Friday, 18 January 2019

new (and old) music friday #32: chris valentine, that kid, the japanese house

so far 2019 has blessed us with multitudes of new music, and i'm finding it hard to keep up but i've managed to narrow it down to my absolute favourites.

1. the japanese house

my love for amber bain knows no bounds; all the singles released ahead of her debut album good at falling - which drops on the 1st march - have been excellent, but maybe you're the reason might just be her best yet. lyrically it details her struggles with depression, something i know all too well, and retains what is fast becoming her signature; a subdued 80s-inspired sound that falls somewhere between pop, new wave and alternative. 

2. brooke candy

another artist i've loved since her das me days - i recently re-discovered some of brooke's old singles including the jack antonoff-assisted changes and chaotic rubber band stacks, as well as nuts and oomph, which she's independently released since breaking away from RCA records. the self-proclaimed freaky princess has been teasing the release of her long awaited debut album, sharing what could become its cover shot, and i'm counting down the seconds until it's out in the world. 

3. lana del rey

i have to admit, after ultraviolence, my love for lana waned slightly and i wasn't thrilled with honeymoon and lust for life, finding them a bit too slow for my liking. however, she recently released hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but i have it. the title alone is a masterpiece, but tears pricked my eyes the second i pressed play. 

whether that's just the nostalgia talking is hard to tell - born to die was such an important album for my teenage self and i devoured the bell jar when i finally picked up a copy some years later - but this low-key track hit me like a high speed train, particularly the line "hope is a dangerous thing for a woman with my past". 

the lyrics are crammed full of film references and i highly recommend reading this excellent dazed article which praises lana's ability to take cultural figures historically revered by Old White Men and re-purpose them to fit her own narrative, one that has always confused (male) critics. 

4. sam smith

never in my life did i think i would enjoy a sam smith song - certainly not enough to write about it - but dancing with a stranger is one of the few bops the chart-topping star has ever released. 

how he's managed to amass so many hit singles when they all fall into the category of Sad Piano Ballads and are stuffed with typical romantic cliches is a mystery to me; when he released promises with calvin harris, it was a welcome change, though i was sure it would be a one off and he'd be back to his wailing in no time. 

however he's clearly heading in a new direction, and while the track is by no means a Huge Banger, it's enough of a bop that i can imagine myself four drinks deep and yelling along to every word the next time i go out, which is really my only marker for a successful pop song. 

5. that kid

imagine my delight when i discovered that take it off - the latest single from electro-pop purveyor and slayyyter collaborator that kid - was produced by ayesha nicole smith, formerly ayesha erotica. when she announced she was quitting music i was worried we'd never hear from her again, but after undergoing a slight name change it seems she's had a change of heart. her vocals can be heard in the background of this Absolute Bop and i'm hoping she'll still be working with slayyyter on her debut album. 

6. chris valentine

he's done it again; heartless guy is an undeniably catchy bop which sits somewhere between erasure and froot-era marina. if you
need me, i'll be dancing around my room to this song until further notice. 

7. ariana grande 

an ode to excess; ariana's newest single, 7 rings, sees her put her own spin on my favourite things from the sound of music, which makes total sense for a girl who grew up singing on broadway.

this mid-tempo, hip hop-inspired track is the treat yo self meme personified, while the video is a neon tinged dream featuring all her best friends and one of her many, much-loved dogs, tolouse

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