This week's must-listen singles: Christine and the Queens, Priscilla, Greta Stanley + more
Plus, new singles by MNEK and rising, London-based pop force Rina Sawayama.
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 Christine and the Queens, Priscilla, MNEK and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Christine And The Queens - 5 Dollars
With her upcoming sophomore album Chris out September 21 on Because Music, French musician Christine And The Queens has been on top of her game. Real name Héloïse Létissier, the captivating musician has used the build-up to her long-awaited second album to strengthen her name as one of music's most bold and dynamic, with singles such as the sensual, Dâm-Funk-featuring soother Girlfriend blending lush, electronic productions with Létissier's head-turning vocal - one that seems to get better with every release. After bursting out the gates with Girlfriend and its follow-up Doesn't Matter, Christine And The Queens are back with the album's third tease 5 Dollars, and like those before it, it's another single that cements the French musician as one in her own league. It's captivating, tall-standing and really quite enchanting, with Létissier's vocal gliding above a more washed-out and airy production in comparison to much of Chris' work thus far. "The song is so tender, so dishevelled. It’s dealing with some kind of love—the kind you can buy. It’s a literal interpretation. A note for a shag—how surprisingly soothing this can be! The power ratio runs clear, like water in your hands; it becomes a pure gesture of love, of ultimate consent," she says on the single, which arrives with an American Gigolo-inspired video that you can check out below.
Priscilla - Don't You Realise?
Perth-based electronic duo Priscilla are one of our favourites to arrive out of the west-side for a while now, with their Pilerats-premiered debut single You've Faded showcasing an addictive synth-pop sound comparable to names like Kimbra and Janelle Monae with thick, synthy productions and the gliding vocals of Priscilla Gardner - who even herself carries a certain bold confidence similar to the Australian export. Their second single Don't You Realise? is equally addictive than their debut, uniting this heavily-layered production that merges synthetic and organic instrumentation with Gardner's driving vocal, which somehow cuts through the dense instrumental to soar over the top with ease. "The song was written at a very special time in my life, where I was finally beginning to live as my authentic self," Gardner says on the single, which is a direct response to the 2017 same-sex marriage plebiscite. "So, we wrote it for loved ones, and for any person that's ever felt lost, alone or persecuted."
Greta Stanley - Come Undone
With slots at BIGSOUND and support shows with Woodes over the next few months, it's evident that people are starting to jump on the Greta Stanley train, and with her new single Come Undone, it's your chance to as well. The Queensland-based musician has been a definite one-to-watch after releasing her debut album last year and Come Undone does nothing but support this, perfectly demonstrating Greta Stanley's knack for writing enchanting indie-pop that often, warp with a unique electronic twist. For example, Come Undone opens much like any other Australian indie-pop single does, with Stanley's gorgeous vocal floating above a subdued and restrained acoustic instrumental. However, when the single's chorus kicks in, the track gains the addition of a warping electronic edge that adds a new dimension to the single, much like the twisting electronic breakdown that unexpectedly emerges in Troye Sivan's guitar-backed ballad The Good Side. Anyway, consider Greta Stanley one of Australian indie's front-runners as we enter an exciting twelve months for the musician, with another larger project expected from her in early 2019.
MNEK - Crazy World
Honestly, with the high-grade music he's been putting out for much of the past six years, it astounds me that MNEK is not bigger than he actually is - especially in Australia. Initially finding traction through more house-leaning sounds - including collaborations and remixes with/for Jack Beats, Rudimental and Gorgon City - the UK musician has become somewhat of a pop juggernaut over the past two years, something he's really cementing in 2018 with an unbeaten run of singles. Kicking all off with the irresistibly catchy Tongue, MNEK has been pushing this almost club-focused brand of radio-pop which is both danceable yet at the same time radio-friendly and repeatable, something his latest single Crazy World exhibits perfectly. Opening with a percussive house groove, Crazy World shines a light on every facet of MNEK's songwriting dexterity, uniting brilliant vocal work with tasteful sampling and an enchanting beat which proves simply addictive.
Rina Sawayama - Cherry
If you're yet to be acquainted with Rina Sawayama, now's the perfect time. The London-based, Japan-born musician has been dubbed one of the next big things in music and listening to her 2017 debut mini-album RINA, it's not hard to see why. In her work, Rina Sawayama combines her Japanese influences with a unique twist on pop-R&B, giving it this saccharine-sweet twist on top that pushes it forward into the future and sets Sawayama in a league of her own. Cherry is her latest, and it's "personal and political" but best of all, a down-right pop banger, focusing on the more pop-centric side of Sawayama with spiralling synth melodies and Sawayama's soaring vocal, which she says, hopes to offer an extra glimpse of representation in the queer musical world. "I've always written songs about girls. I don't think I've ever mentioned a guy in my songs, and that's why I wanted to talk about it," she says. "For me there's still a lack of representation. I just think the reason why I wasn't so comfortable with my sexuality was because there was no one on TV or anywhere that I could point at and go, 'Look mum! This person is what I was talking about!'"