I wrote last week’s New Music Friday in London, which accounts for the maudlin, defeatist tone – it’s hard to be optimistic about the state of the world when you told your landlord three months ago that the wifi is slower than dial-up and the shower either boils or freezes you in intervals, never mind just enjoy some new tunes. Last week’s offering of new music was also pretty meagre, which is the other reason I sounded so miserable about everything. This week however, I am ensconced in my father’s home, where the hot water never runs out and I don’t have to cook for myself. So I’m feeling slightly more chipper. Expect (mostly) positivity.
GOLDFRAPP – ‘ANYMORE’
Goldfrapp’s more alternative material isn’t really for me (I have only ever LOVED the Headfirst album which was pop af) but their new single sits more in that mainstream lane without compromising on their more experimental tendencies. My main disappointment is how long it takes to build into a climax, but it does go off from about 2.5mins in onwards. A strong return and while I’m not keen on this past a couple of listens I wouldn’t skip it should it pop up on shuffle.
JAMES BLUNT – ‘LOVE ME BETTER’
I don’t think James Blunt is funny on twitter. His “lol look I’m RT-ing the hate and OWNING the perpetrator” brand of bants is unimpressive, and the fact that it informs the whole first verse of this song (and the bridge!) is enough to make my stomach churn. Anyway haven’t we heard this song before? It’s like all the most boring bits of Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, tied together by what is still the most nasal vocal in pop.
JAMIROQUAI – ‘AUTOMATON’ ☑️
Last week I screamed out to be surprised by pop music, and it looks like Jamiroquai heard me. ‘Automaton’ sounds like the background music to a space-themed arcade game or the opening music to a 70s sci-fi B movie and it doesn’t do anything you expect it to. As such it’s difficult to get your head around and is in no way an instant click, but that’s exactly the appeal. It’s so nice to hear a song you can’t predict when every single top 40 hit right now follows the exact same formula.
KEYSHIA COLE – ‘YOU’ ft. REMY MA & FRENCH MONTANA ☑️
Keyshia Cole’s latest kiss off doesn’t break new ground but it does have a Remy Ma verse and that’s enough for me to have it up on my playlist for the year.
LOST KINGS – ‘QUIT YOU’ ft. TINASHE ☑️
Another week, another Tinashe feature. This Lost Kings track absolutely bulldozes the Tinie track from last Friday – the verses have got heart and the chorus is massive. It’s weirdly absent from the New Music Friday playlist on Spotify which is going to hobble it no doubt so if there’s one song this week that you need to make sure you talk about, it’s this one. Tell your friends this collaboration is a smash.
MAJOR LAZER – ‘RUN UP’ ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR & NICKI MINAJ ☑️
I know I literally just complained about formulaic songs, but I’m still not sick of the dancehall trend, especially not when in the hands of Major Lazer who are particularly adroit within the genre. ‘Run Up’ boasts a run up from Nicki Minaj who, across 24 bars, talks about everything from her spaghetti sauce recipe to the fact she’s about to drop another album(!) while PARTYNEXTDOOR provides smoky vocals on the verses and chorus. A bop.
MARTIN GARRIX – ‘SCARED TO BE LONELY’ ft. DUA LIPA
As if people are still doing those country fiddle breakdowns in dance music in 2017! Sounds big but boring. How many times will dance producers get to release the same song with a different indistinguishable female vocal on before we say “enough”? Miss me with this one.
MISSY ELLIOTT – ‘I’M BETTER’ ft. LAMB
I’m excited to have new Missy Elliott music, I just wish this track was stronger. The beat is kinda dated and there’s no hook to speak of. Of course the video is perfection though, Missy has always been a master of the visual. And when is she gonna make a proper go of it anyways? Feels like she’s been dipping her toes and dripping out the odd single for time. Let’s go, new album Missy!
NELLY FURTADO – ‘COLD HARD TRUTH’ ☑️
Hands down, landslide, no competition my favourite new release of the week. Nelly Furtado is probably one of pop music’s most versatile talents – look how she switched it up so effortlessly from folk to R&B to this synth-funk jam. I’m obsessed. ‘Cold Hard Truth’ is a fierce, strutting slice of pop, punctuated by some seriously sassy drum fills. I hope it leads to a revival for Nelly – she is so long overdue a massive comeback.
RAG ‘N’ BONE MAN – ‘SKIN’
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I can’t believe we gave this guy a Brit Award already. White people are so easily suckered in by a gravel toned voice lmao. In case you haven’t realised, I think this song is a waste of fucking time and money.
ZARA LARSSON – ‘SO GOOD’ ☑️
Zara’s first mis-fire isn’t a mistake enough to bomb, and there’s no denying ‘So Good’ has an easy, breezy charm, but this is definitely album cut material, not single strength. It’s clearly a statement – Charlie Puth co-write and a Ty Dolla Sign feature – that says “we’re coming for America” and as others have pointed out it sounds a lot like Ariana Grande’s ‘The Way’ which was indeed a top 10 hit… 3 years ago. I’m not disappointed by this so much as I’m apathetic; it sounds nice enough – her vocal is lovely – and there’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it doesn’t smash like ‘Lush Life’ or even persistently grow in the way ‘I Would Like’ did. Hopefully it drives up the chart regardless – there isn’t room for a stall in momentum this close to album release.