Featuring Ty Dolla $ign // An Album By Ty Dolla $ign

This album title is so fitting, isn’t it? Because I’ll be honest with you, up until this year, for the most part of it, the only time I ever listened to Ty Dolla $ign was when he was a featured artist on another musician’s song. The first time I really stopped and listened to the man’s voice was when he featured on Jacob Collier’s track All I Need, alongside out girl Mahalia. The man can sing.

I mean if you scroll all the way to the bottom of his Spotify profile, you get one of the longest ‘Appears On’ list I have ever seen. He’s appeared on some of my favourite releases in the last few years and so many more. Post Malone, Ariana, Roddy Rich, Drake, Migos, Jhene, Dreamville, Chance The Rapper, Mac Miller, Sza, Thundercat, Kehlani, Kanye, Jacob Collier, Amine, Ella Mai, KAYTRANADA, Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera – they’ve all got Ty on their tracks and that’s not even half of it.

He’s literally everywhere and he has been for years, and so for his third studio album to be called, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign? Love it. I’m so about it.

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God is great 🙌🏾 #FeaturingTyDollaSign

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I mean, even the first track, Intro, touches on the fact that he’s been working so much with other artists, yet he’s so talented as a solo act. He covers genuinely all aspects of music creation from writing the music, doing some of the instrumentation and even mixing and mastering. His track LA features on the Netflix series Song Exploder which delves into the entire creative process behind individual tracks, and it’s one of my favourite episodes that really showcases how talented he is.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of features on this record; the switch being they’re featuring on Ty Dolla $ign’s album and not the other way around. You’ve got Kehlani, Nicki Minaj, Anderson .Paak, Mustard, Roddy Rich, Jhene Aiko, Gunna, Musiq Soulchild, Kanye, FKA Twigs, Skrillex and plenty more – it’s a golden standard feature list for a hip hop/RnB album, if you ask me.

One of my favourite things is how seamlessly a lot of the songs blend into each other. I didn’t realise my favourite song when I first listened to it, was actually two seperate songs, Status and Temptations, because of how smoothly they blend into each other. Something I love about all of Ty’s songs are how melodic they are, whether it’s the music or his rapping and singing, there’s so much musicality and so many little pockets in his songs.

I really enjoy the little interludes sprinkled throughout the album too, specifically the Burna Boy Interlude, which is super calming and relaxed. It’s another example of beautifully constructed and arranged music that just bleeds from one track to another.

It wouldn’t be a blog post of mine if I didn’t highlight Kehlani’s feature track, Universe. That said, it’s also just generally one of my favourite songs on the album. It’s got this super smooth guitar riff throughout the whole thing, and I’ve come to really love how well Ty layers and stacks harmonies and vocals, which he does really tastefully on this song. Between him and Kehlani, they both have a amazing raspy tones and it just matches so perfectly, especially in contrast to that guitar.

Your Turn features 6LACK, Musiq Soulchild and Tish Hyman, and it’s just so smooth. It’s the epitome of smooth and sits perfectly as a little taste of some old school RnB. It’s straight out of the late 90’s/early 2000’s and it builds and grows beautifully over the track. It’s super lazy and laidback in the best possible way.

I have to mention Ego Death featuring Kanye, FKA Twigs and Skrillex. Such a strong beat, very unexpected, but very much appreciated.

I couldn’t have predicted that in 2020 Ty Dolla $ign would be one of my most listened to artists or that I would be rinsing his album as much as I am, but here we are. Let me know if you’ve listened to it already or if you want to give it a listen in the future.

x

Priya

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Kissing Ariana Grande’s Butt For An Entire Post

Hello and welcome back friends! I know what you’re thinking if you’re checking this out on the blog rather than the reader – “Priya…why’s the blog changed? Again?”. To that I have to admit – I’ve gone back to yee old Free plan on this lil platform because I’m having to divert all of my attention, time and money towards a project that I’ve been working my lil butt off on, so I hope you don’t mind. More on that relatively soon…

On to tonight’s post. Are we obtuse? We can read the title right? No explaining necessary. We’re talking about Ariana’s latest album, Positions and just straight gassing her up for an entire post.

I’m gonna be real with you – I’m not going through the entire album for you because that’s your job.

What I am gonna do is give you the rundown and share some of my favourite tracks from the record and I highly suggest you listen to the album, back to back, in order, on shuffle, beginning to end, for yourself, and allow yourself to find your own favourites, when I’m done.

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down like sunsets down like my head on your chest

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When Ariana popped up, like she does, I genuinely found myself bursting at the seams with excitement. I don’t think I’ve been as excited for an album from this woman, as I was with this one. I’ve always been in awe of her voice and her as an individual, but it seems like she’s at the peak of her performance right now. Her branding is sublime like entirely ‘baddie in Disneyland; right now, her songs just get better and better, I can’t think of one that I don’t love and it feels like she can’t put a foot wrong.

Visuals? Perfect. Production? Perfect. The range??? Perfect. Such a range on this album and she does it flawlessly. When the track list was release, everyone I knew was talking about it. For good reason, clearly.

There’s a real childish element to this album that I love, yet at the same time it’s beautifully mature and sultry, in a way that only Ariana Grande can do. It’s like Disneyland grown-up. That’s all I can think of to describe this album in my mind. Not like Hannah Montana Disney either, but like Magic Kingdom and the Castle, Disney. I have many thoughts… but let’s get into my favourite tracks.

shut up
Find me a stronger opening track. You can’t. Are you kidding me? The instrumentation on this track is gorgeous, but then it’s gets to the chorus and her damn vocals kick in. I’ve never appreciated being told to ‘shut up’ as much as I did when I listened to this song for the first time. Personally this is one of those times where I would pay to go back to my first listen of this track. The violins, the harmonies, the plucked strings, I’m all about it.

motive ft Doja Cat
I mean. I mean. This is my favourite song on the entire album. It’s so me, it’s a joke. I mean you got that Loleatta Holloway disco sample that’s pulled straight from You Little Beauty by my man FISHER, you got Doja who has really grown on me over the last year, it’s got a four-to-the-floor beat and Ariana just swims all over this track. This has been my go-to driving song since the album dropped, I’m going out with friends for the first time since March with some friends and I wholeheartedly plan on getting ready to this track on repeat, and I’d happily listen to this song again and again. Ariana Grande over a house beat? Yes please.

safety net ft Ty Dolla $ign
This song really came at an ideal moment for me when I’m really stepping into a time of appreciating Ty Dolla $ign and his musicality and his voice. More to come on his latest album soon hopefully. Such a perfect match, vocally and I’m not sure why this wasn’t done sooner. I really like this song a lot, it’s a perfect driving song, a little bit of RnB, and I think it’s just the vibes for me.

my hair
Let’s not lie, this song is probably on par with motive for me. I don’t know why I carried on like that before when this song was coming up. I got sent this song by four seperate people telling me how much I’d love it and I feel like that kinda says enough. I mean, what’s not to love? The vocals, my gosh. Her voice is one of the strongest voices of this generation, hands down, she just can’t be stopped and I feel like if this song doesn’t say that enough I don’t know what does. There’s so much in this track I could ramble on about; the offensive bass line, the strings that just throw you into like, Golden era Hollywood, her vocals, given, the immaculate guitar and these keys that are just so tastefully sprinkled over the entire track, the trumpet. I give up. Catch me throwing up a poor attempt to cover this song on Instagram, I can feel it coming.

love language
Look, I know it’s only been 2 years since Sweetener was released but this song makes me instantly think that we’re overdue for a Ariana x Pharrell collaboration. That’s the first thing I thought when I heard this song, and then the next thing was that this was a bloody good song. The strings all over this record are so punchy and carry so much energy, especially in this song. I can’t wait for more of the visuals for this record to come out because I’m so positive they’re gonna hit.

positions
I feel like it would be rude, frankly, to not include this title track on the list of faves. I mean, it’s not a stretch for me considering this song is genuinely stuck in my head 24 hours of the day. Don’t get me started on the absolute art people are creating on TikTok with this song. This song is magic. It’s what we needed. Hard to elaborate on it really. It’s gold. The music video, is also gold. That’s all.

Miss Grande really just came in peace to pop in and take her crown.
Please, by all means, feel free to share your favourite tracks from the album below, it’ll be hard for me to disagree with you. This track slaps.
That’s all.

x

Priya

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Wonder // A Shawn Mendes Special

He really knows how to make a return right?

Of course, I’m taking about Shawn Mendes, and the absolute scene he’s made with his latest single, Wonder.

The song itself, is beautiful. It’s so cinematic and full, with so many different elements that bring it all together. Absolutely perfect driving through a tunnel kind of music if you ask me. The music, combined with genuinely emotionally weighted lyrics, come together to create, what I believe to be one of Shawn’s greatest songs to date.

That said, the true gift here, obviously aside from the existence of the song itself, is the music video. I never thought I’d ever see Shawn Mendes do choreography in my life, yet here we are, and it just fits so perfectly .The scenery, the story-telling, the movement and flow and how everything seems to blend together in this cinematic universe he’s created. You’ve got Polar Express, he’s giving you Harry Potter, there’s some Twilight.

It all fits.

I’m just super impressed. I’ve always enjoyed Shawn’s music, his concert was a highlight of mine last year, and if this is any sort of hint towards the things he’s set to deliver us in the future, I’m hyped.

Have you watched the music video or heard the song? I’d love to know your thoughts! Let me know in the comments.

x

Priya

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Duckwrth // SUPERGOOD

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re well and thriving and if you’re not, I hope you are soon. 

Today I wanted to drop in to share with you an album I’ve been thoroughly enjoying, and that is Duckwrth’s SuperGood album. 

I can’t say I’ve always paid a ton of attention to Duckwrth and what he’s up to, and other than adding a couple singles to some of my playlists, he’s not an artist I always have on my radar. So how did I come across this album and why has it become a staple to get me through the week?

The visual teaser for one of the tracks, Kiss U Right Now, appeared on my recommended on YouTube. I loved the aesthetic of it, how much of a teaser it actually was and the song itself was beautiful and super sultry and smooth. Had me hooked straight away. So obviously I ran to Spotify like I always do and checked out the whole song, which led me to finding the SuperGood album. Praise be!

Now of all of Duckwrth’s songs, the one I listen to the most is a track called MICHUUL., which I love for it’s groove and rhythm, and that’s only readily available throughout this album. 

It also comes along with a few notable features, including EARTHGANG, Australia’s very own KIAN, Julia Romana and Kyle Dion to name a few. It’s a good selection of artists to add to what’s already shaping up to be one of my favourite albums of 2020. 

The opening track, New Long Song, is such a perfect debut for the album, mixing in some old school sounds with beautiful vocals and super smooth lyrics. I love Duckwrth’s rapping voice. Then add onto that how much I love his singing voice and you’ve got this perfect mix. The song is also incredibly dynamic. Take’s you to church a bit. 

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Quick, which features our boy KIAN, is another favourite of mine. Super percussive and rhythmic, which I really enjoy. It’s really different for KIAN, and he and Duckwrth melt together perfectly on this track. It’s a collaboration I wouldn’t have seen coming, but I’m entirely here for it. 

Super Bounce, which features EARTHGANG is super smooth. It’s one of my other highlights from this record. I get a few D’Angelo vibes from this tune, but it’s also just beautifully intricate in all the sounds and rhythms that are combined throughout the track. In particular, the keys and the synths in this song really come together beautifully, and everything just floats so seamlessly together. 

If you’re looking for some new music to listen through, a new album to put on and work your way through, or some new tracks to add to your playlists, I highly recommend SuperGood. I’m clearly very enthusiastic about it, and I’m gonna be keeping a closer eye on Duckwrth from here on out and you should too. 

x

Priya

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The Vinyl Records // Round Two

Hi friends!

Hope you’re all well and thriving. Today’s post is gonna be Round Two of my Vinyl Series!

The record I wanna share today is one of the first ones I actually bought for myself as soon as I got my record player, I mean after I got sick of my Jim Reeves op shop vinyl, and that is Rainbow Valley by old mate, Matt Corby.

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This is honestly one of my all time favourite records I own, purely because of how incredibly beautiful this album sounds translated on vinyl.

As I did with Round One of the The Vinyl Records, which you can read HERE, I’m just gonna share a few of my favourite tracks from the record, instead of going on a bit of a ramble about every single track!

No Ordinary Life This song is sublime. The piano, the strings in the background, the layered harmonies, it all comes together so seamlessly, this song is genuinely such a trip to listen to. Add in the drums and how they just drive the song along with such a steady chug, and it’s so easy to get lost in this song. I find it ten times more beautiful when listening to it on vinyl. This album in my mind, was made to be listened to on vinyl. Hands down. This song is probably one of the best indicators of that.

All That I Say This song is such a groovy track. The vocals in this are a great mix of flowing and ebbing drawls and short, snappy backing vocals, and it all works together so nicely. The bass in this track is also probably my favourite part, it definitely carries the song for me.

Get With The Times I have to refrain from including literally every song on the album in this list, but I had to throw this one in there. This one is my favourite in terms of Matt Corby’s vocal performance. It’s another song that features a really tasteful electric guitar groove, nestled in amongst the piano and backing vocals, and the lead vocals are so sweet and beautiful.

All Fired Up Beautiful song. Beautiful arrangement, beautiful singing, I can’t say much else for this track.

Miracle Love  I always wait to reach this song when I’m making my way through the record. So much emotion packed into one song and I think for me, this is Corby’s best vocal performance on the entire track. So impactful and raw, and it truly shows off just how talented he is as a singer and musician.

That brings us to the end of our second Vinyl Records! Hopefully you enjoyed this post, I sure loved getting the opportunity to lay down in bed and listen to the vinyl on repeat while I wrote up this post.

x

Priya

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Dua Lipa // The Blessed Madonna Remix…

I wanted to like this so badly. I really, really did. I know what you’re thinking … Priya? A negative review? Really? Me too. 

Levitating has been one of my favourite songs of the year, I’ve loved it ever since it was released, and it really set the tone for my personal obsession with the Future Nostalgia album. So when I heard that this disco-pop wave Dua’s currently riding was gonna be joined by not only Missy Elliott, but also Madonna, who as much as I’m not a fan, is the undeniable queen of the 80’s?

I was so excited.

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Let’s preface this by saying that this was kinda slated as a ‘club’ release, which I think on the surface level, it meets. It serves it’s purpose. But as a track? I’d take the original any day. I feel like if I were to personally hear this in a club, I’d be so fine if it was a quick little blender track, or a nice transition into the actual tune, but it just feels so disjointed and lost.

I get what they wanted to do, I really do, but I don’t feel like it worked. 

I love Dua Lipa, and I love that she brought two icons together on this track, but I think it could have been better. A lot better. Personally, Missy Elliott’s verse is a highlight, which I know some people don’t love. It’s one of the only highlights of the song for me, and that’s probably down to me loving Missy herself. The breakdown after her verse? I mean it’s decent.

With how hard-hitting and punchy the original song is, the remix should only have enhanced it. Rather, it feels like it’s been stripped of a bunch of things that made it such a track to begin with.

I think the tempo of the original song is perfection. It seems like such a little think to pick at, but tempo is a game changer when it comes to how easy a song is to enjoy and move to, and I think the remix just tries too hard to be a club mix, and the tempo is a huge factor in that. Then those wavy synths that are present throughout the entire track, and play a vital part in how well the original version flows…they’re gone? The new synths are pretty aggressive, they’re there, they just…don’t hit like the original ones, which for a club remix, I’m expecting them to. They aren’t as heavy and you don’t feel compelled to move the way you do with the original synths. Just like the tempo, the bass has been shifted to this really stock-standard club bass rhythm and melody that does nothing for the track. 

I’ll be real honest. If Melbournians were allowed to leave their houses and I was a few drinks in, hearing this at a bar, I’d probably wouldn’t care at all to pick at it the way I’m doing, so like I mentioned, it serves it’s purpose. But for such a phenomenal track like Levitating, to go out of your way to release a remix like this, with absolute icons like Madonna and Missy Elliott, it’s a bit of a missed opportunity. 

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I don’t know if I’m in a majority or minority with my opinion, as I haven’t see too many reviews for the single, so I’d love to know what you’re thoughts are! I know a few of you love Dua Lipa just as much as I do, so please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments! 

x

Priya

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Paige // Always Growing

I hope y’all remember Paige.

I’ve featured her several times here on the blog. She’s been one of my favourite musicians since I first discovered her in 2018, and she’s just gone from strength to strength. Opening for Ruel in New Zealand, releasing a number of successful singles, and now an EP.

If you’re keen to get up to speed, you can read my last couple of posts about here HERE and HERE. You’ll also definitely find her generously sprinkled over my Monthly Tunes.

Way back in 2018, I interviewed the New Zealand singer/songwriter, and spoke about her latest music as well as her plans for the future. One of the tracks she was super excited for was a song called Waves, the music video for which, dropped very recently.

You can watch it below!

 

 

 

Paige released her debut EP, Always Growing on the 31st of July, and since then, it’s been on repeat.

 

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The seven-track EP includes a mix of those previously released singles I mentioned earlier, as well as some tasty new tracks to sink your teeth into, starting off with the opening track, Cold Blooded, a bass heavy groove that Paige released earlier in 2020.

I think Hit n Run, the second track on the album, may be one of my favourites. It’s got such a good mix of sounds and blends, from the backing vocals, the acoustic guitar, a hard hitting drum beat and Paige’s strong voice pulling everything all together. Super catchy. Big vibes, big vibes.

A handful of singles make up the next few songs on the tracklist, all of which are beautifully nostalgic bangers, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Too Much to H8, my personal favourite Waves, another favourite of mine, Bloom, Yellow and then final track Make Room. 

Make Room is a new freshie, and I love how gently anthemic it is. It builds and grows beautifully, and it’s a song I’ve found myself going back. I also think it’s one of the best songs on the album in terms of showing off just how subtle and strong Paige’s voice and songwriting is combined. Such a delicate song lyrically, but such a confident delivery. I love everything about this song.

 

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To be fair, I love everything about the entire EP. There’s just something so authentic and raw about it, but it’s still so polished and well crafted. From the variety of the songs, to how consistently impressive the songwriting is on every track, Paige has more than delivered on her debut EP, and what a way to kick off what’s sure to be an amazing career.

x

Priya

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folklore // embodied

Honestly, I think I’m in love with Taylor Swift.

I don’t know if she set out to release arguably the best album of her career, but in my opinion, that’s just what she did.

I also don’t know if I’m the best person to be making statements like that because aside from her singles and a few tracks here and there I’ve rarely been an active Taylor Swift listener in the past, but damn, she did a good thing with folklore.

I think more than just her music, I’ve been super invested in her career. The shit show she went through with Kanye that kind of ruined one of the best moments of her life, which also subsequently spiraled into this whirlwind of a series of episodes that just plagued a huge portion of her career, then losing ownership of all of her masters and essentially having to start from scratch, the girls been through it. I think there’s so much she’s had to deal with, and she’s still managed to have a long, successful career. Gal must be tired.

 

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But on to folklore.

Like I said, I think I’m in love. This entire record is just so beautifully nostalgic and haunting, I genuinely wish I could go back to the moment I listened to the entire album for the first time so I could experience those feelings again.

I’m sure you’ve read one hundred and one reviews of this album already, because in keeping with my character I’m a little behind on this, so I’m just gonna share with you some of my favourite tracks from the record.

 


 

the 1
Come on. This song. So beautiful. The words, which are obviously just as strong throughout the entire album, just make it so simple and powerful. It’s so gentle, but there’s so much emotion in this one song.

my tears ricochet
My favourite song. Hands down. There’s so much anger and authenticity in this one song alone. Side note; I highly suggest you do not listen to this song for the first time while going on your daily walk because you will end up crying in public and it’s not a good look. ‘And if I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake?’ ‘You know I didn’t have to, want to haunt you, but what a ghostly scene.’ ‘You wear the same jewels, that I gave you, when you bury me.’ Come. On. Come. On. My jaw visibly dropped several times throughout this song just listening to the words Taylor was singing. Shivers every time.

seven
If I had my way, this song would be the main title motif for a modern gothic YA film, and the big build up would be playing while the main protagonist is running through the woods, with this huge looming countryside mansion in the background, after they come to a mad realisation. That’s if I had my way. That’s all I’m saying.

mad woman
Imagine thinking Taylor Swift would allow anyone to have the last word when it came to losing her masters and being taken advantage of by music industry heavy-weights. I feel like this song is Taylor’s response to that entire situation, and even the way she consistently gets portrayed in the media. It’s just so hauntingly cathartic and emotional. ‘Every time you call me crazy, I get more crazy, what about that?’. I think this is my second favourite song on the album. It’s so strong, so forceful in it’s tone, but so gentle and alluring at the same time.

epiphany
So many layers to this record. I saw so many people talking about how this song was maybe a nod to healthcare workers and front-liners during COVID and I could find no better meaning for such a beautiful song. It’s so melancholy, but suitably so.

 


 

This entire record sounds like you’re listening to the old Taylor Swift after she’s lived a life and experienced a million things, which I guess it is and you are. Sonically, it’s what I feel Taylor Swift was meant to be making, not that her past albums or singles have been bad in the slightest, rather that she embodies this record far more naturally in my opinion.

 

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I could listen to this album for days. Not gonna lie, I have been.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the album – what’s your favourite track?

x

Priya

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Welcoming Yebba Into Your Life

Sometimes I remember that Yebba exists and I forget how to act. Then I remember that there are people out in there in the world who never knew Yebba to begin with and I’m extremely upset and sad about that instead.

I feel like it should be a cardinal sin to be unaware of this woman’s existence on Earth, and that’s a hill I will happily die on.

It’s hard to accurately articulate just how much I love Yebba, and just how incredible this woman is. It’s also stupidly hard to fathom how underrated she is and how little credit she gets for doing the things she does.

It’s like that woman has vocal chords made of pure gold.

There’s one song of her’s, that I think I’ve been returning to on YouTub, minimum six or seven times a month, for the last two years. Two years this video has been ingrained in my brain. Don’t even get me started on the fact that I even bothered to attempt singing this song only in the last three months for fear of even trying to touch Yebba’s performance.

Another disaster; this song isn’t on Spotify or Apple Music. You should sure know how much that means to me. Lil old me, who holds Spotify to a somewhat religious standard, has been heading to YouTube voluntarily, just to listen to this song.

I don’t know if there’s a single time yet where I’ve watched this performance, without crying. Try it out for yourself.

 


 

 


 

There is something so guttural and raw about this song, I can’t fathom how so much emotion can be conveyed the way Yebba does. Everything about this performance is so authentic and rare, and I constantly find myself holding my breath for a large majority of the song.

You can’t help but be in awe of this woman. I mean, come on.

 

x

Priya

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Nitecaller // Space Memories

Hello boys and girls, hope you’re well.

It’s always a pleasure sharing brand new music that you thoroughly enjoy, but when it’s one of your own friends? Ten times better.

Today we’re gonna be talking about Space Memories, a surprise album drop by Melbourne producer and musician, Nitecaller.

Drawing on inspiration from artists like Flying Lotus, Jon Hopkins and Bonobo, Nitecaller’s sound is constantly shifting and evolving and adapting to meet the new levels of experimentation and discovery he’s constantly reaching with his music.

Jarrod Hambleton, the name behind Nitecaller, has already been making his own moves as a musician, playing guitar and bass in numerous bands, working as a producer for other musicians (including your gal) and making beautiful soundscapes for the art installations he’s been a part of creating.

 

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Space Memories was dropped at the end of June with essentially no promotion or marketing, and it’s humble release is what, in my opinion, made the record so beautiful and that much more appreciated.

The 10-track instrumental album brings together a blend of ethereal lo-fi guitar tones and ambient synths. For me, it was like a new wave version of Albatross by Fleetwood Mac, one of my favourite songs, mixed with the synth-y sounds and tones that I’ve come to find synonymous with Jarrod’s music and his releases as Nitecaller.

It’s incredibly minimal, but each sound has it’s own intention and place within each song, which makes everything you hear that much more beautiful and purposeful.

12:55 is undoubtedly my favourite track, as I’ve let him know, for how rhythmically melodic the way it flows is, and the way Nitecaller manages to create a innate sense of movement in a little under 3 minutes. 12:35 is also a favourite, just for how much the melody and the guitar tone lends itself to the indie lo-fi genre, but also builds upon itself as the song progresses.

If you’re on the lookout for some new music to meditate to or put on in the background as you go about your business on a quiet Sunday morning, Space Memories is the move, I promise you.

You can find Nitecaller’s Spotify page HERE and you can listen to the album HERE.

 

x

Priya

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