On January 27, 2017, the very first cmd+f newsletter was sent out to 12 very wonderful friends via Tinyletter. I initially started it as a new means to share music with friends in a central, organized forum, and as an easy place to document all of the new music I was consuming. It also turned into something I looked forward to writing every week after spending a year of writing empty news bites, elbowing my way through an arms race of publishing passionless content.
Throughout this past year, I trialed a mini radio show through Anchor.FM, and expanded the newsletter into a full on website. I found meaning in this project through the cmd+vent advent calendar in December: understanding ways music brings joy into our lives.
(Nearly) one year later, this project is still kicking. I’m so pleased to have finally established an outlet that aims to highlight the pure joy I take out of my devotion for discovering new music. The act of sharing new music and simply discussing music brings me so much personal fulfillment. The act of putting together cmd+f’s weekly letter alone is deeply satisfying to me. I’ve been vaguely hinting on expanding cmd+f over the past few months, and that next step is a Mighty Big Leap. When the time does come, I hope you’ll take that jump with me.
For now, happy birthday cmd+f!!
So, I’ve rebranded the BONUS section to the freshly titled New Music Friday Selects. It’s more fitting, as a bulk of the bonus content highlights contain the most anticipated releases of the week, surprise releases, and the occasional status update of a new release by a cmd+f alum!
Before you hit that section up, it’s time to check out five smashing tunes by emerging artists!
Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer.
P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!
“A Foreign Affair” - Client Liaison feat. Tina Arena | Opening this week’s batch of fantastic finds with a gloriously campy 80s-injected pop bop by Australia’s Client Liaison. “A Foreign Affair” is a major, major tune that has been HIDDEN FROM THE UNIVERSE. Australia is generally a wash because it’s covered in spiders and snakes the size of school buses – that’s beside the point! Client Liaison have also included pop icon Tina Arena (who I learnt about via my faaaavorite pop music podcast duo Dan and Andy of Popchops) on this blisteringly good chorus. To those who are unfamiliar with Tina Arena, she’s absolutely massive - like, on par with who Celine Dion is to Canada. For as essential as Tina’s pop career has been in Australia and France, I’m surprised I’ve only just stumbled upon this track in the last couple weeks. I’m not sure if it’s been a particularly successful single in Australia, but it deserves to be heard and played at FULL VOLUME. Listen here
“Here Lies” - Jorge Elbrecht feat. Tamryn | Less than one second into “Here Lies,” and you’re suckerpunched straight in the chest by the force of fourteen thousand sounds booming out of the speakers all at once. The jolt of sound rolls open and outward through the song, graciously unfolding layers of a steady synth loop disrupted by a crunchy, disjointed rumble of sirens, police dispatch comms, and machine guns. “Here Lies” is so busy battling through the thousands of layers of sounds battling to bubble through the surface of the song, it’s impossible to decipher what to prioritize listening to first - the sonics or the lyrics? Are the lyrics even important? It wavers between sounding hopeful and the soundtrack to getting decked in the face by an axe murderer. Listen here
“Arms of Pleonexia” - Cabbage | My fav scuzzy post-punk bros Cabbage announced their debut album Nihilistic Glamour Shots is dropping at the end of March! Cabbage have never been one to hold back on making political statements in their lyrics. Their new single “Arms of Pleonexia” is a hot take on the UK’s bloody history of arms deals that have supplied mass destruction in war torn countries around the world. After recently watching the TV mini series The Last Post, this history of disturbing the peace in the Middle East is rather fresh on my mind. “How long til we take responsibility?” the chorus coos. “Arms of Pleonexia” is the most punk drag I’ve heard in at least a decade. Read those greedy government jerks for filth. Listen here
“Freaking Out” - Yehan Jehan | Imagine: Hall & Oates shared an edible then recorded “Private Eyes” and I’m pretty sure you’d end up with something that sounded very close to Yehan Jehan’s “Freaking Out.” It rests on a low key funky vibe that borders on sounding more careless about enduring heartbreak than complete numbness. The lush harmonies woven through the chorus will stick to your eardrums like white on rice. Listen here
“I’m In Love Without You” - FINNEAS | This song hands down brings the DRAMA. While I’m unsure of FINNEAS’s sun sign, I feel a kindred spirit to this Scorpio-dense bath of groveling for a lover you might not even HAVE to move on from. 12/10 CAN RELATE. The song opens with (no joke) twenty layers of ghostly harmonies echoing “I’m in love without you….please don’t still love me….but you still find a way inside my dreams.” The song chops up the last lyric into a dense, electronic synth line FINNEAS sings over throughout the rest of the song. It’s...fucking genius. It sounds entirely genreless/its very own brand of forward thinking pop, and I am obsessed with it the more I listen to it (pro-tip: it loops perfectly when you have it on repeat). Song aside, the most shocking fact I learnt about FINNEAS is he is the brother and co-songwriter to pop darling Billie Eillish (who’s been doing very well for herself since she featured on cmd+f last March!). I’m excited to hear what other tunes FINNEAS has hiding up his sleeve this year. Listen here
New Music Friday Selects
The powerpop tune of the month, Liam Payne and Rita Ora’s “For You” for the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, now has a lush music video. Liam Payne’s involvement on the track has only furthered my Rita Ora stanning, and for that I’m beyond grateful. She looks absolutely stunning in a scarlet gown, swaddled in a bed of roses, while Liam is donning a velvet evening jacket like he’s a baby Enrique Iglesias. This also marks the first music video my man’s reciprocated direct intimacy with another mujer, and honestly, kick up that sex appeal a few notches, please. Watch here
Talented vocalist and global superstar who keeps testing my patience, Stefani Germanotta, commonly known as Lady Gaga, has dropped a stripped version of her song “Joanne” - it’s beautiful, but I am STARVED for a massive pop tune. Listen here, I guess
Migos’ Culture II is here and-there-is-a-Drake-co-lab-bor-ray-shun (raay-shun) [skrr skrrr] Listen here
James Blake has surprise dropped a new, dope single, “If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead” Listen here
Foaming at the mouth ‘cuz The Vaccines have dropped another banger, “Nightclub” Listen here
If you’re looking for an atmospheric instrumental music, one of my favorite composers, Nils Frahm, has a new album out called All Melody Listen here
Franz Ferdinand have gone full-on 1983, whence disco meets the goths, and I’m INTO IT. “Lazy Boy” is a choooon Listen here
The Cassie of the 20-teens, Jhene Aiko, has whispered her way thru yet another single. Swae Lee knows how to write a damn hook, but this Rae Sremmurd drop throughout “Sativa” isn’t meant to be anything other than a very, super chill ass song. The video on the other hand is pretty freakin’ wild. Watch here
What’s more refreshing that hearing Jack White jam the fuck out? Listen to his new tune “Corporation” Listen here
Techno legend DJ Koze has returned with new material for the first time in nearly 5 years with his Seeing Aliens EP. It’s a bit more pop and accessible than other cuts in his archives, but it’s a glorious peak into his forthcoming 16-track full length LP, Knock Knock (out May 4) Listen here
The legendary CRAIG freakin’ DAVID has a brand spankin’ new album stacked with jams. Standout track off The Time Is Now would be “Brand New” Listen here
Color me shocked, but the new Django Django album Marble Skies is actually a rather fun listen. Must hear for fans of Temples, Jagwar Ma, Yeasayer, and (the now defunct [R.I.P.]) Wild Beasts 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!