10 SUMMER SONGS YOU MISSED BUT NEED TO HEAR RN

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It’s been a busy summer full of family lunches, frequent links, and festivals antics, so you’re forgiven if you haven’t been totally tapped into the latest drops from across the AU. But that stops now. Everyone’s back to work and so are we; here’s a quick wrap of some massive releases you should be bumping as you return to the office (or job site or zoom meeting).

MOG.Y x BENNY ZENN – BURNED OUT & LOVELY FT. ISAAC PUERILE

Mog.Y and Isaac Puerile connect over Benny Zenn production on the no-brainer, dream collab of ‘Burned Out & Lovely’. This Melbourne-to-Sydney link-up finds two of the scene’s stylistically unorthodox artists delivering standout moments across the laid-back and bass-driven instrumental. Following tracks like ‘Breadline’ and ‘Contact’, ‘Burned Out & Lovely’ is a matchup we definitely need to hear more from and the latest addition to a long list of Zenn and Mog collaborations. 

PANIA – P STANDS 4 PLAYA

While West Melbourne’s emerging superstar only just dropped her debut EP, PANIA is wasting no time in 2023. Teased for months on her socials, ‘P Stands 4 Playa’ is a summery R&B hit deeply entrenched in PANIA’s signature moodiness and bravado. Produced by close collaborator Hamley, the track was released alongside ‘2sides (freestyle)’ as part of her P Pack. If it wasn’t clear enough from her workrate last year, PANIA is bound to be Australia’s next big export. 

NODDY NO MASK – HOW NODDY SAVED CHRISTMAS

Noddy No Mask is a frikken genius. One of the most entertaining characters on Aus Rap social media (if you need your morning motivation look no further than his IG) decided his debut mixtape ‘247’ wasn’t enough, and so blessed us on Christmas Eve with a tape full of tongue-in-cheek seasonal reworks. While the surface concept of ‘Gangsta Claus’ is hilarious, as are the pop culture references, if you listen a bit closer you’ll start to understand the intricacies of his narrative and appreciate just how good his voice and melodies are. His presence is a present to us all.

MALI JO$E – BLISTEX FREESTYLE REMIX

Perth young gun Mali Jo$e is rapidly blossoming into one of the country’s best. Remixing the 2022 track from fellow Fremantle rapper Cruz Patterson, ‘Blistex Freestyle Remix’ is produced by Andi, JCAL and Cesare Papa. As the first release since his SUNSEEKER EP, he’s quick to remind everyone of his immaculate flow and technical lyricism. Leading into the EP, he was also on a run of incredible collabs with IJALE, Otiuh, and Mick Jenkins. If you’re unfamiliar with him, do yourself a serious favour.

360 – MADE ME LIKE THIS FT. GOSSLING

360 unveils his long-awaited return with latest single ‘Made Me Like This’ featuring frequent collaborator Gossling. Produced by Tyron Hapi, the track is accompanied with a OneHouse Productions music video and finds 360 reflecting on “how [he] often feels tormented by [his] younger self and the choices [he] made.” While there’s been a handful of releases since his Vintage Modern album in 2017, ‘Made Me Like This’ feels like the rebirth of one of Australia’s most celebrated rappers. 

TOEKIO – GET A LIL

If you haven’t heard of Toekio, you’re about to become hella familiar with his name in the next few years. Barely 18 years of age, the Kamilaroi youngster from regional NSW is currently based stateside where he’s studying at the world-renowned San Francisco Ballet. Recording out of his dorm room, the multi-talented creative has already delivered the heart-wrenching ‘Stay With Me’ and recently switched it up to a Mustard-like club anthem ‘get a lil’ showcasing his charismatic autotuned vocals. The kid’s a star.

KOTE$ – DOLLY WHITE FT. INFVNT

Three years since its predecessor, Kote$ and Infvnt drop Volume III and visuals to one of its standout tracks ‘Dolly White’. In 2022, the Gold Coast-based emcee dropped a handful of new singles and supported Huskii on his Antihero tour. For fans of the 201 rapper, ‘Dolly White’ boasts a catchy hook, hard-hitting beat and impressive verses from them both. As one of the first projects from the AU to drop this year, Volume III spans across 8 tracks and features Ribby247 throughout. Keep an eye on this trio.

SOWDY – TWOTHOUSANDNEIGHT

We’ve finally been blessed with the long-awaited new album from Perth’s own Sowdy, ‘Paint The City Purple’. A comprehensive 16-track body of work from the rapper/producer/engineer with features including Issa Gold, Butch Dawson, and K Tha Sovereign; and while he likes to experiment sonicaly and collaborate widely, Sowdy might just be at his best when solo. ‘twothousandeight’ feels like a late-night Drake album cut complete with moody production, buttery rap flows, and intimate storytelling.

DOUBLE O SMOOVE – STICC FT ROLLINGFORSNIPE

By name and by nature, Double O Smoove rides a beat nicer than most spitters down under. Originating in Philadelphia and more recently moving around Melbourne’s northside, ‘Sticc’ is Smoove in his bag; bragging about women, money, and his rap credentials – and sounding dope as hell while doing it. Detroit-inspired production is the current wave banging in the clubs and has us thinking a link-up with fellow burn city emcee Babyface Mal could just be a hit waiting to happen.

ELLE ELIADES – MORE TO LOVE

Melbourne songstress Elle Eliades made us all stand up and take notice last year via her luscious single ‘Comfort In Lies’, and she’s started 2023 in the same demanding fashion. ‘More To Love’ is gorgeous. Sitting in a gentle R&B / neo-soul crossover lane made famous by Erykah Badu and more recently championed by Ari Lennox, the single allows a showcase of both Elle’s vocal capabilities and well as her songwriting penache.

Article by Frank Tremain & Matthew Craig.

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