Friday, 24 August 2018

new (and old) music friday #28: matilda, PHASES, stasney mav, poppy

once again it's been a shamefully long time since i updated this blog, but not without good reason. 

ahead of the news associates course i'm starting in september, i've been doing ~work experience~ for mancunian matters, a news site run by the tutors on the course. it's been an exciting but stressful two weeks, and you can read my work here if you so desire.

i've also amassed a backlog of new music that i'm now going to share, which couldn't have come at a better time after a disappointing few months album-wise, something i wrote about in this post and will no doubt elaborate on later in this one.

1. matilda

during a trawl through youtube the other night, the video for norway born matilda's latest single you appeared in the recommended section, and after one play i was hooked. its euphoric synth pop sound contrasts perfectly with angst ridden lyrics about a crush that got away, creating what i like to call a Sad Bop. the video is also Hella Gay, and i've already watched it more times than i care to admit. 

2. allie x

the singles released ahead of allie x's next EP super sunset have so far been hit and miss, but one of the highlights is science, a low-key ode to a lover that i can't get enough of. 

3. stasney mav

formerly one half of pop duo the queen and king, the artist formerly known as caroline shumate is now going it alone as stasney mav, and i'm hooked on her super catchy songs about heartbreak, told from a much needed queer perspective. i highly recommend strangers and bullet and can't wait to hear more from her. 

4. poppy 

i'm fascinated by youtube star poppy who released her debut album poppy.computer last year. interweb explores internet culture - i feel the technology beat deep inside of me - while bleach blonde baby pokes fun at our obsession with perfection - being flawless every day / well that's my only skill. her latest release time is up sees her continue this theme via a collaboration with diplo in which she discusses the end of the human race - extermination's your only hope / human history, pollution, and overcrowded cities / that's your legacy. she also spoke to NME about her second album which is due for release later this year and features a track with grimes. 

5. PHASES 

ever the procrastinator, i finally got around to listening to their debut album for life, two years after i added it to my saved albums on spotify, and it was well worth the wait. highlights include cooler, betty blue, lonely nights, new illusion and take me there

6. the 1975

it wouldn't be a new music friday post if i didn't mention the latest release from the manchester quartet. now that i've had a few days to process TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME i can safely say it's a Certified Banger and already one of my most played tracks even though it only came out last week. while love it if we made it tackled some seriously heavy subjects, TOOTIME couldn't be any more frivolous, combining lyrics about the perils of Modern Dating with an "amiable tropical beat and drake-like flourishes". it would seem fans are divided, some loved it while others felt it was a step too far into the mainstream; even capital have picked it up for radio play, something i never expected to see from a band who included the phrase "epicurean philosophy" in one of their songs. this isn't a criticism though, more a sense of appreciation for their ability to keep fans on their toes and keep everyone wanting more. 

7. claire richards 

even though the legendary pop group steps has five members, claire richards has always taken the lead when it comes to vocals, so i wasn't surprised to discover she'd released a solo song, aptly titled on my own, and the track forms part of her album (!) which is due to be released in november. following the group's excellent comeback album tears on the dancefloor, i had high hopes and certainly wasn't disappointed. if you love yelling along to a Big Chorus after several drinks in your nearest gay club then you'll adore this track (yes i'm totally describing my own personal experience). 

8. ariana grande 

last friday saw the release of ariana's highly anticipated fourth album and i was... disappointed. this is where my earlier post about lacklustre albums comes in, and i hate to add this one to an ever growing list. my heart will always be with pop music, and i was secretly hoping for a follow up to dangerous woman, which included the excellent greedy and into you, aka one of my all time favourite songs. so when i pressed play on her new album i was dismayed to find a host of largely forgettable filler tracks with not a Big Chorus in sight.

however the change in direction makes sense as in this interview she described her "heart and soul" as being "in R&B". of course all music is subjective and i'm sure there will be fans who love it - pitchfork gave it an 8.1 (!) - but the only song that stood out to me was breathin; probably the most pop sounding track, which sees ariana confront her anxiety; something i can totally relate to. 

9. kim petras 

she's done it again - all the time is the sugary sweet antidote to ariana's muted R&B pop. with auto tuned verses reminiscent of this 2012 classic and a chorus so perfectly 80s it could have come straight from the vaults of stock aitken waterman, i'll be playing this on repeat for the foreseeable future.

all these tracks - and more - can be found here

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