FAULT Weekly Playlist: TOTEM

It’s always great to see more diversity in the music industry and TOTEM one of the artists cropping up that’s challenging perceptions. TOTEM is an Indian-American man who weaves smart political and social commentary into slick pop production. Proving that pop music doesn’t have to be thoughtless 4-on-the-floor beats, his skill of turning astute cultural criticism into catchy earworms is bringing him surprising success.

TOTEM is currently working on his EP, which will be out this summer, but before that we asked him to put together some of his current favorite songs. Take a listen below.

Calvin Harris – Heatstroke

“I love this new new disco feel that Calvin Harris is doing. This and Slide have been on repeat. Pharrell’s pre-chorus is so unexpected but feels so good. I loved Jamie XX’s last album and this is as close as we have come in pop music.”

Kodak Black – Tunnel Vision

“The hook is an earworm and that detuned sample in the background reminds me of a song from Lauryn Hill’s “Unplugged” album. You gotta listen to this under the influence in a dark room.”

Future – Mask Off

“I read something in the New York Times magazine about this song a couple weeks ago and it made me appreciate this song a lot more. I had no idea about Future’s personal transformation. Also, the recorder sample.”

Julia Michaels – Issues

“It’s great to see songwriters win as artists, and Julia Michaels deserves to win. She and Justin Tranter have been writing exclusively hits for over a year, and this one is no different.”

Vice feat. Jon Bellion – Obsession

“Jon Bellion is one of my favorite songwriters and vocalists. This is such a feel good tune.”

mansionz – Wicked

“I hate the shtick, but this song is really good.”

Drake – Blem

“My favorite song off the new Drake playlist. I really envy his melodic simplicity.”

KAYTRANADA – Got it Good

“I was really late on KAYTRANADA, but this is the song that got me. Nice to hear Craig David’s voice too. His kind of pop R&B is what the world is missing right now.”

Frank Ocean – Chanel

“I’m always amazed how many really dynamic melodies Frank Ocean can fit into one song. This one sounds so fresh but classic.”

Zedd and Alessia Cara – Stay

“Zedd is a musical genius. The drop in this song has so many elements I love— space, harmonies, vocoders. Simplicity at it’s most impactful.”

FAULT Magazine Summer 2017 Festival Guide

Who

Frank Ocean , Jamie Xx , Mac Miller , Solange , Sampha , Kaytranada , Ray Blk , Mick Jenkins , Rex Orange County , The Fedz , Raheem Bakaré , Noisey Djs, Rag’n’bone Man , Rüfüs , Sälen Chase & Status (Live) , Jess Glynne , Annie Mac , Dj Ez , Kano , Anne-marie , Raye , Club Drive

What

Lovebox have now announced Solange and Frank Ocean as headliners for 2017 and we are more than excited. Both performers released critically acclaimed albums respectively in 2016 and fans will sure to be excited for the release of these details. Being the eclectic festival that they are, there’s truly something for everyone this year. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Jamie XX, Mac Miller, Chase & Status and many more FAULT Favourites will be there.

As they enter their fifteenth year, Lovebox has made a name for itself with lineups featuring taste making-headliners and need-to-know acts from Britain and around the world.

Where

London – Victoria Park

When

14-15th July

Tickets

www.loveboxfestival.com

Who

Metronomy, Crystal Fighters, Toots & The Maytals, Wild Beasts , Peaches , Ray Blk , Honne ,,jagwar Ma , Jeremy Loops , Rejjie Snow ,tom Misch , Kate Nash , Akala , Jorja Smith , Fickle Friends , Bonzai , The Moonlandingz , Deap Vally , All Them Witches , Jain , Pumarosa , Zak Abel , Will Joseph Cook , Tom Grennan , Mabel , Etta Bond , Be Charlotte , Toothless , North Downs ,?Let’s Eat Grandma , Seramic , Charlotte Oc , Laurel , Anteros , Aine Cahill , Cosmo Sheldrake , Mont Jake

What

This year, our FAULT Favourite Festival ‘Secret Garden Party’ is back with a clear message to the fame worshipping and excluding masses, “bore off, we all run this town!” This summer the Secret Garden Party invites all into the most inclusive VIP-LOL-OFF for their 15th SGP ever themed – “Sweet Dreams. Are made of these? And who are we to disagree…” It’s no surprise that we LOVE attending SGP each year and would likely still attend even if the lineup wasn’t to our taste but time and time again they have filled their lineup with FAULT Favourite bands and this year is no exception.

Where

Cambridgeshire – Mill Hill Field

When

20-23 July

Tickets

http:,,www.secretgardenparty.com,

Who

Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, The xx, The National, Biffy Clyro, Katy Perry, Barry Gibb, Royal Blood, Stormzy
Chic, Major Lazer, Alt-J, Boy Better Know, Lorde, Solange, Run the Jewels, Laura Marling, Kris Kristofferson, The Jacksons, Emeli Sandé, Phoenix

What

Come on, you know about Glastonbury by now! Not to mention the lineup is batshit crazy but we love it. Whether you have a an eclectic music taste or just a large group of mates with diverse music tastes; you’re bound to have fun at Glasto 2017. Skank out to Stormzy, jive with The Jacksons and sing your lungs out to Solange all in the same week – chances are you won’t get many chances to see so many great performers under the proverbial roof that is Glastonbury.

Where

Glastonbury – Worthy Farm

When

21st – 25th June

Tickets

www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

Who

Chance The Rapper Skepta The Weeknd Abra Cadabra AJ X DENO Big Narstie Big Tobz Bryson Tiller (UK Festival Exclusive) Bugzy Malone Cadet Dave Desiigner DJ Charlsey Fetty Wap (UK Festival Exclusive) Flatbush Zombies G-Eazy (UK Festival Exclusive) Geko Hilltop Hoods Jez Dior Kojo Funds Lil Dicky Lil Uzi Vert Lil Yachty (UK Festival Exclusive) Mike Skinner and Murkage Present TONGA MoStack Nas (UK Festival Exclusive) Nef The Pharaoh Noname Post Malone Rae Sremmurd (UK Festival Exclusive) Sean Paul Section Boyz Stefflon Don The Age of L.U.N.A Tim Westwood Topaz Jones Tory Lanez Travis Scott (UK Festival Exclusive) Ty Dolla $ign Tyga Wiley WizKid Young T and Bugsey Young Thug (UK Festival Exclusive) Yuna Yungen Zara Larsson

What

Wireless Festival today adds five further artists to its 2017 line up, including some of the biggest names in home-grown talent Bugzy Malone, Geko and Kojo Funds, as well as international stars Fetty Wap and Travis Scott for two UK festival exclusive performances.

Where

London – Finsbury Park

When

7-9th July

Tickets

http:,,www.wirelessfestival.co.uk,tickets

What

Now in it’s 11th year, Field Day has consistently proved itself to be one of the leading festivals in the UK. Exceptional programming over the years have seen the best in upcoming and legendary acts and this year Field Day is set to surpass expectations once again with Aphex Twin playing in a brand new stage plus Flying Lotus, Slow Dive and many more confirmed to grace the festival’s many other stages in

Who

Aphex Twin, Fatima Yamaha – live, Flying Lotus, Marcel Dettmann, Midland, Moderat, Nicolas, Forest Swords ,Forth Wanderers, Gaika, Haelos

Where

London – Victoria Park

When

3 June

Tickets

fielddayfestivals.com,tickets

Who

Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, the xx, Aphex Twin, Grace Jones, Slayer, Solange, and Van Morrison,Run The Jewels, Mac DeMarco, Miguel, Flying Lotus, the Magnetic Fields, Angel Olsen, Grandaddy, Sampha, Swans, Broken Social Scene, Mitski, the Afghan Whigs, Against Me!, the Damned, the Descendents, Priests, King Krule, Gordi, Pinegrove, Mannequin Pussy, Cymbals Eat Guitars,

What

Year after year, Primavera have paired contemporary and culturally relevant artists alongside living legends who paved the way for originality within the music industry and 2017 is looking to be no exception to that rule. Classic festival favourites Arcade Fire, Aphex Twin and Bon Iver tear the stage up at every appearance and we’re sure Primavera Sound 2017 will be no different. Solange, Frank Ocean and The XX arguably released three of the best albums of 2016 and on their merit alone will bring music lovers from across Europe and beyond to Barcelona next May.  That’s all before we even mention that Run The Jewel, Skepta, Flying Lotus and FAULT #23 Alumni Miguel will also be performing. Alongside these contemporaries, festival goers can also bask in the presence of legends Van Morrison and  Grace Jones who have made undeniable contributions to music throughout their respective careers.

Where

Spain – Barcelona

When

31 May – 4 Jun

Tickets

www.primaverasound.com

Who

Aphex Twin, Fatima Yamaha – live, Flying Lotus, Marcel Dettmann, Midland, Moderat, Nicolas Jaar, Nina Kraviz

What

Hideout is firmly cemented as the leading electronic music festival in Europe, the six open air stages will once again play host to the best in electronic music. With Croatia now a globally recognised destination for dance music, Hideout Festival is at the forefront of the scene. Six incredible years of stand out line-ups spanning the whole spectrum of electronic music, Hideout has become one of the definitive european dance music events in the calendar.

Where

Croatia – Pag

When

26th – 30th June

Tickets

http:,,www.hideoutfestival.com,

Who

Rae Sremmurd, French Montana, Sean Paul, Lady Leshurr, Krept & Konan, DJ Jazzy Jeff

What

Fresh Island is Europe’s leading hip-hop and urban music festival, set against the backdrop of the stunning island of Pag in Croatia. The festival has become renowned for welcoming the finest international talent to the shores of Zrce Beach to play across its three open-air superclubs and in the last five years has hosted performances by Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Eve, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Stormzy, JME and many more.

Where

Croatia – Pag

When

11th – 13th July

Tickets

Fresh-island.org

FAULT Weekly Playlist: Midnight Pool Party

Sydney producers Midnight Pool Party make the kind of music you want to play while out on a late night drive or in the club dancing under a disco ball. The pair have released their anticipated debut EP ‘Dalliance’, which sees a playful five-track body of work brought to life through a clear musical objective. Lyrically, the EP draws from the bittersweet emotions of the ups and downs of relationships, but musically expresses an irresistible groove with soulful, feel-good rhythms. So if you’re in need of a pick-me-up post-breakup, this is what just the doctor ordered.

We asked MPP to put together some of their favorite tunes, which includes tracks from fellow Aussies Flight Facilities and Flume, as well as one of the duo’s inspirations, Snakehips.

Cosmos Midnight – History

“Getting drunk and going home with someone shouldn’t. Taking that scenario turning it into a dance song applies to so many people on the dance floor, smart and catchy AF.”

Calvin Harris/Frank Ocean/Migos – Slide

“When we read ‘CALVIN + FRANK + MIGOS’ we did know what to expect… until we pressed ‘PLAY’ and it was instant love.”

Kaytranada – Got It Good

“Kaytranada never does anything wrong and pairing up with smooth vocals from Craig David makes this song so smooth and so chill.”

Drake – Take Care

“Drake combined with Jamie xx was unexpected but so cool. It was different from what other hip hop artists were doing at the time. Drake always seems to keep things interesting.”

Banks – Warm Water (Snakehips Remix)

“We loved the original version by Banks, but Snakehips injected so much grove into their remix that we couldn’t stop listening. It’s everything we aimed for when we were making our own music.”

Flight Facilities – Clair de Lune

“FF Boys are gods to us and this song inspired us to write our track ‘collide’, intense, beautiful.”

Young Franco – Drop Your Love (Ja Funk Remix)

“Young Franco is the coolest dudes ever! The original amazing but this funky ass remix just takes it to a different level.”

Flume – Never Be Like You

“There’s a reason why this was #1 on triple j hottest 100! Flume is doing Australia proud.”

Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You

“That falsetto! Oooft! Even if you can’t sing, you can’t help but sing along anyway… and cry at the same time haha.”

Chance The Rapper – All Night

“His whole album is amazing and this song is an absolute jam. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, when this song comes on your body just moves to the beat without you knowing it… now THAT is a good song!”

Midnight Pool Party Socials:
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud
Instagram

Primavera Sound Barcelona 2017: The best yet?

 

Last year we exclaimed that “the reputation of Barcelona’s Primavera Sound has grown so much over the last five years that it gets mentioned in the same breath as the UK’s Glastonbury as a festival heavyweight”, could 2017 be the year it surpasses it? Judging by the line-up; quite possibly!

Year after year, Primavera have paired contemporary and culturally relevant artists alongside living legends who paved the way for originality within the music industry and 2017 is looking to be no exception to that rule. Classic festival favourites Arcade Fire, Aphex Twin and Bon Iver tear the stage up at every appearance and we’re sure Primavera Sound 2017 will be no different. Solange, Frank Ocean and The XX arguably released three of the best albums of 2016 and on their merit alone will bring music lovers from across Europe and beyond to Barcelona next May.  That’s all before we even mention that Run The Jewel, Skepta, Flying Lotus and FAULT #23 Alumni Miguel will also be performing. Alongside these contemporaries, festival goers can also bask in the presence of legends Van Morrison and  Grace Jones who have made undeniable contributions to music throughout their respective careers.

Primavera 2017 has one of the most eclectic lineups of the 2017 festival season yet it doesn’t look thrown together; the artists set to perform compliment each other very well and you tell how much consideration went into selecting who could best fit the bill. Of course, it could be argued that Primavera has cast their net out too wide, however that does not strike us as a great negative, quite the opposite in fact. While very different artists, it makes perfect sense that Frank Ocean and Van Morrison could share a common fan base even if they don’t know it yet. The blues and RnB share an intertwined history and Primavera could bring this to the masses.

Read what we thought of Primavera Sound 2016 and find out more about Primavera 2017 at Primaverasound.com

 

The Primavera Sound 2017 full festival tickets in Barcelona cost 175€ until 7th January.

They can be purchased at the following sales points: Ticketmaster, Primavera Sound Portal and La Botiga del Primavera Sound.

Conor Maynard poses for an Exclusive Photoshoot for FAULT Online

Miles Holder

Jacket:Scotch and Soda
Tshirt: Penfield
Jeans: Waven
Boots: Redwing

 

 

 

At just 21 years old Conor Maynard has already scored five top ten singles and a number one album, with massive hits such as ‘Can’t Say No’, ‘Turn Around’ and ‘R U Crazy’ to his name. Since his debut in 2012, which featured the likes of Ne-Yo, Frank Ocean, and Pharrell Williams, Conor has toured with will.i,am and Jason Derulo, all whilst working on his second album, which is due for release this year. Recently he released Talking About, the first track from his sophomore release, featuring Craig David.

We sat down with Conor to discuss childhood icons, changing his sound, break-ups and breaking the mould.

Sweater: Ben Sherman Tshirt: Element Jeans:Waven Boots: Conor’s own

Sweater: Ben Sherman
Tshirt: Element
Jeans:Waven
Boots: Conor’s own

Do you feel that this time you’re writing with a lot more life experience under your belt?

Yeah definitely! First time around, I had only just moved out of my parents’ house, moved to London and it was all happening. This time around, I’ve been through a lot more- I’ve had girlfriends, break-ups, and I think that comes across in the music.

conor-6

Jacket: Scotch & Soda
Top: Our Legacy
Jeans: Waven
Boots: Redwing

Whilst you have been working on this record, you’ve been touring the world. Is the live experience something you really enjoy? 

I always say my favourite aspects of being an artist are a) writing in the studio, and b) performing live. On the one hand, you’re writing this music and you’re the only one who can hear it, sometimes without realising you’re actually writing the next hit single. Then on the other hand, you’re performing a track to a crowd, hearing them sing back lyrics you wrote six months, maybe even a year, ago. It’s a really cool feeling.

What else can we expect from this album?

It’s a very versatile album. Some fans love the upbeat, up-tempo records, but some fans love the stripped-back, acoustic tracks. I think I just want my fans to realise that there will be a real range on this album. I’ve tried to make sure there’s a track for everyone [laughs]

conor-7

Shirt: Our Legacy
Jeans: Waven
Shoes: Conor’s own

Your latest single from the album, Talking About, features Craig David. How did that come about?

I’ve always been a big Craig David fan. Whilst working on this album, there was one day when my manager and I were sitting in the studio and we were almost a bit down because we had all these tracks ready to go, but just didn’t have that one song to really kick things off. Then this song came through and it was just the one!

It was risky because it’s a bit different – it’s house-influenced, it has the drop in it– but we went ahead, I recorded it, and a few days later we heard that he had listened to it and loved it.

Are there any dream collaborators you have in mind for the future?

I’d love to work with John Mayer; it’s quite random I know, but I think his Continuum album is one of the best out there. He comes across as a really cool, down to earth guy so I keep dropping his name in interviews, hoping to make it happen [laughs]

AA

Jacket: Musee Noir
Sweater: Ben Sherman
Jeans: Waven
Boots: Redwing

Finally, what is your FAULT?

Where to begin? [laughs] I guess I can be a bit lazy – I will make excuses to leave the studio early, just because I want to go home and get to bed!

Words: Will Ballantyne-Reid

Photographer: Miles Holder

Fashion Editor: Kristine Kilty @ Lovely Management

Grooming: Amy Brandon @ Lovely Management

Fashion Assistant: Shannon McGrath

FAULT Future: self-proclaimed ‘Super-Pop’ stars AVAN LAVA

AVAN LAVA shot by MIke Brun

AVAN LAVA shot by Mike Brun

As a culture, we’re going through a bit of an awkward phase; from Miley Cyrus‘ tongue (and general state of being) to Lena Dunham‘s sex scenes that never go according to plan, the pop cultural jackpot in 2013 is the balance between awkward and audacious. With their campy pop sound, bizarre dance routines, and ties to Miu Miu and Dior to boot, this is something Avan Lava seem to have mastered.

Self-described as “New York City’s freshest Super-Pop act to come out since Madonna”, the energy of this collective project is impossible to deny. It centres on the figures of Le Chev (producer), Ian Pai (multi-instrumentalist), and TC Hennes (lead vocalist and frontman-extraordinaire.) Andrew Schneider, Drew Citron and Jo Lampert were later introduced into this orbit but it is really Hennes’ power-pop vocals, pulsating energy and endless grind that carry the set. When the lights come down, confetti canons and glowing mic stands announce the band in all their kitsch glory and it is not long before their distinctively New York-sound hits the crowd with heavy synths, disco beats and killer hooks. In no time they are launching into ensemble dance routines that, although strangely gauche, have enough surrealism to get the audience going and cut through any Brooklyn–hipster pretension the band could be falsely accused of.

photo 2

There is a clear 80s influence and Hennes, a peroxide-blonde with a musical theatre background, takes on a persona that fuses Madonna circa ‘Holiday’ with the glam rock that New York made famous. He struts across the stage, engaging the audience from the off and supporting himself with soaring vocals that carry the band’s anthemic tracks; ‘It’s Never Over’ is relentlessly catchy with a chorus that has the entire audience singing along word-for-word upon first listen. ‘Tear It Down’ launches in a similar vein, bordering on teen-bopper but with enough Scissor Sisters-camp to make it feel modern. ‘So F*kt Up’ blends yearning, intimate vocals over a trap-happy beat; capturing the urban shoe-gazer sound of artists like Frank Ocean and Drake. On this track, as on ‘Sisters’, Hennes voice is allowed full exposure and the vulnerability is impressive, producing a sound that feels a lot more current than the consciously “super-pop” sound of other, bigger tracks.

photo 3

The truth is that in the digital age, musicians and bands must be performers above all else and Avan Lava understand this. They combine genuine musical talent with a showmanship that is somehow both highly-stylised and endearingly chaotic. If they conquer the 80s nostalgia that sometimes gets overly referential, they really do have something. Bottom line: it’s been two days and ‘It’s Never Over’ is still stuck in my head.

LOOKING FOR MORE? READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH AVAN LAVA HERE

Words and photography by Will Ballantyne-Reid (unless otherwise stated)

Frank Ocean-Channel Orange Review

 

Frank Ocean-Channel Orange

Since making a splash with his mixtape ‘nostalgia, ULTRA’ last year, Frank Ocean has been going from strength to strength in the RnB music world. Despite gaining critical acclaim as a member of OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) the Odd Future boys failed, as a group, to appeal to a diverse enough market and gain the levels of success Frank Ocean has received from solo releases, ‘Novacane’ and ‘Swim Good.’ It was his solo mixtape that caught the attention of Jay Z & Kanye West and earned him a spot on their album track ‘No Church In the Wild.’ He has even ghost written for stars such as Justin Beiber, John Legend and Beyonce.

His style of RnB isn’t the same as you would expect of the 90s styled practitioners. His music is much more experimental and adventurous.  Laced with artificial sounds and peculiar arrangements, it has allowed him to appeal to many different music audiences with his modern style but still maintain his large following of hard-core RnB fans.

In terms of raw vocal power Ocean’s vocal ability isn’t in any way as strong as other RnB singers such as R. Kelly or The-Dream, but while they have seen a decline in sales in recent years, Ocean has seen his fan base grow.

Recent events have catapulted Frank Ocean into the public eye when he published an open letter on his tumblr airing the story of his unreciprocated first love for another man in his late teen years. The buzz created has been enormous and his name has indeed been everywhere in recent weeks. The brave act, seldom seen in the Hip Hop and RnB worlds, has been widely commended by his peers and fans alike. Here’s hoping that with the release of his new album Channel Orange  his music can become the main talking point of discussion.

Channel Orange is, by all accounts, a debut album. While in no way a master piece, it is filled with plenty of solid tracks and he has commendably not tried to “over pop” his music for the sake of some added sales.

Opening with track ‘Thinking Bout You’ which leaked in July 2011, it is simple in terms of production and vocal performance; however, the message of a man clinging onto a love that can’t last is powerful enough to propel the song into full-on hit status.

While the theme of love has always been present in RnB hits, singing about rejection from the male point of view has rarely ever met the high standards set by Ben E. King with his 1963 version of ‘I Who Have Nothing’.

Tracks like ‘Bad Religion’ and ‘Forest Gump’ truly show the extent of Ocean’s pain. Singing about his conflict with his religion and personal life, the string sections on the track are fitting forthe tone of the song. In ‘Forest Gump’ Ocean exclaims that “I can never make him love me” – and all the glamour and sensualisation of the pronoun is stripped and all that is left is raw pain. The pain felt is not pain exclusive to those of a certain gender or sexuality, but pain that is far too familiar to anyone that has had the misfortune to experience such rejection.

‘Pyramids’ is no less uplifting. While I found myself nodding my head to the beat, on reflection, the lyrics, and hearing him cry out for the woman of the night to stay with him, the stark reality of the song is revealed. Once again, his love is not to be reciprocated and that her love “ain’t free no more.”

‘Sweet Life’ is the stand-out track on this album for me. Another brutally honest track, it was co-written and produced by Pharrell Williams and tells of the pleasures of having money and what it can bring. Sung to a well arranged piano and bass accompaniment, it is a great summer track based around bliss and ignorance at the same time.

‘Super Rich Kids’ is a great follow up. Singing about the poor rich kids who have the misfortune of taking drugs without watchful parents and submissive staff, I didn’t find myself sympathising with the people about whom the track speaks – but perhaps, in the grander scheme of things, we were never supposed to. We can only wonder how it is that Frank can sing with his tongue planted so firmly in his cheek.

‘Pink Matter’, towards the end of the LP, is a wonderful track. With Andre 3000 making such a well-fitting appearance, I could think of no-one better to strengthen this masterpiece of a song.

All in all, I was mildly surprised to find that this album actually lived up to the hype surrounding it. In staunch contrast to modern RnB albums, Ocean set out to tell his story and invites us to bear witness to his unique artistry. The bravery for which everyone is currently applauding him in recent times is nothing compared to the bravery displayed in laying himself bare on this album. Although some of his new found supporters might feel let down by the album for not overly trying to capture the pop crowd, FAULT always commends artists who choose integrity over playing it safe. Although the album is, admittedly, not a masterpiece, it is a glimpse at things to come. As we watch Frank Ocean grow and hone his talent, I can see great things to come for him – and indeed RnB as a previously dwindling genre – in the coming years.

Words:Miles Holder