One of the standout tracks from Hit-Boy’s HITstory project got a revamp for HS87′s All I Ever Dreamed Of, and it’s a rare example of a rework improving an already-superb track.
The production remains mostly intact, with that unique spin on the N****s In Paris melody (NIP was produced by Hit-Boy originally, of course) being a catchy and familiar listen, whilst Hit’s trademark talent with thick, attention-grabbing percussion layers supports that addictive melody and gives it distinction from its reference point. The sporadic touches of strings and synths also assist with making this a unique soundscape, with the mixture of subtle and overt deliveries adding good transitions where required. Along with a surprisingly likeable 2 Chainz verse added on, Hit’s re-recorded his own vocals, making for fresh listening to those who have played the original to death (me), and allowing him to take advantage of the tweaked beat.
The video takes place on a video/photoshoot, with Hit’s lady of interest working the set and rather quickly being won over. It’s a fun track with energy that wouldn’t have suited a full ‘story’, and hence the bright lights, rapid scene switches and uncomplicated nature brings out the track’s inherent positivity and energy, and also works as welcome camera time for the hugely underrated Hit-Boy. I’d be surprised if this single didn’t get some traction as it’s got the tools to be a mainstream favourite, and you can grab it on that HS87 tape now.
Buoyed from their month long residency on BBC Radio 1xtra, sibling duo Star One turn their hands back to production with the feel good Garage number ‘Freaky’. Featuring the catchy, distinctive vocals of Juliette Ashby, Freaky takes inspiration from 90′s 2 step whilst still sounding incredibly refreshing.
It’s been a while since we featured homegrown duo Star One over here, but they’ve won me back with this fantastic throwback to the heady days of UK garage. The production is quintessential UKG with a modern coating, throwing together the uptempo electronic percussion characteristic of the genre with sharp, dramatic synth work, whilst the vocal work travels through the track in a dynamic manner, moving through distortions, stutters and regular vocals with good effect. It’s a track that the old school garage heads will go crazy for, and should certainly be added to your summer playlists on its release this Thursday (23rd May), with a remix from Big Voyage in tow too. There’s also a rather psychedlic accompanying video should you require visual treats to work alongside the audio, and whilst it doesn’t feature the full track, it’s a vivid, relatively trippy clip that’s worth a go.
The releases to date have been slightly hit and miss, but they seem to have found a pretty solid mainstream audience, which should stand The-Dream in good stead ahead of this LP’s release in a week’s time on 28th May.
In a rather confident move, he’s allowed the full project to be streamed today, which should help many fans make their purchase decisions ahead of time. The on-again-off-again Beyonce feature has seemingly made the cut, so apparently those sample issues were overcome; good news for many listeners I’m sure, and it’ll be interesting listening to have what should be a complementary set of vocals working alongside one another. I’m a big champion of Dream’s back catalogue (particularly his outstanding debut album), and despite my mixed opinions on the pre-releases singles, I hold hope that this will be another strong addition to his collection. Stream at his Vevo home below.
Late pass. Novel’s Under Water, Overwhelmed EP completely slipped under my radar, but having spent the last few days listening to it almost exclusively, I’ve got no qualms about calling it one of the most consistent R&B projects I’ve heard in months. Across the 6 tracks, Novel seamlessly switches through various styles, applying his strong songwriting ability to a series of good productions, with the latter a notable milestone: his previous works are patchy in terms of quality beat selection, and having Justin Kahler almost exclusively produce this EP has resulted in a consistency that may finally elevate him into the conversation when discussing the cream of today’s R&B crop.
This track can be considered the highlight of the EP, a smooth effort that blends together various styles crisply. Whether it’s Novel’s mixture of singing and rapping, or a production that moves between chillout R&B for the verses and a more upbeat nature on the hook, it’s one that seems to cover off almost all areas in terms of creating a replayable, addictive R&B track. The lyricism combines introspection and positivity, designed to praise his partner in the face of her insecurities, and that’s clearly represented in the video, with the leading lady swinging wildly between carefree happiness and downright depression, giving those lyrics support to ensure they don’t get lost within the mesmerising production. Great track from a very enjoyable EP; stream the EP here, and get it on iTunes afterwards.
Chester has a one-of-a-kind voice that we’ve admired for a long time. We know Linkin Park will always be his priority, but we thought it would be cool to try something together.
There’s some ambiguity, but it appears the fantastic Chester Bennington of Linkin Park has signed on to be Stone Temple Pilot’s new frontman. I’m not the owner of much STP material at all, but I appreciate their worth to the rock industry, and it’s good that this accquisition has them back releasing work; the combination is brutally effective. Out of Time is a roaring 3 minute ride, opening with relentless guitar work that rarely eases up in terms of sheer power and intensity, whilst the accompanying percussion is no gentle stroll either, tearing its own furiously energetic path through the track. By my reckoning, Chester’s one of the most versatile vocalists in music, and this uptempo, hard rock style doesn’t phase him at all, with a good delivery that doesn’t overcommit to the hard, angsty delivery in order to tame that dominating instrumentation with strong melody. The combination is frankly excellent, and it’s one that you’ll want to throw in the car immediately; you can stream it below, and download it for free here.
20th December is the date, and it can’t come soon enough. It’s rare to meet someone who doesn’t recognise a quote from the hilarious original (which has probably evolved so far beyond its original ‘cult status’ that it’s now not cool to like it again), and the much-anticipated sequel is given a brief preview.
I say preview, this isn’t really that. Instead, it’s the news team each reeling off a little bit of stupidity in the form of yet another quotable, and can be added to the slew of recent hype surrounding this film- that’s been down to the reveal of several cameo appearances, including Kanye West, Drake, Liam Neeson, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Sacha Baron Cohen and many more. There isn’t a great deal more to add here, so give it a watch and start looking forward to that release in 7 months.
A second release from their upcoming Soft Will album, due to land on 24th June, and one that’s markedly different from the bubbly, upbeat style of their previous effort.
Whilst there’s still plenty of positivity in here, it’s rather more earned in its nature. The track begins with rather melancholy string work, with the backdrop being one of airy synths and distant string plucks, and hence it’s not inherently negative and rather bittersweet instead. That emotion grows into eventual positivity, with the vocals becoming more expansive and passionate, moving the partially-unchanged lyricism away from disappointment into acceptance, whilst the production keeps up with a lively final third packed with keys, more freedom within the strings, and bursts of backing vocals that add a vibrant finishing touch. Another good listen, and be sure to grab that album next month.
Jet Age’s Journey to the 5th Echelon remains one of my favourite chillout albums to date, whilst Voyager isn’t to be slept on either, and they’re gearing up for their 3rd release this Friday, The JellyFish Mentality.
In absolute honesty, this particular track won’t rank in their upper levels. Interestingly though, their experimental nature usually has hit-and-miss moments, and yet this one instead falls somewhere in the middle; listenable, but neither excellent nor terrible. The track’s broken into two segments, with the first taking several cues from the hip-hop and alternative genres with slow, bassy percussion delivered in a sharp, crashing fashion that adds a hint of punk to proceedings, whilst the cacophonous synth work only serves to enhance those raw edges. The vocals are as drifty as ever, but in this context they work in a much more menacing manner, and it’s a display of musical progression from their more electronic origins. With that said, they return to that chillout style for the second segment, throwing gentle melodies under a more vibrant vocal layer, and it’s this section that’ll probably win back the original Jet Age fans, whilst also making for a good introduction to their work if you’re previously unfamiliar. A solid track with touches of progression and quality, and I’m looking forward to getting the full project on Friday.
He then used his slot on Saturday Night Live to perform both New Slaves and Black Skinhead, and those performances combine with the official video to reveal Kanye’s latest branding mechanism: minimalism and aggression. Gone is the flashy, hyperactive showman and in steps a frustrated rapper with economical movements; the focus is squarely on his expressions in both this video (thanks to Nikul for the find, given that it doesn’t seem to last on YouTube for more than 5 minutes!) and the projected clip, with the backgrounds mostly blacked out and the focus purely on his face. The raps land somewhere between defiant, arrogant and angry, and there’s no lack of belief or feeling throughout; at points, it’s clear he’s bursting with an energy that threatens to cut away from his static body language, and those progressively intense sit nicely above a bassy, simplistic percussion that rarely threatens to steal his spotlight. It’s seemingly only the first half of the song performed here, with the vocalised section cut out, but there’s enough here to solidify his no-frills creative direction, and time will tell if the rest of the output matches up. After the relatively disappointing mainstream fare of Watch the Throne, I’m sure most of us hold hope that it will.
Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are easily two of my favourite games on this generation of consoles (I’m struggling to think of any other PS3 games that have captured my attention quite as much), and to round off the trilogy is this prequel. It’s not being developed by Rocksteady, the studio that did the first two (assumedly, so they can work on Batman’s PS4 debut), but apparently they’ve handed a bunch of the code from those games to Warner Bros Montreal which should ensure some consistency across the games.
The dark, moody vibe of those previous Arkham games seems to be recreated well here, with this instalment set prior to the events of Asylum, and featuring a younger Batman. Whilst it’s a shame we don’t actually see any gameplay footage, it’s good to see a few villains who’ve only played bit parts (or not appeared at all) in the Arkham series, namely Black Skull, Deathstroke and Deadshot. It’s clear that the former is the primary villain here, and it should make for an interesting dynamic to see just who the rest of his hired assassins are; appearances from the Joker, Bane and Penguin are expected. 25th October is the release date, and I’m sure we’ll be getting plenty more footage before then to accompany this graphically-excellent introduction.
The title of his upcoming album (and a track here) is still completely ridiculous, but despite it sounding like a theme park for teenagers, the musical output makes up for that stupidity and has The Weeknd back on strong form after some patchy releases in the last 18 months.
Kiss Land boasts a good blend of atmosphere and energy, and whilst the beat will undoubtedly draw many comparisons with works from House of Balloons (such as Loft Music), it pushes slightly away from the smooth vibe of that project and into a more disorienting style. That comes courtesy of a collection of sharp melodies and screams (yep) that create a sense of psychedelia, whilst the prominent and bassy percussion adds an intensity and drive that wouldn’t have fit on the aforementioned mixtape, and instead shows growth in his beat selection. John Carpenter slows things down, similar to the transitions on his previous two-part tracks, and though it retains some of the same melodies there’s more emphasis on the atmospheric aspect. The addition of constant backing vocals create a rather haunting aura, whilst the synth and percussion work intertwines to make the soundscape slightly darker, and they help to add moody layers into an otherwise intense, vibrant production.
Vocally, Kiss Land has The Weeknd on a much more positive style, with his lyricism focused around ladies of interest and of course his self-assurance, with the verses delivered in a near-rap that slowly morphs into all-out harmonies in the hook, a section in which he gives rightful room to the production to lead. John Carpenter‘s more subdued production allows his vocal work to be spotlighted, and hence his output is both more emotive and lyrically aggressive, with a more negative, isolated outlook in certain segments. Both good tracks, and signs that his official debut album can’t be too far away.
I should apologise for the poor formatting here. Reviewing two songs in one is not easy.
The audio’s release caught my attention for the rare Common feature, but one play made it difficult to ignore the talent Elijah possesses. It’s a guest spot that was guaranteed to turn heads, but unlike many others, he does a great job in keeping up his end of the deal.
The production is a smooth blend between upbeat R&B and a more mellow soul style, with the middle ground it lands in being incredibly rare in terms of sheer versatility. The combination of sharp string plucks and bassy yet warm percussion sets those verses off at a good pace, whilst the introduction of more dramatic string work in the chorus adds a welcome step up in intensity and atmosphere to pad that hook out. Elijah’s vocals are unerringly consistent throughout, with his empassioned deliveries displaying influences from early Trey Songz, a little Maxwell and plenty more; he’s clearly a gifted upcomer, and it’s a performance that will surely gain favour with many.
The key feature of the video is the mixture of dark lighting and misty scenes, presenting a reflective, sombre tone that projects the lyricism outward; it’s smart, as in amongst the strong production and good vocals, the lyrical impact gets lost. A strong single for one of R&B’s newest stars-add this to other young upcomers such as Austin Paul and Steven A. Clark, and there’s every chance that this new breed could lift R&B out of its current malaise. Grab the track on the Bijoux 22 EP now.
It’s only a short performance, and by Rocky’s own admission he’s not really rapping about anything in particular, his flow is relatively watertight throughout (except for a short stumble), and honestly it’s just fun to hear his enthusiasm at jumping on a production from one of his comrades. A quick one, but worth a go if you enjoyed the original.
Yes. All day yes. Two of my favourite vocalists in the business right now hook up for the first single from Hawthorne’s upcoming album, titled Where Does This Door Go and due out on 16th July, and it’s an excellent track that should get Mayer the widespread attention he’s deserved for a few years now.
The production is a lusciously-layered piece, with funky, bassy guitars adding a vintage soul feel, whilst the accompaniment of thunderous percussion and additional samples brings a modern pop twist; the combination is wholly successful throughout the verses, and culminates in a soft hook packed with airy synths, making for a great transition point between the verses. It’s nice to hear a hook used as a cool-down section rather than the track’s high point of intensity and Jessie Ware’s vocals are perfectly suited to that duty, with her gentle delivery meshing seamlessly with the production and also contrasting Mayer’s own performance. His work is a good blend between his regular soulful style and a more punchy delivery, with the latter synergising with those bouncy guitars in the verses, whilst the former makes for a comfortable segue into the hook. He closes off with a set of additional vocals in the chorus section, adding an upbeat element to Jessie’s hook, closing off a collaboration that I expect to play to death this summer.
PRAY is the 3rd official release from Gilbere Forte. This body of work chronicles the trials, tribulations, emotions, and enlightenment Gilbere has experienced over the last year and a half. Marking his growth as a man, and as an artist. This project is also the final chapter to his trilogy that includes 87 Dreams + Eyes Of Veritas.
The last time we heard from Gilbere, he released the track Pray back in October, and he returns with this 10-track album of the same title.
I’ve caught a couple of the tracks from this, and there’s no shortage of variety. From upbeat to more introspective efforts, this project seems like a good reminder of the diverse talents that Gilbere lays claim to, and here’s to hoping the trademark lyrical and vocal intensity contained within his raps is abundant on this one. You can stream the full project here, or download it over at Gilbere’s house below.
I didn’t like this song when the original dropped, and the remix doesn’t help; it still sounds like a throwaway Soulja Boy track from 2007, and it baffles me that the guys on the actual song aren’t aware of that, nor seemingly are a fair chunk of the hip-hop crowd.
Normally, an all-star remix can help hide the obvious gaps in a distinctly average production such as this, but unfortunately the acts here don’t seem to be feeling particularly creative. They all adopt a near-identical flow for their verses, and on a track where lyricism is hardly going to triumph, you’d think one or two of them would have the self-assurance to cut away from the expected delivery. The only one who comes close to being listenable is ScHoolboy Q, who adapts the latter part of his verse to move out of the stop-start rap style the rest use, whilst credit also goes to Trindad James for bringing some intensity and passion to proceedings, regardless of his lyrical and structural output. It’ll be a favourite with the type of people your parents told you not to hang around with, and whilst I like Ferg and some of his other material is way better, this is ignorable for the rest of us.
Some of you may recall Banks from her explosive introductory post a couple of months back, and the upcoming singer drops off her latest single, a smooth, soulful effort that shows a good twist of variety.
The atmospheric production is a hugely enjoyable one, combining delicate synths with barely-there tribal percussion, both of which do most of the work in filling each corner of the soundscape without too much assistance from any dominating melodies or heavy multi-layering. It’s certainly got a rather ‘winter night’ vibe, with Banks’ vocals are both suited to that style, and also offering plenty of warmth and feeling to add further depth to the track, and pull that spaced-out production down into a more grounded package. It’s as smooth a track as you could ask for with no nasty surprises, and this should be a favourite with those after some laidback alternative pop.
The power of good headphones/speakers. I gave this a quick listen through my laptop speakers earlier, only to dismiss it as a cheap Future knock-off, and nothing I’d likely give much time in the future. It’s since returned to my ears via a shuffle, this time with headphones on, and it’s being repeated as you read this.
So, PARTYNEXTDOOR is part of Drake’s October’s Very Own imprint, a connection announced a short while back. Whilst I wasn’t into his previous release, this is one that should command more attention, and at the heart of it is a slow, nighttime production that’s right out of the OVO playbook. The self-produced effort is made up of pillowy bass and several interlocking layers of gentle melodies, each helping create a layer of depth that adds a ton of atmosphere to the backdrop, and allowing PND to get away with things a little on the vocals. An odd choice of terms, but it’s a heavily Autotuned performance that would otherwise grate on me, but the cooling nature of the production completely tempers its sharp edges, and hence it’s far more listenable than most Autotuned R&B, and yes, significantly better than Future’s pointless drawl. Progression from the newcomer, and hopefully it continues.
8 years in the making, and now hungry fans can finally listen to Daft Punk’s entire comeback LP, over a week before its official release. This is, of course, seemingly a response to the fact their album leaked onto them internets just a few hours ago, but it’s pretty good news in any case.
As surprising as it may be, I haven’t managed to listen to the full album yet given that I just read this news around 49 seconds ago, and admittedly I probably won’t until it’s released next week (or I cave and grab a quick fix beforehand). They’re one of very few artists for whom I quite enjoy the novelty of waiting until release day to buy the CD and such (sue me), and hence I’m hoping to do precisely that. For those unaware, features include Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Chilly Gonzalez, Todd Edwards, Paul Williams, Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon and Panda Bear. Enjoy being a few days ahead of dear old me with the free stream courtesy of iTunes below.
The video’s content certainly won’t harm those chances of mainstream popularity. There’s quite the dichotomy of emotions displayed throughout, from the natural sadness of the funeral in the opening through to the progressive happiness and energy the on-screen activities exude toward the end, and the gradual connection between the two is a smooth transition. From early on, you expect there’s a twist coming of Kendrick being in the coffin, a suspicion built on by his repeated isolation, particularly rapping alone in a dream-like, heaven-esque landscape dressed in an angelic all-white outfit, and though the occasional flashes of his fun goings-on inside the limo suggest otherwise, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the twist is coming. Eventually, the video wears you down and you begin to lose that hunch, with his humourous scenes with Mike Epps being a notable factor in that progressive approach, and the climactic, definitive ‘announcement’ at the end closes that notion entirely. It’s good to have an additional layer of story thrown on top of the audio here, and though most (myself included) would have been fine with a textbook “summer” video, this direction makes for much more compelling viewing. I’m not even going to post an iTunes link because surely, surely, we all own this by now.
Though the Joy & Pain EP landed almost a year ago, ANTHM heads back to it for his latest visual. It was a project that was very strong from start to finish, and became a great introduction to an artist I’ve championed heavily in the intervening months.
With atmosphere in abundance, the production’s a fantastic medley of slow, powerful percussion hits, airy synths, gentle melodies and plenty more; it’s a busy, thickly-packed backdrop, and yet manages to remain relatively mellow and introspective, facets which extend to his lyricism. The verses are part-biographical, part-inspirational and wholly thought-provoking, with plenty of emotional content wrapped into a deliver full of desire and hunger. Credit to his hook work too, which has him singing a delicate chorus that works smoothly as a ‘cool down’ from the lyrically intense verses, whilst helping emphasise the production’s aura.
The video is unfussy and fits the sound of the track to near-perfection. ANTHM raps in an isolated beach environment that enhances the track’s atmosphere, with the relatively desolate and expansive scenery giving physical space for the track to grow into, whilst the additional backdrop of seemingly destroyed houses throws in a gritty realism to capitalise on the reflective lyricism. Big fan of the track, and the chosen video has been executed well. Grab the EP now.
Two songs, one post. In recent times, I’ve started to appreciate the underrated Thelo Martin’s beatwork, and this is an example of not only his talent, but also his fantastic eclecticism. Marilia clearly takes influence from the Brazilian style, combining soft guitar strums with what I’m assuming are vocals in Portuguese, with a gentle yet consistent percussion holding the track together as the aforementioned samples sit with a mellow synth, and the whole package gets thrown into a stuttered style. It’s experiemental electronic done well, and will certainly call for attention from fans of Flying Lotus, Exile and so on.
Sleep Pattern is a much darker, more atmospheric effort, and you can feel that late night influence on the production. The percussion is sharp and dominant, whilst the synths fill the soundscape with a relaxed aura, before additional elements including sporadic vocal samples are thrown in to add final touches to an excellent production, reminiscent again of the works of Flying Lotus, with a touch of J Dilla in there too. As different as day and night, but both tracks are certainly worth a listen. My preference? If I had to choose, Sleep Pattern.
Whilst the Beyonce feature originally slated for this album has been dropped due to sample clearance issues, Mr. Carter’s appearance remains intact and is delivered as the latest offering from The-Dream’s IV Play album, set to arrive on 28th May.
Thus far, none of his pre-album releases have provided much to be excited about, and thankfully this effort is a cut above what he’s offered so far. The production has a hip-hop feel to it, combining strong slow-paced percussion with melodies from across the board, and whether its the Asian-influenced elements or the Future adlib samples (I think?), there’s a lot of dynamism and activity on that top layer. It creates much more depth and quality in comparison to the previous releases and suits both artists well, with Dream alternating between a rap delivery and regular singing for the verse and hook respectively, and whilst Jay’s verse isn’t exactly a classic, it’s a fun contribution on a production that suits his cadence extremely well. Better signs from The-Dream ahead of that impending release date.
It seems I’m in the minority here, but I wasn’t overly enamoured with this track on its release. Many showered praise upon the production, and whilst it’s undoubtedly a style we’ve not heard Pusha on very often (and hence there’s a touch of novelty value), it’s minimal nature didn’t feel as though it played to Pusha’s strengths.
He’s charismatic on the mic and has great presence, but I’m sure most would agree he’s hardly going down as lyricist of the year. That’s not to say ‘complex lyrical rap’ is all that’s acceptable, but a low fat production of this ilk slightly exposes the repetitive nature of his work, and hence it was hard to commit to the track initially.
With that said, a combination of repeated plays and this video have thoroughly helped. The video’s as stripped back as the audio, with settings including a dark, overcast sky with a touch of post-apocalyptic feel, amongst other dimly-lit environments that contain Pusha T, and little else. They bring out a moody, atmospheric quality in the production, whilst his aggressive, emotive on-screen nature lends a hand in upping the lyrical intensity, and as odd as it is to say, his surliness helps to create a tight bond between the grittiness of the beat, the arrogant lyricism and the dark video. There’s a rawness that comes out in the clip that aids the appeal of the audio immeasurably, and this is a rare example of a video really elevating a track. Pusha’s My Name Is My Name album lands on 16th July.
Quite possibly my favourite song from their critically-adored Koi No Yokan album, and they’ve chosen to put together a good clip for it.
It’s a relentless piece, commanding attention from its very beginning with powerful, ear-rattling guitar blasts and intense percussion, with the instrumentation coming off as a great blend between industrial rock and melodic metal. It’s completely unrelenting with its driving nature throughout, and that consistency allows Chino’s vocals to really flourish, with harmonic and relatively gentle deliveries for the verses contrasting the sharp, angsty and anthemic work on the hook; their synergy with the instrumentation is thoroughly excellent, and makes this sub-3 minute effort feel like a much bigger, grander piece.
As a track I consider as prime driving music, it’s interesting to see the natural take they’ve gone for. Focusing solely on a woman riding a horse through the arid desert, their collective movement as they tear through the expansive landscapes makes for fitting viewing as far as the piercing style of the audio goes, whilst also combining well enough with it to create a somewhat mesmerising effect. It’s really quite an unfussy visual, but the fact that the hooks are timed with extended riding periods is a simple move that helps bring physical manifestation to the track’s forceful nature. Worth a watch, and most certainly worth throwing on whilst driving (legally) fast. Grab that album now.
With one of this EP’s five tracks delivered to us in video format not so long ago, talented upcomer Thunderbird Gerard drops off the full project to satiate his growing fanbase.
There are no supporting features, ensuring this introductory project remains exactly that, allowing Gerard to enjoy the spotlight alone. His diverse stylings are seeded throughout this, with a mixture of rapping and singing provided over eclectic soundscapes, and from the electronic-influenced sound of London Is A Bitch to the alternative indie backdrop of Bad Bee there’s plenty of choice to attract fans of varying tastes. I expect over time his sound will become more concentrated, but for now this is a good introduction to someone who has plenty of potential to impress. Stream and download below.
There’s been plenty of talk about ‘summer music’ on here in recent weeks, but I’m not sure anything comes close to this for that all-round sunny beach vibe.
The ever-stylish London has three overlapping segments to the video, each well costumed of course, and they combine for an enjoyable watch. The first has him performing, rather humbly I might add, in a small venue with the few audience members sitting around the band; it’s an intimate setting that exudes a vintage vibe, and hence manages to curtail the occasionally expansive nature of the production and bring it down into a warm, friendly environment. The second is the interspersing of his interactions with the leading lady, one who clearly isn’t intended to fit into the ‘classic video girl’ mould, and instead seems like a real person. Once again, it adds a humility to the video that takes the audio into more relatable, personal territory when combined with the scenes mentioned previously. The final setting has London and the band performing in a white, dream-like landscape that adds a touch of cool and a little more atmosphere, working well with the ‘daydream factor’ the audio invariably invokes, and making for a nice contrast to the previous two scenes. It’s not a complicated clip in the slightest, but it does work the audio well, and whilst admittedly it would have been good to see more open, expansive backdrops, it would also have been a little cliche so credit to Theophilus for the direction taken. Buy it.
The sheer happiness of this song is unbelievably infectious, and despite my skip-happy nature, I find it impossible to press skip when those first few notes hit. That, my friends, is high praise.
Of course, this is by no means for everyone-it’s got a heavy pop influence, and is no doubt wrapped in a squeaky-clean veneer that’ll turn a lot of people off, but nonetheless those of a happy disposition will probably find some kinship with it. The video mostly plays on that vibrancy, with a lot of the scenes having a visceral approach due to their focus on the five senses; in particular, there’s a lot of emphasis on touch, whether that’s the oddly-mesmerising squeezing of citrus fruits, or the interactions between the seemingly happy couple. The colour palette veers between sunny, bright scenery through to darker environments, though the latter aren’t ‘moody’ as such, more of a warming nature that creates a nice sense of enclosure around the two characters. The second half of the clip expands the setting somewhat, with a little rooftop frolicking from the duo creating a sense of freedom in front of an expansive backdrop, and closes off what is just a video that can best be described as ‘nice’. Worth a watch for fans of the song, and you can either grab the single now or wait for the Soft Will album on 25th June.
Get Dough or Die is the mantra coming out of T.I.’s Hustle Gang camp, with this 20-track effort being the first collective release he’s put together from his rather well-known stable of artists.
Iggy Azalea, B.o.B, Chip(munk), Travis $cott, Trae the Truth, Young Dro, and T.I. are the bedrock of the tape, with a couple of lesser known artists from the team also involved, in addition to features from French Montana, Meek Mill, Problem and several others. Essentially, it’s full to the brim with massive names in hip-hop, and that extends to a producer list that includes David Banner, Young Chop, Nard & B, whilst there are also several self-produced efforts from within the Hustle Gang camp. If Tip’s recent form is anything to go by, this should have at least a few gems on it, and you can grab the whole thing for nothing below.