So, here we are for another New Music Friday and nothing has changed really EXCEPT THAT I BUZZED MY HAIR OFF AND DYED IT PINK. I was super excited for my new low maintenance look to keep me asleep until like 8am this morning, until I realised I had to be up early regardless to write the reviews before work. Honestly, this is the closest I’ve been to breaking my streak all year. Anyway, today will be my first full day as a freshly sheared and liberated lady who is no longer carrying approximately an extra stone in weight directly on her head and neck. Which is a good point actually – I should really weigh myself now all my hair is gone… Anyways, to soundtrack this new life here are some top picks from today’s new releases and some absolute fucking duds too. (They represent other, lesser buzzcuts.) Listen along to all the tunes discussed HERE.
BIG BOI – ‘MIC JACK’ ft. ADAM LEVINE ☑️
Big Boi is one of my favourite rappers – his work as part of Outkast is masterful and I was obsessed with his first proper solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot – but he hasn’t put out a proper pop bop like this in a long while. ‘Mic Jack’ is basically an 80s R&B track: Adam Levine delivers the kind of funk chorus that is exactly his lane while Big Boi flows luxuriously all over the verses. This track is the first offering from a new album called Boomiverse another track from which, ‘Kill Jill’, is much more recognisably hip hop. All I’m saying is: I’m ready.
CHARLIE PUTH – ‘ATTENTION’
At the beginning of the year, I decided I needed a new messy fave and peripherally began keeping tabs on Bella Thorne, an ex-Disney actress dubbed LIT (LiLo In Training) by the Pop Culture Died in 2000 blog. It was a good decision. In the first month of the year alone, Bella was pictured loving up on Charlie Puth on a beach… problem being she was still dating Tyler Posey? Who had no idea she was loving up on Charlie Puth until the pictures hit the internet… at which point Puth distanced himself from Bella in a tweet announcing “I can’t believe what I’m reading. No one should have their heart messed with like this, and I’m not going to be in the middle of it.” Anyway, the point of all this petty gossip backstory is that this song is just definitely 100% an attempt at a Taylor Swift cash in on that drama, the subject of the song who “just wants attention” is definitely Bella Thorne and Charlie Puth is still a generic, sexless, white boy waste of time who wrote Zara Larsson’s first and only flop. You don’t go here, Puth.
DUA LIPA – ‘LOST IN YOUR LIGHT’ ft. MIGUEL
Look, I just don’t get this chick. This song is so average and boring, I don’t understand why you all care about her so much. This is sitting at the top of the New Music Friday playlist? I don’t get it at all. Good luck to her. Heaven help pop music.
HURTS – ‘BEAUTIFUL ONES’
I have always struggled with Hurts. So many people who have music opinions I respect are big fans of them, and yet with every new release they fail to click with me. This is another failed attempt unfortunately, though it has come the closest so far. It kinda sounds like the middle ground between Bleachers, Imagine Dragons and The Killers but ultimately I would just listen to any one of those acts instead of this.
KEKE PALMER – ‘WIND UP’ ft. QUAVO ☑️
This is like a soft Stefflon Don track, and while I’m not fully convinced Keke is the bad gyal from the islands that her accent on this song suggests, it’s like 100% more convincing than Drake’s patois, so I’m giving her a pass. A straight-forward summer dance bop. It’s not breaking ground, but it is making me wind.
LADY GAGA – ‘THE CURE’ ☑️
I saw a tweet the other day that read “Madonna fans trying to work out which song ‘The Cure’ sounds like” with a gif of some woman freaking out, which kinda made me laugh because of course it’s difficult to pin down which song ‘The Cure’ sounds like. It sounds like everything on pop radio from the past two years. So. Lady Gaga goes generic. It’s new ground for her, I suppose. Even on the last couple of records when I’ve felt like she hasn’t delivered, it still felt like she was somewhat ahead of or at least different to her peers. This recycled Bieber vibe though? Well look, it would be wrong to say ‘The Cure’ isn’t very listenable but thinking bigger – what does this mean for Gaga? Like, as a one-off Coachella single this shit flies but are we really going to let one of the best popstars of our time keep missing the mark? Gaga has needed to pull her shit together since 2012 and everyone keeps blowing smoke up her ass and not cancelling her even when she pulls some jazz nonsense, or makes music videos with sexual predators or goes fucking country. And none of this stuff has been good, you know? Not Gaga standard good, or even just standard standard good. When will she get a rude awakening that leads to a proper revival? Anyway, for what it’s worth I actually enjoy this song, but let it be the last. I can’t stand this trop-pop sound anymore. Julia Michaels is my enemy now.
LANA DEL REY – ‘LUST FOR LIFE’ w/ THE WEEKND ☑️
It was threatening around the Ultraviolence era but something just didn’t align right, and then I missed Honeymoon completely until literally about 3 months ago, but this might finally be it. The album that makes me a Lana Del Rey fan. We’re now two for two on singles I love – this duet with The Weeknd is absolutely gorgeous. They’re such a perfect musical match, aren’t they? Lana in all her evocative, old Hollywood, percocet imagery; Abel, the tortured, numb-faced bad boy… even if they’re just personas it’s just so much more interesting than everyone else trying to be relatable af, isn’t it? Their voices sound absolutely lush together. Love this song.
MØ – ‘NIGHTS WITH YOU’ ☑️
Another undeniable banger from MØ! And just in time for summer she delivers a Sapphic bop that gives previous girl-on-girl anthems by Katy Perry and Demi Lovato a proper run for their money. I mean, “don’t care about your boyfriend waking up alone” is A LYRIC isn’t it? Also love that weird little production bit in the final 30 seconds. Sounds like a pogo stick in a tin can. Smash. All the awards. Can’t wait to hear this at a festival and get off with some chick I barely know.
PARAMORE – ‘HARD TIMES’ ☑️
Has Hayley Williams ended Katy Perry? Like, am I high, or would this have been an absolutely massive #1 for Katy Perry? Probably the perkiest hit ever written about depression, ‘Hard Times’ as mentioned by fucking everyone, owes a lot to Carly Rae Jepsen… like, if we believe that Carly Rae Jepsen has the monopoly on 80s influenced pop songs, I guess. LOL, who am I kidding, she kinda does. That’s fine though. Paramore have been getting progressively more pop since ‘Still Into You’ dropped with that colour explosion of a music video and now the transformation is complete. Hayley Williams is the popstar we’ve been looking for. Song of the week.
SHAWN MENDES – ‘THERE’S NOTHING HOLDIN’ ME BACK’
The joke to be made about “there’s obviously nothing holding back a mediocre white man” is just way too easy, so I won’t make it. Anyway I don’t hate this. I don’t like it that much either, like I’m never gonna listen to it again by choice after this, but I wouldn’t balk if someone told me they enjoyed it. It’s a bit like a DNCE song without the fun.
SIGRID – ‘PLOT TWIST’ ☑️
In a plot twist no one could have seen coming!!!! the new Sigrid song isn’t quite as good as ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’. I’m kidding of course, everyone saw that coming. ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ is the kind of song most artists don’t even get one time in their careers, I wasn’t expecting Sigrid to deliver the same or better on her second single, or maybe even ever again. This is still incredible though? Miles better than the 6 songs placed ahead of it on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist the morning. Sigrid is definitely someone I would like to break out properly over the next year and if she keeps delivering like this I see no reason why she shouldn’t.