Good morning and happy Sweetener day! The dream was to record the podcast special late last night so it would be ready for the morning but since that album didn’t fucking leak until literally about half 10, at which point I had taken a sleeping pill so potent that by the time I had replied to the message Ellis sent me, I had literally fallen asleep (I woke up with my contact lenses still in!) so the new plan is to record this morning instead. Eyes peeled for that, kids. Meanwhile, fingers crossed that there’s a better offering of music on the playlist this week since last week was a fucking wasteland of mediocrity. Best picks added here, Ariana Grande themed podcast episode coming soon, and if any of you are in Manchester for the legendary Miss Britney Spears on Saturday, I’ll see you there.
CALVIN HARRIS – ‘PROMISES’ w/ SAM SMITH
Sam Smith, for all I find him dull as fucking ditchwater on his lead material, has a lovely clear vocal and it is at its best when he takes on more uptempo beats – ‘Omen’, for example, is actually a bit of a classic when I think about it. You know what though? This is not the fucking one. It’s boring. Calvin Harris is boring. He’s been boring for time. When I think about Calvin Harris, I think about that video of football fans singing ‘One Kiss’ – one of the most tuneless and local songs to ever exist. Calvin could take first, second and third biggest selling songs of the year in 2018 – like it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if he did – and they would still be fucking boring. BORING!!!!!
JESS GLYNNE – ‘ALL I AM’
Speaking of boring, here she comes, Miss Middle England. I can’t believe this has the same chorus as every song she’s ever released! LOLjk, of course I can. Nah, honestly, I look forward to this being number 1 for three weeks. These are turbulent times, I understand the need to cling to something consistent and unthreatening. That line about freckles is fucking egregious though.
THE 1975 – ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ ☑
Thank fucking god for The 1975. Don’t you think it’s interesting that Matty gets accused of nepotism because his parents are actors, but just for example, Jess Glynne’s mum worked for Atlantic which coincidentally is where the good sis is signed and no one ever accuses Jess Glynne of milking connections to get ahead even though her connections are probably more handy to have than a mum on Loose Women. Just interesting to me!!!!! Anyway sorry, I’ve gone off on a petty tangent while the song was playing because I’ve had it on repeat since yesterday and don’t need to recall how it goes. ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ is a slightly tropical reminder of some of my debut album faves (‘Heart Out’, ‘M.O.N.E.Y.’, ‘Menswear’) and is the first of this new era of releases you can dance to. I love it and I love The 1975, they are the only good thing about this country and they’re not even in it right now.
ARIANA GRANDE – ‘BREATHIN’
I’m only half listening to this because I want to know what it’s like in the context of the full record later, but on vague impression Ariana sounds great (to be expected). That 80s feel I am obsessed with? It’s got it. Finally, I can tell this wasn’t produced by Pharrell because it’s not shit.
MARSHMELLO & BASTILLE – ‘HAPPIER’
Disappointingly Marshmello is falling into “heard this before” holes on this song. It’s not far to fall, granted, because there is a stack of lesser producer bodies to cushion the drop, and since he’s fairly close to the top he can climb out pretty easy, but still… I don’t expect to listen to a Marshmello track and get a generic beat. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because firstly, he’s had a lot of good shit out recently and it’s hard to keep up that pace when you’re knocking out a banger pretty much every month and secondly, because you’re not gonna give your best shit to Bastille of all people, when they haven’t charted a song in the top 10 for five years. The song is fine, but it’s not good, and earlier in the year I would maybe have given it more of a chance, but we’re more than halfway through now and my playlist is already full of shit I skip. I gotta start being ruthless.
YUNGEN – ‘PRICEY’ ft. ONE ACEN
This review is on hold while I figure out what “I tell them take Not3s and they Mabel” even means.
SAM FENDER – ‘DEAD BOYS’
I don’t know that I would ever listen to a song about male suicide independently. I don’t know that anyone would, to be honest, like I do not feel good having heard this song. It’s a grim topic for early on a Friday morning. The opening line about anniversaries is so bleak.
STEFFLON DON – ‘LIL BITCH (INTRO)’
There is a new Stefflon album? mixtape? out today and… I guess I’m concerned if the intro is the best track on offer to showcase it? Unless everything else is so fire that this is actually the weakest offering? But why would you put the weakest song on New Music Friday? Surely you would wanna put your best foot forward? Y’all I’m stressing myself trying to understand the motives. This is under two minutes long, it goes pretty hard ngl, I wouldn’t listen to it out of context but I’ll spin it when I listen to the rest of the record later.
MNEK – ‘CRAZY WORLD’
MNEK (assisted by Becky Hill) gets political for the first time since the gorgeous ‘Paradise’, addressing race and sexuality and promising to be a refuge for those who need it. ‘Crazy World’ doesn’t do anything ‘Paradise’ didn’t do better, and it certainly doesn’t have the cool of ‘Tongue’ or the instant catchiness of ‘Colour’ but since radio won’t get behind one of this country’s most talented and successful young songwriter/producers, he may as well do what the fuck he pleases. I’m very much looking forward to the album.
SYML – ‘GIRL’ ACOUSTIC
Suddenly, I wish to be a boy.