What’s that? I’m back at work and pretty much running on adrenaline until tonight where I’m going to get my life to Tove Lo and then promptly die in my sleep of exhaustion but I still managed to wake up an hour early to deliver this New Music Friday to you? Yeah, I’m a fucking hero. It’s short but sweet this week as there aren’t many headline new releases and I don’t really have the time to go rooting for new discoveries. Also please remember that pop’s last hope Zara Larsson has an album out today and yes, this is Ed Sheeran’s world and we just live in it now, but let’s all at least make a push for her to land a top 10, yeah? Anyway, listen along to the songs mentioned HERE and let’s get on with the show.
CLEAN BANDIT – ‘SYMPHONY’ ft. ZARA LARSSON
I know this Clean Bandit single is gonna extend Zara Larsson’s shelf life (after a disastrous fumbling of the ball just one month out of her album release) but I’ll be honest, boys and girls – I don’t love it. If Zara Larsson wasn’t the vocalist, I’m not sure I would ever listen to it again. I just hate this kind of… house music for straight people at festivals sound. I can just smell the chinos and unwashed dirty blonde hair, y’know? Sorry to be contrary.
FRANK OCEAN – ‘CHANEL’ ☑️
This is actually ancient in internet years since it dropped last Friday but late in the day, still it deserves a mention as the “missing” single from Blonde. Frank’s last album is a great listen as a whole, but it lacked a standout ‘Thinkin Bout You’ style moment. ‘Chanel’ is that moment. From its “my guy pretty like a girl / and he got fight stories to tell…” statement opening line to the subtle production that lets his voice take the spotlight, I’m pretty hooked.
G-EAZY & KEHLANI – ‘GOOD LIFE’
Kehlani’s chorus is uplifting, if typically generic, soundtrack fare but the G-Eazy verses drag this track all the way down. A rare instance where I would wish for a rap-free version.
MURA MASA & CHARLI XCX – ‘1 NIGHT’ ☑️
A glitchy little ode to a one night stand, I’d be disappointed if this song didn’t make any impact but since it’s buried in the middle of the New Music Friday playlist (below a Kasabian track and another ‘Shape Of You’ remix) I don’t hold out a hell of a lot of hope. It’s a bop, regardless, though that stop-start production can be slightly anxiety inducing. Makes me feel like my headphones are broken.
TCTS – ‘DO IT LIKE ME (ICY FEET)’ ft. SAGE THE GEMINI & KELIS ☑️
TCTS is another “faceless” producer and yes I am morally opposed to their rise (stars, not songwriters!) but oh man, this is song of the week. The beat, which existed in instrumental form before Sage The Gemini and Kelis contributed their perfectly complementing vocals, bounces in the way that suggests a “do it like me” viral meme is merely a week or two away. Issa hit!
TINASHE – ‘FLAME’ ☑️
Alright… let’s just real talk real quick for a second. This is not a standout Tinashe track by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not even a particularly groundbreaking pop song in general. It is, however, her most “mainstream” sounding track to date and it signifies the fact that Tinashe’s “sell out” era might finally be upon us. I know some people might object to this, but the truth is, Tinashe needs big, dumb hits right now. At this point, I don’t care what it takes for her to make it, so long as she makes it. It’s not entirely a bad thing that I could easily imagine Selena Gomez singing this if she had any type of voice to speak of. It lacks identity but it makes up for it by being a solidly produced, slightly 80s influenced mid-tempo with a universally relatable theme and a earworm chorus. If Tinashe can’t score a hit with this, we’ve completely failed her as a society.