16th April, NMF!

TROYE SIVAN, TATE MCRAE / YOU

Combining forces to give us understated summer song of ’21 are Sivan and Mcrae, the latter known mostly for the huge TikTok fuelled ballad ‘You Broke Me First’. Luckily this takes a page from Sivan’s book, the dreamlike delivery and production a perfect extension of his latest EP In a Dream. Hopefully they have a huge hit on their hands here, as it recalls the slow-head-worming capabilities of summer songs of old like ‘Dancing with a Stranger’.

RALPH / TOMMY

The cappucino-morning vibes of Ralph finds new infectious Carly Rae-esque shades in ‘Tommy’, a relatively simple but instantly memorable hook filled subtle banger that hits somewhere between Katy Perry’s ‘Small Talk’ and Carly’s ‘Boy Problems’. Serving as the opening to her next EP (or album, we hope) it’s a perfect reintroduction of Ralph’s endless commitment to not only creating music but serving experiences such as the video above. That’s someone who loves what they do, folks.

FICKLE FRIENDS / COSMIC COMING OF AGE

Experimenting comes at quite a cost for bands like Fickle Friends who have spent many dedicated years crafting a fanbase that knows exactly what they like and what to expect. Quite smartly then, Fickle Friends have been subtly ramping up their influences and introducing new depths to their music – most notably here in the far less polished to sharp edge production, the cutting lyricism and the slightly effervescent vocal. It’s all very familiar but new, and amazing.

VÉRITÉ / BY NOW

Trap beats and hi-hats rarely blend well with production that aims to be expansive as opposed to inward and minimal but if there’s anyone that can pull off bringing it into a cinematic landscape it’s VÉRITÉ, the blend of contemporary quietness blended conspicuously with what sounds at the heart like an enormous off kilter power ballad. What it results in is moments where the vocals feel like they are bursting through the confining cracks of the production, which is haunting and spine tingling all at once.

MARINA / PURGE THE POISON

An abrupt hard-left shift into prior territory for Marina, who briefly dabbled in absolutely neutering a uniqueness that once afforded her Tumblr Royalty status. ‘Purge the Poison’ doesn’t always succeed, the melodies of the chorus at odds with lyrics that on paper have the ability to cut through just as past songs like ‘Hollywood’ once did. The chorus however should serve as a reminder of why Marina is still here and what she still has to bring. An altogether chaotic running takedown of capitalism, American imperialism and conspiracies against covid – who else has the gall to ram all of that into one song? Nobody.

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