This week's must-listen singles: Olympia, Ziggy Ramo, Julia Jacklin + more
All this, plus new singles from Yeo and JEFFE as we recap a big week in music.
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 Foals, Rex Orange County, Golden Vessel and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Olympia - Shoot To Forget
One of last year's big Australian returns came from Olympia, who after a few years of quietness, returned to make an impression with a blazing moment of glory - Star City. It welcomed back a musician who this time around, elected for something a little left-of-centre when compared to her past work, finding the middle ground between indie, electronic and pop through spiralling melodies and addictive vocals, showing a versatile and unexpected edge which with her new single, Shoot To Forget, she only deepens further. Shoot To Forget continues her trend of creating spectacular moments of festival-ready pop, again electing for a more guitar-entwined, indie-rock instrumental to platform her vocal, which on Shoot To Forget, captures the same anthemic passion that has been shaded through her previous work. It's the second single from a highly-anticipated second album bound to be among Australia's most spectacular local releases, something we'll no doubt get a little more insight to when it arrives later in the year. Catch her on tour with Julia Jacklin throughout March, dates HERE.
Ziggy Ramo - Empire
Perth hip-hop ex-pat Ziggy Ramo has become one of our favourite names over the years, with a range of brilliant - and incredibly important - singles placing the indigenous rapper forward as one of the scene's best and most essential, doing things and talking about issues that very little are doing at his level. It's perhaps why he counts people like Kehlani as his biggest fans and why we've gotten to a point where every Ziggy release is met with a bunch of love from us, and no different is his latest single and first for 2019, Empire. After a relatively quiet 2018 (his only release for the year was a one-off single A to Z), Empire sees Ziggy Ramo's exciting year ahead start on the right foot, using an explosive, trap-leaning production as a platform to rap about indigenous Australia with the same cut-throat attitude as you'd expect from some of Australia's fiercest and most highly respected musicians - like Briggs ("We're the oldest people on the map," he speaks on Empire). "I’ve been holding onto this song for 3 years but I woke up this morning feeling proud to be Indigenous. Self-determination is mine. I’m not asking for it. I’m taking it. Just know that you come from a long line, we’re an empire."
Julia Jacklin - Don't Know How To Keep Loving You
The lead-up to Julia Jacklin's sophomore record Crushing is one that's already been bent on emotion, with every single from her aptly-titled new album (out today!!) crushing with its hauntingly emotive vocal presence and soft, hazy instrumentals. Julia Jacklin is on a run; the consistency of these singles (Body, Head Alone, Pressure To Party and its final tease, Comfort) have put her forth as one of Australia's prime songwriters, knowing how to spotlight and flesh out every ounce of emotion in her songwriting to create powerful works of art you have to pay attention to. However, as much as Crushing's other singles have made us tear up, its most devastating moment comes with Don't Know How To Keep Loving You, a long-winding, drawn-out single that really captures every ounce of Jacklin's skillset, creating this moving and powerful moment that soundtracks a hard break-up with softly sung vocals and a stripped-back instrumental to match. The full album, which you can listen to HERE, is somewhat of a modern-day masterpiece, and you should really check it out when you have the chance - it's an incredible listen.
JEFFE - Oh Dear
Ever since her 2017 debut single Whoever You Love, I'm Cool initally caught the attention of basically everyone, London-via-Australian musician JEFFE has gone from strength to strength, with a varied mix of great singles and a stand-out BIGSOUND performance placing her as one of our favourite recent newcomers. Undecided showcased a pop-centric, radio-ready side of the musician in one of our favourite singles of the year, and her latest Oh Dear once again offers something we haven't really heard before from the musician, opening her just-released, four-track debut EP One Hundred Percent. Oh Dear is something a little more dark and solemn, with a moody production backing a subtle vocal from JEFFE, who sways alongside the warping production underneath. "Oh Dear goes into the depth and darkness of what it's really like to not be ready for a relationship and the sort of things you do when your head's not in the right space," she says on the single. "It's a song for an ex - a half-arsed apology."
Yeo - Restless
If you're no stranger to the site, you're probably no stranger to the brilliance of Yeo, with the Melbourne musician being someone we constantly reference as setting a benchmark within the Aus music scene and its accompanying industry. His 2017 album Desire Path gave us another look into someone who is one of Australia's most versatile and varied musicians, something his range of singles since - last year's The Comments and now, Restless - has further proved, offering glimpses at different sounds the musician has explored in the time since. Restless sees Yeo take on 90s R&B, with nostalgic vocal layering and a soulful, jazz-infused instrumental underneath giving off this swooning, romantic feel that is easy to fall in love with. "Y'know when you're too shocked to reply to some asshole and then later it keeps you up at night? This song is about trying not to let that stuff get you down," he says on the single. "Oh, and it's also a fun poke at systemic racism and white fragility, but the chorus applies to any confrontation really. It's about redemption from all that bullshit and having faith in something you may not live to see." Catch him launch the single with a pair of shows in March/April - deets and dates HERE.