Friday 4 August 2017

new (and old) music friday #21: joan, allie x, billy idol, five star

this week has seen me start a job at gap (where they played the 1975 TWICE!!) and restored my faith in pop music. below are my favourite tracks from the last week or so. 

1. joan

bored with the same few songs i had on rotation, i somehow found myself perusing a spotify playlist of new ~indie~ (*vom*) releases, and stumbled upon a playlist created by the artist skela. in it were two songs by a band called joan. finding information about the 80s-inspired group proved difficult, but i've had their tracks take me on (a dead ringer for foster the peopleand love somebody like you on repeat as they remind me of jakil and the 1975. 

2. allie x

having written about the canadian singer before, i was excited to finally hear her full length debut album collXtion II. however, i found myself disappointed as her sound lacked the punch of her earlier releases like prime, tumour and catch, all of which i've been enjoying recently. the only two songs that really stood out were the stripped back piano ballad true love is violent and the similarly minimal need you; a collaboration with electro-pop quartet valley girl. the song reminds me of the chainsmokers, which i'm totally not mad about, as its lyrics deal heavily with nostalgia and remembering better times, while a simple beat keeps it ticking along like a gentle heartbeat. 

3. billy idol

i heard my mother playing eyes without a face at full volume downstairs the other day and though i first heard it months ago, it felt like a punch in the chest. with its woozy synths and electric guitar solo, this is heartbreak at its finest and i've had it on repeat for weeks now. 

4. louis tomlinson

my second favourite member of one direction released his second single not too long ago. back to you is a collaboration with bebe rexha, who i'm also a big fan of. at first i wasn't sure what to make of it, the simple piano arrangement failing to thrill me, but a few more listens and i was hooked and word perfect within a matter of hours. again, it relies heavily on minimal production, but this allows louis' voice to be showcased to the highest standard, and i'm eagerly anticipating the release of his debut album. i also like that the video was filmed in his native doncaster; who needs a fancy film set when you've got suburban backstreets and the rovers stadium?

5. amelia lily

anyone who knows me is aware of my love for reality television - i did my dissertation about kim kardashian - so naturally i was delighted when celebrity big brother returned this week. though they seem to have overdone it with the Confused Americans (who won't last more than a week anyway), i was pleased to see former x-factor star amelia lily ascending the stairs to the house in an incredibly glittery gold outfit as it reminded me how much i enjoy her music. from the club-ready you bring me joy and shut up (and give me whatever you got) to the rock-tinged california, there's something for everyone, and i really hope she releases more music once she's out of the celebrity madhouse. 

6. five star

another artist i discovered thanks to my mother; she insisted i listen to system addict, arguably the most well known song from the 80s electro pop/funk/soul group, and from there we fell into a rabbit hole that resulted in us watching 90% of their music videos. if you love key changes/sax solos/staged dance routines/80s fashion as much as me, i highly suggest you do the same, as i'm fairly certain they don't have a bad song. a hybrid of prince/michael/janet jackson, their songs haven't aged a day, though the same can't be said for some of those shoulder pads. my favourites include another weekend, the slightest touch, can't wait another minute and whenever you're ready

honourable mentions

the 1975

on friday 14th july, the 1975 headlined latitude festival, marking the end of an era for their album i like when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. having seen them live three times last year, its safe to say this album holds a special place in my heart, and i feel strangely sad that what fans have dubbed the "pink era" is now over. i've been poring over these two articles from the dork website, which chart the meteoric rise of four lads from macclesfield over the last year or two. they won't be taking a break for long though; in this interview, their manager jamie oborne said work would start on their third album music for cars this month, and should be back on the road (!!) by october next year. true to form, matty is back posting cryptic videos all over instagram much to the delight/annoyance of fans, though hopefully they won't go the whole hog and delete their entire social media presence again.  


i've not stopped playing the devastatingly beautiful melodrama since its release in june, and last night lorde blessed us with the video for perfect places which i sobbed my way though, unable to comprehend how a single song can sum up all the feelings i've been having in the last few months. i'm not sure my heart will be able to handle seeing her live next month (!!) but the 26th september can't come fast enough. (speaking of tour dates, we managed to get tickets to see harry styles next april at manchester arena, in the coveted lower tier seats right near the stage; pinch me, i must be dreaming.) 

this week's playlist is here.

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