i managed to escape the worst of the famed ‘beast from the east’ by being on holiday last week, but given i’m in the french alps skiing i feel like its hardly the escape it could have been. It has been a busy week of looking like an off grey marshmallow in my dated ski gear trundling up and down mountains in near total white outs, celebrating my dad’s 65th birthday on friday, living in a perpetual food coma thanks to the cheese laden buffet on offer at our hotel, and warring over spotify privileges with my flatmate who had commandeered mine in my absence. i finally made it home after six hours on a bus stuck on a motorway, a delayed flight and a panicked dash to edinburgh park station.
i’ve not had much music listening time this week so i’ve not properly replayed anything i recommended last week except the new imagine dragons track to hype me up a bit for their show at the sse hydro in glasgow last night which was absolutely phenomenal and i doubt I’ll listen to anything else but them in the coming day, and also janelle monáe’s make me feel which is definitely a new favorite, which i’m extra fond of after watching monáe’s performance in hidden figures last week. mostly though i’ve just been singing to myself as i’ve been careening down into the white abyss so i’d go out with a song in my heart if worst came to worst, the tracklist consisting mostly of anaïs’s nina, lord (it’s ok) by 1000 beasts and janet grogan, wild love by james bay which has grown on me some, and one of my all time favourites american dreams by the grand magnolias (which i covered last week and you can watch here if you like white boys who can’t play ukulele and very well).
i listened to all the new music during the very long bus ride on saturday which gave me time to go through a staggering thirty four new songs, so there had to be some good ones in there that i’d recommend and that i myself will be revisiting soon.
for anyone interested in listening along here are the playlists: the songs for this week, all the songs from all the weeks for anyone retrospectively looking at my blog that doesn’t want to search each individual song if they’re looking at an older post, and my 2018 playlist of the songs that i think deserve a second, third, and maybe even fourth spin.
alma + mø – dance for me
alma is someone i’ve been vaguely aware of but know nothing about, and the first real exposure i remember was her part in dua lipas recent idgaf girl band performance. i don’t know how effective teaming up with mø is in that i can’t distinguish which is which since the current breed of electro pop girls are all a little too samey, but i quite enjoyed dance for me, it’s definitely fun, and though it doesn’t hit first time round there are some strong moments which make me say:
alma + tove styrke – good vibes
ok, this is more my bag. some good dangerous woman vibes right off the bat and immediately this feels like a good running song for when you’re on mile 8 and have hit your stride. its maybe a touch on the generic side, but it’s hooky enough that that doesn’t matter. good vibes definitely lives up to its name.
amber mark – love me right
i may naysay all the forgettably-named fresh names on the chart that never seem to make any lasting impact, but there’s no way to find more gems like anaïs and sam fender unless we keep looking. mark carries off a pleasant vocal and the latter half of the love me right has some nice eyes moments, but there’s an uncomfortable mix of lounge piano that’s a little jarring when it comes into the synthetically manufactured backing and it all feels a bit too chaotic.
andrew wk – the party never dies
i’m never sure what to do with 80s sounding rock music in 2018, it’s such an enigmatic beast but the fulness of the sound is always kind of delightful. the party never dies definitely has that anthemic quality and i’d be interested in seeing something like this live, but as a song it feels all outro. i enjoyed it but:
angie mcmahon – missing me
female led electric guitar driven music is one of my many weaknesses and mcmahon’s vocal is the right amount of florence welsh that i’m into it. that said, missing me doesn’t quite kick off like i feel it could. i’ll look out for more from her but on this count:
banfi – mercy street
it’s probably because i took a few hours break to try and figure out my travel arrangements which have been all messed up because of the snow and been listening to only imagine dragons for an hour an ahalf but i was half expecting dan reynolds voice to come in. i have no idea what a banfi is, but to my mind it falls somewhere in the indie/alt rock that the likes of bears den occupy and if that’s your bag then by all means but this was a bit too much of nothing for me.
blakey + jones – prism of love
i’m really into that echoey vocal thing that a lot of people are throwing out at the moment. it’s really gentle on the ears and there’s something quietly comforting about it. i don’t know that this is my favourite example, i’m more into when it’s female led and though jones’ verse is welcome i’d have preferred if she had taken both reigns the whole way. nice but i don’t think i’ll be rushing to listen to again.
the blaze – heaven
i’m instantly irked by anyone who chooses unconvential typography, in this case capitalising the name of a song, so much so that my instinct is to skip because it feels like the biggest way they’re going to get anyone to listen to their music is because the literal name stands out, when what they’re hiding behind is likely mediocre at best. there are some rare exceptions, such as my favourite christian rock band (no really, they’re fantastic) needtobreathe, and of course zayn, but heaven is not on this list.
bobi andanov – smoke
i’ve been a fan of andanov since his moody turn on australias got talent however many years back. i’m surprised more of his songs aren’t on spotify but i think those were mostly demos (including the truly great do you still love me). smoke isn’t something we haven’t heard by a fistful of other artists, and lyrically it’s overdone and a little weak, but i’m a bobi stan and i know i’m going to be playing this for weeks anyway
calum scott – what i miss most
i think i and so many others are hosting a burning resentment for his massively overrated take on robyn’s dancing on my own, but i’m a hundred per cent putting that down to his time passing through the tv talent show rigor. we know those songs are all pre produced behind the scenes, i’d be surprised if scott had even heard of robyn before he was scouted by producers. what i miss most graciously stamps scott as the kind of ten a penny male vocalist that is happy to enjoy success in thanks to their loyal fanbase, but isn’t doing anything exciting enough to gain fans as quickly as he’s being forgotten. if i had any feelings of warmth to scott i might be more forgiving, but i just can’t
cedric gervais + wealth – one night
i feel like i’ve heard this edm song a hundred times before, but i can’t think of one song which i can accurately say it’s like, which i think is more of a failing of the genre that nothing has ever stood out enough to make me remember its name. another blogger i follow recently put it well in that they like commercially accessbile songs in every genre, but when it comes to the stuff that’s made for pre-established fan base of the genre it’s never going to resonate. this feels a little too deep into the edm world and not close enough to the commercially accessible side of things for me to jump into and enjoy.
cheat codes + kiiara – put me back together
i feel like i only just struck no promises from my running playlist for overuse, so i was hoping that this new cheat codes song would be its spiritual successor. i’m not sure who kiiara is other than another female singer probably about to enjoy limited chart success on the back of a decent feature track, but i don’t think put me back together goes off enough to be the one that launches her there. it clicks a bit but it’s not full enough to run to or hooky enough to stick in my mind.
chvrches + matt berninger – my enemy
i’m still riding high on get out from a few weeks back so i was excited by the prospect of more chvrches, but this is just a little too dreary for me, which im putting down to the the national lead singer feature.
danny avila, the vamps + machine gun kelly – too good to be true
i was hoping for a happy upbeat feel good vamps song, but i should’ve known that with machine gun kelly involved this isn’t what was coming. it’s fine, it’s loud, it has an ok-at-best drop and it’s not what i wanted damn it.
day_s – elbows
the piano almost drowns out the vocal in the beginning of the song which i found a little upsetting because day_s’ tone is so smoky and crisp and i’m here for it. the chorus hit and it was a bit like, oh, okay, i wasn’t expecting this. it was a bit dancy but not quite and just generically confusing. what i’m saying is it lost me. i’m think i’m going to go check out what else day_s has done instead of spinning this again.
dj kahled, future, beyoncé + jay z – top off
i know dj khaled was a big thing last year, but i never really took to anything he put out, and same be said for future, but i’m not ready to give up. i’m hoping this husband and wife feature is the segway into the long awaited joint beyonc-z album, which i’ll be all over. beyoncé sounds great but this did nothing for me at all.
fall out boy – i wanna dance with somebody (who loves me)
this actually dropped mid last month but my release radar’s algorithm is all over the place and only presented it to me this week, and the premise was strong enough that i had to include it i’d have liked for patrick stump’s vocal to be stronger because he can definitely deliver, but honestly my sheer surprise at this actually existing has got me all worked up and excited. unnecessary but great.
fickle friends – wake me up
i loved swim by fickle friends from a few years back, but nothing else really resonated with me as strongly by them. i feel like they’d be a great live band and i expect them to tour soon so i’m going to make a conscious effort to find a place for wake me up on my running playlist because it can definitely carry me forward for the 208 seconds it demands. like chvrches but a bit pacier is the closest comparison point my uneducated mind can conjure. the bridge is really nice and i can see my sweat addled face cracking a grin despite having two miles to go.
flo rida – dancer
it’s 2018 and flo rida still trying his luck which honestly in this awful sociopolitcal climate isn’t the most outrageous thing you’ll hear this week. i don’t think dancer is current sounding enough to propel him anywhere near to the chart heights of right round, his heyday has passed, but it’s definitely trashy enough and has enough of a hook that, if the radios are kind, has potential to stick around the for a while.
george ezra – pretty shining people
i’d like to take a moment to stan george ezra in the wake of a ludicrous review from my new arch rival grace medford who slayed this song in her weekly roundup. this is by no means as commercially viable as paradise, and it’s by no means ezra at his best, but in a raft of darkness he is a beacon of light that i am going to be listening to everything ezra does defiantly from now until the end of time.
handsome – save some love
this is the song i’d expect to hear back an advert where a group of 20 somethings are driving along the open road in the summer, going to the beach, drinking some soft drink or other. it’s breezy, it’s got me feeling a bit better about being stuck on this snails pace bus drawing me through the snowy streets of these french towns in the way of chambrey airport and i’m going to generously say that it deserves to be on your driving playlist.
jack river – ballroom
it’s another anthem about wanting everybody else to disappear except you and your potential partner in an overly public location so you can be deeply in love and or get it on. it’s got some muna stylings that i’m quite here for on any good day, and there’s something uplifting about it that i’m more than happy to entertain at this dreary moment in time.
joseph j jones – speaking in tongues
i like a deep male vocal, which jjj delivers in a nice cliché laden package. i feel like the song leant to much towards lyrical concept in sacrifice of dropping a massive chorus, and the bridge doesn’t quite make up for it. a slightly more tuneful chris martin of coldplay fame.
jym – jungle
songs with the same name of other songs that i love almost always fill me with false hope. i’m living for jungle by tash sultana just now, and this is not as good as that masterpiece.
little comets – m62
my knowledge of the existence of little comets comes from my boy sam fender supporting them a couple years ago, and given he also supported some of my other faves (george ezra + hozier) i was expecting something different. all i’ve hear about the m62 is that it’s open again to vehicles following the snow storm, much to the colletive relief and dismay of imagine dragons fans heading to manchester on saturday night, or not as the case is for so many. this hasn’t been a review of the song but this song doesn’t bear reviewing.
logic + marshmello – everyday
f r i e n d s is one of the biggest songs of the year and i’ll fight anyone who says otherwise, so i was hoping for some more marshmello magic, but logic doesn’t do it for me like anne marie does.
louis iii – goosebumps
no, not a homage to the famed kids horror book series, but a lyrically bad song of the vein of every other synth pop song that i either love or loathe. louis iii, whoever he may be, falls on the wrong side of musical history.
meghan trainor – no excuses
this was a total slap in the face, thank god. reminding me a bit of janelle’s make me feel from last week which i’m all about right now, and come alive from the greatest showman, no excuses has got a good beat that i would associate with trainor’s other work, and though i was on the other side of the fence ever since her abominable but catchy debuts all about that bass and tonally awful dear future husband, i’m definitely coming around. this is just plain good.
miriam bryant – black car
it’s like lana del rey if she was a bit dancier and she forgot how to write unpredicatable lyrics. i don’t hate it, and i was even willing to like it if it delivered a really good chorus which it didn’t quite. i have a feeling that i could like this on a better day because the bridge is strong enough that i could spend the first two minutes just looking forward to it, so for that reason:
mnek – tongue
i was ready to write this off after 20 seconds as another clunker from the poor man’s the weeknd, but that chorus (or maybe anti-chorus is more accurate) was so unexpected that i actually sat up in my chair. excuse me whilst i take the rest of this week off and listen to this absolut gem and this absolute gem only on repeat.
SPIN SPIN SPIN
moss kena – you dont know
i really really dug square one from a couple weeks back, it was such a sleeper hit on my playlist but now it’s up there with the best of 2018 so far. you don’t know is from the subsequent six song ep and as a standalone i’m not as sold as i was on the prior mentioned track. it is vocally quite nice though maybe a little jarring to the casual, but i’m going to make sure i spin the ep in full this week because i feel like kena has the potential to become one of my new favs.
SPIN (THE EP)
samantha harvey – never dance again
i quite enjoyed please from a few weeks back, but do think that harvey needs a real break out hit for herself so that i can take her seriously in a world overspilling with indistinguishable female vocalists. never dance again is too much of a forgettable, cliché ballad to be that song.
sg lewis – coming up
a nice electronic dance song but not accessbile enough that i’d listen again.