I almost swallowed my tongue this morning as I moved from lying to sitting so fast after reading there was a new LANY single released this morning. Sadly it is just a re-release of their 2015 track ‘ILYSB’ but if you’re not on the LANY train yet, you should give it a listen anyway and get to know. They’re my favourite new band of the past 5 years or so and they’re playing in London in March, you should go. Anyway, onto the actual new releases for the week beginning end of the world…
AARON CARTER – ‘SOONER OR LATER’
This song isn’t actually as terrible as you were probably imagining, but still not really worth a second of your time. I actually just wanted to use this space to mourn my crush on Aaron Carter. In the long-standing tradition of primary school-aged girls crushing on extremely feminine looking primary school-aged boys, 7-year-old me fell hard for Aaron back in the day. I was convinced we would get married because we had the same star sign and the girl in the ‘Crazy Little Party Girl’ video had hair like mine. I guess I’m just feeling nostalgic this morning, because we’re all gonna be dead soon… that’s the only way to explain the weird feeling of grief that swept over me when I read Aaron’s name on the release schedule for this morning.
ARCADE FIRE – ‘I GIVE YOU POWER’ ft. MAVIS STAPLES ☑️
Two “protest” songs of sort in the NMF mix today and this is a strong return from Arcade Fire, their first release in 3 years. ‘I Give You Power’ is a coy warning and a timely reminder: power occurs only by consent, and you can take it away. A small comfort during this significant period of history where Russia basically controls America now.
J. COLE – ‘HIGH FOR HOURS’ ☑️
A depressing listen on any given day but god, especially so on this day, today, did I mention that we’re officially just that little bit closer to impending doom and we’re all gonna die? A rumination on J. Cole’s meeting with the last great President of the United States, Barack Obama, ‘High For Hours’ is a pledge to keep fighting no matter how long change takes, which is an admirable sentiment and really the only sentiment to hold on to right now.
MAGGIE ROGERS – ‘ON + OFF’ ☑️
Maggie Rogers is yet to impress the fuck out of me – certainly I haven’t been moved to tears like Pharrell Williams was – but ‘On + Off’ is the closest I’ve got to caring. It’s a fluttery kinda pulse of a pop song, there’s a hell of a lot of interesting little things happening in the production and it reminds me of Sia without the theatrics. The difficulty I have with so much of “alternative” pop is that it always feels like well-trodden ground – usually folky singer/songwriter rubs some glitter on it well-trodden – and there’s definitely the feeling that I’ve heard this exact song many times before. There’s mad hype for this girl though, and this sits at the top of Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist so expect it to be a hit.
MUNA – ‘CRYING ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR’
MUNA were recently described to me as being like The 1975 but girls which is like the middle of the venn diagram of my musical interests right now, so I was kinda disappointed that I’m not feeling this track? I tracked quickly through their EP though and that sounds much more up my street so I’m not writing them off completely. Expect me to become a stan within the week.
TINIE TEMPAH – ‘TEXT FROM YOUR EX’ ft. TINASHE ☑️
High hopes for this song to be the first smash of the year, and while I would love to say I’m heavily into it… there’s something crucial missing. Neither Tinie or Tinashe stand out vocally, the main conceit of the track – finding out your man is cheating because his “ex” texts you to tell you – feels toothless and underwhelming, and the production is meandering. Given how instant ‘Girls Like’ was last year, perhaps my expectations were too high, but I’m not shattered by this. That said the “I got a text from your ex, boy…” hook is such an earworm, it’s stuck in my head regardless.
WSTRN – ‘ON THE GO’
Am I mad, or did this song come out time ago already? I’m kinda sad about what happened to WSTRN. ‘In2’ was undeniably a 10/10 tune but they never seemed to have anything even 8/10 in the back pocket to follow it up with. ‘On The Go’ is a tired trap facsimile, the hook sounds like something Rae Sremmurd mumbled in their sleep, and has none of the charm or personality of their debut. I’m kinda still rooting for them, but they need to come harder than this if they’re gonna break for real.