Hi! It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? For various reasons this journalist has been preoccupied with a host of other things and the little passion project that is this semi-regular music roundup fell by the wayside. But, finally, October is almost here, the reset point I’ve been craving finally peaked its head around the corner, and I’m back to bring you the songs that I think are the week’s best new releases.
For anyone interested, I’m still toying with filling in the several-month gap of new music, but will be dependent on just how much actual time life affords me. There’s another idea I’m going to flesh out in the next few weeks before I launch it – it’s a bit dumb and it might not take, but then I’m not one to prescribe to the idea that things must be done if they have an audience.
Alright, would you like some new music then?
Baby Queen – Pretty Girl Lie
If you aren’t listening to Baby Queen then what are you doing with your time? Wasting it. We all know it’s hard to be a pop girl, even if you get that big break into the upper end of the charts all it takes is one bad single for people to stop really caring again. What you need is something else about you, and Baby Queen has that in spades: she’s funny, she writes some really astute lyrics that actually land, and has now given us 3 solid bops [sorry Medicine]. It’s not new to be woke, but it’s not easy to do it with words that flow as well as “You are what you eat, so I’ll become nothing” and “I get more likes when I don’t look like me/Well, fuck my life” do on Pretty Girl Lie. An incredibly solid pop song if ever I’ve heard one.
Bastille – survivin’
A song about living in these difficult times is it? If you really listen to them, I think we can agree that Bastille’s songs are all more or less the same, but when the sound is a good one it’s not the worst thing in the world. Chill, easy listening from one of the worlds somehow most popular bands.
Carlie Hanson – Ego (feat. iann dior)
There’s not a lot to this song and for the bulk of it, it’s all a bit ‘bangy-bangy’ as my mum would put it, until you get to that chorus. Ego manages to make you feel like you are taking one big breath in so that when that chorus climaxes you feel supercharged and ready to fight.
Chaz Cardigan – Room
Cardigan is one of my personal favourite new discoveries in 2020 [he’s being doing things since 2017 so not new new], and his single output has been pretty spot in terms of writing lyrics and melodies that are both just good. Room is by no means his best in this current campaign, maybe the chorus could have gone a little further, but all in all the lyrics set a vivid scene and the slow build really evokes that over-emotional internal-lament that everyone has over their first, now-lost love.
Dekleyn – Time, Place & You
It’s nice sometimes when a song makes its point in the very first line. Time, Place & You is soft synth pop: gentle but direct, unclimactic but fulfilled. When you consider the sheet number of songs that try and fail to capture this hyper-chill i-love-you vibe, Dekleyn’s effort feels like a real triumph.
Guy Sebastian – Love On Display
I don’t really know what the original Australian Idol come X-Factor Aus judge come Eurovision representative Guy Sebastion has to do to find any recognition outside of the Southern hemisphere, but I hope that one day it happens for him [think Olly Murs but from down under and a better vocal range]. Sure, Love on Display spouts “You wouldn’t keep a new Ferrari covered up/you wouldn’t hide a Van Gogh in the basement” as its opening lyric, but when did cheesy upbeat love songs become so reviled that fairly well known artists don’t get their international dues? Well, here they are from me: listen to this cute, dumb love song about showing love in a public setting.
Joe Killington – Pain Killer
Once you get past thinking about how lowkey intense it must be for Mr Killington to introduce himself all the time, it’s easy to recognise this for stupid-but-good dance track that it is. These methodic euphoria-inspired songs are ten a penny, but there’s something about that saxophone that’s really hitting different in way that’s not been done since Kligande’s Jubel.
Machine Gun Kelly – forget me too (feat. Halsey)
I’m as surprised as anyone that MGK, previously only known to me because of that verse he did in a Little Mix song and his occasional foray onto screen, has not only spawned an entire nostalgia-inducing pop punk album, but that it’s actually really… good? This Halsey duet is the final single being pushed from tickets to my downfall and Colton Baker couldn’t have picked a more perfect partner for this particular project.
Machine Gun Kelly – play this when i’m gone
The other standout from MGK’s new album is this: the closing track which he wrote for his daughter Cassie. The muted ukulele and the overall softness of this beyond-the-grave number after such an energetic album, the straightforward introspective honesty of lyrics like “I’m twenty-nine and society is eating me alive”, and that genre-signifying snare drum fade out will have you reaching for all your old MCR/Fall Out Boy/Green Day records.
Maisie Peters – Maybe Don’t (feat. JP Saxe)
Honestly I think we’ve all had just about enough of this Lauv/Julia Michaels-tuned sadpop™ thing that has been back tracking much of the music landscape for aeons now, but based on the success of Saxe’s duet with one of the aforementioned culprits, it’s very likely that this annoyingly catchy song will replicate that success and then some, so maybe best to give it a spin now if you haven’t already.
Maude Latour – Block Your Number
Thank you, eternally and once again, to Peter Robinson AKA Mr Popjustice for ensuring that good pop songs don’t go under the radar. It’s hard to be mad at the fact that 20-year old Latour is writing such faux-pretentious lyrics when she presents them over such a perfectly pitched Lorde-lite pop crescendo that hits with enough bravado that you might actually, finally, block that person’s number after realising how much of a waste of time they are.