Each week we take a look at some of the songs that are impacting on the chart on Hype Machine, the internet's music blog aggregator. As ever, we're looking at the good, the bad, the expected and the surprising and this week as offered up a few shiny gems.
Yumi Zouma – Barricade (Matter Of Fact) | HIGH POINT: #12
Well this is nice isn’t it. Whispered vocals and a pretty melody. We’ve been here before right? Well sort of, but if you give the song time you’ll hear a synth rise like a gentle ocean, lapping round your ankles and giving the song that extra texture it badly needed. I’m surprising myself here but I think I’m into this in a big way.
[NOTE: this track has been taken down. Is there a mystery afoot? Please update me]
Big Wild – Aftergold (feat. Tove Stryke) | HIGH POINT: #4
I assume Big Wild is an American producer who has managed to pull Tove Stryke onto a track which is a very good get indeed. I was going to suggest that she bodies this song entirely but I think he brings a little something to the table amongst his glassy bell tones and big horns punches. Poor Tove Stryke though, she’s probably going to live forever in the shadow of the other Tove.The original cut of this song didn't feature Tove but obviously some good forward movement has happened since now and then.
Adam Foster feat. Monty Wells – Daylight | HIGH POINT: #8
I didn’t realise Guy Sebastian was the sort of thing that jumped onto the Hype Machine charts but here we are.
Daniel Wilson – Wedding Daze | HIGH POINT: #12
I’m 25 seconds in and I’m undecided. Bear with me here… bear with me… wait… ok I’m still on the fence. Some great vocal moments that even included some glorious Bee Gees-esque pre-chorus action. I like this guys schtick I just don’t love the song.
Black Honey – All My Pride | HIGH POINT: #4
I don’t know if I’m being pranked here but I could have sworn that this Hype Machine charting song has guitars in it. It takes around a minute ten to get there but once you finally hear the chorus you’ll realise why this getting plenty of love.
With You. – Ghost feat. Vince Staples (Major Lazer Remix) | HIGH POINT: #8
Major Lazer really, really, really want you to know they did this remix and they’ll remind you at least nine or ten times through the track. It has that unbridled energy that Major Lazer are so known for which is also the sort that doesn’t necessarily involved an obnoxious drop at any point. They’re certainly clever producers
Buoy – Clouds & Rain | HIGH POINT: #42
Not to overplay it but this song might be my favourite track from the entire year so far. It’s produced by BUOY herself, Sydney’s Jack Grace and Melbourne’s Christopher Port and between the three they’ve struck upon garage gold. It’s a song that builds incrementally with micro movements driven through the vocals and more major shifts coming through the percussive elements. The two minute mark is the truest turning point but there are so many smaller moments worth pointing a finger at. This is a straight winner here folks.
Colourwaves – Night Boat | HIGH POINT: #28
Sydney's Colourwaves here drops a cut of finely tuned chillwave, referencing sounds and textures straight out of the Washed Out playbook. The marketplace for records like these was a bustling market just a few years ago but it's since become a more workable environment where those arpeggios and reverb soaked vocals can actually cut through to a Hype Machine audience and thus, here were are in chart city, home of the rich and the brave.
Owen Rabbit – Weeds | HIGH POINT: #12
Mister Rabbit is one of the very few artists that manages to surprise me with every single new release he delivers. He never takes the safe route, even when he's built a lovely, slightly morose verse that should comfortably lead into a high energy chorus to make the J listeners praise the heavens. Even then, he throws caustic drums sounds, pulsing waves of sharp synth and his own breaking screams to the fore. Heck, there's no chorus, there's just the start bit, the loud bit and the end bit. A radio single this aint. Credit to the man for always pushing the boundaries.
Vallis Alps – Thru | HIGH POINT: #47
It's now been 19 years since Vallis Alps released their debut EP and still songs from that glorious four tracker find themselves charting and recharting on Hype Machine. Take that number forty seven with a grain of salt, the first time it landed on these charts it was likely number one. Easily the second best song from the EP and a wonderful act.
Slumberjack – Open Fire (feat. Daniel Johns) | HIGH POINT: #20
Slumberjack x Daniel Johns was something I had to investigate, for better or for worse. Daniel Johns delivers the sort of songwriting and vocal performance that you'd expect from someone of his pedigree but to their credit Slumberjack have produced a very restrained and tasteful record without diving headfirst out of the #BANGERZONE™. It doesn't thunder on the beat end the way I'd hope a track like this might (maybe it's the kick drum, maybe it needs more bass? I don't know, what am, a soundcloud comments section?) but it reaches the necessary heights and I'm sure it'll work on radio.