After last week’s tragic hellscape, this week there is literally LOADS of new stuff to wade through. It’s just a shame that very little of it is spectacular. I mean who’d have thought a new Zara Larsson song would drop and I would actively avoid it?!?!
(Oh also I haven’t included any Solange because I’m trying to keep this to singles only, but as soon as one makes itself known, SHE’S IN.)
Here’s all the good stuff I’ve added to my rolling 2019 playlist, which – as ever – you can find on Spotify here. There’s also an embedded player at the bottom.
▶️ A Little Bit Alexis – Annie Murphy
I resisted this for a little while because I haven’t seen Schitt’s Creek season five yet (Netflix, what’s up) but OH my GOD how DARE Alexis Schitt swan in with the week’s best new pop song?!?!?! A Little Bit Alexis is obviously hilarious but also IT BANGS! “Everybody’s got a horse (neigh)” is the best lyric, closely followed by “I’m a hieroglyphic”. Annie Murphy feels like the unsung hero of Schitt’s Creek and this was an excellent move by showrunners to get her the icon status she deserves.
There’s no HQ version of the song on YouTube but listen to it on Spotify.
▶️ Too Cool – Emily Burns
Emily Burns’ Cheat was a BIG fave of 2k18, and while I haven’t fallen in love with Too Cool quiiiiite as quickly, it’s still an ace. And near the very top of Spotify’s New Music Friday UK playlist? HELLO! Emily knows her way around a catchy topline, and her low-energy vocals are right at home against this peppy production – the video’s great fun too.
▶️ Now That I Found You – Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly’s post-Emotion material was always going to SPLIT the GAYS in HALF: there was no way (was there……???) that she would ever top that near-perfect era, and now debate rages over whether Now That I’ve Found You and No Drug Like Me are actually poor songs, or if they’re just slightly less glorious than what came before them. I’d be curious to know what the brief is from the label: does she need something as widely acclaimed (but non-profit) as Emotion, or does she need a harder push for actual sales? Bear in mind most of the straights still don’t think she’s done anything since Call Me Maybe!!!
‘FWIW’ I don’t like No Drug Like Me, and if it wasn’t by Carly I probably wouldn’t have even made it to the end of the song – but I think I’m into Now That I’ve Found You a lot more than most??? It does sound like it’s chasing that same fizzy rush as Cut To The Feeling (which, lest we forget, was not exactly a best-seller), but I still love the verses, the promise of the pre-chorus and the bubbly post-chorus instrumental break.
▶️ Superstar – Marina
Marina said recently that Handmade Heaven is a kind of false indicator of what’s to come on the new album, but Superstar sounds like it’s…… in exactly the same wheelhouse? Not that I’m complaining: it’s another gorgeous ballad, with great love-me-warts-and-all lyrics.
▶️ Flux – Ellie Goulding
Now HERE’S THE THING: I’ve always quite liked Ellie Goulding. If Lights came out now I don’t think I’d be that fussed about it, but back in 2010 (nine years ago!!!!!!!!) it was precisely My Sort Of Thing, and when Halcyon came out a few years later it was like her sound had developed precisely in alignment with my personal tastes.
As good as I still think she is (Still Falling For You? TIMELESS!), she’s felt a bit overexposed in recent years; a bit quantity-over-quality. Flux drops things right back to the sort of piano ballad that could have been a bonus track on the Super Duper Deluxe XXL Edition Platinum Version (Re-Issue) of Halcyon, and…….. surely there can’t be any chart expectations on this? Gorgeous though, I quite like it. It won’t win anyone new over, but if this is the sort of artistic itch she needs to scratch ahead of a full new era then I’m all for it.
▶️ Sucker – Jonas Brothers
I’m really not massively familiar with the JoBro back catalogue but this is a nice, high-energy little bop in a week that’s lacking much ~punch elsewhere. It’s also a nice win for co-writer Ryan Tedder, a one-time fave of mine whose strike rate has gone sharply downhill in recent years.
As a side-note, I’m still basic enough to let Nick Jonas do… anything.
▶️ Shadows – Alphabeat
▶️ Only Want You – Rita Ora feat. 6LACK
Only Want You is a decent enough semi-ballad – I don’t think I see it soaring to the top end of the charts, but I said the same about Let Me Love You and was happily shut the fuck down.
I was thinking the other day: it feels like we waited for thousands of years for a new Rita album. Now we’ve got it. What next?! Imagine if she had another one out by Q4!