FIFTY CONSECUTIVE FUCKING REVIEWS! Ladies and gents, a round of applause for me, please. Honestly I am shocked in myself that I have made it this far. And with no plans for stopping! The New Music Friday service will change slightly in the new year, but there will be a housekeeping announcement about that some time after I publish my end of year lists after Christmas. As for that new Christmas music post I’ve been promising… I just haven’t had the time, truly. There are lots of other things going on at the moment, some which can and will be discussed in the near future, and other general “living a full and balanced life” stuff that takes up my time too and I don’t have any gaps to get this done on a reasonable timeline before Christmas. Sorry, I know you’re all ~~devastated!!!!!! Anyways, what I do have is some choice cuts from the release schedule this week and you can listen along to them HERE. The best bits will go into the main 2017 playlist (please scroll to the end and follow it) which will be culled for richer quality at the end of next week. Last working Friday before Christmas for most of us I should think, so have a fucking awesome day everyone.
ANNE-MARIE – ‘THEN’ ☑️
This song would have topped the New Music Friday playlist this week were it not for Ed Sheeran (whose latest collaboration I absolutely refuse to address because it’s low-hanging fruit and I’m running late today). Anyway, it’s placement is well-deserved, I think. A simmering break up song, the chorus is undeniably catchy, the lyrics searingly relatable to anyone who has ever been in orbit of even a very entry-level fuckboy, and despite being a mid-tempo, there’s a groove that makes this easy to move your hips to. Solidly crafted song by an under-rated and, dare I say, fucking slept on, British talent.
BILLIE EILISH – ‘&BURN’ ft. VINCE STAPLES ☑️
Teenage wonder Billie Eilish recruits Vince Staples for her first ever collaboration and it’s another slightly sinister pop track with a rap verse that feels like it was part of the songwriting process and not an afterthought for spins. The striking match sounds punctuating the beat of this track give it such a tense vibe, which I’m into even as my breathing gets ever so slightly more rapid and my brain starts to feel slightly compressed. Any track that can inspire physiological reactions is of course, worth playing and Billie Eilish is someone to get into now before it’s too late to claim spaces on the train and you have to jump on the bandwagon.
BROCKHAMPTON – ‘BOOGIE’ ☑️
This track dropped a couple days ago and is now my 15th most played new track of the year which sent my EOY rankings into a tailspin. You’ll be able to see where it ended up soon enough but as for right now, I have to really push the fact that if you only bother to check out one new song from today it’s this one. Missing from the New Music Friday playlists, an error so egregious I cannot help but feel Spotify’s entire staff should be fired, ‘Boogie’ is a COLOSSAL banger that starts with immediate energy and keeps the same momentum going for just over 3 minutes. It sounds like a Tyler, The Creator song if he gave into his basest N.E.R.D. fanboy urges and crafted an exuberant party tune that is the best of he and them both, but even that’s a kind of lazy comparison. Nathan and Nic described listening to it as the queer equivalent of when straight people hear ’24k Magic’ by Bruno Mars, and as someone who does throw their hands up to that despite myself and also cannot get enough of ‘Boogie’ I have to say I couldn’t put it better than that. Get into it.
BURNA BOY – ‘SEKKLE DOWN’ ft. J HUS
The drums stop this tropical collab from sounding like yet another tropical collab, and I love the way Burna Boy climbs up the melody on the “sekkle, sekkle, sekkle” hook. Massively enjoyed this, but that may well be because J Hus is my new fave and I have heart eyes just listening to him…
CASH CASH & DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL – ‘BELONG’
I am actually embarrassed to like this song, or I would be if I felt any sort of shame about anything whatsoever. Cash Cash and Dashboard Confessional are acts I would never admit to liking unprompted, but when something like this happens – the two of them on the same track! – I’d be forced to out myself as a fan. This sits somewhere between Cash Cash in their new guise as EDM producers and Dashboard Confessional’s over-wrought emo, and is the type of song I have summarily ridiculed without fail all year… but I like this one! Sue me.
LILY ALLEN – ‘TRIGGER BANG’ ft. GIGGS
Giggs is the best part of this track, his low gravel perfectly compliments the beat, which is probably why he opens it, to trick you into thinking it’s good all the way through. I don’t want to say it’s a bad song, it’s a very deft appraisal of Lily’s problems with substance abuse and how her lifestyle and friendships perpetuate toxic behaviour, and whatever you may think of her personally, she’s an extremely talented songwriter. Still, something about this left me cold. If we’re truly approaching a new era of Lily Allen music, I hope for something a little more than this next time.
MGMT – ‘WHEN YOU DIE’
Perhaps the title should have tipped me off, but the lyrics of this song still startled me a little. It’s a real bummer of a song, dressed up in softly jaunty synths, and not my thing at all. Not the way it just killed my vibe like that. Gorgeous production, though.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD – ‘STUCK WITH ME’
More new material from The Neighbourhood? What did I do to deserve? Are they trying to fulfill a contract or something? Whatever the reasons, I’m grateful. ‘Stuck With Me’ isn’t as immediate or pop as last week’s ‘Scary Love’, but the haunting pulse gives me the impression this is the kind of song I’d like to play as I drive down a fairly empty motorway in the dark. I think, anyway, I’ve never driven a car in my life.
PALE WAVES – ‘MY OBSESSION’ ☑️
My favourite new band of the year – and yours too, I should hope – drop yet another glittery goth-pop cut, and I can feel that ‘My Obsession’ is on its way to being my obsession, since I immediately like this more than ‘Television Romance’ and ‘New Years Eve’. Their most “indie teen-movie soundtrack” sounding song so far, the lyrics are darkly earnest and the chorus is expansive and anthemic. What a great fucking band.
RITON & KAH-LO – ‘FAKE ID’ ☑️
This house smash riffs on that old classic ‘The Clapping Song’ and is perfectly paced for strutting, so get it on your earphones this morning on the way into work. Riton & Kah-Lo’s last collab went top 20, and I would hope for the same and better for this, which I like more.
SIGMA – ‘FOREVER’ ft. QUAVO, TINIE TEMPAH, YXNG BANE & SEBASTIAN KOLE ☑️
The match up of US heavyweight Quavo alongside Tinie Tempah and newcomers Yxng Bane and Sebastian Kole was too intriguing for me to resist and I’m glad I didn’t because this really goes off. I can’t nail down exactly what it sounds like – is it a sample? or just a similarity? – but that familiar feeling is endearing me. It sounds like an old school hip hop cut. Not like old school old school but the kind of track that was popular pre-Drake. I dig.
TOVE STYRKE – ‘LIABILITY’ DEMO ☑️
I first became a Tove Styrke fan when she released a cover of ‘…Baby One More Time’ which treated the original with the reverence it deserves, and this rework of Lorde’s most eviscerating track is the same kind of respectful. It doesn’t hit with the same emotional weight as Lorde’s sparse, vocal driven version, but in a way that makes me like it better. Not every day attacked by reminders of my own personality, some days just let them lull in the background.