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.)

New Music Friday: Kim Petras has been on the coconut liqueur

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • You've probably noticed I've had trouble figuring out how or if to support Kim Petras: some weeks she's released brilliant singles and they've made the New Music Friday playlist, other weeks she's released brilliant singles and I've left them off. I still don't know what the answer is but Malibu's this week's best new song and here we are.
  • I do increas­ingly wonder if there should be a morator­ium on 'tears on the dance­floor' being used in any song­writ­ing brief but if we are to call time on that trope the new Aly & AJ single, Joan Of Arc On The Dance Floor, is a great way for it to bow out. The artwork depicts Joan of Arc quite literally on a dance­floor.
  • The great new Tei Shi single arrived in the Popjustice inbox with a subject line promising an "apo­ca­lyptic bop". Frankly I want to here more about this abopalypse because it sounds quite good.
  • Cecily released that amazing Thinking Bout Me song last year. I Did It All is quite amazing as well.
  • The Ariana and Justin track's not exactly a classic.

New Music Friday: Baby you can see Harloe (and others)

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Crush On You, one of the five standout songs on Harloe's five-track Rivers Run Dry EP, gets a Latroit & Pretty Garter remix this week and somehow gets even more brilliant.
  • So much excite­ment and passion has built around If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know) since The 1975 performed it on tour that part of me (the annoying part of me) wonders if the band should have kept the studio version under wraps forever as an elaborate myth-building exercise. The band aren't exactly short of songs, there are 22 of the fuckers on the new album. Anyway they didn't do that and it's out today.
  • Charli XCX has released her second lockdown single Claws or, as I like to call it, 'not Enemy'.
  • The appar­ently endless Hayley Williams release strategy continues this week; Dead Horse is probably the best track so far although let's wait and see what next week brings.
  • Glasgow's HYYTS seem quite good. Their first release for Warners, The Low Sound, is out today.
  • Jessie Ware's very much coming up with the goods this time round.
  • This week's playlist also includes releases from some of the acts I spoke to as part of yesterday's ludicrous Zoom marathon — watch out for more on that on the site later today.

Popstars! Join me for a Zoom-based experiment/shambles

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Well, it's New Music Frideve so thoughts inev­it­ably turn to the musical treats 1 waiting in the DSPs' virtual wings.

Each week I bang through hundreds of new releases to compile Popjustice's New Music Friday playlist but I always wonder what I'm missing.

If you're a popstar of popstar-adjacent recording 'artiste', and if you've got a song coming out this week, and if you'd like to tell me about it over Zoom THIS AFTERNOON, I'll be available (of course I will, I'm not exactly going anywhere) for a series of short one-to-one listening sessions where you'll get a chance to tell me about your new single.

This might be an almighty shitshow or it might be brilliant. Playbacks are excru­ci­at­ing at the best of times but I'm sure between us we'll make the best of it. Don't worry, I'm not going to spin this into some sort of 'video content'.

Groundrules:

  • No EDM, no acoustic, no covers.
  • Your song needs to be out tomorrow (or to have been released this week).
  • One person at a time, bands will need to nominate a spokes­per­son, NO BASSISTS.

To book your listening session, click here. Cheers!


  1. (and mon­stros­it­ies)


No Chromatica Friday: At least there's a new Purple Disco Machine single

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Lady Gaga's Chromatica album should have been out today but, as we know, it's been pushed back to later in the year. Earlier this week I was thinking Gaga might have had a change of heart, having realised that All This wasn't going to be sorted out anytime soon and that the world would still be a shitshow later in the year. So I wondered if she might just have thrown it out today As A Treat, making it the first surprise album drop to take place on an album's actual scheduled release date. Sadly it was not to be.
  • Meanwhile Charli XCX, who as we all surely know is the future of pop, has released Forever, the first track from her lockdown album.
  • If there's any col­lab­or­a­tion this week that justifies a shoddily Photoshopped image sig­ni­fy­ing Song Of The Week status it's Purple Disco Machine and Sophie and the Giants: Hypnotized is a huge belter. It doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel but wheels are really good, aren't they?
  • Norwegian singer, song­writer, producer and all-round superstar-in-the-making Moyka's new one is the lead track from the best EP I've heard in a very long time. I had a nice chat on the phone with Moyka earlier this week and that'll be on the site in some form in the coming days, but for the time being have a listen to the turbo-charged pop amaz­ing­ness of Spaces.
  • Austel, a spe­cial­ist in luxurious and smartly under­stated pop, has a Grass Temple (?) remix out today. It sounded quite good at 9:15 this morning with the window open.

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????