I am five days into a week where I have been trying to make good morning habits, get into a proper routine, and I’m pleased to say that’s working out for me much better than I expected. I haven’t spent money on lunch at all this week because I’ve had time to make one at home in the morning (and had a couple cheeky lunch meetings where the money was not on me), I haven’t been late, my crops are flourishing, my skin is clear, my thighs are bruised because I’ve been “working out” (sit ups and squats… and like barely any but its a start) and though I still have a long way to go before I feel like I’m a proper grown up who knows how to look after herself, I’ve made a good start. You can tell from the fact this is gonna go out before 9am that I’m on a roll. Anyways, new releases this week… Big names but no one I really care about? I feel like all I’m doing right now is waiting for the next Normani moment. Can you believe we’re all alive when a new star was born? Speaking of, there’s a Snakehips remix of ‘Love Lies’ I happened upon last night, which is amazing. But yeah, best bits on the playlist as uszh, words about the top ten off of Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist below. I’m hustling all weekend, but I hope y’all have a chill one!
SHAWN MENDES – ‘NERVOUS’ ☑
Co-writer Julia Michaels brings her other schtick to this song (the conversational ‘Bad Liar’ stream of consciousness) and Teddy Geiger adds her penchant for funky Maroon 5-esque choruses for an incredibly listenable hybrid. The Shawn Mendes album is out today and while the singles haven’t exactly set me alight, I’m quite looking forward to hearing it. Not everyday bad boy singers with edge. Somedays very wholesome mama’s boys.
CHVRCHES – ‘GRAFFITI’
I’m not convinced that this song sounds very different from the previous two singles, and I’m not sure whether that indicates the new Chvrches record is due to be an exceptionally cohesive listen, or one idea stretched thin over thirteen tracks. Chvrches lead singer went off on a bad reviewer yesterday, and I didn’t care enough to track down the piece in question to see if she was justified in her ire, and besides I haven’t heard the record yet so how would I know which side I was on? I will say though, that I have always found Chvrches to be a deeply underwhelming act (in comparison to the praise they get), but that thing where there’s a girl! fronting a male band! and she… writes lyrics! and is also pretty!!!!!! has always got certain corners of the music industry hard… and weirdly possessive. I feel like the big play for a more mainstream sound probably upsets those corners in a latently misogynistic way which I won’t get into today because it’s a whole different beast. Anyway, this song, perfectly nice and fine and I look forward to listening to what I still think would have worked better as a new Avril Lavigne album later.
JESSE JAMES SOLOMON – ‘DON’T MAKE ME’ ft. ELIZA
There is a weird lyric about “pheromones” at the top end of this track, weird enough that it hung in the back of my mind for the remaining four minutes, and if I could describe the visualisation of the thought in my brain it would be like big white letters that said PHEROMONES and then loads of red emoji question marks popping up all over it. Anyway, that aside, this is a slow, brooding R&B/hip hop vibe dominated by the soulful hook. Not a playlist vibe, but I’m interested in giving the EP a lil’ spin.
CALL ME LOOP – ‘LOVE THE LIE’ ☑
Loop’s previous release this year was a bit of a surprise bop, and this also goes off. I mean, it is 100% a rejected Rita Ora track and I feel like we’re at the tail end of the latin flavour era of pop, but the influence here is subtle, the chorus is pretty uplifting and Loop’s vocal is so utterly generic you could pretend this is any one of your pop girl faves without making your ears squint too much.
ZAYN – ‘ENTERTAINER’
This is the first time I have been completely unimpressed by a Zayn release. He sounds as bored singing it as I am listening to it. There’s no hook. The lyrics are first draft. The production is GCSE level, I feel like I can hear every part playing at once, nothing meshes. ‘Let Me’ was excellent, I’m not quite sure how things could have taken such a nosedive, unless his old management somehow own everything else he’s recorded and this was one that they didn’t want in the divorce? In that run up to ‘Let Me’ being released where he was putting all his poems and freestyle acoustic vids up on Instagram, I thought he was blowing off some “artistic” steam not making a statement. I know he has excellence in him, I hope this track is just a massive misfire.
AVELINO – ‘SO FINE’ ft. HAILE WSTRN ☑
This is not a Rae Sremmurd track, it is in fact Haile from “wtf happened there” band WSTRN doing an uncanny Swae Lee impression over a bootleg Rae Sremmurd beat. (And can I just take this moment to say if you haven’t checked out SR3MM yet, do so with haste!) Anyway, it sounds like I’m ragging on this, which I am a bit, because how are you gonna bite someone’s style so blatantly??? But I actually like it a lot, because of course I do, I like Rae Sremmurd. If you’re in2 that sparse turn up vibe, you’ll be in2 this too.
JADE BIRD – ‘FURIOUS’
You know what? Not this yawn-some acoustic tripe, not this fucking morning, I don’t have time for this shit and I can’t be fucking arsed. SkippedT!
J BALVIN – ‘CUANDO TÚ QUIERAS’
Right, okay I had to go play some other songs to work out whether that crackling static sound throughout this track was my speakers on the blink, or part of the production. I’m still undecided… is the file a little corrupted? Why would you put what sounds like someone rustling a plasticky sweet wrapper in the mix of your song? It sounds like the mic had a dodgy connection while it was being recorded, or a tiny fly has got stuck between your ear and your earbud and is rustling its nasty little wings right next to your eardrums. It’s utterly intolerable. The song is forgettable too.
EMILY BURNS – ‘CHEAT’ ☑
Having hugely mistaken the intentions behind the first Emily Burns release of this year, believe I am listening to these lyrics with extremely open ears and my heteronormative mind closed for business! ‘Cheat’ is perhaps her best yet? Some proper energy – a good remix and this would go off In The Club – and more of those sarcastic, acerbic lyrics that mask a little bit of proper deep down hurt, this is my favourite song that I’ve heard this morning.
JORJA SMITH – ‘FEBRUARY 3RD’
Just a few weeks from drop date, has there ever been an album release so hugely anticipated and also largely no1curr simultaneously? Who are Jorja Smith fans? There must be lots of them, because her social following is massive, but it’s all very wendywilliams_whydon’tyoubuyhermusic.gif… I think I have an answer to that question though: it could be because the songs are so fucking boring. I feel like people love Jorja’s voice (and it’s a beautiful voice) but don’t care that much for what she’s singing with it. And that’s fair. ‘February 3rd’ is just like… a long shrug. There have been Amy Winehouse comparisons made to this girl, like… are you mad? Amy had something to say, come on now. I wanna root for Jorja I really do, but this vague sketch promise that she might be good, maybe, in the future, is based on industry hype and not receipts because there has barely been a single track I’ve cared about. I hope the album has some hidden gems.