Notes on this week's new releases:
- P‑o-p-p-y-she's Poppy's new single, her best since I'm Poppy, sounds like Gary Numan doing Teenage Kicks. (Some brilliantly relatable reference points, there, for our teenage reader!) It works well alongside the new Christine and the Queens single — they come at pop from different angles but they're both proof that popstars can have fun pushing sonic and visual boundaries.
EDIT: Thanks to Popjustice viewer Rebecca who has pointed out that, er, Poppy's song literally is a Gary Numan cover. So in a way, well done to Popjustice Dot Com for spotting the Numanesque qualities, right? Right? Guys? 😬
- Raye's new single is probably her best solo track to date. There's a great conversational element to the lyrics ("we could have been cool, well maybe not that cool, but I would've fucked with you and you know you would have too") with some enjoyably dramatic pretend string swooshes in the chorus.
- The Years & Years album is out today! Producers across this album include Greg Kurstin, Kid Harpoon, Mark Ralph, Jesse Shatkin, Olly Alexander (!), Steve Mac and Grades so they were clearly not fucking around with getting this one out the door. The best song on the album is Rendezvous, and that is a fact.
- Sharks' post-Wait output has meandered slightly, but we believe in Life After Love.
- This week's playlist features songs called Madonna, D'Angelo and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Quite the dinner party lineup but, one cannot help but feel, also a really exciting and dynamic group of people to form a private detective agency. You'd definitely watch one and a half seasons of that on Netflix, wouldn't you?
- We regret to inform you that Pitbull — who'd also be a great Netflix detective, in fact cancel the one we mentioned above because Pitbull PI must happen immediately — has once again been rifling through his Ultimate 80s Summer Hits playlist. This time the wheel of summertune stops on Arrow's Hot Hot Hot (you know it, it's the one that goes "hot hot hot"), except Pitbull changes "hot hot hot" to "free free free" so let this put to an end any debates that still rage over Pitbull's genius.
- And it's quite a week for gents who were once in boybands: Justin Timberlake, Max 'The George' Wanted and Niall Horan all have singles out. Niall's is marginally better than Max's; Justin's, described by Billboard as a "surprise summer jam", is not at all surprising and not that much of a jam, but it's been released in the summer and one out of three ain't bad.