New Music Friday: February 28th!

LADY GAGA / STUPID LOVE

What else is there to say about this totally new, never been heard before banger? Quite honestly when Gaga fires on all cylinders, there’s nothing like it. ‘Stupid Love’ might just be the best thing she’s put out since Born This Way and it marks a return to the sleeker off-kilter ARTPOP Gaga we’ve all missed since Bradley Cooper got a hold of her. Welcome back PopGa, we’ve missed you.

CHARLOTTE OC / FREEDOM

Charlotte OC was behind one of 2018’s best songs, the subtly brilliant ‘Satellite’ and then the similarly brilliant ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Better Off On My Own’ landed in 2019 and there was momentary hope that a bloody good album was on the horizon. It never came and we’re in 2020. ‘Freedom’ is her best in a while, an instantly charming power-in-belief anthem that, as Charlotte OC songs tend to do, will worm into your brain and find a home in there. We might be burned but that hope for an album is still there.

LPX / NEW MOOD

Aggression can be so fucking cool, can’t it? LPX gets that, and ‘New Mood’ is dedicated entirely to the vibe. With abrasive guitars, Kate Nash speak-swearing, a throat-achingly screamed chorus, it’s a literal catharsis.

SONIKKU, LIZ / WKND

I haven’t been this surprised by a song in quite a while, and speechless too. ‘WKND’ manages to make me feel things that I can’t even voice so I’ll just list them; Classic. Pop. Madonna. Borderline. Britney Spears. KPop. PCMusic. Sega MegaDrive. Dreamcast. Amazing.

JOE STONE, CAMDEN COX / MIND CONTROL

Now ‘WKND’ has decimated by brain cells with its time travelling ways, ‘Mind Control’ helps cement me back in reality. And it’s a sticky dancefloor at 11PM with a Bacardi Coke in my hand. Camden Cox is one to watch if you haven’t been already because basically amazing songs seem to flock around her in the form of her own and collaborations. Gorgeous dance music made for the club and the gym floor, with vocals that keep the emotion pounding through. What’s not to like?

What were your highlights of the week?

September 20th, NMF!

SASHA SLOAN / SMILING WHEN I DIE

Understated intimacy is so hard to do well, especially concerning songwriting. It’s ever too easy to create something that hits like a sledgehammer but there’s a real talent in balancing on the line between it, knowing when to hold back and when to let the words and melody do the talking. ‘smiling when i die’ might just be Sloan’s best work yet because not only is it immaculately produced but it is also poised to obliterate with powerful lyricism. Sloan’s secret weapon may be exposed to all now, her adaptive skill in refining depression and anxiety into relatable couplets, and with big artists like P!nk recruiting her for their own design but ‘smiling…’ helps showcase a whole new side to that songwriting style – one of delicate contrast amongst the honesty.

TOVE LO / STAY OVER

Vagina Queen Tove Lo has dropped her understated latest album, Sunshine Kitty, and despite not really feeling most of the promo tracks it really only takes one listen to understand what she’s trying to achieve and one more to realise she pulls it off perfectly. ‘Stay Over’ is the most instant of them all, with her wistfully persuading a broken lover that staying in her arms for the night is the best decision he could make. As usual with Lo’s immaculate storytelling, she isn’t afraid to play the bad guy. Disregarding his actual need to repair for the sake of her own whim is a questionable feeling, but we’ve all been there. We all believe we could be the saviour, or that our love will be all-encapsulating enough to repair any present damage, and ‘Stay Over’ captures that perfectly with its dark and melancholic bedroom-pop style.

GEORGIA / NEVER LET YOU GO

Already making waves with the wild and nostalgic 80s banger, ‘About Work the Dancefloor’, Georgia seems perfectly poised to take the mantle as next big rising UK starlet. Though taking a different path to ‘About…’, ‘Never Let You Go’ still revels in its influences, sounding like an artist that has spent years building the confidence to release these epic reminiscent bangers. The greatest asset to them all so far is how well the production plays alongside the melody, the voice as important as the instrument, but there’s a real driving force in the middle of it that sounds so palatable and ready for any radio station to pick up right now.

CAROLINE POLACHEK / SO HOT YOU’RE HURTING MY FEELINGS

  1. Take Sara Bareilles, Imogen Heap and HAIM and place them in the blender, spice appropriately.
  2. Sprinkle with a slight pinch of sexual confidence and a hefty amount of mutual attraction.
  3. Toss in razor sharp lyrics and a tongue planted firmly in cheek.
  4. Blend, though not enough to make it too serious.
  5. Pour into two bowls, serve alone in a quiet room lit by candlelight alone with the sound of your cats in the window.

What a fucking song.

Stick with me every week, around this time, for the very best of the week. Also this week look out for:

Cyn is back with her new EP Mood Swing and ‘I Can’t Believe’ is wonderfully weird and certifiably incredible… after thirty seconds.

Lauv has released the same song again but if you like him, you’ll love it. Quiet and lovely, it’s called ‘Feelings’.

The new Sofi Tukker EP contains one of their most subtly brilliant songs yet, ‘Ringless’.

Bebe Rhexa has repurposed Xtina’s ‘Beautiful’ into a feminist power anthem for Maleficent 2 called ‘You Can’t Stop the Girl’.

Mabel and Tiesto have a hit in their hands (SURELY) with the bizarrely structured ‘God is a Dancer’ which is great but not as good as ‘God is a Woman’ or ‘God is a DJ’.

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.

February 8th, NMF!

SOFIA KARLBERG / SPOTLESS MIND

“I might be hide and seeking you out, yeah.”

Sofia Karlberg is typically known for covering songs rather than heading them, one look at her Spotify page and you’ll find an assortment of popular covers spanning over five years… so any concerns about her own output would be justified at this point, right?

Fortunately for us ‘Spotless Mind’ is absolutely spellbinding right from the offset; its production a woozy haze of synths and strings, and an ethereal vocal balancing above it all. The delicate delivery showing a rare vocal mastery and a real understanding of how to use a voice as an instrument. Honestly I never want to hear her cover another song again if her own material is this good.

VERA BLUE / LIKE I REMEMBER YOU

“Keep falling on a loaded gun, try’na be someone for you.”

Vera Blue’s debut album, ‘Perennial’, remains one of 2018’s unrecognised gems. Showcasing an artist and a voice brimming with character that some artists struggle to discover in their third, let alone first albums, ‘Like I Remember You’ is a perfect continuation of her unique lane of pop.

Coupling herself with Greenpeace, the song acts as a political statement to the destruction of the world we inhabit; specifically the Australian Bight, which is being threatened by the presence of oil drilling. It’s a tender message that adds a double meaning to the towering chorus, both of which are impossible to argue with.

BILLIE / ALWAYS ON THE RUN

“Don’t ever take me home.”

It’s been four years since Billie delivered self-harm epitaph ‘Give Me the Knife’, which remains a fresh and glimmering example of electro-pop at its finest. ‘Always On the Run’ quite literally acts as though the four years between the two hasn’t even happened – its a nostalgic time machine to 2015 that even comes with a signature breakdown of blips.

Indiana’s ‘No Romeo’ found reanimated and repackaged. However what it lacks in character it delivers in polish, with every edge perfectly smoothed.

GEORGE MAPLE / CHAMPION

“So you wanna be a big star? 
Wanna be a porn star?”

As ‘Always On the Run’ is polished to perfection, George Maple proudly presents her creation to the world with sticky tape and glue. ‘Champion’ is frankly bizarre; a left-of-field banger that hits the ground running with a marching band and carefully dictated verses before its glacial chorus comes crashing through.

Inspired by the journey of triumph and tribulation, ‘Champion’ is a rallying cry in much the same way as ‘Work Bitch’ was for Britney and how Sasha Fierce is to Beyonce; its the ego we turn to when we need self direction, the moment of loss that requires us to reflect and rebuild. Though I don’t expect an entire album of songs like this, it’s a fascinating and promising beginning to her sophomore.

SVRCINA / INSECURE

“I’m confidently sure, I’m not that insecure.”

It’s almost time for Sweden’s Eurovision song selection contest Melodifestivalen, and I’m ready and willing to make a bet with every single reader that ‘Insecure’ turns out better than the song they select this year. There’s a masterful simplicity to it that would translate perfectly to a wide audience, and you can’t convince me the Julia Michaels-esque chorus hasn’t been created solely for a spectacular light show before the screaming queer audience.

Miraculously she isn’t Swedish, despite the song sounding like the birth child of every Wiktoria writing session of the past few years, but Spotify’s credited songwriters cannot be identified… so it’s not completely out of the question…..

OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES OF THE DAY

KELSEY BULKIN / KAREEM
VOK / IN THE DARK
MAREN MORRIS, BRANDI CARLILE / COMMON
MEG MAC / SOMETHING TELLS ME
MAHALIA / DO NOT DISTURB
ELLIPHANT / TO THE END
ICARUS / SIRENS
ELOHIM / TV
IONNALEE / OPEN SEA

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