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????

New Music & Merch Friday: Tove Lo's covered a classic and you can buy a stuffed cat

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Tove Lo, whose 9" Sunshine Kitty plush toy is on sale here for $25, has covered Veronica Maggio's Jag Kommer in English and it sounds like Robyn.
  • Grace Davies, whose unisex hoodie is priced at a reas­on­able £24.99, has released the second track from her Friends With The Tragic EP and it sounds like Robyn.
  • Melanie C, whose You Gotta Love Yourself mug stands at 93mm, made a good effort with her new single, and it sounds like Robyn.
  • Josef Salvat releases yet another out­stand­ing track from his upcoming album (available, signed, to pre-order on CD and vinyl), and it sounds like Kleerup feat Robyn.
  • In other news Arlissa, whose previous song Hearts Ain't Gonna Lie has been immor­tal­ised in a reas­on­ably-priced t‑shirt, releases another great single today. It's called Healing.
  • Conan Gray, one of the planet's more inter­est­ing and excellent popstars, has chucked out an album. It's great and you can buy it digitally with a free t‑shirt (or is it the other way round?).
  • Sarah Close finally releases her And Now, We're Shining EP today, and you can get it in a number of physical bundles. It's a great EP.
  • R3HAB's covered the Wagner song Creep. Please buy a t‑shirt so he doesn't have to do it again.

New Music Friday: It's Ava Max vs Floss in the Kings & Queens showdown

Filed by Peter Robinson on

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.

New Music Friday: Lady Gaga makes an understated comeback

Filed by Peter Robinson on

Notes on this week's new releases:

  • Lady Gaga releases her turbo-charged anti­bal­lad Stupid Love today and everyone on Twitter's doing a decent job of pre­tend­ing they didn't open their Christmas presents early. As pre­vi­ously stated: decent song by decent popstar. She shot the video on a phone.
  • Charlotte OC's going The Full Stevie on Freedom and there's nothing wrong with a bit of that.
  • Good new one from superstar-in-the-making Evie Irie, well done everybody.
  • Camden Cox's turn on the new Joe Stone one: perky.
  • Daisy Gray's Don't Cry is pretty special. There was an inter­est­ing post on her Instagram when her version of Wicked Game was featured on Love Island: she wrote that in 48 hours the exposure led to "25,000 Shazam streams, 400 purchases, and 9000 plays on Spotify". So if you're wondering about the direct impact of a Love Island sync, that's it.
  • John Newman's Brother's Eurovision song is the best UK entry in a while and comes in at just 2:35 — they could have probably got it down to 2:30 without the gimmicky gaps before every 'breath' which sound a bit like that thing you sometimes have to do when you're in the middle of a sentence, feel a burp coming and have to swallow it before you carry on talking.