This week's must-listen singles: Haiku Hands, Little Dragon, Middle Kids + more
Plus, a charming collaboration between Essie Holt and LANKS, and a new single from Perth upstarts Spacey Jane.
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 Lana Del Rey, Tourist, SAFIA and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Haiku Hands - Squat feat. True Vibenation
Sydney/Melbourne collective Haiku Hands are one of the funnest acts in our electronic circuit at the moment, with singles such as their leading break-out Not About You and its 2018 follow-up Jupiter introducing us to a group that are charismatic, energetic and care-free - offering a really fresh and danceable breath of air to our crowded music world. Their latest, the live show highlight Squat, is a single that cements this bold claim, with the group teaming up with producer group True Vibenation for a fun and light-hearted track that combines catchy, commanding vocals with an almost dancehall-tinged production which I don't think you could ever get sick of. "Squat is an instruction manual for people who are too self-conscious, but hidden inside them is an ability to tear up the dancefloor," says True Vibenation on the track, which was born at a Sydney warehouse party and eventually developed into what it is today. Having recently wrapped up a national tour alongside the Listen Out Festival, the group have just announced their debut headline nation-wide tour, which will see them play a whole heap of cities in the first quarter of next year - dates and more info HERE.
Little Dragon - Lover Chanting
Scandinavian outfit Little Dragon have proven favourites of the international electro-pop world, becoming mainstays and Australian festival favourites ever since their debut album all the way back in 2007. The records they've released since - all the way up to last year's Season High - have done nothing but confirm their knack for crafting captivating and at-times experimental slices of electronica, but their latest, Lover Chanting, might just be their most addicting yet. It's a more upbeat and danceable number in line with their most popular single Ritual Union, fleshing out the electronic shadings always present in their work and uniting it with a confident pop-esque vocal line which sees frontwoman Yukimi Nagano at her most captivating. It's the first single from a three-track EP expected via Ninja Tune on November 9, with Nagano explaining that the EP - the band's first - is about "the force of love. Not only between two people but the force of love in this universe as the ultimate ecstasy. Whether that is while you’re dancing at a disco forgetting where you are or just staring at the moon on a clear night, it can be anything. A swim in the ocean, a glance at a stranger--it’s a personal individual thing. Call it what you want but we have all felt it. So, embrace the great mystery of everything that your brain can’t grasp and lose track in the most beautiful sense."
Middle Kids - Salt Eyes
Earlier this year, we saw the release of Lost Friends - the debut album from Sydney trio Middle Kids which, back in May, saw them become one of Australia's favourite (and best) indie-pop newcomers, capturing the hearts and ears of basically everyone as their debut managed to nab a top 10 ARIA Chart positioning and more recently, an ARIA Award nomination. They were also one of the names on next year's local-heavy Laneway Festival, which is where they'll no doubt play Salt Eyes, their latest single and the first since dropping Lost Friends and winning our hearts. It's another irresistible showcase of their brilliant indie-rock sound, which combines the bright and accessible vocal hooks of frontwoman Hannah Joy with a guitar-soaked instrumental that overall, shines with a Methyl Ethel-esque appeal. "Salt Eyes is when you get those red-dry-eyes after a big cry," says Joy on the single, which comes as they support Bloc Part on their European arena tour. "Sometimes we try to live large but actually it makes us feel small. Salt Eyes is what we get when we’re searching for freedom but haven’t found it yet."
Essie Holt - Distant Places feat. LANKS
Across the last twelve months, Melbourne's Essie Holt has become one of our local favourites, with singles such as the engrossing and brilliantly made Magnetise well and truly placing her as one to watch amongst our rising electro-pop scene. Her latest single, a collaboration with LANKS, showcases a different side of Holt however, with the typically bright and upbeat sound she's introduced to us reduced to a more brooding and darker shading that showcases her songwriting versatility with a blazing success. It's more down-tempo and low-key too, with the single swapping out the characteristically bold synth melodies for only a simplistic piano line and the interchanging vocals of Holt and LANKS, taking on a more personal and heartbreak-soundtracking sound which we're still really enjoying. "[Distance Places is] my most personal and raw song yet," says Essie Holt on the single, which arrives with a show at Yah Yah's tonight - more info HERE - and the promise of her debut EP in early 2019. "At the time I was going through a breakdown of a relationship that I was bursting to write about and get those feelings out. It’s my favourite thing I’ve ever written."
Spacey Jane - Keep A Clean Nose
Freo indie four-piece Spacey Jane have become one of our latest favourites to come from our bustling indie scene, with singles such as So You Wanna - a track that stripped-back for one our Live Sessions earlier this year - positioning them as not just one of our most exciting, but as one of those bands certainly destined to break out over east too. Their latest, Keep A Clean Nose, is a breezy and refreshing slice of indie-pop that shines with their accessible summer-esque feeling, but this time around touches on some darker topics lyrically. "The song is about never quite feeling good enough for the person you love," says lead singer Caleb on the single, which arrives ahead of a full, forthcoming EP expected sometime soon. "Always worrying about her finding someone better, that she might get up and leave at any minute. Staying up late at night when she’s not there trying to think of a single good reason for her to stay with you and coming up totally empty every time."