This week's must-listen singles: Cub Sport, Billie Eilish, Washington + more
Also, new singles from Jack Gray and BROODS.
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 Tourist, Annie Bass, Manu Crooks and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Cub Sport - Party Pill
A band that frankly needs no introduction at this point, Cub Sport are doing wonderful things for Australian music at the moment, both locally - playing Falls Festival in the lead-up to their forthcoming self-titled album next week - and internationally, where they're flying our flag with a huge US tour later in the year. They're one of the country's best and most essential bands at the moment and after the dizzying success of their third album's lead single Sometimes - which saw them welcome a more pop-centric, almost-Troye Sivan-esque sound - and the more recent and tender affair Summer Lover, they're back with the album's final pre-release tease - Party Pill. It's quietly one of the many highlights of the forthcoming album, telling a story about the private relationship between Tim and Bolan before they went public with the release of BATS last year, doing so through a subtle, pop-leaning sound that balances their indie brilliance with confident, accessible songwriting and slight twists on their sound instrumentally. "Sam and I first fell in love when we were 17 but I was super scared of what would happen if I came out and decided it’d be better for us to just be friends," Tim says on the single, which acts as an expansion of their 2016 break-out, Come On Mess Me Up. "This part of our story had been weighing on my heart for a long time and I’d held onto a lot of shame and embarrassment, but I realised last year that I needed to let go. So, I finally turned the pain of those years into something beautiful and it feels like I’m setting myself free." They've also just announced their biggest tour yet for April, find the deets HERE.
Billie Eilish - WHEN I WAS OLDER
Billie Eilish is on a roll at the moment. The young US musician is blossoming into one of the world's leading names, continually evolving and transforming as she strides towards the release of her debut album later in the year - bound to be one of the year's best. Last year saw Eilish expand on her work prior, moving into the warped, dark-pop of you should see me in a crown - a song that played to her strengths perfectly - and the tender, heart-string-pulling moments of beauty of when the party's over and come out and play alike, the former further pushing her commercially as it climbed up the ARIA Charts. Now she's back with WHEN I WAS OLDER, another more stipped back and subtle moment as her soft vocal sways over a delicate piano instrumental, which eventually, is greeted by a more hip-hop-like injection of bass and snare. It's a song inspired by and released alongside the Netflix film ROMA - so it's probably a one-off throwaway track - but it continues to show Eilish's strength in 2019, something she's going to have front and centre as she becomes one of our music world's most accomplished young-guns.
Washington - American Spirit
One of the names I was more excited to see make a comeback last year was Megan Washington, who after two years of silence, finally made a comeback with Claws. It was a "delicate, yet tall-standing return" from an artist who "has clearly not lost her stride," uniting a "catchy vocal pulse" from one of Australia's best and most celebrated vocalists "with a restrained production that glistens with its chiming melodies," marking her return is a real, real good way. Her latest single, American Spirit, makes it two from two; her velvety vocal once again taking the front stage as they sweep over a brooding, orchestral instrumental that provides a suitable platform of the single's pretty dark theme. "Following the election, I thought of America as a character, almost a willing victim, doing anything for fame. Running towards the burning building," she says on the single, which is taken from her upcoming new album expected later this year. "The image of Peg Entwistle, the actress who died when she jumped from the ‘H’ in the Hollywood sign was on my mind. As was Stormy Daniels, the dark side of the American dream. There’s something magnetic, sinister and glamorous about these scenes I wanted to capture."
Jack Gray - Drunk Talk
From a long-time Australian favourite to one bound to become one, Jack Gray is a Sunshine Coast-raised musician we discovered last year with his charming third single My Hands; a single we immediately fell in love with thanks to its remarkably slick and polished songwriting that was among some of our local best. His latest single, Drunk Talk, comes after a monumental year for the musician - he toured the UK with Dean Lewis before doing the same support slot in Australia (where he also supported E^ST) - and it continues where My Hands ended, mixing a crunchy, percussive instrumental thick with glistening melodies and tight synth work with his soaring vocal, which has a very popstar-in-the-making feel about it. "Drunk Talk is a track I worked on late one night with my mates in the studio," he says on the single, which teases a forthcoming debut album expected in the next couple of months. "We record songs in a converted caravan close to the Gold Coast and we just couldn’t help ourselves as the sessions always go late. One of us ends up drinking way too much and starts talking shit. So, I wrote a song about it. It’s such a universal thing - waking up the next morning and wondering what complete nonsense came out of our mouths."
Broods - Hospitalized
When it comes to catchy electro-pop, there's no-one quite as good as Broods. The much-adored New Zealand duo have become one of the biggest cross-Tasman acts around, with the first single from their upcoming album, last year's Peach, firmly placing them back on top as one of this side of the equator's leading names - pairing punchy choruses with captivating productions that you can't help but be swept up in. Their upcoming third new album, Don't Feed The Pop Monster, is out on February 1st but it's already shaping up to be a winner, something their latest single Hospitalized reinforces with its characteristically-Broods chorus and thick, synth-driven instrumental. "Keeping up with the highs and lows of our lives over the past few years is all we've really written about on this record," the now-LA-based duo say on the record when we interviewed them a couple of weeks back. "This record wasn't made from surface level unsettlement; it was made from a place of deeper turmoil. The currents one fights against when they find themselves growing much faster than anticipated." Keep an eye on its arrival soon.