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.