This is probably the shortest New Music Friday since I started this routine, but I am off to Stockholm tomorrow and I kinda need this morning to do some life admin like put a wash on and sort through my wardrobe to curate The Looks I will be wearing for my Swedish excursion. It’s also Instant Grat heavy, and believe when I say it is killing me not to listen to new LANY, or new Paramore and even new Halsey which has been getting good reviews, but it will all serve me much better when their albums drop and I haven’t heard 50% of it ahead of time. So let’s power through the songs I am listening to HERE and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom and follow my main 2017 playlist where anything good is added forever.
EMILY WARREN – ‘HURT BY YOU’
Emily Warren is a singer/songwriter and part of the creation of songs like that recent Noah Cyrus single, ‘No More Sad Songs’ by Little Mix (aka, a song only Gay Pop Twitter could think was worth releasing), and a whole bunch of other album cuts. She’s also the vocal on a number of tracks by The Chainsmokers. I don’t know who on earth is checking for this chick outside of the studio, but here she is like every Julia, Bebe and Bonnie putting out a single and y’know. It’s fine. A complete waste of money, but fine. File under: Skylar Grey 2017.
GALANTIS – ‘HUNTER’
This is a little more subdued than you might expect from Galantis, much more chill than their usual high energy offerings. What I like about this track is how the beat actually does feel kind of predatory, which is highly appropriate for a song called ‘Hunter’. There’s also an interesting twist on the production in the final 20 seconds or so which stops the track from being one-note and whoever is on the vocals has a tone that is familiar enough to be comforting but different enough to not be generic. It’s not obvious, but I reckon this one is a grower.
HAIM – ‘WANT YOU BACK’ ☑️
That. is. more. fucking. like it. Why didn’t they come back with this last week? HAIM’s first proper single from their sophomore record is a layered 80s-style mid-tempo in the vein of their previous material but incorporating just enough 2017 production flourishes across the mix to make it fresh and now. The musicality is exemplar – a HAIM bugbear is how they are not taken seriously as musicians – and while this feels like a natural progression, I kinda wish they’d worked out how to write a hook in their time away. Still, I’m into this a lot. I’m breathing easier about the album.
HEY CHARLIE – ‘HEY’ ☑️
I literally only gave this a spin because Peter “Popjustice” Robinson linked to it off the back of his (really good) article about “hey!” as a pop songwriting device, and I know nothing about this band other than they should be on the soundtrack to a teen movie from the 90s with ‘Hey!’, a song that’s grungy but sexy, a mean girls walk through a houseparty with all eyes on them type of affair. Their Facebook page tells me they share management with Years & Years so expect them popping up in a support slot near you.
LIZA OWEN – ‘DON’T CALL ME BABY’
Do you remember The Dolly Rockers? A late 2000s/early 2010s girlband that failed to launch, though they should have, none of the original members are involved in music anymore, but you might recognise “Liza Owen” as Daniele, who replaced Brooke in The Dolly Rockers line up after she was booted out for being too lairy. I can’t hate ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’, I would even go so far as to describe it as “somewhat of a bop” but god I’m so tired of this semi-Chainsmokers sound. So fucking tired. I say it every single week and I’m tired of saying it too. Anyway, this is placed quite high on the New Music Friday playlist so I’ll be interested to see how it plays out for Liza…
NIALL HORAN – ‘SLOW HANDS’ ☑️
Excuse me, what is this? An almost banger from baby Niall Horan of One Direction fame? Who would ever have imagined! ‘Slow Hands’ is acoustic and mellow, but with enough drive in the production to give it some welly. It’s actually sexy? Sorry, I’m writing this one as the song plays for the first time and keep getting surprised by it. Niall Horan. What a dark horse. Tell you what, Nick Jonas should study every single note and lyric of this song, because this is exactly where he should be as an artist.
SIGRID – ‘FAKE FRIENDS’ ☑️
God I love this kind of millennial angst song. Though, I suppose having fake friends is pretty much a universal feeling of despair… Still, the way Sigrid performs the hell out of this song taps into my psyche specifically, that little well of wondering why the hell you bother with people who don’t bother with you, and the freeing realisation that actually – you don’t have to! You can just not bother with them either! “MIGHT AS WELL SHUT DOWN!” Sigrid hollers in the chorus and my heart screams back “YES! SHUT IT ALL THE FUCK DOWN!” Huh. I thought I was out of my feelings about this. Anyways, 10/10 tune would listen again.