This Week's Must-Listen Singles: Charli XCX, Rex Orange County, Slowthai + more
Plus, new singles from Robinson and ALTA.
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 Charli XCX, Robinson, Rex Orange County and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Charli XCX - Shake It (feat. Big Freedia, Cupcakke, Brooke Candy, Pabllo Vittar)
Today marks the arrival of Charli XCX's long-awaited new album Charli, and as expected from a record coming from one of pop music's most daring experimentalists, it's loaded top-to-bottom with forward-thinking bursts of a bright pop music future. In saying that, none of the album's more daring than Shake It - a song which interestingly, features very little Charli XCX at all. It's a mega-collaboration of music's most creative talents, with bounce pioneer Big Freedia, US rapper Cupcakke, and international pop talents Brooke Candy and Pabllo Vittar each taking turns to cause a ruckus over a hyper-experimentalist club-pop beat.
The end result is four-minutes that showcase the highlights of some of music's most left-of-centre heavyweights, showcasing each of their respective strengths while bidding an exciting look into the future; Shake It being a crystal ball of kinds that peers into a bright, wide-ranging future.
Rex Orange County - 10/10
One of hip-hop's most surprising favourites moving into 2019 is a musician whose sound is the furthest possible thing from rap. Over the last two years, Laneway Festival alumni Rex Orange County has become an in-demand collaborator working with everyone from Tyler, The Creator to Chance The Rapper; while his own music - his 2017 album Apricot Princess one of indie's cult-adored records of the year - navigates this jazzy, soulful take on indie-pop that sits somewhere between Clairo, Omar Apollo and BADBADNOTGOOD; a melting pot of sounds that perfectly summaries the word 'genreless'.
10/10 is his first single since his 2017 commercial cross-over Loving Is Easy, and it's a glistening return to form that's distinctly Rex Orange County but also something brand new at the same time. Held down by a distorted, auto-tuned vocal, 10/10 is a collection of layers that together, create this woozy, sun-soaked two-minutes-thirty that's over as quickly as it starts, finishing with one of the year's most repeatable songs in the process.
Slowthai & Denzel Curry - Psycho
Over the last few weeks, one of rap music's most-requested collaborations is a track between 2019 hip-hop highlights Slowthai and Denzel Curry. They've been teasing a collaboration together later found out to be titled Pyscho, whether it be via jumping up in each other's festival sets or teasing second-long clips of the track via social media, but this week marked the track's official arrival, and it turns out to be just as huge as believed.
Psycho is a hard-hitting and thrilling affair from two of rap's brightest names, with the cross-continental collaborations feeling like a victory lap for both Slowthai and Denzel Curry as the two rappers come out of 2019 as some of their sounds biggest names - the former, in grime-tinged rap, and the latter in collaborative Miami rap. Marked with heavy bass kicks, Psycho sees the two rappers flaunt their respective strengths, and the end result is one of rap music's scariest tracks of the year.
Robinson - Don't Say
Robinson is quickly blossoming into one of New Zealand's most exciting pop talents, with a consistent streak of brilliant singles marked with 2018's break-out Medicine showcasing that regardless of whether Robinson is attempting a down-tempo ballad or something bright and captivating, she's bound to hit it out of the park. Her new song, Don't Say, continues this streak, with Robinson channelling the complex emotions of a failed relationship into an empowering pop tune bright with soaring melodies and quick rhythms.
It's the first taste of her upcoming new EP WATCHING YOU, which with its release later this year, is bound to further propel Robinson into the very exciting spotlight she deserves. "It’s about a love that was once so strong and so bright and overtime the flame burns out – but the familiarity of that love still remains," she says on the track.
ALTA - Push
With a brilliant run of forward-thinking electronica dating back to their 2017 break-out Fix It, Melbourne duo ALTA have become one of our consistent go-to's whenever we're in search of quick house-pop; their skillset incomparable regardless of whether they're toying with sounds more club-centric and upbeat, or whether they're working with softer, more ballad-esque takes on their charming house-pop - both of which are sure to feature on their forthcoming debut album Reasons when it arrives on November 22nd.
Push is the album's next taste and it's a rhythmic explosion of their house-centric charm, with the energy being picked up a notch as they whip up a percussive-pop storm that's sure to blow you away. "Push is about seeing straight through someone trying to play games, when they aren’t any good at it," says Hannah from the duo on the song. "It's funny to me when someone thinks they're pulling the strings, but they're actually tying themselves in knots." Pre-order the album HERE.