Week Seven Playlist Reviews

1 Sky Ferreira - You’re Not The One (Cid Rim Remix) Cid Rim works his signature break beats to accentuate Sky Ferreira’s stellar track ‘You’re Not The One’. An impressive remix for an already great original. Philip Budny

This song was already good. Now it’s different. But still good. Words to describe include: choppy, jumpy. Richard Fitzpatrick

2 Mac DeMarco – Brother Mac Demarco never fails to create the balance between hypnotic waves of sound and laid back vocals. The release of this track ahead of his album Salad Days is expected to be released on the 31st March and has offered a small taste of his ever developing sound. The ascending end to ‘Brother’ creates layers with a simple finish whilst still obtaining his continuously soft styled approach to music. Rianne Kate Thompson

3 Frank Ocean, Diplo and The Clash – Hero You know, I like this song, but can think of no way of describing why. Hmm. Except it should be longer. RF

4 Lykke Li - Love Me Like Im Not Made Of Stone Lykke Li is the queen of spooky, Swedish pop music. ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone’ is far slower than what we’re used to from her, but maintains the witchy vibes of her past two albums. There’s a certain romance to ‘…Not Made of Stone’, and it’s almost a ghostly ballad. Nevertheless it’s made everyone very excited for her forthcoming third album. Rachel Earnshaw

I want to go up to Lykke Li and tell her “Cheer up love, it’s not that bad”. Then give her a hug and go for a nice bit of afternoon tea. Afterwards, hopefully I can persuade her to get back to doing songs that don’t make me fear for her mental state. Someone give her some love please guys? RF

5 Chance The Rapper x Nosaj Thing – Paranoia This untagged track off last year’s Acid Rap figures the dramatic and versatile Chicago MC addressing the grim realities of life around crime with stark honesty, evoking the nervous tension of the Summer night his best friend was killed. Californian musician Nosaj Thing puts in a rare turn as a rap producer with a suitably eerie and gloomy instrumental, dominated by some unpredictable percussion and gentle synth stabs. Emmett Cruddas

6 Big Deal - In Your Car This wonderful dream-pop duo’s second record June Gloom takes on a louder and more confident direction, with ‘In Your Car’ being the catchiest and most masterfully-structured track of the lot. Alice Costelloe and KC Underwood’s modest vocals float nicely over a Pixies-esque rhythm section, complete with a lovely synth line and a ridiculous music video. EC

7 Owen Pallett - On A Path The ex-Mr. Final Fantasy might be one of the most significant figures in music, bringing his prodigious string arrangements to Arcade Fire, The National, Franz Ferdinand and many more. His fourth solo record, In Conflict (released on Domino this May) is sure to feature more pitch-perfect atmospherics coupled with lovely vocals. ‘On A Path’ showcases his talents with an irresistible melody and carefully-crafted yet expansive production. EC

8 Clipping - Work Work This release by clipping, a hip-hop band heavily influenced by industrial music and harsh noise, is perhaps more platable than expected considering that their debut album was 40 minutes of incredibly loud and abrasive white noise with tough and uncompromising rap verses. The song is still incredibly sinister nethertheless, with it’s metallic clanging, throbbing bass and minimalist production. Daveed Diggs and Cocc Pistol Cree both rap about working the streets but neither glamorise it and Diggs manages to pull of a killer hook considering not only the sparse production but also the content of their verses. Death Grips fans will be at home with this track but it comes recommended to anyone who likes abrasive and difficult to listen to music. Patrick Cartlidge

9 Kendrick Lamar - Backwards ft. Tame Impala Straight from the sound of the new film Divergent, this Tame Impala-sampling song features Kendrick rapping in much harsher and gravelly tone than most are accustomed to. In ‘Backwards’ Kendrick focusses on society and corruption with hardhitting verses whilst the original song is contorted into a swirling menacing drone, the only respite being the chorus popping up to bookend Kendrick’s rapping, taking on another meaning in the context of Lamar’s lashing out at society. PC

10 Mø - No Mythologies To Follow The title track from one of the most highly-anticipated pop album’s of the year, No Mythologies to Follow is everything you would expect from MØ. Her soulful voice teamed with heavy synths make this track perfect for swishing your ponytail to. One of many excellent songs on her debut album released this week. RE

Mø: an artist with so many good songs even the bonus tracks are all killer (despite this song being the name of the album). Taking the icy Carribean synth style of The Knife on expertly, Miss Ørsted is currently racing ahead of her contemporaries. RF

11 Mapei/Chance The Rapper - Don’t Wait Remix Great production on this bouncy hip hop track. Mapei and Chance complement each other perfectly in this uplifting song. PB

12 FAMY – Donkey Taken from this week’s Donkey EP, this eponymous track displays the urgency, mystique and and unashamed aspirations of grandeur shared with homeboys WU LYF (RIP), with a bit more sheen. Employing familiar Wall of Sound production techniques, FAMY are certainly bold, engaged with pop structures in the a thoroughly modern and classic-minded paradigm and lush, tied with vague folksy leanings . The final, portentous yet well-earned lyric? ‘FAMY ARE HERE’. EC

13 Schoolboy Q Feat. 2 Chainz - What They Want ScHoolboy Q’s newest single sees him teaming up with the ever-present, larger life entity that is 2 Chainz and the go-to producer of the moment, Mike Will Made It. Over a hypnotic rolling beat filled with eerie bells, strings and synths, ScHoolboy Q details his expensive purchases and sexual conquests. However, it is the second verse that is a particular highlight as 2 Chainz pops up with one of his most impressive guest offerings to date. As usual, we get some characteristically off-the-wall and hilarious punch-lines: highlights include: “She treat my Versace belt like it’s mistletoe” and “If I stand on my bank roll, I be scared of heights.” Charles Gillies

14 Vince Staples - Back Sellin’ Crack Long Beach-based Odd Future cohort Vince Staples’ career has seriously turned up in the past year after some attention-grabbing features (none more so than on Earl Sweatshirt’s stunning ‘Hive’) and ‘Back Sellin’ Crack’ - the highlight from the Mac Miller-produced tape Stolen Youth - sees the unmistakably Snoop-ish rapper dealing with very real subject matter over a hard-edged quasi-Chopped and Screwed instrumental. ScHoolBoy Q’s concluding verse wraps the track up with a violent and rowdy burst of concentrated Californian wordplay. EC

15 Jungle - Busy Earnin This grooved up, funk-feel track has landed Jungle with another successful release, teamed with the video where their ever expanding dance troop smoothly shows the ways in which dancing should be done. The Jungle duo are undoubtedly raising awareness of their existence with other addictive releases including The Heat and Platoon, these guys are obviously ones to watch. They are playing at the Stag and Dagger festival on the 4th of May in Glasgow for anyone who would like to go and see how they successfully transfer their tracks into live sounds. RKT

16 Elbow - My Sad Captains I for one am quite fond of the forlorn trumpets that are creeping into songs nowadays. Perhaps it’s just the Northerner in me. Elbow’s latest album The Take Off and Landing of Everything finds Guy Garvey and the gang back on form, and this plaintive tale of lost friends highlights their renewed vigour. RF

17 Metronomy - Reservoir ‘Reservoir’ summarizes the sound on Metronomy’s latest album effectively. They maintain the soppy love songs and drum machines, but include more acoustic instruments and favor slower, less dancy tracks. One of my favorites on the new album! PB

18 Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Simple and Sure Excellent, creative indie-pop from the NY indie-pop band. Kip Berman’s vocals are more precise and punchy than ever, with flashes of 80’s R.E.M and The Smiths (sans any potential of being obnoxious) making for possibly the best thing they’ve ever done. Third LP Days Of Abandon, on the strength of this, ought to be one of April’s and 2014’s highlights. EC

19 BBNG - Don’t Leave The Night ‘Can’t Leave The Night’, new single from the upcoming BADBADNOTGOOD album BBNG III, is a fantastic instrumental hip-hop track. Combining live instrumentation with electronic stables of hip-hop production to devastating effect, this song manages to be moody and atmospheric but could easily still be classed as a fantastic banger. Previous albums from the group are free to listen to and come highly recommended if you enjoy this track. PC

20 Kooks - Down It’s easy to laugh about the Kooks, especially when they release stuff like this. ‘Down’ is a decidedly post-AM hip-hop-influenced lead single with pretty silly vocals and a faithful ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ jam at the end, but the ambition, levity and accomplished production make this easily the most noteworthy thing the Brighton landfill types have done since ‘Naive’ was a pre-iPhone ringtone staple. EC

Riiiight. Totally nicked the “down-dicky-dicky” bit off Robyn. RF

21 Kiesza – Hideaway Kiesza is like a 90s pop star who only just escaped some time vortex. This slab of hi-NRG dance-pop should rightfully be all over the airwaves in the coming months. If she is then we at freshair are taking full credit for it. Also, check out the video, where she gives Robyn a run for her money in the dance stakes. Seriously, it’s full on Flashdance. RF

22 Peter Bauer - Latin American Ficciones Another week, another stellar release from a Walkmen side project. Peter Bauer’s bass and keyboard playing certainly played a part in making the New York post punk revival act formidable amongst their peers. ‘Latin American Ficciones’ holds onto the classy nature of Lisbon and Heaven, while a deliberate Phil Spector influence holds the track down nicely. His first solo LP Liberation! is due out in June on Mexican Summer and, on the promise of this, will be great. EC

23 Iggy Azalea - Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) It’s the Clueless inspired video that makes the latest Iggy Azalea track, Fancy, so excellent. Azalea’s rapping perfectly matches the 90s classic, and the catchy chorus by Charli XCX makes this the perfect hip-hop/mainstream crossover. ‘Fancy’ is sure to be played everywhere this summer, and you won’t be sick of hearing it. RE

24 Secret Motorbikes - All Over Again Glasgow’s Secret Motorbikes have earned a pretty strong reputation for raucous live shows in the vein of The Replacements. Having released their debut album Rum Punch for free on bandcamp, it’s evident their recorded material carries all of the energy, wit and vibrancy of their formidable performances. Fans of The Cribs and Magazine alike will be enamoured instantly with their melodic and gritty sound. EC

25 Freddie Gibbs - Piñata Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Cocaine Piñata has been one of the most hotly-anticipated hip hop releases of recent years and it certainly delivers. The Gary, Indiana (home of Michael Jackson) rapper puts inevitable Madvillainy comparisons to rest with his incredibly hard-worn Project Pat-via-Tupac midwestern chopper flows, none more so than on this epic closing track that has to be considered a canonical posse track in the vein of ‘Da Mystery of Chessboxin’ or ‘Y’all Scared’. Stellar turns all around, especially from Flatbush Zombies’ Meechy Darko, over one of Madlib’s best productions ever, catching crazy RZA waves. EC

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