i’m going to pretty much cut straight to it because i’m two weeks behind here and i’m playing catch up. there was a bunch of work stuff going on thanks to a three day conference i was at and it was deadline week plus i had just other unavoidable things that got in the way of blogging, but i’m not a quitter so i’ve got a grand total of 63 new songs to listen to today over the next two blog posts (i’m expecting to cut a load of them if they don’t do anything for me).
i caught a couple of concerts since i last posted (and woefully missed seeing jessie ware and sigrid thanks to work conflicts) in the form of vance joy and george ezra and they were pretty much as you’d expect. they were bizarrely both supported by the same girl called lily moore who i’ll mention lower down since she cropped up in this week’s (23rd march) new music friday. as for last weeks new releases, the only one that lodged itself with me was emily burns’ girlfriend at the time but i’ve not really revisited anything enough yet so there’s probably still scope for the rest to become future faves.
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.
7chariot – danger in me
i appreciate when a song gets right into it and doesn’t make you wait for a vocal which danger in me definitely does. it reminds me of someone that my brain can’t conjure for me just yet, but it’s a clicky, methodically made synthy pop song that rests on a prominent slightly-smokey, reserved vocal. it’s got a nice hint of brass section, and honestly i’m just here for something upbeat to kick off this new music marathon.
ajr – burn the house down
when it kicked off i wasn’t sure because the sounds seemed disjointed like when you’re eating dinner and eat each bit individually when it would taste better when you get a bit of everything on your fork at the same time and shove it all in your mouth. but then: it came together. it’s a pop-rock song with a vocal that isn’t to die and reminds me of mkto who were mildy popular about five years ago, but i’m not against this lyrically blah track.
burak yeter – crash
a quick browse of burak yeter tells me he’s a reasonably successful dutch dj who prefers to put out attempts at hit singles rather than amalgamating albums worth of summer vibes club songs that you’re surprised people actually listen to. crash is one of those songs you might expect to hear a remixed version (the bridge isn’t dancy enough in this untouched effort) at an island party club night. good for what it is but i won’t ever listen to it again.
charlotte lawrence, nina nesbitt and sasha sloan – psychopath
lawrence, nesbitt and sloan are three female pop vocalists that find some success with their edgy alt-pop songs and will enjoy the occaisional top 20 hit and top 40 album but for some reason haven’t reached the heights of the dua lipa and anne marie’s of the world. psychopath is a good example of the actually-pretty-good things that can come out of this play in the background but not pay attention to genre of music and i’ll maybe give it another listen to see if joining three of these forces together can bring me something with a bit of longevity.
chloe x halle + kari faux – fake
i think i’ve enjoyed the concept of chloe x halle more than i’ve enjoyed their music. i’ll still look out for that song from them that actually pricks my ears up for more than one second, but first impression of fake is that it feels like an undeveloped track from the endless pile on the cutting room floor of beyoncé’s recording studio.
david guetta + sia – flames
a small part of me says that i’ve had enough of sia collabs for at least the next decade – i love sia but sometimes being too distinctive can work against you. i’m not immediately grabbed by flames but i’m happy that it’s not too in my face as say titanium or bang my head so i’m going to give this a thumbs up to listen to again later.
e^st – blowjob
part of me wanted to hate this song by australian teen e^st, but the hook “you just need a blowjob” is too on the nose for me to ignore. given it’s lyrical value i don’t think this what you would immediately expect a song called blowjob to sounds like – it’s poppy, it’s fun, it’s like a nostalgia filled teen-written summer song and it got my attention. i want to learn all the lyrics so i can sing it at appropriate times to appropriate people. potentially iconic.
george ezra – shotgun
i’ll come out now and say that i’ve listened to this song at least 40 times since it was released. my initial impression was that it’s not as good as paradise so i wrote it off a little but in getting hyped to go and see him i gave it another spin and suddenly all the little nuances hit me in the face. i like how ezra really puts his character into his music which i feel like a lot of artists could learn from. the little inflected lines at the end of each verse are unexpected and joyful. the main chorus feels like it’s lacking a final line after “feeling like i’m someone” which is initially frustrating and i kept wanting to add some “oh-oh-ohs” in whenever i was singing along but it feels so deliberate and it made me pay attention. the lead in to the chorus is euphoric and lovely and it’s so accessible. conceptually it’s light but doesn’t feel overly cliché, and the bridge is quirky and fun and i’m all about it. ezra is at his best when he’s keeping it fun and shotgun is a great example of that.
SPIN SPIN SPIN
haevn – back in the water
going in blind as to who haevn are, i had a little skim read of their spotify bio and they made the claim that they want to “bring back real stories into pop music” citing springsteen and leonard cohen as influencers. back in the water has no musical resemblance to these musical icons, but with a claim like that i feel like it’s ok to say if they measure up or not. it was an alright moody alt-pop song that i might expect to hear in the background of a tv show or on a very very generic songs-you-haven’t-heard running playlist but it doesn’t stand out and none of the lyrics stayed with me beyond the echo of the final beat.
island – horizon
alternative guitar bands like island rely pretty much on the strength of their singer’s vocal and if their song captivates enough to make you want to see them live. i’d definitely tick the first of those two boxes because the lead singer has a strong voice with a not unpleasant rawness to it. horizon isn’t as engaging as i’d have liked, there is little semblance of a chorus to hold on to and it makes it more or less forgettable. would look out for their next effort but this:
jay prince – in the morning
the colour tones on the album artwork are the main reason i put in the morning on here. because it had me feeling like i need to find somewhere with a desert and go drive out to it. it’s not a song that i could envisage making it’s way onto any of my playlists, but it’s doesn’t feel too basement-club-at-2-in-the-morning-y that i wouldn’t even stop to consider it. a nice mellow rap song but not for me.
joel baker + mahalia – cmwif
the intro is a bit overlong and i was ready to give up but when the lyrics hit at the 30 second mark i decided to stick it out. once you get past that, it’s a breezy R&B song that i could imagine on an easy barbeque playlist. mahalia reminds me a bit of izzy bizu which i’m not mad about, baker grates a little for me but not enough that i wouldn’t seriously consider chucking it in the skip. if this vibes at all for you then i’d recommend going to listen to flat champagne by dan caplen and raye if you haven’t already.
kacey musgraves – high horse
i’ve heard a lot of hype for kasey musgraves’ new album, and i’m hesitant to jump on board of another country-artist-come-pop-singer at the risk of stanning the next taylor swift, but i feel like high horse is not overly commercialised and is actually a fun, funky pop song that didn’t feel too forced. the “giddy-up giddy-up” refrain could be cringe worthy but instead it’s just a joyous part to a joyous song that i will be playing again.
keith urban + julia michaels – coming home
keith urban is such a sweetheart and i have a lot of respect for him and his technical guitar talents, even if it don’t rate much of his music since it’s all a bit samey. the intro to coming home was a little jarring, and whatever that noise is that’s happening either side of the titular lyric in the chorus is making me shudder, but take that away and you have quite a nice little country-pop song. i actually quite like michaels in this, her part is small and she compliments urban’s voice nicely and by the end i’m on board with it.
kodaline – follow your fire
as far as i’m concerned, kodaline make nice running music. it’s usually got a good build and a euphoric finish, but when it falls outside that context it’s a little cryworthy and it falls in the same x-ambassadors/maroon5/train/onerepublic category that i don’t particularly care about it. follow your fire is that of the latter and though i feel like it could be a good song to experience live, i can’t see myself ever being in that position.
lily moore – 17
i saw lily moore twice in under two weeks as a support act and i don’t remember 17 as part of her set either time. my impression of her was that she has a strong voice and with the right material and marketing i could see her on the same tier as adele and amy winehouse, but if she carries on at this trajectory i can’t see her reaching anywehre near those heights. her whole set felt like one long, nicely sung but absolutely forgettable song. go to songwriting school and produce something interesting then i’ll listen to it of my own accord.
lissie – castles
i quite enjoyed lissie’s last song, although ever time it came on again i was a bit like “who is that singing what am i listening to”? so make of that what you will. castles has a very lana del rey vibe in the intro and it devolves into something that could be melancholia-euphoria kinda thing you get on eurovision every year, but the only reason i’d listen to it is because i already know lissie. i put it up full blast to see if it could get me where i think it wanted to get me but it didn’t.
nadine coyle – something in your bones
i criticised coyle’s last single release because i don’t really care about it (then why blog about it iain? why not just let the singing dog lie?) stepping back from who coyle is, i think that something in your bones has a good bass line and i could maybe get behind it if it wasn’t so generic conceptually. i feel like you can tell that it’s from a pop star in her thirties, which is a sentence that i’ll hate when i’m also 32 but it just feels too mismatched to come off as authentic.
needtobreathe – bridges burn
needtobreathe are one of my all time favourite bands. they’re technically christian rock but don’t let that put you off because i was listening to them for four years before i realised and that was only after i heard difference maker which is a very good live performance track. as a new listener i might pin them as falling somewhere near x-ambassadors, but there’s something about bear reinhart’s (yes that’s the lead singers real name) that is just so raw and pure and i’m totally in love with it. needtobreathe know their way around a song and everything the y do to me feels super well crafted. i’ll admit that bridge burn isn’t my favourite thing i’ve ever heard by them, they’re upbeat stuff is definitely their forte for me but it’s still a good example of what they can do and i’d highly recommend this and any of their work.
nonono – friends
nonono had that pumpin blood song about four years ago that was a really fun summer tune. friends isn’t as cheerful and i’d say it’s just pretty generic pop that you won’t fall in love with. it’s lyirically uninteresting and i’d much rather go and listen to the marshmello+anne marie collab of the same name.
panic! at the disco – say amen (saturday night)
my punk-pop slot is filed by fall out boy beacause there’s something about brendon urie’s vocal doesn’t quite take me to the same place as patrick stump. say amen is very of its genre and i’m not against it but i’m not in the market for a pop-rock/pop-punk anthem right now so i’ll leave this where i found it.
picture this – this morning
i quite enjoyed take my hand from this irish duo, but this morning is just a pop-rock ballad that i’d expect to be on the script’s album that i’m not going to listen to and i’m really not interested in.
prides – say it again
say it again was the single-lift track from prides’ a mind like the tide, pt. 2 which if you know anything about prides is just more of the same from prides. they’re doing that indie-rock thing they do well. it’s a very full sound and one i’d love to experience in a stadium size venue one day. not their most memorable, but still holding their signature anthemic quality.
ruthanne – the vow
i got an email that distracted me from listening to this but from what i paid attention to, ruthanne has a soaring vocal, it’s gospel-sounding and i don’t hate it, but i’m going to pass.
sandro cavazza + p3gi-13 – high with somebody
i can’t get over the concept of high with somebody since high is such a drug related term that it’s an over-romanticisation of something that needs to stop being romanticised. it’s sweet enough sounding i guess and i don’t want to sound like a total narc here but give me a more interesting take.
shawn mendes – in my blood/lost in japan
i like mendes even though i’m openly resentful of his success at such a young age since he’s a full four years younger and four times prettier than i’ll ever be again. he’s produced a lot of songs i can get behind and until he starts being too generic i’ll keep listening. in my blood could be a bit cliché but of course it’s been handled well and though i don’t think it’s an instant hit i appreciate that he’s not going too obvious for a new single. i think that mendes always hits that level of believability that makes you keep listening. lost in japan could have come from any number of unheard of male pop vocalists and i’d forget about it, but coming from the 19 year old it feels more authentic which is one of the many reasons he’s been so successful.
sonyaé – shade
i’ve been watching a lot of Rupaul lately and i always think about the best contest-reality show of them all: platinum hit. it was on bravo and ran for one season and was the musical equivalent of america’s next top model and the great british bake off. sonyaé elise – now just sonyaé – was the well deserved winner of that solo season. shade technically landed at the beginning of february but it’s only just come to my attention and i don’t know if i’ve been watching too much drag race, but i am so here for this bitchy girl genre. shade is such a sassy R&B bass heavy track that shouldn’t be for me but right now i am all about.
timeflies – be easy
timeflies had that i loved but there’s too much on their spotify for me to go looking for it. be easy is a breezy talk-singy edm pop song that reminds me of mkto and if this is what the chainsmokers were doing (if i told you that was them then you wouldn’t bat an eye) then i’d likely hate it but this isn’t theirs not and there’s something charming and compelling about be easy that has put me in a good mood.
vistas – calm
indie pop that’s happy, generic vocals and won’t break out commercially but i imagine would be a fun song to experience in a live setting.
welshly arms – sanctuary
welshly arms have been on my ones to watch for a while. they’ve got a good bluesy-southern-rock vibe and are the kind of band i could definitely stan. the vocal is excellent, the sound is just so full and the bridge really hit me when it dropped. i feel like i’ve just survived a small musical earthquake and i’m going to need to lie down to gather myself from what i’ve just experienced. i’ll be booking a ticket the next time they come my way without a moment’s hesitation.