Photo: Gwen Stefani’s Facebook

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GWEN STEFANI – MAKE ME LIKE YOU

Gwen Stefani has shared a second single from her upcoming album This Is What The Truth Feels Like (out March 16). ‘Make Me Like You’ is a revitalizing pop track about her new relationship with country singer Blake Sheldon after a long-term break up.

The track arises with twinkly Stefani harmonies before her characteristic vocals thump in with “I was fine before I met you.”  Stefani is expressing her wary feeling of trusting someone new.

The indie icon turned pop artist is now churning out fun bubblegum pop with a Katy Perry/early Kylie Minogue vibe. ‘Make Me Like You’ is a velvety with a simplistic fluffy form, overall an easy listen to transform your mood.

7.0/10
SIAN WILSON @sianwilsonn_

JACK GARRATT – FIRE

The extremely talented, multi instrumentalist, Jack Garratt strikes again with new single ‘Fire’. A song that swings from chaos to calm, involving everything from alternative pop to electro dance with a hint of UK garage to make the perfect release just days before his album ‘Phase’ is due. The release was announced last night on Zane Lowe’s show as the Hottest Record in the World.

The masterpiece begins gently with a simple drum beat and faint distorted guitar fuse hidden behind Garratt’s soft vocals, but this is just the calm before the storm as the chorus hits, introducing a complete tempo change, booming bass and frantic electronic wobbles creating a wonderful piece of electronic magnificence.

It is safe to say that Garratt is certainly one to watch in 2016, with him already winning The Brits Critics Choice Award and BBC Introducing Artist Of The Year Award, as well as topping the BBC Sound of 2016 Poll – all before his album has even been released!

8.5/10
MIA WOLO @miawolo

SANTIGOLD – BANSHEE

Santigold’s latest single ‘Banshee’ is the sonic alternative to a flourishing jamboree. Like the heart of a carnival, the chorus of the song has streamers of sound and acrobatic hooks flying in from all directions over the top of Santi White’s inimitable vocals.

All the way through to the very end, the groove feels like it gets more and more jumpy to the point where it takes the sudden realisation of your surroundings to stop you from leaping into a visceral bop…Unless of course the repeated beckons to “Come on!” are too tempting to pass up (which is likely).

8.5/10
RUPERT TAYLOR @0UTATIM3

JAMES BLAKE – MODERN SOUL

Surprise! James Blake is back in a big way, with nothing but the unofficial ‘Radio Silence’ since Overgrown won the Mercury Prize in 2013, it’s about time

Every part of his talent is flaunted on this ghostly masterpiece. The intriguing piano riff is laid bare against the chocolate voice wrapped in silk; the melody builds into something explosive, Blake bursting into chest voice unlike anything on his previous releases.

The song in entrancing from the first line, the composition and production up to his usual award winning standards – tantalising peek into Blake’s box of tricks for 2016.

9.0/10
MADDY HARDMAN @PseudoAgatha

AUGUSTINES – ARE WE ALIVE

American indie Rock band Augustines (formerly We Are Augustines) have marked their return with their first new material since their 2014 self-titled album. ‘Are We Alive’ is a thunderous return that is trademark Augustines, with a throbbing drumbeat and the bellowing vocals of frontman Billy McCarthy being a huge stand out.

The New York based band has kept it simple and carried on with what they know best, foot tapping inducing drums and soul-searching vocals and lyrics.  It might not be a new direction for the band but they’re doing what they do best.

8.0/10
CALLUM MCCORMACK @McCormackCallum

FLUME (FEAT. KAI) – NEVER BE LIKE YOU

Australian beat-maker Flume has announced that his new album Skin is “almost finished”. After releasing his first track from the upcoming album at the start of the year, it seems to us that Flume is more excited than ever for us to listen to what he has in store for us.

The Australian producer has teamed up with Canadian songstress Kai for track ‘Never Be Like You’, which was first premiered on Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World. Unlike much of Flume’s previous work, ‘Never Be Like You’ is a built up wave of emotions, the song relies on singer Kai as it is built up heavily on vocal layers.

8.0/10
AIMEE WHEELHOUSE @AimeeWheelhouse

 

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