02

Apr

Drake: “Draft Day”

Right now, the internet is editing pictures of JLaw together with Drake lyrics for tumblrs across the world. Why? Because Drake just namedropped Lawrence in his new track “Draft Day”. Over a sample of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, Drake spits a few bars about draft picks, Qatari oil barons and hopping on the JLaw bandwagon:

'On some Hunger Game shit I would die for my district/Jennifer Lawrence you can really get it'. Wedding bells?

23

Mar

Jay Electronica & Jay-Z: “We Made It Freestyle”

There is nothing like two mcs swapping and trading verses, bringing out the best in each other on a track. Jay Electronica finally put out some new material earlier this week and this has been followed with a freestyle over Drake’s “I Made It” with Jay-Z. 

They go hard.

02

Feb

disCOVER: Vancouver Sleep Clinic & GXNXVS “Hold On, We’re Going Home (Drake Cover)”

There’s been a fair few covers of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” but there hasn’t been one quite like this one from Vancouver Sleep Clinic. The 17 year old from Brisbane along with GXNXVS turn the effortlessly smooth r&b throwback into a mournful post r&b spectacle with shades of Justin Vernon, James Blake, Sampha, Autre Ne Veut, Active Child and Shy Girls all rolled into this rather beautiful cover. 

Also check out this cover/remix of Mario’s “Let Me Love You” from GXNXVS and CVIRO

Vancouver Sleep Clinic: FacebookSoundcloud

31

Dec

ITYLTS Presents: Class of 2013

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To the graduating class of 2013, it’s been a pleasure to listen.

Make sure you check out our monthly breakdown of the best songs of 2013 HERE

To hear most of the songs below, check out the ITYLTS Class of 2013 Spotify Playlist.

BEST SONGS OF THE YEAR

St. Lucia “Elevate

Haim “Falling

Drake “Hold On, We’re Going Home

ARTISTS WHO HAD A HUGE 2013

Miley Cyrus

CHVRCHES

Haim

Disclosure

Lorde

MOST EXCITED FOR BIG THINGS TO HAPPEN IN 2014

Mapei “Don’t Wait

Manou “Sadie

Marekei “Blue Lake

Say Lou Lou “Better In The Dark

BROODS “Bridges

IYES “Til’ Infinity

Sunny & Gabe “Clouds

ALECS “The Fulham Tapes EP

Sam Smith “Lay Me Down

Joel Compass “Run ft. Pusha T

MOST LIKELY TO BE ALMOST BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL

The Kite String Triangle “Tennis Courts" (Lorde Cover)

The Arctic Monkeys “Hold On, We’re Going Home" (Drake Cover)

Fiona Apple “Pure Imagination" (Willy Wonka Cover)

London Grammar “Wicked Games" (Chris Isaak Cover)

Wilsen “Oblivion" (Grimes Cover)

Daughter “Get Lucky" (Daft Punk Cover)

The Neighbourhood “Say My Name/Cry Me A River

IYES “Crazy In Love" (Beyonce Cover)

BEST SURPRISE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Beyoncé “BEYONCÉ

BEST SONGS TO GET HYPE’D TO 

Miley Cyrus “We Can’t Stop

Avicii “You Make Me

Daft Punk “Get Lucky

Lady Gaga “Applause

Little Mix “Move

Rudimental “Waiting All Night ft. Ella Eyre

Tuxedo Funk “Do It

BEST SONGS TO LISTEN TO DURING FASHION WEEK

Angel Haze “Echelon (That’s My Way)

A$AP Rocky “Fashion Killa

BEST SCANDINAVIAN POP

Kate Boy “Northern Lights

NoNoNo “Pumpin’ Blood

Say Lou Lou “Fool of Me

Newtimers “Train

BEST INDIE DARLING COMEBACK SONG FROM A EARLY 2000s GIRL BAND

MKS “Flatline

BEST DEV HYNES PRODUCTION THIS YEAR

Phoenix “Entertainment (Blood Orange Remix)

BEST AUSTRALIAN BAND TO DO SOUTHERN ROCK

The Rubens “Lay It Down

BEST SONG THAT I LOVED BY A BAND I’VE NEVER LISTENED TO BEFORE

Paramore “Still Into You”

BEST SONG TO QUESTION THE ‘GHETTO FABULOUS’ VIDEO AESTHETIC AND WHAT IT MEANS TO YOUR AVERAGE TEEN

Lorde “Royals

(and the rest of Pure Heroine)

BEST SONGS TO GET CLOSE TO SOMEONE 

Lady Gaga ft. R Kelly “Do What U Want

Friends “The Way

Justin Timberlake “Pusher Love Girl

Janelle Monae ft. Miguel “Primetime

Ciara “Body Party

Mariah Carey ft. Miguel “#Beautiful

Shy Girls “Under Attack

Sam Smith “Nirvana

Autre Ne Veut “Play By Play

Tom Aspaul “Pioneer ft. FTSE

MOST LIFE AFFIRMING/YOU A BADASS SONGS

Katy Perry “Roar

Janelle Monae “Q.U.E.E.N ft. Erykah Badu

Bipolar Sunshine “Love More, Worry Less

Pharrell “Happy

BEST ELECTRO SYNTH POP TO PARTY TO IN THE SUMMER 

Magic Man “Paris

Smallpools “Dreaming

CHVRCHES “Gun

Poolside “If We Make It

Bear Hands “Giants

The Naked and Famous “Hearts Like Ours

Ghost Beach “Been There Before

Klangkarussell “Sonnentanz ft. Will Heard

BEST ‘RADIOHEAD-Y’ SONG FROM A FORMER BOY BAND STAR

Justin Timberlake “Blue Ocean Floor

BEST SONGS TO THAT MAKE YOU FEEL EPIC 

Major Lazer “You’re No Good

SOHN “Lessons

Woodkid “I Love You

Sir Sly “Gold

BBEST SONGS TO MAKE YOU FEEL SUPER DOPE COOL

Jagwar Ma “The Throw

Unknown Mortal Orchestra “So Good At Being In Trouble

BEST THROWBACK COLLAB HIP HOP SONG IN 2013

Busta Rhymes “Thank You ft. Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Q Tip”

BEST NEW KIDS COLLAB HIP HOP SONG IN 2013

A$AP Rocky “Fuckin Problems ft. 2 Chainz, Drake & Kendrick Lamar”

SONG TO MOST LIKELY BRING A LUMP TO MY THROAT

Active Child “Sillhouette ft. Ellie Goulding

BEST SONGS TO SOUND LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON

Dornik “Something About You

Newtimers “Game Over

MOST UNEXPECTED COLLABORATIONS IN 2013

Phoenix ft. R. Kelly “Trying To Be Cool

MOST UNEXPECTED INDIE BAND TO GO ‘DISCO’

Arcade Fire “Reflektor”

BEST USE OF JUSTIN VERNON WITHOUT BON IVER

Volcano Choir “Comrade

BEST REMIX OF THAT CUPS SONG FROM PITCH PERFECT

Anna Kendrick “Cups Song (When I’m Gone) Jellosea Remix

BEST SLOWED DOWN TAYLOR SWIFT VOCAL REMIX

Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble (APSPDR+ REMIX)

BEST LATE NIGHT ‘LETS GET INTROSPECTIVE’ MUSIC

James Blake “Retrograde

Kanye West “Hold My Liquor

Vancouver Sleep Clinic “Collapse

Disclosure “Help Me Lose My Mind ft. London Grammar

Arctic Monkeys “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High

BEST OPENING GUITAR RIFF

Sky Ferreira “You’re Not The One

BEST ‘SOUND’ SWITCH UP

James Vincent McMorrow “Cavalier

BEST SONGS TO SING ALONG TO LOUDLY IN THE CAR

Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball

Justin Timberlake “Mirrors”

11

Dec

ITYLTS Presents: Best Albums of 2013

Kanye West - Yeezus

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"pardon i’m getting my scream on"

Kanye West’s Yeezus was nothing like we had really heard before. It was a world away from his College Dropout days, but as experimental as 808s and as heartfelt as MBDTF. However you feel about West, musically he is one of the most important artists of his generation. He constantly pushes boundaries, simply searching for the truest manifestation of his music and on Yeezus it was pure unadulterated frustration. From the jarring opening synths of “On Sight”, listeners are bombarded with anger and agression… and it doesn’t let up. The opening block of songs (On Sight, Black Skinhead, I Am A God and New Slaves) set a tone for the album that holds nothing back, screaming at you to be taken seriously. This doesn’t let up until the relatively quiet “Hold My Liquor” (my personal favourite), a stark contrast to what has come before it as West lets you take a breath and reflect on his flaws cause lord knows the man is aware of his shortcomings despite the bravado. However, after this midway break the downright dirty “I’m In It” continues the onslaught.

It is as in your face as no other record was in 2013 and by no means is it an easy listen, but you do anyway because Kanye West is convinced he has something to say and he will make you listen.

Album Highlights: “Black Skinhead”, “I Am A God”, “New Slaves”, “Hold My Liquor”, “Guilt Trip”, “Blood On The Leaves”.

DrakeNothing Was The Same

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"started from the bottom, now we here n*gga, we made it"

On NWTS, it feels like Drake is flexing his muscles, determined to prove something. Throughout the album, Drizzy Drake is on a mission to make sure you come away from listening knowing that Drake did this all himself, he deserves to be there and he is doing VERY well. In anyone else’s hands, this bravado would become unlistenable but in Drake’s it comes off as deserved, he makes no apologies (“Worst Behaviour”). But of course it wouldn’t be a Drake album without doing songs for the ladies, and of course Drizzy doesn’t disappoint, with his sing song style and smooth as hell delivery Drake keeps the girls happy on tracks like “Own It”, “Come Thru” and special mentions go out to the revealing “From Time” and of course “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, which can feel out of place on an album like this but whatever, its one of the best songs of the year.

Album Highlights: “Furthest Thing”, “Started From The Bottom”, “From Time”, “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, “Pound Cake”, “All Me”.

Haim - Days Are Gone

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Haim spent a lot of the first half of 2013 putting in the leg and ground work for the September release of their debut album Days Are Gone- and boy did it work. It worked because by the time the album was out, the songs were already so familiar and catchy that if you knew half the album was that good, the other half of unheard songs were going be great if not better. Its hard to pick one stand out track as so many on the album each have their moment, “Honey & I” and “The Wire” ooze 70s soft rock, especially Fleetwood Mac on the former, “If I Could Change Your Mind” channels the best parts of the 80s and “My Song 5” is distorted Black Keys in the best ways. 

One does worry that they could have used up all their best on this… but something tells me it’s going to be okay.

Album Highlights: “Falling”, “Forever”, “My Song 5”, “If I Could Change Your Mind”, “Let Me Go”, “Don’t Save Me”, “The Wire”.

Lorde - Pure Heroine

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Having one of those ‘songs of the year’ can be a blessing and a curse because the backlash can be brutal. It’s hard, because you have to strike while the irons hot but over exposure can mean the death of an artist. Lorde was pretty much unheard of before 2013, though she had been signed to Universal for the last five years honing her sound and biding her time.

And then “Royals” was unleashed, slowly making its way around the world until everybody and their mother was singing about driving cadillacs in their dreams. It was different and it spoke to a generation but could Lorde the artist ever outshine that song? 

Yes.

Pure Heroine is an outstanding debut, drawing on themes of disillusionment and fleeting youth that rang true with both teenagers and millennials alike who were starting to see the world wasn’t quite like what was promised in songs. 

Album Highlights: “Tennis Court”, “Ribs”, “Buzzcut Season”, “Team”, “Royals”, “Still Sane”, “White Teeth Teens”

Shy Girls - Timeshare EP

imageLuscious male led rnb had a moment in 2013 (which is sure to continue int the new year) with acts such as Sam Smith, Joel Compass and Autre Ne Veut. The standout for me however this year has been from Portland’s Shy Girls whose debut EP Timeshare was one of the most gorgeous albums of the year, hitting every spot and melting every heart.

Working as a hospital worker in the day, Dan Vidmar takes to the night to craft sensuous early 1990s rnb, driven masterfully by his falsetto. In a world where the questionably misogonistic lyrics of The Weeknd are somewhat glossed over in the eagerness to praise, Shy Girls sweeter approach feels fresher and less relying on a crutch.

Album Highlights: “Under Attack”, “Second Heartbeat”, “Still Falling”

Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

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Chicago’s Chance The Rapper is about to close out an amazing 2013. Collaborations with Justin Bieber and Childish Gambino follow the release of the critically acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap. With its psychedelic beats and off the wall frenetic flow, Chance The Rapper produced something not quite like anything else out there and on a second listen the force of his lyrics suggest something far deeper than just a simply unique way of delivering the message, instead showing that this young Chicago kid has something to say and worth listening to. 

Album Highlights: "Good Ass Intro", "Cocoa Butter Kisses", "Lost", "Favourite Song", "NaNa", "Acid Rain", "Chain Smoker".

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

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This year saw two huge acts come back to reclaim what others had tried to replace. Both acts were following up career-making albums and both had immense amount of pressure to live up to- and in their own ways they both kind of did it. Even though they might not have lived up to the impossible hype, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories is a fantastic album by anyone’s standards. Working with a full orchestra and drawing on the disco influence of Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rogers, the French duo crafted an album that boasted one of the songs of the year (“Get Lucky”), a spoken word documentary about Moroder’s work (by the man himself) and enough funk to keep the party going all night long.

Album Highlights: “Lose Yourself To Dance” “Get Lucky” “Doin’ It Right” “Contact”

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience (Part 1)

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The other act I was talking about in the Daft Punk review was Justin Timberlake. Since 2006’s Future Sex/Love Sounds, the world had been waiting for new Timberlake material (there was even a PSA about it) so when it was announced that Justin Timberlake and Timbaland were back with material the world also sighed a collective sigh of relief. 

The 20/20 Experience (Part 1) is a gloriously full soundscape from start to finish just showing how much Timberlake had grown up. The orchestral opening of “Pusher Love Girl” is exactly the reintroduction that Timberlake needed to usher in this album, and that smooth playful sound runs all the way through until the haunting “Blue Ocean Floor”.

If Future Sex/Love Sounds was about making the babies, then 20/20 is about being totally and completely in love. Every song is an ode to his/your better half and celebrating that love (especially on “Mirrors”) . Timbaland’s flawless production is so welcoming because it does not sound like whatever dubstep/eurotrance rip off on the charts and also sounds wholly different to all the other post rnb that came in its place.

Let’s just not talk about part 2.

Album Highlights: “Pusher Love Girl”, “Suit & Tie”, “Tunnel Vision”, “That Girl”, “Mirrors,  ”Blue Ocean Floor”.

Janelle Monae- The Electric Lady

If we can’t have Lauryn Hill back, then thank god we have Janelle Monae. Her debut album ArchAndroid was a critically acclaimed tour de force that pushed boundaries all over the place. The follow up The Electric Lady cemented Monae’s place as one of the most exciting artists in the industry.

From the opening guitar and James Bond-esque strings of “Suite IV Electric Overture, The Electric Lady unfolds itself as a genre bending piece of art stopping at every possible sonic moment. Jumping straight into the sultry Prince collaboration “Give Em What They Love”, Monae more than holds her own against the legend. The first half of this album is incredible with tracks like the empowering “Q.U.E.E.N.” and the truly sexy affair “Primetime”. By the second half, it does feel like Monae loses steam from that brilliant opening but what comes is still a brilliant constructed work, including the ‘Tightrope’ esque “Dance Apocalyptic” and the album closer, “What An Experience” which has all the right levels of Marvin Gaye. 

Album Highlights: “Q.U.E.E.N”, “Electric Lady”, “Primetime”, “Dance Apocalyptic”.

Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle

Laura Marling’s third album Once I Was An Eagle opens so unassumingly that you almost forget you’re listening to it… until Marling’s voice come in demanding to be listened to. And thats the whole album in a nutshell. Its a playful album, with cheeky lyrics (“You Know”) and beautiful arrangements  (“Devil’s Resting Place”) all grounded by Marling’s vocals that sound far older than her 23 years. There’s not much more to say about this because it just simply needs to be listened to in its own right.

Album Highlights: "I Was An Eagle", "You Know", "Master Hunter", "Devil’s Resting Place", "Little Birds", "Where Can I Go".

Honorable Mentions: 

James Blake - Overgrown

Disclosure - Settle

Active Child - Rapor EP

Woodkid - The Golden Age

Miley Cyrus - Bangerz

10

Dec

astronomyy: “Drivin Me Crazy”

Earlier this year, the band IYES put me onto this Londoner who sings quite nicely and the track “Don’t Need U”, a slow summer song with crunchy guitars and smooth vocals. Now here’s “Drivin Me Crazy” that has those same smooth silky vocals this time over an irresistible 808 beat and sultry guitar plucking. He’s been snapped up by a major label so keep your eyes peeled for this kid.

astronomyy: WebsiteFacebookTwitterSoundcloud

02

Dec

Con Vos: “Coast”

I’m a sucker for this kind of beat right now (see Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home and Lady Gaga’s “Do What You Want”). 80s inspired funk is having a bit of a moment and I love it, case in point the brilliant “Coast” from Con Vos, with its delicious synth runs and silky vocals on that killer hook- and then the rap part kicks in.

From the debut EP Cocoon Bloom out early 2014.

Con Vos: Website…FacebookTwitterSoundcloud

(via Pigeon + Planes)

26

Nov

Francis And The Lights: “Like A Dream”

New York’s Francis And The Lights turn up in the some unexpected places, like The Game’s new album and on Drake’s Thank Me Later. Right where they supposed to be is on their new EP Like A Dream, a more vulnerable turn from the band. The title track is a slow burning soulful track that lends itself comparisons to Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

Stream the EP here, which is out now on Good Years.

31

Oct

Remix Baby: Drake “Come Thru (James Blake Version)”

Drake’s new album Nothing Was The Same is pretty damn good and this James Blake version of “Come Thru” is rather good too that adds some menacing synths cut up with some brighter video game chords that switches up the whole vibe of the track. Amazing.

23

Oct

disCOVER: ASTR “Hold On, We’re Going Home (Drake Cover)”

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ASTR switches up the pronouns on Drake’s brilliant single, adds some dazzling synths and breathy background voxes. Very lovely little cover.

Check out more of their music, like “R U With Me”.

ASTR: WebsiteFacebook...TwitterSoundcloud