Wednesday 29 June 2016

Song Of The Summer?: Chance The Rapper, Jonas Blue

A month or so I was asked what I thought the song of the summer would be. Obviously I didn't have a clue. However, over the past 30 days some clear frontrunners have emerged. Let's take a look.

Chance The Rapper - No Problem

There's something about Chance The Rapper that makes it seems as though he's always having the greatest time ever and the video for 'No Problem' doesn't even begin to showcase that. This clip is packed full of cameos which is cool. Who doesn't love a cameo filled video? Ya, that's right nobody. DJ Khaled who has clearly never listened to the song before is probably the best/worst one, I reckon. Not only does 'No Problem' feature quite possibly the best hook of Chance The Rapper's career it's also probably the best rap hook of the season. And you know when even Lil Wayne's verse is stellar that this is an absolutely excellent song.

Jonas Blue feat JP Cooper - Perfect Strangers

No, Jonas Blue, real name Guy James Robin, I have not forgiven you for that atrocious 'Fast Car' remix. I mean, I should have known, never trust anyone whose full name is compiled of three first names. However, with a little help from Ellie Goulding, I've full on fallen in love with 'Perfect Strangers'. I've gotta be honest, JP Cooper, who I've been a fan of for a fair while as well probably had a pretty large hand in making this banger as banging as it is. I think this is the song I'd most like to be the song of the summer. I'd also quite like to hear it in a club. Reckon I could tear up the dancefloor to it.

My final choice was going to be Disclosure's 'BOSS' but it's not available on a platform that everybody can stream for free so that's kind of the end of that. Should have checked before planning all of this really, but that's just another insight as to how slack I am as a human.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Mabel: Real R'n'B Royalty

I'm not sure I even really know where to start with this. This post about Mabel was always going to happen this week but I had no idea that Miss Mcvey was literally just about to drop a brand new single too. If the stars have never aligned for WIIHAMB before, they bloody well have done now. But let's take this chronologically.

I went to The Great Escape the other month, I know, I haven't really talked about it much... and on the Friday night I saw Mabel Mcvey live for the first time. It was really great apart from the loud and obnoxious group of tipsy industry types stood behind literally talking the entire way through her set, but that's not Mabel's fault. I'd heard whisperings on Twitter that there was a cover amidst her live show and I can't remember if I'd seen what it was or not prior to Mabel diving straight into Destinys Child's 'Say My Name' but the atmosphere in the room when she did was excellent. Not only are Mabel's vocals perfectly suited to a song like this, there are just enough instrumental adjustments to the track itself "bringing it into 2016".

Also during Mabel's set at The Great Escape she played a song and I was like, "damn, I sure hope this is a single because this is great." And then a couple of weeks ago this (mildly peculiar) video featuring Mabel and the song I'd thought was an absolute belter alongside a collaboration for Tate Modern. This artsy stuff is all well and good, but it's just not for me. However, I have since been reassured time and time again how fucking incredible this song I don't even know the title of is. Obviously it's so cool that an artist like Mabel has seen the opportunity to be involved in a project like this one; but damn this song deserves to be pushed and shoved to the mass market. Which, of course, could still happen but I'm very concerned that it's going to be left behind forever.

But all is never lost because, as I said at the start, Mabel has just put out her brand spanking new single 'Thinking Of You'. It's definitely not my favourite of her tracks, but the calibre of Mabel's music at this stage in her career is so high, pre-listening to it that just gives you some kind of idea as to how good this is. The video is nice too; it's such a stark contrast to Mabel's only other "proper" music video ('Know Me Better' which was all in black and white), the pastels and just generally more fun and warm kind of feeling that comes across from this video is super nice. It's probably fair to say that Mabel is on a pretty nice trajectory upwards from hereon in and it's only a matter of time before she's dominating airwaves across the globe. I'm excited and you should be too.

P.S. OMG her hair is still so absolutely glorious.

Monday 27 June 2016

Three Become One: Kudu Blue, Thomston, Holychild

Songs for your listening pleasure.

Kudu Blue - Call Out

Oh hey there new fave band Kudu Blue. (That's like my tenth new fave band this year, isn't it? What can I say, I get around.) Kudu Blue are from Brighton and there are five of them and they're just quite good, aren't they? Like, when you listen to their new single 'Call Out' there's absolutely nothing about it that couldn't be an absolutely huge radio hit. Kudu Blue's vocalist whom I only know (know is a stretch, I read it on the internet) as "Clem" is once again so stellar on this throughout. Genuinely stick this in a bag with Fours for bands I'm most excited about doing things over the next six months or so. However the heartbreak starts at the point where their music is available on Deezer so I don't have the ability to listen to these songs at my heart's content. Good things come to those who wait though, I guess... (EDIT: Subscribed to Spotify for three months at 99p this morning, didn't I? Great work.)

Thomston - Float

Love of my entire life Thomston is back again. We can assume that 'Float' is being taken from Thomas Stoneman's forthcoming debut album can't we? Like, obviously, it definitely is. I don't know what it is about Thomston that I personally find so captivating but there's something and whatever that something is, it's present in every single track he brings out. 'Float' sounds serene and pure and packed full of nautical references which always work well in songs like this. I really can't wait for Thomston to come back to the UK and/or to release his album because both of those things would be so wonderfully excellent.

Holychild feat Kate Nash - Rotten Teeth

Holychild just released an EP, and I'm not a massive fan of it but this song is absolutely excellent and in stark contrast, I'm a massive fan of it. 'Rotten Teeth' is an excellent continuation of the songs on Holychild's debut album which was one of my favourites from last year. I never really thought that there was a place for Kate Nash in music in 2016 but it would appear I was incorrect because this collab is pretty perfect. In true Holychild style the video is absolutely nuts as well... like so nuts I'm not sure watching it in the office would be widely approved of. Catchy as fuck, this, though.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Three Become One: Tom Misch, Lara Maxen, Jakil

I might drown before I can do another post because London is actually an ocean right now. Also pray we stay in the EU.

Tom Misch feat Loyle Carner - Crazy Dream

Collab away oh great musicians, collab to your hearts content. I've not really been a fan of either of these artists before, which is obviously fine. Loyle Carner is one of those people I'm totally aware that everyone likes but he's just not really for me. However, stick him on over Tom Misch's sweet beats and top it with some clean and tight production it's like a whole new world. I also didn't realise that Misch does singing as well as, you know... everything else, but that's good isn't it because his hook fits so well with Loyle Carner's verses that you could be fooled into thinking that it was the same person. Like, that's how natural it sounds. This is what I needed to get me into both of these guys isn't it? Well done lads, count me converted.

Lara Maxen - Bite The Bullet

A little while ago I posted a Lara Maxen song and I was super stoked because there was some kind of talk of her releasing music fairly frequently and with this being the third track in six months she's churning out songs at a rate Frank Ocean fans can only dream of. Maxen has this whole no fucks given kind of sound to both her lyrics and vocals and that's what we all need from popstars-to-be isn't it? Her partner in crime Mickey Valen is back giving the production some unbeatable treatment too. I reckon Lara Maxen could be the next Kiiara... you know, when the real word cottons on to how great Kiiara actually is. Also this is a free download, SAY YEAH!

Jakil - Tongue Tied

Jakil, honestly, don't do things that are particularly groundbreaking with their music but they do what they do so well that it doesn't really matter. Their new single 'Tongue Tied' is an excellent showcase of this. You know what, actually, imagine The 1975's sugary indie-popness but without Matty Healy's annoying face and pompous personality and that's kind of what Jakil are like. This isn't the track that's going to propel Jakil to stardom but they've been fairly quiet recently so one can only hope there's a hell load more to come from them before the end of the year. They got this.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

The Thing About Grumble Bee Is..

I couldn't really fit this anywhere else and it looks as though I might actually catch up with things by the end of the month (EDIT: LOL no I won't) so I thought this could have its own post. Now watch me not put anything else up for the rest of the month and see me full on crying about it in a week's time.

I interviewed Grumble Bee for New Roots last month, you can find that here. (There was also some stuff from that that was held back is going to be in next month's issue but to be quite honest, who knows what's going on. Hopefully they are though because there was some cool bits in that. Anyway...)

I like Grumble Bee, and I like Jack Bennett too, but you know I'm always honest with ya, right?

Bennett has been doing some acoustic Grumble Bee shows recently and you'll recal (you probably won't) me saying a couple of months ago that that was something I was really looking forward to seeing. At the time I don't think I'd seen him live at all... or maybe I had once? Regardless, the acoustic set up was definitely a thing I was intrigued by. And lo and behold, it's something I saw in all it's glory at Slam Dunk festival and I was really impressed. The best bit is that now you can also experience how good this whole Grumble Bee x Acoustic thing is without moving a muscle. (Not technically true, you will have to move a few to click play, but you know what I mean.)

The thing is, I don't think the full band Grumble Bee live experience is half as good as this. On record, obviously, it sounds excellent, but in real life there's something about all of the super technicalness and the necessity for everything to be really tight that just hasn't come across on the couple of times I have seen it. And that's a real shame. But let's not dwell on that because this live acoustic "session" situation is what we're here for, and for that, I am thankful.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Slackerpop Part Two: Great Good Fine Ok, Sody / Martin Luke Brown, Maala

Forever trying to catch up with everything.

Great Good Fine Ok - Always

In classic lolworthy WIIHAMB-ness, Great Good Fine Ok have just released a new song but it's only on Spotify and I was going to post it with this but I can't listen to it let alone share it. So here's a song they released ages ago. You know what gets me every time about Great Good Fine Ok? Their songs are always (GEDDIT?!) so soft and subtle and pastel-coloured and effortless and cloud-like and dreamy. Instrumentally and vocally 'Always' is absolutely no different sounding so super sugary sweet throughout. Do this pair even have a bad song? No, no they don't. Let me once again praise these vocals because how are those even real life?

Sody and Martin Luke Brown - Wasted Youth

I knew absolutely nothing about little 15 year old Sody until I saw that she'd collaborated (about a million years ago now) with Martin Luke Brown but you know what, I think she's quite good. I love collabs and I love it when collabs work and this is a prime example of how to do a collab well. Sody's voice is well good too; she sounds a little bit like Anne-Marie (not so much on this song, more on other songs) but her voice just really fits this slow RnB vibey kind of stuff. For real though, this is excellent. Sody also just put out an EP and I will most likely do some typing about that towards the end of the month i.e. next week.

Maala - Kind Of Love

This song is so different from what we were hearing from Maala towards the start of 2015 and post-initial shock at the change of pace, 'Kind Of Love' is just what we needed from him. Something that I don't think I was aware of before now is/was (tenses are hard) that Maala is from New Zealand so that's exciting isn't it? Him and Thomston should do like a NZInvasion tour in Europe (most notably the UK really) and it'd be good. I was leaving gig regret behind until I didn't go and see Maala in London a few months ago and now look at me, a teary sniffling mess racking my brain for where it all went wrong. I assume we'll be getting more new Maala stuff at some point soon. That'll be nice.

Sunday 19 June 2016

DÉJÀ VideU: Blood Youth, Dagny, Lil Dicky

This Deja Vidu is a little different (not that you care) because I've actually only properly posted one of these three songs. But the other two are new videos from slightly older releases so... wait, I don't need to explain myself to you.

Blood Youth: Mood Swing

Blood Youth are my favourite band right now. But that probably doesn't mean that much seeing as I've had about five favourite bands so far this year, but whatever. They've released a video for 'Mood Swing' which is my favourite track on their latest EP Closure and it's quite good. It's a song that defines and encompasses everything that Blood Youth do and they do seem to do it all pretty well. The only weird thing about this video is that it's suddenly appeared on the band's own new Vevo channel. Previously their videos have all been uploaded to their label Rude Records' channel, just seems like a bit of a strange time to launch a Vevo channel for a band but whatever, I doubt this will annoy anyone other than me.

Dagny: Backbeat

Remember Dagny? She's pretty hard to forget, and if you do remember Dagny there's no way you've forgotten 'Backbeat' because it's a song that she (but more likely her people/PR team/label etc) have being trying to shove down our throats for the last nine months. And that isn't a problem at all because it is, quite frankly, excellent. After the last three gruelling quarters we have, however, been rewarded with a video to accompany the delightful ditty. Apparently there's an EP coming next month and after such a long wait I'm not sure whether anybody is prepared for that, but we'll soon see.

Lil Dicky featuring Brendon Urie: Molly

This track is quite different to Lil Dicky's other stuff, especially the rest of the tone of his latest (debut?) album but that's what makes it so good. Also, the video is one of the most excellently directed music videos of the year; I almost cried on multiple occasions. As well as all that, Brendon Urie's chorus is quite probably up there with the greatest of Panic! At The Disco choruses and also one of the greatest choruses in a hip hop/rap song ever. No, seriously, it is genuinely that good.

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Dark and Stormy: Night Verses and Trade Wind

I like rock bands, these two in particular. Oh they're both on Equal Visions Records. Would you look at that.

Night Verses - A Dialogue In Cataplexy

I wrote an actual review, you know, with real words, of this in this month's issue of New Roots.
There's no way that Night Verses aren't one of my favourite bands (of all time). But when a band you hold in such high regard have only released one EP and one album, I'd say it's fair to be skeptical about new material. Okay, no, so it's fair if you're talking about any other band ever, it's not fair when you're talking about four musicians as excellent as those who come together as Night Verses. Imagine thinking they'd come back with something not good. Who are you? Not only do I not have a clue how to even say 'Cataplexy', I obviously don't know what it means*. I don't even mind because I feel as though this quartet are far more intellectually superior to me, it's probably not worth me trying. Aside from all of this, this track is absolutely everything I could have asked for and more. Night Verses' new album Into The Vanishing Light is out in less than a month too and I could not be more excited.

*Cataplexy is a medical condition in which strong emotion or laughter causes a person to suffer sudden physical collapse though remaining conscious

Trade Wind - I Hope I Don't Wake Up

I could have written this post, instead I've spent the last 20 minutes looking at the different colour vinyl variants of Trade Wind's debut album You Make Everything Disappear which is productive, isn't it? Currently trying to balance a colour I really want with how limited edition each variant is alongside how reasonable shipping costs to the UK are. It's all well and good until you realise there are only eight songs on the record... Conflicted. Anyway, Trade Wind are a side project led by Stray From The Path's Thomas Williams and Stick To Your Guns' Jesse Barnett. Together they sound very little like either of those bands but instead sound like a more grunge-tinged Deftones. Do you have any idea how monumental that is?! 'I Hope I Don't Wake Up' is the opening track form their aforementioned debut which is seeing its release in July. Everything's looking set to be great.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Slackerpop Part One: Sunbathers, Bea Miller, Nimmo, Ta-Ku

You know the score. I'm a terrible person. Let's get on with it.

Sunbathers - Lovepeak

About a while ago I posted Sunbathers' single 'Intimacy' and it was really great but unfortunately the rest of their debut EP was fairly average. Well, we can put all of that behind us now because they're back with new (well, it was new a while ago) single 'Lovepeak' which is so totally rad and summery I couldn't ask for more. There's something really impressive about a band who can make a song feel so laidback yet super atmospheric at the same time. A lot of this probably has something to do with Sean Lynott's vocals which are inhumanly soft but manage to soar at just the right points. Also 'Lovepeak' is a gloriously free download. Snap it up.

Bea Miller - Yes Girl

I've never really been a fan of Bea Miller; I don't think I'm her target demographic. But hell, 'Yes Girl' is  a complete change of pace to her previous material and Lord does it sound absolutely stellar. Bea Miller is 17, has two mums and was on The X Factor in America so that's all pretty full on isn't it? I don't know much about her personality wise (at all) but with a song like 'Yes Girl' I think it might be nice if Miss Miller turns into a Zara Larsson social media queen type over the next couple of years.

Nimmo - My Only Friend

I first saw Nimmo in January 2015 off the back of hearing 'Jaded' and 'Others'. Their live show was so different to what I'd expected but it was exciting and I loved the image that the front duo of Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett portrayed. My friend who I was with wasn't keen on "their image". Sure, they're not the most marketable pair to the mainstream but I think that's what I liked about them. Fast forward 18 months and everything Nimmo do seems to make so much more sense. Their recent singles including 'My Only Friend' match their live show entirely. This blend of indie pop with proper  true sounding EDM. It really works. Those massive hooks and the inability to not dance along. I'm not sure where to place Nimmo longterm but with bangers like this they're bound to find their place.

Ta-ku and Wafia - Meet In The Middle

I've fallen head over heels for this track. I'm at a stage in my life where Wafia can do no wrong in my eyes and that's absolutely fine. I keep saying it, but for real, Australia is so hot right now and although individual artists seem to be getting recognised (a la Flume), as a unit overall down under is absolutely smashing it. I adore Ta-ku and Wafia both vocally on this track, two completely different sounds vocally that work so well together. The line, "If they were at my level we'd see eye to eye" is really good too. I do think Wafia sounds a lot like other fave Mabel though, which I guess doesn't really matter, but it's quite noticeable now that they both have songs where they sing about meeting in the middle.

Friday 3 June 2016

May 2016 - Things I Didn't Miss

May Playlists: Spotify / Deezer

Let's hop skip and jump straight to it, lads.

I wasn't really in to Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman which was a shame because My Everything was in my top ten albums of the year in 2014. 'Be Alright' and 'Bad Decisions' are good but there are no outstanding writer/producer collabs on this album. It's also weird that 'Focus' isn't on here. Also, I have no qualms with the James Blake album but it's just so long that I'm never ever going to actively just sit down and listen to it ever again.

Things I haven't listened to: Kaytranada, Liss, TIFFANY (This came out in April but I'm okay with rule-bending), and anything released on 27th May.

Astrid S - Astrid S

Without a doubt my favourite Scandipop release of the month, from 19 year old Norwegian Astrid S. I'd never heard of little old Astrid until late last year via my mates at UQ Music. I think that's where I first heard her. Since then, I've been avidly following her every move and was painfully saddened to see she'd pulled out of The Great Escape this month because I bet she's a right vibe live. 'Hurts So Good', taken from this EP, is probably one of my favourite songs this quarter. Both 'Jump' and 'Atic' are such great pop songs too. I'd like to hope that post-this she's working on being even more extra rad (and also an album).

Atiptoe - +Venture

I'd written this release off before listening to it, and that was wrong of me, so I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise. This album(??) is only seven tracks and half an hour long but it's more than enough to get your teeth into. It took me a while to realise the title is just Adventure... that's clever. The production on here isn't amazing but there are enough catchy guitar lines and vocals hooks to keep your head nodding regardless. If you like your rock (YEAH ROCK MOOZIC) just a little bit off the wall, it's worth giving +Venture a spin.

Issues - Headspace

Despite thinking that all of the songs I'd heard prior to this album's release were a bit rubbish, I'm fairly obsessed with it. I've probably listened through four or five times and I'm definitely not not enjoying Headspace. It's choruses, like Tyler Carter's on 'The Realest', and Michael Bohn's more singing-like approach on this track too, make for some of their catchiest material yet. Issues are still able to make these really solid pop meets metal tracks and although at points things start to sound messy they always seem to claw everything back by the time the hook comes around.

JMSN - It Is.

The greatest bits of this album are the parts where JMSN is legit really fuckin' pissed off. It makes for such good songs like on 'Fuck U' and 'Funk Outta Here'. I don't know if there's an artist who can swear as much as JMSN in their lyrics but make it sound natural and unforced and just make it work. There are some aspects of this album that I'm totally not fussed about, like 'Good Ol' Case of the Blues' and the 'Juice' interlude but it's all worth it for tracks like 'Power' and 'Cruel Intentions'. I don't think this is as good as JMSN's last full length, self-titled JMSN, but it's definitely still a worthwhile listen.

Joe Hertz - Chapter One RELEASE OF THE MONTH

Okay, so imagine an artist went and released an EP of material which has all already been released, and some of which has been knocking around for over two years and it was still the best thing I heard this month. Literally, just sit back and think about that. I didn't even like 'Ashes' when it was released, now look at me just completely gushing over all five tracks on Chapter One. Do you even have any idea how amazing it is to have 'Isolate' back in my life?! I'm not sure I'd ever heard 'At My Touch' before listening to this release, but that ones probably my favourite and Christ, it's all just so good. I don't know why Joe Hertz seems to be so underrated but I prefer what he's doing to what... I don't know, someone like SG Lewis is doing for example, these songs are just in a whole other league.

Omaha - Young Hearts

I've already written a bit about this here, you can read it. This probably would have been my "Release of the Month" if it hadn't been for Joe Hertz. Not even probably, it definitely would have been. Catchy, well-written pop rock songs through and through, I genuinely can't praise Young Hearts enough.

Sad Blood - Legion of Doom

Upon first listen to Legion of Doom I was severely taken aback by how short this EP is, coming in with a runtime of just 11 minutes. Five tracks in 11 minutes? Bargain. This isn't typically something that I'd be into but there's something quite endearing about Sad Blood, I'm just not sure I can work out what it is. Despite the melancholy undertones, tracks like 'Formerly Creative' are extremely likeable. I don't know what it is I prefer about Sad Blood to other emo bands, but I also don't really think I do need to know.

Sam Wills - So Bright

OH MY GOD. So, I was being all "Sam Wills, where have you been? How have you only just fallen into my life like this?" Turns out he's been the vocalist on one of my favourite songs I've ever posted on WIIHAMB, Alix Perez's 'Annie's Song'. Actual can't believe it, that's so crazy. Anyway, So Bright is Wills' debut EP and I really like it. The opening couple of tracks on here sound really reminiscent of old school Justin Timberlake which is good, isn't it? They're definitely my favourites too, there's something innately catchy and internet about the "you're fire babe" line on 'So Bright' and I ain't even mad.