Not to wish my life away but don’t you feel like January’s been LONG? And we’ve still got the best part of a week left!!!
Luckily there are six great new songs out in the world, added to my rolling 2019 playlist, and these are they.
▶️ Think About Us – Little Mix feat. Ty Dolla $ign
I have CONCERNS that LM5 doesn’t have as many hit singles on it as Glory Days or even Get Weird; but Think About Us definitely sounds like it’s got the best potential: there’s always room for a DRAMATIC PIANO in a pop banger, and I love the click-a-long production in the verses.
Ty Dolla $ign is a great coup for the girls but I’m… not sure his verse really adds a lot? In fact, his kinda ~mellow~ contribution maybe even hinders its momentum. I don’t dislike it, and it doesn’t derail the song in the way Machine Gun Kelly took a wrecking ball to No More Sad Songs, but I wonder if – given the choice – I’d stick with the original album edit.
▶️ Gots To Give The Girl – unperfect
How the fuck do you launch a new pop band at a time in music when the ‘rules’ are anyone’s guess? M.O. tried a slow-and-steady ascent but never got out of third gear; while PRETTYMUCH, were introduced to the UK on the X Factor final(!) and have yet to peak higher than No77.
I feel like it’s important for girlbands to set out their stall on their first single; let us know straight away what kind of act they’re going to be. And Gots To Give The Girl is a perfect taster in that sense: there’s no obvious hook or algorithm-friendly beat drop, but it is – cliché as it sounds! – unlike anything else that’s out there at the moment. In 2019 it feels like the perfect starting point for a group who could have some really exciting stuff to offer.
▶️ Swan Song – Dua Lipa
Do you know what, I still have really mixed feelings on Dua Lipa. I was really game for her to be huge when Hotter Than Hell first came out, then when New Rules blew up I was… unmoved? Like, more enthusiastic than I typically am about Jess Glynne; but less than I would expect to be given how big a popstar she has become. Still! I am really starting to come round (finally) to the idea of her as a potential top-tier megastar: that Electricity song last year was a real smash for me, and this too is great.
It’s quite an interesting ~vibe for her; not what I would have expected at all – but I guess a one-off movie soundtrack single is a good time to experiment with something different? It’s not a song I’ve found myself going back to again and again over the last 24 hours, but I’m warming up to it more and more with every listen. And the swan-dive lyric reminds me of Cheryl on The Voice (halcyon days) which can only be a good thing.
▶️ i’m so tired… – Lauv and Troye Sivan
First impression of this song was… bad. Like, total non-event of a collaboration I was quite looking forward to. But it’s starting to click now: it’s relatively upbeat considering Troye’s penchant for sparse it’ll-either-move-you-or-send-you-to-sleep balladry; and the simplicity of the chorus is definitely – while not quite as wheel-reinventing as Troye suggested – the right kind of basic.
▶️ Undrunk – FLETCHER
There’s always room in pop for more break-up anthems, and FLETCHER’s latest is a great one: “Some things you can’t undo, and one of them’s you”, she says, wishing she could completely take back one of her past rOmAnCeS.
Producer Malay has previously worked on the likes of Lorde’s Melodrama (including Supercut!!!!!), Frank Ocean’s Blonde and and Zayn’s Mind of Mine – and here there’s that same winning marriage between a catchy-as-fuck topline and a backing track that gives you all the excitement and emotion you need without battering you round the face. You know?
▶️ These Wings – Claire Richards
Forward-thinking, trend-setting pop music is great, but sometimes you just want the comfort of someone who’s the best sort of familiar; who knows exactly what they’re doing and sings their balls off while doing it.
These Days might be my favourite of Claire’s solo songs yet??? You get artists all the time saying things like, “this is just for me, any big success is a bonus” and 90% of the time it’s bollocks, but with Claire… after all the success Steps have had, you feel like this is just her Living Her Truth without chasing chart positions or radio playlisters. And These Wings is really lovely.
Here’s the 2019 playlist to date.