This week's must-listen singles: Slum Sociable, Nicole Millar, HABITS + more
Also, new music from Hopium and French musician Christine and the Queens.
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 plan to run down this week's must-listen singles and releases, this week featuring names like HABITS, Nicole Millar, Slum Sociable and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Slum Sociable - Do Something About It
Last year, Slum Sociable released their self-titled debut album, a record which told tales of the highs and lows of Slum Sociable and their partnership over the years, with a strong emphasis on mental health and friendship. It was a release that we called "more than just music," with the album's involvement in destigmatising mental health issues in the music industry and sharing these struggles with your peers and supporters (from a musician's perspective) making it one of the more important Australian albums of 2017. Now the Melbourne two-piece is back with their first slice of new music since, returning to their glory with a minimal, yet slightly more pop-focused sound that the duo have been experimenting with in the time since Slum Sociable. It's marked with this well-familiar vulnerability that formed one of the central themes of their debut, particularly on behalf of Miller Upchurch: "Do Something About It was written from the perspective of a feeling, of when time stands still and your stomach drops, when you don’t know how to cope in a split second scenario, while still prompting you to act," he says on the single. Catch 'em live around the country this June/July, full dates HERE.
Nicole Millar - No Strings
Two months ago saw Australian pop break-out Nicole Millar return strongly, delivering a bit of a nostalgic 80s-pop gem with Gimme A Break - the single that officially kicked off the run to her debut album release later this year. Now she's back with single number two, returning with another bright, nostalgia-dipped single with No Strings. The single doesn't have that upbeat and catchy radio feel that Gimme A Break does, with Millar this time electing a more down-tempo sound that bubbles with flicks off bass and these hazy synth melodies. It's a bit of a display of songwriting versatility for Millar and it completely works. No matter if it's tall-standing and confident radio-pop or something a little more low-key, Nicole Millar kills it every time - a solid reason to be keen for her debut album Excuse Me when it drops next month. Also, be sure to catch her on tour with Australian up-and-comers Oh Boy and Sophiegrophy throughout June/July - full dates and deets HERE.
Christine and the Queens - Girlfriend feat. Dâm Funk
In case you're yet to be acquainted, Christine and the Queens is one of the next big things to come out of France, enticing the world with her incredible Chaleur Humaine LP in 2016 - a record which featured the likes of Perfume Genius and Tunji ige. Girlfriend, her latest single, is a taste of what's to come by Héloïse Létissier in 2018 and it's an absolute show-stopper, with her heavy influences in David Bowie and Laurie Anderson particularly shining strong across the single's nostalgic, almost 80s-like three minutes. It's a brilliant starting point into the world of Christine and the Queens if you're yet to check out her stuff, and considering names like Mura Masa and Twinsmatic have picked her up for big-name collaborations, there's probably a reason why you should check her out. Also, be sure to check out Tourist's indulgent remix of Saint Claude while you're at it, it'll leave you speechless.
HABITS - Selfie
Melbourne experimental club juggernauts HABITS are one of the more out-there acts in Australia right now, but they're seriously sick. With a new EP Salty out June 15th and a quick run of dates to come in June - full deets HERE - the pairing have now returned with a new single titled Selfie, and it's about as dark as it gets. Selfie flounders on the absolute boundaries of electronic, uniting this chanting chorus line with a clashing, industrial instrumental that'll have you feeling like you're in a twisted nightmare - especially when the single's flashing video clip joins the mix too. It's a track that explores the identity complexities and visibility, striking back at unacceptance and judgement with every thick punch of bass and every vocoded lyric. "This song is about the ways we are made to feel unsafe and disposable in our queer bodies and reclaiming our power in spite of it," says the duo's Maia Connolly on the track, breaking down the single's meaning.
Hopium - Sunglasses
After building his name with Leave earlier this year, Australian producer and singer-songwriter Hopium is back with another brilliant electronic gem with Sunglasses. It's a bit of an amalgamation of different sounds and styles, taking this hip-hop production that serves as the single's backbone and layers it with these really approachable vocals that at times, turn a touch electronic-flavoured with some heavy vocaloid distortion that almost comes across as Daft Punk-esque when it gets really digitalised and twisted. The single comes with an official clip produced by Hopium himself, further flexing his creative muscle in a clip that is a little deeper than it seems. "We made this video over four days in Melbourne, in a club, in the rainforest and in the ocean," he says on the video. "I journey into my subconscious and eventually have to battle myself."