Tune into www.freshair.org.uk on Mondays 5pm to 7pm to hear the playlist in full reviewed by the Music Team live!
1 Adult Jazz - Am Gone The lead single from one of 2014’s most exciting and imaginative records – and the most interesting British debut in quite a few years – ‘Am Gone’ deftly and unforgettably showcases the Leeds four-piece’s brilliantly wrought alt-pop folktronica. Fans of Dave Longstreth’s counter-intuitive guitar licks, the woodwinds on Pet Sounds and the abstracted grooves of St. Vincent’s early work could do a lot worse (ie, buying the new Alt-J LP) than picking up Gist Is. Adult Jazz are appearing at Broadcast in Glasgow on November 13th, and it ought to be an unmissable show, with Harry Burgess’ ambitious vocals surely being a phenomenon to witness first-hand. Emmett Cruddas.
2 Blonde Redhead - Dripping A really chilled track, with nice use of guitars, synth and eerie vocals for a haunting piece influenced by 60s psychedelia. The drums add regularity and a steady pace, and the lyrics conjure imagery of all matter of things that go bump in the night. A Thoroughly enjoyable listen. John Warburton
3 Ariel Pink - Put Your Number In my Phone For the last ten years, the Californian psych-pop oddity known as Ariel Pink has released music through his ‘Haunted Graffiti’ outfit. His work through this moniker has seen him blossom from a purveyor of delightful lo-fi curiosities to the mystical entity behind some of the most forward thinking idiosyncratic pop of the decade. Whilst his seemingly first solo release might suggest a regression into the misty mountains of home-recorded cassette tapes from-whence-he-came, he in fact pulls off quite the opposite, having rarely sounded this cinematic. ‘Put Your Number In My Phone’ channels the melodic highs of his 2010 opus Before Today through a more all-encompassing composition. Sweeping guitars twang against a pastel backdrop of warm vocal harmonies as the song seduces before revealing its cynical core. Sean Greaves
4 Prince - U Know This plays out as Prince pointing out that Timberlake, Miguel et al pretty much owe him their entire careers. “U Know” sounds fresh and forward-thinking, robo-voices fast talking over some typically sultry female, well, moans. The fact is, Prince could still charm the pants off anyone he likes, and that confidence is what gives it such an effortless feel. Richard Fitzpatrick
5 Young Thug, Freddie Gibbs, Asap Ferg - Old English Young Thug is currently one of the most unstoppable forces in music and on “Old English” he recruits two other hip-hop heavy weights, Freddie Gibbs and A$AP Ferg, to make this track one of the hardest hitting of the summer. The ominous yet explosive beat provided by Salva and Nick Hook is also the perfect backdrop to three of the most important rappers of the last two years doing what they do best. Patrick Cartlidge
6 The Drums - Magic Mountain The sun-bleached nostalgia that The Drums have been revelling in since 2009’s ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ is back in full swing on the latest release from the Brooklyn-based whistle-rockers, though this time around pulling back on the surf and sunshine in favour of Bauhaus and The Cure. Now down to two members, The Drums’ first single in three years is a Gothic burst of atonal guitar riffs and shrieking vocals, all drenched in their trademark reverb-y wash. The sound is more challenging, somehow more forward-thinking and yet more stubbornly backwards-facing than ever, still evoking with aplomb what James Murphy way back in 2002 dubbed “borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties”, a skill unique to The Drums and one they seem to show no signs of growing out of. Will Robinson
7 Alina Baraz - Fantasy Ohio-based singer/songwriter Alina Baraz & Danish producer Galimatias have teamed up again to create “Fantasy” which was released on Soundcloud a fortnight ago. The mellow single sounds like something from the soundtrack to the best dream you’ve ever had. Both are exceptional artists, and the fact that they work so often together is a blessing to those that are into the chilled electro-R&B they craft so well. The track is taken from the duo’s upcoming EP, Urban Flora. Drew Murray
8 ILoveMakonnen ft. Drake - Club Goin Up On A Tuesday SO THIS IS SONG IS AWESOME ON A NUMBER OF LEVELS, IT SOUNDS A BIT LIKE HOW I IMAGINE LEO DI CAPRIO WILL FEEL WHEN HE WINS AN OSCAR, HAPPY BUT MAD POIGNANT AT THE SAME DAMN TIME. ALSO THIS SONG GOT DRAKE ON IT WHO WE ALL KNOW IS THE BEST, DRAKE THE TYPE OF GUY TO BUY YOUR GIRL THE DRUGS SHE LIKES BUT HE DONT EVEN TAKE THEM HE JUST WANT TO BE HOSPITABLE. ALSO MAKONNEN WHO IS A BIT LIKE DAVID BOWIE MIXED WITH FELA KUTI AND HAS THE CROSSOVER POTENTIAL OF JAMES BROWN, HAS SINGLEHANDEDLY MADE TUESDAY THE BEST DAY OF THE WEEK. CLUB GOING UP. Francis Hornsby Clark
9 Flume ft. Ghostface Killah and Autre Ne Veut - Space Cadet Existing within the generous selection of off-cuts from Flume’s self-titled debut, ‘Space Cadet’ delivers upon the title’s suggested promise of starry-eyed wonky-ambience. Opening to twinkling astral chimes and clocking in at a mere 1.57 , it does feel like more of a flirtation, which is a tad frustrating given the strong presence of the well chosen collaborators who perhaps deserve a more substantial and lengthy production. Way-left-of-center R&B/pop-star Autre Ne Veut delivers his distinctive and commanding vocal sensuality before Ghostface Killah launches into his brash verse; all ‘roll rockin, fan f*ckin’’ over the spaced beats. However the track’s unhinged energy lies not within the rather ubiquitous glacial production, but in the producer’s foresight for instigating collaborations that work. ‘Space Cadet’ amounts to greater than the sum of its parts. SG
10 Tove Lo/Hippie Sabotage - Habits Hipster pop’s new poster girl (she’s Swedish, go figure), Tove Lo gets a spaced out rave touch from production duo Hippie Sabotage. Already a big hit across the airwaves, we thought it only right to join in one the Tove Lo(ve). RF
11 Los Porcos - Fuckn A Jones Los Porcos was formed out of the spastic wreckage of WU LYF I only mention this because they both sound like high school talent show wunderkinds. Los Porcos would be wearing blue velvet suits. “Fuckin A Jones” is a ladykiller of a song, every time those words are whispered… so smoothly in the chorus, I want to break a bottle over the singer’s head and give him a big wet kiss. Ross Devlin
12 Sylvan Esso - Play It Right Originally featured as the b-side to American electropop duo Sylvan Esso’s debut single ‘Hey Miami/Play It Right’, this track begins with a charming a capella vocal before unveiling the kind of portentous beats and pulsing synths to rival the sounds of bands like Chvrches and Passion Pit before them. And with their eponymous debut full-length garnering near-universal praise, it seems like the electropop’s dubstep-lite flame is unlikely to die any time soon. WR
13 Bishop Nehru/DOOM - OM The long-awaited collaboration between legendary MC MF DOOM and hailed newcomer Bishop Nehru seems to have resulted in something altogether, well, normal. Bishop Nehru only being 17, his verses lack the character of MF DOOM’s, even though DOOM only raps the chorus. Nehru’s verses seem to be the work of a rapper still to find his voice, a rapper imitating someone else’s work (maybe 5 other people’s work), while DOOM’s production and lyrics are inarguably his, still in his tradition of the mad villain. NEHRUVIAN DOOM’s self-titled album is released on October 7th. Ronan Barnard
14 Roman Flugel - Wilkie An 80s disco-infused track from Happiness is Happening, the latest solo release of legendary German DJ, Roman Flügel. Chameleonic domination of both the acid house genre and practically the entire range of electronic music have made a name for Flügel, who spins an atmospheric wonder-trip with ‘Wilkie’. Echoing chimes warble moodily alongside syncopated layers of space-age dance motifs, droning synths, and a subtly menacing backbeat, all fading into a distorted robotic plea to create a confident and vaguely ominous track. ‘Wilkie’ melds modern EDM with beats reminiscent of some of Kraftwerk’s finest early 80s synth-pop to produce a mesmerising hybrid well deserving of a second look. Marissa Field
15 Trust Fund – Scared Taken from a split EP release with Cardiff’s Joanna Gruesome, ‘Scared’ is another addition to Hallie and the Annies guitarist Ellis Jones’ catalogue of pretty much perfect skittish indie pop. ‘Scared’ sees the Bristol four-piece taking on a Wire-esque restless post-punk aesthetic, featuring some lovably ramshackle vocal arrangements and the best uptight (deployment ‘angular’ having been eastablished as a cardinal sin for music writers somewhere in the mid-noughties) guitar work this side of Happiness in Magazines. EC.
16 Miniature Tigers - Swimming Pool Blues From the Brooklyn based indie/synth pop band’s third studio album, Cruel Runnings, Swimming Pool Blues is an upbeat indie pop track that takes you straight back to that care-free summer you had when you were 17. The whole album has a distinctive Friendly Fires-esque feel to it and is much more instrumentally creative than previous albums. Lee’s baselines give an underlining groove to the song that will keep you dancing and this tied with some incredibly catchy lyrics means that this feel good track sticks in your mind long after you finish hearing it. Ciara Grace Elwis
17 Tinashe - Xylophone Produced by David Sitek, this slinky, sensuous piece suggests the hype surrounding Tinashe has a good bit of talent backing it up. Tinashe’s vocal oscillates between empowered and fragile, adding a tension that makes the move into the choruses sound all the more exciting. Pretty sure having a “xylophone playing all night long” would be terrible in reality though. RF
18 Insect Heroes - Pop Music Trippy yet accessible irony at its best from the new album Apocalypso. Insect Heroes bring us bittersweet synth-pop with a music industry moral - contemplated by its mere production values. Extra hipster superiority points awarded for lack of knowing all the names featured in MS paint on the video… Fiona Colley
19 Rae Sremmurd - No Type Following their summer hit “No Flex Zone!!”, Rae Sremmurd return with their follow up single “No Type” off their upcoming Sremmlife EP. The new track focuses on the duo’s preferences for womeN, they proclaim they don’t have “No Type”. Featuring production by Make Will Made It, No Type is more downtempo and brooding than their previous output, but it is still a banger. Definitely worth a listen! Philip Budny
20 Iceage - The Lord’s Favourite Iceage are the last band you’d expect to bring the party, but new single ‘The Lord’s Favorite’ is as hot and sticky as a drunken pull. The danish four-piece have traded in their punishing post-punk for a fun lovin’ country twang - and it’s brilliant. Sprawling and ramshackle, it might sound like Iceage are yet to sober up but Rønnenfelt’s acerbic lyrics prove that the band have still got a tight grip on the reins: “One hundred euro wine, I do believe in heaven” he slurs, tongue firmly in cheek, “I am positively God’s favourite ooo-one.” Katie Hawthorne
Join the Freshair Music Team today here and come down to meetings! 5:30-7:30 at the Moo Bar on Buccleuch Street, bring new music and help make these excellent playlists!