Hooked // Church & AP

Hello! Welcome back to my little corner of the internet (suss the new look if you’re on Reader xxx)

Hope you’ve all been good and are well. Today’s post is one that has been coming since probably the middle of January, when I first discovered the duo I’m about to share with you all.

If you read my January Tunes as well as my February Tunes, and come to think of it…my March Tunes, which you definitely should check out if you haven’t already, you might have picked up on the little obsession I currently have, with a young duo from New Zealand, known as Church & AP.

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Compromised of of Elijah Manu and Albert Purcell, Church & AP having been on a steady rise since 2018. They released an album, TEETH, in 2019, literally packed with bangers. They also released Cathedral / All Purpose in 2019 as well, so it’s not like these guys are short of stuff to prove just how hard they work.

Alladat was their first release in 2018, a fun lil spin on Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani, and I may has well have lost my mind when I heard it. So clean. Everything just fits together super well. I’ve always been honestly upfront about how much I struggle to get into rap that isn’t American, namely Australian rap, but for some reason, New Zealand rap just does it for me, and a lot of it is down to these guys. They’re introducing a whole new audience to the rap and hip hop music that’s coming out of New Zealand, and there’s plenty of it.

Roulette is definitely my favourite song of theirs, purely for how heavy and hard that bass line goes in, and how catchy the opening chorus is. I also love how smart they are with their lyrics?? It’s not overly explicit, but every time you listen to it, it’s like you discover some new quip or clever remark and I love it.

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The song that really propelled them to the level of success they’ve currently reached is a track called Ready Or Not, which was the highest Shazaam’d song in New Zealand when it was released, which is a feat. Listening to it, I have no doubt why. For me, Church & AP are like a harder, slightly grimier version of BROCKHAMPTON, with a New Zealand spin on it. It’s a super unique sound, and I’m yet to come across an artist or group who just body their music so confidently and entirely.

One of their most recent releases, Aston Martin is also a track and a half. It’s a great example of how diverse these guys are, with the Latin influences dripping off this track’s production, yet still remaining true to the Church & AP sound. The hook is stupidly catchy, and it had my jaw on the floor the second I heard the opening bar.

Honorable mentions have to go to their latest single, War Outside, as well as Dandelion, moneytalk and Dera Meelan’s remix of Fire Sale with deadforest. All favourites. Hands down. It’s hard to pick.

 

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I’ll let you pick your favourite for yourself. You’ve heard me rambling about these boys for the last three months, so it’s probably time you checked them out. You can find their Spotify page HERE, their BandCamp HERE and their Instagram page HERE. Let me know what you think.

x

Priya

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SIX60 // An Album Review

Hello friends!

Today’s post is a short album review and run-down of one of my favourite bands for the last couple of years, Six60. If you’ve been here for the longest time, you may remember I did one of my first ever blog posts about the New Zealand band which you can read HERE, and they’ve only continued to get bigger and bigger. I even got to see their set at the Byron Bay BluesFest last year in April, and it was easily one of my favourite sets from the entire festival.

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They released their third self-titled album in November last year, and while I’ve heard a few songs from the album here and there, I never sat down to listen to the entire record completely.

Social distancing and isolation has meant that a lot of us have plenty of spare time to do what we want to do, and for me that’s meant listening to so much more music and exploring artists in depth, both old and new. While I was doing a super deep clean of my Spotify account, I came across the album, just sitting there, waiting for me to dive in. And dive in I did.

The entire album sonically, is such a trip. It just goes to places that I personally never felt through the last two albums, as much as I love them. One of my favourite things about Six60 is how effortlessly they blend pop, rock, reggae and funk, and then sprinkle a bunch of Maori and Kiwi influences and instrumentation to make a super unique sound.

 

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The opening track Never Enough is super pop-rock centric, but there are a few elements of reggae in the bass line, and I feel like you add a vocal performance like Matiu Walters into the mix there’s always an element of soul involved too.

Please Don’t Go had my jaw on the floor just because of how different it is?? But in the best possible way. If there’s a song on the album that just kicks down the door and really gets in your face musically, I think it’s this one, and it’s not super over the top about it. It’s all in the bass and drums for me.

It feels like I’ll be mentioning practically every song on the album but I also vibe heavy with Long Gone, just because it’s such a gentle but firm ‘stuff you’ kinda song. It picks up so beautifully in the bridge and towards the end of the song the vocal arrangement genuinely gives me chills, regardless of how subtle it may be.

Tomorrow is another one of my favourites purely because of how beautiful it is. Matiu’s voice nearly made me cry the first time I listened to it. It’s got such a deep-rooted message, with a bunch of island elements added into the mix, and it makes me super nostalgic for some of the music I used to listen to when I was younger with my family. There’s a very low-key Bob Marley aesthetic to it, but it’s done so tastefully, and all the extra sounds they’ve added into the song just bring everything together so sweetly.

Raining shows up a bit closer to the end of the album, but it’s definitely one of my top three songs hands down. Melodically, this one is one of those tracks that just sits so comfortably in it’s reggae/island pocket, and it really gets the head bob going, which is why I think I love it so much. Such a chiller to listen to around the house or on a drive. The bass is also super prominent in this one, and the chorus is perfect for a sing-a-long. It’s just a super warm song.

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Then there’s Sundown which is genuinely one of the funkiest songs on the album for me. It starts off with a super gentle ukulele which made me grin the first second I ever listened to the song, but then there’s these added little nuances and sounds that start kicking in to steer it more towards a bit of a funk/pop type of style. There’s a reggae element that mixes into it as well, but it’s a super unique sounding song, especially in regards to the rest of the album.

I think Bitter End may be my favourite track on the record. Again, they hit you with a super crisp ukulele which always warms me to the core. One of my favourite things about Six60 is their lyrics, and this song is an amazing example. They have a way of forming each line in a way that conveys what they’re trying to say so simply and without having to make anything complicated, but each lyric still hits you with the same power and intent. I love it. Big fan. 10 out of 10.

x

Priya

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Still Lovin’ Mahalia

Hello friends and family, hope you’re all well.

Today’s post is going to be another artist spotlight. I haven’t done one in a hot minute, most of them have been interviews from up and coming artists, so it’s been a while since I just shared an artist I’ve been genuinely enjoying.

That said, here we are with precisely that, and if the title didn’t allude to it enough, I’m gonna be rambling about Mahalia.

As of recently, she’s announced that she’ll be releasing her debut album, LOVE AND COMPROMISE in September, so now we truly have something to look forward to.

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I first discovered Mahalia when she released Sober in 2017. It’s the slanky type of RnB that I just love, throws you right back to the 90s, and I instantly fell in love with her voice. The acoustic version came shortly after that, as well as the Jarreau Vandal remix, and I was obsessed.

The next song to really have me hooked was I Wish I Missed My Ex which she put out in 2018. The music video to date, is still one of the coolest ones I’ve seen.

 

It took me a little while to jump onto the Mahalia train straight away, and unfortunately, it was in this time that I attended Falls Festival, where Mahalia had a set. And I missed it. I can’t even remember what I saw instead of going to her set, but in short, I didn’t see her when I had the chance. Lesson learnt.

Since then, I’ve become obsessed with several of Mahalia’s songs. That’s OKSimmer which she released super recently, Do Not Disturb and one of my absolute favourites, Honeymoon. 

There’s something about Mahalia that violently throws me back to being a little kid and listening to artists like Ne-Yo, Brandy, Destiny’s Child, Usher, Alicia Keys and so many other incredible RnB artists from the 90s and early 2000s. However, she does so without compromising what makes her unique and so current today. All of her songs have ridiculously catchy hooks and melodies and the musicality in her records is always impressive, regardless of how subtle it may be.

Her EP, Seasons, which she released last year is a collection of five songs which I reckon were a great way to really introduce Mahalia to a brand new audience who were only just discovering her. The five songs are all so cohesive with each other, but have their own little things to celebrate, whether it’s the incredible chorus in Honeymoon, the simplistic structure yet impressive lyrical rhythm in That’s OK or the smooth jam that is Good Reason.

Most recently, her single Simmer, which features Burna Boy has been really stuck in my head, and it’s made for a great warm, summery tune to keep me going through the winter that’s been keeping us all hostage here in Melbourne. If you haven’t had a listen to it already, I can’t recommend it enough. Get around it.

I think everyone, especially fans of soul music and RnB like myself, should take the time to listen to the EP and definitely the album when it comes out, all the way through, back to back. I’m genuinely so excited for what Mahalia’s going to be sharing with this upcoming record, what she’s delivered so far has really hit it’s mark.

She’s a front-runner for 2019.

x

Priya

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Nick Lopez // One To Keep An Eye On

Hello everyone! Today’s post is going to be dedicated to a singer/songwriter who genuinely excites me, Nick Lopez.

I’d initially heard of Nick through Justin Escalona’s Daily Docs, which is how I also came to discover Christian French, so when I was given the opportunity to chat to Nick about his latest single, Posters, a song that’s been over a year in the making, I couldn’t pass it up.

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Posters is a song that perfectly slips into that cruise-y, atmospheric pop sound, as does a lot of other songs Nick as released. The story behind the song, which features LA singer Dominique, is equally as beautiful. “It’s about missing someone important to you, and “making friends” with things that remind you of them”, according to Nick.

The song is the product of a completely new and fresh collaboration for Nick. “Me and Dominique were introduced at an event and we set up a writing session
with one of my favourite producers Midi Jones. The first time we ever worked
together we made this song!”

“It was a duet from the get go. I knew it felt right.”

Nick is no stranger to the music scene though. Having written for artists like Lady Gaga, ASTN, Annie LeBlanc and You Should Hear favourite, Christian French, it’s always a little different releasing music for himself. “Releasing my own music is great because I am in complete control and people are fully aware that it’s me who wrote the song, but I also love writing with up and comers like Chris and many others because they are so talented and bring their own unique abilities and vision into the session.”

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However, his experience means he’s already a professional at pulling together these contagious songs that stick in your head, garnering himself fans all over the world.

His 2016 single Pink Champagne found huge success in China, and finally getting to go over there was an experience in itself for the LA artist. “Most insane experience of my life. Every teenager in the country knows that song. You walk around the mall and hear it playing, in restaurants, bars, on the radio, everyone knows it. They freak out when they realise it’s me haha. I can’t wait to go back.”

Posters is a step away from the upbeat pop track however, and Nick describes the sound perfectly. “It’s a lot more mature in my opinion, it’s also the first “moody” song I’ve ever
made, it’s slower, more emotional, less mainstream pop.” The maturity of the song really makes the lyrics stand out with this song, and it’s something Nick is excited for fans to hear.

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You can stream Posters HERE, and make sure to follow Nick on Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube!

x

Priya

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Paige’s Space // An Interview

Hello hello.

This is a very exciting post for me, considering I’ve been absolutely obsessed with this artist for the most part of 2018.

Before you continue reading this post, make sure you’re all caught up, so if you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and make sure you check out the first post I did about Paige, which you can find HERE.

Paige just recently released a new song, Alignmentsand while it still hasn’t beaten her song So Far for me, it’s still an absolutely beautiful song, and I’ve had it on replay since it was put out.

If you’re up for some incredibly warm acoustic guitar, the chill-inducing harmonies that I’ve come to expect from Paige and lyrics that make you wow-out-loud, then listen to Alignments. You will not be disappointed.

Anyhow.

On top of being a beautiful musician and singer, Paige is also a gem of a human being, and generously agreed to answer some questions for you all! So if we could all send some universal ‘thank-you’s’ Paige’s way, that would be sweet.

Enjoy.


How early on in your life did you decide that music was going to be the avenue you wanted to pursue as a full time career and were there any other options you had in terms of interests that could have possibly lead you down a different route?

Very early on [to be honest]. When I was 5 I first performed in front of my school and that’s when I knew I loved it and didn’t have to think twice. Although I also was hugely fascinated in space and astrophysics which is something I’d love to do but sadly I suck at maths loooolll.

Were there any artists who influenced you in a major way as a young child?

My first influences were always Disney Channel stars. Miley Cyrus was a huge one for me because Hannah Montana inspired me a lot to become a musician. The Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato e.t.c. Lady Gaga has always been a huge inspiration for me throughout my life and how she is so bold and fearless as an artist.

What’s the idea behind your Instagram name, @paigesspace?

I guess I kind of just wanted to have something that associated with space because I love space so much haha.

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What was you initial reaction when you saw Billie Eilish sharing your Instagram page and fan-girling over your voice and your covers, as well as your original songs?

Hahaha it was definitely overwhelming. I was in a state of shock for a good week. Just really hard to believe.

What has that type of support meant not only for you as an artist, but as someone who has a huge musical presence on your social media?

It’s meant the entire world. I will never fully be able to express my gratitude for all of it.

You’re a huge believer in manifestation, you’ve credited a lot of your success to the fact that you’ve put your dreams out into the universe for them to manifest, what are your personal beliefs around manifestation and the powers of the universe, and how does that impact the music you create?

Wow what a good question! I genuinely believe that you attract the things that come into your life…. It’s not just a matter of sitting in your room and just asking the universe for your dreams to come true and getting them, but with hard work and manifestation I do believe that’s how your dreams come to life. My beliefs inspire me to write songs such as “Alignments” which is based off of the idea of not blaming the universe for ALL the things that go wrong.

Billie has shown her continual support, singing your recent single ‘Alignments’ as her favourite song at the moment. Do you feel a certain pressure when someone like Billie is promoting your music, to live up to the hype she’s built for you?

I think it’d only be natural to feel pressure but I feel more so driven to work harder to be a better artist for all the people watching me. It’s definitely a nerve wracking feeling but it’s only going to help me grow as an artist

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What advice would you give to young musicians, singers and songwriters, in regards to sharing your music online, specifically posting covers and original music on Instagram like you do?

Just to sing what you love, post consistently, post up some songs people are also familiar with, but also remember to do it because you love it and it makes you happy.. That way you won’t be as scared.

How do you generally begin constructing a song, and what are some of the topics you particularly find yourself writing about?

I find chords and then sing melodies to them, then begin singing about how I feel. Usually I find myself singing about a girl or love because love is what drives me the most.

Who would be five artists that you’d love to collaborate with in the future?

Sooooo many. If I had to only pick five I’d pick Alessia Cara, Billie Eilish [of course], Rex Orange County, Ruel and last but certainly not least Kehlani.

You’re located in New Zealand. Do you see yourself staying in NZ and basing your musical career from there or can you see yourself moving away to pursue it elsewhere, such as Los Angeles?

I definitely 100% don’t see myself staying here. I want to branch out somewhere bigger with more inspiration although I LOVE my country I’d love to go some place new. LA would be amazing.

Of the songs you’ve recorded, which is a favourite or a standout, released or unreleased?

Probably a song I wrote called “Waves” which I’ve spent almost a year on producing with a producer called Noema Te Hau III. Probably because it’s been the hardest I’ve ever worked on a song. Hopefully it will be out soon enough!

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Do you have any plans to release a full album, is that something you’re working on?

I’m just in the middle of recording an EP which includes 5 songs. Very excited to let it out!

What inspires you?

Experiences, Pain, People, Nature and Love.

If you could pick any decade of music to listen to on repeat, which decade would it be and why?

EARLY 2000’s!!!! It’s what I listen to the most because it reminds me of when I was younger and what I was listening to while I was experiencing things for the first time. I also love the artists from early 2000’s.

You Should Hear is all about sharing incredible music recommendations and artists, what one song, and what one artist would you recommend everyone listen to at the moment?

Definitely listen to ‘Better’by Tommie. She’s soooooOOooOOoooOoo good!!

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And that’s it for the questions! Anyone who read my first post about Paige, would understand how much I’m all about Paige and her music, and in turn, how exciting it is to be able to share this with you all! So a massive thank you to Paige for being so kind and answering these for me and for you all!!

Also, currently listening to Better by Tommie, and Paige is.not.wrong.

x

Priya

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PS:
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