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Now Hear This: 06/04/14

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 (JE), Alim Kheraj (AK), Alex Cull (AC), Alex Lee Thomson (ALT) and Seb Law (SL).]

Drake – ‘Days in the East’

“Remember one night I went to Erykah Badu house. She made tea for me,” reflects Drizzy Drake in the #humblebrag breakdown of the year. TBH, I wish Erykah would make me a camomile and tell me what life could really be for me. I guess when that shit is real you just know.-JE

Mapei – ‘Don’t Wait’

Mapei brings something different out of Sweden. The usual electro-pop that the country does so well is left behind, replaced by a warming R&B/pop sound that is equally catchy and enthralling. A lowered vocoded vocal adds texture to the wonderfully simple production, as Mapei’s vocals add an element of soul reminiscent of Kelis. Despite being released six months ago, the song has been refreshed with a summery video that’s sure to kick start many a summer ‘ting.–AK

Wolf Alice – ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’

What’s left to say about the most blogged band of 2013? Best we can do is tell you they have a rather catchy, spacey new tune on the market – one that’s as well positioned in 90′s grunge-pop as it is in 00′s stadium rock, as ever – with a riotous sway of bubblegum shouting and angularity.-ALT

LAW – ‘O.G. (Original Gangster)’

Who hasn’t named themselves an O.G. at some point? Whether it be Ice-T titling his fourth album as such or Kanye proclaiming himself to be, well, everything, it’s become a term so ingratiated with rap game braggadocio that it’s virtually lost all meaning. Thankfully, Scotland’s LAW is here to remind us what it should be about:

Original Gangster. (n)
1. A badass of grand proportions; rich in both cutting edge originality and fierce street mannerisms. LAW is an O.G. in 2014, simple as that.

Erik Hassle ft. Tinashe – ‘Innocence Lost’

Erstwhile Notion cover star Erik Hassle (aside: does anyone actually use the word ‘erstwhile’ IRL?) teams up with flavour of the moment Tinashe for this stomping, trumpeting fanfare of a song that plays epic grandeur off against smooth elegance. A slow-stomp of a track, ‘Innocence Lost’ is the kind of thing that’s got the guts and balls to go big on radio, in a really, really good way. Definitely a grower.-SL

Slow Club – ‘Complete Surrender’

Describing music as ‘nostalgic’ seems to be one of those throwaway terms for anything that risks sounding more dated than possessing the ability to take you back to a more joyous youth. Thankfully, Slow Club have managed to sideline any questionable eras with boy-girl vocals sure to ease a mid-afternoon daydream. Oh, and while one ear soundtracks a sepia-tinged past, the other might as well be preparing for their forthcoming album.-JE

Beaty Heart – ‘Banana Bread’

Beaty Heart’s jolly electronica-pop continues apace on this off-kilter record, that you’re likely to hear ringing from your local trendy coffee emporium or vintage clothes shop very soon. Solid, delicious wonkiness that sounds like sun-dappled rays on palm trees. Totally tropical taste, mon.-SL

Truls – ‘Out of Yourself’ (Roosevelt Remix)

Norway and Bavaria are going to Balearia! With his remix of icy-voiced Nordic star on the rise Truls’ ‘Out of Yourself’, Germany’s Roosevelt melds the track with his signature wistful clubtronica taking it all the way to Ibiza. Well, the sort of Ibiza where everyone hugs and kisses, and nobody throws up. That’d be sweet, right? A boy can dream.-AC

Suvi – ‘Find You’

This song is amazing for the following reasons. It has an incredible horn section (something I feel is distinctly lacking from modern pop music). The chorus is seriously catchy, and Suvi’s breathy vocals are the perfect complement to the full-blown production. This creates texture, which is nice because a lot of the time songs just sort of throw it all at you. Finally, there is percussion that sounds a bit like a horse galloping (amazing). All of this creates one hell of a song. Well done everyone.-AK

Camden Cox – ‘Kinda Like’

Starting all sinister and quiet, this track is like the last tendrils of icy cold winter – running a chill down the collective spine of the Notion office. Working with the likes of Tim Powell (Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Saint Etienne and *OMG ALERT* Annie) and rising London producers Flecs and Great Skies, and sounding like a mix of early-noughties electronica mixed with a generous slice of Everything but the Girl-influenced ambient pop, CC is a rather good one to watch…-SL

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