New Music Friday #79

Y’all, I feel like every week now I’m like “I know, I haven’t done the things, but I’m gonna do the things this week!!!” and like… I’m just sick of lying because I don’t actually know when I’m gonna do the things. I’m so busy! Why does this happen? Why do I keep on piling up my plate? I was meant to go to a gig last night and had to cancel last minute… after telling two other people to get tickets! I looked like a flop, but I had shit to do, and if I had gone to the gig I wouldn’t have done it. Ugh, I can’t wait for the weekend to hit even though it’s gonna be Pride and I’m gonna be shattered. Anyways, I’m gonna do the things but I don’t know when yet. That’s honest. In the meantime, I read an article recently that suggested the first 15 slots on the New Music Friday playlist are the slots that can actually affect the trajectory of a single, and I reckon next week I might start reviewing the first 15 rather than the first 10… I was maybe gonna start this week, but I looked at the additional 5 tracks and wanted to commit!!! Let’s get into it, best tracks on the main playlist as usual (that I am actually updating today). Have a very proud weekend, everyone! Smack a homophobe x

RAYE – ‘FRIENDS’ ☑
We’ll look at the song in a second, but let’s just consider the lyrical theme first – there’s like, a very weird arrogance attached to the idea that if a girl doesn’t get on with another girl, it’s some sort of breakdown in solidarity. “What’s up with all the girl hate girl shit?” Raye, my good sis, have you ever considered that some people might just think you’re a prick? Not me, by the way! I very much like Raye, as much as you can like someone you don’t know, but it always just… unsettles me, the notion that women have to like other women just because they’re women. I get on with plenty of girls and there are also girls I can’t stand (and vice versa) and it’s nothing to do with being girls it’s just that sometimes people are fundamentally incompatible? Anyways, the fact that the words of this song irritate me aside, ‘Friends’ is actually a solid little dancey number, it doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard a million times already this year, and it doesn’t sample a song from the not-so distant past I already like. This is a Raye song I enjoy on its own merits!

YEARS & YEARS – ‘KARMA’
This song has a strong heterosexual energy, and I say this only because I can easily imagine another Olly (Murs) singing it with absolutely no exertion of my mind. This song gives me Britain’s Got Talent, it gives me shiny suits, it gives me mums who love Michael Bublé. It’s kinda cheesy, and easily the least interesting track from the Year & Years campaign so far, but I don’t dislike it so much as I feel like they’re capable of sounding luxurious and this just sounds cheap. The album is out today though, and I am massively excited for it, especially because it’s being released on cassette which is my current fave format (I know, I’m a wanker!) I hope there’s lots more songs that sound like ‘Sanctify’ which was unfairly slept on by everyone.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – ‘SOULMATE’
I still like Justin Timberlake (don’t @ me) and I’m gonna be seeing him live next week, but… he’s just lost his way really hasn’t he? This song sounds like a Drake off cut (and checking the credits it was indeed produced by the guy behind ‘Hotline Bling’ and ‘One Dance’) and I don’t think its necessarily a horrible song, it’s just not great, and whatever you may feel about Justin, he released two really fucking great albums (and ‘Mirrors’). I’m also thrown by how flat and detached his vocal sounds – how can I be arsed about this song when Justin isn’t? It’s weird how everyone wanted him to stop doing films and come back to music and then that happened and it’s like… maybe just go back to films, bruh, because this ain’t it.

CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS – ‘DOESN’T MATTER’ ☑
I don’t know that this sizzles and snaps in the same way as ‘Girlfriend’, it’s much more down tempo and hypnotising (although it picks up into a bigger, brighter song about 2.5 minutes in), but I like it a lot regardless. It’s very HAIM, vocally (and lyrically too, perhaps) the way the topline kinda hydroplanes over the funk of the instrumentation in that stream of consciousness way that HAIM are so good at. Of course this is how HAIM ended up lacking in good choruses, and I don’t think this track has a good chorus either, but as a vibe, I’m into it.

BLONDE – ‘ME, MYSELF & I’ ft. BRYN CHRISTOPHER
House music is just as insidiously homogenous as white male guitar music and acoustic nature girl music and I’m absolutely sick of it.

BIG NARSTIE – ‘HELLO HI 2’ ft. ED SHEERAN
Ed Sheeran is rapping :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

TOM GRENNAN – ‘ABOARD’
This starts off promisingly sounding like a Zayn led One Direction track before turning down that extremely predictable path of firing up the horn section and STAAAAAARRRRRRTING TO SHOUT IN THE CHORUS!!!!!! Do these men know they’re making the same song over and over again? Do the A&R team know?? Do the public know??? This is a form of gaslighting.

CRAZY COUSINZ – ‘FEELINGS (WIFEY)’ ft. YUNGEN & M.O. ☑
My instinct is to dismiss this generic summer banger, but there’s equally something about it that’s very hooky. It’s gonna sit super nicely on my playlist next to ‘Vroom’ by Yxng Bane and ‘Darth Vader’ by J Hus. Yungen provides personality on the verses and I-can’t-believe-they’re-still-signed girlband M.O. do a perfectly acceptable job on the chorus, but being real, that female feature could have been any of the light skinned Polydor lot and would you necessarily have been able to tell the difference?

STUDIO BLACK – ‘FRIENDS DON’T KISS FRIENDS’ ft. EMILY BURNS ☑
Emily Burns has proven to be the most capable breakout pop girl of the year, routinely hitting the mark with melody and lyrics, observant with precision and always a little jaded. I would consider myself a fan at this point, so I’m tracking her career with interest. This track is a collaboration with… well, it’s kinda hard to pinpoint, since the credits are a mess – seems like everyone wanted a slice of this, and of course they did because it’s a well-crafted pop song about friendships with the lines blurred. Regardless of who gets what credit, this has Emily Burns’ fingerprints all over it, and makes her three for three on brilliant singles so far.

MELLAH – ‘NUMB’
Oh, this is just not my bag is it. Good luck to whoever enjoys this!

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