New Music Friday: There's a big one from Royal & The Serpent

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • There are three songs of the week this week. The first is Royal & The Serpent's Choke which despite being too short manages to pack Really Quite A Lot into 137 seconds. Royal & The Serpent's Get A Grip EP is out today — it includes previous (v good) song Overwhelmed along with a slightly Dragonette-esque new track called Warn You. It's one of two excellent breathing-related songs this week because next up is…
  • Demi Lovato's Commander In Chief. This had better be getting a full remix package.
  • The third song of the week is a fairly old one — The Weeknd's In Your Eyes — which reappeared a few months back in a 10/10 Doja Cat-featuring fashion, and comes back again today with KENNY G chucked on top. Whenever an artist releases more than one remix of the same song there's always a glimmer of hope that further remixes might continue to appear every month or two until the end of human civil­isa­tion (currently pencilled in for May 8 2022). After an impress­ive start Lil Nas X dropped the ball with Old Town Road but could The Weeknd pull it off with In Your Eyes? Four words: Mariah. Version. For. Christmas.
  • Annie's new album is out today and it is TERRIFIC.
  • Spa is Icona Pop's best one in a while. They work rather well with Sofi Tukker, maybe they should just form a band and be done with it. There are too many bands as it is so a merger could make things a lot easier for all of us.
  • The Kelly Rowland single is perky!
  • Ava Max released a Christmas song this week and it is abso­lutely not on this week's playlist. I know people get away with all sorts at Christmas but come on.


New Music Friday: Baby Queen takes the throne

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Baby Queen continues to be one of the pop sphere's best things: new devel­op­ments this week involve Pretty Girl Lie having a brilliant middle eight and some Matty Healy dancing in the video. A lot of artists have had a go at this song's subject matter but "I get more likes when I don't look like me" kind of nails it, right?
  • The artwork for Shaylen's new release depicts the singer being attacked by but­ter­flies. (The song's great.)
  • Bree Runway, whose Damn Daniel would, I think, have won last night's Twenty Quid Music Prize if Dua Lipa's Physical hadn't destroyed everything in its path, releases the Easyfun-produced Little Nokia. All things con­sidered Bree should be approx four times bigger than she is right now but things feel like they are heading in the right direction and in These Uncertain Times that's something to hold onto.
  • There's a perky F9 remix of Annie's The Streets Where I Belong, a Being Boring-esque song about Annie's return to her hometown. Being Bergen, IF YOU WILL. The remix is amazing, the original's amazing, the album the original's on is amazing, everything's generally amazing in Annie world.
  • Remember Jens, of Any Other Way almost-fame? Tough Love is his new song.
  • No new Kygo atro­cit­ies this week although I did get a press release con­tain­ing the words "Tomorrow, Friday 25th, film star Vin Diesel will be releasing his debut dance music song 'Feel Like I Do' on Kygo's Palm Tree Records" and I was too scared to click any of the links in the email so I have no idea if it was a joke or not.

(For some reason the shitting embed hasn't updated with the new playlist and if it hasn't sorted itself out by the time you see this you can click here to open Spotify.)


Twenty Quid 2020: Dua Lipa is the winner

Filed by Popjustice on

Congratulations to Dua Lipa, whose single Physical was voted the best British pop single of 2020 tonight by a panel of (virtual) judges. Thanks to everyone who joined in with the voting this year, 2020's been a cavalcade of shit but nights like this make things mar­gin­ally less terrible.

The twenty quid prize fund will be submitted by Paypal tomorrow morning.


New Music Friday: EHLE breaks loose

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Seriously though the EHLE single is very brilliant. "I'll stop wearing black when they invent a darker colour" — A LYRIC. There's something slightly Aloudian about the unhin­ged­ness of Finders Keepers, EHLE's fourth (fourth!!) excellent single of 2020.
  • Gorgon City have released their best single in about a hundred years. Evan Giia has a good voice, right? Nicely done everyone.
  • Sir Sly's Material Boy sounds like a lost MGMT track. Quite good.
  • Hard to imagine the strange series of events that led to Maja Kristina covering The Pointer Sisters' Slow Hand, although there's a chance it might involve auto­com­plete and Niall Horan. Anyway: it's an extremely good track.
  • Not sure if you noticed Koko's All Together Now earlier this year but it was a bit of a slowburn belter. Anyway they're back today with So Nice To Meet You, which inter­pol­ates Public Image Ltd's This Is Not A Love Song.
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor's covered Alcazar's Crying At The Discotheque. It is the best idea for a Sophie Ellis-Bextor cover since she had a go at Propaganda's Duel.
  • You will note that the previous three songs each do something new with something old. You may be thinking: "I would like to hear a four new song that is also an old song." Well.
  • Kygo's reign of terror continues, with Donna Summer the latest diva to be on the receiving end. Do you remember that amazing Firestone track he did with Conrad Sewell? They were different times weren't they? Simpler times. I didn't ever think I'd be nostalgic for the specific period in my life when Kygo did that amazing Firestone track with Conrad Sewell but here we are. Sometimes we don't really appre­ci­ate the beauty of a moment until it'd faded, do we? A lesson for us all there. UPDATE: Actually once you're over the shock this is quite good isn't it?

New Music Friday: OMG the Ava Max album rollout is happening

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • OMG What's Happening is, whichever way you look at it, the quint­es­sen­tial 2020 song title. Is Ava Max, who currently stands at 33.5m monthly Spotify listeners, making her the world's 47th biggest act, the quint­es­sen­tial 2020 popstar? That's another con­ver­sa­tion for another day. Let's not do it now.
  • Daniel Briskin, a very important (and decent) new popstar from north London, has released a new song that starts off as one thing and ends up as another thing. Both those things are good things.
  • British chanteuse Blithe, of 'did a big interview with her a while back' fame, returns today with the v sparky If I Ain't The One.
  • French singer 1 Marina Kaye releases her sparse and spooky new single Double Life today. As with previous single The Whole 9 (also highly listen­able) she made it with David Stewart and Jessica Agombar, two song­writers who've appeared on Popjustice in the past in slightly different roles and are having a bit of a Moment right now, having recently knocked out Dynamite for BTS and that quite good Jonas Brothers single. Marina says this song was partly inspired by the writing session's proximity to the Jack The Ripper museum. (???)
  • The new Oz one, Murder, hits a mark somewhere between Lana and Sia, but also sounds like nothing else I heard while scouring hundreds of songs for this week's playlist, and it's really quite brilliant.
  • Next time someone on Twitter is wanging on about "where are all the modern protest songs???etc", point them to #freebrit­ney by Holy Spearit.
  • Anna Straker's one of the artists I spoke to in that marathon Zoom session during lockdown. Seems a long time ago now, doesn't it? All that madness? Anyway she's got a new track with Gabrielle 'Prior To Them Closing Their Last Branch In 2008 I Used To Buy My Batteries At M' Aplin, and very enjoyable it is too.
  • Navvy's The Final Pieces EP is out today and it's not quite all the feels but it's the vast majority of them.
  • In 'egregious noughties anthem inter­pol­a­tion' news, hit play on the Sigala and James Arthur song and I guarantee that within one second you'll be screaming "SIGALA AND JAMES ARTHUR WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?" A truly extraordin­ary piece of music.

  1. That's French for chanteuse


New Music Friday: Good Griff

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Look, I generally try to keep the New Music Friday playlist pretty short each week because we're all busy people so it is with deep dismay that I must report this week's playlist contains 34 decent songs.
  • Griff's one of the better new popstars, isn't she? Say It Again's her best release to date.
  • It's a semi-busy week for Babeheaven who release what we used to call a double a‑side single featuring new songs Cassette Beat and Human Nature, both of which are very enjoyable.
  • Ava Max has released an Ace Of Base-inspired single, while modern pop's premiere Ace Of Base apo­lo­gists Clean Bandit have released an unex­pec­ted and, frankly, unre­ques­ted mashup of Real Love and DARIO G'S SUNCHYME. (I first noticed the mashup in one of the band's live lockdown DJ sets, has it been part of the Bandit 'oeuvre' for a while?)
  • Amy Allen, whose song­writ­ing you've already been enjoying via artists like Harry Styles and Halsey, has an accept­ably 90s-sounding single out today.
  • Bastille's excellent new one is Song 4 on the playlist and when you hear it you may well agree that's two spots too low.
  • Curtis Waters isn't messing around is he?
  • Brighton-based singer of song Oz has a really impress­ive EP on its way and the first glimpse of that is out today: its called Money.
  • The new Vamps single is good, mind you that was pretty inev­it­able con­sid­er­ing it was produced by Lostboy.
  • Seriously there are so many decent songs out this week.
  • (Please make some time to listen to the great E^ST album.)
  • Yorke released her debut EP in March and it seems she's been using her lockdown wisely: Gravity is a huge leap forward and sounds like Ellie Goulding doing 1989-era Taylor Swift, ie totally ideal.
  • SO MANY DECENT SONGS.

Important announcement: the 2020 Twenty Quid Music Prize shortlist is here

Filed by Peter Robinson on

It'll take more than a stupid pandemic, an impending global recession and the decim­a­tion of music journ­al­ism to stand in the way of amazing pop music being recog­nised. Today Popjustice unveils the twelve short­l­is­ted songs in the 2020 Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize. Info on the twelve short­l­is­ted songs, details regarding judging (likely to be even more of a shambles than usual given that it might happen on Zoom) and how to get involved, and playlists for every year since 2003, at www.popjustice.com/twentyquidmusicprize.


New Music Friday: Nina NOTDsbitt have painful shoes

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • My proposed morator­ium on 'tears on the dancefloor'-themed pop songs didn't really pan out very well and the new NOTD and Nina Nesbitt song also ref­er­ences another topic on the Popjustice banned list — wearing your ex's old t‑shirt — but Cry Dancing is a great tune. "It's not my heart that's breaking, it's just these shoes are killing me" — WHAT A LINE.
  • ALSO A LINE: "This house is on fire, woo." That's a line you'll find in the new Troye single.
  • Jesus bloody Christ the Joan album is shaping up to be a complete monster.
  • Resin Moon — real name Dave — has released a really beautiful new single called The Middle. It's his second release of 2020; the other is the Covid-themed 'jam' Shake Your Booty (At An Appropriate Social Distance).
  • The Calvin Harris Love Regenerator Experiment comes to fruition today with the Steve Lacy col­lab­or­a­tion Live Without Your Love.
  • Kygo has Done A Kygo on Tina Turner's What's Love Got To Do With It. It's brilliant but it's also terrible, with an abso­lutely atrocious and bor­der­line criminal key change, but I'm excited to hear what 2021's big summer Kygo-slash-diva col­lab­or­a­tion will be. (Spoiler: it will be Diana Ross.)
  • Annie's really incred­ible new album — produced in its entirety by The Sound Of Arrows' Stefan Storm — continues its rollout this week with The Bomb.
  • There is one song on this week's playlist which is extremely good but seems to have been written by someone who's never actually met a member of the opposite sex and may well have based their entire under­stand­ing of rela­tion­ships on what they've heard in pop songs. Not a bad way to go through life 'tbh'.
  • Regrettably, Spinnin' have decided to release a cover of Kesha's TiK ToK.

New Music Friday: You can count on Wuh Oh

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases, carrying on as if everything's normal and as if there haven't been roughly no new posts on the site for about eight years:

  • I've been saying for a while that there simply aren't enough popstars called Peter but Wuh Oh is very popstar and very Peter 1 and his new single Softstyle is brilliant in about forty different ways. (One of those ways is that it includes counting, and most songs with counting are at least slightly excellent.)
  • Baby Queen, aka possibly the planet's best new pop entity, releases her new single Buzzkill today. She's wearing a party hat in the artwork.
  • NAAZ IS BACK.
  • AS IT BLITHE.
  • The Raye single is a really unusual and strong single. It sort of goes into I Will Survive near the end.
  • One indi­vidual who's proved time and time again that she knows one end of a pop song from the other is Only You hitmaker Zara Larsson, whose breathy slink­banger Love Me Land is out today. IT'S A TRANTER AND MICHAELS NUMBER. (Edit: As has been noted, it's also a Jason Gill number.)
  • The Amiigo / Frool / Sara Sangfelt single sounds like it's con­stantly on the verge of bursting into Rhythm Is A Dancer. More songs should do this. Actually: more songs should sound like they're on the verge of bursting into Rhythm Is A Dancer and actually burst into Rhythm Is A Dancer.
  • According to Spotify Emilyn, the featured vocalist on a really quite good song called Party Animal, currently boasts zero monthly listeners. Let's see if we can get this into double figures.
  • BBC Sound Of 2021 poll short­l­is­ted, 2022 Mercury Music Prize nominated duo Sad Night Dynamite release their first proper single today and it's about four different songs in one — irres­ist­ible value for money as we charge toward a global recession.

  1. Peter Ferguson — that's his full name


New Music Friday: Wake up, Fanny Andersen's back

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Fanny Andersen made some waves a few years ago with a song called Kids then went rel­at­ively quiet for a couple of years, but her new release Wake Up is a really huge comeback single.

I spoke to Fanny on Zoom yesterday to find out what's been going on in her life, because the lyrics of Wake Up suggest the answer to that is 'quite a lot'. She said that she wrote the song during dark times; when the line "head's in a limbo" came to her she didn't know exactly what limbo meant, but after Googling it she realised it made total sense in terms of how she felt at that moment: somewhere between being alive and, well, not. An over­whelm­ing sense of noth­ing­ness.

Fanny added that she wanted the song to sound upbeat because she knows most people don't listen to lyrics properly and she didn't want her friends to hear it and imme­di­ately phone her asking what was wrong. Which feeds into the "lying if I said I was fine" line — at the time Fanny was doing a lot of that, going out and getting smashed all the time ("not recom­men­ded") before she even­tu­ally con­fron­ted what was happening, stopped running from herself, "saw a shrink" and got back on top of things.

There's an EP on its way; three tracks are in place with a fourth TBC, although she's written hundreds of songs so there's no shortage of options. If you're wondering why the Zoom chat has resulted in about one (1) direct quote that's because the con­ver­sa­tion didn't record properly and I will be taking no further questions on the matter at this time.

Notes on this week's other new releases:

  • Camden Cox's new one is a massive raveathon that goes off precisely when you want it to and to the precise degree that you need it to.
  • The Shellback-produced Jonas Brothers / Karol G single is a nailed-on summer smash.
  • The best song on the Charli XCX lockdown album is Enemy and that's the end of the matter.
  • HURTS RETURN today with Voices. The world's always better with new Hurts in it. (Also they've done some excellent social media teasing over the last week of so.)
  • Loryn released a couple of great singles last year and her first of 2020, No Lines, is pretty brilliant too.
  • The worst single of the week is the Alok remix of a Rolling Stones song (??) called Ghost Town. To be honest the mix is actually quite good but it is VERY TikTok-friendly and 2020's been bad enough already without The Rolling Stones going viral on TikTok.
  • (If you really must insist on listening to music by people over the age of 35, give the new Sparks one a spin.)