Emma Louise drops first single from upcoming record

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Emma Louise

Freedom

Having recently returned from a three month writing stint in New York, Brisbane singer Emma Louise has tentatively unveiled the first single from her upcoming debut LP.

Like previous tracks “Jungle” and “Boy”, “Freedom” conceals a killer-catchy hook amidst all the politeness.  Built on a heavily layered and percussive backing, Louise’s voice swoops up, up and over – but it’s the delicate breathiness revealed on the low notes that’s something to behold.

Album Review: Tegan and Sara take a giant leap with “Heartthrob”

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Tegan And Sara

Heartthrob

(Warner Bros.)

There are usually only two scenarios that emerge when a band dramatically changes their sound. One, they are widely criticised, their fans flee and they get dropped from their label. Two, they are widely criticised, their fans flee, but they somehow manage to barrel through and pick up other fans, thereby attaining the rare status: the ‘crossover band’.

On Heartthrob, Canadian duo Tegan and Sara’s seventh studio record, the seismic shift towards bombastic synth pop seems, at first, to place them in the former category. Luckily, their penchant for clever hooks and silky harmonies pulls them through. Enlisting mega producer Greg Kurstin (whose clients include Ke$ha and Kelly Clarkson), they’ve touched up the indie angst and readied it for the dance floor.

Radio friendly tracks like lead single “Closer”, “I’m Not Your Hero” and “Drove Me Wild” gleam with eighties synths riding the thumping drum track. Huge, lush, and unashamedly pop, they land somewhere between the madness of Passion Pit and the coolness of La Roux. Despite lyrics about crushing heartbreak, self-loathing and regret, the songs feel and sound amazingly euphoric. It’s the change from the maudlin to the joyous that asks the question: who would rather cry when you can dance?

When they try to go down tempo, though, the fun quickly dries up. “How Come You Don’t Want Me” contains a killer hook, but lacks the necessary churn. “Love They Say” works much better, layering up the harmonies well and good. The structure rarely varies from “Closer”, except on “Now I’m All Messed Up”, where they opt for a glitchy, slow jam.

What anchors every song (and by extension, the whole record) is their overwhelming ability to craft a catchy hook. They are the Taylor Swifts of indie pop, every note expertly placed and timed and ready for the screaming sing -a-long. And when you’re dealing with intense, gut punching emotional baggage, sometimes a massive chorus is just the remedy. If only every band’s angst was this fun.

Heartthrob is released today.

The Strokes miss the mark on new single

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The Strokes

One Way Trigger

The first track to appear ahead of their (suspected) record release later this year, “One Way Trigger” is surprising- a hyper synth-pop track that only hints at former Strokes songs.

Julian Casablancas wails over the melee with some strained falsetto, and not even the obligatory guitar solo can pull the song out of its candied rut.

Triple J Hottest 100 of 2012

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Conducted by Australian radio station Triple J, the Hottest 100 is the largest musical poll in the world. Here is the full list as it was revealed yesterday. 

  • #100: Everything Everything – Cough Cough
  • #99: M.I.A. – Bad Girls
  • #98: Kimbra – Warrior {Ft. Mark Foster & A-Trak}
  • #97: Jack White – I’m Shakin’
  • #96: Kanye West, JAY Z & Big Sean – Clique
  • #95: Last Dinosaurs – Andy
  • #94: The Gaslight Anthem – 45
  • #93: Snakadaktal – Dance Bear
  • #92: Lisa Mitchell – Spiritus
  • #91: Allday x C1 – So Good
  • #90: Two Door Cinema Club – Sleep Alone
  • #89: Chance Waters – Maybe Tomorrow {Ft. Lilian Blue}
  • #88: C2C – Down The Road
  • #87: The Bloody Beetroots & Greta Svabo Bech – Chronicles Of A Fallen Love
  • #86: Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness
  • #85: Purity Ring – Fineshrine
  • #84: Hilltop Hoods – Rattling The Keys To The Kingdom
  • #83: The Jungle Giants – She’s A Riot
  • #82: Santigold – Disparate Youth
  • #81: alt-J – Something Good
  • #80: Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids {Ft. Earl Sweatshirt}
  • #79: The Black Keys – Little Black Submarines
  • #78: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Household Goods
  • #77: Feed Me & Crystal Fighters – Love Is All I Got
  • #76: Illy – Heard It All
  • #75: Muse – Madness
  • #74: The Shins – Simple Song
  • #73: Ben Folds Five – Draw A Crowd
  • #72: Regina Spektor – All The Rowboats
  • #71: Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)
  • #70: The Presets – Promises
  • #69: Matt Corby – Lonely Boy {Like A Version}
  • #68: Avicii – Silhouettes
  • #67: Flume – On Top {Ft. T-Shirt}
  • #66: The Rubens – The Best We Got
  • #65: Grimes – Genesis
  • #64: alt-J – Tessellate
  • #63: First Aid Kit – Wolf
  • #62: Kid Cudi – Just What I Am {Ft. King Chip}
  • #61: Sticky Fingers – Caress Your Soul
  • #60: Jack White – Love Interruption
  • #59: Cosmo Jarvis – Love This
  • #58: Mumford & Sons – Babel
  • #57: Seth Sentry – Float Away
  • #56: Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You
  • #55: Knife Party – Internet Friends
  • #54: The Bamboos – I Got Burned {Ft. Tim Rogers}
  • #53: San Cisco – Wild Things
  • #52: The Presets – Ghosts
  • #51: Birds Of Tokyo – This Fire
  • #50: Asta – My Heart Is On Fire
  • #49: Thundamentals – Brother {Like A Version}
  • #48: San Cisco – Fred Astaire
  • #47: Of Monsters And Men – Mountain Sound
  • #46: Passion Pit – Take A Walk
  • #45: Chance Waters – Young & Dumb {Ft. Bertie Blackman}
  • #44: Xavier Rudd – Follow The Sun
  • #43: The Lumineers – Ho Hey
  • #42: MS MR – Hurricane
  • #41: British India – I Can Make You Love Me
  • #40: Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?
  • #39: Alabama Shakes – Hold On
  • #38: Grimes – Oblivion
  • #37: Two Door Cinema Club – Sun
  • #36: Miike Snow – Paddling Out
  • #35: 360 – Run Alone
  • #34: Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
  • #33: Parachute Youth – Can’t Get Better Than This
  • #32: Florence + The Machine – Spectrum (Say My Name) {Calvin Harris Remix}
  • #31: Alpine – Gasoline
  • #30: Bat For Lashes – Laura
  • #29: Loon Lake – Cherry Lips
  • #28: Django Django – Default
  • #27: Ball Park Music – Surrender
  • #26: Seth Sentry – Dear Science
  • #25: Skrillex – Bangarang {Ft. Sirah}
  • #24: Chet Faker – I’m Into You
  • #23: Ball Park Music – Coming Down
  • #22: The Temper Trap – Trembling Hands
  • #21: Disclosure – Latch {Ft. Sam Smith}
  • #20: Rudimental – Feel The Love {Ft. John Newman}
  • #19: The xx – Angels
  • #18: Hermitude – HyperParadise {Flume Remix}
  • #17: Flight Facilities – Clair De Lune {Ft. Christine Hoberg}
  • #16: Rudimental – Not Giving In {Ft. John Newman & Alex Clare}
  • #15: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love {Ft. Mary Lambert}
  • #14: Icona Pop – I Love It {Ft. Charli XCX}
  • #13: The Black Keys – Gold On The Ceiling
  • #12: Flume – Sleepless {Ft. Jezzabell Doran}
  • #11: Calvin Harris – Sweet Nothing {Ft. Florence Welch}
  • #10: The Rubens – My Gun
  • #9: Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
  • #8: Frank Ocean – Lost
  • #7: Tame Impala – Elephant
  • #6: Major Lazer – Get Free {Ft. Amber Coffman}
  • #5: Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
  • #4: Flume – Holdin On
  • #3: alt-J – Breezeblocks
  • #2: Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
  • #1: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop {Ft. Wanz}

We would love to hear your opinions. Outrage is welcome, and generally expected. 

List courtesy of Triple J 

 

Dirty Projectors take on Usher’s ‘Climax’

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Dirty Projectors

Climax 

Covering Usher’s slick RnB song “Climax” for Triple J’s ‘Like A Version’ earlier today, Dirty Projectors may have just created the most surprisingly glorious indie track since Ben Howard took on “Call Me Maybe” last year.

More than handling Usher’s flying falsetto, David Longstreth’s parched vocals add the necessary grit, and when him and Amber Coffman let loose with the harmonies above the crunching synth, it’s something to behold.

Toucan gently rock on with “Warrior”

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Toucan

Warrior

Amidst the forest of slashing guitars, dub step breakdowns and fist pumping choruses that dominate pop music, it’s not often that the gentle songs manage to scurry through the mess and grab some limelight.

Sydney duo Toucan are adept at navigating the melee. Taken from their new EP, Swim, “Warrior” sails on a breezy melody that swings happily from jazz to indie-pop. And for those who still wish for that fist pumping finale, the swelling vocal at the end should happily satisfy all wants and needs.

Toucan’s EP Swim is out now

Foals get loose with second single

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Foals

My Number


Already creating serious waves with mega first single “Inhaler”, Foals premiered new track “My Number” on Jools Holland. 

Deliciously upbeat, “My Number” gleams – the synth and guitars locked in a bright, hipster groove under the swelling vocals of Yannis Philippakis.

Holy Fire  is released February 12