Slim pickings this week as we start the wind down until Christmas. This coming Tuesday marks the exact mid-point between Halloween and Christmas Day – traditionally I watch The Nightmare Before Christmas on that evening – and beyond that, for me, is just a birthday I don’t celebrate, so I empathise with this energy saving mode the industry has switched to. I’m also, of course, fresh off the best holiday ever and readjusting to the frigid London air so I gotta be perfectly honest when I say I’m not super receptive to new music at the moment, not when the other option is the cosy comfort of old faves. Still, I am but a servant, and even though I accidentally slept in because I forgot it was Friday and it’s gonna be a little later than usual, I am here reporting for duty on New Music Friday as I have done FORTY-SIX OTHER TIMES PREVIOUSLY this year. Only five more to go before we reset for 2018, an announcement about which is coming in due course! Also look out for a rundown of the new Xmas releases around the middle of next week, and see you at the Gwen Stefani Xmas lights switch on at Westfield if you’re going! This week’s picks are HERE and the new additions, if any, will be added to the main playlist which you can find to follow at the bottom of the page. Laters!
ANITTA & J BALVIN – ‘DOWNTOWN’
Anitta, I have heard it said, is the Next Big Thing but the first time she came onto my radar it was because she was collaborating with Iggy Azalea, the second time it was because she was collaborating with Tyga and the third time it was because she’d done a video directed by Terry Richardson. A truly egregious rap sheet, I’m sure you’ll agree. While I can’t attest to her future success, I can listen to this new release featuring the guy from the Beyoncé track I actually quite like now. ‘Downtown’ is another Spanish-language hit in a year so full of them that 2018 will cancel the Latin Grammys and merge with the main event and see Taylor Swift beaten to Album Of The Year by a label promo disc of ‘Despacito’ remixes. Y’all know I’m over this genre, but this was one of the less derivative tracks I’ve heard this year.
BJÖRK – ‘ARISEN MY SENSES’
I am the most casual Björk fan you could ever imagine, and I haven’t really loved anything since Volta. I haven’t listened to the latest album because the timeline has led me to believe it’s a difficult listen, and since I’m in the holiday blues stage of readjustment to London life, I’m not really best positioned for difficult listens right now. Still, as a first taste, I’m not horrified by ‘Arisen My Senses’ which is very sweet and pretty and evocative of fresh air and nature and such. Not a song you’re gonna listen to in isolation (it’s almost 5 minutes long for a start off) but I feel much more inclined to get on it with the rest of the record now.
CRAIG DAVID – ‘I KNOW YOU’ ft. BASTILLE
What a strange pairing. And a strange song. It sounds a bit like one of those surprise award show collaborations, but like… a song that has been written for that purpose and then couldn’t wait to do the reveal and got the artist on the track instead. Are Bastille covering Coldplay’s maternity leave or something? Look I don’t hate this or anything, but I’ve forgotten how it goes already and Craig David doesn’t sound like Craig David in a weird way, so I’m baffled that it’s topping the playlist this week.
FARRUKO – ‘KRIPPY KUSH’ REMIX ft. NICKI MINAJ, BAD BUNNY, 21 SAVAGE & RVSSIAN ☑️
Firstly, trap music sounds so much better in Spanish. Secondly, Nicki and 21 both put in fun little verses on this remix. Thirdly, that “krippy krippy krippy” hook is gonna stay in my head all damn day. And finally, oh my god, trap music is SO. MUCH. BETTER. in Spanish! I think the rhythm of the language must just lend itself better to the beat. Fave track of the week.
JAMES ARTHUR – ‘NAKED’
Just a heads up because this track is second on the NMF playlist and your chances of letting it play out after the Craig David one is quite high, so I’m just warning you, this song is gonna induce intrusive thoughts of James Arthur being naked. It’s just a piano ballad, so it’s up to you if you wanna take that risk for not much reward. Max Martin produced this but you’d never know it unless you were told.
KEHLANI – ‘ALREADY WON’ ☑️
This Kehlani track sounds like a classic Brandy tune, and it’s perfect. Like there’s nothing more to say about this song, it’s a flaw-free R&B tune and I’m immediately obsessed by it. Between this and the latin-pop revival, I feel like we’re moving out of this period of 90s-influence and into the early noughties, and I for one, am ready.
LITTLE MIX – ‘IS YOUR LOVE ENOUGH?’
It’s Little Mix repack time, and this is the single that’s gonna push it I guess? Saddened not to get another ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ or ‘Power’ style banger, especially since Little Mix already did their reggaeton national service earlier in the year, but I’m sure this will keep the fans happy. *upside down smiley face emoji* Bonus points for correctly punctuating the title.