This Weeks Music Video with Mick Jagger, Kendrick Lamar feat. Rihanna, Lorde, Stereophonics & Wolf Alice

Single Review – Lorde – Perfect Places 

In the run up to the release of sophomore album Melodrama, Lorde dropped Green Light and Liability – two very different songs sending you to two very different places. Now the 20-year-old songstress has dropped Perfect Places, the song that will wrap up a tracklist detailing a night spent at an eventful house party. The track hardly paints the night to be one of great success, more a picture of beautiful carnage, which Lorde always illustrates wonderfully throughout her scrupulous repertoire celebrating inadequacy. Propped up by instrumentalism that recalls a little bit of Team blended with a little bit of the muted synth-disco of Green Light, her distinctive vocals relay events of “graceless nights” and dreaming of some kind of utopia – the happy-enough backing track may superficially imply Lorde and Co are already there, but the glum lyrics of longing for purpose and self-discovery suggest otherwise, combining what the girl does best: realism to a great beat.

Ellie Chivers

Single Review – Lorde – Green Light 

It’s all too easy to forget that Lorde was sixteen when she grabbed everyone’s attention, critical, commercial and otherwise with her 2013 debut Pure Heroine. It was a strong release and all the more surprising that she has waited until now to follow up on that success; the record companies surely snapping at her heels. She clearly wants to do things her own way and this will be shown with her impending second release Melodrama which is expected in the summer. The first single from it is ‘Green Light’ which she claims to be the “poppiest” track on the upcoming album. It is certainly a departure from her previous work with lingering Pop piano chords from which her frantic vocals bring in a rapid dance beat with sweeping and reverberating electronica driving the song on. She switches vocal styles with ease and shows an added technical skill to what were already promising vocals. The music takes the que from her and that is a sure sign of a confident performer and that translates into a bold and confident song. She offers more than your standard Pop vocalist in that sense and this gives her scope to be more versatile and dynamic. Her new album is an intriguing prospect indeed.

Owen Riddle 

This Weeks Music Video with Lorde, Future Islands, Marika Hackman, Ahonhi and Sylvan Esso 

This Week’s Music Video with Sam Smith, Disclosure feat. Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Tyler The Creator, Youth Lagoon, My Morning Jacket and Guy Garvey

Disclosure – Caracal Review

So Disclosure have released a new album and I’m excited about it. It goes by the name of “Caracal” and features everyone from Miguel to the Weeknd – the album sees Lorde seduce a married man in the video for ‘Magnets’ and also introduces us to the new James Bond track vocalist with “Omen” featuring no other than Sam Smith. The Lawrence brother’s are deservedly celebrating their second UK number 1 album, a massive achievement considering they’ve only been active since 2010, and what a huge progression since their early days in the industry.

Holding on is a track that features Grammy winning Jazz singer Gregory Porter, whose voice has been anywhere and everywhere this past year, even on this particular song “Holding on” which has been a massive hit prior to the album’s release. The background synth and almost clap-along beat is a standard with Disclosure tracks and it fits beautifully with Porter’s gliding vocals.

Up next we have an 808 that leads us into a snare, and a snare that leads us into some extra terrestrial sounding special effects, that eventually lead us into the magnificent roar of Lion Babe. “Hourglass” is Jillian Hervey’s first feature track, and she couldn’t have picked a better duo to collaborate with. In “Hourglass” she stays true to her soulful husk, and this combined with the magic of Disclosure’s production makes for a pretty easy listen.

“Willing and Able” by Kwabs is my favourite from the album, it’s introduced by trademark Disclosure percussion and is completely chilled and relaxed. I’m a huge fan of the very slight reverb on the vocals, and the synth progression on the build up to the chorus is what holds everything together.

Regardless of who Lorde collaborates with she always manages to keep in tact her signature style and doesn’t lose any of her substance through the wants of other artists. Her feature track is called “Magnets”, and both Lorde and Disclosure performed last year at the Brit awards, doing a combined version of “Royals” and “White noise”. They obviously clicked and realised they worked well together because “Magnets” has an absolutely incredible sound that takes the qualities from both parties and merges them into one.

King of the slow jam Miguel has his spotlight with “Good Intentions”. Just by listening it’s really quite hard to tell it’s his vocals, and this song I feel is slightly over processed. I wouldn’t say Miguel’s sound is distinct, but it’s definitely recognisable in his own music. I really feel like it’s been lost under all these deep house Disclosure layers and I can’t help but imagine how amazing it would sound if his voice was a little more raw and stripped back.

Ever since hearing her own track “Zillionaire” I’ve been obsessed with Nao. It was a song I had heard and forgot to Shazam, thus spending days of my life trying to piece together the lyrics I could remember in the hopes that a google search would reunite me. “Superego” definitely does not disappoint, it’s what liquid gold would sound like if it had the ability to sing. Again it incorporates a ridiculous amount of synth and layers but thankfully they don’t take away from the quality of her vocals, she makes it work and that’s just her style.

The album draws to a close with Echoes, which isn’t anything that different to what we’ve already heard from Disclosure. It features Synth, obviously. Why do the Howard brothers love synth so much? The last track on the album goes by the name of “Masterpiece” featuring Jordan Rakei, it’s a slow start with a slight build up, but it’s not what I would call a masterpiece.

All in all I would probably give “Caracle” a 7 out of 10 rating, it had the potential to be a 10 but I feel like the boys have played it too safe and repeated a lot of the same sound that could have been really innovative and new. It wasn’t an album that featured tracks I was surprised by, instead I was kind of thinking “oh, more synth.” I understand that Disclosure have a particular sound but sometimes it’s good to step out of the box and make something that really surprises listeners which they’re more than capable of doing. Hat’s off to them though, because they’ve produced some really solid material and I know there’s more greatness to come.

Disclosure – Caracal = 7/10

Hannah Crowe

This Week’s Music Video with Lorde, Pink Floyd, Metronomy, Little Dragon, Wild Beasts and Ariel Pink