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Now Hear This: 06/12/13

We’re not really about lists. We like longform interviews and in-depth analysis; wordy think-pieces and lengthy reports. But that’s partly because we’re music-loving writers and there’s nothing we love more than the sound of a keyboard clacking satisfyingly with the sound of our own thoughts. Hey, at least we’re honest. We also know that not everyone that reads the site is up for 1200 meaty words on an artist’s development; some of you are here to get a quick bite of musical brilliance, so we’ve decided to institute a new weekly feature: Now Hear This. Harking back to TV’s Top of the Pops, we’re pulling together a list of tracks that we think are worthy of your time, or have received a terrifying amount of airplay on our office stereo. Old hits, fresh tracks, must-see-videos and obscure classics: Now Hear This is where we offer up our tunes of the week. We hope you enjoy it…

[Words: Alex Cull (AC), James Embiricos (JE), 'Pablo' Moya Kettell (PMK), Seb Law (SL), Caroline Murphy (CM).]

Lorde – ‘Team’

I’m fairly certain that somewhere in New Zealand there lies a cave-dwelling cult who’ve appointed Ella Yelich-O’Connor their new saviour, their ‘Lorde’ if you will; such has been the impact of the 17-year-old on pop culture this year. If ‘Team’, another slice of sultry, über-infectious alt-pop, is anything to go by, I might just be joining them; giving out copies of Pure Heroine to everyone on my Christmas shopping list and serving up kiwi at the dinner table on the 25th.  - AC

Sam Smith – ‘Money On My Mind’

Earlier this week I called Sam Smith a ‘vocal slut’ [It's true.-Ed.] and received the e-wrath of a thousand (okay, it was two) Sammy groupies. Anyway, I’m not one to hold a grudge and when ‘Money On My Mind’ was released, I gave it a neutral listen. While Smith again opts to hop on poppy production merits, the track is actually pretty great, combining those eloquent vocals with a dance floor sensibility. So here’s to a 2014 with more songs like this…-JE

Bondax feat. Josh Record – ‘Fires’

Continuing their fabulous run of sunny slowjam electronica tunes, ‘Fires’ refocuses this innately summery sound through the frosted lens of winter melancholy, slowing everything down and adding a delicious minor key. -SL

The War on Drugs – ‘Red Eyes’

Springsteenian brilliance ahoy! Philly’s favourite ex-Kurt Vile associates return with their first new material since 2011′s much lauded Slave Ambient and it’s everything you could want from monumental indie rock in 2013: raised emotional stakes, guitar lines that cut each other up like enraged motorists on busy interstates, and with a straight-up beat that just about holds it all in check.-AC

Justin Timberlake feat. J. Cole, A$AP Rocky & Pusha T – ‘TKO’ (Remix)

Teaming up with three of hip-hop’s finest, JT has unleashed a remix of ‘TKO’. First up, J. Cole steps into the kitchen, reheats last night’s pizza (or in this case last season’s) and belatedly responds to that ‘Control’ verse. Next is Pretty Flacko, professing he “had the game on lock, streets serenaded, now you lame mothafuckas lookin’ devastated.” Devastated maybe, but the verbose arrogance is championed by Pusha T, again force-feeding claims of AOTY, when instead it’s this remix that should make its way to the top of annual lists.-JE

Lil Silk – ‘Rapper’

Say “PaRappa the Rapper” three times in the mirror and you’d be lucky not to have Chief Keef appear from behind and hand you his child support bills. In reality we’ve all smoked too much kush because every Tom, Dick and Hipster wants to be a rapper from Atlanta that we’re starting to see matryoshka dolls of lil Amazon drones. Everyone’s a rapper, unless you’re that dude who keeps protective stickers on their wearable technology.-PMK

Drake – ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ (Kulkid Remix)

I’m not sure if you have the show Degrassi in the UK, but if you do then you know what I’m saying when I say that Drake will forever be Jimmy to me. I fell in love with him way back and my love has only grown. While this track isn’t “pure” Drake, because hello, it’s a remix; Drake just knows what I need. I’m leaving for home in one short week and this remix makes my time over here in good ol’ London seem like one of those awesome video montages. The type you may see at a club behind the DJ. While my video montage may include more late-night kebab runs and night buses than most, this track would for sure be the base for it. So, take me home Drake. I mean Jimmy.-CM

Rosie Lowe – ’10K Balloons’

Just shy of two minutes into the spindly folktronica of ’10K Balloons’, London soulstress Rosie Lowe lets a line slip that’s more telling than it may at first seem. “I wish I could freeze time,” she gently coos in her distinctly heart-wrenching voice. It’s a sentiment that could encapsulate much of her output to date; across the Right Thing EP, she ceaselessly tries to capture those moments where – faced with the strongest of emotions – we find that time stands hauntingly still.-AC

Oliver Wilde – ‘Night in Time Lapse (Somewhere Safe)’

It takes a few listens, but this seeming mush of several themes and sounds eventually clarifies as a delicious slice of Ariel Pink/Connan Mockasin-esque psychtronica.-SL

The New Tigers – ‘Quicksilver’

I like to think of myself as an open-minded music madame. I tend to enjoy all the brands and ranges of notes that come my way. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Danny Brown and southern rap. I want to be in a crew, I even applied to one I found on the world wide web. Seriously I did. But, there are times where what I really need is a good alt-rock pick me up. The type of track that swings into my life, and bubbles. Why does it have to be December? This is a track made for the beach. Sound clichéd? Whatever, it is made for sand and sun. So, why don’t you turn on all the lights you own, grab a Pina, and take a listen. Be happy, come on.-CM

Marcus Jakes – ‘Up to Me’

You’re guaranteed to hear this somewhere in a bar this weekend; infectious and sharp nu-dance.-SL

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