It’s New Music Friday again and fuck us, it’s a bumper one. So we’re not even going to bother with any preamble faff – here’s what to listen to, and of course at the very end a little guide on what to avoid…
Loop – Give ‘n’ Take
Is there a sassier name in pop than Loop? Honestly, there is no greater destroyer of fuckbois than this lady, and Give ‘n’ Take is exactly the sort of jam the world of men needs right now. Basically, she’s saying sort yourselves out, don’t be lazy, stop being pricks cos you certainly gotta give a little to get some back. Lady Loop: we salute you… and also would like to slide you all our exes’ numbers so you can sort them out too. Ta.
SG Lewis – Aura (feat. J Warner)
Now this is a bop and a half. Firstly, ignore that title – this isn’t something about polishing your crystals in front of a waxing gibbous or some shit, this is SG Lewis at his absolute best. What is that, you foolishly ask? Production that rocks with freshness as it traverses pop, soul, and jazz, giving your New Music Friday such a powerful kick you might forget everything else. Exceptional work.
Everything Is Recorded – Bloodshot Red Eyes
We have nothing crafty or witty to say about this. It is wonderful and so gentle that you want to wrap it up and protect its fragility from the world. So just pipe down and listen to it, because Everything Is Recorded is one project with a perfect track record already.
Mathew V – Broken
What does that V stand for? Vivacious? Virile? Who knows. This one actually came to us a few days ago, but we’ve been saving it for our roundup. We haven’t covered this young man before but his sound is a good ‘un, all slick male pop that clicks in all the right ways. Broken? He might well be about to get his competitors to fix up, to be honest.
Betty Who – Ignore Me
Honestly, Betty Who is wonderful. We knew that from our podcast, we know that from the article she’s just written for us, and we know it from Ignore Me. It’s exactly the sort of heartfelt pop we need right now, and it wouldn’t sound as sweet coming from any other voice than this one. It’s a hearty welcome back with open arms from us.
Kevin George – High Like This
This is how you do a debut, lads. Forget the other Kevin G you know (the one from Mean Girls, innit), Kevin George has something ramshackle and DIY about his debut but we can’t stop listening to it. There’s something appealing about his drawl that’s drawn us in, and we reckon his softer approach could see him do rather well this year.
LIZ – Could U Love Me
Well if it isn’t about bloody time. We’ve always had a soft spot for LIZ, and judging by her tweets she’s been acutely aware of her own absence as much as we have. But she returns with not one but two tracks, the better of which is Could U Love Me. It’s a self-effacing song that bares its flaws alongside a galloping backbeat, encompassing both the pep and heart we’ve come to love from her.
Wafia – Breathe
We’ve loved Wafia for bare time now, and our fellow Muslim homegirl isn’t about to let that change. Her new EP, VIII, is full of corkers and the one that sticks out the most for us is Breathe. It’s a simple, steady confession of love and while it may not be one of her deeper paeans, it’s still lovely to hear her voice control pretty much anything.
Hedegaard – Salvation (feat. JRM & Katie Pearlman)
And finally, a lovely little slice of hybrid pop from Denmark via Danish producer Hedegaard. Sure we’re used to that whole ‘drop just before the chorus’ trope in pop but Salvation is a fine duet that really demonstrates how you can keep things fresh. Plus it’s just well bloody polished and nice to our ears and, really, sometimes that’s all we need.
WESLEE – Tongue Tied
Weslee did alright when they first popped up, didn’t they? Unsurprising, given how high-qual their output is. Like Tongue Tied, a surprisingly downbeat slice of electronic pop that shows off the heart behind those cartoon lips they’re always plastering everywhere. Honestly, if they did that to people and things in real life there’d be a #MeToo situation before you know it.
The Venus Project – Won’t Hurt
The Venus Project is the side-hustle of Georgia Nott from Broods. And it couldn’t be more different to the parent band – the woman-led affair is soothing and quietly majestic on this debut track, letting Nott’s vocals and self-questioning wrap around it perfectly. Well worth your time, this one.
Also good: Rae Morris (obviously), trailing her album again with a saucy but beautifully restrained Lower The Tone. Mabel‘s done alright with Fine Line too, even if it isn’t her best. And Young Fathers score an easy winner on their new one too, which you can find on our main playlist below.
What to avoid: If your a fan of second-hand embarrassment then look no further than Mr Justin Timberlake. Filthy was a bop but this new one is like Future on helium & ketamine trying to sing Cotton-Eyed Joe. Speaking of people devoid of irony, Kylie Minogue is back channelling 90s guitar-pop in a “oh bless her, she tried” kind of way that’ll please mainly her fans. Tinashe hooks up with hip-hop’s latest homophobe Offset for a boring trap-based R&B track that won’t save her fading career (incidentally No Drama also contains no hook, no decent vocal, and no reason to listen again); meanwhile Troye Sivan undoes all the good work he did last week with some ill-judged acoustic-ish ditty that no one asked for. Sigh.