This Week's Must-Listen Singles: BENEE, E^ST, Cry Club + more
All that, plus brilliant new singles from Ali Barter and Caribou.
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 Jack River, Ngaiire, George Maple and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
BENEE - Find An Island
2019 is quickly becoming the year of BENEE. After her break-out single Soaked catapulted her into international fame last year, the New Zealand pop star-on-the-rise followed it up with FIRE ON MARZZ: a career-encapsulating debut EP that showcased her many sides and energies as a musician, from bright pop singles strong on captivating hooks to tender, stripped-back ballads. Regardless of whatever sound she approached, however, you'd know that BENEE knocked it out of the park, her distinct, slick touch winning us over time and time again.
As it turns out, BENEE isn't an artist capable of slowing down. Despite only just dropping FIRE ON MARZZ, she's now followed it up with a returning single that's just as good; if not better. Find An Island is a breezy, tropical-tinged take on BENEE's masterful pop sound, with bass grooves and twinkling keys uniting with BENEE's witty lyricism and vocal sway. "This is a song I wrote about my best bud because sometimes ya hate your friends but you always love them," she says.
E^ST - TALK DEEP
It's been a while between drinks for E^ST. Since her Mallrat-assisted 2016 break-out Get Money!, the Australian musician has emerged a front-runner of Australian pop's next frontier, with her latest EP - last year's Life Ain't Always Roses - presenting the many sides of E^ST packaged into one, craftful release full of the wit, love and style we've come to love from E^ST over the last few years. Now, however, she returns, armed with a new single titled TALK DEEP - one amongst her best yet - and news of her debut album I'm Doing It, out next year.
As I'm Doing It's first tease, TALK DEEP gets us damn exciting. It's a shimmering, tall-standing pop tune that sways in the same pace of her last work but brought forward into 2019; E^ST's rich vocal and signature charm mixed with a production that swerves between soft and subtle - to complement her vocals - and charged and energetic, getting us hyped for what's next. "TALK DEEP is about having crazy chemistry with someone and not wanting to miss out on a single second of it," she says. "Who needs sleep anyway?"
Cry Club - Robert Smith
If there's anything we've come to learn over the last year, is that there's no-one quite like Cry Club. Since their 2018 debut single Walk Away, the duo of Jonathon Tooke and Heather Riley have proved explosive and incomparable, both in the recorded format - "I told you not to fucking touch me" Heather screams on DTFM, while Two Hearts earlier this year was the closest they've come to putting out a pop single thus far - in in the live format too, winning us over at BIGSOUND not once, but twice now.
Their latest single Robert Smith is a nod to their earliest work, with the ferocity of Walk Away reignited as Heather's vocals punch above Jonathon's screeching guitar, but this time, it's layered with that witty charm Cry Club have grown into over the last few months. "Why are the coolest people the ones who don’t appear to be trying at all? WHY are you suddenly embarrassing and uncool for wanting so bad to be cool?" Heather questions. "Also, how come Morrissey turned out to be a white supremacist...?" The Cure were always a better band anyway.
Ali Barter - Big Ones
Over the last few months, Ali Barter has been putting out some of her best music yet. It's a big call, considering her debut album A Suitable Girl was thick with some of Australia's best songwriting to-date - and songwriting which has really come to define and shape much of our indie scene in the time since - but considering the strengths of Ur A Piece Of Shit, Backseat (a stand-out highlight) and January, there's a chance her upcoming album Hello I'm Doing My Best might just eclipse it when it comes out next Friday.
Big Ones is the album's next taste and it keeps the momentum going, with the liveliness of her work throughout the year brought to life once again on Big Ones, which also brings a warm welcome to Ali's frank, honest songwriting and lyricism. "I wrote Big Ones during a time when I was sorting through the stress of expectation," she says. "Expectations from the people I work with, people I live with and mainly the ones I was putting on myself. So the song is essentially about opinions." Hello, I'm Doing My Best by Ali Barter is out Friday, October 18 - pre-order it HERE.
Caribou - Home
One of this week's unforeseen comebacks would have to be that of Caribou, who after years of quietness - their last release was 2014's career-defining album Our Love, and the deluxe edition which arrived a year following - this week made a return with Home. It's lush with those signature Caribou sounds - a delicate balance of synthetic melodies and organic instrumentation - but it also feels like new territory for Caribou, who moves into a world full of jazz-y soul-disco after Our Love explored the complexities of house music.
"I'm always listening to lots of music and sometimes a loop just jumps out at me - it's too perfect. That's how it was with Gloria Barnes' Home - I kept returning to it, meaning to do something with it but not knowing what," he says on the track, and its infamous sample which forms much of the single's melody. "Sometimes making music feels like a process I'm in charge of ... but there other times, when things just present themselves and my job is to follow their lead. It wasn't until the circumstances of someone close to me mirrored the refrain of the original song that the track all came together."