Nope, sorry, I know you just want to get cosied up with all those lovely Christmas songs, but there is still new music coming out that you need to hear and most of it has nothing to do with the festive season! Only a small fourteen tracks for consideration this week.
In other news, on I’m off to see MUNA in Glasgow tonight, which seemed like a good idea at the time but now I’m worried that I’ll actually feel all my suppressed emotions and be unable to cope with life ever again. I hope they play their cover of Motivation so I will know more than three songs – my resolution to only go to gigs where I know half the setlist has not gone well….
I’m doing this from my phone today, because I spilled a bit of water on my laptop and it’s currently sitting in rice.
Bastille – Admit Defeat
The extended cut for Bastille’s Doom Days album came out just in time for Christmas and right at the top of the new songs is Admit Defeat, a triumphant, horn heavy anthem that borrows from some of the bands own melodies. It’s not their most profound track, but there’s something inspired about Dan from Bastille’s voice supported by so many pillars of synthetic sounding brass.
Best bit: those horns
Becky Hill – Only You
I am in genuine awe at this. I really had to check that it was and is in fact Becky Hill delivering this touching and gentle ballad. It’s so moving and a far cry from her usual powerhouse vocal commanding the biggest dance bangers of the year. The lightness of the piano plus the scene setting use of chimes, and a simple and beautifully melody delivered are all I need to make this my song of the week
Best bit: those chimes
Blakey – Upfall
This is the best Coldplay song I’ve heard in ages.
Best bit: this isn’t actually Coldplay
Camila Cabello – My Oh My (feat. DaBaby) / This Love
Camila is a ~problematic~ individual, but she does get gifted some of the best pop tunes, and her new album is full of em, including these two. My Oh My has her signature Latin pop flares with provocative lyrics about being a quote unquote good girl dating dangerous boys (only a little unsettling to be given something so visceral in line with her current relationship), although none quite as unforgettable as DaBaby’s contribution: “DaBaby make her forget what she learned from her daddy“. This Love is the tried and tested ‘here’s a song with a slow enough rhythm that people can audition with on reality TV shows to show off their voice’ entry, easily sung and demands repeat plays until you know every little lick that she gives.
Best bit: Camila’s vocal
Elley Duhé – NATURE
Duhé wastes absolutely no time and getting to the point. NATURE is a non stop House-pop song about ignoring everything and just giving into your desires. It’s fast, infectious, and it’ll be in your head for weeks.
Best bit: the way she sings “my blood, my bones, my brain”
Grace Ackerman – Down To The Wire
You can tell that Ackerman works in pop music – she’s collaborated in the writers room with a bunch of well recognised artists. There are definitely touches of things you’ve heard before – the influence of Florence Welch and her predecessors stand eternal – and its very of the moment, with people like Bishop Briggs doing similar things. Her vocal is great, the melody is comfortably familiar, and she wraps it up nicely with her own little flares.
Best bit: the “I pray”s
Harry Styles – Adore You
This is just really cute. It’s definitely cut from the same soundboard as Lights Up, and there are small touches in the instrumental and in the way, the vocals are layered in a way that reminds me of The 1975. A very cool-vibed song that radio and the fans should absolutely lap up.
Best bit: the hook “walk through fire, just let me adore you” is so lovely
Liam Payne – Live Forever (With Cheat Codes)
Liam Payne gets a rough ride of it, from myself included, and his debut album from which this comes has been plagued by delays and the unfortunate inclusion of a song that fetishises bisexuality – bit of a faux pas, but he’s probably just being honest. But I like Cheat Codes and I like this, Live Forever, which sounds a lot like something I can imagine Justin Bieber and a host of other pop guys passed over lending their vocals to. It’s tired and derivitve and I can’t stop myself listening to it.
Best bit: those moody vocals
Matoma – Keep It Simple (feat. Wilder Woods + Petey)
Foddery upbeat EDM with vocals from the lead singer of a band I love (in this case it’s Bear Reinhart from NeedToBreathe) is the epicentre of one of my biggest music Venn diagrams. See also: Born to be Yours by Kygo.
Best bit: Bear’s vocal
NF – PAID MY DUES
NF has one of my favourite rap voices of recent times but it doesn’t fit in with my everyday playlists so I keep forgetting but every time I hear him I’m floored by how commandingly plain spoken he is. If you haven’t heard him yet then start here.
Best bit: the “ick” rhymes in the opening verse
Niall Horan – Put a Little Love On Me
Three of the boys releasing solo material in the same week and all of it good? Niall’s contribution is a heartfelt ballad which he is more than capable of selling.
Best bit: ok Google, play the song that will make me fall in love with Niall Horan
Taylor Swift – Christmas Tree Farm
Commission Taylor Swift to write a musical Christmas rom com stat.
Best bit: How much it feels like the beginnings of a Christmas rom com
Twin Atlantic – Barcelona
Twin Atlantic are so deserving of the mantle held by the My Chemical Romances and 30 Seconds to Marses of the world. Their emo-rock anthemia is empowering and Barcelona is an excellent example of it.
Best bit Sam McTrusty’s ever distinctive vocal