This week's must-listen singles: Robinson, Julia Jacklin, Lauv + more
Also, new singles by AURORA and Nilüfer Yanya.
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 Robinson, Lauv (with Troye Sivan), AURORA and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Robinson - Karma
Robinson is onto big, big things at the moment. The emerging New Zealand musician is a popstar-in-the-making, with her latest single - 2018's Medicine - capturing attention both here and internationally with its bright, uplifting chorus and driving production, doing basically everything it needed to do to imprint Robinson's name onto our radars. In the time since, she's grown to become one of New Zealand's biggest exports, bringing a tender and emotive approach to pop music in the same vein of her fellow countrywoman Lorde but in a way more built around bright hooks and soaring vocals, something her latest single Karma - her first for 2019 - sets out to solidify. It's joyful and fun but carries the slight vulnerability of her past work shaded within, bringing everything to the table that cements herself as one of the brightest names to arise from our cross-Tasman neighbours in a long, long while.
Julia Jacklin - Pressure To Party
Julia Jacklin is very, very quickly becoming one of our favourites. The Blue Mountains-raised musician has put on a masterclass of gripping, emotive indie-pop over the last twelve months - from the "extended sigh" of her comeback single, Body, to her triumphant second single Head Alone - mixing subtle guitar melodies with moody, feels-backed lyricism that has raised the bar time and time again, something her latest single Pressure To Party does once again. Arriving ahead of the release of her new album Crushing on February 22nd, Pressure To Party is a more upbeat cut, raising the tempo a touch as her vocals glide over a strumming instrumental, which despite its more joyous and pop-rooted feeling, still carries the emotion and vulnerability of her past work. "When you come out of a relationship, there’s so much pressure to act a certain way. First, it’s like, ‘oh, you’ve gotta take some time for yourself…’ but then if you take too much time it’s, ‘you’ve gotta get back out there!’ ," she says on the single. "This song is just my three-minute scream, saying I’m going to do what I need to do, when I need to do it."
Lauv x Troye Sivan - I'm So Tired...
While Troye Sivan is definitely an artist whose flag we've flown high and proud, Lauv - American singer-songwriter Ari Leff - is admittedly someone we've been a bit quiet one, despite commercial success in Australia and recent collabs with Julia Michaels and more. I'm So Tired... is a song that sees these two rising pop forces meet with great results, featuring Lauv and Sivan go back and forth over a rather pulled-back production that forces you to focus on the harmonising vocals of the two singers that effortlessly ride over the top of it. "I'm So Tired... is a heartbreak song about an inescapable person," says Troye on the single, which kicks off a big 2019 for the Australian ex-pat off the back of his latest record, Bloom. "This song is the last song I’m going to be putting out until I have my debut album ready, so I figured we’d go out on a heartbroken banger vibe so it’s sad but fun," continues Lauv. Consider that record one we're incredibly keen to check out when arrives assumingly later this year.
AURORA - Animal
Norwegian singer-songwriter AURORA is an artist we've featured here a couple of times, with her electronic-infused pop impressing us time and time again, something her latest single Animal continues once again. It's an upbeat and high-energy single from the typically quite reserved musician, combining a charging instrumental thick with glistening synth and crashing percussion with her soaring vocal over the top, which in characteristically AURORA fashion, is mixed with this worrying, questioning feeling - her lyrics pondering as they melodically glide over the top of the crisp production. "I spend a lot of time thinking about humans and I wanted to make a song wrapped in a blanket of obliviousness whilst speaking the wonderful and horrible truth that I see in us," she explains. "We are always thriving for something. If it’s love, money, sex, success, power or just a bigger piece of a delicious chocolate cake. It’s very interesting. It's grotesque. It’s beautiful. We are always hunting for something. We are animals hunting for animals."
Nilüfer Yanya - In Your Head
This is the first time I've personally heard of Nilüfer Yanya but damn, god damn. The rising London name has been dubbed a "smooth new soul star" and has supported everyone from The XX to Mitski over the years, and her latest single In Your Head is the biggest sign of her potential yet, uniting a gripping vocal with a charging, guitar-soaked instrumental that combines the worlds of pop, indie and R&B. It brings something catchy, exciting and unique to the table - almost unlike anything else out there at the moment - and it keeps you coming back too, with very vocal twist and guitar hook leaving you begging for more. "Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me and I get trapped. There are the things I need disguised as things I think I only want, things I think I’m choosing out of choice, not necessity," she says on the track. "Sometimes this only becomes clear in retrospect, or maybe it will never become clear. Some people may call that being paranoid. I think that’s what I wrote the song about, but what’s interesting to me, and what I think I was trying to get at, is the illusion of freedom."