Friday, 2 June 2017

New Music Friday 02/06

There's a fair bit to get through in this week's NMF - too many for this post of ten - including some strong album releases deserving of separate posts. Not all of this week's singles are worth your time though: Duke Dumont has released the same single yet again, Snakehips do a great Drake impression, Major Lazer's latest "banger" is not up to scratch, and Foo Fighters should probably just give up. And if you think I'm even touching that Liam Gallagher single....bite me.


Rae Morris - Reborn

Rae Morris - Reborn

It may seem trite to return with a song called Reborn but that's exactly what Rae Morris has done. Regardless, the song itself is a triumph as she marches back to our ears with thumping bass drums and militaristic snares driving beneath hypnotic synth bleeps, woozy symphonic horns and strings, and a dreamy vocal. It's got shades of Scandi cool, there's Bj√∂rk-like power to the voice, and it rises towards multiple climaxes. Rae Morris is majestically reborn.



Lorde - Perfect Places

Lorde - Perfect Places

Green Light wasn't quite the glorious comeback we expected from Lorde, perhaps partly due to the "incorrect songwriting" as Max Martin apparently put it. Perfect Places, though. This marks the ideal bridge between Lorde old and new. The cold opening beat snaps like that in Team, while the melodies and lyrics seem to spill out over one another, building towards a rush of breathless euphoria and an expansive chorus. In a New York Times interview Lorde claimed that forthcoming album 'Melodrama' revolves around the idea of a house party: “With a party, there’s that moment where a great song comes on and you’re ecstatic, and then there’s that moment later on where you’re alone in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, you don’t think you look good, and you start feeling horrible.” Perfect Places encapsulates that perfectly.



Julia Michaels - Uh Huh

 Julia Michaels - Uh Huh

I had no idea who this was or why she was at the top of the playlist this week, until I googled her and realised she's responsible for that insipid Issues song that's been doing the rounds on the radio. Uh Huh is much more flavoursome, though it starts deceptively with its murmuring verses and acoustic guitar. The chorus stomps in eventually though with a snarky sort of hook. It won't be to everyone's taste, but at least it sounds like nothing else in the charts right now.



Arcade Fire - Everything Now

Arcade Fire - Everything Now

This sounds like Arcade Fire 101 to me. That's not a bad thing though, especially as this was produced by Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter. It's got some funky 70s vibes, a fun little playful flute thing, a sing-along chorus and everything else you could need to have a jolly old time at a music festival near you this summer. It'll probably sound even better with a few ciders down your throat.



Betsy - Little White Lies

Betsy - Little White Lies

Remember Clare Maguire? Beautiful vocal but no idea what songs to put it with? Please welcome her reincarnation: Betsy. There's certainly a familiar tone to the vocal, but there's a similarity with the production too: a desperate need for epic grandeur and a flimsy song buckling under the weight of 'drama'.



Fifth Harmony feat. Gucci Mane - Down

Fifth Harmony feat. Gucci Mane - Down

Everything about this is basic. And I mean that in the proper sense. The production, the melody, the singing - it all feels simplistic, threadbare, minimal-effort, half-hearted. When will these girls just hurry up and get dropped? Or at the least release a Sledgehammer worthy banger.



Olly Murs feat. Louisa Johnson - Unpredictable

 Olly Murs feat. Louisa Johnson - Unpredictable

Old X Factor runner-up employs younger X Factor winner to boost credibility on a Kygo-lite pop song devoid of anything interesting. How predictable.



5 After Midnight - Up In Here

 5 After Midnight - Up In Here

Speaking of X Factor, remember that terrible band from last year that definitely didn't deserve to make it as far as they did? Well now they have a single written by MNEK that samples DMX and sounds like...well...MNEK. I wonder how much Simon Cowell paid him for that.



Peking Duk feat. AlunaGeorge - Fake Magic

  Peking Duk feat. AlunaGeorge - Fake Magic

Well that's a funny name, it must be worth a listen. Ok I'm into this beat. It's building. I can hear some funky bass. This drop best be worth it......YAAASSS!



Beth Ditto - We Could Run

Beth Ditto - We Could Run

Best known as the feisty singer from Gossip, Ditto's solo career began with the sumptuous disco track I Wrote the Book from her self-titled EP in 2011. Since then she's quite literally written a number of books and married her girlfriend. We Could Run is actually the third song she's released this year taken from her forthcoming album (after Fire and Oo La La), all of which return to her rock roots. This features stadium production to match her powerful vocals and an anthemic chorus - part The Killers, part Bruce Springsteen. The music industry could certainly do with some more female rock stars and Ditto is a class act. Welcome back.