No offence yeah, but if you have enjoyed this snowy weather even the slightest bit, you’re a prick. Yesterday our pipes froze so we had no water. I have slipped and seen my entire, unaccomplished life flash before my eyes on numerous occasions. On the walk back from the station a couple evenings ago, I felt my legs freeze underneath my jeans. I was not built for this weather, since any temperature below 24 degrees is cold to me, and anything causing even a mild inconvenience is the end of the world. Is it too much to ask to go through life warm and obstacle free? And, dare to dream, with some fucking good tunes to soundtrack the way? Last week’s New Music Friday has been my favourite of the year so far – I added 10 whole new tunes to the main 2018 playlist, so that’s the number to beat going forward. I’m not super convinced there’s much of anything out this week, and we’re yet to have a decent album release either (Hayley Kiyoko is still a big four weeks from dropping) so short of Rihanna doing a Beyoncé, we’re struggling for scraps out here. I got blazed with my little brother for the podcast if you fancy listening to me slur, giggle uncontrollably, hit a stride and then fall off the edge in the space of just under an hour. Every time I think of him saying “what’s a Lipa!?!” when I tell him who won British Female at the BRITs I laugh all over again. I’m recording with the galdem this weekend, so do send over some recommendations if you have them. On with this week’s reviews! I pray you stay warm this Friday.
GEORGE EZRA – ‘PRETTY SHINING PEOPLE’
This begins like the kind of music that features in every single credit card advert to reassure you that credit cards are twee and twinkly and good and not a temptation someone with such an irresponsible grasp on her own finances should avoid at all costs. You can also hear similar soundbeds in YouTube videos starring middle-class caucasians on free trips paid for by brands who think influencer marketing is the future, with the aim of convincing you that they are your friend, and not a soulless receptacle of cash in exchange for serving you dead-eyed capitalism with a spon-con teeth whitened smile. It kicks up in the chorus, to something a bit more raucous and sing-a-long, but it’s all a bit nicey-nice for me. George Ezra is completely devoid of any sort of edge, which is absolutely fine, by the way (music needs its squares as much as it needs its envelope pushers) but he’s just not for me at all. I wish him the best with his new album.
MNEK – ‘TONGUE’ ☑️
I wish this song had more of the crashy drums and “licky-la-la” bits that start around the two minute mark. In fact, I wish this song was reworked from the beginning to give me more of everything from the two minute mark, which is so exciting and noisy and heart-filling-with-euphoria that it makes the first half seem a bit limp, comparatively. Still, on balance, this track is probably an 8/10, maybe even an 8.5/9 at the right level of drunk in the right type of club, and having rooted for MNEK since he asked us “do you fuck to this shit?” way back in 2014, I would love for this to be a breakthrough moment. On record though, for the sake of honesty, I would just like to say that I hate the talking chorus. It sounds so much better towards the end when it’s being sung!
NOT3S – ‘SIT BACK DOWN’ ft. MALEEK BERRY
I hear radio only in offices, and I feel like this week the only songs I have ever listened to are ‘My Lover’ and ‘Fine Line’ – both Not3s & Mabel cuts. A formidable pairing. ‘Sit Back Down’ sees Not3s team up with Wizkid signee Maleek Berry for a song that I was pretty ambivalent to until maybe the final 20 seconds when everything suddenly clicked and I could see myself playing this a lot. I think it’s a little too dark for radio to be all over it like they have been with other Not3s tracks – it doesn’t have any sweet little ear candy moments – but it seems like Not3s is established just enough at this point that it’s gonna get airplay anyway.
DIPLO – ‘WORRY NO MORE’ ft. LIL YACHTY & SANTIGOLD
Diplo, like Sia, is the kind of producer/songwriter I am led to believe is a solid hitmaker, but when you excavate the facts, you realise he’s charted like, maybe one song per year. Now in fairness, those songs are usually massive, but also his biggest hits have been in partnership with others – e.g. his Major Lazer and Jack Ü projects – or featuring a huge star e.g. Justin Bieber. So… is Diplo just good PR spin, or what? Credited for the brilliance of M.I.A. and eating good from it ever since? I’m starting to think so… As for ‘Worry No More’, I can’t call it. Something about the Lil Yachty chorus both sits nicely with me and aggravates my brain. It sounds very “on trend” but abrasive somehow. I just can’t decide whether trap with an island flavour works or not.
MIRIAM BRYANT – ‘BLACK CAR’
A #2 hit in Sweden two years ago, this soul-pop number is just now getting a push elsewhere? And in a prime New Music Friday spot too, no less. My instinct is that I like this track – the chorus is strong, I like Miriam’s vocal, it’s percussive and sticky – but maybe it’s the cold weather adding to the chill in the production putting me on edge, but for some reason I really don’t want to listen to this again. I need warmth in my music right now!
MOSS KENA – ‘YOU DON’T KNOW’
I don’t know what a Moss Kena is, so I had a quick google, and I really want to like this because he is absolutely beautiful, and I love to see pretty people succeed. It started off promising, but then the chorus cut in very abruptly and the jarring spun me out for the rest of the track so I ended with a bit of a poor first impression. The vocal explains why initial Moss Kena coverage refers to him as “she” – trust me I was searching for a featured artist credit – but it’s a nice vocal that I would like to hear more of, so I’m inclined to give this one another go. There’s also an EP out today if you fancy it.
LOGIC & MARSHMELLO – ‘EVERYDAY’ ☑️
In like, 18 months time when every song sounds like a Marshmello production and he replaces Julia Michael as my mortal enemy, I’ll deny these reviews ever happened, but wow here we go again – another undeniably good Marshmello track. I think this beat is absolutely wasted on Logic, if I’m honest – he has such an irritating voice and his lyrics are piss poor – but on the other hand, there’s absolutely no way I won’t be gassed up and playing this after completing one 10 minute task over the course of an hour because I kept stopping to pick up my phone. My new “bare minimum” anthem.
ALMA – ‘DANCE FOR ME’ ft. MØ ☑️
I have previously not been able to get down with ALMA – I find her a bit shouty and unpleasant to the ear – but I’m here for this MØ collaboration in a big way. It’s a Charli XCX / Noonie Bao co-write which probably helps proceedings – if you’re gonna get in a studio with a pop writer this year, make it one or both of these girls – and I can see this doing a little bit in the charts if it gets a push. Capital FM should put this on their 8-song playlist and make it a hit.
MOSTACK – ‘WHAT I WANNA’ ☑️
Brenda Russell’s ‘A Little Bit Of Love’ is such a solid gold sample – Big Pun and Ariana Grande have both used it to magnificent effect – and now here comes MoStack to glean a bit of that same shine. ‘What I Wanna’ is a feel good, YOLO jam for those moments when London starts to heat up as summer approaches and I leave my house feeling reckless and good to be alive. A questionable lyric or two – “she so comfy, she even fart around me” kinda pulls you out of the moment – but I will 100% be playing this on repeat and doubly so once the sunshine hits.