It’s not news the world is a bad place there’s a lot you need to do and worry and think about and act upon. As someone whose rural-adjacent existence feels far removed from the world at the best of times, it’s been easy to slip into a passive mindset about most of the world’s injustices as they don’t land on my doorstep, but as soon as I’m done with this I’ll be listening to the audiobooks of this, this and this and see what needs reassessed.
There was a lot of new music in May, the timing of things meant that there was an extra week slipped in there in the release schedule so there was a lot to get through and this post is a few days later than planned – but better late than never right?
Here are the Top 20 Songs You Should Hear that came out in May.
20. Be Kind (with Halsey) by Marshmello
The ticker that counts the number of annoyingly memorable hooks Marshmello has to his name went up by one with Be Kind. It’s a cute, catchy, get-under-your-skin kinda tune about finding it hard to open up, with vocals from one of the good ones.
19. Five More Minutes by Jonas Brothers
It’s hard to say to what extent I genuinely like this song, but as with every Jonas Brothers song that gets released it gets obligatory on-repeat plays in this household, and that hook [which debuted at the Grammy Awards] just strengthens in the two-and-a-half-minute studio version.
18. Anything Could Happen by The Academic
The melody in this song, by your new favourite indie-rock band The Academic, sounds a bit like that Here In My Car song – have a listen and tell me I’m wrong.
17. Malibu by Kim Petras
An excellent, being-in-love upbeat song-of-the-summer banger with a star-studded video from your next big popstar.
16. Nobody Like You (with Vera Blue) by Louis The Child
You know CHVRCHES? Ok, now think about their best song, then make it upbeat and fun. Ok now you have Nobody Like You: a joyful dance-pop tune.
15. Ur So F**kInG cOoL by Tones and I
Another teen-relatable anthem about vapidity and popularity and the toxic things that come from trying to fit it from Tones and I, who is once again being her funny and genuine self.
14. Strike by Call Me Loop
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Call Me Loop is a one woman girl band. Do you miss Girls Aloud and The Saturdays et al? You don’t have to! Call Me Loop is here and giving you fed-up romantic pop nuggets flecked with thumping beats and soft vocal bridges.
13. Save A Kiss by Jessie Ware
The queen of electronica-dance-pop and podcaster extraordinaire brought out her best song in ages, with a chorus that lands as perfectly as a gentle whisper as it does belted out at full voice. Save A Kiss is a a big floaty soft-banger of a song you can really move to.
12. Internet Religion by Baby Queen
A loud, musically-sound love letter about trying to show who you are online, which speaks to living through the highs and lows, trying to be noticed in a place that feels boundless and chaotic without guide book, all done on top of an excellent, anthemic melody.
11. Someday by Kygo and Zac Brown Band
Kygo released a whole album last week, it’s all the same-sounding EDM-euphoric thing that is great to run to and I live for it. The best track has to be Someday, purely for the enormous vocal harmonies in the prechorus as provided by Zac Brown Band. Huge.
10. Wobbles on the Cobbles by Hak Baker
The defeatist, can’t-be-fucked-anymore tone with which Baker delivers Wobbles on the Cobbles is so exceptionally good that you don’t even realise how poetic, angry and heartbreaking the lyrics are first time around. The message is always timely, but even more so now. The way he says so casually says lines like “Tell you what though I’d love a lovely seat on the house of commons/Show the pompous cunts they’re wronguns” and “Vern’s gone back to jail for ages” really stays with you.
09. Hyperfine by G Flip
If your brain is anything like mine that ‘hyper-hyper fine” opening will be rattling around your head for weeks. The proper hook is really good too, and when that muffled-recording for the bridge jumps back into the chorus in the last minute it feels huge. A big, bold, and brilliant song.
08. Chaila by Denise Chaila
As someone who has a perennially incorrectly pronounced last name, I felt every single word of this song. The cadence of Chaila’s vocal is so rich and at odds with the ongoing background riff it goes to evoke the genuine frustration that is so cheerfully delivered, and makes it a compelling, instantly catchy little tune.
07. Waiting Games by Trella
A self-reclaiming post-break-up anthem with a full on chest pounding chorus that puts Trella in league with Lorde and Sigrid.
06. Sour Candy (with BLACKPINK) by Lady Gaga
There is a lot to like about Lady Gaga’s new album, not least this deep-house duet about owning your damage from mother monster and BLACKPINK. The BP part is really rich in sound that by the time Gaga comes in you almost forget it was her song. Iconic.
05. Somebody by Dagny
If you like that 80s disco sound that’s so prevalent in pop at the moment, then this from Dagny with its huge chorus and pounding verses is for you. Stunning.
04. Damn Daniel (with Yung Baby Tate) by Bree Runway
I don’t know how Runway and Tate managed to reinvent 90s hip hop and school girl rhyme with such authenticity on a song titled after a meme, but they really did it on Damn Daniel.
03. Rain on Me (with Ariana Grande) by Lady Gaga
I keep going between thinking this a run of the mill dance-pop song that is no different to the swathes of others that have come out and only gained so much traction because of their joint credentials, and thinking of this as the best gift pop music has given us in 2020 so far, so here it is at number 3. A huge banger.
02. This Love Isn’t Crazy by Carly Rae Jepsen
I wasn’t that bothered about Dedication last year, so when side B dropped I was SHAKEN by how masterful this, the opening track, is. Every single second is brimming with sound – it is impossible to focus on it all at once and I plan to spend the rest of June listening to this over and over picking out my new favourite bit going on in the background.
01. Bloody Valentine by Machine Gun Kelly
I am going to have to ask that Colson Baker and Megan Fox to remove their feet from my neck because I CANNOT BREATHE. Unbelievably ready for the return of pop punk music.