Hello! I was on holiday last week so I took the liberty of giving myself a week off from this, although given I have deadlines this week in hindsight not my best idea as I have a million and one things to get done, but I’m loathe to take a fortnight out from this because it means I miss out too much new music, so here we are.
There were a -lot- of good songs over the past two weeks and honestly I was too busy listening to the excellent and genuinely thrilling Audible podcast about the Golden State Killer to listen to it all, so I’ve brought together 15 of the finest songs I managed to lay my ears upon over since last we met.
I’ll save my babblings about unimportant pop culture things and ideas and whatnot until next time, although I will say that I’m tiptoeing around the idea of writing some features for this blog outside of my weekly song-collections about music things that I’m interested in, so watch this space (as you should be doing anyway).
Without further preamble, here are the songs that I think you might like.
Beyoncé – Spirit
There are so many iterations of Beyoncé’s music that she is so above and beyond the single genre, making it superfluous to try and pick out a favourite song (the musical equivalent of being at an Italian restaurant when Italian is your favourite cuisine), but I’d go as far to say that this is up there with her absolute finest. From the slow intro that gives way to her genuinely moving vocals, the soulfulness and the power are absolutely soaring, everything about this is undeniable and captivating. It’s also remnant of the not-on-Spotify song Rise Up that featured on the soundtrack for a Dreamworks film called Epic which,if you’ve not heard, click on that there link. Also, as if this weren’t enough, she’s also released a full Lion-King-inspired album which I’ve yet to listen to but am very excited to wrap my ears around. Stunning.
Best bit: I defy you to find any flaw in this
Call Me Loop – Self Love
If you’re not familiar with Georgia Buchanan, AKA Call Me Loop, then you are behind the times on one of pop’s savviest new artists. Self Love is the work of someone who clearly listened to Girl Aloud and also probably Move by Little Mix and has, correctly, understood that this upbeat, rhythm-heavy styling is a pop gold mine. “Self love/Yes please/’Cause I can do better than the other fellas ever said that they could” is such an empowered, slam dunk of a chorus and I am living for her.
Best bit: The cow bell, which continues to prove its worth in pop
Charlotte Lawrence – Why Do You Love Me
Why Do You Love Me feels remnant of Allstars 2002 hit When Things Go Bump In The Night, which, given the rise of billie eilish, feels very of-the-moment: the bassy stomp-stomp-stomp-stomp rhythm is powerful and builds into a full crescendo – I can only imagine the rupturous applause that would follow the perfectly-abrupt ending.
Best bit: the harsh rhythm
Ed Sheeran – Remember the Name (feat. Eminem + 50 Cent)
This is so misleading, like it kicks of as an cheery ‘Ed Sheeran rap’ song, and then it sinks beautifully into an Eminem classic. Sheeran will never fit authentically into the hip hop genre, I just imagine his dorky face and it’s like seeing your grandad in the club at 3am. I’d prefer Eminem take over his lines, but given this is Sheeran’s project I guess I can’t be mad, especially when the product is a this jaunty, catchy little number which, whose hook I’ve been unable to shake, making it my song of the week.
Best bit: a toss up between the chorus and 50’s verse
Emeli Sandé – Shine
Between Beyoncé’s Spirit and Shine, I feel like I’m having a transcendental spiritual experience. I just feel lifted, you know? Sandé sounds so good here, I just feel like she’s really happy to be singing it and I feel happy too. I’ve not been excited about her in a while, but this is by far her finest since the perfection that is Next To Me. A joy.
Best Bit: The bridge builds me up real good, I listened to this when I was driving and I felt like my car was taking off
Gallant – Crimes
That little melody on the piano that leads this track is so good, the rest of this song is real slow and soulful and *maybe* a little one-note, but Gallant sounds beautiful and it’s giving me lil shivers when his falsetto kicks in that I will overlook this crime.
Best bit: gotta be his falsetto
JC Stewart – Bones
Now, I don’t know how these things work, but I’m pretty sure if you scroll past something on your computer/phone, Facebook can and will produce an advert for it, which is how my attention was drawn to the inarguable vocal performance from Mr Stewart here. Like, I know, it’s got that x-factor-winning-single-meets-westlife quality to it, but I don’t know why you were under the impression that that isn’t one of my favourite genres?
Best bit: the unexpected strip-back in the chorus
Matt Corby + Tash Sultana – Talk It Out
I just know that somewhere in the archives of my posts I wished this collaboration into existence: two incredibly talented people who make up every inch of their own music from all (incredible) vocals to playing all the instruments, both existing in that neo-soul genre, and both originating from Australia? It was inevtiable, surely, and the product is exactly as I dreamed it: a dreamy, funky, soulful slice of magic.
Best bit: that first few bars of are above and beyond
Matt Mullholland – I Think We Should Date
This is (hard to say if intentionally or not because he began as a comedy singer) corny as hell and I unashamedly love it. It’s so wedding-singer-turned-recording artist, y’know? LISTEN TO THOSE LYRICAL CLICHÉS: YOU SHINE BRIIIIGHT! LIKE A DIAMOND IN THE ROUUUUUGH! AND IT FEELS SO RIIIIGHT! COS I LIKE SHINY THINGS!
Best bit: the brass section
mxmtoon – seasonal depression
There’s nothing like a twee little song played on ukulele about seasonal depression to conjure the mood of being sat in a rainy car looking out the window. Cute.
Best bit: the layered vocals
SAARLOOS – Fiesty
You know how that band from your high school got a lowkey record deal from a label you probably haven’t heard of have gone on tour supporting someone like CHVRCHES for Germany dates of their European tour? This is what their big single probably sounds like and you know they’re having the time of their lives and it’s a lil bit infectious so just listen to their song, ok?
Best bit: the whoah-oah-oah-woah-oah-oah-Whoa-OAH-OAHs!
Sea Girls – Closer
Upon listening to this, my second exposure to Sea Girls (who are in fact boys) I am ready to purchase one ticket to their next indie-band show where I am sure they will be giving a lot of energy and making every one in the room sweaty. Adolescent euphoria pumped up to ten.
Best bit: just, like, how much you can tell the band are all good pals, y’know? and the guitar bit too is nice
Smith & Thell – Hotel Walls
That’s three-in-a-row cool, high octane indie-rock-band songs that would make a good addition to the middle of my running playlist when I’ve hit that perfect coasting speed and am gliding along a country road. Good build, solid vocals, the pre-chorus is such a temptress to a chorus which is musical nirvana.
Best bit: the pace of it
Tones and I – Never Seen the Rain
When you have a unique vocal style it’s such a hard thing to get right and Tones and I have got it so, so right. There’s that childlike innocence to the sound, and when you read them the lyrics “And it gets you down/but that’s ok/ You’ve been pushed around/ You feel the pain” should feel tired but the delivery is reassuring and perfectly pitched.
Best bit: the warmth and reassurance of the chorus
Will Joseph Cook – Hey Brother
The second the opening bars start you can tell just how this songs gonna go in the best way possible. “Hey brother, why’d you walk with that stone in your shoe?” is such a weird lyrical hook, it’s charming and cheerful and I’m genuinely filled with delight when it comes on, which is no small feat when it’s the last song of the week and my ear holes are burned out.
Best bit: the breezy repetition of the chorus