Fresh Music Fridays: 14/09/18

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Fresh music fridays: 31/08/18

by Patrick McKenzie, Rhea Thomas, and Olly Cummins

In this week’s Fresh Music Friday: a new cut from dream pop producer Rostam that has our writers polarised, Yumi Zouma’s best and brightest, and a surprising (or not-so-surprising) hit by The 1975.

"In a River" — Rostam

Patrick: Lyrics don't dazzle me too much but progressive instrumental layering makes up for it. I felt hopeful in the build-up which for a while I didn't think would end; a startling snare effect in the bridge was enough of a payoff to merit at least a few repeated listens.

Rhea: Basically Justin Vernon without the falsetto and a little less narrative but I do appreciate the coordinating of the snare and the lightning animation.

Olly: This is a lovely, nostalgic song dripping with tenderness and warmth. Once again, Rostam shows himself to be a competent, if maybe slightly standard, songwriter. At points, 'In a River' seems to beg comparisons to The Lumineers (and that can only be a negative thing) but ultimately Rostam's sublime arrangements and gentle verse melody rises above and succeeds in being sweet and highly listenable.

"Crush (It’s Late, Just Stay)" — Yumi Zouma

Patrick: Groovy metronome-sounding percussion just past the halfway point and a nice bassline added a little more interest to what I felt for the most part was generic dance/synth-pop-fare.

Rhea: Kinda what you’d expect, but it’s almost a little more organic than other synth pop vocals - love the video.

Olly: 'Crush' is a summery, groovy song that is five years too late for me to really enjoy it. I can't help but feel I've heard this same song before on a roadtrip in my early teens, and I wasn't enamoured with it then either.

"Sincerity is Scary" — The 1975

Patrick: A little jazzier than what I'd usually expect from this group. Background horns, keys, and harmonies give this track a swinging and anthemic feel. Lyrics are a little cheesy, but the sincerity feels real.

Rhea: Intro sounds a bit like the beginning of a beauty guru European summer favourites video but takes an authentic jazzy turn with lil musical anticipations.

Olly: The 1975 continue to grow as a band into a mature, sentimental stage of their career and 'Sincerity is Scary' is all the more evidence of this. This song is jazzy, the horns are immediately reminiscent of the work of the current Chicago hip-hop scene, but has just enough of a pop sensibility to carry the listener through to powerful catharsis by the time the second chorus hits. Truly a wonderful song.

Tune in next week for our next Fresh Music Friday!

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