EACH WEEK, CONTEMPORARY CLASSIC SELECTS THE BEST MUSIC FROM THE WEEK. ALL KILLER. NO FILLER.
POND – Burnt Out Star
First things first, this new single is a B-side. There’s various reasons alluding to the fact. The Perth psych-rockers’ critically-acclaimed seventh record The Weather only came out about a year ago and was produced by Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker. ‘Burnt Out Star’ is also produced by Parker. Also, the minimalistic artwork for the track is a strikingly similar blue to the one on The Weather’s album cover. But the biggest giveaway is that with ‘Burnt Out Star’, POND announced a huge run of tour dates.
Yet, for all the reasons to pass ‘Burnt Out Star’ off as a B-side, DO NOT. The eight-minute epic is a melting pot of influences – from bossa nova, to industrial, to POND’s brand of cosmic weirdo-pop – it’s difficult to pin down. The sparse, rambling breakdown throughout the middle of ‘Burnt Out Star’ might deter some listeners, but if you stick around, the song goes straight from second to fifth gear. It should feel jarring, though somehow POND make it smooth and groovy.
True to POND, frontman Nick Allbrook’s lyrics are expectedly perplexing and cryptic. Throughout the mumbling outro, Nick continually mentions “1917.” Why? I don’t know. However, Nick touches on environmental issues, which make him want to “shack up in Tasmania.” Ahhh Tassy, a true escape from the modern world.
Mac Miller – What’s The Use?
Mac’s always been at his best when he’s incorporating the funk. ‘Dang!’, his 2016 track with Anderson .Paak, is the perfect example. So, a collab with soulful R&B artist Thundercat was always going to be a success. And it doesn’t disappoint. The all-star cast including Snoop Dog, Syd and Dam Funk create one of the grooviest tracks of the year. Contrastingly, Mac’s lyrics don’t reflect the upbeat nature of ‘What’s The Use?’.
Christopher Port – Find a Way
This Friday, the Melbourne producer releases “LIGHT”, the second EP of his Everything In Quotes project. Following the moody downbeat of the Everything In Quotes first EP, 2017’s “DARK”, it appears the new EP will offer a more upbeat representation of Porty’s electronic productions. The buoyant ‘Find a Way’ is the second single from “LIGHT”, following ‘DTF’. Layered with chopped vocal samples, glistening synths and pulsing percussion, it’s best described by Pieater label-mates Big Scary: a damn “teeth grinder.”
Fabiana Palladino – Shimmer
Late last year, Fabiana Palladino’s debut single, ‘Mystery’, signalled the beginning of Jai and A.K Paul’s label, Paul Institute. ‘Shimmer’ is the British singer’s first self-produced effort, with Jai Paul and Alt-J’s Joe Newman also contributing to the track. Similar to Fabianna’s first track and everything Jai has been involved in, ‘Shimmer’ has a sugary ‘80s synth-pop aesthetic. Fabiana’s eye-opening lyrics are a key feature of the track, as she hints at a destructive relationship.
Blood Orange – Charcoal Baby
In the time since Dev Hynes released Freetown Sound – his third album under Blood Orange – he’s been super busy. The multi-talented Brit has worked on albums with Solange, A$AP Rocky and Mac Miller. On ‘Charcoal Baby’, the lead single of his forthcoming record Negro Swan, the R&B crooner discusses the challenges facing the “odd one out.” As per usual, the production is a layered treat. The track is built on slacker guitar lines and littered with soulful saxophone work, before a crescendo of heaving synths throughout the chorus.
Check out the rest of the playlist below: