CHET FAKER - 1998

another fantastic single from the australian artist in the run-up to the (at last!) release of his debut album. ‘1998’ is equal parts gruff, nostalgic crooning and sleek, intelligent dance beats. on the whole, a wonderful contradiction.

REVA DEVITO - FRIDAY NIGHT

well that’s everyone’s summer jam sorted. the marvelous kaytranada lays down a swirling, humming beat not dissimilar to that of his recent alunageorge remix, but it’s newcomer reva devito’s soulful vocals that really carry this debut single. apparently reva’s enlisted kaytra to produce her entire EP so hopefully this sweet-treat statement piece is just a taster of what’s to come. “i’ve got a piece of cake, i bet you want a slice” - sign me up.

CHARLI XCX - BOOM CLAP

when i heard that charli would be providing a track for the soundtrack of the film version of a novel of (YA lit poster-boy) john green, i was pretty apathetic. ‘boom clap’ actually exceeds my expectations. it’s an aggressive, schoolyard-chanting stomper of a love song. there’s something both embarrassing and charming about the prospect of shouting at your love interest “you make me feel good, come on to me”, but the whole thing’s just shameless and straightforward. more like this for the sophomore album, please!

X PRIEST X - SOPHIE K

while it doesn’t quite reach the heights of their recent release ‘isn’t it so’, this new track from the floridian duo still possesses the same aura of adolescent wistfulness and emotional turmoil - and is considerably less dreary, for those who aren’t into that. their upcoming EP ‘samurai’ is shaping up to be jam-packed with straightforwardly brilliant pop songs. exciting stuff.

HOW TO DRESS WELL - REPEAT PLEASURE

this is the first taste we’ve really had of htdw’s upcoming third album, and it’s quite the departure from 2012’s chilling, brilliant ‘total loss’. ‘repeat pleasure’ shows tom krell heading even further in an accessible direction on this catchy, acoustic r&b-lite jam. it’s actually dev hynes-esque, but with more acoustic guitar, and looping synths. less of the “ethereal” style of his previous work (although it’s still there) but more of the genuinely great songwriting. on soundcloud, the track has slightly obnoxiously been tagged “experimental pop” but in fairness, that’s not far off. at this song’s heart is a brilliant pop structure, beats you can clap along to, vocals you can actually hear and feel, while retaining htdw’s unique sound. with a weird and wonderful gigantic pop moment when krell sings “my heart will go on”, it’s safe to say that ‘repeat pleasure’ shows that sometimes change can really be for the better.

TINASHE - VULNERABLE (FEAT. TRAVI$ SCOTT) (BLOOD DIAMONDS REMIX)

blood diamonds is a remix genius. for those wary of his sparkly k-pop-infused production works becoming samey, this track shows him really starting to display a more diverse sound pallet. he transforms tinashe’s (already obviously amazing) understated, sultry r&b mixtape track from last year into a maximalist belter, adding more command to her infectious chant of “don’t stop looking at me”. it sounds like house at many points, but probably the most interest section production wise is during travi$ scott’s rap where blood diamonds takes on a brash, contemporary hip-hop production style, reminiscent of the better parts of ‘yeezus’. brilliant.

BROODS - NEVER GONNA CHANGE

new zealand sibling duo broods continue the campaign for their (brilliant) debut ep with this video for the ep’s standout track ‘never gonna change’. the video, in all its leaky glory, is weird and ever-so-slightly sinister. it’s a perfect reflection of their just-left-of-pop sound which is sure to garner success this year in a post-lorde mainstream landscape.

IGGY AZALEA - FANCY (FEAT. CHARLI XCX)

so i have a tumultuous love-hate relationship with the work of iggy azalea, and ‘fancy’ is no exception. the song feels like a frankenstein-esque affair, stitched together from a track which was originally titled ‘leave it’, and presumably fragments from charli xcx’s work towards her sophomore album. it doesn’t help that the invisible men’s production work here sounds like a cheap approximation of the work of dj mustard. all of that being said, there is something to be said for this song - particularly charli’s post-chorus (“feels so good getting what i want”), and this ingenious, bright and bold, ‘clueless’-inspired clip really does the job that a music video should do, in that it pushes the track into a higher territory. i guess it turns out iggy can make a great music video without “cultural appropriation” as the only theme after all.

LE1F - BOOM

after a series of mixtapes, rapper le1f finally readies his first proper release (on terrible records) with this single - a catchy, club-ready affair. though it retains the brilliant weirdness of his previous work, it comes off as a more polished, easier-to-swallow track than anything that’s come before. announcing “i’m the elephant in the room”, le1f bursts onto the scene for real this time, just in time for the appropriately-titled ‘hey’ EP.

BEYONCÉ - DRUNK IN LOVE (KANYE WEST REMIX)

this is only a taster of what is sure to be a very beautiful thing. ‘drunk in love’ was already full to the brim of immediately-classic social-media-ready quotable pop cultural quips, and who better to add to that than the man who delivered the ‘bound 2’ video. it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the likes of “reverse that cowgirl… i impregnated your mouth girl” and “you a milf and i’m a motherfucker” were to join the ranks of “surfboard” and “i been dranking” when this remix finally drops.