Thursday, 8 February 2018

Last Week's Releases Today: Sing To Me, Child

It's Tuesday evening and I am very behind on this so let's just all hope for the best, shall we?

"All the pop singles out this week are great", y'all said, "it's a lovely time". Well, if that's the case how come it has taken me an entire extra day to post this? Huh? Hmm thought so.

The real shock this week is that my favourite song has come from young duo Let's Eat Grandma who I quite frankly could not stand throughout their debut album cycle. 'Hot Pink', although as quirky as what they were doing before, is far more cohesive than any of it's LEG (what an acronym) predecessors. It's taken a week for me to work it out, but instrumentally the verses on this track sound like something straight out of Oceaan's catalogue and I am pining for Oceaan so that's where I'm at here. I would fucking love if everything this pair do in between ALevels and GCSEs etc sounds like this from now on. Holy shit okay I've just seen that SOPHIE co-wrote and produced this and I'm not sure if that makes my feelings towards 'Hot Pink' more or less mad because I'm actually not that into SOPHIE but there we damn well go.

My second favourite song this week is another pretty rando choice in the form of Trinidad Cardon's 'Dinero'. A hit. A banger. Sing to me, child. This kid has the prettiest damn face I've ever seen. 'Dinero' is good for many reasons, but mostly because it takes this latin/reggaeton craze, tones it down to sound younger and fresher and then gives it all a Caribbean twist. That is the shittiest sentence I've written this year but it's all true. Also this is a damn sight better than his breakout 'Jennifer'.

Where dance and electronic things are concerned: 3LAU continues to truly do the most on 'On My Own' with the enlisted vocal of Nevve. There are two notes in this track that sound lifted from an 00's song and I can't work out what it is, so answers on a postcard please. I think Just Kiddin are good and all they need is to catch a bit of a break; 'Indiana' could very feasibly do that for them. No idea who does the ol' vox on this but I would quite like to know if anybody is willing to share that information with me. Me ol' mate Scott Quinn has joined Set Mo (... nope, me neither) for a foray into dance music on a song titled 'Nightmares' and you know what lads, it bloody works, it does.

JMSN is back again. Does this man ever rest? His new single is called 'So Badly', you don't need me to tell you that it's good. Sam Wills, a man who I frequently get confused with other men who have average stage names, has a new single called 'Kool Aid'. It's very "okay and inoffensive" until the chorus where it gets good. In fact, it's just that "kool aid in the water" line. Excellent content. At least... I think that's what he's saying? Josie Dunne is brand new (I assume) and this is her debut single (I assume) 'Old School', it's very nice, it's very L Devine, but there is strong potential here for her as a musical artist. I'm possibly embarrassed that I like Doja Cat's 'Roll With Us'. I sure as hell might get fed up with it very soon but for now I like it. I'm definitely embarrassed that I like The Mowgli's 'Real Good Life', but what can we do?

February has finally brought us some albums worth talking about. All of the singles on Don Broco's Technology are great, but the rest of the album doesn't quite live up to the hits on their previous two full lengths. South Korea is shaking in the wake of a new album from EXO and a repackaged album situation from Red Velvet. EXO's COUNTDOWN is packed with wall to wall bangers and I would highly recommend; the Red Velvet thing was far less "for me" but opener 'Bad Boys' is pretty fun. Julie Bergan's debut album Turn On The Lights is totally fine, undoubtedly there are hits throughout, but the whole drop for chorus thing gets a bit tiresome after a while. You can check the songs I deemed to be the best from these albums (and more) on the WIIHAMB Q1 playlist which I finally decided was worthy of making public this week.

All the songs I've mentioned can be found in my Keep It 2018 playlist here and below.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Last Week's Releases Today: Never Fake Nice

Wow so literally nobody is reading these. Anyway, humans released some songs I actually liked this week which was good of them to do. Let's get into it.

Last year when Harrison Brome released 'Body High' I commended his ability to sing the word "pussy" in the first verse and not make me recoil in horror. I thought this might be a one off but this man could possibly be the only man on the planet who doesn't repulse me by singing about sex. I implore you to also not be offended in the slightest by his new single '9 to 5'. Another track that I definitely had the potential to hate is Johnny Balik's 'Honey'. I don't know what kept me from skipping over this in the first minute but somehow this faux folk pop song goes in a subtle direction away from the Anthony and the Johnson's norm I was expecting. Mad impressed with everything that happens on 'Honey'.

'Fake Nice', the new single from The Aces, is quite good. The Aces actually sound quite like Friends but a bit more indie and a bit less synth. I should have got myself more hype over what they were doing last year, but I'm here for it now. Let's chat about a couple more bands/groups since we're here. Teenage Wrist who I have literally never heard of before put out a track called 'Dweeb' and I am now fully hype. It's extremely rare that I care for rock music at this point in my life so I'm quite pleased to have stumbled upon something I like the sound of so much. They have an album on the way soon, I think, maybe I read that somewhere? I want to say March but I'm not sure. The Age Of L.U.N.A. are back again, which I really admire. Their new single is called 'Maybe Yeah' and it's such a chill R&B meets hip hop masterclass; I am a fan.

I'm sure we're all very grateful that the new Justin Timberlake album is now imminent so the confusion about the Man Of The Woods era can finally be put to bed after the release of last week's third and final pre-album single 'Say Something' with country man Chris Stapleton. It's actually fine but what the hell is going on? In other instant grat news there is another track from Jonny Craig's Slaves (US) titled 'I Know a Lot of Artists'. It's a bit better than the previous song we were drip fed and I'll be honest I am looking forward to the release of their forthcoming album in a fortnight's time.

The final four... all collaborations weirdly. This Zedd single featuring Grey and Maren Morris, 'The Middle', is good but it does maybe sound a bit too similar to 'Stay' and if you told me that the vocals were actually Alessia Cara again I probably wouldn't bat an eyelid. Tom Misch and Loyle Carner are back together again on 'Water Baby'. I generally just don't really get on with Loyle Carner's vocal but I'm a fan of this track. Tom Misch is good and is actually at a fairly unbelievable level of popularity generally. Shallou and Riah (nope, me neither) have done a nice little collab on a track called 'Lies'. Joel Baker has unleashed the full studio version of 'Worry About Me' which is good apart from the Sneakbo verse which I really hate. Baker continues to be one of the best songwriter storytellers of our generation, however, and for that I am pleased.

Wow look we made it through January and albums were trash literally the whole time. Over 'em to be honest.

All the songs I've mentioned can be found in my Keep It 2018 playlist here and below.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Last Week's Releases Today: The Bridge of JT's 'Supplies'

I trawled through no less than 173 songs on my compiled NMF playlist this week and the lack of quality was absolutely unbelievable. Somehow I have had the will power to find the roses between the thorns but they are few and far between.

I've been having a really tough time over the past fortnight with this new Justin Timberlake era. It's extremely confused, and whilst I've never been a proper fan this cycle surely doesn't sound as though it's about to turn me into one. I thought Pharrell might breathe some sense into 'Supplies' but in fact he does the absolute opposite, his cameo in the music video further reinforcing that. I straight up just don't like whatever that first single was called... 'Filthy', that's one of those words that makes my skin crawl, but I could be persuaded into liking 'Supplies'. The star of this four minute shy mess is that bridge. Who put that there? Where did it come from? Why is it here? Can I call somebody to remove it from 'Supplies' and use it as the basis for a new song that would be undeniably actually good?

I'm still not actually sure I like any of the songs that are about to appear before you but lets, for the sake of this post, pretend I do. We'll start with the songs I think I might like the most. Betty Who is back and I was not expecting her around again so soon after an album last year. 'Ignore Me' is just the right side of "sad but upbeat enough" and I am a fan. Possibly this years first recommendation from Bastien that I have liked is Lolo Zouaï's 'Blue'. I read somewhere that Zouaï is French-Algerian... so naturally she does some singing en Francais on 'Blue'. It's quite a weird track over all, there's a lot that goes on, the structure and pacing moves about constantly but in an interesting rather than jarring way.

My own personal Spotify Release Radar threw up two rando as hell remixes (well, it threw up more than two but let's focus on what's good) that I am quite pleased with ~the algorithms~ for. The first, Chromeo's remix of Maroon 5's 'Wait'. And I know what y'all thinkin', "wait, was this even a single? Wasn't that whole album campaign a mess? Why are you telling me about this?" Well, I don't know, yes it was, and because it's groove you didn't realise you needed. I was late to the Chromeo party, 'Jealous' was the first song of theirs that I eventually liked. Don't get mad, I'm here now. The second is far more niche and comes in the form of Champion's remix of Modestep's 'Higher'. "Modestep? Is this 2012???" No, it's not. I'm still a big fan of Josh Friend's vocal and Champion's take on this track strips away the dubstep and replaces it all with a more pleasant drum 'n' bass sound.

Wow this post is still going. Okay. Other good things: LIZ has released a double A side single (hello, the 90s called) both singles on which are good but I think I prefer 'Queen Of Me', although it sounds a lot like Aanysa's 'Burn Break Crash'. Nightmares On Wax, who appears to be a man, has released a song with Sadie Walker, who appears to be a woman, by the name of 'Deep Shadows'. I have been enjoying it. Other songs that I'm unsure I actually like but they've made it this far: Hello August's 'Wrong Chick' and The Wombats' 'Cheetah Tongue'. I quite like The Wombats a lot and I'd group them alongside The Subways in a Bands That Nobody Cares For Anymore But That Are Still Good category.

Oh, albums and EPs, God, okay. I didn't really like any of them. I'm holding on to three tracks from the latest Fall Out Boy album. What they did on Save Rock and Roll was exciting but nothing has been anywhere near as good since then. And I liked the first half of Wafia's VIII EP. Let's hope this paragraph starts to get more interesting as the weeks go on. The slowly expanding Q1 Library is here.

All the songs I've mentioned can be found in my Keep It 2018 playlist here and below.