Well, after a landslide of worthwhile new music last week… here comes the dry season, I guess. We’re 25 weeks in to New Music Friday and this is the worst one yet. Even worse than the first one of the year, because at least labels are trying to sneak in some new launches in that quiet January month. Who’s gonna put a massive banger out while everyone’s off their tits in a Glastonbury field? Drake and Clean Bandit with Marina & The Diamonds apparently, but neither of those tracks were on Spotify “at time of writing”. Whatever. I have slept so badly because of the heat this week (the only time it’s been unwelcome) and had some weird ass fucking dreams, so I don’t have time to write about 50 million new songs this morning anyway. A better read this morning might be THIS deep dive into how playlisting works on Spotify. Like, it’s a really deep dive and a long read but an absolutely fascinating one. Meanwhile, follow along with what we’re checking out this week HERE and please tell me if I’m missing out on anything this week that I haven’t heard about.
CEDRIC GERVAIS – ‘SOMEBODY NEW’ ft. LIZA OWEN
I’ve mentioned Liza Owen – ex Dolly Rocker – on New Music Friday before and while that one solo single failed to do anything, here she is featuring on a dance track, as is rite of passage for literally every female pop artist trying to launch in 2017. I mean… god, you’ve heard this song before a hundred times. I can’t believe they keep being written and then given fairly prime playlist real estate. There’s nothing particularly offensive about ‘Somebody New’, in fact it’s one of the better ones, but for some reason this is where my patience has snapped. I could throw my laptop out of the window. Songs like this make me fucking hate music. I’m so BOOOOOOOOORED.
FUSE ODG – ‘WINDOW SEAT’ ☑️
Fuse ODG can sometimes be a master of his genre, and other times he’s like… the Jason Derulo of afrobeat. This is a Jason Derulo moment – which isn’t quite shade, since Derulo has got bops for days – but you know, it’s just a big dumb song (literally an “O-M-G” chant in the closing seconds) and doesn’t necessarily move the needle on the culture dial. Still, there’s energy and spirit and a nice little beat and I feel instantly cheered after that generic Gervais track, so I’m giving ‘Window Seat’ two thumbs up and a spank on the tushy.
GERI HALLIWELL – ‘ANGEL IN CHAINS’
I love Geri, she’s always been my favourite Spice Girl (and one of my all-time fave popstars) and I also love George, one of the greatest male popstars and lovely humans to ever exist. So with respect… I think the both of them deserve better than this song. The dull Radio 2 instrumental, cheesy references to George song titles, all the black & white seriousness. Please. This is a tribute song to a popstar who made a music video about public fucking while dressed as a cop (after he got arrested for public fucking!) from a popstar who made her grand entrance onto the BRITs stage between a giant pair of inflatable legs (after she left the biggest girlband in the world!) They’re both more interesting that this. I’m still waiting for Geri’s ‘Believe’ moment where she unleashes the big gay banger we need and hits #1 for 12 weeks, her Cher-style revival is long overdue and it could have been this moment. Never mind.
GRACE VANDERWAAL – ‘MOONLIGHT’ ☑️
This kid won America’s Got Talent and everyone said she was the new Taylor Swift, as though having the old one wasn’t punishment enough. It’s hard to parse that this kid is only 13 as this could easily be the debut single from some kind of cleaner-cut Halsey type, but this is actually a properly decent song. A bit twee and twinkly, sure, lots of ukulele and shimmer effects, but with a strong chorus and clever lyrics. Really into it.
HAIM – ‘LITTLE OF YOUR LOVE’ ☑️
This HAIM track sounds like a hoedown, and not in the fun, slutdropping way. ‘Little Of Your Love’ is country & western as fuck, even down to the ad-libs in the last 40 seconds that sound like Shania Twain. It’s super fun though, the verses even sound slightly different to the chorus, but nothing I’ve heard from H2 has got me grabbed in the same way I was by tracks like ‘Don’t Save Me’ or ‘The Wire’ from their debut. That said I’m loving the fuller arrangements and harmonies that seem to be characterising this record. It’s nice for all the space to be filled after years of pop songs with sparse production.
PARCELS – ‘OVERNIGHT’
I have never heard of Parcels before this morning when I opened New Music Friday to see them at the top of the playlist. “This sounds like a Daft Punk rip off” I thought as I googled them and then all the headlines said it was a Daft Punk collaboration and that made sense. I don’t hate this, it’s like a very uncool ‘Get Lucky’, but I don’t care about it either. It’s not as good as the Grace Vanderwaal song which is at the very bottom of New Music Friday so what do Spotify know, eh?
RAT BOY – ‘LAIDBACK’ ☑️
Rat Boy is lowkey quite exciting as a prospect, landing somewhere on the spectrum between Mike Skinner’s straight-forward storytelling and Matty Healy’s theatrics wrapped in Blur sonics, which might sound like a horror show to some of you but here’s a secret – pop boys have been more interesting than pop girls for about 5 years now. ‘Laidback’ is a great song, the most mainstream thing Rat Boy has put out so far, with easy guitar riffs and a chill sing-a-long chorus. This is gonna sit very nicely on my summer playlist.
THEOPHILUS LONDON – ‘LISA’ ☑️
This was actually released last week, but it only showed up on my “Release Radar” playlist this week, so there we go. Theophilus London released one of my favourite albums of 2014 and 3 years on, what is he offering up? Well, ‘Lisa’ has been knocking around for years – is this a new trend? Lupe Fiasco recently revived an old mixtape track too – so it’s not all that new, but it’s a vibe. I can’t hear any discernible differences between what just hit Spotify and old YouTube rips of this track so let’s assume it hasn’t been updated. Imagine being able to record a song time ago, release it untouched years later and have it still sound fresh?
WYCLEF JEAN – ‘WHAT HAPPENED TO LOVE’ ft. THE KNOCKS & LUNCHMONEY LEWIS ☑️
This is the more pop of two new Wyclef drops this Friday, and my toes immediately started tapping under my duvet – because I write these blog posts in bed – and made me wanna get up and dance, so it’s safe to say it’s a feel good jam. The chorus reminds me a little bit of ‘Pay My Rent’ by DNCE – the “how can you love me right, love me right” part fits over the “you gave up on it, up on it” bit on this track – and that’s a positive in my book because ‘Pay My Rent’ is a tune. Wyclef’s new album is called Carnival III and I can’t wait to hear this track at carnival, Red Stripe in hand, jerk chicken in tummy, all my friends around me getting live-o. C’mon, summer!