New Music Friday #13

New Music Friday is into its 13th week… unlucky? Kinda. Mainly because I woke up thinking it was time for new Harry Styles and the Kendrick Lamar album and then realised we’re still a week out from those blessings. There’s goodies to be had though, kids! You can listen along to these songs HERE.

When I was 18, and an in-too-deep Scissor Sisters stan, I read an interview with Jake Shears where he said the test of a great song was whether it would sound just as good sung acoustically around a campfire as it does in its fully produced form. I had the misfortune to see this song performed in just such a way (sans campfire) a couple of weeks ago and now I can say with confidence that this song is drivel no matter what. Can you believe, in the 2017th year of our Lord and Saviour, that Pixie Lott is still releasing music? What an utterly fucking shambolic state of affairs.

For me, Becky Hill will constantly be trying to outrun the spectre of ‘Losing’, one of the greatest pop songs of this decade. ‘Rude Love’ isn’t as good as ‘Losing’ but it’s definitely close. The layered vocals swelling and breaking give this track an epic “X Factor final” feel and although it has some of the more obvious MNEK fingerprints and hallmarks – disembodied echoes and quirks in the production, runs for days – it definitely sounds more like Becky Hill than an MNEK cover song. Amazing, basically.

Bleachers are very not on my radar, except for that rework of their last album featuring a whole host of incredible female talent. Still, I know Jack Antonoff had his hands in making that great new Lorde single so I hit play on this one, and indeed was shooketh by how much like a Lorde song it sounded. Imagine my surprise when Lorde herself appears on the middle 8! At least it sounds like Lorde – she isn’t credited and so I can’t confirm. This song is really good though, like a less interesting ‘Green Light’, but worth a listen nonetheless.

God, I love Calvin Harris’s new direction so much. What an absolute vibe this song is. Not even that awfully harassing intro reminding me of how stressful it is to walk home through the park can throw me off. Like ‘Slide’ before it, ‘Heatstroke’ invokes luxury and summer with its smooth af production. Young Thug elevates the sweetness and light of Pharrell’s falsetto and Ariana’s pretty trilling by injecting a bit of a punch into proceedings and it results in the perfect by the pool, or cruising in the car, or chilling in the park with good friends and an ice cream tune. I wanna kiss a boy to this song to be honest, readers. It’s that kind of mood.

Demi Lovato is like… a B-list artist, right? She’s never had the hits or the success of a Miley or a Katy but she can confidently debut albums within the top 3 of the charts. Which is why all her collaborations have baffled me for their distinctly D-(and below)-list nature. Cheat Codes is another of those low rent acts, and this is an obvious snatch for a Chainsmokers style mega-hit. The question is, why Demi? The one thing she has on her peers is the fact that she really and truly can fucking sing yet on ‘No Promises’ there’s no indication that she has anymore chops than whisper-vocalled chanteuse Selena Gomez. It’s a waste, and the song is average and derivative. Drop me out.

Frankmusik has just never been as good as he thinks he is, has he? 3/10.

I lowkey have a soft spot for Jay Sean – his first two albums are an excellent collection of homegrown Desi influenced R&B. Unfortunately his brief streak of success in the US (almost 10 years ago now!) has stripped him of all the character he had and ‘Do You Love Me’ sounds like a bad Jason Derulo album track. Come home, Jay.

Kendrick came out to murder us all in 2017. There’s no point in getting our shit together before April 7th, since we’re all gonna be dead. ‘HUMBLE.’ This Mike-WiLL beat is best enjoyed with the video. I barely have words. We are living in the age of greatness.

I do think Leah McFall’s career is a shame, since she obviously has a fantastic voice, but she’s not a star is she? She just doesn’t have that quality, and it shows in her songs, which are always distinctly average. And that’s generous considering it’s only because her vocals are so exemplary that the tracks are rescued from being so thoroughly boring. ‘Colours At A Funeral’ is so incredibly maudlin I feel bummed out after listening to it, and I just don’t think that’s what music is meant to do, to be honest. There’s a little plot twist in the final minute where the instrumental gets a little more flourishing, but yeah. Just miserable. Miss this one tbh.

Too down-tempo to be a bop. Not down-tempo enough to be a Sunday morning soother. Where does this song fit? Drake does his usual bit but it’s a bit stop-me-if-you’ve-heard-this-before. Which I did. Couldn’t make it to the end. I think what the world did not need was a new Wizkid and Drake collaboration. Not just yet anyway.

Follow my 2017 playlist here…


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