I don’t think I’ve ever become obsessed with a song or an artist as quickly as I did with Olivia Rodrigo and her single, drivers license. Once again, TikTok is to blame.
The only things I’d ever heard about Olivia in the past was through my sister blasting her song All I Want, from the High School Musical: The Musical series. Can’t say I got behind the show as much as my little sister, but you cannot say the girl can’t sing. She’s go a pair of lungs on her, but more so, her songwriting is incredible.
Enter, drivers license.
I became aware of it’s release very quickly on TikTok, and in less than 24 hours it was charting and currently, it sits at No.1. Insane. If you’re a fan of Taylor Swift, I’d highly recommend you give the song a listen.
It’s a beautifully anthem-ic heartbreak song, and the songwriting had me in awe the first time I listened. That said, every time I listen to it, I find something new to love about it. The lyrics are so raw and intentional and the entire song is filled with beautiful dynamics.
The bridge is a personal favourite of mine, the way it builds and rides out is such a perfect release. I’ve already added it to a bunch of my playlists; you can find it on kaleidoscope, vibe or dieand the newly created 365 playlist for 2021.
The song is an emotional punch to the gut in the best way possible. It’s dramatic, tumultuous and cathartic and makes for such a stunning single, one that has everyone who listens to it flipping out as far as I can tell.
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.
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.
Welcome to this month’s Local Radar, where you’ll get your monthly dose of the incredible music coming out of Australia and New Zealand. Hopefully you enjoy these tunes and these artists as much as I have!
TEEKS – Waves
TEEKS, without a doubt, has been one of my favourite voices to ever come out of New Zealand, and there have been a lot of them. Waves comes from I, the first instalment of his upcoming debut album, The depth of this man’s voice is untouched, and he’s able to hold so much power and strength, while showing an incredible amount of restraint and control, and this song is an immaculate example of that. Without much more than an acoustic guitar, some strings, a beautifully delicate horns section and some light percussion, TEEKS’ voice is front and centre, and there’s not much more you can ask from the singer.
MAWiE – Last Night
MAWiE, a South-Sudanese born, Brisbane-based musician counts artists like Michael Jackson, Usher and Chris Brown as some of influences, and you can get a taste of these artists, perfectly mixed in with the singers own style and finesse. Last Night is the second in a string of singles released this year, and it combines a strong confidence with a sense of delicateness that works perfectly for this pocket of RnB and hip hop he is sitting in. From the sounds of things, MAWiE’s shaping up to deliver some incredible music, that’s well worth keeping an eye out for.
Essie Holt – Wanna Stay Up With You
Your indie-pop heart is about to flutter with this single from Australian singer, Essie Holt. A strong guitar riff contrasts with super cute and playful pop synths and Essie sprinkles her delicate and ethereal vocals over the track. It’s such a sweet and simple track, which is what makes it so enjoyable to listen to. It’s like the audible sound of a ray of sunshine and we are here for it!
RIIKI – Share Your Love
Pumped for this track, simply pumped. RIIKI is a 20-year old newcomer from New Zealand and if this track is anything to go by, she’s got a lot more coming our way. The hook on this track is so catchy and effortless, and fans of Kali Uchis, BENEE or Charli XCX should definitely keep an eye on this one. The singer’s vocals are super controlled and tender, all the while matching the energy of the production that really ties the track together. A strong bass line, atmospheric synths and a groove pocket deep enough to swim in make this one of my favourite tracks right now. RIIKI’s created the perfect tune to have a dance and single along to, all the while effortlessly cementing her as one to watch.
Balu Brigada – photographic memory
Well this is a cute one isn’t it? It’s sure to get you grooving and you’ll be smiling every time you catch another sweet lyric in the mix. Synths, soaring backing vocals and a ridiculously catchy hook make this an absolute tune, and is sure to get you super excited about these boys from New Zealand. It’s a song that immediately gets your head nodding and your toes tapping. Fans of ROLE MODEL and Gus Dapperton will really get around Balu Brigada, and I can’t wait to see what else they give us in the future.
Hopefully you found a new track to have a boogie to, let me know which if these artists you added to your playlists!
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.
Hello and welcome to a new series I’m committing to; The Local Radar, where I plan on doing my part to share the incredible talent coming out of Australia and New Zealand.
Each month I’ll be sharing five artists who you definitely need to check out, and to kick it off I’ve got some incredible tracks and musicians.
Mia Wray – Work For Me
Mia Wray is a Melbourne singer, who released her single, Work For Me earlier this year. Fans of vocalists like Florence Welch and Bishop Briggs will adore Mia’s voice and how strong and present it is. She dances over this track so seamlessly, letting layers and layers of harmonies provide the framework for this track. The song is incredibly dynamic and over the course of just a little more than three minutes you go from this simmering siren call vocal set-up to an anthem building on a killer horns section and electric guitar. The vocals keep soaring, and it’s a hook sure to get stuck in your head.
Liyah Knight – Mine
The next track is called Mine, and it’s the first single from Sydney-born artist, Liyah Knight. This track alone is enough to get you keen to hear whatever Liyah decides to deliver next. It’s a bite-sized track, but there’s plenty of soul injected into it, giving you Mahalia or SZA energy in a beautifully unique way. Liyah’s voice is front and centre, only enhanced by a simple guitar riff and some synths, even at the songs climax. Not one to miss, for sure.
BLESSED – Something To Believe In
Earlier this month, Western-Sydney rapper, singer and producer BLESSED released his single, Something To Believe In. It’s hard to put the track into a box, genre-wise, as it pulls together these indie-rock sounds into a pop/rap space to create a uniquely intimate and honest track that hits you in the gut with it’s production and humble vocal performance. It’s a song that breaks down genre barriers and definitions and BLESSED just pulls it off so effortlessly.
PLGRMS – Limbs
I first spoke about PLGRMS back in 2018 when they opened for Dean Lewis. They’ve popped back on the radar since then, with a bit of a comeback single in their track, Limbs, which came out in early September. Limbs is a cinematic and dynamic, ever-growing track that completely envelopes you in the best way possible. Synths, intricate pockets and soaring vocals really combine magically on this track, it’s one of those ‘driving through a tunnel’ kinda songs, if you know what I mean.
MiCCY – Tug of War
If funk, soul and everything in between is what you’re after, MiCCY, a 21-year old from Queensland, has truly got you covered with this absolute tune of a single, Tug of War. If a neck-breaking bass line and disco-synths aren’t enough to keep and capture you, her vocals most definitely will, with MiCCY literally swimming over this track. The track is the perfect combination of influences that pull from funk, soul, RnB with some throwback 80s sounds in the mix. It’s everything you could ever ask and if it’s any indicator of what MiCCY’s got in store, it’s well worth waiting for.
Keep an eye out – I’ll have more amazing artists with more amazing tracks coming your way soon! In the meantime – get around all the socials so you don’t miss anything and let me know if you find a new tune for your playlists!
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?
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.
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!
Today’s post, as you can tell by the title is a Courtesy Of, a favourite around these parts. I get family, friends, musicians and creators to share their top ten favourite songs of the moment, and we all get to discover some new music together!
Today’s delivery of music is brought to you courtesy of Christchurch-based producer, Antzz. Remember a little while back when I said New Zealand had some of the best undiscovered music in the world?
Keep that in mind.
Before we get into Antzz’s top ten songs at the moment, let’s dive into his own music, more specifically, his debut EP, Get to You, which he released at the start of this month. Y’all know how I feel about RnB, pop-RnB and everything in between, and Antzz brings all of that and more into his own blend of synthesizers, beautifully nostalgic harmonies, smooth vocals and elite production value. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve listened to the first single, Player 1 since I first heard it. The rest of the EP is just as nostalgic and filled to the brim with beautiful lyrics that match the production perfectly.
You can find Antzz on Spotify HERE. Player 1 is definitely one of my favourites from the EP. I mean, once you listen to the song, I’m sure all of you who know me will know while I’m so excited about the single! If you’ve kept up with my 365//2020 playlist, you’ll most definitely find it has a spot on there…
That said, this is a courtesy of post, and just as exciting is getting into some of Antzz’s inspirations and favourite songs right now!
So. many. favourites.
I was super excited when Antzz’s sent me his list, because as you’ll see soon enough, there’s so of my favourite artists on here and a bunch that I’m sure you’ll recognise from seeing them appear time and time again on the blog!
Let me know what you think!
Tevin Campbell – Can We Talk: Old school R&B will always be my favourite genre. Authentic, soulful rhythm and blues. This song has those elements of R&B all through it. And not to mention Tevin Campbell’s voice…next level!
Earth, Wind and Fire – After The Love Has Gone: One of my favourite singers ever Maurice White. Does a great job and singing that smooth iconic sound that is Earth, Wind and Fire in After the Love Has Gone. Plus, there is no hiding behind production/mixing in these songs. It’s all talent and authentic music played by the best musicians ever.
Kendrick Lamar – Money Trees
Johnny Gill – My, My, My: Love the chords, beat and vocals in the song. I will almost always refer to this song I ever hit writers block. So many different and creative elements in this song whilst being so minimal.
Kirk Franklin – Love Theory: Although I don’t come from a religious background, Love Theory is no doubt a really well written piece of music. From the gospel choir to the piano progression, the groove to the synths, Love Theory just makes you wanna dance!
Maurice Moore – Little More: Great mix of old school with new school music. So undercover, but so good at the same time. Vocals are mixed in really nice and you can imagine a whole band playing the song as opposed to an over engineered sound in it. Lyrics are great and fit well with the melody.
Mac Ayres – Better: Fun upbeat song made by my favourite artist of this decade.
Mac Ayres – Summertime: So chill and relaxed. It’s so nice and isn’t over produced which seems to be prominent in every song on the radio. It also shocks me that this song is performed live. Crazy talented
Matt Corby – Miracle Love: Matt Corby, the most diverse and talented singer in the world (in my opinion of course). This song really shows how amazing his vocals are. So minimal and raw.
Allen Stone – Sunny Days: Another one of my favourite singers. This song took a different sound compared to what we’re used to hearing from Allen Stone. Has a nice beat and you can never go wrong when adding Allen Stone’s voice to anything.
Make sure you show Antzz some support – you know I’ll be getting around his music as soon as he releases some more! You can find him on Instagram, FaceBook and SoudCloud!