Friday, 11 January 2019

new (and old) music friday #31: naomi smalls, tommy cash, XYLØ, chaka khan

not to get all Fake Deep, but over the last few months i've found myself going through a ~transformation~ of sorts, realising that the things i always told myself i didn't like might not be so bad after all, and nowhere is this more present than in this week's instalment of new music friday.

1. tommy cash

it all started with X-RAY, the danny l harle produced banger from cash's second album ¥€$. the hip hop and happy hardcore bop was on repeat as soon as i heard it, but the rest of the album went largely ignored up until last night when i decided to give it another listen. 

rather than skipping through the tracks to find the Big Chorus i so desperately crave, i allowed myself to listen to each one in full and was far from disappointed, despite this being as far from my preferred genres of choice as possible. 

ever since featuring on delicious from charli xcx's legendary mix tape pop 2, cash has been riding high and his album fits nicely into what i dubbed Weird Pop in my last post, though it also has elements of electronica, trap and trance to name but a few, proving that he's more than just a gimmick to shock and amuse audiences. 

charli herself also makes an appearance on COOL 3D WORLD, providing backing vocals that wouldn't look out of place on her vroom vroom EP. 



2. chris valentine 

i have to thank jesse saint john for this next one, as i found chris valentine via his saint's sinners playlist on spotify, which features a plethora of up and coming pop artists.

cry is 80s-inspired pop at its finest, with a synth-laden chorus that gets better every listen, and uber dramatic lyrics that are perfect for yelling along to whether you're going through a break-up or not. 

3. courtney act

i can't speak highly enough of the bi life, described as "the UK's first bisexual reality dating show", which just finished airing on E!. instead of reducing bisexuals to the "confused" or "greedy" stereotypes, the show made sure to include people at different stages in their dating life; some still questioning their sexuality, others ready to make serious commitments, and everything in between.

its host, drag race alumni courtney act, served up plenty of excellent looks and advice for those in the barcelona villa, and in december it was revealed she's in the running to represent australia at this year's eurovision.

she's hoping to secure her place on stage with fight for love, which can only be described as an Absolute Banger and will feature heavily in my Getting Ready to Go Out sessions in the next few months. 

4. naomi smalls

it's that time again; Gay Twitter is gripped with all stars fever, and joining the line-up for the fourth season is naomi smalls, who has often been criticised for relying too heavily on her looks. however, she's proved herself to be quite the comedian and since she performed her song pose in episode one's variety show i've had it on repeat. if there's anything that can make walking to and from the bus stop in two degree weather bearable, it's definitely this.

5. XYLØ

it seems i bring up charli in every post but her influence is truly everywhere, including tears and tantrums by XYLØ

they started life as a duo, gaining massive success with a feature on setting fires by the chainsmokers and in 2017 paige duddy became a solo artist still working under their original name. 

her first few releases still had that generic chainsmokers sound until charli co-wrote tears and tantrums for her. add some of her bubblegum pop production and a classic Sad Bop was born. 

despite being perpetually single, i love nothing more than screaming along to this at full volume and can't wait to see what she does next.

6. kacey musgraves

the country star no doubt gained a new legion of fans after supporting harry styles on his tour last summer, and her latest album golden hour was released to rapturous acclaim. 

as i've said many times, country is tied with jazz as my least favourite genre, but when i saw someone on twitter describe the disco influence on high horse i had to check it out and have been hooked ever since. 

it shouldn't work but somehow it does; strings that could have come straight from a chic track couple perfectly with the classic guitar and whip-smart lyrics about an arrogant know-it-all who's clearly outstayed their welcome at whatever party kacey's attending. 

7. chaka khan

when aimlessly browsing spotify's new music friday playlist last week i was in shock when i saw a new track from disco legend chaka khan; best known for timeless tracks such as ain't nobody and i'm every woman, she replicates this on hello happiness, a slightly more low-key affair that still packs a punch with its bass-heavy beat and central message of Having A Good Time. 

honourable mentions:

troye sivan

i know i was just singing his praises in my last post, but i couldn't not mention the video he recently released for lucky strike, one of my favourite non-single tracks from bloom. 

i'm not one to spend hours languishing in the sun come summertime, but there's something about this video with its chorus of cheerful beach-goers and technicolour tones that makes me want to book a flight to somewhere sunny. 

with a trip to italy hopefully on the cards this year, this video should tide me over until then. 

nina nesbitt

i first became aware of the scottish singer back in 2012 and have a vague memory of seeing her at sound control which is sadly no more, having been razed to the ground to make way for more student housing. 

once the heyday of indie music came to an end i forgot about her until she returned in 2017, her peroxide blonde locks shorn to shoulder length and dyed dark brown.

what followed was a series of underwhelming singles that tried desperately to replicate whatever was going on in the top 40 at the time, but the video for colder caught me off guard when it appeared as one of the recommended videos on youtube.

if i could live in a music video, it would be this one, with its pastel hues and palm trees. 

also, nina emerging from a pool wearing a pink satin slip dress over a t-shirt that says "boys lie" with a cocktail in hand, is The Mood for 2019. 

the song isn't half bad either; decidedly more pop than its predecessors, i have a feeling the chorus will be stuck in my head over the coming days. 

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