26th Feb, NMF!

It’s the most stacked week in months, with some Pikatunes and some bangers. Get into the highlights here with me.

LIAR LIAR / PRETENDING

With a thumping MUNA bassline and a stunningly clear melody running all the way through, ‘Pretending’ really is the best thing we can ask for until our favourite queer trio finally comes back. That rare blend of minimal and explosive, it’s a delicate tread through… just an onslaught of hooks. How clean and lovely.

SINEAD HARNETT / LAST LOVE

There’s no escaping Amy Winehouse’s impact on British music as a whole, her music itself inspired by the very heart of classic soul music. ‘Last Love’ sounds so close to Winehouse’s debut that, on first listen, it threatens to overshadow the song as a whole. It isn’t just that drumline that’s reminiscent, but also the occasional way Harnett signs off individual words, but none of that would matter if the chorus didn’t stack up… and it does. Easily the best and most interesting thing she’s put her name to, let’s see where else the inspiration takes her.

SLAYYYTER / CLOUDS

Where once Slayyyter seemed content to a somewhat limiting niche style of release, that PC music affair that generates buzz but never seems to cross through, her latest releases seem to throw that aside by embracing her love of classic pop more exclusively. It’s, of course, the right decision. These are the best songs of Slayyyter’s career and it’s not just because of the minor sonic switch up into LIZ territory – her melodies are absolute perfection. This one in particular curls and curves in ways that you’d find on classic dance songs, giving it an instant satisfying edge. If there’s more to come like this, we could be in for one of the best albums in year?

MAISIE PETERS / JOHN HUGHES MOVIE

The Lucy Spraggan style verses are going to make first impression here, and they’re just that side of cringe to turn off a few people, but keep with it because this is one of the biggest choruses of the year so far. That Sigrid style vocal fades away as that pounding synth and soft melody comes in and the song soars for it.

POST MALONE / ONLY WANNA BE WITH YOU

A Post Malone Pokemon crossover one of the highlights of the week? Absolutely. Post’s talent with creating some of the best melodies in pop music is underrated as it is, his trademark roboto-vibrato usually the focus over just how strong and classical some of his go to lines are, and here the song is just imbued with warmth and happiness because of it. Particularly here for that absolutely stunning Gameboy synth that rears it’s head momentarily at the beginning. This is the Spring is coming song for me.

JULY 26th, NMF!

ILIRA / PAY ME BACK!

Don’t lend money that you can’t afford to lose in an old adage that many of us should subscribe to, but still often find ourselves on the wrong side of. How many of us can relate to the shilling of our own finances to fund someone who in shocking news turns out to be the same typical trash most of humanity is made of?

Well if so, may I present ILIRA’s newest anthem dedicated to the rinsing of a man that who takes more than he owes, and yet also recognises her own financial issues. The song is a masterclass in tongue-in-cheek bravado that evokes the recent Eurovision winner ‘Toy’ with its witty lyricism, brash production and shouty vocals. Amazing.

LIZ, SLAYYYTER / DIAMOND IN THE DARK

May I also present to you, and this may come as a shock following a song in which the artist rides a unicorn in a skintight red suit on the artwork, the gayest song of 2019 so far. A typical PC-Music affair of robotic synthpop littered with references to shining diamonds, rhinestones in the air and glittering hearts. Liz also brings in rising internet sensation Slayyyter, and with it her typical Britney 90’s influences also flood in, to create what is one of the most unexpected and frankly excellent songs of the year.

KATY PERRY / NEVER REALLY OVER (SYN COLE REMIX)

Remixes are usually a mixed bag, and typically I wouldn’t invest any inordinate amount in a remix when the original exists right there but ‘Never Really Over’ is the best song of the year (and perhaps the last few years?) and as such I’m appreciating any reworks of it we’re given. The Syn Cole remix turns it right on its head, drawing out the melancholy with trance-esque strings and a stripped back chorus – where instead of Perry, the hidden chants of ‘Never really over!’ take front stage. It’s a brilliant decision that highlights the strength of ‘Never Really Over’ as a song in all of its different forms.

BROOKS, ALIDA / WAITING FOR LOVE

Sometimes all you need on a blisteringly hot week like this is a dance anthem that inspires you to get moving, and ‘Waiting For Love’ is exactly that. Alida delivers the effective and satisfying chipmunk-lite vocal, Brooks delivers the rolling production and drop that hits you in all the right places. Whilst this isn’t going to be steamrolling my best of 2019 list any time soon, it’s finding its way on to every gym playlist I have.

TAYLOR SWIFT / THE ARCHER

Taylor Swift finally sighs her way on to one of our best of the week lists with ‘The Archer’, an 80s inspired revisit of her slower and much more intimate moments. Following ‘ME!’ and ‘You Need to Calm Down’ with this is almost enough to give someone severe whiplash, but it’s not really that much of a surprise considering its another Antanoff co-write. I can’t help but want that reverb to sharpen up as the song plods on, and honestly I don’t think any song needs a Humpty Dumpty reference, but this is a much better blueprint we’re begging for more of on the album. But… with a bit more oomph please, Taylor.

Follow the exclusive playlist for every new release on Friday’s that’s worth listening to: