This week, we have recommendations stretching back to 2014 with Moses Gunn Collective‘s Morning Shakes, through to this year with Poolside‘s Heat. Reminisce and find something new!
POOLSIDE – Heat (2017)
by Dani Marsland
Can you get sunstroke in the middle of winter? Asking for a friend whose had the sun-soaked sounds of Heat, the new full-length from LA duo Poolside (Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise), sexing up her headphones (and helping fight hangovers) all week.
It’s been a long time between daiquiris for Poolside; who are busy touring DJs – Heat’s their first full-length release since their 2012 debut album Pacific Standard Time, whose lead single Do You Believe? was initially just a Soundcloud track – after which several labels (and James Murphy) came banging on their door. Pacific Standard Time has pretty much become a modern disco chill classic since then. I actually first came across these guys via the inclusion of “Do You Believe?” in an old Future Classic compilation – plenty of tracks from Pacific Standard Time have found their way into compilations and playlists over the years. Their low-key disco take on Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” is just dazzling – look it up.
The guys chose the US summer solstice to self-release Heat – completely unannounced, too – with the guys’ rationale being that they think releases get too built up in the music world these days, and this gave the freedom to work to their own schedule. Nice. There’s plenty of the signature Poolside sound on Heat: the majority of the album has a sultry, shimmering, languid feel…. hazy harmonies, tropical synths, smooth guitars, and liquid bass. “We Can Work it Out” is a standout. Heat also sees them move things into more propulsive, percussive beat territory – they pick up the tempo much more often than they did on PST. “Feel Alright” is a really enjoyable track in this regard – it has a pop vibe almost, with more catchy, forthright vocals.
Heat shows these daytime disco dons are still in fine form. On behalf of all my future hangovers and mid-dawn seduction attempts, thank you for the music Poolside.
ANGELS & AIRWAVES – The Dream Walker (2014)
by Jana Angeles
Compared to Love and Love: Part Two, the band really leveled up both their music experimentation and atmospheric illustrations. The record does not mask a Groundhog Day feel, nor does it sound like something regurgitated from previous albums; the good thing about it is that each track sounds different from the next.
The echoing vocals enhance the number and in terms of rhythm, it’s very catchy. Pulling apart the direction of its purpose to the record, it gives the listener an opportunity that the band can take on something different from their space rock roots and still are able to prove themselves that they’re an alternative rock band with edge.
FRANK OCEAN – Channel Orange (2012)
by Sosefina Fuamoli
Channel Orange, for me, represents a turning point in R&B. Frank Ocean‘s move into solo territory marked him as a talent to be intrigued by, to be captivated by and to be addicted to. His lyricism was refreshingly and brutally raw – the honesty that streamed through every track from “Thinkin Bout You” to “Bad Religion” cut through sharply and really connected with feelings from the get go.
As a debut album, Channel Orange launched Ocean on to radars on a global level; he wasn’t just one member of Odd Future striking out against the grain of the alt-rap and hip hop the collective had become known for. This album was just the beginning of a unique artistry that was being tapped into and remains untouchable today.
BROCKHAMPTON – Saturation (2017)
by Tobias Handke
The brainchild of L.A. based Texan rapper Kevin Abstract, BROCKHAMPTON is a loose collective of creative musicians, producers, designers and videographers who describe themselves as an “all American Boyband.” Having first come to my attention with their excellent 2016 mixtape, All-American Trash, their recently released debut album, Saturation, expands on the chemistry and musicianship heard throughout their first release, making it one of the most interesting and enjoyable hip-hop albums I’ve heard this year so far.
Written and recorded in less than four weeks, Saturation traverses a multitude of hip-hop styles and genres, yet offers a feeling of cohesiveness and structure despite the experimental nature and number of people complicate with the project. Involved with writing all but two of the tracks, Abstract’s trademark emotional and vulnerable lyrics are all over Saturation, with the album addressing themes including self-acceptance (“TRIP,” “MILK”), relationships (“FACE,” “SWIM”) and political/social issues (“CASH”).
Aggressive opener “HEAT” and the slinky pop culture referencing “STAR” are clear standouts, but it’s hard to look past the groovy “FAKE,” with Ameer Vann, Dom McLennon and the underrated Merlyn Wood trading barbs about the music industry, with Abstract providing the subtle hook. Saturation is experimental hip-hop at its best, with a cast of talented individuals combining their many skills to create a spirited and fluid album you’ll have on repeat.
MOSES GUNN COLLECTIVE – Morning Shakes (2014)
by Gemma Bastiani
Morning Shakes, the debut EP from Brisbane’s Moses Gunn Collective, is an exploration in breaking down traditional song structures and lengthy tracks. Our first taste of Moses Gunn Collective was opener “Shalala”, and it immediately makes one picture Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka singing in his factory. It’s got an excellent warped feel to it, immediately drawing you in.
“Grinding Stone” is all about the driving bass and circling chorus, and the record closes out on a rockier note with “Shadows”. Morning Shakes is a solid psych record; not a new sound in the slightest, but it’s one that was well crafted and comes from mature, talented musicians.