Friday 8 April 2016

new (and old) music friday #1: fleur east, fifth harmony, tegan and sara, tinashe

last summer it was announced that new music would be released on friday as opposed to tuesday, and so it only seems fitting to start a new series exploring my favourite new releases and talk about them each friday, with a few old ones thrown in for good measure. consistency has never been my strong suit, but let's see how it goes.

this was one of those weeks where i seemed to discover a whole new bunch of songs within days of each other; something i often find overwhelming as when i find a new song i enjoy, i tend to play it to death and then some, but with all these new releases i haven't been afforded this luxury. instead i find myself frantically switching between several songs at once, trying to appreciate them all in equal measure. 

let's start with the newest, as in just released today. 

1. tegan and sara

after an agonising three year (!!) wait, tegan and sara released new single boyfriend from their upcoming album love you to death. it's now on spotify, but this beats 1 interview provides a nice bit of context for the track. june 3rd can't come soon enough, but for now they've provided us with this perfectly punchy pop anthem to tide us over until the album's release (a much more in-depth review will of course follow). 

as much as i hate the agonisingly long wait for an artist to release new material, i also love the build up of excitement it generates; hearing snippets of new songs on instagram and the wonderfully in-depth interviews they conduct, which give us a sneak peak of what's to come. speaking of instagram snippets, the one they posted for another upcoming single, u-turn, has been stuck in my head since i heard it the other day, and now the full song is on spotify in all its glory. give me a second, let me u-turn, write you the love song you've earned, goes the chorus, and i can only hope one day i'll be able to put much faith in someone, to fall headlong into love and not worry about the consequences. until then i'll be playing this track on repeat at full volume with tears in my eyes, and i'm not sure if they're good or bad. it doesn't matter though; all that's ever mattered is that i'm feeling something.

for me, these new tracks couldn't have come soon enough, as when i fell in love with tegan and sara's last release, 2013's heartthrob, i was in the midst of my first ever serious relationship and the ups and downs that came with it. because of this, some of my favourite songs from the album including closergoodbye, goodbyehow come you don't want me and drove me wild all have slightly painful memories attached to them, as my ex was the one who got me into them in the first place. it's bitter-sweet, thinking about the first time we listened to closer outside on a warm summer day in her back garden, and though things weren't perfect, it did feel that way for those three minutes and twenty nine seconds. 

as one of the very few openly gay pop acts currently out there, i can't ignore how happy tegan and sara make me, and it's good to have them back. representation truly is everything when you've spent years struggling to come to terms with your sexuality, a process i think is ongoing for everyone who identifies as not-straight in whatever way. 

2. tinashe

sometimes our new favourite song just creeps up on us when we least expect it. after a photo-set of tinashe from her complex cover shoot  appeared on my tumblr dashboard yesterday, i felt compelled to look her up on spotify and i was pleasantly surprised with one track i found, aptly titled 2 on as it was written after she turned twenty one, the legal age to drink in the US of A. it's a classic ode to partying and just enjoying things while you can, before all those scary adult responsibilities rear their ugly head. it's one of those tracks that i always hear when i'm on a night out but never actually know who sings it. now the mystery has been solved, i've been playing this track non-stop. if this doesn't get you in the mood to go out, nothing else will, even if it is a tuesday night.

3. fifth harmony 

another unexpected discovery was fifth harmony's latest two tracks: work from home and the life. i heard work from home playing in a spotify ad (drinking game: take a shot every time i mention spotify in this post)and it gripped me straight away. i had to hear more and once i started i just couldn't stop. i'm not even ashamed to say that this live performance of the song did make me tear up slightly. then shortly after discovering this gem, i saw they'd released another new song, the life, which is taken from their upcoming album, 7/27; named after the day they were formed on x factor in 2012. this is feel-good pop at its finest, and after a brief conversation with a guy on tinder who seemed less-than-impressed by my somewhat diverse music taste, blasting this song at full volume felt like a defiant middle finger up to all the music snobs out there who just can't understand that not all music has to be deep and insightful to make you feel good. if these singles are anything to go by, the group's second album should be one to look forward to, though i'm sure NME's most avid readers will have something negative to say, based on the simple fact that that it's a pop song sung by fabulous girls just doing their thing. 

4. fleur east 

four days ago i stumbled upon x-factor alumni fleur east's debut album and i truly have no recollection of how this happened (knowing me though, it will come to me just as i hit publish on this post). it's a good job i was sitting down when i heard it as it would have knocked me off my feet otherwise. i think it's safe to say that everyone in the english speaking world is familiar with her first single sax, as it currently has 25 million views on youtube. don't get me wrong, it's not a bad track but has definitely fallen foul of being overplayed to the point where i can't listen to it all all the way through. 

no, the real genius lies in her album tracks. i don't know where i was during november of last year, as the release of this album - love, sax and flashbacks - seemed to pass me by, something i find rather irritating as i like to think i'm pretty up to date on any and all new pop music releases. there is only one word i can use to describe the second track on the album, breakfast (alas, all i can find on youtube is this fifteen second clip of the song, but it perfectly encapsulates the whole entire sound of the record) and that is arresting. it's everything i could ever want in a pop song, from the catchy hooks to the saxophone that hits you like a punch to the jaw when the bridge kicks in. i think i knew pretty much all the words by the end of the day, such was my love for this track. 

this album is Getting Ready To Go Out music at its finest, an experience in itself that i discussed in this post. some of my favourite tracks include the getting-over-you anthem tears will dry, sax-heavy kitchen, plus gold watch, and tears will dry, which wouldn't seem out of place on a disco compilation album, i.e. the only thing one should listen when Getting Ready To Go Out.

5. carly rae jepsen 

finally, i'm ending this post with another slice of pop perfection in the form of carly rae jepsen's 2012 release, kiss. i also mentioned this album briefly in my going out post, but since then i have listened to the album in its entirety and am disappointed in myself for not giving it the attention it deserves. 

if you're looking for music with a deep political message or an experimental sound, this won't be for you. but if like me, you're a former Music Snob, still coming to terms with your love of all things pop (it's okay, i still put my spotify on "private session" when i want to listen to wannabe fifty times in a row) or are a total pop junkie, this will be right up your street. i truly can't even pick a favourite from this album. apart from the tracks mentioned in this post, i've also acquired a collection of new tracks that i can't stop playing, which include tiny little bowsturn me up, tonight i'm getting over youdrive, and i know you have a girlfriend, so basically the whole album. (what can i say, i've always been indecisive.) 

as much as i love the slick sophistication and sharp hooks of jepsen's follow-u,p E•MO•TION (of which tegan and sara helped write) (i love it when things come full circle), sometimes you just want pure and simple pop, and this album certainly delivers, with the almost childish simplicity of its lyrics - i wish we could be holding hands, goes the pre-chorus of tiny little bows. who says lyrics need to be shrouded in metaphor to mean anything?

and that concludes this week's selection of songs i've been obsessing over, and to make things easier i've put them all into a playlist on none other than spotify, along with a couple of other tracks i've been loving this week. 

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