Sunday 31 January 2016

Three Become One #2: Kelela, Hands Like Houses, LANY

Two posts in one day will not be a regular thing and hopefully I can get myself the fuck in gear and things will be better from now on. Pray for me.

Kelela: Rewind (Louie Lastic remix feat Goldlink)

I don't know why but it took me a little while to get into Kelela's 'Rewind' when it came out last year but when I was able to knock some sense into myself, her Hallucinogen EP became one of my favourites of the last few months. So imagine my excitement when I saw 'Rewind' had been remixed and now features one of my favourites in hip hop at the moment, Goldlink. It's come to my attention that a lot of people who are into hip hop in a big way aren't huge fans of Goldlink, but what I enjoy about his music is the pop/dance edge it has. There is something in his music that I feel has the ability to appeal to the mass market. So, not only does Goldlink's new verse enhance 'Rewind', Louie Lastic has completely revised everything about the track other than Kelela's vocals and it sounds nothing but flawless.

Hands Like Houses: Colourblind

Hands Like Houses were supposed to complete the UK leg of their world tour in December. Hands Like Houses were supposed to bring I The Mighty with them as support. Hands Like Houses cancelled the shows because they needed more time to finish off their album. I was not happy. But how can you stay mad at a band who return with a track like 'Colourblind'? This is the third track that we've had the pleasure of hearing from the Australian quintet's upcoming third album 'Dissonants' and it's by far the most exciting track in terms of the band's progression musically. This is also the most interesting vocal performance that we've heard from Trenton Woodley, possibly, ever. It's no secret that I found Hands Like Houses' second album a little weak but I think we could be in for a return to form and then some on Dissonants.


Imagine if I told you that I never posted ILYSB on WIIHAMB. Well, it's true! So what better time to do so than with the release of LANY's first ever video, a live clip of the trio performing the track in LA. All this does is get me so so so excited to see LANY again in March, they're playing a headline show at my second home AKA Camden Barfly and then, as I've mentioned a couple of times, they're supporting Ellie Goulding on her UK arena tour. LANY. Arena tour. Pumped. I guess it's odd for me to be pumped about something so mellow or whatever, but LANY do what they do so well and I'm so stoked that people who never would have heard of them are going to have the opportunity to see them live. What a time to be alive.

Three Become One #1: Alex Vargas, Josef Salvat, OnCue

This is a thing I'm going to be doing now because reasons.

Alex Vargas: Shackled Up

The amount of toying I've done with myself about how to post 'Shackled Up' has been the realest. Initially I was just going to post it a couple of weeks ago and then I thought I'd post about Alex Vargas' new EP, Giving Up The Ghost, but writing about lengthier releases isn't going well for me at the moment, so we're back here again. It took me a little while to get into Alex Vargas and I don't really know why because his music is great albeit a little ballady. I missed multiple opportunities to see him live last year but I'm a changed (wo)man and that will not be the case with regards to anyone in 2016. Anyway, 'Shackled Up' is really good and if I wanted to I  could say that Alex Vargas is similar to Jack Garratt musically but just without all the crazy electronic bits but I'm not sure I do really want to make that comparison. Hear for yourself.

Josef Salvat: Paradise

Apparently I missed this song surface last year? But it's alright because now Josef Salvat's 'Paradise' has a video and I'm back in the loop and all is right with the world. Well, I say that, but in the interim he's actually  since put out another new track from his forthcoming debut album Night Swim, which we're set to receive next month. But we'll ignore that for now. 'Paradise' is a huge pop song and it's mind-boggling as to why Salvat isn't this utterly huge world-renowed star. Also this video is really cool, as we follow Salvat through a hectic day of press and parties. Salvat's dancing during the performane shots gives me everything too. He's another one I've passed up multiple opportunities to see live but I have it on good authority that he's absolutely excellent, and I'd really like to rectify my bad decisions at some point this year.

OnCue: Time

Is this a Jack Garratt sample? That's almost a genuine question because I'm not sure I can actually decide whether it is or not. I've rated OnCue for a couple of years now and I genuinely think that his material is getting better and better with every track that we hear. Whilst I guess under standard WIIHAMB rules 'Time' is probably considered a ballad, it's really good and so I don't really care. Mike Kuz's production almost steals the show with how tight and lit etc it is. As someone with a severe inability to empathise with anything it's tricky for me to comment on the lyrical content of 'Time' but it seems kinda deep and I think that's the sort of thing that people look for in music, actual emotion, and this track is bursting at the seems with feelings and stuff.

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Scott Quinn - There For You

Apologies for the self-indulgent me talking about me post but hopefully it'll come together in the end.

Also Blogger is a prick and I had this all written and I've had to re-write it and I'm really upset but whatever.

I have a huge problem with change. And that's change in any aspect of life. I like routine and I don't like to be surprised. I like things to be just so and for them to be that way from now until the rest of ever. So this obviously poses problems for me and an art from as dynamic as music. Like, for real. I tend not to make it past the debut album with the majority of bands/artists I listen to, just because naturally their sound progresses and I just stop liking it altogether. It was around this time last year when I realised that I needed to get the fuck over myself. Artists that I had "tipped" for 2015 started releasing songs I really didn't like because they were different to what I was used to. And it took me an embarrassing amount of time to realise that the music wasn't bad at all, it just sounded new and I had to embrace that.

Which, believe it or not, brings us on to Scott Quinn. Scott Quinn released an EP early last year called Lust Game and it is unofficially one of my favourite EPs of 2015. I'm finding it tricky to pinpoint exactly what it is about Lust Game that I enjoyed so much but there's just something really warm and fresh about it. What? I don't know. It's here, you can listen to it and download it for absolutely £0. I oringally had another sentence here but I have no idea what it was so I'll just fill the space with this one instead.

So now it's 2016 and Quinn has released a brand new song and I was so over the moon crazy excited to hear it but re the whole not liking change thing, I was concerned that I wouldn't like it. I listened to 'There For You' for the first time and felt very "oh." about the situation because it's completely different from what I expected. And you know what? New and improved me is totally cool with that. 'There For You’ is less big pop song than what we heard on 'Lust Game’ but more vibey R&B slow burning jam. Honestly I was expecting something a little "grander" but I'm really happy with what we have and after a day of listening to this non-stop I'm pretty much sold on it. There's so much more time for Scott Quinn too, not one iota of me is concerned for his future. There are huge things to come, I'm sure of it.

Monday 25 January 2016

The Hunna - We Could Be

Way back when, a couple of years ago now, there was a band called Alaska Campus, but you wouldn't know it. Almost every trace of their existence has been wiped from the internet. There are still a few bits but not the juicy stuff. Alaska Campus used to have a song called 'To The New Year' and it was one of the first songs I ever posted when I started WIIHAMB on Tumblr, and it was so incredible. I have absolutely zero recollection of what it sounded like but I can remember nothing other than it being amazing. Alas, I'll get over the fact that I'll never hear it again and move on. Move on just like some of the members of now defunct Alaska Campus did to The Hunna.

I can't speak for anyone else, but The Hunna seemed to apparate (yeah, you know, like out of Harry Potter) out of thin air towards the end of last year and have been slowly taking over my Facebook feed ever since. I don't know who is behind this band's marketing but what they're doing seems to be working. The only shows this four-piece have played as The Hunna have been supporting Coasts on their UK tour in October, but off the back of that they've sold out three consecutive nights at Boston Music Rooms in London. That's nuts. And then if that's not crazy enough, they've just announced that they're headlining Camden's Electric Ballroom in June. What? This band's catalogue currently only consists of five songs in the public domain. Am I missing something because this isn't normal.

Speaking of songs, The Hunna's new single is called 'We Could Be' and it's also accompanied by two B-sides, 'Be Young' and 'The World Is Ours'. These three tracks work well in a whole release type scenario together because they're all fairly "fuck you", but "fuck you" in context rather than just "fuck you because we say so". 'We Could Be' is probably a song with lyrics that every band at some point in their career could relate to and that's cool. It's catchy too, man, I get why the kids are into this. You know those teenagers that were suddenly really into The 1975 when they started getting played on the radio. This is music that is perfectly aimed at them, and that's not a bad thing in the slightest.

The Hunna are also the first band I've seen upload their music video directly to Facebook and only Facebook. Initially this seemed like an absolutely ridiculous idea, but when it's a sponsored/promoted post and I personally can't scroll through my timeline without seeing it, maybe it's not so bad after all. The funny thing is that they can boast that the video has 2.1million views... well sure, but doesn't a "view" on Facebook count as anything after 3 seconds of watching? So make of that what you will. Apparently you can get Facebook videos to embed on other sites now, but I'll believe it when I see it because I can't get the bastard thing to work.

Saturday 23 January 2016

Miike Snow - Genghis Khan

Miike Snow, Miike Snow where for art thou Miike Snow? To say I've been disinterested in Miike Snow since their debut self-titled album would be an understatement, and I mean, I'm not sure how much attention I paid to that either. Listening back to the singles from 'Miike Snow' it's clear that I was probably incorrect not to invest in this trio further. That's a lesson we can all learn here, if they do music and they're from Sweden, they're probably with your time.

Now here we are in 2016 and it's time for me to put right all my wrongs. New single 'Genghis Khan' is taken from the trio's forthcoming third album, 'iii', and it's absolutely brilliant. I wasn't sure at first but the chorus was lodged in my head for days, and the more you listen, the more the entire production of the track just engulfs you in singalong madness. I would be lying to your face if I pretended to have even an iota of clue on what the song and/or video are about but I don't think it really matters.

The video, directed by Ninian Doff, is pure homage to James Bond movies and a villain who has since now never seen the light of day. The 1970s-esque style clip is really intelligently put together and the choreography is so excellent the entire way through.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Raleigh Ritchie featuring Stormzy - Keep It Simple

This has been a long time coming for Raleigh Ritchie, right? I mean, I first fell in love with 'Bloodsport' over two years ago when it featured on Jacob Anderson A.K.A. Raleigh Ritchie's Stronger Than Ever EP. Since early 2014 it's been a mildly frustrating wait, as a fan, for the big shots to take note of Ritchie and the super original music that he's making. It's almost a relief to hear 'Bloodsport' playlisted on the likes of Radio 1, let alone featuring on the A list.

As they say, good things come to those who wait and we're set to receive Raleigh Ritchie's debut album, 'You're A Man Now Boy', at the end of February. As we've discussed numerous times on WIIHAMB, deluxe and standard editions of albums don't actually exist, so because of too many reasons to bear delving into again, deluxe editions are the only editions. 'You're A Man Now Boy' features a whopping 18 tracks however we have heard a great deal of them before by way of songs lifted from earlier EPs 'The Middle Child' and the previously mentioned 'Stronger Than Ever' as well as some bits in between. However, as we've seen on 'Bloodsport 15', I don't doubt that the majority of these tracks will be laced with some slicker production and additional niceties for the album.

Until the album release, hopefully we can expect to be drip-fed teasers of new music for the next month or so and that's where 'Keep It Simple' comes in. This is one of the poppiest tracks we've heard from Ritchie and unsurprisingly it works a treat and is radio friendly to the max. Although, I guess that shouldn't really be a factor in gauging how good a song is. 'Keep It Simple' also features fellow British rising star, Stormzy, which is nice to hear. The two artists work really well together on this track, and Stormzy's verse is a fitting contrast to the rest of the song. Any concern that Raleigh Ritchie's quirk and charm is lost in this track is completely resolved during the outro, where Anderson backtracks on his thoughts about the girl in the song, concluding with "maybe I just won't call her".

Tuesday 19 January 2016

CHINAH - We Go Back (Jarami remix feat Skizzy Mars)

Any of my loyal followers (so like two people) will have noticed by now that things have changed on What If I Had A Music Blog since the start of 2016 and there are numerous reasons for this. The best thing about having a blog this size is that I can try different things without a single person really kicking up a fuss so with that in mind posts might be a little all over the place for the next month or so. YOLO etc.

Chinah are one of those "bands" that you know I'd do absolutely anything to post/talk about, so I'm sure you can only imagine how delighted I was when this remix of 'We Go Back' unexpectedly threw itself into my life.

This is proof of how and why the Danish trio are so great though. No one was looking for a remix of 'We Go Back' and I'm (fairly) sure it wasn't written with the intention of being remixed in the future, but Jarami have done the most seamless job at re-working the track. Also, Skizzy Mars has like no chill right now and why should he?! The 23-year old is #hotrightnow and I don't think this will be the last time he appears on WIIHAMB this week.

Anyway, this is dreamy AF, like, on a level with the original but in a whole other realm of vibe, and I guess some may think that having a rapper from Harlem on a song like this wouldn't work. Well you're wrong, because it goes off without a hitch.

Monday 18 January 2016

The Year of the Pop Princesses: Ekkah and Nina Nesbitt


I've been waiting for Ekkah for what feels like a lifetime, but really it's only been a year. Almost a year to the day since I saw Ekkah live for the first time and left The Lexington feeling so buzzed about how great they were and how huge they need to be, they've returned with what I think we can refer to as their first "proper" single. Although I don't think that 'Small Talk' is the best song we've ever heard from the 80's infused female duo, it does showcase absolutely everything that's great about Rebecca and Rebekah. There are dance routines, there's a catchy chorus, their outfits are fierce and the video looks as though it's been filmed inside Lights of Soho. Somehow this clip for 'Small Talk' manages to perfectly encapsulate what it's like to see Ekkah perform live and if anything, that alone should make you super excited for what's in store for them in 2016. They're playing in London on 7th April actually, at Oslo. I'm can't go... *insert every frustrated emoji there ever was* but you definitely should.

Nina Nesbitt

Let's get this said straight away, I can not stand Nina Nesbitt's "old stuff" and that's nothing against poor Nina herself, I just really don't "get" that kind of singer/songwriter lark, it's not for me. But thank the Lord Nina Nesbitt is now in a different place because she has returned and she is on pure pop fire form and the place is lit. 'Chewing Gum' is the first track to be taken from Nesbitt's forthcoming EP 'Modern Love' which is set for release in February. The introduction of 'Chewing Gum' sounds like Tove Lo's 'Talking Body' so we are off to a damn good start and it does not let up from hereon in. I didn't realise how young Nesbitt still is, but it's great news! She can leave behind the boring singer/songwriter with a guitar thing and just go full on leather jacket badass with this totally cool re-vamped sound and image. Obviously we can't guarantee that all of her new music is going to follow this path but I think it's safe to be pretty hopeful about it. Great. Times.

Saturday 16 January 2016

Rachel Platten - Wildfire: The Line Between Liking and Disliking an Album

To me, Rachel Platten is essentially Taylor Swift if she'd kept on the mildly country/pop route, grew the fuck up a bit and was overall a far more bearable human. And none of that is supposed to be a disservice to Platten but that's kind of what I think she sounds like.

Platten's second album, her first to break out into the crazy "mainstream", 'Wildfire', raised a huge question for me - how do I determine whether I like or dislike an album? Like, where is the line and how do I draw it?! Are there a set amount of tracks that one has to like in order to enjoy an album overall? Do I need to mark each song individually out of 10 and then determine an average of all of the tracks to get an overall album score? Well, maybe not, but that's kind of that I've done.

So join me as I rate 'Wildfire' on a literal scale from banger to ballad.

Album opener Stand By You is the second single to be taken from 'Wildfire' and I must say I personally enjoy it far more than the first single, 'Fight Song', which we may as well discuss here too. Although I would probably give 'Fight Song' a 6, I don't really like the track itself but I can appreciate that it is a great pop song, it's just not for me. Having said that, even though I definitely enjoy 'Stand By You' more, objectively I don't think that it is a better song. It's probably a good choice for a follow up single though and deserves a 6 too.

Platten spoils us with the album BANGER so early on in the form of 'Hey Hey Hallelujah' featuring the vocal talent of Andy Grammar. I'm not going to lie, this is very close to the best that this album gets. Which by no means implies you shouldn't persevere with the rest of it but Christ it's excellent - 9/10. It's at this point that we enter a lull. 'Speechless' is far too close to a ballad for comfort even though it's not bad, it just verges on dull but I'd imagine it's something that people would like so I'd give it a 5. 'Beating Me Up' is another mildly above average song... A 6 probably. 'Better Place' is a ballad that happens straight after 'Fight Song', and I really don't need that so it gets a solid 3.

So now we're done with all that nonsense we're finally graced with another banger - 'Lone Ranger'. I think this is the sort of thing that people would be surprised to hear that I like. Ideally I think I'd like to give it a 7.5 but I'm happy to round up to 8 purely because of that fire middle eight. This is followed by equi-banger 'You Don't Want My Heart' which sounds very akin to an Ellie Goulding 'Delirium' cast off, which is funny because I don't believe there were any songs omitted from that album. Anyway, it's still very good and it gets a 7 from me.

And then we hit some whack hit hiatus. 'Angels In Chelsea' is a solid 4/10 almost ballad and I'm really super "no" about the whole thing. It's the "angels" stuff; if that wasn't a thing I may not be as opposed to it. Anyway we hit full on ballad on 'Astronauts'. No. That can have a 3. Oh wait, it's not a ballad it's just straight up awful. Thank God for 'Congratulations' because if it wasn't for this frankly excellent pop song, the latter half of 'Wildfire' would fall flat on its dull AF face. I'm not sure whether I want to give this song a higher score just because I've been put through the previous two songs and I know I've still got another dire ballad to go or because it's actually great. Benefit of the doubt, 'Congratulations' you've bagged yourself an 8.

As previously hinted, final track 'Superman' is a full on ballad and if there's one thing I don't want from an album closer, this is sure as hell it. There's no way I'd ever listen to this album in full again because I'd get to the end of 'Congratulations' and just end the ordeal on a high note. Well, I guess unless I was just playing the album through and forgot about stopping it until it was too late. A solid 3 again for this one. What a shame.

So what conclusion can we draw from the bangerometer? Well it looks a lot more like a balladometer and that is totally not cool in the slightest. But the songs I did like on 'Wildfire' were really great. Unfortunately the record was let down by numerous tedious ballads and that all adds up to a slightly above average 5⅔. Seeing as we're no close to determining how it is that one decides whether they do or don't like an album maybe this is a format I'll continue with. And then maybe by the end of the year we'll have some answers?

I'd thoroughly enjoy hearing whether you agree and/or disagree on any of my ratings for these tracks, so please feel free to let me know below.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Artists I'd Like To See Do Well In 2016 - The Underdogs

PART ONE IS HERE, you can check it out if you like... or you know, just continue with this one. Whatever floats your boat really.

There are so many artists that I would like to chat about but I've narrowed it down to just five and then I'll probably ramble about some others at the bottom of this, I don't know, let's see.
(EDIT: I did exactly that FYI.)


Y'all know that I take part in the Blog Sound Poll which is a cool thing where essentially a load of UK blogs select three artists each that they think are going to be #totallyrad in the following year. My first vote was for Aquilo so you can imagine how overly stoked I was to see them make the top five. I did good, right?! Aquilo are a duo from "The North" who until September last year made mellow whispy alt/pop and then smashed every rule they'd created for themselves with the release of 'Good Girl'. I'm correct to assume that they'll be releasing an album this year, right? That should be good. I've never seen them live either, but I reckon that's probably good too. Aquilo for President(s).

SG Lewis

Severely overlooked by tastemakers and that, SG Lewis is going to do big and cool things in 2016. Or at least, I'd like him to. I mean, 'Warm' was already the most Shazammed (actual verb) song from a TV show in 2015 so if anything that's proof that the world wants to hear and know more about Sam Lewis. SG Lewis was actually my second vote for the Blog Sound Poll and honestly I was sure that he'd made the list. Clearly, I was mistaken and clearly everyone else was wrong not to vote for him. After already collaborating with the as equally exciting Louis Mattrs and JP Cooper on his debut EP last year, who knows what Lewis has in store for us in 2016.


Transviolet are the band who should have been my third pick for the Blog Sound Poll, not that it really matters but in my head I'm a bit annoyed about it. I think I briefly wrote about this during my Songs of 2015 post but Transviolet are an example of exactly why I do WIIHAMB. 'Girls Your Age' is the most popular song that I've ever posted on the blog and it's so cool to think that a load of Tumblr users saw something I'd written and fell in love with a song just like I did. Genuinely so rad. Transviolet are like a less media-bait Halsey meets a way more exciting Lana Del Rey and they sound exciting, current and like they could take over the world.

(Can you believe this is a live performance?! It sounds next to identical to the studio version.)


Shakka is a human that not many blogs really cover, or at least, not blogs that I'm familiar with but they are wrong. Well... probably. Whilst HillyDilly are too busy pushing hipster remixes you never needed to hear and Pigeons & Planes are spending time writing think-pieces (sorry, ILY really P&P) they are letting an artist with an immense amount of talent and potential pass them by. Shakka's recent debut major label EP was testament to how exciting the 26 year old Londoner is, taking us on a journey through time to a futuristic Capital where everyone is suppressed by a mysterious serum. And how crazy does that sound? That someone can do that on one EP. Imagine what Shakka has hidden up his sleeve for his debut album.


Last but by no means least, I couldn't bear to leave out bae trio LANY. They're opening for Ellie Goulding on her UK arena tour in March. Yeah, you heard. Opening Ellie Goulding's arena tour. Lit AF. So LANY make really current alt-pop vibey kinds of stuff but do them in a way that is totally not boring despite being... well... kind of ballady. They're endearing though, LANY, I'm not sure what it is, but they have a very minimalistic aesthetic online and I guess their songs are quite "open-ended" too, allowing us to draw our own conclusions. They're set to support Troye Sivan in the US this spring as well, so I'm sure it won't be long until their already extensive online following spreads even further.

Some Others who are probably worth keeping an eye on tbh

Chinah - Danish trio with a crazy endearing live show who I can't wait to see again.
Huntar - Predictable list is predictable. Basically, what I believe to be the next single is rad, and other tracks that he does are rad so all in all 2016 should be rad.
Kloe - Genuinely really stoked for Kloe this year. I believe she's releasing a single in the next couple of weeks and then an EP soon after. The pop princess we were waiting for. (Next in line for the throne  after Zara Larsson probably.)
Lostboycrow - One of my favourite "new" artists from last year, LA based Lostboycrow has just (I mean it literally went up on Soundcloud today) released his debut EP and it's sure to set the world on fire.
Nimmo - This severely overlooked (by almost everyone) five piece will have "their year" this year. They will release new music. They will play great shows. And it will be excellent. A genuinely really interesting "band" that don't sound like anyone/anything else on right now.
Thomston - New Zealand's baest pop prince who I sincerely dream we receive an album and full UK tour from in 2016.
Walking On Cars - Irish five piece indie band who are set to release their debut album at the end of January and really deserve a hell of a lot more praise than I believe they receive. They are the indie band to watch in Q1 and I hope everyone starts paying attention.
Youth Club - Finally, there ain't no party like a Youth Club party. With every single track laden with grooves and ultimate vibes, it would be insane for them not to stumble across a plethora of opportunities in 2016.

Also there is no "rock" on here and I don't really care. I'm not particularly looking forward to any "new" bands in that category but more new albums from some already established bands like Night Verses, letlive. and Beartooth. Although, I guess Blood Youth would the one to watch really if I had to pick someone.

(EDIT: The artist I wish I hadn't voted for in the Blog Sound poll does still feature in this post and it's pretty fucking obvious to be fair. But hey, Natalie logic.)

Sunday 10 January 2016

Artists I'd Like To See Do Well In 2016 - The Big Shots

The list of artists under the umbrella of "Ones to Watch" isn't quite as clear cut as it was in 2015 so I've decided to take a slightly different approach this year. Part one of my Artists I'd Like To See Do Well includes some humans who may be more familiar yet are still being tipped for huge things in 2016. Part two will focus on artists who have all been featured on WIIHAMB before, but are still fairly small-time in comparison to those listed below today, and will probably set their sights on breaking through over the next twelve months. Should probs just cut to it then.

Jack Garratt

We had a brief chat about Jack Garratt before, didn't we? If you don't remember (and in all honesty I'm finding it hard to recall myself) I essentially claimed that Jack Garratt will inevitably "Years-&-Years" 2016 (formerly known as "Clean-Banditing-2015") and I claimed that this "made things all a little bit unexciting". Since the time of writing that last post the world has witnessed Jack Garratt win the BBC's Sound of 2016 Poll. Like we didn't see that one coming. It's heartbreaking because I feel as though I've almost fallen out of love with Jack Garratt over the past nine months or so, and I don't know why, but I just have. However, maybe I'm just bored of the songs he's already released and maybe by the time the album is released in a couple of months I'll be pumped and raring to go. My restored faith has come in the form of his Live Lounge performance earlier this week. This cover was somethin' special.

Alessia Cara

Alessia Cara has already had a US Billboard hit and although 'Here' has previously received some UK radio airplay, it has been playlisted once again on Radio 1 and 2016 is looking to be the Canadian's breakout year. Cara's debut album, despite being released in November in North America, isn't being released here until March when it ties in to a couple of live dates. At 19 years old, Cara is taking the RnB/pop world by storm and although there have  been a couple of complaints about her debut EP Four Pink Walls being more on the pop side than expected, she has the potential to be huge. Thus far where Cara has been let down is by her label and the rush release that her album has received Stateside. But after making number two in the BBC Sound of 2016 poll seems like she might be well on her way to success this side of the Atlantic.

Troye Sivan

Troye Sivan, like many before him and I'm sure many still to come, started life as a Youtuber. His first single 'Happy Little Pill' when released  in 2014 took iTunes charts across the globe by storm. Summer 2015 and Sivan put out the first song/video for his three part Blue Neighbourhood series. I didn't really pay attention to 'Happy Little Pill' but after 'Wild' took the internet by storm I was struck by the heavy content featured especially in the the video. The EP that followed contained equally as dark themes shrouded in pop music niceties. Similar to Alessia Cara, Sivan's album was rush released, his EP making up half of the tracklisting, yet the world did receive the record all at the same time. A good and relevant role model with acres of opportunity ahead of him.


Snakehips, the severly overlooked producers of excellent RnB/electronic crossover tracks, Snakehips. It only takes one listen to the duo's Forever (Pt. II) EP to hear the music that they're capable of making and the calibre of vocalists that they choose to work with. 'All My Friends', a song that is becoming some kind of cult underground hit, should be their gateway to stardom. Featuring two of America's hottest urban artists, really, it should be massive. They're on the edge of a breakthrough but Snakehips may just need one or two more bangers to push them over the cliff and into the mainstream.

Zara Larsson

Zara Larsson has it coming this year, surely? Her last single, with MNEK, genuinely was the hit across Europe that is deserved to be. Larsson won Sweden's version of 'Got Talent' at the age of ten but now nearing the end of her teenage years the competition doesn't seem to have tarnished her reputation in the slightest. Or at least it hasn't in the UK anyway. Zara Larsson is what pop needs, a nice girl who writes nice songs and possesses a some strong vocal talent. Despite having released her debut album'1' in Sweden in 2014 I'd assume that in the UK we're going to pretend that doesn't exist and wait for her second album which I'd assume is probably due out later this year. Although, if the likes of 'Lush Life' and 'Never Forget You' are anything to go by, this doesn't seem like a terrible idea.

Friday 8 January 2016

Back To December Part Three

This is the final one of these, I promise. Hopefully.

Croox: Crying

As if there weren't enough acts pronounced like "crooks" already, here's another one for you. This track is almost singlehandedly the reason why there are three parts to this whole Back To December thing. I'd love to tell you loads about Croox themselves and this track, but there's quite simply very little information available on this here world wide web apart from I've determined that they at least play live as a four-piece. 'Crying' is a pretty sad vibe overall though, in a haunting kind of way. Laid back electronic vibes but mixed with harsh lyrical content gives the song a really interesting sound.

Flores: Afterglow

I have toyed with posting this song more times than I would care to recall. Every time I dismiss it, 'Afterglow' reappears. It's like it knows that I shouldn't be ignoring. Creepy. After Maths Time Joy and Flores came together for one of my favourite songs of 2015 it's lovely to hear this dream team working together again on something that sounds quite different to 'After Hours'. 'Afterglow' is pure Sunday evening vibe, mellow and soothing and Flores' voice is absolutely perfect for this kind of chill thing. Really can't wait to hear more from her this year.

Tove Lo: Influence

If this is what the future sounds like I am ready for 2016. Fully primed and prepped to go. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't holding a grudge against Tove Lo post-cancelling her UK dates in November, but hearing 'Influence' is as close as it's going to get to forgiveness for now. Tove Lo's Queen Of The Clouds was my album of the year in 2014 so it's fair to say that I'm pretty excited to hear new music from her. Although 'Influence' is just a demo it sounds excellent and a great indication that Tove Lo's second album is going to be just as great as her first was.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Back To December Part Two

Okay so this was supposed to be a two part thing but the further I wander into 2016 the more excellent stuff I keep digging up from December. So here is part two of three... hopefully.

Frankmusik: Awake

I know, I know, I know, I've... I guess you could go as far as say "preached" about Frankmusik so many times over the past few months but any excuse really. 'Awake' is the opening track on Frankmusik's fifth album 'For You' (my second favourite album of 2015) and yeah, it's safe to say that just as excellent as everything else on the record. This video is SO aesthetically pleasing too. All of the imagery is stunning and every visual aspect fits perfectly with the song, like it all just fits. You ever gush over something so much that you start to think people might think you're crazy? Cool, me too. *Looks shifty and pleads for forgiveness etc.*

Oh, Be Clever: Blanket

Verse numero uno of 'Blanket' by the peculiarly named Oh, Be Clever sounds so Melanie Martinez-esque that to begin with I just #couldnteven. I'm into it though; it's definitely not the kind of quirky dark pop that we're hearing a lot of at the moment. But by the time the Utah based duo reach the chorus, 'Blanket' has morphed away from Martinez and is Oh, Be Clever's own sound entirely. Vocalist Brittney Shields' voice is so interesting to listen to as well, especially in the latter half of the track she really comes into her own. I really like the artwork for this track too.

Tontario x Lucas Nord: Rewind

I heard you'd been missing your R&B over Christmas. It's okay. Finnish producer Tontario and Swedish vocalist Lucas Nord have got you covered. 'Rewind' is a seriously sultry three minute stint and one you've been pining over the festive period. I'd imagine that 'Rewind' is the kind of thing you'd put on if you just wanted to "Netflix & chill" or something probably. Super chill vibe that just sounds excellent. The best bit is that this is a free download, available for £0 and $0.

Monday 4 January 2016

Back To December Part One

December flew by and I focused on end of year things for the past two weeks, and so this week here are some things from December that I didn't get around to posting.

Olivia Noelle: Faking It

Olivia Noelle has built up a nice 60k+ YouTube following over the past four and a half years, and although the whole "YT covers to build an audience" thing is becoming ever more common, it's definitely not a bad idea. The last that Noelle's subscribers heard from her was a The Weeknd medley (which is rad AF) way back in May, until she re-appeared with her first original song and debut single in December. 'Faking It' is co-written and produced by Ari Leff AKA Lauv who I lovelovelove and was included in my favourite EPs of 2015 so I'm stoked basically. This track is simple sassy "urban pop" that really works.
P.S. I'm not sure if it's actually possible to "spoil" Making A Murderer but I think Olivia Noelle's just done that to me on Twitter... I will forgive her if she keeps bringing out tracks like this though.

Wet: All In Vain (Thomston Remix)

'It's All In Vain' is most probably my favourite song from Wet thus far, so the fact that it has been remixed by one of my favourites from last year, Thomas Stoneman AKA Thomston (did I mention I saw him twice in one day at TGE last year? Yeah, I think I did), is all pretty cool. Thomston's version isn't miles different to the original but it really works, especially with his own additional verse towards the end. This could easily have been the legit/actual/official/whatever version of 'It's All In Vain'. Alas, it's not, so we have two versions to indulge ourselves in. Wet's album is out soon... I can't find/can't remember when but it's soon. So that's good too.

Raphaella: In The Rain

Towards the tail-end of 2015 Raphaella featured on a track by Yo Mighty! that I posted on the blog and I thought that she kinda sounded hella interesting, you know, vocally and that. That whole sounding interesting thing has been reaffirmed with the release of her new track 'In The Rain'. London based Raphaella produced this track herself, and it's super slick giving real testament to what she's capable of as an artist. The production and the vocal sampling are a little like a less "brash" and more "open to the mainstream" version of the tracks from Kiiara that every blog ever fell in love with last year. Why so few views/plays for this song though? There's a severe injustice lurking around here somewhere.

Saturday 2 January 2016

If You're Listening It's Never Too Late

Sure, maybe liking 8/10 genres under the sun doesn't seem like much of a problem to the average person but when you're me and you want to stay on top of the new Goldlink album, the new Hailee Steinfeld EP and whatever the hell Weezer are up to right now, things get tough.

Ever since I can remember being into music I can remember liking a plethora of different things but when you're 14 liking pop music isn't cool if your friends are only interested in what your favourite Senses Fail song is. But now I'm older, wiser, and IDGAF, I don't have a problem with enjoying Childish Gambino and State Champs in equal measures and letting everybody know about it.

As we enter 2016 I stumbled upon this. Everything that Neon Gold Records bring out is quantifiable to actual gold and I'd be lying if I said I didn't listen to everything that they post on their blog. When I pressed play I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Note that when I "read" other blogs, I don't really read them at all. I hit play on the song and if I'm into it I may or may not go back and look at the accompanying text. Please just imagine the downright confusion when I'm listening to this and during the first two minutes I'm like "this sounds like a dancefloor remix of Jimmy Eat World... sure whatever", followed by "what's Blink 182's 'Adam's Song' doing here? What is this and what am I listening to?".

Thirty minutes later I am an emotional wreck filled with nostalgia contemplating how anybody would think mashing up My Chemical Romance's 'Welcome To The Black Parade' and Fetty Wap's 'Trap Queen' would work, let alone following it up five minutes later with Drake's 'Hotline Bling' smooshed into Say Anything's 'Wow I Can Get Sexual Too'. What the fuck Captain Cuts? What the actual fuck where you thinking? Nothing but pure unadulterated genius.

This is pop punk after all.

You can also swipe this as a free download riiiight here.