What a big and exciting week for music! If you’re a pop and dance music fan, the artists have heard your cries and DELIVERED. It’s as if they knew 2018 would start off as a bit of a shitstorm and we’d need some TLC.
Looks like this week’s 5 tunes are full of girl power. Check out my top picks from emerging artists that may have flown under your radar.
If you like what you hear, spread the cheer.
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“raingurl” - yaeji | Crank up the bass - yaeji is here to save your freakin’ weekend. Frankly, I’m ashamed I hadn’t heard of yaeji sooner. I have no excuse as she was nominated for BBCs "Sound of 2018" this year. “raingurl” ticks all of my boxes. It’s got a sick, wobbly bass, and an absurdly good, repetitive hook that glides over a tight, gay club house beat. Yaeji is already an established dance producer in the hip underground outlets (re: Boiler Room), and has racked up millions of streams over the years (hence my surprise I haven’t heard of her until this week? Also, I ‘discovered’ this song as a recommendation on YOUTUBE. I don’t think I’ll be over this reality.Please accept my apologies for not bringing her forward sooner.). More people need to hear her shit to break up the gaudy powerhouse vocals and choral arrangements over dance music that’s been swallowing the genre the past few years. "raingurl" fuckin' slaps. Listen here
“The Kids Are Alright” - Chloe x Halle | Perhaps the most eloquent “fuck you, we’re gonna be fixing your mess soon enough” by millennials ever put into verse, R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle have written a beautiful ballad declaring the youth actually do have their shit together, are capable of standing on their own, and are creating new opportunities for themselves to not only thrive, but also not live in abject misery and hopelessness. The song builds to a wonderful bridge, where they remind fellow millennials: “Don’t let them turn you numb // Don’t let them get you strung // … Better go and get your life.” Listen here
“Bad Boys” - Lilly Ahlberg | What’s a week of cmd+f without a GOOD Scandinavian bop? This is a maaaahassive tune that’s fit for Zara Larrson or Tove Stykre. Produced by Future Cut (who's got production credits for Shakira's iconic "She Wolf," Lily Allen circa Alright, Still aka her best music phase, and a few Little Mix bops), it's a winner. Listen here
“sad boy” - deer scout | From "Bad Boys" to a "sad boy." Just one sad boy - the saddest boy in the world, in fact. When my pal Agnes sent this song to me, I was initially put off by the DIY-sound of the track. It reminded me of the times I went to secret basement parties in college before they were shut down by Seattle PD. Instead, it's a depressive lullaby. The chorus is what totally sold me on this melancholic track. Listen here
“Cut Yr Teeth” - Kississippi | Have you ever heard a song that sounds precisely like the moment in time you’re listening to it? “Cut Yr Teeth” sounds like that post-holidays slump that settles in a week or two after New Years. All of that inflated energy of obligatory faux-joy, the gluttonous indulgence on baked goods and buckets of wine, the sheer exhaustion from socializing too much, the pressure of starting off a new year with big goals and knowing you’re probably setting yourself up for failure all just comes crashing down on you at once. It sounds exactly like all of that. The tune is about a crumbling relationship that was built on a faulty foundation to begin with, so my comparison isn’t much of a stretch. Listen here
Troye Sivan’s debut album Blue Neighbourhood has disappeared from US Spotify for streaming, which, honestly, is a hate crime. While this news is completely DEVASTATING, the Australian YouTuber turned gay pop icon has dropped a new single, “My My My!” and has effectively washed over the negative fuckery that’s swindled its way into 2018 so far. Co-written by Allie X, “My My My!” is a low key, sultry bop dripping with confidence. I am beyond excited to see what Troye’s got up his sleeve for 2018. Listen here // Watch here
Other former entertainment star turned gay youth music idol Hayley Kiyoko has unleashed “Curious,” a radio-ready single that’s impressed the shit out of me. Listen here
BBC Music has announced their “BBC Sound of 2018” winner today, and the nominees were chock full of exciting rising acts from the likes of Billie Eillish, Pale Waves, Khalid, Rex Orange County… and they have handed over this prestigious title to Sigrid. After somehow managing to woo top level DJs at Apple Music, BBC, and loads of other music outlets when her debut single dropped last year, her hive-mind hype was massive. If Sigrid the sound of 2018, I am going to take a 300-day long nap.
I neglected to include this in last week’s letter: Amber and Luna of KPop’s severely underrated and underrepresented girl group f(x) dropped a sexy dancefloor filler. SM love to neglect their girl groups and still haven’t made the song available to play anywhere but YouTube. At least we can feast our eyes on the video. Watch here
George Ezra announced in his newsletter yesterday he’s got some “big old music news” next week, and, please @ GOD BE AN ALBUM AND A TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT. If you’re not subscribed to receive his newsletter, I’d like to encourage you to consider letting the bellowing cherub slide into your inbox every week. Subscribe to George’s Weekly Journal Here
Overnight superstar Jorja Smith has linked up with Stormzy for a beautiful new ballad, “Let Me Down” Listen here
Fifth Harmony dropout, Carnitas Cabeza, has released her debut album if you are in the mood for, erm, whatever the mood she does Listen here
I can’t believe I’m at an age where I can call a band I loved in middle school are officially...rock veterans. Anyway, Franz Ferdinand have officially entered their total Blondie phased and dropped another groovy gay disco single, “Feel the Love” Listen here
cmd+f favs The Academic have unleashed their debut album Tales from the Backseat. For fans of Two Door Cinema Club, Mystery Jets, and Bombay Bicycle Club Listen here
BØRNS has put out the album we expected Harry Styles to drop - the polyester Gucci suit and eye shadow-toting pop-rock Blue Madonna. He’s the master of the falsetto hook - give this a spin over the weekend Listen here
Swedish singer/songwriter Skott has shared her new EP Stay Off My Mind. Previous cmd+f selects by her were impressive, soul-shattering ballads. This time Skott offers sweet, uptempo jams. Listen here
For the total rock purists, firstly: I’m impressed you’re still reading this letter. Secondly, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (personally my favor “Club” band) have shared their new album Wrong Creatures and it fuckin’ shreds. Listen here
A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.
Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.
If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my January 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!
See you next week!