This week marks the beginning of our New Music Friday journey for 2019, and if it’s anything like last year then be sure to expect a landslide of stellar pop artists continuing to push the boundaries of pop music… and those riding the wave too.
FLEUR EAST / FAVOURITE THING
“You’re my new favourite thing.”
First up to the plate, serving us a timeless pop banger right at the start of the year, is the ever talented X Factor runner-up Fleur East. Following her I’m A Celebrity run, Fleur has successfully distilled the fiery elements of her debut album into a much smoother, much more personalised package. ‘Favourite Thing’ is the kind of song you save for a comeback, as it strikes like a train on the tracks, and it boggles the mind that her old label, Syco, didn’t see the sheer potential at play here. The punchy afrobeat coupled with a phenomenal music video in which she exudes star power… I’m struggling to contain my excitement in her as an artist once more.
SVAL / BREATHE EASY
“If I was braver, I would speak louder. I just wanna breathe easy.”
Each month, I notice that new artists are in relatively constant supply. It takes a fantastic debut single, some lyrical twists to old familiar concepts, or an enticing and unique voice to set them apart at first listen. Sval is one of the many Norwegian artists that are only really known in their own home country, but with ‘Breathe Easy’ and the single that preceded it, I’m hopeful that will change.
The phenomenal Sky Ferreira-lite ‘Something’ was enough to convince me from the first twenty seconds, and this cathartic and emotional ballad chronicling her personal anxieties deserves the stream too. Easily relate-able with a pleasant production, it’s a great pop song that elevates itself right at the last hurdle with a Taylor Swift-lite middle 8 that I would have loved to have seen feature more throughout the song.
LIZZO / JUICE
“No, I’m not a snack at all. Look, baby, I’m the whole damn meal”
Being a fan since her 2013(!) debut, Lizzobangers, it’s been an absolute pleasure to see Lizzo’s charisma translate into a healthy and respectable career. Luckily for us, the quality of her content hasn’t faltered along the way – still infectious in its positivity, with one of the most talented and charismatic stars we know at the helm.
Those chords will carry you into funk-pop 80’s bliss, her hilarious and witty lyricism dripping character. All we can say is let it take you!
JADA / LONELY
“Before I give you all my heart, let me know. Are you’re gonna leave me lonely?”
A brand new discovery here and it’s an immediate obsession: think PC-Music meets classic 00s trance with Julia Michaels at the helm. Though that might sound like a strange combination, they all work in harmony with one another – producing a unique dance-pop that sounds fresh and timeless.
Vocally Jada puts up an impressive and slightly anonymous effort, but it’s the production that excites me here – it’s the exact kind of thing I’d expect Purity Ring to produce in 2019. Surprisingly it’s a pretty big departure from her two previous singles, which occupied a more R&B inspired realm, so I’m excited to see where this leads next!
JENS / ANY OTHER WAY
“Call you up when I’m drunk like I always do.”
Let’s get the inevitable out of the way: the Shawn Mendes/Charlie Puth similarities are immediate. Unsurprisingly crafted in Sweden, the opening verses are the most promising; wistful and full of character, a gorgeous second vocal take bubbling beneath… and then we’re hit with the bassline.
Perhaps I’m tired of the sound after hammering Shawn Mendes’ self-titled album because the chorus is still perfectly crafted, but the real interesting part of the song are those brilliant verses. Consider me still keeping my eyes on you, Jens, for whatever you do next.
As always, my songs of the week are added to the ‘Eyes on 2019’ playlist below. Please do give it a follow and a share if you appreciate!