New Music Friday: Caroline Polachek edition

Filed by Peter Robinson on

As well as Pang being the pop album of the year and a modern mas­ter­piece in its own right, it seems like Caroline Polachek has also made the album countless other artists either wish they made or think they made. The whole lot's right at the top of this week's playlist. (Also, is she going to make 'NO INTERLUDES NO FEATS' into a t-shirt or am I going to have to make my own?)

Additional notes:

  • Gryffin's Maia Wright col­lab­or­a­tion recalls the Gryffin we all (well about nine of us) first fell in love with 'back in the day'.
  • Grace VanderWaal has now signed with Syco, which is quite inter­est­ing and also great news because the greater her audience, the closer she'll get to the Radio 1 Live Lounge, and the more likely it therefore is that she'll cover Wonderwall and change the lyrics to "after all, I'm Grace VanderWall". All pop careers, whether the artists know it or not, are heading towards one big moment, and that one's Grace's.
  • The new Julie Bergan EP is v good!

New Music Friday: pop loses the plot, E^st comes up trumps

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Something strange is happening in this week's new releases. It's as if in several different parts of the world a small number of popstars have inde­pend­ently decided that this is the week when pop must finally collapse in on itself.

Black Eyed Peas sampling Rhythm Of The Night? Sure! Pusha T chucking the Succession theme tune on a song? Fine! Hanne Leland banging out The Sound Of Silence, Sondr reworking Eiffel 65's Blue, Baby Ariel inter­pol­at­ing Lou Reed, Lucas & Steve singing new words over A-ha's Take On Me? THIS IS ALL ABSOLUTELY NORMAL. There's a dodgy Freak Like Me remix knocking around somewhere this week, too. (Most of this stuff, I should add, hasn't made this week's playlist.)

To top it all off someone called Scott Walker has decided to launch a pop career in spite of the fact that pop's Scott Walker quota (which is 1) is already full, meaning that the Spotify artist page for one of music's most epic voices now lists his first posthum­ous release as being a money-for-old-rope house effort. I'm sure it's what he would have wanted.

Additional notes:

  • Song Of The Week by about half a mile is E^st's new one Talk Deep, which finds her reunited with Jim Eliot and is both BREATHY and PERKY. It's the first look at her debut album I'm Doing It which is a) a really extraordin­ary new body of work, b) due next year and c) and a handy reminder, for the time being, that E^st's existing catalogue of pop is very much work revis­it­ing.
  • Harry Styles is veering into Zayn territory with Lights Up.
  • Cher Lloyd has released a song called MIA but WHEN WILL MIA RELEASE A SONG CALLED CHER LLOYD?
  • The latest Charlie's Angels song, How It's Done, features a lot of artists, none of whom will ever include this song in their live sets.

New Music Friday: Q4 is go

Filed by Peter Robinson on

There's a chill in the air as a sense of expect­a­tion flashes in the eyes of children. That right: Q4 is here. In truth the relent­less, merciless, year-round onslaught of Big Pop in the streaming era means that The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year has lost some of its power to Qs 2, 3 and 1, so fair play to Ellie Goulding and Andrea 'Bocelli' Bocelli for this week's release of Return To Love. Classic Q4 scenes.

Additional notes on this week's new releases:

  • We've all heard vari­ations on DeathbyRomy's (pictured above) new single many, many times before from many, many different artists, but this par­tic­u­lar song by this par­tic­u­lar artist totally hits the spot.
  • The arrival of DJ Spoony's extremely polite reworking of early-2000s mega­banger Sweet Like Chocolate — with Lily Allen on vocals — is quite exciting, if only because its release means that his version of Sweet Female Attitude's Flowers, with Sugababes, is just around the corner.
  • The Swim Deep single is beautiful and very special.
  • Phoning it in this week: Joe Stone.

A good decision

Filed by Peter Robinson on

This is it, isn't it? The most amazing song off the last Bastille album now has a video, which means it's a single. To be frank it's the most amazing Bastille single you're ever likely to hear. It's total Bastille. It's ultimate Bastille. It's Bastille: Endgame. It's IF YOU ARE EVER GOING TO LIKE A BASTILLE SONG, HAVING NOT LIKED PREVIOUS BASTILLE SONGS, HERE'S YOUR CHANCE. It's quite literally Bestille.

Where does this leave us? Well, we're all busy people so the good news is that you'll probably never need to listen to another new Bastille song. I mean, if they do pull it out of the hat at some point in the future I'll let you know, but all I'm saying for the time being is: enjoy this song, and live your life.

2019's Twenty Quid winner: Georgia's About Work The Dancefloor

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Last night 39 Popjustice readers spent four hours shouting at each other in a London pub. By the time the shouting stopped, Georgia's About Work The Dancefloor had seen off eleven other short­l­is­ted songs and won the 2019 Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize.

Seriously, what a song.

As Georgia is the overall winner she'll be receiving the usual £20 (this year, supplied as two £10 notes), plus a pair of overalls.

Special mention should also go to The 1975, whose It's Not Living (If It's Not With You) — also an amazing song — missed out on the prize by just one vote.

Thanks to all last night's judges for com­mit­ting them­selves so whole­heartedly not just to the pursuit of pop justice, but also to the bar hitting its minimum spend require­ment.

New Music Friday: Lewis Blissett thinks some things are meant to be torn apart

Filed by Peter Robinson on

The Song Of The Week is Killing Butterflies by Lewis Blissett.

You may well have been wondering what life would be like if Billie Eilish were a bit more like Troye Sivan. On the other hand you might have been wondering how things would be if Troye Sivan were a bit more like Billie Eilish. Lewis 'Lewis' Blissett provides some sort of answer with his second Atlantic release Killing Butterflies, and brings the grand total of decent things to come out of the UK versions of The Voice to: two. (He was on The Voice Kids a few years ago.) (The other is Becky Hill, obviously.)

Additional notes:

  • Camila Cabello's gone a bit Clean Bandit on Liar, which I suppose really means she's gone a bit Ace Of Base. This is excellent behaviour that should be supported and quietly cel­eb­rated.
  • The new Muna album, released today, comes in at twelve tracks and 43 minutes. The ideal album, at the ideal length.
  • Maybe it just seems this way in the context of other Louis Tomlinson songs but the Louis Tomlinson song is… Not awful? Strong second-Babylon-Zoo-album vibes.
  • There's nothing worse 'of a morning' than the distant crashing and screech­ing of a rubbish lorry reminding you that you forgot to put the bins out. Nothing to worry about today though, that's just the sound of Björk remixing Fever Ray.

New Music Friday: Taylor Swift is so sick of running as fast as she can

Filed by Peter Robinson on

The Song Of The Week is The Man by Taylor Swift.

In which Taylor echoes the sentiment of Beyoncé's If I Were A Boy and ends up at If I Were Still Taylor Swift But Also A Boy. Points are made.

Additional notes:

  • Taylor Swift is also respons­ible for the week's worst song, but that's the gift and the curse of the mul­ti­fa­ceted pop entity, right?
  • The new Unperfect single is their best yet. You cannot go wrong with an upward tra­ject­ory.
  • The 1975: incred­ible racket.
  • Poppy: incred­ible racket.
  • Missy Elliott's first album in over a decade isn't actually an album because it's an EP but let's not allow the fact to get in the way of Comeback Excitement. One thing is certain, though: "I did records for Tweet before y'all could even tweet" is the lyric of the week.
  • 5 Seconds Of Summer credit New Order in their new single, which seems quite strange. A bit of it sounds slightly like Rihanna's Blue Monday-inter­pol­at­ing Shut Up And Drive… Is that it?
  • The Elusive Charlteuxcx releases new music this week after an absense of, ooh, several days. Miss U, off the new 13 Reasons Why, is album-worthy material. (It's not on the album.)