This week's must-listen singles: Thomston, Troye Sivan, Jess Locke + more
Plus, new singles from Teischa and a collaboration-heavy epic by Brendan Maclean.
Header photo of Thomston by Cybele Malnowski.
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 Lana Del Rey, Tourist, SAFIA and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Thomston - The Heights
Earlier this year saw the release of Acid Rain, a subdued and emotive return for New Zealand-based popstar-in-the-making Thomston who at the time, had been relatively quiet ever since the release of his debut release Topograph back in 2016 (with the exception of a v-cool collab with fellow countrymen SACHI). His newest, The Heights, follows on where Acid Rain left off, with the musician returning with another moody pop single thick with the emotive passion of his 2018 return. Thomston's vocal takes centre stage on The Heights, rising and falling with the single's production which matches his tone when it comes to how high it soars - only really letting go towards the end in a climactic final chorus. "This song is just as much about ambition, fearlessness and strength as it is about self-doubt, anxiety, depression and the fear of failure," he says on the single, and you can feel that - it's just as mellow and subdued as it is empowered and fuelled with a drive that makes him one of the best to come from our neighbours next door.
Troye Sivan x Jónsi - Revelation
This week has been a big one for moving pop music, between the Thomston track above and Billie Eilish's touching return when the party's over both giving us sides to the respective musicians that are more heartaching than anything. Capping off the week is Troye Sivan, who during the week released a really impactful moment titled Revelation. As a part of the forthcoming 'Boy Erased' soundtrack, he's teamed up with Sigur Rós multi-instrumentalist Jónsi for a collab which on paper seems a little strange, but in execution, is absolutely flawless. It's a soft and delicate single that sees Troye Sivan tone-down the confident pop flavour of his recent Bloom album in favour of something more soothing and poignant, which works perfectly alongside Jónsi's orchestral instrumental, which itself is carried by a soft piano melody that'll definitely win you over. Boy Erased is out November 2, and if it's anything like its soundtrack's feature single, it's one to take tissues to.
Jess Locke - My Body Is An Ecosystem
Last we heard from Jess Locke was back last year, when she released her excellent second album Universe - one that saw her take a serious step up after her 2016 debut Words That Seem To Slip Away and push her into a fascinating new direction met with a bunch of love and acclaim. This week, we get the first taste of what's to come from Locke in the future, with My Body Is An Ecosystem - a new single from a just-released two-side My Body Is An Ecosystem / Nothing At All - being her first release since Universe's arrival. It's a single that solidifies her dreamy indie-pop that in recent years, has given rise to acts like Hatchie and Tia Gostelow, uniting a bright guitar melody with her on-point vocals, which if you dive a bit deeper into, end up telling a pretty profound message. "This song is about those times when you look at yourself in the mirror and see a stranger - someone a little older than you thought you were, more fragile, more cracked," she says. "I guess it’s about falling short of our own expectations of ourselves inside and out and how terrifying that can be."
Brendan Maclean - Where's The Miracle
Two months ago, Australian master-of-all-trades (seriously, he's a musician/actor/performer and so much more) Brendan Maclean launched his debut album into the world with Hibernia - a long-awaited return from Maclean that saw him ensemble an all-star cast for a dizzying four minutes of pop that "almost sounds like Robyn meeting Arcade Fire in some strange, twisted fate," as we described it. "People must be looking at the choir thinking on this single thinking, 'has Brendan snapped???' And well, yes, I have snapped," said Maclean on his return single a while back, one that saw him link up with names like Kira Puru and Montaigne. Where's The Miracle, his next single, sees him one-up himself, gathering a heap of legends for a single that takes a bit more of an indie-like shading, while still having that obvious pop backbone that is spread across much of Maclean's work no matter what sound he takes on. "Where's The Miracle has been welling inside of me for a while," he says on the song. "People probably won't believe it but I grew up listening to PJ Harvey, Pearl Jam and Hole. I guess along the lines something about being a homo drove me towards writing the very clean cut pop, maybe that's because that's all queers were allowed to do at the time in Australia? You were allowed to be Sam Sparro or Savage Garden or a celebrity news presenter on Channel Ten, and that's kinda it. I dedicate this to 15-year-old angsty me secretly putting on eye-liner and staying up to watch Rage."
Teischa - Haunt Me
LA-via-Fremantle musician Teischa has been a favourite amongst the local scene for a while now, and as sad as it is to see her go away to LA, it's a move that suits her well, if her latest single Haunt Me is anything to go by. Following on from Before earlier this year and her debut, self-titled EP back in 2017, Haunt Me is a captivating return from the constantly-impressive musician but in a bit of a darker turn, with Teischa combining her ever-charming vocal with a piano-backed instrumental that gives the single a moody, brooding spin. "Haunt Me is about moving on and finding closure within yourself to let go of the lingering memory and feeling of a person once they are no longer in your life," she says on the single, which arrives alongside a raw B-side cutmyhairv2.wav, which you can listen to HERE.