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Fresher Sounds - 13/05/2015


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Courtney BarnettDid this last week mark the death knell of the talent show?

After 13 years on air, American Idol has been cancelled. Although its British predecessor Pop Idol was far less profilic, American Idol had grown to become a centrepiece of US television.

The show's decline highlights the growing indifference to the singing contest format, coupled with the reality that no recent artist has seen any level of success after appearing on the show.

The days of Susan Boyle and One Direction seem miles away for British talent shows too. Fans of music long since tuned out, with the show increasingly relying on the stage personas of its judges to carry this tired format.   

Saying that millions still watch them, so what do we know! Maybe it was never about the music in the first place?

Check out the best new music of the week from artists that are already more memorable than the last three winners of The X Factor.

Courtney Barnett - Dead Fox

Courtney Barnett has set her wry eye one big business on her latest single. Attacking the destructive powers of consumerism, ‘Dead Fox’ is a breezy indie-rock track, with the cheery guitar acting stark contrast to the pessimistic, playful lyrics and gruesome video.


A$AP Rocky ft. Rod Stewart, Miguel, and Mark Ronson - Everyday

A$AP Rocky’s latest track has a strong British influence. Teaming up with veteran producer Mark Ronson, Rocky raps over a smooth, soulful track built around an old Rod Stewart hook. At times, modern hip-hop production leaks through as the track briefly transforms into a glitchy up-tempo number, but the track really shines when Rocky spits over the brooding organ melody.


Beach Baby - No Mind No Money

This psyche-pop gem from London four-piece Beach Baby captures the nihilism and confusion that comes with student life. ‘No Mind No Money,’ the band’s third release, draws from 80’s shoegaze, tempering it with post-punk energy. Apathy has never sounded so good.  


Penguin Prison - Show me The Way

This bubbly piece of electro pop from New York’s Penguin Prison is shamelessly catchy. Polished and filled with slick pop hooks and an addictive rhythm, ‘Show me The Way’ is an early contender for song of the summer.


Astronauts etc - No justice
Anthony Ferraro returns with the second single from his new project Astronauts etc. Taken from their forthcoming album, ‘No Justice’ pairs dreamy guitars with smooth falsetto vocals in a warm, laid back effort.


Oscar - Beautiful Words

This track from London’s Oscar Scheller is a wonderful piece of lo-fi synth pop.  Scheller’s vocals channel the iconic baritone of Morrissey without seeming derivative, and the tracks scratchy synths combine with lush vocal harmonies to make a charmingly fresh track.


Son Lux - Change is Everything

This vibrant electronic track from Colorado’s Son Lux is bursting with life. Taken from their upcoming album Bones, the track’s anthemic melodies and short cord stabs are a stark departure from the gloom of their previous work.

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