This week's must-listen singles: Arno Faraji, Billie Eilish, Middle Kids + more
Plus, a brilliant second single from Australia's JXN, and something new from Australia-bound Georgia.
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 Arno Faraji, Billie Eilish, JXN and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Arno Faraji - Scalin' (prod. by Milan Ring)
#FARAJISEASON. Over the last few years, Perth-raised rapper and musician Arno Faraji has stepped forward to breathe new blood into the Australian hip-hop scene, wasting no time since taking out triple j's Unearthed High competition to become one of the country's most versatile and effortlessly brilliant names, adapting and warping to whatever beat he triumphs. He's collaborated with hip-hop icons including REMI and Sensible J, performed alongside Tkay Maidza and fellow rapper-on-the-rise Kwame, and has generally been crushing it for a while now, blossoming into one of the west coast's best rappers. Scalin' continues this is the best possible fashion, teaming up with Astral People management mate, multi-instrumentalist and recent Pilerats favourite Milan Ring for a moment that's as sun-soaked as it is effortlessly cool, with a funk-fuelled bass groove and steel drums uniting underneath Arno's skilful flow. "The song is about following your passions and taking opportunities when they come! Life rarely called, especially in our favour, so when it does you have to answer, you never know if you’ll have the same opportunity," says Arno on the single. "It was dope from the start, before we really got into anything we got to know each other a little bit and talked influences, traded sounds and got a feel for what we were both listening to at the time," he continues, talking about teaming up with Milan Ring on the single. "I showed Milan this bassline from a track called FUNGUS and next thing I know, Milan is jamming and ends up creating her own dope bassline, almost in response to what I played."
Billie Eilish - Bad Guy
Today marks the arrival of Billie Eilish's debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, which if nothing else, is a career-defining exploration of one of pop music's most exciting and left-field names, twisting and turning as she uses the record to explore her adventurous 'horror-pop' sound. While the album is full of previously unreleased highlights - from the moody and dystopian-sounding xanny to all the good girls go to hell - the album's most courageous and well-executed moment comes in the form of bad guy, a quick-firing and completely unexpected song that sees Billie Eilish venture into a sound more upbeat and house-leaning. It's a strong album-opener from the get-go, with a pulsing bass rhythm creating a platform for Billie's darting vocal to jump across, before a glitching trap break-down breaks up the flow as she moves into the next song. "I want people to listen,” she says on the album. “I want to be heard, and I want people to feel heard. Nothing on this album sounds the same, but it all adds up to a whole. Since I first started doing music, my life has changed a lot. One thing that hasn’t changed in my music is that I still just do me." Catch her at Groovin the Moo this April/May, as well as a collection of sold-out headline shows accompanying them.
Middle Kids - Real Thing
Sydney indie trio Middle Kids are a band well and truly in their own lane at the moment, building off the momentum of their acclaimed debut album - last year's Lost Friends - to further solidify their sound and deepen their fanbase with Salt Eyes, a woozy returning single arriving just before a touring stint with Laneway Festival which well and truly re-established the band's position in our scene. Seemingly, this is continuing into 2019, with the trio announcing a new, six-track mini-album New Songs For Old Problems with its leading single, Real Thing. It's another dizzying display of what Middle Kids do best, uniting Hannah's championing vocal with a subtle indie-rock backing full of lush guitar work that shines with that pristine, Middle Kids charm. "Real Thing is the lifelong quest for meaning," explains Hannah on the single. "The quiet, persistent voice in the stillness that constantly checks to see if you truly think you’ve found the thing you’re looking for." New Songs For Old Problems is out May 24, with Australian tour dates planned for this April.
JXN - Red Lights (feat. A BOOGIE WIT DA HOODIE)
At the tail-end of last year, we were introduced to a Melbourne-based figure named Jackson Brazier, who with his debut single Solitude, gave us an incredible introduction to the rising force that is JXN. Drawing comparisons to names including Khalid and Post Malone, his debut single was a track that found the "meeting place between the snapping snare you'll find in your standard rap song and the confident pop you'll see in your standard radio tune," bringing together bright hooks and woozy, R&B-esque tones for a genre-bending burst out the gates that put him in front. Now, he follows it up with Red Lights, a more hip-hop-centric single that sees him link up with A BOOGIE WIT DA HOODIE for a masterclass in tasteful collaboration, with ABWDH's gentle vocal glide perfectly meeting JXN's more relaxed and R&B-flavoured tone, which shimmers above an airy production that perfectly compliments each of their respective vocals. "I’m pretty stoked to have A Boogie on the song,” JXN says on the single. "His verse fits perfectly, and I love his work, so I’m feeling happy about it."
Georgia - About Work The Dancefloor
If you're unfamiliar, Georgia is a UK-based singer-producer who over the last twelve months has whipped up a storm with her break-out single Started Out. It's an incredibly catchy, ear-worming hit that bridges the gap between this charming indie-pop sound and something a little more dance-y and early-Disclosure-esque, something her new single, About Work The Dancefloor, completely fleshes out and deepens. About Work The Dancefloor is a bonafide club heater, with a sweaty disco-house groove providing the perfect backdrop for Georgia's pop hook that dances over the top, giving a nod to dancefloor culture and her club-centric upbringing as she delivers another catchy gem. "About Work The Dancefloor is a song written in response to the clubbing culture I experienced in cities whilst touring," she says on the single. "Going out and getting that emotion or sensation from a collective energy in various spaces. It’s that stuff of old school disco, the thrill of the dance floor." Catch her around the country in April supporting anthemic indie-dance icons JUNGLE., with plenty more to come in the remainder of the year.