- Category: New Music
- Published on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 06:00
Daya - Sit still look pretty
Daya's Top 40 single "Hide Away" and her star turn on the Chainsmokers' banger "Don't Let Me Down" made her a surprisingly soulful leader of a new kind of bubblegum: EDM-leaning pop paired with Radio Disney-friendly lyrics. Still, despite a role as somewhat of an innovator, her debut album, Sit Still, Look Pretty, is little more than perfectly serviceable attempt to grasp the always-fleeting zeitgeist of the internet age. It hits all the right notes of what made early Aughts pop both charming and addictive, but with little to dig deeper or update beyond some complaints about how "Thirsty" a boy can be, minor references to Internet jargon ("I.C.Y.M.I.") and nods to pop culture ("I don't believe in Yeezus/I like him Kanye West"). In the end, the forced attempts to stay on top of the moment feel like an older person's idea of what teens like as opposed to learning more about the actual lovelorn 17-year-old belting the songs. At the center of the conundrum is the partially empowering title track, a catchy ode to not ending up as some "trophy wife" only desired for her looks – in the end it comes off like a manifesto of not being like the Other Girls while still trapped inside a not-especially unique album.
Kaleo - Way down we go
The band's dark, spooky ballad "Way Down We Go" is the perfect showcase of Julius Son's otherworldly vocals. The band appropriately performed the song live inside Iceland's Þríhnúkagígur volcano last year. "We were actually down there for 22 hours," Julius Son says. "We got a helicopter to hove the whole rig to the mountains and then we had to carry it down an elevator. But the best thing were the acoustics down there. They were amazing."
James TW - When you love someone
The melody is centered around the acoustic guitar, which is played in a light manner and features a repetitive rhythm. This flowing instrumental is slowly joined by piano, electric guitar, bass, and a percussion shaker. As these instruments enter the scene, the melody increasingly evolves but is still second to the lyrics and James’s vocal. The piece is from the perspective of a set of parents, who are attempting to explain their divorce to their adolescent son. Even with this heavy subject, the uplifting melody and the sincere vocal offsets the all too familiar tale of families being torn apart. James found inspiration for the single from witnessing a similar situation unfold for a young boy he was teaching music to. According to James, he wanted there to be a song for children being effected by divorce to “give them hope and to make them realize that what’s happening just might be for the best”.