By ALEX LYALL
This week has been one where a literal ton of great music has been released. From Purity Ring to Charli XCX, to SWIDT and Tyler, the Creator – it has been a really outstanding week. However, it has been a hard week too, and fans have been honouring the passing and the career of one of rock’s best: Chester Bennington.
RIP Chester Bennington
This week’s music cannot be talked about without first paying tribute to Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. The singer was found dead at his home in LA last week, and fans have showed an outpouring of sympathy. So much so in fact, that the band have created a website where fans can share memories, thoughts and condolences.
There’s a lot on the website already, simply because Chester Bennington has so many fans. Linkin Park’s debut album Hybrid Theory was the best selling album of 2001 in the United States, and each album since (besides 2014’s The Hunting Party) made it to number 1 on the US album charts.
Upon the band’s break-out, it wasn’t only their newly created sound that won over so many people, but the honesty with which they delivered their music. When Chester Bennington belted out the choruses of songs like In the End, Crawling or What I’ve Done you could tell he was coming from a genuine place. It was sincere music from the heart – and for that reason it stood out like a sore thumb.
In an open letter posted last Tuesday, the band summed it all up: “It was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place.”
Purity Ring – Asido
With whirling synth behind it and a nervous beat, Purity Ring have made something kind of sad, but mainly something great.
“Feel as lonely as I do” is the mantra of the track, and is used to startling effect right throughout the song. However, it only confirms the sadness that we can all assume frontwoman Megan James is feeling.
Writers are told to show, not tell, but on Asido Purity Ring are able to do both brilliantly.
SWIDT – Player of the Day
I’ve been waiting my whole life for this – a trap song about ruby union.
SWIDT are Onehunga lads through and through, and this is exactly the kind of song that makes their brand so exciting. The accent is in the spotlight and the song is loaded with references to our prized game. Key lyrics goes to “run it straight/like I’m Jonah back in ‘95” with a close second going to “I’m the man/you don’t understand ‘cause you in the stands.”
Dizzie Rascal – Raskit
14 years ago British rapper Dizzie Rascal announced himself to the world with Boy in Da Corner. Not only did it make him a superstar, it also highlighted the gritty, beat-driven style that Dizzie Rascal was playing with.
In 2017 we know it well as grime music, and some of the UK’s biggest artists like Skepta, Stormzy and JME excel in it. So clearly, Dizzie Rascal is a bit of a Dizzie Pioneer.
This is Dizzie Rascal’s sixth album and perhaps his best since his debut in 2003. The beats are purposeful, and the bass is understated. This is something that contrasts sharply to some of his previous hits like Bonkers and Bassline Junky. Ultimately, it’s another grime masterpiece from the man.
Except, just as a wee side note, the final track, Man of the Hour, uses wavy synths to give a 90s West Coast feel. The sound of an East London accent comically stands out.
New Music Video: Charli XCX – Boys
Joe Jonas, Charlie Puth, Oli Sykes, Mark Ronson, Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Flume, Heems, Diplo, Stormzy, Carl Barat, Mac Demarco, will.i.am, Jack Antonoff, John Gourley, Vance Joy.
That’s 16. How many did you pick out?
Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy
The best part about Tyler, the Creator’s new album Flower Boy is how sincere it is. Typically, a Tyler, the Creator album is accompanied by controversy and attention-seeking. Here though, foul words and muck are replaced by personal admissions, and yes, his coming out.
Lyrically, it’s easily his best. On Where This Flower Blooms Tyler urges for the cultural freedom of young Black Americans: “Tell these black kids they can be who they are / Dye your hair blue / I’ll do it too.” But the lyrics are also hilarious too and I find it hard not to laugh out loud when Tyler yells “Fetch!” on 911/Mr. Lonely.
Billie Eilish is coming this way
Billie Eilish has been making a bit of a global splash thanks to her piercing, and sometimes explosive, pop hits. Personally, I think the pop world is suffering from an overuse of fierce beats and breakdowns. How many times this year have you listened to a pop track with some really aggressive dubstep in it? A lot, I’m guessing.
Eilish stands out then, because she doesn’t rely on those features only. The vocals on COPYCAT, for example, are laced with attitude and even a bit of anger. There’s a lot of originality in a song that actually sounds like a song, with actual melodies and everything.
Basically, the girl’s got some real pizzazz and she’s playing her debut New Zealand show in September.
KINGS announces Chapter One
The debut album from crooner KINGS is finally on its way. Released in partnership with DRM NZ, the album should expand on the smooth, honest music that KINGS is breaking out with. The first single, We’ll Never Know, is expected to be released early this September.
Another Father John Misty album?
With his reputation for being aggressively facetious, anybody could be forgiven for not taking Father John Misty at his literal word. Case in point – during a performance in Sydney this week Father Tillerman teased the idea of a follow up to this year’s Pure Comedy, appropriately titled Pure Comedy 2.
Is he spinning a yarn, or is there a bit of truth to this? It’s supposed to be out next year, so we’ll soon see.
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