Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
The best of the electronic world in the past week, including Let's Eat Grandma, Matthew Young, Thandi Phoenix and more.
Matthew Young – Running Up That Hill
Auckland's Matthew Young is quickly becoming our neighbour's biggest next R&B/pop export (after Lorde, of course), dominating 2017 with a round of spectacular singles such as Hey and Collect – two of the biggest of his career thus far. His latest is a woozy cover of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill, with Young taking the raw, emotive passion of the original and twisting it with his own R&B-pop croon to create magic. Young's cover of Running Up That Hill amplifies his sultry vocal, which twists and turns above a brooding, stripped-back production that perfectly compliments his now-popular and recognisable vocal, paying homage to the original while also showcasing why Matthew Young is a force to be reckoned with as he continues to strive in 2018. Let's hope that 2018 sees him make a splash in the Australian market after a handful of intimate east-coast gigs late last year.
NAATIONS – Touch Me
Formed in 2016 as a pairing between Nicky Night Time and Nat Dunn, NAATIONS have already whipped up a storm with their 2017 highlights Want Me More and Alive, while also donating vocals to Duke Dumont's collaboration with Gorgon City, Real Life. Touch Me is their first release for 2018 and it's another bright and summery electronic anthem, combining Dunn's charging vocals with a percussion-soaked, glitchy production that sits somewhere between electro-pop and house, with shadings of drum'n'bass coming through the relentless percussion line. It comes ahead of a pair of shows in London this month, with NAATIONS set to headline Camden Assembly on March 28 before supporting Gorgon City at the iconic Brixton Academy a few days later – cementing them as one to watch both in Australia and on an international level too.
Let's Eat Grandma – Falling Into Me
One of 2018's unexpected highlights thus far have come from electrifying UK teenage duo Let's Eat Grandma, who teamed up with enigmatic PC musician SOPHIE for the clanging and abrasive Hot Pink. "We’re interested in making music which is as immersive as possible and is constantly evolving," said Let's Eat Grandma to us around Hot Pink's release, something which they've delivered on with their follow-up Falling Into Me. Falling Into Me is a glittery electronic charmer that draws heavy influence from nostalgic synth and the R&B croon of Frank Ocean, somehow combining these inspirations together with their own magical charm to create a single that is inviting and ambitious without the heavy abrasiveness of SOPHIE's clanging production on Hot Pink. It's also a bit of a personal release, according to one-half of the duo Jenny Hollingworth: "It’s about communication. Some of the lyrics reference being in control as a woman in a romantic relationship, and being the one to initiate. So you’re the person who tells them that you like them, you’re taking the initiative. It’s the importance of if you feel something, tell them. Because you don’t know what’s going to happen in life, you might as well just do it."
Thandi Phoenix – My Way
Thandi Phoenix is quickly becoming one of Australian electro-pop's most inventive and exciting acts, having a ripping 2017 off the back of her career highlight Standing Too Close. Now she's back, linking up with UK titans Rudimental for a quick-firing single that combines her own vocal prowess with Rudimental's well-loved drum'n'bass sound to really push the boundaries of electro-pop in Australia. The collaboration is the latest part of a recurring friendship between Phoenix and Rudimental, with the Sydney musician supporting the group on a recent Australian headline tour which now, months later, has blossomed into a songwriting partnership that'll hopefully push Thandi Phoenix to audiences overseas while also continuing to elevate her status in Australia.
Virtual Self – Ghost Voices (Ratio Remix)
Last year, Porter Robinson broke free from his songwriting shackles to launch Virtual Self – a new project aimed to trigger nostalgia with its quick-paced, Dance Dance Revolution-esque blend of hardcore, trance and house. Ghost Voices was one of, if not the highlight of the five-track Virtual Self EP, and it's now been turned into even more of a monster by French house producer Ratio. Ratio's remix of Ghost Voices is a charging and relentless techno stomper, chopping up the original's catchy synth melody and layering it above a thick bassline which doesn't hold back over the remix's six-minute duration. Just try not getting swept up: