It’s Monday, there has been new music out for a whole weekend now, I have listened to a fractional amount of it, whittled down a long-list of potential, and here I am with some songs to recommend to you. Seemingly quiet week release wise, or just not much out by people I like/care about, or I’ve just been too out of it to find more new tracks.
Also, finally listened to the new Taylor Swift album, which I thoroughly enjoyed and have included an honorary not-so-new-music track at the foot of this week’s roundup (which is nice and alphabetically neat too).
Being two weeks behind in giving Lover a spin, I’m feeling a little tired of the inherent pressure to consume things the moment they arrive. If you don’t listen to that new album, or binge on that entire TV show within seven days of it coming out, people seem to have already stopped caring about it. Worse still, you hear all these negative opinions about something at which point the whole experience is spoiled for you. I can’t tell you the number of conversations I’ve had with people where it goes in some variation of “I heard that x was bad because x said this about it”.
I shouldn’t whine, it’s such a gift to live in a time when there is so much to enjoy every single week and so little time to do it, but it’s hard to know when it’s time to let go of the idea of listening to and watching so many things. I hope one day that it stops being one week after it comes out because there are another legion of things for you to consume.
Weekly digression over, here are
ten nine songs for you to (hopefully) enjoy, handpicked by me.
Adam Lambert – Superpower
Sound wise, this is Adam Lambert going back to where I fell in love with him: the glamrock strut that he made his name with way back in his American Idol days. There’s been some decent stuff in the interim, but it this is the first time since For Your Entertainment that I’m genuinely excited. There is something maybe a touch dated about it song concept wise, but maybe that’s just the 37-year-old Adam Lambert shimmering here in the album artwork. Imagine him at 29 and this is a perfect return to that original Lambert high.
Best bit: his vocal is just so rich and I’ll never not be a little weak to it.
Blithe – Bad
What a lovely surprise of a song! Y’know, the first few bars you think this is probably going to be your average, everyday, solid-built, dependable pop tune, but there are those little unexpected choices that carry it above and beyond what your brain, or at least mine, anticipates. I was so ready for the titular cry if “Bad!” in the chorus to be a full stop followed by some synthed-out warblings, but no! she sings on! What a treat.
Best bit: a really just excellent chorus
Camila Cabello – Liar
I don’t know what it is about Cabello that stops me from calling myself a fan, especially since she so consitently puts out such catchy songs… maybe one day. I’m still working Senorita out of my brain and now I have to contend with “Oh no, there you go, making me a liar/Got me begging you for more/Oh no, there I go, startin’ up a fire.” When will is end, Camila?! I can’t bear it!
Best bit: The horns
Des Rocs – Living Proof
I have made the truly heinous mistake of clicking on Rocs’ spotify bio which waxes on about how those reading are ‘the children of a beautiful rock n roll revolution’ and now I can’t shake the feeling he’s some narcissistic hack who thinks he’s headed for the top… which I guess is just any and all of the quote unquote traditional rock stars. I mean, I’ve listened to this guitar-gnarled track too many times to say that I don’t like it, because I do, it’s all very convincing and rousing and it had me shrieking ad-libbed rock-singer falsettos in my car as I drove to the dentist this afternoon. I am neither convinced nor unconvinced that Des Rocs is someone to watch out for in the rock arena, and given it’s an arena I don’t pay a grand amount of attention to, I’m not one to say. But, he sounds good to me so give this one a spin.
Best bit: the audacity of it all
Drax Projects – Catching Feelings (feat. six60)
This is so breezy, I love it! Just some good vocal harmonies over a tight little soul-pop backing track, what’s not to like? V soothing, good sax section, excellent falsettos.
Best bit: did you notice how the clouds literally parted ten seconds after you pressed play?
James Arthur + Ty Dolla $ign – Treehouse (feat. Shotty Horroh)
Not sure what to make of grown man James Andrew Arthur crooning for people to join him in his treehouse, something a little icky about it butttt… imagery concepts aside, this is a cute lil RnB number: Arthur sounds lovely, Dolla $ign and Horroh are both inoffensive guests, proper sunday morning playlist music right here.
Best bit: still waiting for that treehouse dad, I know you’re reading this!
Jax Jones + Ella Henderson – This is Real
It’s somehow calming to see X Factor season 9 alums Ella Henderson and James Arthur releasing music in the same week, like it’s 2012 again time has been standing still for seven years. This Is Real is the final cut from Jones’ Snacks album, and it stands in contention to be the best of the lot. Henderson sounds great – it’s been an age since Ghost et al. so I’m happy she’s making, what I hope is, the beginnings of a comeback. It’s just a solid dancy pop track that I could (and have) listen to over and over.
Best bit: Henderson’s vocals, what a triumph
LYRA – Mother
Do you remember that contestant Raign from X Factor? Well, this isn’t her, but this is what I imagine she’s doing now. Florence + the Machine meets AURORA meets Kate Bush(?), very ethereal and lots of whooping and a very nice tune to have thumping out of your speakers in the car as your blasting down country roads at country road acceptable speeds.
Best bit: the whoah-oah-oahs of the chorus and how they piroutte so neatly into falsettos
Taylor Swift – Paper Rings
Paper Rings is the best Taylor Swift song of since ever, and here are the reasons: 1) immediately memorable and also I still can’t get the lyrics at “I hate accidents” bit of the chorus, v tricky 2) it’s cute as hell 3) the second “I want your dreary Mondays” chorus which is better than the main chorus 4) the chorus is actually the best thing though, it’s so lovely and it’s warmed my cold lil heart 5) the lyric “wrap your arms around around me baby boy” 6) it’s quintessential old pop-country Taylor and is timeless 7) can’t wait to have my second dance at my wedding to this.
Best bit: “WRAP YOUR ARMS AROunDD MEEE BABY BOYYYY!! <3”