So, my sinking into a K-Pop hole has only gotten more dire this week. I’ve resolved into a zombie, just watching dance routine after dance routine on autoplay on YouTube, feeling very much like those hazy college days when I’d pound 3 Benadryl to help me sleep after drinking a pot of coffee – except this feeling I get from watching these videos is disgustingly enjoyable. It’s the whole “your body needs sleep to function AND you have a day job you gotta stay awake for” that’s tripping me up. Fortunately, es Viernes y estoy ready 2 partaaaay.
As noted last week, it’s been brought to my attention that a few readers haven’t realized there is a NEW cmd+f 2018 playlist. This is the playlist where I dump in all of the songs I mention in the letter (that are available for streaming) into a single Spotify playlist. You can find that specific playlist here in which I’ll be updating regularly with the weekly cmd+f picks. Please feel free to subscribe to the list so you’ll have one central place for you to listen to nearly every song I post every week, and share with your friends!
Back to our regularly scheduled newslettering: please go forth and enjoy these five fantastic songs I’ve hand-harvested for you to enjoy this week! Hopefully these inspire you to check out more from that artist, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard of before!
Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.
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!
“Pumper” - MAI LAN | To quote my pal Richard, “Bloghaus is back, baby!” For those unfamiliar with the “bloghaus” genre, it was a very unique grade of electro-clash pop music that blew up during the short-lived but much loved Music Blog Dynasty circa 2004-2010 (around those years I’d say). Labels filing takedowns of music uploads and the creation of music streaming essentially MURDERED the era of music blogging, though a couple giants remain (a la Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum, and Pitchfork) and have turned into full blown music news outlets. As for MAI LAN’s “Pumper”, it’s a high energy, repetitive BOP channeling French pop queen Yelle and early M.I.A. “Pumper” has inspired maaaany moments of dancing in my kitchen this week. It’s wicked fun and infectious. Listen here
“It’s Alright” - Sam Valdez | Once again I’m pulled into this pseudo-Americana music vibe that’d just been grabbing at my ears the past year. Sam Valdez sounds much less like Jade Bird but more like Trespassers William singing over a Ride instrumental. “It’s Alright” is raw, moving, and dreamy. Listen here
“Let’s Make Out” - Dream Wife | Looking for a last minute Valentine? Maybe this’ll give you a boost - next time you’re out, bump “Let’s Make Out” at full volume, and it’ll convert any room into the Troubadour, and every single person in the room’ll have no choice but to start rocking out. Dream Wife are brash, bold, and FIERCE. You can’t get more in your face than opening a track kicking and screaming, “LET’S MAKE OUT!!!” Listen here
“Come Through” - The Regrettes | I can’t get enough of this second wave evolution of brat pop - The Regrettes are The Runaways incarnate, oh, and did I mention they’re fronted by a cool AF high school teen? Frontwoman Lydia Night formed The Regrettes a couple years ago while taking music lessons in Burbank, and they’ve been churning out smart, Grade A rock hooks ever since. Their newest single “Come Through” is a delight. Listen here
“Never the Right Time” - Janine | Listen to New Zealand pull through AGAIN with another wickedly talented artist! Janine delivers solid, honey smooth R&B vocals for the sensuous slow jam “Never the Right Time.” After an over stimulating week, this tune pairs perfectly with a hot bath (extra bubbles) and a bottle of red. Listen here
New Music Friday Selects
- The New Gospel has arrived: Kendrick Lamar’s tightly curated album of tracks inspired by Marvel’s Black Panther dropped today. Staaaaaaaaaaaacked. Can take a 90% guess it’s all you’ll be rinsing this weekend. Listen here
- Everyone’s favorite bellowing cherub, George Ezra, is coming out with a podcast!! It’s cleverly called George Ezra & Friends, and that is the entire premise - just a conversation with friends. The podcast debuts on Monday, February 12 with his first guest Ed Sheeran. Pre-subscribe via Apple Podcasts: Subscribe here
- George Ezra’s little bro, commonly known as Ten Tonnes, has a new single out today called “Lay It On Me” and it’s a bop. It’s a must listen for fans of early The Kooks and The Cribs. Listen here
- The one, the only, the legendary Franz Ferdinand have dropped their fifth studio album Always Ascending today. I’ve listened to a good chunk of it, and it’s lived up to my early 80s disco/new wave expectations. Listen here
- Pop-purist leaning friends will be pleased to know the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack is now available - new tracks from Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Sabrina Claudio, Julia Michaels, and many more. Listen here
- Whenever The Wombats drop an album, they consistently surprise the hell out of me. It’s better than I’m expecting it to be, and I’m so grateful they’re still putting out tunes, let alone entire albums. Highly recommend listening to their new album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life Listen here
- James Bay has cut off his hair, thrown in the hat, and released a new song, “Wild Love,” that is rather good Listen here
- Not to be melodramatic, but MGMT have just dropped one of the best albums of the last decade, just over 10 years after their debut album Oracular Spectacular. The production on Little Dark Age is retro, yet timeless, but still reflective of this present cultural crossroads we’re at in the 2018 identity. LEVELS. Listen here
- Calvin Harris is allegedly tryna re-invent the dance wheel post Funk Wave Bounce Vol 1 last year, but instead has put out a watered down Major Lazer track fit for airtime on Rinse.FM featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR. I mean, go off. IHEARTRADIO is gonna beat this one to death if it gets a radio deal. Listen here
- Looks like Drake is really making sure we don’t totally forget his ass - this week he paid for $50,000 worth of groceries for a community in Miami, and today he’s done more charitable work laying down opening bars AND the hook for BlocBoy JB’s new track “Look Alive.” BRING THIS TYPE OF ENERGY ON YA OWN ALBUM, AUBREY. Listen here
- [Jay Sean is back klaxon] Mmmm, yes, love me VOCALS. “Emergency” is beautiful Listen here
- EZRA FURMAN’S ALBUM TRANSANGELIC EXODUS IS OUT TODAY!!!! Ezra self described it as a “queer outlaw saga.” Listen here
As I mentioned above, 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.
New month, new playlist! If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my February 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!