New Music Friday: Troye's had enough of city life

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Troye Sivan wrote his new song "about my happiness and my life and the way all the pieces fit together, or don't". The song's about leaving the city, and is therefore deeply remin­is­cent of Only Fools And Horses spinoff The Green Green Grass, which ran for four series and followed the story of Boycie (John Challis) as he left London behind and adjusted to life on a farm. It was shit, unlike the Troye single.
  • Some strong All Saints 'vibes' in Niki's Switchblade.
  • Everything seems very pensive this week doesn't it?
  • Is this what pop music's going to be like until All This is over??
  • Did you see this abso­lutely ter­ri­fy­ing part of Spotify's 'How Social Distancing Has Shifted Spotify Streaming' post a few days ago???
  • CAN WE PLEASE NOT????

New Music & Merch Friday: Tove Lo's covered a classic and you can buy a stuffed cat

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Tove Lo, whose 9" Sunshine Kitty plush toy is on sale here for $25, has covered Veronica Maggio's Jag Kommer in English and it sounds like Robyn.
  • Grace Davies, whose unisex hoodie is priced at a reas­on­able £24.99, has released the second track from her Friends With The Tragic EP and it sounds like Robyn.
  • Melanie C, whose You Gotta Love Yourself mug stands at 93mm, made a good effort with her new single, and it sounds like Robyn.
  • Josef Salvat releases yet another out­stand­ing track from his upcoming album (available, signed, to pre-order on CD and vinyl), and it sounds like Kleerup feat Robyn.
  • In other news Arlissa, whose previous song Hearts Ain't Gonna Lie has been immor­tal­ised in a reas­on­ably-priced t‑shirt, releases another great single today. It's called Healing.
  • Conan Gray, one of the planet's more inter­est­ing and excellent popstars, has chucked out an album. It's great and you can buy it digitally with a free t‑shirt (or is it the other way round?).
  • Sarah Close finally releases her And Now, We're Shining EP today, and you can get it in a number of physical bundles. It's a great EP.
  • R3HAB's covered the Wagner song Creep. Please buy a t‑shirt so he doesn't have to do it again.

New Music Friday: It's Ava Max vs Floss in the Kings & Queens showdown

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Dual-barnetted pop warbler Ava Max's new single Kings & Queens blends self-worth imagery with a reference to decap­it­a­tion and does so with all the subtlety of a tractor. Obviously, it's brilliant. We abso­lutely need popstars like this around. RedOne joins Cirkut on pro­duc­tion and you'd think between them they'd know that if drums drop out for a song's chorus the final chorus needs to have drums in but, on the other hand, LOOK AT THE ARTWORK.
  • From an artist with 27m monthly Spotify listeners to an artist with precisely zero: brand new artist Floss releases her debut single today and it's called, er, Kings & Queens. Floss sent her self-released, Lana-inspired track over a few weeks ago and I made a note to feature it on release day because it's something pretty special, right? In her email, Floss wrote: "My debut release is about two indi­vidu­als lifting each other up. When things are really great between them, they believe they can achieve anything. When I began to write this song what came to mind was Kings & Queens, all the strength and power of royalty, but no riches required.”
  • Melbourne-based artist Zoe A'dore isn't exactly rushing things — she's released one song a year for the last three years — but when those songs are as great as Innocent I think we'd all accept the quality over quantity approach.
  • This new Nimmo song is v good, well done Nimmo.
  • Fletcher's slow and steady rise to 4m monthly listeners is a very This Is How Things Work Now pop story: it's half a decade since her first release, yet she's still in 'emerging artist' territory, AND YET there's still a decent amount of momentum to what she's doing, par­tic­u­larly as the new single Forever feels like a real step up. She's playing at London's Shepherds Bush Empire at the end of this month. (Although, in all like­li­hood, she's not, but maybe see if you can make it to whenever the res­ched­uled date might be.)
  • Rita Ora is placed quite low on this week's playlist due solely to the abso­lutely cata­strophic typo­graphy on the How To Be Lonely artwork.
  • Liar Liar return this week. Their last song, Bad For Each Other, was on the Popjustice Big Hit Energy playlist for AGES, and new one Better Off is a worthy successor.
  • Shawn Wasabi: still brilliant.

New Music Friday: Lady Gaga makes an understated comeback

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Lady Gaga releases her turbo-charged anti­bal­lad Stupid Love today and everyone on Twitter's doing a decent job of pre­tend­ing they didn't open their Christmas presents early. As pre­vi­ously stated: decent song by decent popstar. She shot the video on a phone.
  • Charlotte OC's going The Full Stevie on Freedom and there's nothing wrong with a bit of that.
  • Good new one from superstar-in-the-making Evie Irie, well done everybody.
  • Camden Cox's turn on the new Joe Stone one: perky.
  • Daisy Gray's Don't Cry is pretty special. There was an inter­est­ing post on her Instagram when her version of Wicked Game was featured on Love Island: she wrote that in 48 hours the exposure led to "25,000 Shazam streams, 400 purchases, and 9000 plays on Spotify". So if you're wondering about the direct impact of a Love Island sync, that's it.
  • John Newman's Brother's Eurovision song is the best UK entry in a while and comes in at just 2:35 — they could have probably got it down to 2:30 without the gimmicky gaps before every 'breath' which sound a bit like that thing you sometimes have to do when you're in the middle of a sentence, feel a burp coming and have to swallow it before you carry on talking.

New/Old Music Friday: Selena Gomez gives the people what they want

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • It's well over a month since the release of Selena Gomez's last album so that means it's time for NEW CONTENT, which in this case actually means it's time for OLD CONTENT, ie a song she did live four years ago and people haven't stopped wanging on about ever since. Much as it's often sensible for artists to treat demanding fans with the same caution they'd give next door's cat — feed it once and deal with the con­sequences forever — this gesture to giving the people what they want should be applauded.
  • There goes Call Me Loop, con­tinu­ing the bang out the big songs.
  • The Weeknd's new song is six minutes long and that's abso­lutely fine.
  • Is Gone the song that's going to make everyone WAKE THE FUCK UP to Gracey's wall-to-wall amaz­ing­ness? Perhaps!!
  • April, whose debut single The Impossible Task Of Feeling Complete arrives today, is what they call a 'one to watch'.
  • Australian pop entity Genes says her new one, a silky and romantic Jeppo-esque slinker called When I'm Around You, is about "the eye contact that lasts a little longer than normal, the built up chemistry on the drive home, the late night texts that feel a bit too com­fort­able". (Is it about getting off with an Uber driver?? There's def­in­itely unmined pop gold in that con­cep­tual hill.)
  • The Gareth Emery and Emily Vaughn single sounds more like a Europa single than the new Europa single, which basically just sounds like a Jax Jones single.
  • Bakermat's Under The Sun is A ROMP.

The one thing better than Dua Lipa's Physical is…

Filed by Peter Robinson on

…Dua Lipa's Physical BUT IT GOES ON FOR LONGER.

This is the latest work by a chap called Vito who calls himself DJ DE — he's done a few other extended mixes in his time and they're always great. The Dua video will probably have been removed from YouTube by the Fun Police by the time you read this, but:

  1. Two wrongs don't make a right
  2. If the Initial Talk mix of New Rules can get an official release then surely this is worth 'making official' because let's face it a stream's a stream
  3. That's it

Never doubt the sharpness of Anne-Marie's marketing mind

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Anne-Marie's new one is very clever because it's called Birthday and if you consider that Spotify has 271m active users, that means 742,000 users will today be cel­eb­rat­ing their birthday and will each surely play the song twice, because people do strange things on their birthdays. And then of course tomorrow a whole new set of users will celebrate a birthday.

With this in mind Anne-Marie is on course for 10.4m streams by the end of the week and nearly half a billion streams within a year — and that's just on Spotify. (This number would be higher were it not for the strange situation of October 17 being the day nobody on the planet has a birthday — a phe­nomenon the world's top sci­ent­ists and stat­ist­i­cians have described as "a rum old state of affairs". That said, the shortfall is slightly offset by people like The Queen having two birthdays.)

Other artists have released birthday-related songs in the past but Anne-Marie is one of the first streaming-native acts to do it so effect­ively 1 and with any luck Anne-Marie will reap huge rewards for this brave and innov­at­ive artistic endeavour. 


  1. Stormzy's Birthday Girl, for instance, halved its potential audience


New Music Friday: Dagny gives it the full "HEY!" treatment

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • For the great, "HEY!"-strewn new Dagny single to seem totally great you sort of need to trick your mind into for­get­ting Sigrid's Mine Right Now ever existed, mind you looking at Sigrid's most popular tracks on Spotify it appears that's not beyond the cap­ab­il­it­ies of your average music consumer.
  • Three million years after its grand unveiling, Pussycat Dolls' React is out today. The full-on studio version is better than you'd expect a 2020 Pussycat Dolls to be in 2020, although perhaps not as good as it needs to be.
  • Christine & The Queens seems to have made use of a leftover Lauv song title.
  • Niall Horan's new one: pleasant.
  • CRJ's new one: fine.
  • Marina's new one: off a Netflix thing.
  • Dua Lipa's one-week-old one: back in the playlist due to per­sist­ent amaz­ing­ness.

New Music Friday: Dua Lipa's got a new song out

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new release:

  • Dua Lipa today releases her best single since Be The One. (Behind all the banging and crashing it's also, in some respects, her most Be The One-esque single since Be The One.)
  • A standing ovation please for everybody involved in the new Dua Lipa single: Clarence Coffee Jr, Jason Evigan, Sarah Hudson, Stephen Kozmeniuk and Dua Lipa.
  • "I don't want to live another life because this one's pretty nice" in the new Dua Lipa single: pretty nice.
  • Best artwork of the week: Dua Lipa's Physical.
  • There's a great bit in the new Dua Lipa single where it very very nearly goes 'the full Bonnie Tyler' and if that's a hint that BT will be this year's big unex­pec­ted pop influence, thus making her 2020's answer to Trent Reznor, then, well, there would be worse things in the world.
  • The new Dua Lipa single is so powerful it could reverse Brexit.
  • Dua Lipa created something phe­nom­enal, don't you agree?

A reminder re Pet Shop Boys

Filed by Peter Robinson on

It would be a pop crime to allow a new Pet Shop Boys album (in this case Hotspot) to appear without issuing a gentle reminder that Chris and Neil remain the very best at being the very best. Nearly four decades in the game and they still haven't gone shit.

Regarding the above paragraph: as you know their names are usually written as 'Neil and Chris' but if you watch the Monkey Business video (above the above paragraph — it's what those of us in the business of music journ­al­ism call 'a video embed') you'll see that Chris has gone to the effort of learning a dance routine while Neil spends most of the video having a nice sit down, and I think it's only fair to reward Chris' endeav­ours.

What a band.

(There's a great interview in today's Guardian in which they blast their lame rock rivals.)