This week's must-listen singles: MEZKO, Charli XCX, Mansionair + more
Also, new tracks from Clea and the long-awaited solo return of Kito.
Header photo by Marcus Coblyn.
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 MEZKO, Kito, Mansionair and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
MEZKO - They Like. We Like.
Last year was a big one for experimental Sydney duo MEZKO. They released their debut EP Polychronic to a heap of acclaim and love, toured nationally in both headline and support positions, and played a bunch of festivals - Volumes and Secret Garden amongst them. Now they're back in 2018 to make some more moves, announcing the release of their sophomore EP SYZYGY - out July 27 through Inertia Music - with an absolute banging new single titled They Like. We Like.. Their returning single takes the pairing in a slightly different direction, channelling some nostalgic acid-house sounds and combining them with this industrial, larger-than-life sound which is brimming with their trademark synth riffs and dark vocals. It's a self-described "stupid and excited nonsensical banger" that'll quickly sweep you off your feet and guide you to the dancefloor, something which the duo are now somewhat renowned for with their commanding live show - one that you can experience as they play the upcoming Yours & Owls Festival this September.
Charli XCX - Focus
Charli XCX's dive into the more experimental side of pop has made her an international front-runner in the genre, with releases such as last year's double-mixtape Number 1 Angel / Pop 2 pushing her sound into a new direction while singles like Boys and 5 In The Morning intertwined light shadings of these experimental bursts with a far more radio-friendly and safe tone. Focus, one-half of a new double A-side from the UK musician, bridges this gap, combining a radio-friendly vocal with another left-field A.G. Cook production that is coloured with saccharine sweet synth chords and chiming twangs. There's also No Angel too, the single's accompanying track, which is far more traditional-sounding in its punchy production and relaxed vocal, but still goes down an absolute treat. Catch her in Australia this November with Taylor Swift and Camila Cabello.
Mansionair - Technicolour
For Australian trio Mansionair, 2018 has been all about international expansion. The Sydney three-piece were on top of their game in 2017 despite only a handful of releases - Astronaut (Something About Your Love) and their ODESZA collaboration Line Of Sight among them - and 2018 seems to be going down a similar path, with the crew touring with NoMBe and Mikky Ekko in the States off the back of their only 2018 release thus far, Violet City. Technicolour, their newest track, picks up where Violet City left off, combining the worlds of synthetic and organic instrumentation in a soothing, percussion-led new ballad. The single is one of Mansionair's more low-key releases, combining a softly-sung verse with an ebbing production that only rises for slightly climactic choruses, which even then, don't pack the triumphant, festival-ready feeling of Astronaut. Not saying this is a bad thing at all though. In fact, it shows off a different side of Mansionair that would be great to see further fleshed-out in future releases, and it's a sign of more things to come from Mansionair in 2018 which is always a great, great thing.
Clea - Cool Days
If you're yet to be acquainted with Brisbane's Clea then never fear, for Cool Days is the perfect entry point. Following on from last year's debut EP Fairweather and her 2016 break-out single Polyester, Cool Days is a relaxed and down-tempo affair that really focuses on her soothing vocal line, which floats gently over the top of the single's dynamic production that brings together acoustic guitar, snapping percussion and a range of other soft melodies which all swirl together in the single's background. It's quite a mesmerising track, and according to Clea, it comes out of a good place: "Cool Days is a song about appreciating the pleasures within the mundane of day-to-day life," she says on the single, which arrives ahead of a bunch of tour dates this August - more details HERE. "The aim of the visuals was to capture the beautiful symmetry in everyday locations where one wouldn’t usually think too much of them."
Kito - Ego
It's been a while since we've heard something solo from London-via-WA musician Kito, six years in fact. But now she's back, armed with a brilliant new single Ego and details on her forthcoming new EP HAANI, which will arrive internationally on August 24. Ego is a bit of a genre-bending affair, combining this clanging, left-field electronica with this sultry R&B feel with pop mannerisms. Above crisp production laden with thick synth and snapping production, Kito takes on a bit of a soothing R&B feel, putting a unique spin on both genres and giving herself a very out-of-the-box sound. It's the first taste of the upcoming EP which is already sound good, and sounding much better with the news that acts like Hudson Mohawke and Normani have been involved with its creation.