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.)

New Music Friday: let's hear it for the COY

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • COY bill them­selves as a "Swedish music project" (already amazing) who make "pop music for the dance­floors" (double-amazing) and bonded over a shared passion for "music, manga and beautiful fishes" (IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN FISHES). Promises features Soren von Malmborg, who is a man, so pre­sum­ably the vocals are from one of the band. No idea. Anyway, Promises is a huge dramatic pop moment with a great Daft Punk-esque middle eight and the artwork's a literal carp.
  • Spotify sort of lists Love Regenerator as featuring Calvin Harris, except Love Generator is Calvin Harris, while the song's credits list him as Adam Wiles. We live in confusing times and this is NOT helping.
  • As discussed the other day, the new L Devine is brilliant.
  • I haven't really known how to broach this topic with you in the past but I suppose today's as good a day as any: I quite like Twin Atlantic.
  • Emmi Elliott's Worst Of You is very enjoyable but it's hard to tell from the artwork whether she's tossing or catching the tangerine. (I mean, is it even a tangerine? Could it be a satsuma?) While I increas­ingly find myself sup­port­ing the notion that artists should express them­selves however they see fit I don't think this sort of ambiguity is wise. What do you think, toss or catch?
  • There is a really good bit in the Tom Grennan single.
  • Colton Dixon's Miracles is great in a Bieber-does-Eurovision kind of way.
  • There's so much good stuff this week! La Roux, Kali Uchis, Tensnake covering The Pointer Sisters (??), mxmtoon knocking out her best song yet… There's a lot going on.

If you've been creating holes in silence, this could be the song you've been waiting for

Filed by Peter Robinson on

The Boring People cover shot might look like it's been algorith­mic­ally created by a program that's been fed thousands of images of Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift's Lover 'aesthetic' but it's def­in­itely one of the two best songs to appear online last night. L Devine made the song, literally conjuring it from thin air, creating something where once there was nothing, with the highly competent Ali Payami.

The song got its first play on Annie Mac's Radio 1 show last night, with 'L' explain­ing that it's "a song about me getting bored of myself". To which Annie Mac's reply was "I'm sure a lot of people will relate", which seems a bit harsh, par­tic­u­larly con­sid­er­ing this is probably L Devine's best single yet, but there you go.

New Music Friday: Ella Eyre is a new Ella Eyre

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • The new Ella Eyre single is a third-person corker and quite possibly the best Ella Eyre single in the entire history of Ella Eyre singles. It's all about the post-chorus, really. Ella did the track with Pablo from Manchester's The Six, Lostboy and Mark Ralph.
  • Josef Salvat released two new songs this week and in order of amaz­ing­ness they are: 1. In The Afternoon (slightly French version) / 2. Playground Love / 3. In The Afternoon (not French version). Concrete proof that doing a slightly French version of songs is a real 'boon' for the modern popstar.
  • Gabrielle Aplin's album is out today!
  • Halsey's album is out today!
  • This is actually an extremely strong week for new releases: most weeks the NMF playlist sort of tails off a little bit six songs in (don't pretend you haven't noticed, we're all adults here) but there's a lot worth getting to know this week.
  • That said the most egregious release, taking the non-prized bottom place on this week's playlist, is Be Free by Kydus which on the plus side samples (or pretends to sample) Belinda Carlisle but on the downside is just a ropey reworking of Live Element's Be Free FROM NINETEEN YEARS AGO.

New Music Friday: Selena Gomez opens the 2020 Banger Window

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Ten days into the year they're all calling 'the new 2019' Selena Gomez, in many respects the Black Rod of 21st Century pop, smashes a mid-price bottle of champagne across the hull of the 2020 pop landscape, flings open the window of mixed metaphor and declares Banger Season OPEN. Which is to say, her new album's full of good songs. What a popstar. What an absolute popstar.
  • Georgia, undoubtedly the 2020 Sound Poll winner of people's hearts, today releases her second album Seeking Thrills, which boasts what will surely turn out to be one of the year's greatest opening run of songs: Started Out, About Work The Dancefloor, Never Let You Go and (today's new single) 24 Hours. SEE THIS ARTIST LIVE.
  • In further Songs With Actual Choruses news, rising Norwegian singer Torine's latest release hits a point somewhere between Avril Lavigne and Sigrid, which feels like/sounds like/is a good place to be. She says Make U Cry is "a bitter song about being vin­dict­ive and wanting to hurt someone back after being hurt yourself". THIS WON'T GET YOU ANYWHERE TORINE!!!!
  • Big fan of Leyla Blue's new song, Peppa Pig. "I'm a MacBook Pro, you're a bunch of fucking Dells." Outstanding work. (That said, Happy Mrs Chicken isn't com­pat­ible with MacOS.)
  • You may or may not be surprised (you won't be surprised) to hear that Sia has done a song for a film.

New Music Friday: Aplin & Nesbitt want Bono back

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Gabrielle Aplin and Nina Nesbitt, in many (no) ways the Beyoncé and Lady Gaga of post-major label streaming success, today deliver their Telephone. Miss You 2 is a rework of Gabrielle's 2016 song Miss You and while a new version of Waking Up Slow might have been 7% more spec­tac­u­lar today's single hits the spot nicely.
  • Justin Bieber has delivered — as part of the first track from his new album — the line "bonafide stallion, it ain't no stable, no, you stay on the run". (This song is not very good.)
  • The sleeve for Pet Shop Boys' Monkey Business features a staircase but it's not the staircase.
  • The year is 2020 and Foo Fighters are still at it.

And finally… The Top 45 Singles of 2019

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Thank you very much 2019, you have been quite hard work in various respects but your music has been brilliant.

See you in 2020! x

Hey kids, polling is fun!

Filed by Peter Robinson on

There has been counting. There has been listing. There has been format­ting. And the results of the 2019 Popjustice Readers' Poll are now in. (The winner of BEST TROUSERS may shock you.)

(It won't shock you.)

Click here to read the poll results.

New Music Friday: it's time to Eat More Cake (?)

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Eat More Cake have recruited River, for an unex­pec­ted end-of-year elec­tro­banger called All I Ever Wanted.
  • Aidan Black's I Fucking Miss You is pretty special as well but he hasn't credited the guest vocalist and that's just bad manners.
  • E^ST continues the slow reveal of her new album; Flight Path follows the brilliant Talk Deep from a couple of months ago.
  • The Paola single's really good but I think we all know what'll have been happening behind the scenes if it gets played on the radio.
  • Say what you will about the Cats movie — espe­cially if it's good for traffic!!! — but Memory is a banger for the ages.
  • In further recol­lec­tion news, Maroon 5's Memories gets a reswizzle via Bodin. It's not very good, but it fills a hole.
  • Speaking of the entirely unne­ces­sary: Steve Aoki's chucked every possible gateau at Hot Butter's Popcorn.
  • Now this week's new releases are out, and bearing in mind only a lunatic would release anything decent between now and New Year's Eve, com­pil­a­tion of Popjustice's Top 45 Singles can now begin. 🎉

Flyposterwatch: Sounds of the underground edition

Filed by Peter Robinson on

This edition comes to you via a recent journey into the very BOWELS of London — the United Kingdom's capital city and home to nearly 9m people.

1. Little Mix wear some clothes

When this campaign first appeared there was some social activity showing a big US elec­tronic billboard going "WOW AMAZING TO SEE THIS IN TIMES SQUARE" or something, then about five minutes later I walked past the same ad stuck up on a wall in Highbury, which struck me as being strangely poignant given that Highbury is very much Not Times Square. The picture shows Little Mix at the fair­ground with Jade's 'threads' (clothes) offering an early hint at her political leanings.

2. Harry Styles sassily rejects the lure of the rubber glove

The problem here is that the com­bin­a­tion of the fish-eye effect and the shape of the London Underground walls results in an incred­ibly distorted idea of what Harry Style really looks like.

Fortunately through the miracle of digital image manip­u­la­tion it's possible to see what the original photo looked like.

That is what he actually looks like when he's walking down the street. If you ever see a photo of him looking normal it's because he's demanded the pho­to­grapher use a special lens.

3. Ed Sheeran delivers a reminder

It's weird isn't it that Ed Sheeran had an album out this year, and loads of hits came off it, and it sold really quite well, and yet it doesn't totally feel as if there's been an Ed Sheeran album? THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUT 'PROJECT' IN THE TITLE OF SOMETHING. Obviously Ed knows this, con­sid­er­ing he knows everything about marketing, but it feels like there's been a dis­con­nect between 'this is an album but it's not a proper album' from Ed and 'we're going to market the tits off this one anyway' from the label.

4. Robbie Williams remembers the true spirit of Q4

Considering I'm abso­lutely never going to listen to this album, I do quite like The Christmas Present. I like the album being split into Christmas Past and Christmas Future, with the album's title rep­res­ent­ing the bit in the middle, which doubles up as quite a funny Q4 album title. I am also keen on Robbie holding the album itself on the album sleeve. He should have called it Sing When You're Carolling, but you can't have everything.

You may well be wondering what's caught Robbie's attention in this photo and the truth of the matter is that he's on the search for someone sexist and homo­phobic to duet on one of this album tracks.

Oh look, he's found someone.