The Sydney hip hop, rap and RnB pool at the moment is a diverse and refreshing space and 1300 are one of the most explosive and progressive artists going. To follow up their first two singles 'Brr' and 'No Caller ID' they have delivered the genre-bending 'Smashmouth' via NLV Records.
1300 have mastered the bilingual language weaving making it feel incredibly natural for anyone only just discovering this Korean/Australian Rap crew. The flow and bars from this five piece is complimented by the thoughtful and experimental production from Nerdie, pokari.sweat and Tasker. 1300 have been able to maintain the interest through structural experimentation by staying away from a traditional verse, chrous, verse, chrous layout.
They has to be one of most anticipated live acts of the year for anyone who is a fan of Sydney hip hop, and I'm sure tickets aren't going to be sticking around when they go on sale.
The collaboration that Sydney didn't know it needed; afro-swing rapper Big Skeez and reggae dancehall newcomer Gold Fang team up on 'Where Yuh From'. This latest offering from the pair hits hard with a dynamic and sharp 808 pattern sliding between notes giving it a real groove courtesy of producers Korky Buchek and Swick.
Gold Fang and Big Skeez deliver unique vocals tones and expression complimenting each other and allowing space to be spotlighted to lay down some honest lyricism, proving Western Sydney is a thriving hub of creativity and culture.
The NLV Records machine has pumped out another belter and I don't think there is any stopping them, especially when the tracks are as good as these!
The UK based duo Wet Leg have released their debut single 'Chaise Longue', and what a debut it is! The clever and witty lyricism from Rhian and Hester is a highlight on what feels nothing more or nothing less than a well thought out jam session. Released by the legendary indie label Domino records they have some big shoes to fill and for a debut they are doing just that.
The indie guitar tones are a perfect match for the understated and calm vocals that glide through the production with ease. Dynamically, Wet Leg have produced the structural elements to create anticipation for that climax that the listener craves, and the chorus is soaked in a spirited energy.
I'm wearing out the wax on this one and it's only been out since mid June, its an easy listen and the songwriting makes it that much easier to recite. Let's just hope that Wet Leg can repeat the same jest on their follow up single.
Lil Nas X once again delivers one of the biggest releases of the year with 'Industry Baby', an infectious and catchy summer jam with rapper Jack Harlow. The instrumentation on this one is driven by a leading horns section stepping up in intervals presenting a grand and royal theme, very similar to that of the major labels and music industry Lil Nas is referencing in the lyrics.
Every lyric is carefully crafted and nothing is left to the imagination with the straight to the point and obvious remarks, including that of the chorus; 'I told you long ago on the road, I got what they waiting for, I don't run from nothing, dog'; a commentary on doubters and the early confidence Lil Nas possessed.
Overall, this track is another reason to not right Lil Nas X off as one hit wonder off the back of his 2018 mega hit 'Old Town Road'. From the slick lyricism to the brilliantly balanced mix on the production 'Industry Baby' will stand up as contender for the best in 2021.
Taken from her sophomore 2021 album Sling, Clairo presents us with one of the most delicate swirls of tones and flavours with 'Amoeba'. Produced by multi-instrumentalist Jack Antonoff, the pair have found themselves experimenting with a diverse range of instrumentation all acting as ornamentation to create a cacophony of sound. It's upon further listening and identifying the clever lyricism that the listener is able to discover the contrast between the fun and free instrumentation and production with the deeper themes of self reflection.
'Amoeba' is highlight from the album, yet stills finds its place in an amongst the other eleven tracks. Clairo is in my opinion one of the most under-rated storytellers and songwriters of the past five years.
Teaming up hitmaker Max Wolfgang (Rudimental, Martin Garrix and Kygo) the New York based singer-songwriter Aria Lisslo delivers my personal favourite release of the year, 'Won't Kill Me'. The 70s inspired instrumentation from the synth and horns to that simple yet effective drum beat really set the groundwork for Aria to present an understated vocal performance. The vocal chop in the chorus is a standout, reminding me of the 2015 debut from Kiiara 'Gold'. Aira Lisslo is a star in the making and 'Won't Kill Me' is only the beginning of what she has to offer.
Drenched in reverb (maybe a little too much in the choruses...) and soaked in colour, Hatchie presents the first music of 2021 with a dream-pop single 'This Enchanted'. The Australian singer-songwriter teams up with Joe Agius and Jorge Elbrecht on this new one, it peaks an interest here and there but looses any momentum and drive and lacks a strong melodic element for the listener to really attach themselves to.
Parcels are on a solid run of releases and 'Somethinggreater' is what we have come to love from the 70s disco influenced five piece. The same characteristics of their past releases exist here; that bass that holds down the grove, those 70's flavoured synth lines and strong harmonies driving this one along, but its the chorus here that's the point of difference - a huge distorted guitar tone takes the listener to that peak. By all means, not a bad release but its a great palate cleanser for their forthcoming album Day/Night
Other than the obvious (that voice!), 'Most Hated Girl' gives plenty of reasons to be loved, the masterful songwriting and arrangement all delivered with a great deal of detail to the tone and textures used. WAAX once again shares their latest single proudly, and for good reason. Put simply - it's a belter of a track!
Loser have been able to collaborate in a creative way with mix engineer Anton Hagop which has brought some solid songwriting to life. The vocal tone and effects are reminiscent of Nirvanas 92' release 'In Bloom' and Pearl Jam 'Even Flow' yet are still uniquely Loser. But it doesn't stop there, the clever use of distorted drums in the second verse allow for a dynamic change into the pre-chorus that hits that much harder is a great example of a well thought out track that continues to peak the listeners interest. This is a great release and a brilliant opening into their sophomore album All The Rage.
A powerful vocal tone that asks for no forgiveness, The Sniffers have shared their latest album and from top to bottom it's stacked with heavy hitters yet 'Hertz' stands out. The rhythmic groove that never backs down is soaked in early Aussie rock influence. This track is going to be sticking around in my heavy rotation for a while.
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