Wednesday, 25 February 2015

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 25/02/2015: Everything Everything, Riff Raff, Best Coast and more...


This week Everything Everything get groovy, Best Coast get hazy and Riff Raff gets wavy.

THE BEST:


'Distant Past' - Everything Everything


UK indie rock band, Everything Everything, release this new song about wanting to be cavemen. Okay, it’s clearly deeper than that but I’m not going to bore you with sociopolitical interpretations. Everything Everything's music has always been about having fun. This track comes with characteristically odd vocal deliveries and rave-rhythm guitars that will make you want to break into dance. A fittingly manic music video accompanies it.

'The World is Your Motel' - Pile


It must be something in the water. Why is Boston producing so many crazy avant-garde rock groups these days? First Bent Knee, then Krill and now these nutters.

Pile prove themselves to be the zaniest of the lot, as demonstrated by this deranged and noisy track in which the lead singer can just about be heard yelling ‘dumpy woman in a tracksuit!’ beneath the frantic instrumental work. Some of the guitar riffage is so evil it’s vaguely black metal.

'Judo Chop' - Riff Raff


I usually dismiss this ignorant trap rap shit, but for Riff Raff I make an exception because he’s just so goofily entertaining. That said, he’s not sounding as goofy as usual here, but it is a freestyle. As for the beat SWEET MOTHER OF GOD

'Dead Format' - Blanck Mass



This sludgy instrumental techno mass shuffles along like a giant alien slug sent to destroy the Earth. Benjamin John Power is the one-man-project behind the sinister track, an artist that some will know from his involvement in UK electronic group Fuck Buttons. The thumbnail is a close-up of a brain I think. I HOPE

'California Nights' – Best Coast


There’s a hazy-eyed shoegazey feeling emanating from this new track by LA rock duo, Best Coast. The track slowburns for five minutes and is soaked in reverb as if echoing out across the Pacific.

THE WORST:


Teddybears ft. Baby Trish – ‘What’s your problem?’



I’m allergic to the sound of children singing. That’s my problem. Saying that, 12-year-old Jamaican Baby Trish does seem to be showing a lot more talent and lyrical depth than your average child singer. I guess my real problem here is Swedish electronic group, Teddybears and that horrendously irritating beat. It makes me want to rip my ears off.

Review of 'Sour Soul' by BADBADNOTGOOD and Ghostface Killah


Sour Soul has all the instrumental grandeur of a Bond movie. Why then is Ghostface Killah not rapping about fast cars and hot women and gunfights like he always does? Why instead is he giving us nutritional tips?

 'Eat fish. That brainfood will make you smart' - Ghostface Killah

It didn’t seem like it could go wrong. On the surface, Ghostface Killah seemed like the perfect match for BADBADNOTGOOD’s cinematic, atmospheric style. This was a rapper who had worked with live bands in the past and who was known for his narrative action-movie-style of lyricism.

Canadian jazz trio, BADBADNOTGOOD, probably feel privileged for the opportunity to work with an artist such as Ghostface Killah. However, it is really Ghostface who should feel privileged to be collaborating with these guys, as they are the ones that really provide the entertainment value here.

Borrowing from sixties soul artists and movie composers such as James Bond’s John Barry, BADBADNOTGOOD really succeed at creating that smoky and lavish sixties-spy-thriller vibe. There are fat horns and thick string sections and jazzy twangy guitars complete with that spacey tremolo effect. You can smell the cigar smoke and taste the Martini.

BADBADNOTGOOD
Given the perfect backdrop to lay down his gangster persona, Ghostface sadly decides to squander the occasion by delivering some of his most uncharacteristically lacklustre lyrics. On a track ironically named ‘Nuggets of Wisdom’ Ghostface tells us ‘to make peace not war, make babies some more’. This is followed by a list of health tips on the track ‘Food’, the aforementioned ‘eat fish’ being one of them.

These primary school pieces of advice aren’t going to lead anyone to have an epiphany and have no place on a Ghostface Killah record. I expect badass action movie imagery with grit and depth. Most rappers get criticised for having too much violence and sex on their records, but here I’m left wanting more.

Most annoying is the fact that the New York rapper teases us with brief moments of this such as the surveillance paranoia on ‘Sour Soul’ and the fast-paced descriptions of ‘wild car chases’ and catching ‘bullets with my hands and teeth’ on ‘Ray Gun’. Here the epic instrumentation and vivid lyrics come together brilliantly, transporting the listener to an exotic supervillain hideout.

Ghostface looking like a badass
Of course the lack of decent subject matter isn’t the true problem here. It’s the lack of vocal commitment full stop that seems to be the problem. There are tracks on here where Ghostface drops a single verse and let’s BADBADNOTGOOD do the rest of the work. There are tracks where the guest vocalists such as Doom and Danny Brown jump on board and provide as many if not more bars than Ghostface. Then there’s the issue of no hooks throughout the entire record. Some people don’t need catchy choruses in their hip hop, but I personally like a good sing-along section to give a song momentum.

There’s a feeling that Ghostface couldn’t be bothered with most of the record, or that he was rushed. Either way he’s holding back a lot of his talent here, cruising over the instrumentals with lyrics seemingly thought up in five minutes. His attitude is very much ‘that’ll do’.

Saying this, BADBADNOTGOOD fans should still definitely check this record out, as the band are shining here. The gorgeous lazy wah guitars of ‘Gunshowers’ feel like the soundtrack to a long drive through the desert. ‘Stark’s Reality’ is slow suave music for a casino. The grand ending of ‘Ray Gun’ meanwhile could accompany a fight scene over a time-bomb. These guys should be scoring movies. 


TRACK TASTER:



Saturday, 21 February 2015

Review of 'If You're Reading This Its Too Late' by Drake



If I die, I’m a legend’.

Gone are the days of singing soppy r&b slowjams and serenading women with his heartthrob image. The Toronto hip hop artist has embraced trap rap and Kanye-esque arrogance and now thinks he’s ‘a legend’.

Oh well, at least he doesn’t think he’s a God.

FOR THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE GOD. THE BASED GOD.
Drake’s transition from adorable puppy to angry Alsatian hasn’t been easy to digest. The first signs of this transformation took place on his last album, Nothing is the Same. Whilst he did prove himself to be a competent rapper on this record, his tough guy persona seemed a little forced. In short, it was like watching Mr Rogers play a gangster.

Mr Who? Oh sorry, let me pick a more relevant comparison (hell, even I’m too young to know who Mr. Rogers is). In short it was like watching Dora the Explorer play a gangster.

Y’all know Dora the explorer. I bet half you saplings still watch it. I CERTAINLY DO

With Drake proclaiming himself to be a legend on the very first track, I feared this new album would be a similarly embarrassing case of Drake trying to act tough and failing. Fortunately, I was proved wrong. Whilst there is a lot of bragging and dissing on this record, Drake manages to make it seem genuine rather than an act. How? Quite simply he counters this ignorance and braggadocio with a healthy serving of humility and wit.

Choosing to rap about issues that are relatable to him, Drake doesn’t come across as fake. He covers his feud with Birdman, his relationship with haters and his beef with Tyga – all the things fans want to hear. He doesn’t pretend to be a drug kingpin or a gangbanger. He instead acts himself. The result is a believable and likable version of Drake. He finds the happy balance between a cute puppy and an angry Alsatian, settling for the friendly but feisty temperament of a cocker spaniel.

If you’re reading this you’re confused

Canine analogies aside, Drake feels real on this album and realness is what we all look for in our hip hop, right? Admittedly, there are points on this record where he gets a bit hypocritical with the social commentary. He attacks Facebook and Twitter and internet culture a number of times talking dreamily of an age ‘before hashtags’, and yet the success of his career has relied on social media, particularly this album which was released without any prior promotion or warning, a move people have been describing as 'pulling a Beyonce'. Drake relied on the people of Twitter and Facebook to spread the word of this new album and therefore to criticise this platform seems a little unjustified.

This said, whilst I might not agree with everything Drake says on this record, none of what he says on this album is sheer dumb. Whilst the line about rappers struggling to eat does seem odd coming from a loaded artist like Drake, it is true in a wider context - most underground rappers can barely afford to fund their music careers these days because none of us pay for hip hop any more.

Anyway, that's the lyrics discussed. What about the rest of this album? What about the beats and flows?

One word - BUMPIN'!  



My reaction to the beats and flows
                                   
Yes, there are your typical 808s and staccato flows on this record. However, this is more than your average Chief Keef trap rap record. For one, there's a lot more creativity on display musically. The first track for instance contains some muffled vocals in the background that create a unique spacey vibe. Drake’s flows meanwhile have some fun twists and turns, the most noticable being the sighed delivery on ‘Madonna’.

'Know Yourself' and 'No Tellin’ stand out as the biggest party tunes and some of my favourites. If I had to choose my least favourite it would be 'Preach' simply because of the horrible use of auto-tune. Fortunately, the track that comes straight after, 'Wednesday Night Interlude' is one of the prettiest here, sporting a beat so wavy it sounds like it was practically produced underwater.




more of my reactions to the beats and flows

To spice things up, we get the track 'Jungle' towards the end of the album. It’s a slow-grinding soul number that harks back to Drake’s r&b days and shows us the artist’s diversity.
My reaction to 'Jungle'
This is immediately followed by old-skool boom bap flavoured single, '6PM in New York', the album’s closing track. Drake here ends up sounding a little like Lupe Fiasco, delivering some raw and fierce social commentary that will have hip hop purists turning their heads.

All in all, these final tracks serve to show off the extent of Drake's talent and the possible routes he may choose to take in the future (can we expect an entire boom-bap flavoured Drake album one day?). His last album may have seemed like he was playing a trap rap caricature, but now the rapper has quit acting and found his true identity. If indeed Drake does one day become worthy of 'legend' status, which is quite possible, people will remember this album as the moment he truly found his feet. 

TRACK TASTER:

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 18/02/2015: Sufjan Stevens, Slaves, Earl Sweatshirt and more...



It's time for that special segment of the site in which I sieve through the singles of the last seven days, separating the superb from the shit. This week, Sufjan Stevens, Slaves and Earl Sweatshirt all serve up songs. So much sibilance. It's starting to get silly. 

THE BEST:


'No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross' - Sufjan Stevens


Showy instrumental music is usually more my thing, but this new single from Michigan folk artist Sufjan Stevens serves as reminder of just how powerful the stripped-back one-man-and his-guitar format can be.

The lyrics see Sufjan putting folklore back into folk, constructing vivid fantasy-themed pieces of imagery including shoving a stake through his own heart and 'chasing the dragon'. As well as creating a fairy tale vibe, this fantasy theme could be a metaphor for how the singer-songwriter perceives his own life. As his lyrics suggest, he gets drunk to get laid and regularly uses drugs, doing everything possible to escape reality. Perhaps in doing so, his life has become a fantasy.

 'Feed the Mantaray' – Slaves


Angsty UK punk/garage rock duo, Slaves, drop this new single set to a groovy jagged riff. Adding to the cockney-flavoured yelling, the band broaden their vocal palette with some sweet falsetto vocals during the chorus, bringing in a new unseen melodic side to their sound. The track also contains cowbell, which is never a bad thing.

'Quest/Power' – Earl Sweatshirt



This new track from Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt sees the Cali rapper switching up his distinctively sleepy and monotone delivery for a surprisingly fiery tone. Its a clear sign that Earl is maturing. I'm also digging the jazzy instrumental on this track, particularly the beat change midway. The production's sounding dusty and refreshingly raw.

'Never Gets Old' - Penguin Prison




This breezy funk-pop tune comes courtesy of New York singer and musician, Penguin Prison. It's palm-trees-and-sunny-weather music - the kind of stuff that to quote the song title 'never gets old'. Yes, I had to get that pun in there somehow.

THE WORST:



'Uptown Funk' (remix) – Mark Ronson ft. Action Bronson




Bronson and Ronson have come together on this brand new remix of 'Uptown Funk'. The Queens rapper lays down a verse that sounds like it would have been interesting had Mark Ronson not rendered it mostly incomprehensible, smothering it with explosions and airhorns and all manner of other unforgivably hackneyed sound effects.

'I Will Always Love You' (Whitney Houston tribute) - iLoveMakonnen



Atlanta hip hop artist, iLoveMakonnen, attempts to sing and the result is what sounds like a bad reality TV audition. It's entertaining, if not for all the wrong reasons. Whitney is probably ROFLing in her grave.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Review of 'I Love You, Honeybear' by Father John Misty


‘Love is just an institution based on human frailty.’

 Singer-songwriter Josh Tillman AKA Father John Misty is a cynical bastard. At times on the album I just want to shake him and tell him to turn that frown upside down. The ex-Fleet Foxes member seems to inhabit a world that is devoid of hope. Fortunately, he’s such a great and talented entertainer that he can sell this seemingly repulsive world to us.

Musically, I Love You, Honeybear is a dimly-lit-saloon-bar mix of folk, country and soul. There’s also an electropop song shoehorned into the mix - which doesn't really fit but it spices things up. The vocals meanwhile sound a bit like Elton John.

It’s near impossible to lump the whole thing under one genre. In an interview, Josh Tillman jokingly stated: ‘The things that emerge in true intimacy can be fairly brutal. that why it’s a metal album’.

\m/


Alright then, let’s call this a metal album. Indeed, whilst there certainly aren’t any mosh-friendly tunes on here, the lyrics are ‘brutal’ in every sense of the word. Against the pretty instrumentation it’s almost inappropriate.

The whole record starts with a love song of sorts in which Josh describes making love and getting high with his wife whilst the ‘stock market crashes’ and ‘death fills the streets’. On the surface, it’s a cheesy love song with a hokey hook ‘I love you, honeybear’, but poking through the verses are some gross bits of imagery: ‘mascara, blood, ash and cum’.

As the album progresses this darker and more manic side becomes more salient. Josh goes from choking his wife to wanting to put a baby in the oven. Whilst the former could just be some kinky Fifty-Shades-Of-Grey stuff and the latter could just be a metaphor for getting his wife pregnant, the tone of Josh’s voice suggests a more violent and literal meaning. 

'Let's put a baby in the oven!'

By the end of the record, the comedy almost slips away entirely in exchange for bitterness and grief. Josh gets political, discussing this current generation as one of ‘loveless sex’ and ‘consumer slaves’ and then finishes the album on a wholly sincere downer of a track, ‘I Went To The Store One Day’, contemplating how he doesn’t want to die in a hospital. 

It’s like listening to a guy slowly downward spiralling into a mental breakdown. I’m reminded of that Steve Buscemi movie Trees Lounge or a Stewart Lee stand-up. Things get so bleak and pessimistic that you no longer know whether to laugh or cry any more.

Although clearly intended to create these uneasy feelings, it’s fairly frustrating for the listener. It’s practically the opposite of Sun Kil Moon’s Benji, a similarly tragic folk album released last year, but one that seems to grow more rose-tinted as it runs, starting dismal but ending bright and hopeful.

Personally, I prefer these happy endings. Of course, that isn’t to say I Love You, Honeybear isn’t an enjoyable album. It’s just as emotionally raw and compelling as Benji, only with a big fat sad ending instead.

I’d like to think that some of it is just Josh playing a character. Can anyone really be this misanthropic and bitter? It’s a miracle he gets out of bed in the morning. Father John Misty, if you’re reading this, I want to give you a hug. 

TRACK TASTER:


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 11/02/2015: Kendrick Lamar, Royal Blood, Laura Welsh and more...


So, did you watch the Grammys? No, me neither. I'm glad to hear St Vincent won an award and equally glad to hear that Iggy Azalea didn't. Also, Kanye's still a dick. That about sums up my thoughts on the whole event.

Time now to talk new tracks. That is the point of this section after all. This week Kendrick gets angry, Royal Blood get bloody and I get deep.

THE BEST:


'The Blacker The Berry' - Kendrick Lamar


'I'm black as the heart of a fucking Aryan!"

The happy, positive Kendrick that was rapping on ‘I’ couldn’t be further from the one spitting on this new call-to-arms track.

Accused on Twitter of not caring about last year’s Ferguson murder by talented-but-loud-mouthed fellow hip hop artist Azealia Banks, the Compton rapper has stepped up to the mic to settle his views on black culture and racial violence. The song at first presents itself as a zealous attack against white-on-black violence, but later reveals itself to be an attack on all violence in general with Kendrick constantly declaring himself  as 'the biggest hypocrite of 2015'.
.
It's pretty damn intense, set to a mean beat and delivered with a belly full of fire. The sweet jazzy outro serves as a space to catch your breath.


'Hardest Part' - Laura Welsh ft. John Legend


The ‘I’m not in love, but really I am’ song template will never get old, so long as human beings have emotions and an irrational impulse to suppress them. This soulful duet by UK vocalist Laura Welsh and radio sensation John Legend does nothing new, but it’s pretty and heartfelt enough to make up for this. Laura’s new album ‘Soft Control’ drops March 9th.

'Alchemy' - Zac Abel



Featuring a tasty garage beat from London producer Joker, this new track highlights Zac Abel as another up-and-coming UK musician to look out for. He’s got the kind of seductive voice that gives R Kelly a run for his money. This deserves to be on the airwaves.

'Out of The Black' - Royal Blood



Royal Blood’s ‘Out of the Black’ has been out since 2013 but I’m plugging it anyway because it’s awesome, plus as of this week it now has a cool new music video featuring animal mascots going on a gory gas station rampage. It's also got to be one of the most elaborate Snickers ads I've ever seen.

'Mechanical Friends' - Laura-Jean




'I believe there's a planet out there for me'

Sometimes Earth pisses me off. Sometimes I wish I could live on a planet where everyone thinks my way, a planet on which TOWIE and butter and talking about the weather are banned.. I then realise that such a planet would be quite boring as we'd all share the same quirks, plus nothing would ever get done if everyone was like me. Still, it's an interesting thought and one I'm glad the beautiful Laura-Jean has wrote a song about.

THE WORST:


'I’m the Ocean' - Slug † Christ  



This guy’s signed to Awful Records, which is appropriate. The beat's nifty but the dude sounds like he's had a bad stroke. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Review of 'Sleeping Tapes' by Jeff Bridges



Ever wanted to go hand-gliding with Jeff Bridges through Temescal Canyon? Now you can.

Some of you will know Jeff Bridges for his lead role in blockbusters such as The Big Lebowski and Tron. Some of you won't know him, but that's your problem.

Out of the blue, the Hollywood actor and practising Buddhist has decided to drop a surprise album entitled Sleeping Tapes. It consists of ambient music composed by Keefus Ciancia (who Wikipedia tells me has helped score movies such as Spiderman 2 and Superbad) layered with soothing spoken-word narrations from Jeff himself, the overall aim of the album being to help insomniacs get some shuteye.

When approaching this album, I decided I would listen to it in its intended environment. I waited until I was snuggled up in my bed with my teddy bear and night-light. I plugged my earphones in and pressed play, closed my eyes and waited patiently for the effects to take place. Would this album send me to sleep as it was designed to do?

Sadly not.

Sleeping Tapes failed its mission.  It didn’t help me get to sleep. If anything it made me more awake, so awake that I felt compelled to stay up an extra hour and write this review.

This record is hilariously entertaining and impressively vivid. Rambling at the listener, Jeff takes his audience through various beautiful and intensely intimate scenarios. He takes the listener hand-gliding, makes you wave at a stranger named Neil and lets you share a cottage with him by the sea. He reads poetry to you and describes how when he dies he would like to be turned into a satellite. He even spends an entire track building up the listener with compliments. He told me I have 'strong hands, capable of woodworking' and that he likes my hair. 

After listening to this record, I really felt like I knew Jeff Bridges and that he knew me and that we'd just experienced something wonderful together. This is more than I can say with most albums. Jeff's comforting voice and the accompanying instrumentation do well at putting the listener under a spell. Sadly, there are jarring weird moments that take the listener out of this spell, moments so jarringly weird that the record instantly becomes impossible to fall asleep to.

For instance what the hell is going on in the second track? The creepy distorted vocals did nothing but convince me not to fall asleep in case I ended up in a Jeff-Bridges-inspired nightmare. Other notably inappropriate moments include the eerie downward chromatic humming on ‘Hummmmmm’, the blast of thunder in 'The Raven' and the description of Jeff’s toilet cistern filling up on the last track.


Some albums aim to entertain but are so uneventful they send the listener to sleep. Ironically, Sleeping Tapes aims to send the listener to sleep but ends up being so eventful through its sheer comical bizarreness that it entertains.

Does Jeff really want his listeners to fall asleep? I can not help but feel that by adding these clearly abrupt and freaky moments into the tracklist that there is a twang of self-parody going on here .

The record ends with Jeff reminding the listener that it was all done for charity, with donations going directly to No Kid Hungry. He then suggests to anyone that has failed to fall asleep that they repeat the album. By this point, I was so in love with Jeff, so lured in by his eccentric world that I almost did just that. Very rarely do I have these feelings after listening to a whole LP. This can only indicate that Sleeping Tapes is a great album.

In fact, I'd give it a score, but I'm not sure if I can categorise this wholly as music. It's deeper than that. You feel it rather than hear it. I recommend it heartily.

Stream the whole thing for free here. Sweet dreams. 'You order well at restaurants'.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Review of 'The Mindsweep' by Enter Shikari


St. Albans metalcore/electronica outfit Enter Shikari want to be fun party animals and political activists, but don’t how to be both at the same time. It’s a precarious balancing act that only the most skilled songwriters can pull off.

I was never a huge fan of this band in the early days, despite being a teenager from Hertfordshire at the time their debut dropped. I found their music gimmicky and the death growls scared me.



In the eight years since then, Enter Shikari have cut down on the amount of breakdowns per track and gained an ear for progression, just as I’ve become less afraid of metal, now frequently indulging in the most guttural, brutal variations of the genre available.

I thought maybe that my newfound openness to heaviness and their newfound rejection of gimmicks might cause me to like this album. Having listened to it, I can definitely see that the band’s creativity and musical prowess has improved. However, The Mindsweep doesn’t feel nearly as fun as their early stuff. The one thing they had going for them then is the one thing they’re lacking now.

A lot of it’s down to the way they convey their political messages on this album. Whilst there are clearly some interesting topics here such as the privatisation of the NHS and classism, the band choose to discuss these issues by spewing a thesaurus at the listener, using as many long words as possible where short ones would do. It’s the Russell Brand approach of trying to sound overly intelligent in order to make up for immaturity.



The best tracks on this album work when the band embrace their inner childishness and drop the fancy vocabulary. ‘There’s a Price on Your Head’ sees the band laying manic vocals over wild and crazy System-of-a-Down-like guitars. An airhorn is even thrown into the mix for good measure. It’s comically and brilliantly over the top.

Humour is the perfect counterweight for preachiness. Saying this, seriousness can work in music too and Enter Shikari also prove this on the following track ‘Dear Future Historians’. The complete opposite of ‘There’s a Price on Your Head’, this song does away with the mosh-friendly instrumentation entirely in exchange for some intimate ballady piano. The long words are also ditched here. The result is a track that’s genuinely and enjoyably sincere. Well, at least for the most part.

‘I never swam with dolphins’ – Enter Shikari :(

The fact that these two tracks don't come across as wholly cringeworthy proves that this band can balance politics and party atmosphere and it’s therefore annoying that the remaining tracks exist in the form that they do. As stated many times already, it’s mostly the pretentious language that holds a lot of this album back. The band's focus seems to be on educating rather than entertaining. I guess for some people the preachiness is the pull factor. Alas, however, it is not my cup of tea. 

TRACK TASTER:



Wednesday, 4 February 2015

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 04/02/2015: Young Fathers, From Indian Lakes, Chris Lorenzo and more...


This week I look at the new track from Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers, plus Chris Lorenzo's new dud of a dance anthem. Buckle up!

THE BEST:


'Temple' - Sam Gellaitry


The sheer diversity of musical ideas being thrown down in this electronic instrumental is dizzying. There are bongos. There are filthy trap 808s. There are some FlyLo-esque arpeggiated synths towards the end. There's even a funky breakdown nestled in the middle. It's like being served a pizza loaded with every topping. This 18-year-old Scottish producer has a promising future ahead of him.

'Rain or Shine' - Young Fathers

 
I was disappointed that my bae Twigs didn't steal the Mercury Prize last year (almost as disappointed as I am with myself for just using the word 'bae'). Still, Scottish experimental hip hoppers Young Fathers were worthy winners - even if most people I know including myself hadn't listened to them at the time. I've since delved into their discography and educated myself on the matter. This new track seems to be a move into exciting new territory. Layers of vocals, sung and spoken, dance over a fierce chugging bassline. It's barely hip hop. In fact, it barely fits into any genre.

'Feral' - Audego



Melbourne experimental duo, Audego, have some pretty creative instrumentals and a unique female vocal tone that is as hypnotic as watching that old windows pipes screensaver. I'm reminded of a less squeaky AlunaGeorge. There's also a certain sultriness to it. This electropop slowjam showcases it in particular. 

'HY-TOP' - GLOVES



I don't know what I was expecting from a bunch of dudes dressed in black turtlenecks and gold chains, but it wasn't this. Texan indie rockers, GLOVES, boast their own distinctive style of rock n roll in this brand new track, which you can stream over on Dingus. It's funky but refreshingly non-retro. The writers at Dingus do a better job of describing this concept than me.

'Awful Things' – From Indian Lakes


Musically, this new track from Cali indie rock band, From Indian Lakes, is pretty straightforward. The singer has a fairly bog-standard indie voice and the guitar chords certainly aren't Allan Holdsworth. Instead, what makes this song special is the lashings of ghostly reverb and atmospheric doo-doo-da-doo chants chucked into the mix. The accompanying video definitely amps up the spookiness. Don't you just hate it when cloaked wraiths stand all over your house like this?

PS: I like how the title of this entry altogether reads 'Awful things from Indian lakes'.

THE WORST:


'Rhymes' - Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo 




I find minimalist house anthems like this incredibly monotonous. The sample is what's attracting people to this track I guess, but quite frankly 'Technologic' has never been my favourite Daft Punk song. Also, I'm confused about the credits. I've heard rumours that Chris Lorenzo wrote and produced the whole thing and that Hannah Wants's name is just there because she paid for it to be there. If true, what's that all about?