it feels like summer is finally on the horizon: i’m wearing a t-shirt, i did some gardening and it’s not killing me to get up before 8am. i’ll disclaimer that i had a big chunk of this written by friday at 5 to 5 but i was cut short because i went to a bizzaro-fantastic show called in the shadow of heaven which was a dramatisation of john milton’s paradise lost and i’m still reeling from how unsettling-but-good it was. then i went to a friend’s birthday and went out clubbing for the first time in around nine months and my ears have only really just stopped ringing to let me appreciate new music again.
re last week, nothing has really stuck, but i’ll grant it that there’s not been enough time to digest them yet so i’ll not write anything off just yet. i think i’m one song away from stanning only girl and those sofi tukker and le galaxie tracks are the right amount of fun to be more good than they are annoying, but the test of time will be the real teller there.
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.
5 seconds of summer – youngblood
moody boyband pop that i’m on board with. the first minute is giving me zayn (which i didn’t think i’d be getting until the end of this week’s round up) and even though it’s a bit one note, there’s a strong bass that pushes out throughout the track and i really wasn’t expecting something this good from the 5sos boys. the chorus is thumping, it has a good crescendo and i’m ready to press the replay button as soon as it’s finished.
amy shark – i said hi
shark topped the aus/nz new music friday playlist and i put a lot of stock in artists born and bred in that area of the globe. i said hi is giving me some 1989 t-swift/early 00s avril lavigne cry pop rock which is pretty and still sounds relevant enough, and its short enough so i’m inclined to let it play again, but i can’t honestly see it being a track i play over and over.
bazzi – myself
according to spotify, bazzi is the 58th most listened to artist in the world and yet i’ve never heard of him?? it’s not like he’s in a genre i don’t listen to, this is very much contemporary alt-rock/r&b so i’m seriously questioning my musical knowledge. myself reminds me of 21 pilots, who i semi-begrudgingly like because their tracks are hooky even though i’d sooner forget about them. i’m finding bazzi’s vocal a little grating and he sounds like a wannabe the weeknd at points, but there’s something about it that is inoffensive and i feel like i could get into it.
bebe rexha – ferrari
the concept for this song is pure trash. it sounds like every bebe rexha song you’ve ever heard if you’ve ever paid her any attention. i feel like she’s one of those people that are really really trying to happen but just aren’t outside of the occasional successful feature track. go wrap your ears around something more intellectually stimulating and forget about this faux-aspirational nonsense.
cash cash + abir – finest hour
this is pretty much the chainsmokers meets sia without either of the mentioned parties involved. it’s generic and not specifically bad for any reason but i’m bored of this attempt-at-a-soaring-vocal-backed-by-clicky-clappy-edm thing that keeps coming at me. time to move on from this era please.
catherine mcgrath – wild
if you liked taylor swift circa fearless then this might be for you. wild is a sweet country girl love song with generic and predictable lyrics, a very straightforward chorus and i’m absolutely loving it. surprised how here for it i am.
cautious clay – stolen moments
well paced, not overlong, a smooth quiet vibe, nice vocal and i want to throw it in a four song playlist with songs of a similar kind and put it on repeat.
christopher – bad
bad is the kind of song that feels like it should be good but there’s something that doesn’t quite connect. the sound is definitely there, you can’t argue with the crescendo of noise, but when the chorus hits, whether it’s exciting or not (it’s not) you were overhyped and it was never going to deliver. vocally, christopher sounds nothing like charlie puth but i could absolutely imagine this song being on a charlie puth album so take that in whatever way you like.
chvrches – miracle
the thing about chvrches is that most of the time they almost can’t escape their own sound. when the chorus is coming you can hear their signature synth-pop thing that they do which is why i’m usually over their songs before they play, no matter how good they are, which is what made miracle a surprisingly nice change of pace. it’s a bit rockier, a bit moodier and it still carries that anthemic quality that the band are so prone to in a lot of their songs. the lyrics are accessible if a little predictable and i don’t think that this is the best example of the kind of song this is so i don’t think i’ll be playing it again, but i enjoyed hearing something a but different from them nonetheless.
craig david + yxng bane – magic
it is friday the 13th which i am attributing to the spooky happening that is me actually enjoying something by craig david. magic is pure and simple a nice song. it’s not too craig david sounding, it’s breezy and inoffensive and yxng bane’s verse is pleasant. it hasn’t lodged itself in my ears and i don’t honestly think i’ll listen to it again but it’s nice that i enjoyed myself for those three minutes.
drake – nice for what
drake is the number one listened to artist in the world which genuinely baffles me because his music (for me), is just plain dull. what i mean is that if i heard a drake song in a casual setting i would never stop and be like “oh what is that i like that” y’know? there’s nothing about him that i find engaging or interesting that makes me want to play his music again, i didn’t like hotline bling or one dance and only listened to the latter independently after i was worn down hearing it absolutely f*cking everywhere. nice for what wasn’t officially on the nmf playlist because it came out a week ago, but apparently too late to make the cut for last week. i wanted to listen to it because i’d heard some good reviews, but honestly it’s more of the same inoffensive but unengaging middle of the road trash that i won’t listen to again unless the powers that be wear me down.
florence + the machine – sky full of song
welch is someone i’ve always liked but her sound is something i wouldn’t actively go and listen to of my own accord. i like what i’ve heard and third eye fro her last record is still a strong feature on my running playlist, but unless someone puts it on for me i would never be like “i have to listen to the new florence + the machine album”. sky full of song, not to be confused with the coldplay song of a similar name, is a quiet and understated return from welch, it doesn’t scream out as something i would be rushing to listen to again, it’s pretty enough but in the context of an album (if i were to listen to it) then i’d probably skip it.
frank turner – make america great again
“i know i’m just an ignorant englishman/but i’d like to make america great again” is a the opening line to this frank turner song and was going to fault it but it’s too self aware for my criticisms. i don’t think it’s going to make america great again as it hopes to do, it’s just a very unobjectionable alt-indie-rock sounding song that i’d expect from any alt-indie-rock band. i appreciate that turner put in a key change, when it came in i actually laughed aloud, but it wasn’t enough to save it.
gavin james – always
i don’t know why i keep entertaining gavin james. he’s wholly unobjectionable in a very for-people-who-like-coldplay-and-ed-sheeran way, with always leaning more toward the former. i will say for him that i can recognise his voice which is more than can be said for a lot of artists trundling along in his busy musical lane, but this song is such a snooze fest.
ghosted + jhart – feel on me
ghosted are apparently behind five number ones and have worked with years & years, maroon 5, jess glynne and craig david to name a few, in a very behind the scenes way. jhart is an unknown. feel on me feels a bit like an enrique iglesias commercially accessible song, the upper inflection on the “feel on me” hook are definitely channeling that, but my initial impression is that this song is a swing and a miss.
hook n sling – shoot down the sun
you probably have heard of hook n sling from their actually kind of a bop (i’d like to put on record that this is the first time i have used the word bop which up until now i was opposed to but it just fits ok i’ve been worn down) feature on galantis’ love on me. shoot down the sun definitely has that nice dancy charm, it takes until the chorus to reel you in but once you get there it feels right. the hook is not dissimilar to ariana grande’s dangerous woman if it was given a club remix, which is actually more frustrating than it is clever because i can’t help but compare the two and dw comes out on top. regardless, a nice little song.
isaac gracie – telescope
i liked gracie’s last track, although that was mostly on the merit of his look, so take two with telescope serves as the tell as to whether i liked him or not. the answer is that i’m not falling over this in any way, all we have is a moody, uninteresting album track that i’ve already forgotten about.
janelle monáe + grimes – pynk
dripping in innuendo, pynk is an understated clicky track that gently picks you up with it’s opening pynk and makes you really pay attention to the lyrics. not as immediatly grabbing as make me feel but i always appreciate when a follow up isn’t an obvious carbon copy of it’s predecessor. it builds a small crescendo that culminates in a glorious final minute before it drips back down and drops you off wherever you were before. gentle and beautiful.
king princess – talia
i can see what king princess was going for, talia is definitely a well crafted song that steers away from the irritating tenets of the moody pop sub-genre and hits you in the right places, but the chorus doesn’t quite deliver what it could. lyrically sweet with a bridge doesn’t quite push it over the line.
nicki minaj – barbie tingz
i have a lot of time and respect for minaj. she’s a master of her craft and she doesn’t just do things for the hell of it – all of her features feel considered and it took her four years since her last proper campaign to start her new era. i appreciate that i’ve always been of a fan of her commercial efforts (starships, pound the alarm) but her more genre stuff isn’t my immediate area of interest or expertise. having spun barbie tingz, i thought it was a smooth listen and i don’t feel alienated as mainstream consumer which i have done by her in the past. the ending was a bit abrupt in a way that left me wanting more, so i’ll happily give it another listen and see if it takes.
ruti – dreams (the winner of the voice 2018)
the fact that dreams featured at number 42 on the official uk new music friday playlist and had to have the tag of “(the winner of the voice 2018)” in it’s title speaks volumes as to why they need to give it a rest with all the reality tv singing competitions. i know little of ruti, i vaguely remember flicking through her audition out of curiosity as i always do with these public-vote shows, and i truly wish her well as falling victim to the broken commercial-machine that crossed her first over the finish line and lumbering her with this pleasantly twee cliché laden winners single can only have served to ruin any prospective career she could have otherwise enjoyed.
the shires – the hard way
i feel like i was suckered in by the pretty guitar opening on this song before i was slapped in the face with the hair curlingly cutesy lyrics. if they took away the vocals and then left that intro on for the three minutes and fifty seconds instead then i would be more ok with listening to this than i was with the country drivel i’ve been given instead.
sigrid – high five
now this is more of what i was hoping for from sigrid. i do think that it leans closer to strangers than don’t kill my vibe and i wasn’t nearly as much as into the former as i was the latter, but i’m happy that she’s returning to form. her vocal is soaring and i feel genuinely uplifted which is what a song called high five probably should do. the piano led bridge is quirky and fun and when the final chorus kicked in i felt myself falling back in love with our sound of 2018.
sofi tukker – my body hurts
i’ve just learned that my body hurts is actually the debut album drop, treehouse,‘s signifier from sofi tukker and given that i liked batshit from last week and i’m vibing on this i feel like i need to go home, get it on full blast in my headphones and dance until i’ve done what this song prophesies. my body hurts is big, it’s jungle, and i’m sad that it ended so soon.
year & years + alma – sanctify (remix)
i already know that i love this song, but i wanted to hear what alma would bring to it since i’ve been listening to her a bit lately (see chasing highs). her verse basically hammers home that anyone with a little talent could make this song work, which speaks volumes as to how good it is. you can tell her verse is a tack on which is sad because if it blended a little better then i think it would pip the original to the post but it doesn’t quite. good, but go and listen to the non alma feature instead.
zayn – let me
i was worried about zayn following his angsty-teen instapoetry and the attached troubador image he was adopting on the iage driven social media feed, but i’ve got to respect that he’s just feeling himself and you can’t fault him for that. let me is more accessible than some of the songs on mind of mine, it’s breezy and feels almost late nineties early noughties boyband track that i don’t love like i did dusk til dawn and won’t be listening to of my own volition but have no issue with. charlie puth is gagging that he didn’t get his hands on this.