Maybe I’m just in a grouchy fuck-me-the-world-and-specifically-this-country-is-a-load-of-garbage place this weekend but there’s not a lot to get excited about music-wise, is there? I was looking forward to hearing how Ally Brooke, Billie Eilish and Astrid S’s new tracks would play out; but I found the first a little irritating, the second just Not To My Taste, and the third… good, but I kept forgetting about it while it was still playing?
WHO KNOWS, maybe I’m just not in the mood to be open-minded and I want/need my safe-as-houses music. In any case these are the only four songs I’m adding to my rolling playlist of the year – you can check it out/follow it here or in the embedded player at the bottom.
▶️ Trainwreck – Kella
Imagine my relief when this tune awoke me from deep NMF boredom when it popped up on the PopJustice playlist? This sort of thing is right up my street: bubbling midtempo production, lovely high vocal bits in the chorus… this is Kella’s debut and I’m looking forward to seeing what else she may have up her sleeve. She told CelebMix she is “a product of the 90s, arguably when the best pop music was around, with Swedish producers at the forefront of the soundtrack to my youth”. So sign me up!
▶️ You and I – LÉON
I’ve seen the name LÉON floating around in my echo chamber for a little while now but never really looked into her; and sure enough You and I is excellent. A big, running-friendly pensivebanger; its lyrics are actually devastating???? “When I shut my eyes you seem closer”, “dancing to keep the tears away”, “my friends say you’re looking well, you seem happy”… who doesn’t love a big heartbreak anthem? Because I DO!
▶️ When I Die – ALMA
Are we expecting ALMA to make a big play for top-tier stardom at some point in the foreseeable future? She’s felt like an exciting up-and-comer for a while now, and 2019 would be a good time to really kick it up a gear. This kind of semi-batshit, semi-mainstream boppery is a fairly good start.
▶️ Dance Like Nobody’s Watching (Radio Edit) – Saara Aalto
Originally a sparse and twinkly piano ballad, I appreciate how much it meant to a lot of people, but it was the most skippable track on the record for me (maybe even the only skippable track on the album). This remix is good, though: it manages to up the tempo without sacrificing the emotion. I don’t know, I think I find it a bit less on-the-nose here. And the added “NOBODY! NOBODY’S WATCHING US!” bits are excellent too.
Don’t panic, purists: the original album edit is what soundtracks the music video, out tonight.
Listen to the playlist to date: