Dummy Picks: First Quarter 2015

Dummy staffers pick their favourite songs of the year so far.

Dummy staffers pick their favourite songs of the year so far.

We're over a quarter of the way through 2015, and spring is upon us. Is there a better time than now to look at some of the songs that we'll be listening to during our long days in the sun? Our new staff mix is a review of tracks released between the start of January and the end of March, highlighting some personal favourites from Dummy's staffers. We've picked hi-tech rollers, noodling techno, electronic ballads, melodic house, and out-and-out pop music. Enjoy!

Dummy Picks: First Quarter 2015 tracklist:

01. Nico Niquo Perta Ine With 'Epitaph', for Orange Milk Records, Melbourne producer Nico Niquo has forged one of the purest and most insistent expressions of an explicitly internet-inspired electronic style yet. It's a mix of synth minimalism, grime, hardcore, beats, and other moments of machine transcendence suspended in a supremely spacious and angular architecture. Perta Ine alternates excellently between moments of heaviness and lightness, stasis and acceleration. Adam Harper

02. Cashmere Cat Adore (feat. Ariana Grande) Cashmere Cat and Ariana Grande have become a surprising pair of collaborators. He worked on Be My Baby from her second album 'My Everything', and they got back together for one of his own songs, Adore, which is leaps and bounds more interesting: where Be My Baby never really built up to much in terms of a climax, Adore is gargantuan and clanging, taking up lots and lots of space, skittering up, up, up then ballooning out when Ariana sings Oh! You'll be swaying like crazy. Parker Bruce

03. Bok Bok & Sweyn Jupiter Papaya Lipgloss (Sour Mix) After the quite punishing, quite industrial sounds of Night Slugs' Club Constructions series, it's been nice hearing airy, funky, and sexy jams appear from the label in recent months. Besides Hysterics' transcendant Empty, there's Bok Bok's team up with Sweyn Jupiter for Papaya Lipgloss, which sees Jupiter laying down (or, in my head, effortlessly freestyling) louche keys over a sparse club beat. I really rate the Club Mix of this tune, but the Sour Mix just about edges it. Selim Bulut

04. Ghost Culture The Fog Ghost Culture likes "a good melody that penetrates", and nowhere does he hit upon such a perfect combination of notes than on The Fog. A beautiful little ballad that closes his debut album, its swing, colour, and melody reminds me of a song like Metronomy's Trouble: thoughtful, understated pop songwriting with a very English sensibility. I just wish there was a reprise at the end. Selim Bulut

05. Unknown Mortal Orchestra Multi-Love People have pointed out an R&B influence on Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s two albums, though I’d personally never picked up on it until Multi-Love. That definitely has something to do with the sharpness of the song - it’s lovely to hear them in high fidelity. The opening metaphor (Multi-Love checked into my heart and trashed it like a hotel room) is so inviting and intimate that it warrants to be heard again and again. Sean Stanley

06. LA PRIEST Oino As a Late of the Pier superfan, I've been waiting for the eventual return of frontman Sam Eastgate since he first hinted at a LA PRIEST album about, er, five years ago. Oino is everything I wanted it to be, though: upbeat, colourful, virtuosic, and incredibly adventurous both musically and production-wise (seriously, what are half of these sounds?). I can't wait to hear more. Selim Bulut

07. Shura 2Shy The other night, I decided to walk home from work over the Williamsburg Bridge, and I was vacillating between a couple songs. One of those songs was Shura's 2Shy, a beautiful little twirl of a song, ideal for walking home at the end of the day in semi-nice weather. The song patters into view at first, expanding and furrowing into a bedazzled haven then Shura comes in, quietly, singing her wonderfully hitting-the-nail-on-the-head lyrics (the most striking of which for me is: Walking home down the Oxbridge Road/Headphones on/I've got a cigarette rolled/I know I shouldn't light it/Cause I haven't smoked one for weeks). With those lines I feel like she sums up so many of us. As her Instagram handle says: weareshura, and she is us. Parker Bruce

08. Flako Twelve O'Clock Shadow Flako's second full length embraces eclecticism: tough, crystalline hip hop instrumentals segue into the delicate grandiosity of this composition. The strings scored by Miguel Attwood-Ferguson play a big part in the sweeping, cinematic feel of the whole thing. Jake Hulyer

09. Laura Groves Dream Story For my money, Laura Groves is one of the best songwriters around right now. There's a real, yet intangible sadness in all of her songs, and it sets my hairs on end. Dream Story is on another level: compositionally, Groves is a classicist, but her production and lyrical subject matter feels as modern as it comes. The chorus is incredible. Selim Bulut

10. Tame Impala Let It Happen I was a little disappointed when they initially dropped the single, but I remember feeling the same when I heard Elephant, and 'Lonerism' turned out to be a modern classic for me. I haven’t been able to stop listening to Let It Happen, and I never thought I would be able dance to a Tame Impala song. Thanks for proving me wrong, again. Sean Stanley

11. Jam City A Walk Down Chapel I've written, quite a bit, about the political subject matter of Jam City's 'Dream A Garden'. One thing that I haven't really stressed is that the album is just full of really wonderful music. More than a treatise, 'Dream A Garden' is an expressive and emotional album, a diverse set of songs written within a clearly defined sonic framework. Imagine if indie music was always this adventurous. Selim Bulut

12. Kassem Mosse & Simone White Flowers In May Hearing the beautiful, rich tones of Simone White, softly iterating Stay up till dawn, sleep all day long offset by an elastic bassline and eerie synth line from Kassem Mosse for the first time by Ben UFO on the Hessle Rinse show felt so exciting. Double figure listens and I still eagerly anticipate the moment that massive bassline kicks in. Aurora Mitchell

13. Henry Wu Just Negotiate His familiarity with the keys is no doubt part of the reason that Henry Wu's smooth melodies have been lighting up productions with increasing prominence over the past year. This one's of a particularly silky variety. Jake Hulyer

14. Levon Vincent Small Whole-Numbered Ratios An insane amount of good music has been released so far in 2015, but Levon Vincent's self-titled debut LP has definitely been the most prevalent and powerful release for me so far. Small Whole-Numbered Ratios draws more from Steve Reich and Philip Glass style minimalism than dance music for the majority of its duration. Its string motifs pulse and gradually transform as they build in their repetition, inducing an almost trance-like state. This goes on until right before the end, when a drum machine jubilantly strides in and musical worlds collide... I feel a sense of euphoria every time. Zara Wladawsky

15. Fit Siegel Carmine Put out on Detroit’s Fit Sound label, this is Fit Siegel’s fifth release. I’ve heard it a few times out and around but nothing will beat walking down the steps into Dance Tunnel while Call Super was giving this a spin. It’s hard to resist that twinkling loop and pads that wash over you in warm, slow waves. Aurora Mitchell

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