27th Nov, NMF!

MILEY CYRUS / GIMME WHAT I WANT

Quite an established force at this point, Cyrus turns her back on her pop roots to fully embrace the gritty rock callings of Can’t Be Tamed. With a breadth of genre-based albums in her collection, there was no doubt that Cyrus would arrive here eventually but, unlike those past albums, here it feels like she has arrived at her core sound as opposed to dressing up within one. ‘Gimme What I Want’ isn’t the rockiest on the album, nor the grittiest, and it would certainly feel at home with almost all of her other albums, but god it proves the point so well that 2020 Cyrus has it all figured out. The Weeknd influences shine right through, so much that this screams to be a single.

Fred again.. – Julia (Deep Diving) Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

FRED AGAIN.. / JULIA (DEEP DIVING)

Grit your teeth through the rom-com cheese of a spoken opening because everything that follows it is pure bliss. A truly heartfelt and intimate soft-dance epic built around these small samples of ‘real life’ excerpts. Whilst it certainly doesn’t sound as detached here, the vocal just a smidge too professional to suggest anything overtly real, it’s really that smooth production and absolutely stunning piano melody that beats at the heart of all this.

Rina Sawayama Announces Deluxe Album: Hear "Lucid" - Stereogum

RINA SAWAYAMA / LUCID

Headline: Sawayama embraces generic but enormous Bloodpop production for her cheapest but most commercial hit yet. That’s about all you need to know. Big fans of Sawayama are going to recognise every single polished edge and overly perfected angle, but if you’re going into this having loved Chromatica and wanting more easy dance-pop, you’re in for a treat.

CALL ME LOOP / ROSE

Call Me Loop was built to soundtrack the summer, her new single ‘Rosé’ a delightfully light Sophie Ellis-Bextor anthem built for sunshine kisses. Odd then that it drops following our stolen summer in the middle of the coldest temperatures of the year so far. Still! A little cold isn’t enough to dampen her brilliant melodic touch and, like the title suggests, ‘Rosé’ is as lightweight and joy inducing as the beverage itself.

YUNGBLUD / MARS

There’s nothing new or overtly weird about Yungblud, his schtick a well worn trope for many an upcoming British artist BUT having suffered the dull ‘Everyday-man!’ reign of Sheeran and Capaldi I’ll take Yungblud and his genderbending red-hair ways every single day. What makes it even easier is that the music is really blood good. ‘Mars’ in particular is about as weird as a barbecue in Summer, but its melody is ripped straight from a top-charting Harry Styles solo single.

That’s our highlights for the week, but what were yours? Be sure to let us know in the contact section. As always, there are whopping handfuls of more highlights every week in our dedicated playlist. Check it out.

14th August, NMF!

MILEY CYRUS / MIDNIGHT SKY

‘Midnight Sky’ might just be the best Miley Cyrus song ever, and that’s a big feat for someone with such an eclectic back catalogue. Between this, the Ronson collab and her last two singles, Cyrus is really establishing herself as a tour-de-force when it comes to these gritty disco-pop bangers.

EVANESCENCE / USE MY VOICE

You won’t find too many people talking about Evanescence nowadays compared to their bigger days, but ‘Use My Voice’ is an important rallying cry from a female fronted rock band still pushing on 20+ years. Quite unlike anything they’ve done before, it’s an instant roof-raising anthem that you just know they were dying to perform live.

OFF BLOOM / WHAT WE DO

Christ, I love me some good off-kilter music production. Here we have a mutilated country-bedroom-pop riot that is just so charming from start to finish. Understandably a lot of people might be turned off by the quirkiness and the short length, but this is also the exact quirky Britney Spears album track that stans would outwardly champion for single status.

GIA WOODS / INTO IT

Slinky delicious melodies abound, ‘INTO IT’ is all about that god damn chorus. God, there’s something about songs that know they have a killer hook and they just revolve around it. The way her voice glides from high to low on ‘I shouldn’t do it but I’m into it’ send shivers down my spine.

SO BELOW / FEAR

If you’ve already been into So Below, you’ll adore this. Glacial understated pop music that just bubbles and bursts with this dark underlying bass, here we have a study about how fucking stupid ageism in the music industry is. With those trademark stretched vocals and a pulsing electronic synth that rips through right at the end, it’s a damn blinder with a message – the best kind of music.

CMP / MULHOLLAND

For every established artist, there’s the little guy trying to burst through. And that’s why I started this blog, to keep an eye on new and upcoming music regardless of where it’s placed on the New Music Friday Spotify playlists. ‘Mulholland’ is the title track from CMP’s new album, which is due out soon, and it’s that blissful indie soundtrack song I usually feature on here anyway. It’s a good one!

That’s the highlights for the week! At least give the Miley song a spin, it’s such a corker. As with CMP above, hit up my socials if you have a new song and you would like me to take a listen!

16th August, NMF!

MUNA / STAYAWAY

‘Stayaway’ has been out for just over 12 hours and I’m already positive that it is going to end up in my top five of the year, if not the top 2. The sophomore slump is a real issue for many artists, and considering MUNA’s debut album showed itself to be one of the most impassioned and well constructed debuts in the last ten years, the pressure really was on to not only recreate that but to elevate it. ‘Stayaway’ is the kind of song careers revolve around, melodically a masterpiece and lyrically devastating, it’s hard not to find something new to love with each listen. That’s if you can stop repeating the gloriously powerful pre-chorus. If this was the 00s, I’d have the lyrics plastered all over every single online profile I inhabited.

Leaving you was easy, now I’ve got to do what’s hardI’ve got to stay away.

MILEY CYRUS / SLIDE AWAY

Authenticity is a much sought after thing that simply cannot be fabricated and shows itself at the sparsest of moments, like Demi Lovato releasing the heartbreaking ‘Sober’ before her publicised relapse or Ariana Grande referencing her exes shortly after Malcom’s death, Miley channels her recent split with long-term-flame Liam in the devastating ‘Slide Away’ – a song about recognising the two worlds both of you inhabit have shifted so far away that they are now unreachable. Considering Miley’s career has been filled with a plethora of characters, it is simply remarkable to see her peel away the layers and present something so visceral. We haven’t seen this since the raw, and incredible, Dead Petz… experiment – which really felt like the real Miley Cyrus shining through. Hopefully between this and ‘Mother’s Daughter’, she’s more ready than ever to occupy that character completely.

PVRIS / HALLUCINATIONS

The best thing about ‘Hallucinations’ is how it manages to subvert the typical PVRIS formula by blending their enormous, effect-soaked choruses with a surprisingly intimate production. Considering how well they do LOUD it’s simply delicious to hear Lyndsey’s vocals given the space, with only strings and a slight beat accompanying her. Of course, that doesn’t stop the ceiling-crushing chorus from fitting right in to place when you least expect it. With hints of BANKS and Florence, this era really feels like PVRIS taking the next big step for their artistry.

NORMANI / MOTIVATION

Everybody I know has been, rightfully, freaking out about Normani’s sudden reintroduction (mostly because of the star quality on display in the marvelously nostalgic music video). ‘Motivation’ needed a few plays from me before it sunk its claws in but it’s so god damn exciting to see such a huge pop culture moment being made from a debuting solo artist. There’s been a lot of swing for Normani over the past year and it seems like it’s allowing her to hit the ground running. Though that’s not to discredit her, as her charisma and confidence is pouring out of every ounce of the song. She knows this is it, and it sounds like it.

And if you don’t get it yet, just watch the video. You will.

HYPHEN HYPHEN / TAKE MY HAND

‘Take My Hand’ truly reveals its cards at the three minute mark, a cathartic implosion after several minutes of atmospheric teasing. Whilst this won’t be for everyone, and at times it sounds like the soundtrack to some buzzy and dark Netflix series, it’s a momentous release that sounds unlike anything else released this year. Between gasps for breath, bass that sounds like it’s going to burst open the speakers and their trademark chant-like vocals, this is the closest you’ll come to an out of body experience this year.

This week was simply fantastic, and there’s a whole bunch of other songs that could have made our highlights on any other week. Make sure to check them out and let us know what your highlights would have been: