New Music Friday #75

An insight into my process when I write these blogs: I open Spotify, list out the top ten tracks, make myself a coffee and then come back to write the intro before I press play on the songs. Today, I was so uninspired by just looking at the names and the titles that I took a 20 minute break to shop for bras while I psyched myself up for plugging in my headphones. Bra shopping is number one shopping thing I hate most, by the way. They’re SO expensive. I used to let my mum get them for me, so fun fact, after she died I literally wore the same bras for about three years before I could push down resentment enough to spend my own coin. Apologies for the tangent, just explaining why the blog is late this week. To the matter at hand: who remembers I was doing a podcast? Not fucking me, because I was meant to start season 2 last week and I was working on something else and I forgot completely. I have bitten off a lot this year and it’s like… I can chew it, but… slowly. So yeah, it’s coming back THIS week instead and I have a VERY good guest. In other “me” news, I’m heading to NYC next Friday so your regularly scheduled NMF will likely be late, unless I can be arsed to write from the airport. Please send me your recommendations for my trip, I’m plotting itinerary this evening! If you’ve got a spare penny or pound or two, consider donating to the London LGBTQ Centre fundraiser which is now gunning for its stretch goal of £75k. Stream The 1975 – ‘Give Yourself A Try’, apropos of nothing. And finally, make sure you follow the main 2018 playlist where all the bops are at. Smash your Friday, kids!

ONE ACEN – ‘E I O’ ft. HARDY CAPRIO
I am astounded that this is what is topping the New Music Friday playlist this week, not because it’s bad, but because its so utterly unremarkable. This is the kind of song that plays and no one pays it any mind. A gentle summer vibe that outstays its welcome by the two minute mark. The hook isn’t strong, the verses aren’t clever, but the beat is light and pretty. I was pleasantly bored by it.

JORJA SMITH – ‘GOODBYES’
Jorja covered ‘Man Down’ by Rihanna on Live Lounge this week and in an impossible feat, managed to make it sound like the audio version of watching paint dry. Having a good voice – and it is an exceptionally good voice, she sounds absolutely gorgeous on this track – is not enough, not when the songs are so fucking dull. It’s a clock watch whenever a Jorja Smith song starts, like, when will this be over so I can get on to something with substance? It’s of interest to me that aside from her song on the Black Panther soundtrack, which we won’t count, because it was on a massive soundtrack (word to Charli XCX) the only release of hers doing numbers streaming-wise is the amazing ‘On My Mind’, which is also her only release with a distinguishable chorus and a bit of energy. I cannot imagine what a chore it’s going to be to get through that album today. Godspeed to all who are going to try it.

BECKY HILL – ‘SUNRISE IN THE EAST’ ☑
This is a nice song. Is that a compliment? I like it but I don’t feel strongly about it. Not like I did with ‘Losing’. Justice for fucking ‘Losing’. Seriously. If this song happens to pop off and puts Becky Hill on the map, I demand a re-release of ‘Losing’. It doesn’t even need remixing for 2018, it’s perfect as it is. A classic. I feel like this could be a #1 for Rita Ora, but maybe only a top 20 for Becky? I just really wanna listen to ‘Losing’.

LILY ALLEN – ‘COME ON THEN’
I have never been more unexcited for a Lily Allen record than I have this one. Even poor, disjointed Sheezus had the absolutely incredible ‘Our Time’ before it dropped to fill me with faith. ‘Come On Then’ is the best song I’ve heard so far, it has all the ingredients that make Lily great: cutting, observational lyrics, a synthy soundbed straight out of the pages of It’s Not Me, It’s You and the feeling she has something tangible to push back against. I still don’t care though? Those who have heard have had nothing but good things to say about this album, and my expectations are extremely low, so hopefully I’ll be surprised.

DAN CAPLEN – ‘TROUBLE’ ft. MS. BANKS
Dan Caplen put out a track called ‘Flat Champagne’ last year that featured RAY BLK and was one of my lowkey faves. ‘Trouble’ has a similar “us against the world” vibe to it, but not nearly as much of the natural warmth and chemistry. I honestly felt like there was an entire rom-com contained in ‘Flat Champagne’, but ‘Trouble’ is just a song and Ms. Banks feels misplaced on it.

LYKKE LI – ‘SO SAD SO SEXY’ ☑
I’ve liked so much of the recent Lykke Li stuff and this is no exception. Firstly, the title ‘so sad so sexy’? A big mood. Secondly, this sort of emotionally eviscerating pop that people think Lorde is so good at? Lykke Li is better. A wistful, distant mid-tempo, the title track for this album has me so excited to listen in full later.

LEWIS CAPALDI – ‘TOUGH’
I don’t really understand what Lewis Capaldi is, and who he is for, but let me tell you something: I am so sick of the plodding verse / shouting chorus dynamic of every male singer/songwriter release ever. I’ve got that gif in my mind whenever I have to put myself through yet another song of this ilk: “Can you come up with something else? Can you come up with something else?” Do men know that raising their voice is not a substitute for emotion? If you can’t convey your passion without screaming into the microphone, can I suggest it’s because you don’t actually have any.

THE MANOR – ‘TYSON FURY’ ft. DONAE’O
Well, this is… certainly a song.

KOTA BANKS – ‘FIORENTINO’ ft. CAPO LEE
I’m so fucking bored. Did they even try with the sequencing this week? None of these songs are anything more than a shrug!

THE VAMPS – ‘HAIR TOO LONG’
This song… was released… two months ago. What the fuck is going on? It’s kinda fun I guess, but desperately uninspired. How are The Vamps still a thing, and why are they getting top ten NMF placements with old songs but the infinitely superior 5 Seconds Of Summer are always buried down the bottom of the playlist? Tell Daniel Ek I wanna fight him.

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