come on Feel the Illinois will be released on April 1st – pre-order it now from Asthmatic Kitty
Over the last few months we’ve shared a couple of tracks from a duo out of California who go by the name Pr0files, and just this week they have released quite an impressive, eleven-track debut album called, Jurassic Technologie.
This album makes for some pretty great Friday-listening with its fresh, indie/synth-pop sounds, and you can really make the most of it via the Soundcloud link below, over on Spotify or pick it up from iTunes.
Each week I collect a bunch of tracks that have stood out to me in some particular way, and come Friday I have quite a neat little collection of really cool, interesting and fun songs to share with you.
Here are my Friday Favourites for this week. If you’d like to know more about any of the below tunes, or the artists themselves, click on through to their associated Soundcloud pages – Happy Friday!
Miike Snow are back with a new record, and this week we scored some time with Christian Karlsson from the band to have a chat about iii, its hip-hop influence, acid trips, and why this is their best record yet.
How has your week been so far?
My week has been good, busy, I’ve been on tour for a very long time. I had two days off with my daughter, I live in Bangkok so I’ve been here for two days and then I go back on tour.
The fact that you guys have come back together after three years for this album is pretty awesome. Although I imagine the three of you individually would have gathered a lot of different inspirations, sounds and ideas in your time apart. All three of you lived in different cities and worked on individual projects. What was the biggest or most noticeable difference between working on ‘iii’ and ‘Happy To You’?
‘Happy To You’ was done much, much faster than this record and the first record. We had just been on tour for a year basically, the vibe of ‘iii’ was more like the first record, we weren’t in the room as much as the first record but we were able to do whatever we wanted to do when we came together, there were like no rules whatsoever, whatever music comes out that’s what we are going to release.
I read you guys had no intentions or plans to get together for a third album, the idea only came about after you reunited in L.A. for a catch up. Given those circumstances, does iii almost feel serendipitous?
It felt like one of the easiest records I’ve ever made, and one of the best for sure. I love all three but this one is my favourite by far and maybe it is because of the way it came together, maybe that plays a role in why I like it so much. When music comes together easily like that, I think it’s something good.
Since you guys had so much time apart, and worked on different projects, was the process of making iii a little more difficult, or did you all still flow quite well?
To me it almost feels like it was easier because we had had those years together now, we know each other like you know someone in your family, when you tour that heavily you live together. We all came in with something different this time because we’d been working on different things, so maybe we were a little bit different, we had different things in our heads, but it wasn’t hard. It was actually really cool, we played with different ideas and sounds and new pallets, and how to put together a song. A new experience for all three of us I think.
I’ve read that Andrew (Wyatt) in particular used to take acid to enhance the live shows, can we expect more of that when you tour?
I think a Miike Snow show will be different every night. Every night is a challenge in some different sort, but in a cool way. Miike Snow is aways doing a challenge too much, like something is going to go wrong or break, it’s always been one of the things we like, having some type of danger attached to the live show.
I have to ask, where did the title, ‘Genghis Khan’ come from? Because I’m imagining one of you sitting at home watching The History Channel and the episode happened to be on Genghis Khan and you thought, ‘hey that’d be a cool metaphor!’ Probably wasn’t anything like that was it?
Well actually we were in the studio in L.A. and Andrew came by and I basically had the track — the chorus, beats and melody and stuff — and he was like “I’ve got something”, he’d been thinking for about a second and he just basically started singing and jumping around with it, singing that name and I was like get a microphone and sing it and he did and we kept it. So that’s it. So ‘Genghis Khan’ came from his brain, it was something that went down really quickly and that’s what came out.
There is a big hip-hop and R&B influence on the record, where or who did that come from?
All three of us have a big love for hip-hop and we all have a history with it – I was a rapper for many years before I started producing. Nineties hip-hop is my bible, it’s always going to be the best music for me, it’s like my heart and soul. When we started to get this album together I was like “I’m going to do hip-hop”, and Andrew was like “yeah! Let’s do that!”. I’ve known them for so long that I know what they like, me and Andrew have been enjoying music together for the last 6 years and we both just love hip-hop. What we thought was something missing from our own music was samples. We hadn’t worked with samples in a long time. I used to use samples all the time, so we brought that into Miike Snow and particularly this record. So yeah that’s what came out.
Miike Snow used to perform under the guise of masks when performing live, will we see more of that in the future?
We will see, if we’re up to the challenge I guess. We will see what it will be this time.
Everybody loved ‘Animal’ when it came out, it’s still one of your most recognisable tracks, but just listening to some of the new stuff, you’ve gone in a different direction. What do you think fans of ‘Animal’ will think of your new album?
I actually feel like this record is closest to the first one than the second one. It has something new, but it definitely has a lot stuff from the first. In my head the first half of the album is like ‘Genghis Kahn’, but the second half, I love it, was done in a different way. I think that early supporters of Miike Snow or lovers of ‘Animal’ will love this album – I’m pretty confident about that.
Are there plans to tour in Australia?
Yes. For sure. Australia has been such a great market for us since day one basically, and over the three years with our separate projects as well. We really like being there and playing is such a fun time.
Miike Snow’s third studio-album iii will see its release on March 4th, where you will most certainly find these two incredible tracks.
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