New Music Friday #59

It’s hard to believe now, waking up having pretty much slept through an entire night for the first time in days, but spending Saturday through to Wednesday incredibly ill, I was legitimately concerned I might die this week. It’s so fucking nice not to cough, y’know? I am now only “a bit under the weather” as a concerned middle-aged person might say, so the regular New Music Friday service has not been derailed. Not by me, anyway. This “review the first ten bish-bash-bosh” approach has started to wear on me, since Spotify so regularly highlight absolute fucking bollocks at the very top of the playlist. Of course that leaves the good stuff for the podcast (which is a fun listen this week, I recommend) but the motivation to wake up on a Friday morning and get this done withers on the vine when you look at the playlist before bed and note an abject lack of bops. On the plus side, I get to flex the ol’ snark muscles more regularly than usual. Swings and roundabouts. If there’s anything worth listening to in these ten tracks you’ll find them on this playlist. Sling me your recommendations here. I’m aiming to be fully well for the weekend, so keep me in your prayers and such. Enjoy your Friday, angels!

The instrumental for this track sounds like the sad “before” part of a claymation advert for some transformative product that heals a broken family unit and the lyrics sound like every single DM transcript of a manipulative gaming YouTuber scamming under-age girls for nudes, so I guess what I’m trying to say is, The Chainsmokers are still on-brand for 2018. I’m sorry, but Spotify think this is the first song everyone in search of new music needs to hear today? This is the creme de la creme, the best of the fucking best, the hero song on 16 February 2018? Either the New Music Friday playlist is run by your MCM whose only personality trait is rolling his own cigarettes or someone needs to investigate Big Playlist because something doesn’t add up here.

Disciples in big 2018? Okay. I always thought Disciples were a big deal, but they only had that one hit with Calvin Harris a few years back – and I think we can pinpoint what the driving force behind that success was. There is one lyric to this whole song and it goes “you can lose your mind” which is exactly how I feel after listening to this, so mission accomplished, I guess. I hate music that makes my brain default to showing me the old Windows Media Player visualisations, which is what this track does. It’s a no from me.

This is ‘Body Party’ by Ciara. No, really, it’s a complete reswizzle. A Raye tea! At least Miss Raye is exhuming old forgotten bangers though, ‘Body Party’ is only 5 years old for sobbing aloud. Anyways, I like this as I’m listening to it, but I’m not gonna play it again when ‘Body Party’ exists, are you mad? And let me say this – ‘Body Party’ got to #174 on the UK Charts. If this weaksauce ripoff charts at so much as one place ahead of it, I’m gonna throw hands.

My best friend once said that Muse are only exciting to people who aren’t fans of pop music, because the production of their live concerts would only wow people who haven’t seen even a Katy Perry show. I’ve never forgotten that, so when I see people churn into a froth to praise them, I try not to be too scathing because I know they’re poor and underprivileged types, whose idols don’t usually wash and wear jeans and t-shirts on stage. I actually don’t mind Muse, they have had a couple of bops in the past, but they are also a band that my dad likes and while the select few acts my dad enjoys are usually a mark of quality: Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child, Joss Stone (and, I’m just realising, has my dad been gay this whole time?) I think Muse are the exception that proves the rule. I did a quick google while I was listening to this song I’ve heard them sing 1000 times because the title was a red flag, and yes, it’s apparently about memes. Kind of mad that if Muse were a female band in their 40s they wouldn’t get within sniffing distance of this playlist, but since they’re dudes, their absolute nonsense lyrics like “brain cleansed fractured identity fragments and scattered debris” are spotlighted and allowed to masquerade as enlightened ponderings on the spread of ideas. Ironically this song is every “look up” meme you’ve ever seen.

Everything Is Recorded is a Richard Russell project – he’s the guy who founded the label XL (they brought you Adele, most notably) – but he’s also a producer, and I guess this is a sort of compilation of material recorded with an assortment of different artists over a period of time. ‘Wet Looking Road’ has Giggs on the mic, and honestly, it was such an unremarkable experience, the song had ended before I even realised. I couldn’t even tell you how it went, and I’m not arsed enough to wind it back to hear it again. I can’t believe we’re halfway through and there’s not even one song I like yet.

My grandfather, the legendary Quincy Jones said in his already infamous Vulture interview “the greatest singer in the world cannot save a bad song”, a truth that I have tattooed on my heart in indelible ink. In listening to this track – a kind of sparse, real instrument type recording – I hear a lovely smooth vocal, the kind that would go very nicely on my “songs middle-aged white ladies love” playlist, but a song I couldn’t hum to you after it stops playing. This is the best track I’ve listened to so far this morning, and I still wouldn’t play it again.

I can’t tell whether this song is really good, or just a warm dribble of muddy water in the arid desert of this morning’s NMF experience, but this is the first time I’ve sat up in 20 minutes, so let’s not inspect the details too hard and take it for what it is. ‘Aftershock’ is a basic bop at its most basic and least boppy. Lyrically it doesn’t have a particularly clever twist in the way my current fave basic bop purveyors Astrid S and Madison Beer are so good at landing, and it doesn’t go off in the way that the Nina Nesbitt or the Zedd and Maren Morris track does, putting it firmly at the very bottom of the pile, plus the name “Hannah Lewis” isn’t exactly scoring any excitement points (no offence to any Hannahs reading this). With that said, it might be a grower! And enjoyment has been thin on the ground this morning, so I’m gonna lean into this and hope it grows wings.

I knew New Music Friday was saved the second I heard the opening lyric of this track: “Oh baby, I think it may be that you were always a piece of sh–” I was so over Spanish crossovers last year, but ‘1,2,3’ breaks from that one-note ‘Despacito’ style to deliver firstly, a female vocal in Sofia Reyes who has a lot of personality in her tone, secondly the always reliable for a banger Jason Derulo and thirdly some rapper I would prefer to never hear again, but who didn’t completely undermine the track, so a job well done everyone. I am immediately obsessed with this song. I love one (1) reggaeton bop.

Becky G, who had precisely one minor hit (and I’m being generous with the word hit) four years ago, is still getting work, what a wow. Admittedly I’m still holding a grudge because of that terrible ‘Jenny From The Block’ cover she did, and because she’s a Dr Luke signing, and because she has the sum total of zero star quality, but look, it’s time for me to get over that, and accept that ‘Mad Love’ is a perfectly functional pop song carried by Sean Paul’s inexplicably enduring charisma and the fact that Becky G’s voice could be literally any pop girl’s voice because it has no character or distinguishing features. We love a generic banger!

That ‘Egyptian Luvr’ track from a couple weeks back has been treated to regular spins from me, and based on ‘Charlie Brown’ I would consider myself a Rejjie Snow convert. This track is a cut from the album, which was released from today, featuring every cool rapper’s fave female vocalist of the moment, Anna of the North. Working in a short rap verse between the reworked parts of ‘Steady Song’ by Irish band Republic Of Loose (he’s an Irish dude, is Rejjie), this is such a fun little slice of dreampop with a hip hop twist, that I think a lot of you will really like.



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