this is the second of three blog posts this week because i’m playing catch up and it’ll be friday waaaay too soon and i want to be back on track for that. i was planning to knock two out on monday but honestly listening to 64 songs in a row and trying to coherently write about them is not something i mentally have the capacity to do.
this week (releases from the 30th of march) there’s a couple of make or break songs in including new ones from james bay and sigrid who really missed it last time (although sigrid’s acoustic version of raw was admittedly nice) and i’m hoping this is their point of redemption. i’d also like to take a second to ship george ezra’s new album, although i think most people who would listen to it already have. i don’t think it’ll stick with me for as long as wanted on voyage did but there are some definitely good, happy tracks on there (shotgun, paradise, pretty shining people and getaway to name them) which is pretty much the main thing i look for in music, so i’d recommend listening to the first half of it if you want a little lift.
and as for the tracks i recommended on monday, the standout is definitely high horse by kacey musgraves, it’s fun, it’s light, it reminds me of good carly rae jepson, and i’ve listened to it ten times since.
anyway, here are the links to the playlists (i’m going to keep weeks 12 and 13 up for the time being as separate entities so they have time to breathe): 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.
cardi b – be careful
the first ten seconds are giving me elevator music and i immediately know this won’t be any of my playlists. cardi b is one of those people who it was hard to take seriously because you thought she was a meme, but actually she’s pretty talented in her field and is probably one of the biggest breakout stars in recent memory. she had a hit with bodak yellow which i never came around to and couldn’t even hum or you right now and i feel like be careful is another song i won’t invest any time in. i like a chorus and there’s a sore lack of one here. i wish her the best and i’ll listen out for that song that grabs me that this isn’t it.
chvrches – never say die
chvrches are one of those bands (a bit like prides) where if you like lead singer lauren mayberry’s vocals then they’ll probably be one of your faves but it doesn’t do as much for me as i know it could. the music is good, never say die is another live performance anthem that i know i’d enjoy in concert, but from a commercial standpoint i think of it as an electro-indie-pop equivalent of pop-punk-rock music in that it exists in this space with this specific sound that you probably either love or hate. i was here enough for get out but after one new song i’ve reached chvrches saturation point for this era. also, the 30 second fade out was something i could live without.
daryl hall & john oats + train – philly forget me not
i’m not really sure what the context of this is, but i like hall and oats well enough and i’m occaisionally partial to some train so this had potential to be a fun little track. i don’t know if this is a reworking of an old hall and oats songs but i don’t care enough about it to google and find it out. this is more patrick monahan than h+o and i could hear it as a cheerful album filler track on the newest train record but i’d never listen to it again.
digital farm animals, shaun frank + dragonette – tokoyo nights
it’s very swedish house mafia and i’d like to leave that behind in 2013 where i thought we already had shaken it off. nothing against the sound because it soundtracked a lot of my teen years but i’m not ready to reinvest in it unless i’ts got a killer hook (which tokoyo nights does not) and even then i’d be hesitant.
fenne lily – car park
the magazine i write for has a regular feature that i
have get to write about car parks so i’m going into this song with a vendetta. i don’t know why me from monday put this on here during his clickthroughs. it’s very sleepy indie rock and i don’t think it’s bad but it’s very much café background noise.
flo rida – sweet sensation
man that was a real kick in the face after the twee little fenne lily song i just sat through. i don’t feel great about flo rida a) still existing in 2018 in the same lane he’s existed in his whole career and b) it’s too like that overly popular chase and status song blind faith. i think that flo rida’s vocal at this point is never not going to sound dated. his heyday is passed and i could have seen this being a hit maybe back in 2010 but that’s a scary long time ago now. if it was given to me with less emphasis on the sweet sensation hook or even a different hook altogether and maybe if the vocal was with someone who just sounds more exciting like will smith (is he coming back? can we make that happen soon?) then i’d be on board but no thank you.
flora cash – 18 dollars
first off, even though this blog makes it impossible to tell since it’s all lowercase, i’d like to note the rising trend of using all lowercase in artist names and songs. there are three in this post alone, including cash, so watch this space and see me revert back to the more pedestrian grammatically, typographically correct presentation of words when i’ve decided that it’s uncool again. anyway, 18 dollars is a bit too melancholy and isn’t warming me up on this cold gloomy day. give me something more exciting or interesting. seriously. how do people make songs like this and peddle them and reach any level of success? i don’t get it. i’ve never heard of flora cash and i’m not going to look into them until they give me a reason to. if they don’t want to exist in the mainstream commercial environment then fair enough, but this is a big yawn from me.
frenship – goodmorning, goodbye
what a boring song. wasted artwork. it picks up a little towards the end but i’d skipped too much of it by then to care. why did anyone think this needed to be four and a half minutes long?
gnash – the broken hearts club
i’m not in the mood for this dreariness, but given it’s by the same person who gave us the bleakest of bleak songs i hate u, i love u i don’t know why i’m surprised. even in this overly eye-rolling mood i’m in i know well enough that this would never do anything for me. who is this for? who are the people who want this?
grace vanderwaal – clearly
grace vanderwaal is someone we need to protect. she’s a breathy female vocalist that is a bit too like taylor swift for most people to accept with open arms but let’s remember: she’s 14. clearly borrows the “i can see clearly now the rain has gone” hook from where i don’t know which sounds like a weird move on paper, but for someone who doesn’t have that real break out commercial global hit i think leaning into something that people already recognise a little is a smart thing to do. it’s hard to put together a song for someone so young that is actually chart-viable and doesn’t sound too disney or too childish but this is that song. vanderwaal is undeniably talented and i think she’s head and shoulders above a lot of people who exist in the same music space as her. clearly is a well thought out, uplifting pop song that i am genuinely pleased to hear and has given me the first track from this new music friday that i will happily play again.
hayley kiyoko + kehlani – what i need
i’m here and ready for hayley kiyoko. i’ve really enjoyed what i’ve heard of hers and the album has landed (i’ve not listened to it yet purely bc i’m behind but she tweeted that it should be listened to from beginning to end for the proper experience and i’d like to respect that wish). what i need has a fuller sound than her previous efforts (curious, let it be), there’s not a beat that isn’t filled with noise and whilst i’m not as instantly into it, it’s less gimmicky than curious was so i feel like it’s going to have more longevity. there were some early-kesha sounding moments, i liked the clapping bridge and though my ears aren’t trained enough to distinguish who is singing when, kehlani is a good choice for the feature and it feels like their song rather than a kiyoko one that she just jumped on.
isaac gracie – that was then
i came here for the androgynous look but i won’t be staying here for this melancholy crooner. it’s nice enough, his voice is very clean sounding and i think if i were more inclined to music that is fundamentally depressing then i might care about it a little but right now that’s not where my musical interests lie.
james bay – us
i feel like james bay is going through transition where i was previously writing songs as a songwriter, with methodically built commercial hits. now he’s approaching things from a musician standpoint and frustratingly it’s not linking up as much as his previous tack. i wasn’t ready for the reinvention of james bay on his sophmore album, and whilst i don’t hate it he’s not the same artist that i tally fell in love with. us is almost a throwback but it feels much more james morrison than james bay. i didn’t instantly hate it like i did with pink lemonade so i’m inclined to give it a second chance on the basis that i did eventually come around to wild love. his new cut (song not hair) is a nice, almost uplifting ballad and i’m going to give it a second chance.
james tw – say love
another white boy with a guitar called james, brought into prominence after being discovered by shawn mendes, looking to replicate the mild success of his cute song when you love someone fails in his follow up endeavours. say love is methodical, generic, unimpressive and i won’t be spinning it again.
jessie reyez + daniel caesar – figures, a reprise
i know reyez from her feature on a lewis capaldi track a month or so ago. i like her aesthetic, and the simplicity of her spotify bio that says only “i like to sing about sh*t i don’t talk about*. it’s an honest don’t five a f*ck attitude that reflects in figures, a reprise. i think i prefer the non daniel caesar featuring version, it’s more honest and i’m not that bothered about boy girl duets for the sake of re-releasing and already good song. it’s a crooner, it’s very basic and her scream on “f*ck” during the chorus is killer. i can already hear this rattling around my head for the next couple of weeks.
kacey musgraves – velvet elvis
i loved high horse from last week so much that i almost but not quite spend 35£ on tickets to her glasgow show. velvet elvis isn’t as immediately fun and charming, it reminds me a bit of echosmith if echosmith were country and whilst i don’t think i’ll be playlisting this song on its own, i’m almost certainly going to go and listen to the album
kylie minogue – raining glitter
i feel like kylie’s bizarre new country effort is being overshadowed in my little world by kacey musgraves new stuff and the only reason i would listen to it would be demonstrate why musgraves is superior in this specific lane. i preferred dancing and i wasn’t even totally sold on that. raining glitter is pretty much what you’d expect from a kylie song called raining glitter: boucy, poppy, a little country, fun, but forgettable.
lake street dive – i can change
i’m cheating a bit because this came out on the 3rd of april and by rights should be on friday’s blog post but it’s out now and i’m ready to listen to it. i really got into lake street dive this year after i heard you go down smooth and they’re probably my most listened to artist of 2018 so i was too excited to hold off. i’m more inclined towards to their upbeat stuff, but i can still appreciate the beautiful vocal of rachael price which is really shown off on i can change. it’s not much of a song and if i wasn’t already invested in the fourpiece i would probably let this slip by but nope, i’m a stan and i stan this song. if you’re not so into, go and listen to just ask by them and i all but guarantee it’ll turn you around.
lauv – chasing fire
lauv is astounding because his spotify tells me he’s the 84th most listened to artist in the world and yet i’ve only just heard about him this year? he’s behind charli xcx’s boys and no promises by cheat coades + demi lovato which were two of my favourite pop songs last year, so i’m here with high anticipation and whilst chasing fire isn’t big hit territory, i think it’s well produced, the vocal is nice, and it’s got an actual real life chorus and bridge(!!) so i can see myself getting behind this. good.
mø – nostalgia
finally: a solo mø song i can fall for. honestly, i’ve been waiting and i’ve been disappointed by everything that came after lean on and i was this ||close to writing her off, but then she delivered some nostalgia. it’s got a soaring chorus that takes me away from the basement café i moved to to finish this post, her vocal is steering away from the irritation territory it’s been in in the past and the talk-sing aspects are really well delivered. the bridge is so perfect and i’m very excited to put this on my running playlist. fantastic.
plan b – queue jumping
the only thing plan b did that i ever liked was his chase and status song end credits, and i assumed that he just fell off the face after 2012, but he’s back and serving more moody r&b hip-hop.you’d think his comeback would be more noteable, but queue jumping is a snoozefest. another white quote unquote raspy soul artist that i get to not care about.
post precious – lose myself
the excellent post precious cover of sign of the times is the benchmark i’m going to be holding the duo to and after i got over my inital panic-excitement that this wasn’t going to be a cover of lose yourself and actually listened to it, i was doubly disappointed. a melancholy disco-electro-pop number that i doesn’t suit alex winston’s quirky vocal.
sigrid – i don’t want to know
i want pop bangers please sigrid not pop ballads. i guess this is nice. i’m sure it’d be a lovely moment at the concert i couldn’t go to because i had to go to a work event – i can see the crowd turning on the torch function of their phones and swaying along to it. the song lost me at the weird little pre-bridge happy happy moment. will probably only listen to this again if i’m listening to the whole album.
snakehips, jeremih + animé – for the f^_^k of it
stan walker – thank you
i liked stan walker way back when he had just graduated as champion from australian idol in 2009 as a younger, cooler version of guy sebastian. their voices are and styles are almost indistinguishable and i don’t know that two of the same artist can exist from the same point of origin, so for my part i chose to stan stan walker. he followed that old school soul route with husky, current (at the time) sounding covers of things like ain’t to proud to beg and try a little tenderness. the bottom line is that i like walkers voice but i think that he is just that: a good singer. there’s not a lot of character and thank you sounds like it was written to be sung rather than to be heard.
stereo honey – what makes a man
! cool new live band alert ! a moody white fourpiece that sound like they know their way around staple band instruments, a nice gloomy lead vocal, an end to end sound experience, excuse me whilst i see if they’re playing near me soon. will i listen to what makes a man independently? i don’t think so. but i will be very much excited to see what they’re going to give me next.
thirty seconds to mars – rescue me
i’ve tried so hard to like jared leto but everything that he’s done that wasn’t his roles in fight club, american psycho and of course dallas buyers club, i just can’t get behind. i don’t think thirty seconds to mars are bad, but i don’t rate them at all. rescue me is more emotionally wrought dross from the alt-rock band that did better then they should’ve. i’d like them to stop permeating my earwaves now.
the vaccines – out on the street
nope, i still don’t care about the vaccines. was worth a try though.
the weeknd – call out my name
i like the weeknd well enough, and i’m always hesitant to write any of his songs off after one listen because so many of them have come back around and i fell in love with them (star boy, love me harder, i feel it coming, can’t feel my face). this is too much of a downer for me though. i just can’t see it. it’s like if prince went emo. don’t hate it, don’t rate it.