Friday 15 September 2017

New Music Friday 15/09

Björk is back! She headlines this week's update, leading the way for a whole rush of giddy pop songs...


Björk - The Gate

Björk - The Gate

After the dark melancholy of her last album, Björk's next release is set to be a more positive affair. She's found love again, but it's a love for music, for humanity, for the Earth - love as utopia, as explained in a recent interview with Dazed. The Gate potently depicts that transition: "my healed chest wound transformed into a gate," she sings in the opening verse, "where I receive love from, where I give love from". Fittingly, it's an absolute head rush of a song: beginning with a sort of gibberish chorale, it's ambient production slowly fills up the void of empty space with deep bass rumblings, electronic flurries and repeated cries of "I care for you" that layer up mesmerically, overwhelmingly. With Björk at the helm, this is a utopia I can get onboard with.



Rae Morris - Do It

Rae Morris - Do It

Another rush of a song, this time some magical pop from the returning Rae Morris. Previous release Reborn set the tone, and now Do It takes us on a giddy, nervous ride. "Do it, do it..." the chorus insists repeatedly, Morris spurring herself on - and us too. It's a fun and cutesy little track, but it leaves you feeling you can take on the world. Also there's an awesome key change.



MUNA - In My Way

MUNA - In My Way

Not content with releasing one of the most essential albums of the year, MUNA have now unleashed this power pop rush. It's at once vulnerable and empowering, with frontwoman Katie Gavin exploring modern relationships and our inability to connect emotional and physical intimacy. "I'm not afraid to say it," she blurts out in the chorus over thumping rhythms, "I love you in my way", before a guitar solo takes over - words no longer matter. This is pure joy.



Tove Styrke - Mistakes

Tove Styrke - Mistakes

Sweden's Tove Styrke isn't one to shy away from a stomping chorus and Mistakes is no different. The production cuts out leaving just the vocal with autotuned harmonies, before the drums come pounding back in. It's a release of coiled sexual tension - "you got me buzzin' like a street lamp," she sings in the verse, "got me all up in the zone now". And in the bridge the music cuts out again like a knowing wink. Brilliant stuff.



Jessie Ware - Alone

Jessie Ware - Alone

Soon we will have heard most of Jessie Ware's forthcoming album 'Glasshouse' before it's even out. Alone is the third track released so far, a mellow, romantic, soulful ballad subtly underpinned with electronic beats. Ware sounds stunning and the warm production slowly envelopes, but she's starting to veer a little too close to Adele / Sam Smith / Emelie Sande territory. Let's hope she can match their success and not their style.



Nick Jonas - Find You


The previously released Remember I Told You was a total flop, so now Jonas is releasing new single Find You in the hopes of making up for it. With polished production from Swedish duo Jack & Coke, it certainly has chart potential, but the mix of laidback vocal with acoustic guitars and dance beats - already so prevalent thanks to the likes of David Guetta, Robin Schulz and Klingande - lacks the necessary personality to really make this a hit.



Jessie J - Think About That

Jessie J - Think About That

Finally, Jessie J has learned that less is more. Vocally, this is her most restrained track but emotionally this is an outpour, each line an exhale, a fierce release, a defiant snarl. Whether she's singing about a former lover or a professional relationship is ambiguous ("all you disturb is my work and my patience, years of grinding, you took it, you broke it"), but it's clear she's not a woman to be messed with. And all this over minimal, experimental, skittering production - this is her best track in a long long time.



Niall Horan - Too Much To Ask

Niall Horan - Too Much To Ask

He's yet to release his debut album, but so far Horan is definitely outdoing Harry Styles. That's not to say his music is good - it's unoriginal and bland, sounding like a mix of so many other artists - but he's maintained a grip on his pop past and isn't strutting around like a jumped-up rockstar. That's preferable at least.



Now, Now - Yours

Now, Now - Yours

It's been five years since the American pop-rock duo Now, Now released their debut album. Now (ha!) they're releasing new music: Yours follows SGL from a couple of months back, but brings a much more electronic sound, with its 80s widescreen synths and chugging groove. It's a welcome change though that will hopefully see the duo reach a wider audience.



Sarah Close - Only You

Sarah Close - Only You

"I need a little more than only you," sings Sarah Close on the chorus of her first single signed to a major label. She's managed to weave an intoxicating track around that lyric, all muted beats and whirring synths, even if her vocal is a little unremarkable.