This week's must-listen singles: Matthew Young, Maggie Rogers, Clairo + more
Also, new music from Australian shoegaze-pop queen Hatchie and Jorja Smith.
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 plan to run down this week's must-listen singles and releases, this week featuring names like HABITS, Nicole Millar, Slum Sociable and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Matthew Young - Over This
One of today's big releases comes from Auckland's Matthew Young, who has finally released his long-awaited new EP Fruit after some gorgeous singles such as Hey, Fix Me Up, and touching cover of Kate Bush's iconic Running Up That Hill. Over This is another highlight of the EP which showcases his skills in crafting emotive and easily-replayable pop music, bringing together this woozy, synth-swelling instrumental with his own aching vocals that are one of the easy highlights of the whole seven-track release. Add a roaring, electric guitar-focused breakdown around three-quarters of the way through, and you have a versatile and seductive single which doesn't get old even on the 20th listen. The whole EP is quite a journey too, and comes after some pretty heavy experiences for the Australia-bound musician. "Coming through months of being under medicated, over medicated or feeling like the guy from Silver Linings Playbook, I finally figured some shit out and got to making music again," he says on the EP. Check out his Australian tour dates HERE - it's a tour you really shouldn't miss.
Maggie Rogers - Fallingwater
One of last year's most surprising stand-outs came from a then-unknown US musician named Maggie Rogers, whose debut EP Now That The Light Is Fading seriously impressed thanks to singles such as Alaska and On + Off - both of which ending as some of our favourite songs for the year. Fallingwater is her first single of 2018 and it's possibly her best yet, balancing this pulsing electronic production with a subtle blend of emotional piano and vocal that was written and produced with the aid of former Vampire Weekend member and song-writing weapon Rostam. It's a really special single that is somehow both uplifting and empowering yet also warm and touching, solidifying Maggie Rogers as one of the best newcomers to the international music market and leaving us begging for more music throughout the rest of the year.
Clairo - B.O.M.D. feat. Danny L Harle
There's a couple of things that will instantly draw me in to hit play on a track, and two of them happen to me young pop up-and-comers killing it and PC Music productions. Clairo's B.O.M.D., one of the highlights from her just-released Dairy 001 EP, brings both of these worlds together, with the 2018 rising-star teaming up with PC prince Danny L Harle for a single that leans on the boundaries of accessible radio-pop and experimental electronic. Already highlighted on singles like the break-out Pretty Girl, Clairo's vocals on B.O.M.D. are the star of the show, feeling very comfortable and effortlessly brilliant as they soar and pull back across the single's short, yet impactful duration. However, when combined with Danny L Harle's sugary melodies, clanging bangs of percussion and crisp snaps, B.O.M.D. has that element of uniqueness that sets the single and Clairo away - or possibly ahead - from the rest of the pack and sets her route to stardom. Be sure to check out the rest of the EP too, it's very, very good.
Hatchie - Bad Guy
Hatchie's debut EP Sugar & Spice is out today, and joining the already-released singles in Sure, Sleep, Sugar & Spice and Try is a fifth track called Bad Guy, which continues to push Hatchie as not just one of Australia's big new names, but an international artist who has been killing it in the US and UK over the past few months. It's another sensational slice of dreamy shoegaze-pop, with Hatchie's signature spin on the typically moody genre once again in focus as she combines a stripped-back guitar backing with her own moving vocals. "These songs were written more for myself than for a specific project, in an effort to explore feelings of vulnerability and ecstasy I had previously suppressed," she says on the EP, out today. "wanted them to sound lush, sparkly, and recreate euphoric feelings I experienced falling in love for the first time. They were all written without much thought or pressure from myself or anyone else, allowing me to lay my feelings out like I’ve never done before." Be sure to check her out supporting DMA's this June, or on her own run of headline shows on the east-coast this July - more deets HERE.
Jorja Smith - February 3rd
The UK's Jorja Smith was one of R&B's big breakouts of 2017, teaming up with Preditah on her own career-launching single On My Mind while also collaborating with names such as Kali Uchis, Stormzy and Drake, the latter of which picking out Jorja for his upbeat house thumper Get It Together on his More Life release last year. She's currently striding towards a bigger release later in the year with a wide array of singles, the latest of which, February 3rd, reminding us all how we fell in love with Jorja in the first place. It's beautifully subtle and restrained, with Jorja Smith's soaring, soulful vocals leading the way above a tasteful instrumental that forces you to focus on her vocal line. She's one of the most in-demand rising stars of R&B at the moment, and here's hoping that 2018 sees her long-awaited Australian debut.