New Music Friday #23

Well good fucking morning to you all. How you feeling? Optimistic? Hopeful? Absolutely riddled with schadenfreude? June really is the fucking end of May and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. Corbyn – the absolute BOY – has fucking smashed it, in just 6 weeks he’s smashed it. Can you imagine how much he would have done if his own party weren’t trying to fucking scupper him from the very beginning? As I’m writing this no one has a majority and Corbyn is bookies favourite to be PM so who knows where we’ll end up but the point is the evil has been defeated. I can relax my shoulders a little. In other news, Taylor Swift has just opened her entire discography up to streaming services other than Apple Music… on the day Katy Perry drops the Witness album. I don’t have strong urges to listen to either – I’m honestly nervous and embarrassed to listen to anything more from this KP era – but I may livestream my first listen to Witness tomorrow morning, so watch out for that when you’re hungover on Corbeers and in need of some low-quality entertainment. Anyway, on with the new single releases that you can follow along with HERE.

God I just love The Aces so much. I think they’re gearing up to release an EP and I’ve already played what’s probably gonna be everything on it to the point of saturation (and I’m still not stopping). ‘Touch’ doesn’t feel as polished as ‘Physical’ or as sound as gorgeous as ‘Baby Who’ but it has far more energy than either and drives home that they are very much a band band, like a live one and not  a studio one. Which is a good point actually – when will the UK tour dates come in? I’m so ready to get my life to these new faves.

Look at the artwork for this single. DJ Khaled’s love for his son is the purest thing in music right now and it extends to the material he’s putting out because this song just sounds like people having fun. The way the hooks and refrains are mixed down and distorted give the impression we’re listening to them from outside a sick house party, with only Drake’s verses and Khaled’s exclamations clear and audible. I’m too tired to assign a GCSE level interpretation to what that might symbolise, all I’m saying is that I enjoyed this a lot and I just want DJ Khaled to have everything in life so that sweet Asahd can too.

Jhené Aiko can always be relied on to deliver up a spacious beat with beautiful airy vocals on top and this new release is no exception. ‘While We’re Young’ is a sweet song about loving hard while you have the time to do it, no matter what anyone says. It captures that wild rush from “like” to “love” perfectly and I can’t get enough.

From the second this kicked in I knew I was down with it. Like a balm after Jhené Aiko, the bitter to the sweet, ‘Teenage Fantasy’ explores that other feeling – the one that’s much more familiar – of being infatuated with a boy that isn’t in it the same way. Jorja Smith’s voice is absolute luxury, the soft R&B vibes of the track with her bluesy soul vocals gives me everything I need.

Something about this girl gets me so vexed, and I’ve never heard even one song of hers before right now. I think it’s because her name is so stupid. Like it should be Chelsea Ballerina, right? Kelsea Ballerini seems like a typo. Anyways I see her talked about a lot so I figure she has some type of hype, and I get it. Taylor Swift went pop and the world needs a new basic blonde girl singing about hay bales and falling in love with lipless boys in boat shoes and MAGA hats or whatever it is they sing about. Still, this is schmaltzy and uninspired. At least Taylor writes from a place of spite, y’know? Can’t say she’s boring, whatever else she is (over-rated as a songwriter, thin of vocal, incapable as a dancer, average looking, total snake).

What is wrong with Lost Kings team, please? This is the second absolute banger they’ve released that hasn’t touched the New Music Friday playlist (the first being ‘Quit You’ with Tinashe which you should absolutely hop to if you haven’t already). Ally from Fifth Harmony – the little one – takes care of the vocals and manages to be both distinctive and unremarkable at the same time? I think it’s the layering they’ve done to give her that weird squeaky Miley/Galantis style thing that makes her generic, when her natural tone breaks through she sounds great. Not as good as ‘Quit You’ but it still goes off. Can someone start putting some actual work into Lost Kings now?

Pharrell takes on theme tune duties for the Despicable Me movie franchise for the third time, and this is never going to storm the ‘Happy’ heights, but I like it a lot more. The weird ascending robot voice “yellow light shining down” refrain sets nice pace to build the rest of the song around which is all drum patterns, a touch of funk and Pharrell at the most Skateboard P he’s been in a minute.

What kind of fresh British R&B breeze? This song is absolutely fragrant with the scent of hot pavement, hot skin and relaxed barbecues with the gang. This song is denim cutoffs. This song is a cold tinny in the park. This song is going from A to B in a vest top and not even getting catcalled. A mind your business anthem. Obsessed.

I don’t really like this really very nice piano ballad, though I concede there’s nothing to that other than the fact that I can’t really tolerate Sia’s voice, however I am signal boosting it here regardless because it’s for a good cause (#endHIV) and I think those of you reading will like it more than I do. For the many, not the few, much?

Ella Eyre, once Britain’s great hope for a half-decent popstar… what went wrong? Bad A&R and mismanagement, plus the fact that she gave up Sigma’s smash #1 ‘Changing’ (which she co-wrote) to Paloma Faith, when it could have been wait for it… game-CHANGING for her career. This is not the monster that ‘Changing’ is by any stretch of the imagination, in fact it’s a bit of a basic bop, but it’s got a nice bounce to it. It’s also sitting at the top of the New Music Friday playlist today so it’s gonna get some decent exposure. Ella Eyre revival 2017? Dare to dream kids. Today is the day for it.

Follow my 2017 playlist here…


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