This week's must-listen singles: Tourist, SAFIA, E^ST + more
Also, a ripper new single from Ruby Fields and an almost-ten-minute stunner from Lana Del Rey.
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.
Tourist - Apollo
One of 2016's best electronic albums came at the hands of Englishman Tourist, who showcased his driving, house-leaning sound on his remarkable debut album U. Since, his followed it up with an EP (Wash) last year (revisit our interview with Tourist at the release of Wash HERE), and the odd remix here and there - notable examples being for Rostam and Mercury Prize winner Wolf Alice - all while deep in the studio recording his long-awaited second album, which by the looks of things, may arrive sometime next year. Today, he kicks off the album cycle with the release of Apollo, a dynamic and driving album tease that sees Tourist give his trademark percussive house sound a Jon Hopkins-esque twist, warping and twisting his signature sound with a left-field edge which at its peak, charges like a real beast. There are some real Tourist-esque moments of beauty in there too, particularly in the cinematic single opening, and all-around, it gets us damn excited for the king's long-awaited second album when it drops soon.
SAFIA - Starlight
Speaking of significant 2016 electronic records, one on a more local level was SAFIA, who, after years of building their name with catchy, festival-ready electronica in the form of a round of brilliant singles, finally put out their debut album in Internal. Earlier this year, they returned with Freakin' Out - their first new material since the record and the first look at their next era, something which has been followed-up once again with another brilliant single in the form of Starlight. In comparison to some of their past work, Starlight is a more subdued and relaxed track, stripping back their signature production style to its roots for a simplistic, yet incredibly catchy tune which you can definitely see working in their favour. Add in Ben's auto-tune-tinged vocal over the top, and you have another great SAFIA single that continues to show their evolution as a band and the changes their making in the lead-up to their next longer-length material. "At its core Starlight is a song about letting go, and the world that it creates is designed to capture that feeling," they say on the single. "In retrospect, the song also represents an important shift in perspective, both creatively and personally."
E^ST - Alien
After breaking out back in 2016 with the Mallrat-featuring Get Money! and 2017's Life Goes On; this year has seen E^ST become one of Australia's most exciting names in local pop music, with singles such as Blowjob and I Don't Lack Imagination really solidifying E^ST's place as one of our country's most promising when it comes to commercial cross-over. Off the back of a big few months thus far, she's just announced news of her upcoming new EP Life Ain't Always Roses, which when it arrives on October 26th, is sure to further push the rising pop maverick further into the spotlight. The EP's announcement comes with the addition of another single in Alien, which this time around, sees her restrain her sound a little for a more touching and personal moment that focuses more on her catchy vocal than the grand and crashing production behind it. "The EP documents me turning from a teenager into an adult and all the confusing things that happen during that time in one's life," E^ST says on the EP, which you can pre-order HERE. "Some of these songs were fun to write, others were difficult, some took a lot of thought and others none at all. But at the core, every song is super honest and I feel relieved to have written them and to be able to share them now."
Ruby Fields - Dinosaurs
We've admittedly been pretty slow on the Ruby Fields train thus far, but with a new single Dinosaurs continuing to push the rising star into the limelight and a slot at next year's Laneway Festival just-announced, we're jumping right on board. In the first track since her debut EP Your Dad's Opinion for Dinner arrived earlier this year, Ruby Fields puts her ripping guitar sound on the back-burner for a little bit, opening with a more nostalgic and ballad-like sound that spotlights Fields' vocal and her strumming guitar accompaniment - left unmarked and simplistic without extra bass, percussion or anything else being thrown in as a distraction. Around the three-minute mark the track really opens up though, with a last-minute burst of energy reuniting Fields' vocal with a charging riff and thick percussion that, for a moment, reminds us of her past work until she gives the single a final bid goodnight with a brilliant line: "I'll just watch Jurassic Park for the 50th time avoiding plans I made with my own friends." Can absolutely relate.
Lana Del Rey - Venice Bitch
After 2017's Lust For Life gave us a hip-hop-injected twist on Lana Del Rey's washed-out and nostalgic sound (it included collabs with The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky and more), Lana is back once again, detailing her upcoming sixth album Norman Fucking Rockwell, which will arrive with its incredible title sometime in 2019. After alluding to its arrival with Mariners Apartment Complex last week, she's now well-and-truly confirmed its arrival, doing so with a dizzying, ten-minute epic Venice Bitch. It what's being called a highlight of her career thus far, Venice Bitch is a twisting and turning epic which gives Lana Del Rey plenty of room to shine, her woozy vocals coming and going over a mostly guitar-driven instrumental which at times, zips with slight electronic twists. Written with pop music super-producer Jack Antonoff, Venice Bitch signals the second release from the dream-team, which according to Del Rey, provided some reasonably fruitful goods. "I expected to get in there with Jack and for him to have all of these four to the floor beats already mixed and produced for me," she told Zane Lowe on Beats 1 with the single's release. "He just sat down at his piano and just started. I mean, I don't know if he was thinking of The Beatles at the time, but I mean, he had a lot of really kind of teary Sgt. Pepper-y...I mean to me, that's how they sounded. Little arrangements."