23rd Oct, NMF!

LEFT BEHIND | So Below

SO BELOW / OVER

There’s a definite blueprint behind So Below works, her glacial hypno-pop a mastery at this point, yet ‘Over’ (taken from her brand new album Left Behind, manages to play both blueprint and surprise. Undoubtedly the highlight of the album, ‘Over’ brings relentless synths to Maddie North’s typical otherworld delivery but it’s the melody that takes this up a notch – the sprightly juxtaposition with the production bringing everything else to life.

Wallows - Remote Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

WALLOWS / COASTLINES

Wallows live and die by choruses so enormous it’s hard not to envision the crowds of fans chanting along to them after one solitary listen; the Remote EP is stuffed with them and is a waltz through some of the brightest alt-pop out there at the minute, but ‘Coastlines’ is a small window into a clearly exciting future. ‘Virtual Aerobics’ remains the best thing they’ve done, but ‘Coastlines’ proves there’s a little bit more to it all than the catchiness.

Cyn's "New York"

CYN / NEW YORK

Most new artists, as above with So Below, tend to find a fairly concrete blueprint to follow as opposed to experimentation. There’s an argument to be made about whether niche success affords it or requires a simpler dedication but either way, Cyn isn’t listening. Still very much under her remit of Katy Perry-esque delicate pop songs, she already has enough variety under her releases for each new one to be a surprise. ‘New York’ is a beautifully composed ballad to the concrete city, her vocals being the feature here, that departs pretty massively from the mildly successful ‘Drinks’ before it, but we can’t help but celebrate an artist unafraid to throw the kitchen sink around a bit.

Use Me: Amazon.co.uk: Music

PVRIS, RAYE / THANK YOU

Unceremoniously tagged on to the end of the deluxe version of their massively delayed third album, ‘Thank You’ hits as a Raye song more than anything else at first listen, but it informs the commercial perspective the band have been eyeing for a while. With songs as polished as this, but still retaining that angsty PVRIS vibe, it’s clear their future is still bright.

Terror Jr - Running From The Sun -

TERROR JR / RUNNING FROM THE SUN

With a pretty extensive catalogue prior to Felix’s exit from the band, Terror Jr have felt as though they’ve been struggling to find their identity again but, much like Cyn above, what it has afforded them is the ability to experiment. Cut to ‘Running in the Sun’ – an exploratory trek through a Drum ‘N Bass-lite pop wasteland. It’s a game of two halves – the opening a standard Terror Jr affair only for the beat and spoken-word section to cut through unexpectedly, something you’d be forgiven for thinking Charli XCX had a hand in at first.

May 24th, NMF!

Before I get into the best new drops this week, make sure that you’re following the dedicated Eyes On New Music Friday playlist so that you don’t miss a single song. I do the hard work so you don’t have to.

Here are the very best of the best this week!

JESS GLYNNE, JAX JONES / ONE TOUCH

Prepare to hear this in every leisure center around the country because I’m not sure there’s been such an obvious summer hit since ‘One Kiss’. As usual with Jess, it isn’t trying to break the wheel – it’s more preoccupied with being the best feel-good banger it can be, and it certainly fits the bill. It’s basically a Jess Glynne song that Jax Jones helped POP OFF a bit, and it really pops off.

ORKID / MELODRAMA

The opening to this almost made me crash my car, the glorious 00s horns a perfect introduction for a song this full of bravado. ORKID has dropped songs of varying quality over the past year, but ‘Melodrama’ is without a doubt the most interesting yet. The unforgettable bass line carries the momentum here, but ORKID smartly coos around it to give it more complexity and depth. I could have done with the final chorus really throwing in the entire kitchen sink but it’s addictive enough.

CYN / HOLY ROLLER

‘Holy Roller’ kind of tries to do exactly what ‘Melodrama’ does in presenting Cyn, whose voice comes across as slightly whimsical and innocent, with a bratty attitude. Her real strength is in that juxtaposition, the song is an amalgamation of sexual lyricism, whistles and a straight edge vocal – it’s addictive and interesting from the off. She has definitely found her sound.

ALICE GRAY / HELL WITH YOU

“I kind of like living in Hell with you” Alice sings softly. It’s one hell of an introduction: unveiling a dark and addictive relationship with one opening line. Starting off as dreamlike and wistful before slowly unraveling the crunchy synths and further production, it’s addictive in its quiet delicateness. It’s as intimate a ballad as you’re going to find this week.

CHARLOTTE OC / BETTER OFF ON MY OWN

It’s easy to imagine Adele taking this, performing it on several award shows and watching it catapult to the top of the charts around the country. With an undeniable hammer of a chorus, it helps that Charlotte has one of the characterful voices of the current pop scene. I’m going to need an album NOW.

BONUS SONG:
SIGALA, BECKY HILL / WISH YOU WELL

‘Wish You Well’ is the signal fire that we’re approaching Summer here in the UK, and just as the sweaty bodies of pasty men fill our streets, as the ice cream men don their uniforms and take to the road, Sigala and other anonymous DJs will be prepared to drop everything they have. What else do you think they’ve been doing through the winter? Anyway ‘Wish You Well’ is a dance banger that does what I’ve been begging for for years and it goes full on Trance for the most part. Brilliant. No that’s not Anne-Marie, it’s Becky Hill.

April 5th, NMF!

ISLE OF YOU / HOLD TIGHT

“What if we burn out?”

Isle of You consistently deliver perfectly polished pop songs that recall both The Veronicas and classic Disney-pop. It’s a sound that is being given a new lease of life as much darker, minimal beats continue to dominate pop music. ‘Hold Tight’ is a dreamy three and a half minutes, with gorgeous ‘Pure Shores’-lite harmonies and one of the best closing minutes of the year. It’s easy enough to imagine clinging in the arms of your lover as those synths relentlessly whir.

CYN / TERRIBLE IDEAS

“You say the craziest things before we touch.”

Katy Perry’s protege, Cyn, returns with bombastic rock-infused anthem to deep and unrelenting lust. Make sure you give this at least three plays, because it isn’t built to be understood on the first play. Off-kilter synths, heavy riffs and a delicate vocal beneath it all – it instantly reminds me of Rina Sawayama’s ‘Alterlife’, both being songs that revel in creating a whole other world in song form: every piece of production meticulously portraying her sexual feelings. It’s the sexiest song of 2019 so far.

JENS / BEFORE YOU LET ME DOWN

“You don’t look at me the same way.”

jens helps to fill the huge Shawn Mendes sized hole of 2019 so far with the stunningly simply ‘Before You Let Me Down’, a fairly obvious guitar led white-boy love-meets-tragedy mid-tempo. Firstly, the crystal clear guitar and that crisp vocal is like fresh water after a long night of hooking. Secondly, it does that amazing key change equivalent of introducing a whole new melody/pre-chorus in the closing moments. With a tiny 2:24 time-span – it’s short, sticky and sweet.

SAVOIR ADORE / IT’S GONNA BE ALRIGHT

“Nothing’s quite what we had in mind.”

The opening moments of the song might have you believe this is a Crystal Castles song, but it doesn’t take long for Savoir Adore to introduce their trademark warmth. ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ is positively encapsulating, the Chvrches-style production bubbling away as the vocals stretch and glide around the harshness.

GIA WOODS / KEEP ON COMING

“Do you want to undress me? Fuck me with your eyes?”

‘Keep On Coming’ revels in its sexual presentation, presenting the exciting and suspenseful introduction of a new friend in its starkest form. It delivers everything you need in a sex positive anthem; slow, pounding bass; coy and evocative lyricism; a deliberate vocal delivery. At times a little obvious, it almost sounds ready built to be sung along by crowds of people at tour venues across the world, but hearing a mass audience singing ‘Keep on coming…’ would be fairly revolutionary.

LOREN GRAY / OPTIONS

“They only want attention so I drown them out.”

At the age of sixteen, Loren has no right creating such fully formed and brilliant pop music like this yet. Admittedly the production carries most of the weight, her fairly atypical delivery giving it the opportunity to bite, but there are moments of wonder that really makes me excited for her future. Particularly the way that chorus crashes in with a thud – that’s the sign of a producer that understands the power of a great chorus. Also the best part of the song is the absolutely delicious “I drown them oooooout” coo. Gorgeous.

There’s plenty more to the week to be found on MY PLAYLIST FOLLOW IT updated every single Friday!