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Now Hear This: 14/12/13

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).]

Laura Welsh – ‘Undiscovered’ (Zed Bias remix)

A minimal banger might sound very 2010, but Zed Bias somehow makes this sound totally now. Starting with Laura Welsh as a base isn’t a bad way to achieve that; definitely one to get your post-Xmas party adrenaline up.-SL

Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne – ‘Rather Be’

We’ve found ourselves more and more captivated by UK electronic quartet Clean Bandit over the course of 2013. With ‘Rather Be’, four minutes of buoyant, bubbly garage, the four-piece have capped a hugely impressive year in style. Here’s looking to 2014! -AC

Say Lou Lou – ‘Better in the Dark’

A monumental ode to late-night love affairs, after hours trysts and, well, snuggling between the sheets, to describe ‘Better in the Dark’ would be a mammoth understatement. Those Lynchian visuals might try to hide it, but this one’s got it’s heart sleeve-adjacent for all to see.-AC

Blood Orange – ‘West Drive’

Remember when Dev used to release assorted mixtapes and EPs whenever he felt like it? Well, here is an upload that gives a nod to those early musical habits. ‘West Drive’ is “one of roughly a million cuts that didn’t make it onto the album”, and while it isn’t a whole batch of bedroom demos, it’s got that unmastered Hynes feel to leave you swooning over the Garageband Xmas EP.-JE

Max Marshall – ‘La La Life’

Sampling what I think is possibly the best record of the noughties (Amerie’s EPIC ‘1 Thing’, obvs), Max Marshall’s rework of ‘La La Life’ will put a smile on even the grinchiest of faces.-SL

St. Vincent – ‘Birth in Reverse’

I first became involved with the spirited St. Vincent when she teamed up with my favourite big-suited musical genius, David Byrne. To say that they Byrned down the house together would be an understatement. Leave it to St. Vincent to make masturbation slightly less taboo. I’m going out on a limb here, but I think that if it weren’t for the guitar riffs and lighthearted beat, this track would have a whole different feel. Sneaky she-devil, this St. Vincent is. I also do not agree with any of the YouTube comments, her hair is fabulous. Lay off haters.-CM

Tinashe feat. Travi$ Scott – ‘Vulnerable’

If you’ve been sent to the afterlife for sharing too many fake articles on Facebook, then you’ll probably know ‘Vulnerable’ sounds like Tinashe refereeing Laura Palmer and Aaliyah in the most graceful of interpretative dance battles.-PMK

Mutual Benefit – ‘Advanced Falconry’

Not my usual fayre, but the delicate violin on this track is to-die-for gorgeous. Plus, it’s Xmas, so I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy (hopefully that’s not an oncoming cold).-SL

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – ‘Cinnamon & Lesbians’

Stephen Malkmus parodies Stephen Malkmus in new Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks video, basically. Known for his consistently bizarre lyrics, the ex-Pavement frontman recruits director Jay Winebrenner to visually and literally translate the lyrics to ‘Cinnamon And Lesbians’. Singing “tripping my face off since breakfast”, we get a bowl of cereal with kaleidoscopic backgrounds. With “take what you need”, we get a bearded douchebag stealing ice cream from a kid. You get the point.-JE

King Avriel – ‘Prelude’

With ‘Prelude’, the mysterious – I know, we’re completely over saying that too – King Avriel sets expectations high for whatever is to follow in 2014: slinky beats, seraphic vox and woodblock percussion cook up a storm of festering emotion. If this is the prelude, we can -AC

Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z – ‘Drunk Love’

I am usually not one to obsess over celebrities. I have never been the type of girl who subscribes to fan clubs or goes to midnight premieres. I just never got into that type of life. It’s always been the thug lyf for me. Beyoncé is not a celebrity, she is a goddess. She is everything I want to be. This isn’t one of those “would you go the other way for Beyoncé” things (if you’re a lady you know what I’m talking about); this is just a friendly semi-desperate call to Lady B to hang out with me. I’ll even buy the nice wine; you know, the £15 bottle. That top-shelf bottle you can only imagine buying on payday. If she likes cigars on ice, then I’ll do that. I just want to converse with Bey. I think we’d get along, because I can’t get over dat beat… – CM

Header image: Laura Lewis

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