This Week's Must-Listen Singles: Adrian Eagle, Vera Blue, Dominic Fike + more
Plus, new singles from Bootleg Rascal and hip-hop up-start JessB.
Header image by Clare Nica.
Every week, we're hammered with tonnes of new music from Australia and afar, so much so that at times, it feels a little overwhelming and you're not quite sure where to begin. Every week, we run down this week's must-listen singles and releases, this week featuring names like Adrian Eagle, Bootleg Rascal, Vera Blue and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Adrian Eagle - Housing Trust
After being introduced to the Adelaide up-start earlier this year with his re-affirming A.O.K., it's become clear that Adrian Eagle is bound for international success - regardless of whether he triumphs in Australia. In the time since, he's covered Ocean Alley for triple j's Like A Version and announced a series of big tours - including supporting good mates and collaborators Hilltop Hoods in the US - that's firmly set the name-on-the-rise on top, something he's out to cement with his new one, Housing Trust. It's a reflective ode to his upbringing in Adelaide, contrasting heavy lyrics of growing up in public housing with a struggling family with a bright and upbeat sound that almost attempts to mask it - similar to how Stella Donnelly juxtaposes happy-go-lucky melodies with lyrics on sexual assault and rape culture. It shows his depth as an artist and as a songwriter, showing his strengths as a story-teller above dizzying productions that prove as accessible as they are forward-thinking. "Housing Trust is about celebrating life and how far the process has taken me around the world and back," he says. "Unchaining myself from many years of dark years in those housing trust to also remaining strong in the same values and intentions as I’ve always had."
Vera Blue - The Way That You Love Me
On her debut album Perennial, Vera Blue bridged together two very different worlds for an album that seemed to encompass and capture her discography to date. There were tall-standing and confident pop anthems à la Lady Powers next to tender, indie moments that saw her powerful vocal stripped back to its most raw and personal, and while she's only released a few things since - 2018's All The Pretty Girls and this year's Like I Remember You - it's clear that this songwriting versatility is something that'll be moving into album two as well. The Way That You Love Me - described as "the start of a new chapter, a new phase and a new storyline" for the esteemed musician - is a darker and heavier take on the more electronic-rooted sound displayed on songs like Lady Powers, with thick bass kicks and house grooves meeting her angelic vocal which contrasts the production's darkness perfectly. Add on a full tour to go with it, and you have the proof you need to cement the rest of 2019 as Vera Blue's.
Dominic Fike - Phone Numbers
For an artist who was basically unknown at the start of last year, the rise of Dominic Fike has been almost unbelievable. Driven by his addictive runaway success 3 Nights, the US musician has blossomed from pop's next best thing to heavyweight amongst that more rap-inspired sound, working closely with the BROCKHAMPTON team to produce clanging moments of quick-paced heaven, something that was only further fleshed out with his two 2019 singles thus far, Rollerblades and Açaí Bowl. On Phone Numbers, his latest single, Fike's sound becomes fleshed out to the point where you really get a sense of who he is as a musician, combining a clanging production assisted by hip-hop production mastermind Kenny Beats with his vocal which twists between soothing R&B hooks and up-tempo rap and the drop of a pin. It further poises him as a musician bound to achieve something big with his music, and with plenty more in store for 2019, it's no longer a question of if Dominic Fike will become the world's next big star, it's a question of when it'll happen - if it's not already.
Bootleg Rascal - Yin & Yang
After the success of their second album Anónimo, Sydney party-starters Bootleg Rascal could take pretty much any direction they could want. The album, released last year, covered everything from indie-rock and hip-hop to electronic and pop within the same collection of tracks, keeping their paths clear as they set themselves forward as one of our country's most versatile band sound-wise. It's something they're bringing forward into 2019 for the release of a new double A-side Yin & Yang, whose - Get Over Myself and Tryin' To Run - are vastly different to one another but perfectly complementing, encompassing two of their most prominent sounds as the duo set themselves up for a big year ahead. Get Over Myself, the first, is more rooted in hip-hop and R&B, taking notes from Gorillaz' production in the genre as they inject a distinctly hip-hop sound with mannerisms of indie and pop, while Tryin' To Run is more indie-pop in the classic sense - big guitars, big vocals and everything else. Catch 'em on an east-coast tour through August/September.
JessB - Mood
JessB is another name in the rap world we were only recently acquainted with, coming across the New Zealand rapper with her single Bump Bump, "a homage to the nostalgic hip-hop of the early 00s, including Missy Elliot and Snoop Dogg." Now, she's followed it up with another bit of musical dynamite, cementing her name as one of her country's most exciting in the genre with Mood. Much like her aforementioned recent single, Mood is a fiery piece of work that sees her trademark flow meet a production by New Zealand production heavyweight 10A, showcasing her confidence both in vocals and as a lyricist as she paves a unique path for herself as a musician. There's a collaboration-filled EP incoming and a slot at Splendour In The Grass' Red Bull Stage pre-party on Thursday 18th July, but in the meantime, Mood will tie us over just fine.