This week's must-listen singles: Christopher Port, Swick, Charli XCX + more
Plus, new singles from Maggie Rogers and Australian pop golden-girl E^ST.
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, Christopher Port, E^ST and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Christopher Port - Find A Way
The production dexterity and versatility of Melbourne's Christopher Port is almost unmatched in Australia, with the UK garage-influenced producer dropping soothing, subdued singles and hefty bangers thick with bass alike over the past few years. DTF, the first single from his Everything In Quotes "LIGHT" EP due out next week, was a single definitely in the former, uniting a sweeping bassline and lush synth melodies with playful vocal samples and a driving percussive section that at the time, we described as similar to some of Four Tet's more upbeat, club-orientated work with the intricacy of a Jamie XX track. His latest single Find A Way definitely follows suit, if not more so, with a spotlighted vocal sample forming the backbone of the single's catchy percussive groove. It's a touch more intricate and relaxed than the relentlessness of DTF's thick bass, but it's a brilliant single none the less, and we're definitely excited to hear the full EP when it drops next week.
The single also comes with a line of jackets from the producer, who continues to combine his love for music and fashion after dropping his first clothing line with his debut EP. Check all of that out HERE.
Charli XCX - Girls Night Out
If you're a fan of Charli XCX, chances are you've already heard Girls Night Out. Long previewed in her energetic live show (and getting the odd spin from SOPHIE in her DJ sets - like when she was in the country for Laneway Festival back in 2016), Girls Night Out also leaked about a year ago, but it's now out in full quality and it bloody goes off. Produced by SOPHIE and in-demand pop producer Stargate, Girls Night Out is an irresistibly catchy single that continues to showcase Charli XCX's drive to create forward-thinking and experimental pop music that definitely sounds like the future, uniting this bouncy, saccharine sweet production (that at times, warps into a more charging beast) with Charli's characteristically light-hearted and catchy vocal that'll no doubt be stuck in your head for days. Following on from No Angel / Focus and 5 In The Morning over the last few months, Girls Night Out is just further proof that Charli XCX is really onto something, and if she's not one of pop music's most prominent and acclaimed in the next years, I'm going to be really surprised.
Swick - 1000 Shots feat. Merky Ace
Continuing on with the theme of forward-thinking and experimental music, Swick has been really pushing the boundaries on a more local level over the past little while, whether it's through solo singles like Hydration or his production work on Kota Banks' quick-paced and remarkably strong debut mixtape, PRIZE. 1000 Shots is his latest single and it's a return to the more grimey side of Swick's catalogue, with the producer teaming up with South London MC Merky Ace for a track that unites this grimey feeling explored in Swick's past work with these characteristically bright and bubbly synth work. 1000 Shots is all about contrast, whether it's Merky Ace's thick verses or his sung chorus, or whether it's the uniting of light, playful synth work and this warping, dark bassline in the single's versatile production. With his upcoming mixtape Court Composer set to arrive in the coming months, 1000 Shots is the latest example of Swick's production brilliance - something that'll no doubt continue with the full mixtape.
E^ST - I Don't Lack Imagination
Through her catchy, unashamedly pop-centric singles and collaborations with names like SACHI, Alice Ivy and Darius, 20-year-old Australian musician E^ST is quickly becoming a heavy force in Australia's continually growing pop scene. Her latest single, Blowjob, was praised for uniting "sophisticated songwriting, emotional vocal work and emotive themes" in a way that little in Australian music could, solidifying her presence as a refreshingly raw and long-overdue pop music figure in Australia. I Don't Lack Imagination continues this with brilliant results, with E^ST combining a simplistic yet very effective production with her attention-grabbing vocal that'll leave you won over every time. "This song is about building up an idea of someone in your mind, but then when you actually get to hang with them and get to know them you realise they're pretty lame and nowhere near as cool as you preconceived them to be," she says on the single. "An ode to all the bad first dates we suffer through."
Maggie Rogers - Give A Little
Maggie Rogers is pop brilliance. Her 2017 highlights On + Off and Alaska were both some of our favourite songs of that year, and Fallingwater, her long-awaited returning single released a few months back, balanced this "pulsing production with a subtle blend of emotional piano and vocal" in a way that only Maggie Rogers could. Known for her soft folk undertones and excellent, emotive songwriting, Give A Little sees Rogers shake it up a little for a single that is bright, catchy and even a little bit danceable, teasing her forthcoming new album with a single that could easily open her up to a whole new audience. With a funk-fuelled instrumental driving the single's light-hearted and warm feel, Give A Little almost comes across as HAIM-esque with its tall-standing confidence and easily singalong-able chorus, and with its slick pop sheen, we're definitely a hell of a lot more keen for her forthcoming debut album when it arrives sometime over the next few months.