Friday 26 April 2019

new (and old) music friday #37: gia woods, robyn, georgia, BTS

last weekend, something incredible but also totally ridiculous happened. after a mildly stressful skype call on good friday, i'm now a ~narrative writer~ for the music streaming site VIBBIDI, which is currently undergoing a revamp before its official launch in the summer. their aim is to bring back the Good Old Days before music bloggers weren't an endangered species, which is where i come in, writing reviews about my favourite artists. 

somehow they stumbled across this blog and liked the look of my writing, and the idea that something i created nearly four (!) years ago as an escape from the stress of my uni course has led to an actual paid (!) job is still unbelievable to me. luckily my family were on holiday in wales so i had the house to myself all weekend, and spent the time yelling along to the songs i'm about to discuss below, partly in celebration but also complete disbelief that something so good has happened to me after one of the worst years i've had in recent memory. 

1. gia woods 

it's safe to say i've fallen hard for gia woods. after making waves with her 2015 track only a girl - the video of which served as her coming out - she's gone on to release a string of catchy synth-driven bops, each with a Big Chorus to boot. her latest release keep on coming was an instant favourite of mine, but unbelievably it did take me a few listens before i could fully appreciate the excellence of break-up banger new girlfriend and risk-it-all anthem jump the fence. all that's in the past now though and i've had all three on repeat this last week

2. dorian electra

every article i've read about dorian's incredible new single flamboyant has referred to them as a "charli xcx collaborator", but if you ask me, their brand of bold 80s inspired electro-pop has established them as a unique artist operating in their own lane. building on the sound of previous hits career boy, VIP and man to man before tearing them down to create something new, flamboyant - with its delightfully campy video that pays homage to liberace - veers dangerously close to a parody of pop, but as pitchfork said, it's clear electra is in on the joke. 

3. aly & aj

i know i've talked about this duo incessantly in the last few months, but can you really blame me when every single song they've released has been a banger? their latest track don't go changing is no exception, where a gentle bed of synths gives way to a drum beat belinda carlisle would be proud of. they also opened up to paper about their mental health issues during their days at disney, in which they had leading roles in phil of the future and the quite frankly iconic cow belles (supposedly inspired by the legendary simple life). as discussions about mental health are becoming more and more normalised, it's still reassuring to see that our favourite artists are human and face the same struggles as the rest of us. 

4. swimming girls 

ever since i saw them support pale waves last year, i've been obsessed with the bristol-based band, whose impeccable back catalogue just got a whole lot better with 1 2 many, their latest single. their irresistible blend of indie-pop soundtracks a story many of us will be familiar with as they try and fail to resist urge to drunk-text That Person, arriving at their door in the dead of night. with an EP in the works, i'm excited to see what they'll do next and am eagerly awaiting the next time they come to manchester. 

5. kim petras 

a significant departure from the sugary sweetness of the SOPHIE-assisted 1, 2, 3 dayz up, broken is decidedly more subdued, but kim's heavily autotuned vocals still pack an emotional punch; though she's in paris in mark jacobs, it's obvious the wounds still haven't healed. whether this song marks the direction of her next album remains to be seen, but i'm definitely here for it should she decide to go full 5 in the morning on us. 

5. georgia 

i first became aware of georgia when she dropped the critically acclaimed started out last year, and i couldn't get its melody out of my mind. the daughter of leftfield's neil barnes, their electronic sound has no doubt influenced her own work, and nowhere is this more apparent than on about work the dancefloor, an Absolute Bop reminiscent of robyn's early sound. whether i'm going out or staying in, this song has been on repeat pretty much since i heard it.

6. robyn

following my last post, i felt compelled to check out robyn's setlist from her alexandra palace gigs because though i love dancing on my own - imagine my distress when i realised i saw her perform it in 2012 supporting coldplay and have no recollection of it - and call your girlfriend, i was intrigued to see if she had any other bops i'd neglected, and it's safe to say i wasn't disappointed. ever the poptimist, i couldn't help favour her earlier tracks from 2010's body talk, including hang with me, indestructible and stars 4-ever, but i also rediscovered missing u from her newest album honey. i found the whole thing a bit hit and miss, but this ode to love and loss hit me right where it hurts. a classic Sad Bop - of which robyn has undoubtedly had a hand in bringing to the mainstream - i found myself yelling it at the top of my voice while tears streamed from my eyes, and if you ask me, that's the sign of a truly excellent pop song. 

7. ellie goulding

another hit and miss artist, i strongly believe miss goulding peaked with the release of her debut album lights, which contains gems such as wish i'd stayed, this love (will be your downfall) and your biggest mistake, as well as starry eyes, which despite being A Bop, fell foul of overplaying on every major radio station throughout 2010. 2015's delirium also spawned some hits such as army, don't panic and don't need nobody, while her contributions to both the fifty shades and bridget jones soundtracks were also excellent. while her third album has yet to see the light of day, she's released a smattering of sub-par singles in the last year, but that all changed with sixteen

much like robyn's dedication to the Sad Bop, ellie goulding has dealt largely with nostalgia ever since lights was released, often lamenting the early days of her teenage relationships before Real Life got in the way. nowhere is this more apparent than sixteen, which sees her reminiscing about "the reckless days of being a teenager", via billboard. while my own Teenage Years were as far from reckless as possible - i was distinctly unpopular and it would be years before their penchant for binge-drinking blue WKDs on the field behind their respective houses held any appeal for me - i can't get enough of this piano-driven bop, which unlike her previous releases flux and close to me features something akin to my beloved Big Chorus, and i'm praying her upcoming album will include more of the same. 

8. BTS/halsey

after weeks spent dodging boy with luv as it permeated every inch of my social media despite me not following any k-pop obsessives, i finally gave in and properly listened to it and my place on the bandwagon has been firmly established. prompted by a tweet from matty healy, i watched their performance of the song on SNL and found myself captivated by their dance moves and impeccably cut suits. though i've yet to delve into the depths of BTS' discography, i can't deny their ability to create a damn good song and while halsey's contribution is minimal, it's no doubt brought k-pop to a whole new audience who would never actively seek it out themselves, so maybe by my next new music friday post i'll be a fully fledged BTS stan. 

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