In just a few weeks time I’ll be writing these updates from my new house, where the bathroom doesn’t flood when it rains and there isn’t four holes smashed through the wall and a crack running all the way up to my ceiling and I don’t fear dying in my sleep because it’s completely caved in on me. That’s what’s keeping me going at the moment, since my sleep is erratic and so is my mood. Hopefully today’s bunch of new releases will bring me, and you, some joy. Listen along to the picks for this week HERE.
A$AP MOB – ‘FEELS SO GOOD’
Rocky, Ferg, Nast, Ant and Twelvyy show up for this laundry list of luxury lifestyle checkpoints over a mellow, hovering beat. I’m not sure I’m interested in repeat listens to this as a standalone but within the context of the upcoming new mixtape, I’m totally happy to hear it again.
ALY & AJ – ‘TAKE ME’ ☑️
Ten years (!) after their last album Insomniatic (that weird ‘Hothouse’ single under the name 78violet that sounded like The Pierces doesn’t count) sibling duo Aly & AJ return with this 80s west coast garage band bop about boys that never make a move. A solid return, if a little derivative, but the hazy cassette vibe will fit perfectly on my summer playlist for that late last hour of sunshine at the end of the day.
CNCO & LITTLE MIX – ‘REGGAETÓN LENTO’ REMIX
Usually Friday morning is the first time I’m hearing new music, but I peeked on this Little Mix one yesterday afternoon and on second play right now I remain completely unmoved. Two Syco properties created from TV shows link up to jump onto a trend so late even Matt Terry has done it already and I’m supposed to feel all the excitement and spontaneous joy of natural, artistic collaboration? Look even without the cynicism here, I just hate this ‘Despacito’ summer. It’s so dispassionate and placid. When will the bombs drop and spare me from this?
ECHOSMITH – ‘FUTURE ME’
I loved the first Echosmith single from this new era, but this one misses the mark a little – it feels like I’ve heard it a million times before. There’s nothing actually wrong with it, per se – it’s a bright, uplifting indie-rock anthem with a dancey twist about being the person you want to be – but it has an air of travel YouTuber background music about it that makes it sound cheap. Still looking forward to the album, but giving this one a miss for today.
GRIM SICKERS – ‘OPEN THE TILL’ ft. GHETTS & THE DARKER THE SHADOW, THE BRIGHTER THE LIGHT ☑️
The ‘Kane’ remix with Jme has unexpectedly turned out to be one of my favourite songs of the year, and ‘Open The Till’ follows that same theme of having a heavily catchy beat while lyrically just touching on the silly. Ghetts, who has been killing his guest spots recently, and Mike Skinner under his new moniker, provide back up, but it’s Sickers verse that shines.
JUSTIN BIEBER – ‘FRIENDS’ w/ BLOODPOP
This song sounds like if Carly Rae Jepsen or Robyn wasted an incredible beat on a lazy topline – as a result, it’s not unlikable but there’s also very little to care about. Another completely linear pop song with no rise and fall, no hook, no clever lyrical conceit. Just a by the numbers response to the “will it stream?” brief. But to think that if Carly or Robyn had got their hands on this, my heart would be in pieces, my soul would have departed my body and I would have spent the whole day in my feelings about staying friends with past hook ups… it’s just such a tragedy. At the very least they’d have written it a decent chorus.
MAISIE PETERS – ‘PLACE WE WERE MADE’
Despite never having heard of this chick before, I whacked this onto the playlist because I was low on tracks this week and it was third on NMF so I figured it might be worth a spin. Listen, the first clue should have been the name “Maisie Peters” but literally in the first second I realised I made a mistake. “White girl in tea dress with guitar” is my second least favourite genre of music after “white man with guitar sometimes wearing some sort of hat”. I just wish I was dead. You know exactly how this song goes – acoustic guitar plays that standard oatmeal tune and the girl sings over the top in an overly descriptive way and an unpleasantly affected tone about something completely fucking mundane and men, and girls who aren’t like other girls!, LOSE THEIR MINDS. I wish for death.
MILEY CYRUS – ‘YOUNGER NOW’
Wow, this Miley era really isn’t much of a thing, is it? I have seen zero hype in the run up to this track – it’s not on the NMF playlist, it could very easily have passed me by completely. ‘Younger Now’ seems to address “the Old Miley” as she continues to distance herself from her opportunistic, appropriating former persona, even going so far as to put a baby photo on the single cover as though we need further convincing she’s back to being the Hannah Montana we first fell in love with. The tea? She sounds awful on the chorus and no one’s fucking fooled. This album is gonna be so dull.
PALE WAVES – ‘TELEVISION ROMANCE’ ☑️
It’s been 6 months since ‘There’s A Honey’ and I was actually getting anxious for new music, so I’m fully living for this right now. This drawn out effect has given me enough distance from the first single to be hungry for me, but not so long that I’ve given up and moved on. Well played. Anyway, as for the song itself… melodically it has a touch of ‘There’s A Honey’ in there, but production wise it sounds slightly harsher – where the first single was smooth and sweet, this track has sharp edges and a harsh aftertaste. Given that thematically they’re two sides of the same coin – ‘There’s A Honey’ about being too invested in someone, ‘Television Romance’ about someone being too invested in you – it kinda makes sense. I’m super into this and already jonesing for more.
RACHEL PLATTEN – ‘BROKEN GLASS’
The singer of ‘White Song’ – excuse me, ‘Fight Song’ – is back to convince us all that she’s a victim of… something, ANYTHING. That like, despite the fact she’s had a career in music for almost 15 years, had a top 10 hit and a top 5, gold selling album, somehow she’s still being kept down and struggling against the odds? The entitlement oozes out of every insipid war cry on this boring song.
YXNG BANE – ‘RIHANNA’ ☑️
Yxng Bane searches for a girl who’s bad like Rihanna on this relaxed dancehall groove which I’m mostly into because it’s called ‘Rihanna’ if I’m perfectly honest with you all. Because really, isn’t that we’re all looking for? Whether it’s inside ourselves or in a lover, we all want a girl who’s bad like Rihanna right? This slyly goes off though, not to do it a disservice, it’s not all about the title. If you like J.Hus or MoStack you’ll like this.