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Ben-Khan-Youth copy

Now Hear This: 23/03/14

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: James Embiricos, Alim Kheraj (AK) and Seb Law (SL).]

Ben Khan – ‘Youth’

A friend was trying to convince me that Ben Khan is the true identity behind the enigmatic Jai Paul, and while I quickly shot down the conspiracy, you can understand the connections. It has the pop-flecked sensibilities of the Rayners Lane resident and invokes a sonic trance to leave you wanting a whole lot more than a few SoundCloud uploads. With ‘Youth’ – the first release from an upcoming debut EP – we have another fledgling example for his rise to blogosphere homme du jour.-JE

Laurel – ‘To The Hills’

Stately and gorgeous, this is what we wanted the new Lykke Li record to sound like. Laurel’s dramatic, beautifully-sweeping vocal crescendos are paired with cinematic strings and a death march of a beat for a track that is best suited to soundtracking a delicious sunset.-SL

Sia – ‘Chandelier’

So far 2014 has been a bit lacklustre when it’s come to huge pop moments. While it’s had its points, none have compared to this beast of a song. We knew that Sia would deliver when it came to her solo material, but this song is a proper banger in every sense. With building verses, a crashing chorus that’s catchy and memorable as well as emoshe lyrics the whole thing is fucking amazing. Words don’t do it justice. None of us are worthy. What a song. What a moment. -AK

Kwabs – ‘Pray For Love’
KWABS! I love this guy and still get caught in a mid-day trance when I think back to his London show a few months back. With ‘Pray For Love’, Kwabs has managed to up the frequency of those impromptu daydreams, reminding us all of his soulful vocal capabilities and a seamless knack to couple those windpipes with euphoric instrumentals. This guy!-JE

PRINCE with Zooey Deschanel – ‘FALLINLOVE2NITE’

A bit of a surprise-EDM track from everyone’s favourite purple-clad popstar, with unexpected vocals from Zooey Deschanel. It’s one of those tracks that on paper makes you screw up your face in confusion, and there is *quite* a lot going on. Who am I to critique Prince though? I reckon this’ll sound ace under the sun at a festival…-SL

Allie X – ‘Prime’

Dream pop meets Katy Perry via Swedish sensibilities. Sound’s amazing, right? Well, Allie X’s latest offering, ‘Prime’ combines all these things and delivers. Usually songs about being young are contrived (ahem, Tulisa), but this narcissistic, almost nihilistic ode to life’s younger years is a glittery pop moment sure to set up home in your head. Those bouncy synths are just everything. Well done everyone.-AK

Only Real – ‘Cadillac Girl’

California pop par excellence. If you’ve only just realised that seminal American TV series The OC happened over a decade ago (!), then listen on. TBH this is what would probably be all over its opening credits were it made in 2014, and they’d definitely rock the Bait Shop. Roll on Chrismukkah…and an eternal summer.-SL

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