Another week, another fresh crop of tunes to jam into your ears. This week, we’ve got a big mix of the best songs. From Drum and Bass, to 70’s nostalgia, postpunk with Motown influences to in your face rock’n’roll, the first week of May has definitely brought the goods!
The Tambourine Girls, Police
Nothing like a tune positively dripping in psychedelia to kick things off! The Tambourine Girls, founded back in 2014, features two members of Deep Sea Arcade – which makes a whole lot of sense when you hear their music. A throwback to the 70’s, this hazy tune is a relaxed and blissful trip, with a woozy chorus and jangly guitar chords whilst the vocals echo out. Having supported some Aussie staples like The Preatures and Holy Holy, I get the feeling that it’s now The Tambourine Girls’ turn in the spotlight, and given then fact they’ve also just signed to Chugg Music, I’d say that prediction is pretty accurate. A debut album is said to be on the way, and I am just praying that there is plenty more where this came from!
Pacific Heights, So Love (Ft. Shaan Singh)
If I was to imagine the point where the atmospheric and ethereal meets Drum and Bass, I would imagine it would sound a lot like this – and it sounds really good. Remembering the past whilst looking forward, real name Devin Abrams pays tribute to his musical past as Noisey points out, whilst carving out his path for the future. From the rainy samples that open the track, to the eerie instrumentation he expertly lays down, Pacific Heights lulls you into a false sense of security here with the first minute or so. But just as the storm rolls in in his samples, so too does the storm roll in his production. Slowly rising synths whirr and begin to race as the guitar fades away, all the while delicate piano keys play above as Shaan Singh’s gorgeous voice soars. The track kicks into gear and the Drum and Bass comes into play, but Abrams continues to catch you off guard, throwing more and more into the mix whilst somehow still making it work so well. On paper it reads a mess, but when you listen to it, it all makes sense and is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a very long time.
Thandi Phoenix, Tell Me Where The Lovers Have Gone
Talk about impressive! Thandi Phoenix shows what she’s made of with this latest tune, producing it herself alongside the Mac Bothers (Vera Blue, Boy and Bear), UK Drum and Bass producer Dushi. Affirming that she is here to stay, and showing why there is so much hype around her every move, Tell Me Where The Lovers Have Gone starts off slow but breaks loose out of nowhere, utilising her soulful vocals for some added depth to breathe light into the dark Drum and Bass bed. Demonstrating her prowess as an artist, Thandi shifts from up-and-coming status to a bonafide star, and this is just the start.
CHIEFS, Here We Go Again (Ft. MAIA)
Melbourne producer CHIEFS returns with another banger, this time teaming up with Brisbane rising star MAIA. The pair have been bouncing ideas off each other for a while now, and it makes sense given that both artists’ sounds lend themselves perfectly to the other. MAIA’s voice is totally sublime here, as she sings of history repeating whilst CHIEFS holds it down with his emotionally-tinged production that is a step away from his “trap” styled peers. Following on in the same vein as his recent EP, Demon, CHIEFS continues to carve out his own space in the electronic music scene, borrowing from many influences and styles but never settling for anything less than who he is – a trait we also see in MAIA.
Newcomer LL has shared her third single this week in Metamorphosis. Borrowing from her predecessors like Kelela or FKA twigs, LL’s voice is like smoke over a thick bed of bassy, erratic production. Taken from her debut EP, Cocoon, LL sticks with her theme of transformation and breaking free, and Metamorphosis details the exact moment she emerges as her new self – a butterfly. Whilst the music scene continues to see the effects of the alternative RnB boom that came from the come-up of BANKS and FKA twigs, it makes it hard to stand out and listeners are looking for something more. LL, sticking to her guns, offers up a refreshing take on this, and Metamorphosis, with it’s reflective and intimate lyrics, paints a vulnerable yet strong picture of an artist refusing to compromise – and that’s what sets her apart.
Christopher Port, Bump
Bump is the first single off Port’s forthcoming EP, Vetement, and boy is it a doozy. A staple in the Pieater family (Tom from Big Scary‘s label that is home to the likes of Airling and #1 Dads), Port is no stranger to the music world, but we certainly haven’t heard him in this capacity before. Controlled chaos is an understatement, as Port expertly commands percussive tangents that quickly stop and start, chop and change whilst atmospheric synths gain more and more traction before blooming enough to totally eclipse the erratic drum patterns and leave you with a calming effect that was pointedly absent for the start of the track – until it all starts again. It’s a captivating listen from start to finish, with nods to UK garage melded with Port’s own unique percussion leanings. If this is anything at all to go by, we are in for one hell of a release ome July 15 when Vetement drops!
Leisure, Nobody (Ft. GOLDLINK)
Recently whilst he was in New Zealand for Laneway festival, Goldlink had a studio session with local band Leisure (who were also playing at Laneway) according to their Facebook. “We got into the studio and vibed together to create something special,” They said, and now that we’ve had a chance to hear the results of this session, we can indeed agree it is exactly that – special. Nobody is a silky smooth love song, with rich sonic textures and Leisure’s own laidback style pairing perfectly with Goldlink’s verses. The vocal harmonies make you weak at the knees, the undercurrent of atmospheric samples keeps you captivated, and the lyrics are enough to make you fall even harder for that special someone. I have been a fan of Leisure for some time now, and whilst I didn’t expect a hip-hop collaboration, I am pleasantly surprised with how well it works. Perhaps we can expect more of this in the future? I sure hope so!
The Gooch Palms, Ask Me Why
The Gooch Palms have a lot to be excited about, and why shouldn’t they? They’re about to join Violent Soho, DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats on their huge national tour, and they’re on the precipice of releasing their second album, Introverted Extroverts. It’s even more exciting when their new material sounds as good as this! Ask Me Why is hooky as hell, with fuzzy guitar, a solid drum kick, jangly bells and sing-songy vocals that are as badass as ever. The Gooch Palms come with a guarantee of a good time, and Ask Me Why does not disappoint. Gritty and in your face but also pleasant enough to play around your mum, this tune is making me so excited to hear what else they’ve been cooking up for their Introverted Extroverts album, which will be out June 15 via their own label, Summer Camp Records. Until then, this is just as good.
Tired Lion, Not My Friends
Tired Lion have already got a lengthy list of achievements, but they’re going to have to make room for more if their latest tune is anything to go by. Not only will they be making their return to Splendour In The Grass later this year having ripped apart the stage last year (on top of taking out triple J’s Unearthed Award and a WAMI), they will also be showing Glastonbury and Latitude what they’re made of this year as well. In between that, they’ve got European dates practically coming out of their ears and for very good reason. This latest belter, Not My Friends, is yet another shining example of just what these guys are capable of – hard hitting rock tunes that get you going within seconds. Considering the potential for a raucous singalong to this number in particular, I’d hazard a guess Tired Lion will be featuring on many “Must See” lists come festival season! Click here to listen.
Cat’s Eyes, Be Careful Where You Park Your Car
This song actually came out last week, so full transparency there. But, I had to make an exception given that I only heard it this week and it sounded too good to pass up. Sounding like a weird combination of postpunk, surf rock and definitely a hint of Motown, Cat’s Eyes take a playful stance on a woman scorned and warn the perpetrator with the song title. “You looked a little too pleased when you saw her cry,” singer Rachel Zeffira playfully sings as nostalgic harmonies interject. It’s almost like the over-the-top playfulness is actually the scariest part of all, as you’re not entirely sure what’s happening but you know it’s not safe. Thankfully, Cat’s Eyes mask their crazy well and have turned their rage into a catchy ear worm that will having you humming someone’s ill fate in no time. Click here to listen.