Sahida Apsara has a lot of talents, and she's using them for good

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The Melbourne roots/hip hop artist has one of this week's best new songs.

Keep up with all of the best new music added to Double J via our excellent Spotify playlist

Sahida Apsara – ‘Radiant Star’ (ft. Saritah)

 

‘Radiant Star’ proves that Sahida Apsara is a great vocalist, but the truth is, she’s so much more than that. She’s a poet, a dancer, an arts educator and the recipient of both a Victorian Government Multicultural Award for Excellence and a UNESCO grant. She’s one impressive woman.

‘Radiant Star’ is the kind of breezy reggae jam that instantly transports you somewhere beautiful and warm. Dub FX’s production is classy and restrained as the hugely positive lyrics and stunning voices of both Apsara and collaborator Saritah hit us right in the heart.

There’s something to be said for people who use their powers for positivity and this is music that is specifically written to make you feel good. 

Belle & Sebastian – ‘We Were Beautiful’

Throw that copy of The Boy with the Arab Strap out the window, because Belle & Sebastian have gone electro! Okay, not completely, but this does sound more like 80s/90s UK electro than the twee indie that made them famous. They’ve long experimented with new sounds, but this Pet Shop Boys-esque detour feels especially significant. It will be interesting to hear how far they take it from here. 

Billy Davis – ‘Goldfish’ (ft. Denzel Curry)

 

More smooth, slinky funk from Melbourne’s Billy Davis. Vocalist Khia (who can be seen and heard with Davis' band The Good Lords) has a silky voice that's the perfect fit for this feel-good cruiser she and really takes that chorus to a new level when it kicks in. It’s hard to imagine how the notoriously hard-hitting trap star Denzel Curry will fit on something so sleek, but he tones it down for his performance here and slots in just perfectly. 

Blue Hawaii – ‘No One Like You’

Montreal duo Blue Hawaii return with another gorgeous slice of dreamy electro-pop. Raphaelle ‘Ra’ Standell’s voice is perfect as always, while the pleasant midtempo groove and brilliant classic pop strong arrangements (courtesy of Owen Pallett) will have you dancing around your next garden party without a care. 

Eduardo Muchacho – ‘Intoxicated’

Apparently this track has been going off in clubs around the world for the past couple of weeks. As of this week, it’ll be going off on your radio too. This is Eduardo Muchacho’s debut track and it kinda sounds like the Chemical Brothers took a chill pill, spiked Daryl Hall’s drink and jumped into a studio. Is there higher praise than that?

Fountaineer – ‘The Cricketers’

Big, anthemic indie rock out of Bendigo. This heartfelt, poignant track proves that Fountaineer have both the sound and songwriting skills to match it with some of the biggest indie rock acts around today. We hope they do. Taken from their debut album Greater City, Greater Love.

Guerilla Toss – ‘Betty Dreams Of Green Men’

This is some wild stuff from New York art-rock champions Guerilla Toss. Electroclash meets Afrofunk? B-52s meet ESG? I dunno. You just gotta hear it. It’s completely unrelenting and completely awesome.

The Horrors – ‘Machine’

The first new music from The Horrors in many a year is a big, bold, dark cut of goth-rock that drips with attitude and bleakness. It’s a really strong return, hopefully a good sign of what’s to come on their new album V, out in September.

JAY-Z – ‘4:44’

The new album from rap legend JAY-Z (all caps, with a hyphen these days) is great. It’s called 4:44 and if you wanna hear it you have to sign up to the streaming service he owns or buy a physical copy. Interesting ploy but that’s business for ya.

Anyway, the album’s title track is an absolute corker. An amazing sample from Hannah Williams & the Affirmations backs him up, and you most likely already know that his rapping is second-to-none.  

But it’s JAY-Z’s heart-on-sleeve, deeply apologetic lyric that really hits hardest here. He owns up to being a shit bloke and that’s something everyone needs to learn how to do – whether it’s on a song that will be heard by millions or in an intimate moment of clarity. 

Pool Shop – ‘Can You Dream’

Brisbane artist Jaimee Fryer gives us another, all-too-rare solo track as Pool Shop. Fryer, who is also a member of Major Leagues, makes dreamy, jangly pop that is just so brilliantly executed.

Deftly layered guitar lines cut through the swirling, reverberant beds of sound that make everything sound so lush. The rhythm section is like clockwork, calling to mind the many great kosmiche inspired indie bands that have come before, and provides a rock solid backbone. Stunning stuff. 

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