This Week's Must-Listen Singles: The Jungle Giants, Wave Racer, CLEWS + more
Plus, new collaborations between Alice Ivy and Ecca Vandal, and Luke Million with Asta.
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 Adrian Eagle, Bootleg Rascal, Vera Blue and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
The Jungle Giants - Heavy Hearted
It what was seemingly a rather quiet arrival towards the start of this week came Heavy Hearted, a dancefloor-ready new tune from The Jungle Giants, which marked a bit of a change in direction since their last record, 2017's Quiet Ferocity. Over the last eight years, the much-adored Queensland favourites have blossomed from a quirky indie-pop group to something far bigger, flourishing as festival favourites as they mix their distinct, indie-pop sound with elements of electronic - something that seemed really front and centre of their last record. On Heavy Hearted, however, this becomes more fleshed out than ever. It's a quick-firing dance banger which captures their energetic bounce in a new light, reducing their strumming sound to just a shading as they instead deal with something more invigorating and dancefloor-ready; Sam Hales' captivating vocal pitched and warp above a quick-firing house beat. They're going on tour this September/October and with Heavy Hearted thrown into the mix there's bound to be plenty more to come, but in the meantime, grab tickets to the upcoming shows HERE.
Wave Racer - Summer Rain feat. Kwame
As an artist once at the forefront of electronic music globally - let alone just in Australia - it's been a long time since we've last heard from Wave Racer. After his 2015 EP World Record, the last four years has been largely left quiet from the bubbly hyper-pop producer, only popping up here and there to remix Tkay Maidza and Flume in 2017. In 2019, however, this is changing. After last month's initial tease AUTO, Summer Rain welcomes a far more fleshed-out take of Wave Racer's colourful sound, taking that chopped-and-screwed sound and pushing it into a new direction, most notably by layering it under Western Sydney sensation Kwame's hip-hop flow and heavily pitched female vocals.
It also marks the announcement of Wave Racer's management group - Astral People - launching a record label (the aptly-titled Astral People Records), arriving as a co-op label with international distribution company PIAS. Wave Racer is their first signing, but there's plenty more to come, and with Astral People's knack for discovering new talent before they get big - Cosmos Midnight, Winston Surfshirt, Milan Ring and Basenji included - you can ensure that this new venture is going to bring the goods.
CLEWS - Hollywood
Despite just having two tracks under their belt, it's obvious that CLEWS are setting themselves up as something special. After arriving with 2018's double-punch of catchy alt-pop, Museum and Crushed, the Sydney-based, Mollymook-raised sisters have identified themselves as rising stars in this emotive pop world, bringing strong hooks together with guitar-backed instrumentals that feel like a modernised take on 90s rock, almost like First Aid Kit meets Blur, for example. Their new single and first for 2019 (following a second take on their single Crushed), is another three minutes of blistering alt-pop which makes it three from three, capturing the confusing period of growth between your teenage years and adulthood amongst their simmering vocals and tall-standing riffs. "Hollywood describes feeling so small that you end up making yourself invisible," says Grace Richardson, one-half of the duo, on the song. "It is full of self-fulfilling prophecies, and the common theme of feeling strongest when you're alone. It's a lot about what forces act on us to change our personalities."
Revisit our interview with CLEWS earlier this year HERE.
Alice Ivy - In My Mind feat. Ecca Vandal
Since the release of her genre-defining 2018 debut album I'm Dreaming, Melbourne producer/songwriter Alice Ivy has flourished into one of our electronic scene's most consistent names, growing and growing as she centres (and fleshes out) one of her debut album's biggest draw points into a series of brilliant singles. More specifically, we're talking about collaboration, and how after teaming up with Bertie Blackman, E^ST and more on her debut, she's followed it up with tracks including Flint Eastwood - now known as Jax Anderson - and now rap-rock genre-blur-er Ecca Vandal, who takes a step back on their new song, In My Mind. It's a dreamy soundscape full of twinkling keys and soft synth, elevating that hypnotic feel to the max as Ecca's dreamy vocal creates this summer-y haze over the top - exactly the vibe she was looking for, as she explains. When I began writing In My Mind, I was picturing myself as a 10-year-old child riding my bike through the park in summer holding an ice cream in one hand. I wanted to create that exact same exciting feeling of the endless summer holidays and with nowhere important to be," she says. "The only way to relive that feeling for me at the moment is through songwriting. I was super stoked that Ecca Vandal really loved the song and wanted to play a part on it, her vocals and the instrumentation are a perfect match."
Luke Million - Heard It On The Radio feat. Asta
As Australia's first man of synth, Luke Million has come along way since the days were Arnold used to litter DJ sets almost every summer night, transforming into a multi-faceted producer/songwriting bridging the old with the new on every release, whether that be on his collaboration-heavy 2017 EP Come Together, remixes for Duke Dumont and Client Liaison, or even covering the Stranger Things theme song. In 2019, things have largely been kept to the down-low, but in the second half of the year things are heating up once again, teaming up with Asta for a brooding new synth-pop number, Heard It On The Radio, ahead of a national headline tour that'll see him travel the country this August/September - keytar in hand. Heard It On The Radio sees Luke Million do what he does best, densely layering synth rhythms and thick bass kicks together for a lush, pace-setting production in which Asta swirls in and out of, ebbing and flowing alongside the production itself. Grab more info and tickets to his forthcoming tour HERE.