This week's must-listen singles: Sam Bluer, CLYPSO, Birdz + more
Plus, the long-awaited new single from World Champion, and new stuff from Melbourne up-and-comer Feelds.
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 Sam Bluer, CLYPSO, World Champion and more. Check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news, or subscribe to our Spotify Office Playlist for easy listening.
Sam Bluer - Bite My Tongue
One of our favourite discoveries of 2018 has to be Sam Bluer, who with a pair of hook-fuelled singles, Shift and Body High, set himself up as one of Australia's most exciting pop names. "Body High gives off that impression that the young, emerging name has truly found his own lane and is set on marking his place in Australian pop," we said on his confident and tall-standing latest single, but his next, Bite My Tongue, transcends this, packing the same punch of Body High but in a slightly different way, suggesting that he hasn't just found his own lane, he's already trying to explore new ones. It's an overwhelmingly bright single that reduces his self-described "dark-pop" sound to just a slither, his voice gliding with confidence and boldness above a punchy, synth-driven production that sits slightly left of centre in a way that many of 2018's pop breakouts have done in different ways, like Billie Eilish above her moody, stripped-back instrumentals. It's by far the biggest suggestion that Bluer is onto something good, and considering the evolution of Australia's pop scene internationally (and locally) through artists like Amy Shark and Vera Blue, it's a really exciting place to be in as we lead into what's bound to be a banger-filled 2019.
CLYPSO - Strange Behaviour feat. Sophiegrophy
Speaking of incredibly exciting acts having big years, enter CLYPSO. Since initially catching our eyes and ears with the bustling, colourful YOLO and its more subdued follow-up Save Me in 2017, the Sydney-based musician has gone from strength to strength, whether it's teaming up with fellow 2018 break-out Kwame for a gaze into the future with Middle Ground or popping, rolling and flowing with energy on her previous single, arriving just before she became a stand-out star of this year's BIGSOUND conference. Her most recent single, Strange Behaviour, sees the musician continue to evolve, teaming up with rising hip-hop force Sophiegrophy for a catchy single that combines her lively and colourful sound with a slight hip-hop injection thanks to Sophiegrophy, who feels as in her element as ever as she paces above the single's pulsing, clicking production. It's the next taste of her upcoming debut EP Cameo, due at the start of next year, and considering her just-announced signing to Australian electronic label titans etcetc, it's probably going to kick-start her year in a big, big way. "It's about some people you meet who have an x-factor that intrigues you. It could seem unusual and strange to some people or they could be awkward and mysterious, but those things give them a unique 'flavour'. All about embracing the weird and wonderful world we live in."
Birdz - Place of Dreams feat. Ecca Vandal
When it comes to forward-thinking Australian hip-hop, it's hard to look past Birdz and Ecca Vandal. The former, a Bad Apples Music signee raised in the Northern Territory, continues to soar after his 2017 record Train of Thought established him as one of the country's most exciting, versatile and essential hip-hop names, while the latter did a similar thing with her own 2017 debut album, combining the worlds of hip-hop, rock and electronic for a record that was among hip-hop's most forward-thinking and creative. Place of Dreams sees the two parties meet, combining the respective strengths of Birdz and Ecca Vandal for a single that feels more like the meeting of two friends than your standard collaboration. Above a twinkling production littered with delicate piano melodies, Place of Dreams is a masterclass of hip-hop story-telling, encouraging you to burst through the glass ceiling as its empowering lyrics glide above the single's clapping instrumental. "The song really touches on the concept of a glass ceiling and the limitations people try to put on you, especially where I come from and if you’re Indigenous," Birdz says on the single. "Ultimately, Place Of Dreams is about believing in yourself, having the strength to break through the bullshit and continue paving your own path."
World Champion - Gun
With their debut EP Avocado Galaxy back in 2015, Sydney indie-electronic trio World Champion glistened with promise, joining the esteemed Future Classic roster and playing sets at Splendour In The Grass and Groovin' The Moo, among others, suggesting that they were definitely onto something good. The time since, however, has been marked with quietness, with the trio busy doing their own thing and recording what would eventually become their upcoming second EP, a seven-track collection of new work due out early in the new year. Gun is the EP's first tease and it's a smattering of washed-out indie-electronic with dizzying psychedelic shadings, with Jagwar Ma's Jono Ma aiding in creating a blissful almost-four-minutes of dreaminess that'll take you right back to their initial rise. It's fuzzy and raw, especially as the single strips away in its dying moments, with its nostalgic, funk tone adding a further layer into what's already quite a complex track - a good one, at that. Stay tuned for the full EP, arriving sometime in the summer.
Feelds - Bloody Mary feat. Merpire
Capping off a big 2018 and another week of brilliant music comes Melbourne's Feelds, who after a consistent run of brilliant singles across 2016 and 2017, truly found his own lane with his 2018 debut EP Hunch. From there, however, the Melbourne musician has not slowed down, returning just months later with Kill The Moon, a "calm-and-collected" single "that sits somewhere between psych, dream-pop and traditional indie," only again to follow it up now with Bloody Mary, another absolute winner featuring fellow rising Melbourne musician Merpire. It's another intricate moment from Feelds, who combine thick layers of lush guitar work and dreamy vocals - added only by Merpire throughout the single - with a generally quite charming feeling that definitely feels like an artist in his element - somewhere he definitely should be after what's been a big few years filled with releases. It's just as intoxicating as their last, and with a big year coming, jump on board the Feelds train before its too late.