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.