Friday, 31 May 2019

new (and old) music friday #39: katy perry, cheryl, kat deluna, five seconds of summer

to say it's been a good week for new music would be a massive understatement. in one day (today) we've been blessed with two Absolute Bangers that are both in contention for my favourite song of the year so far; they'll go head to head later in this post as i try to choose a favourite. i also did a ~deep dive~ into the legendary pop 2 for VIBBIDI, which you can read here if you so desire.

1. kim petras

i know what you're thinking; this is the third new music friday post in a row where i've mentioned her, but i truly cannot get enough of kim petras. just when i was getting used to her slightly more subdued sound, she went ahead and released do me, which she dedicated to all her "fello hoes" on twitter. lyrically, the super-risque bop leaves little to the imagination while packing a serious punch sonically - it's like the older, better looking cousin of 2018's power ballad can't do better

i've also had homework on repeat, an ultra-nostalgic bop which sees kim and frequent collaborator lil aaron reminisce about their school days. though i tried my hardest to repress every memory of high school once i walked out of the gates for the last time, i couldn't help tear up at this tale of two friends who simply lost touch as life got in the way. it's a similar story to that of beats, the latest film from brian walsh that i went to see earlier this week. 

it's a classic coming-of-age story set in the summer of 1994 in scotland which follows best friends spanner and johnno as they embark on one last night of partying together before johnno moves away to a new town. in a story that hit a little too close to home, their bond is constantly tested as the pressures of Adult Life start to creep up on them. i won't spoil the ending, but i couldn't help feeling slightly disappointed with how it turned out. 

the absence of Close Friendship has seriously affected my mental health in the two years since i moved back home from uni, and the bonds i made while away were definitely something i took for granted as i now find myself attending as many meetups as possible in hopes of meeting someone i truly ~click~ with and while i've made a few friends, i've yet to find someone i can be booksmart levels of crazy with. but if my pursuit of friendship has taught me anything, it's that the whole process is eerily similar to dating; the best things always happen when you stop trying so hard and just let them be, so i remain hopeful that this person exists in the world somewhere and one day we'll cross paths in a truly ridiculous, unexpected way. 

2. will young

following on from the success of his comeback single all the songs, the pop idol winner released the follow up my love, and i'm delighted to hear the same disco-lite sound that made runaway and losing myself some of my most played songs back in 2016. an incredibly versatile bop, it could soundtrack the housework of his alarmingly middle aged fan base on a quiet sunday afternoon, but turn it up loud in the middle of a club on friday night and it takes on a whole new lease of life. with his new album lexicon out on the 21st june, i'm hoping for a whole new set of anthems to soundtrack my summer, which consists mostly of me watching other people lying on sunny beaches via instagram from the comfort of my own bed. 

3. kat deluna

speaking of bops, last night in miami was one of those wonderful, accidental discoveries. i came across it on the twitter page of the DJ at my favourite gay club. i was hoping for something on par with the absolute banger that was calling you*, released back in 2010, and i wasn't disappointed. (*it also appeared on the soundtrack for the equally iconic confessions of a shopaholic film in 2009 (!) alongside fashion by lady gaga, a criminally underrated song that never received an official release) i was instantly obsessed with last night in miami so after playing it 50 times in a row to memorise the lyrics, i requested it the next time i went out, and miraculously someone else must have requested it because it was played twice that night. according to wikipedia she's working on a fourth album so hopefully there's more where that came from. 

4. five seconds of summer

everyone has their favourite boy-band; for the older generations it might be backstreet boys, NSYNC or take that. for me it was one direction, whose absence from the music world i still mourn on a daily basis. for others it's five seconds of summer, who incidentally found fame supporting 1D back in 2011. i have to admit though, i've never really got into their music and could never quite understand why fans lost their shit over them, with the exception of their exceptional debut single she looks so perfect. however, their latest single easier caught me off guard as it marked a shift towards a much more pop sound, most likely due to the fact charlie puth had a hand in producing it. the echoes of his slick electro-pop sound can certainly be heard on the track, which combines a stupidly catchy chorus - and pre-chorus and pretty much every single verse - with a stomping beat perfect for a dramatic walk around whichever city you reside in. 

5. cheryl 

we're onto The Good Stuff now, with my first contender for Best Song Of The Year (So Far). in the blue corner it's let you, the brand new single from girls aloud alumni cheryl. her solo career began in 2009 with fight for this love, an instant smash that topped the UK charts and was certified platinum in 2010. she followed this up with the equally excellent promise this a year later, while call my name and i don't care topped the charts in 2012 and 2014 respectively, becoming mainstays on every gay club's playlist. 

then in 2018 she released love made me do it, a far more subdued affair that left fans and critics divided, while her x factor performance of the song was deemed too "raunchy" for saturday night TV. alarmingly, it was written by her former band mate nicola roberts (who i met last month on a night out!!!), natasha bedingfield and kylie (!) so the fact it charted so poorly is even more devastating. 

clearly cheryl learned from this mistake as let you is pure 80s euphoria, harking back to kylie's early days with production trio stock aitken waterman, and the video also features some decidedly 80s-inspired styling - i wouldn't be surprised if sales of neon scrunchies skyrocket in the coming days. its lyrics are also weirdly ~empowering~ as cheryl finally realises her own worth and not to let people take advantage of her, a lesson i've had to learn the hard way this past year. 

6. katy perry

in the red corner we have katy perry with never really overi last wrote about her in 2017 when she released bon appetit and swish swish. nothing terrifies me more than The Passing Of Time, and listening to those songs now takes me back to what feels like an alternate universe. the two tracks stood out amongst the critical failure that was witness, but even before that, her 2013 release prism didn't captivate me and she was accused of cultural appropriation in the video for this is how we doannoyingly the only song i actually liked from that album. however, it was always going to be difficult following up the worldwide success of teenage dream, which spawned five number one singles and remains one of my favourite albums of all time. 

perry has definitely fallen out of favour in recent years but never really over could be her moment of redemption. admittedly it sounds pretty similar to let you, which is why trying to choose a favourite is hard. both are synth-driven bops with quite frankly Huge Choruses, and i have emotional connections to both girls aloud and katy perry, their music soundtracking countless memories of my teenage years. i think never really over has a slight sonic edge over cheryl; the opening note of the chorus alone is enough to cure my years of depression, but the message of let you is one i'd gladly get tattooed all over my entire body so i don't forget My Own Worth and let people treat me like shit ever again. if you need me i'll be alternating between both bops all weekend and probably doing a lot of crying in the process, all the while praying that we might finally be making a return to the Glory Days Of Pop circa 2007-2014. 

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