This week's must-listen singles: Willaris. K, Cosmo's Midnight, DMA's + more
All that, plus new singles from Yorke and The Kite String Tangle.
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 Willaris. K, Cosmo's Midnight, Yorke and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Willaris. K - Indifferent (with Gordi)
Across the last three years, it's become clear that Willaris. K is blossoming into something special within Australian electronica. With his debut, seven-track EP Alchemy and the string of singles and remixes that arrived either side of the release, Willaris emerged as a newfound titan of Australian tech doing something unlike anyone else in the country, taking this heaving intricacy expected from Four Tet's heavier work and re-envisioning it through an Australian lens. For the first time in a while for the genre, it felt like Willaris. K was taking one of electronic's most brash and energetic sounds, but emphasising the beauty that underlays the heaving bass kicks instead.
His new single, however, completely flips this on its head. It's a single that comes with many firsts for the Melbourne-based maestro (it's his first track with a vocal, for example), and one that comes with a lot of risks. Over the last few years, Willaris. K has become a go-to for the heaviness of tech-house, but Indifferent is anything but. It's a remarkably stripped-back and subtle display of Willaris' beauty in production, with soft piano melodies and Gordi's ever-mesmerising vocal (which is almost at her strongest to date) taking everything we've come to expect from the producer and completely transforming it into something entirely different.
Cosmo's Midnight & Ruel - Down For You
As their sensational, hyper-collaborative debut album and the run of singles since have proved, Cosmo's Midnight know how to extract the best out of their guest collaborators. In their most recent tracks for example, New Zealand pop force Matthew Young and LA pop collective Age.Sex.Location have had their highlights picked apart and spotlighted, with each of these musicians feeling their best when paired with Cosmo's Midnight's characteristically versatile and malleable productions.
Down For You, which features Australia's cult-adored pop prince Ruel, may be Cosmo's Midnight's most ambitious attempt yet - but they somehow pull it off. Ruel is a musician who has gone from strength to strength across the last few years, but he feels truly in his element on Down For You. It's a track that highlights his crooning, R&B-swelling vocal; the perfect match for Cosmo's glittery production that stomps with this gentle funk touch that fits snug amongst Ruel's warm touch. We're not saying that neither Ruel nor Cosmo's can get better from here, but that they're a winning combination that seem unstoppable with this new track.
DMA's - Life Is A Game Of Changing
Since their stratospheric rise with Delete, DMA's have perhaps been unfairly characterised as a bunch of lads that make the type of guitar-strumming, festival-ready indie that Australia has quickly become known for. At times, we've seen this deepened in unexpected ways - one of their most successful songs, for instance, is their infamous cover of Cher's autotune-popularising Believe - but never really far enough that it's made people completely readjust their expectations and thoughts on their group and their knack for crafting Australianised brit-pop favourites... until now.
Life Is A Game Of Changing - the second single of their forthcoming third record THE GLOW, out April 24th - is a complete change of pace from DMA's that proves everything that people who have been in the know have been saying the whole time. It's a glitzy, high-standing moment of dancing indie-pop that underlays DMA's signature charm - their lax vocals, their subtle but effective guitar - with a hypnotic electronic beat that gives it a touch of 'oomph' (for the lack of better word), welcoming a nod to 90s rave culture (Underworld, The Prodigy, Orbital) with experimentation that, if done correctly, can ensure DMA's legacy as one of the country's most exciting indie bands we have.
Yorke - Treading Water
In 2019, a year when the next generation of Australian music felt more present and visible than ever, Yorke was a musician that truly shined. With last year's A-grade pair of singles - Wake The City and Thought I Could - and collaborations with Kilter and Paces, she straddled the line between rising pop force and go-to topline collaborator with absolute ease; her music often empowering without even attempting to be, and her toplines giving some of Australian electronic's best that extra push to ensure newfound success in a time when electronic music is a wide-ranging and surprising than ever.
With her new track Treading Water, it seems that this is something bound to continue in 2020 too. It's a shimmering track that is amongst Yorke's most powerful in message, with a percussive production forming the perfect instrumental backbone for Yorke's empowering chorus. It's an ode to perserverance and sticking through it, lush with that signature songwriting that has made Yorke such an exciting new name in the year just gone: "It’s about feeling like yes [this career] is a struggle, both emotionally and financially, but I’m still doing what I love, and [knowing] I’m tenacious enough to get through it," she says.
The Kite String Tangle - NORTH
In the time since his career-defining self-titled record back in 2017 (!), The Kite String Tangle has been on a mission of experimentation. While the 11-track release was largely a remarkable display on a sound he had been crafting and building upon in the years prior, work since has seen his sound warp and transform in the most unsuspecting of ways: A Desperate Moment - a surprise-released second album - saw his music stripped back to its most orchestral and beautiful, while tracks such as P()L4R have been quite the opposite; the darker and harder side of his work amplified into full-length singles that showcase experimentation and growth.
NORTH, The Kite String Tangle's latest single, is one that appears to double down on the heavier side of his music teased in singles throughout the year. Centring upon this driving synth melody that gives the single its energy, it's characteristic of Kite String's past work - his vocal is once again a focal point of the track - but moulded into a new direction, one that gives us hope that his forthcoming record C()D3X - out March 20th - is going to be one that reminds us how much of a force The Kite String Tangle is when it comes to all branches of electronic music - the light and the heavy included.