EP review: The Chainsmokers – Collage

Another brief compendium that fails to convey the melodic character apparently lost in their year-long remix drought, Collage sees The Chainsmokers grate their way into your eardrums and out of your hearts.

Originally published in The Edge

What ‘#SELFIE’ did to promote The Chainsmokers across the globe, it counteracted by ruthlessly haemorrhaging their credibility. Before, they were merely two dudes – Alex Pall and Drew Taggart – making bad jokes in the SoundCloud descriptions of tender (and thoroughly enjoyable) amplifications of tracks by alt-indie luminaries like Jónsi, Phoenix, and The Killers. Then, one gimmicky pissabout signed by Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label later, they had a string of club dates and festival appearances, a hilariously dreadful American Idol performance, and millions of new listeners who looked forward to their next move much as they did with DJ Ötzi and the Crazy Frog. Somehow, having resettled themselves with an official mix for Bastille, they began again, building up to 2015’s original EP Bouquet and global chart residency over the twelve months that followed. Continue reading “EP review: The Chainsmokers – Collage”

EP review: Charli XCX – Vroom Vroom

The new label and its eponymous EP send mainstream pop underground to an alarmingly enjoyable effect.

Originally published in The Edge

The ascension of Charli XCX from Bishop’s Stortford to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 is peculiar to fathom. One moment, you’re uploading tracks to MySpace with titles like ‘!Franchesckaar!,’ attending raves to perform with your parents, and signed to Orgy Music (which is apparently a genuine record label); the next you’re pop’s resident punk edge, trashing hotels and raucously bitching from Los Angeles to Tokyo, yet still having the approachable youth appeal to pull off a theme song for tearjerking young adult tale The Fault In Our Stars.

This apparent lack of intermediacy makes her, seemingly, the perfect fit to mesh with the incredibly bizarre and similarly bombastic PC Music label/genre/subculture/social study/pyramid scheme. On this bridge to the surely inevitable third album later this year, she launches Vroom Vroom, her own experimental pop vanity collective, and Vroom Vroom, a concise and intense four track EP to go with it produced by aural oddball SOPHIE. Continue reading “EP review: Charli XCX – Vroom Vroom”