Hey hi hello, I fell into a bit of a blogging slump midway through December, lacking any inspiration or desire to write anything, and this unfortunately continued right on through to the end of January – thus the radio silence. HOWEVER, new year new me all that nonsense and I’m back on my bullshit with a new music favourites post for the month of January. It was immediately off to a sensational start with Troye Sivan‘s highly anticipated comeback, and the release of Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s Finesse remix, January’s been brimming with bops – ANYWAY, here’s my music favourites for this month, enjoy! x
1. Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – Finesse
Bruno Mars and Cardi B teamed up for a remix of Finesse earlier this month, the timing of which is a bit odd, as it comes almost a year and a half after the release of 24K Magic but other than that there are no complaints to be made. Cardi B kicks off the track with an inspired 30-second opening verse – simultaneously funny and aggressive – which doesn’t betray her signature style or vibe. The rest of the track is headlined by Bruno Mars‘ smooth vocals, and he continues to flaunt his ability to take you back in time, whether it be to the 70s, 80s, or in this case, the 90s. Somewhere along the way, Bruno Mars has become one of the greatest male performers in the world and Finesse is a shining example of just how deserving he is of that title. Finesse is an unadulterated BOP.
2. Dua Lipa – IDGAF
Dua Lipa (aka the love of my life) caught lightning in a bottle and stormed her way to the top of the charts last year, becoming the most streamed woman of 2017 in the UK. IDGAF is the follow up to 2017’s empowering global hit New Rules, which offered relationship advice to a loyal army of young women. She has always spoken boldly about feminism, and the importance of elevating women, particularly her young female fans, and all of this trickles down into her work. Dua Lipa stands out in the oversaturated world of pop because of her instantly distinguishable low voice (which is sometimes raspy, but always alluring) and for her undeniably catchy “fuck you” break-up lyrics, and her album is inherently about putting yourself first – in relationships, in day-to-day life, and in love. When performed live, IDGAF is accompanied by a public service announcement asking audience members to extend their middle finger and exorcise the fuckboys from their lives – she is the hero we need, and the hero we DESERVE.
3. Troye Sivan – My My My!
Three years ago, 22 year old Australian Troye Sivan captured the hearts of many by delicately showcasing the bliss and anguish of coming out and living freely with his promising debut album Blue Neighbourhood. Earlier this month however after a break that felt excruciatingly longer than it really was, Troye Sivan strutted back onto the scene with his latest lusty endeavour My My My!, the first single from his upcoming sophomore album, a track that sees him embracing his sexuality by detailing a passionate encounter with a significant other. This is Sivan at his most confident, and My My My! is a sure signal of his growth and maturity. He expressed hope that it would encourage fans to ‘throw all inhibition to the wind, be present in your body, love wholeheartedly, move the way you’ve always wanted to, and dance the way you feel – hopefully even to this song!’, and if you can resist doing even the slightest shoulder shimmy then you’re faulty. The video is one you won’t want to miss too – I reckon I’ve watched it a few hundred times now and I’m yet to tire of it. It’s stunning.
4. The Wombats – Cheetah Tongue
Cheetah Tongue is the latest single from Liverpudlian trio The Wombats‘ forthcoming album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. I was initially concerned about their return after a three year break, as I couldn’t see how they could ever top their sensational 2015 album Glitterbug, and this was only intensified upon the release of Lemon To A Knife Fight – it was a disappointing, mediocre affair. This was very quickly salvaged however with the release of Turn, and now Cheetah Tongue. Frontman Matthew Murphy said the track was about dealing with the pressures of adulthood and failing miserably, which is relatable to a painful degree. It’s the opening track for the new album and arguably the most psychedelic. It’s not their catchiest track to date, and it’s not quite as enjoyable as Turn, but it does come equipped with their signature cute and quirky lyrics – “My hands shake like jellyfish when you’re near”. It’s so good to have The Wombats back.
5. Nina Nesbitt – Somebody Special
Edinburgh native Nina Nesbitt unveiled new track Somebody Special earlier this month, a snappy R&B infused electro-pop track with well-crafted, introspective lyrics describing the validating experience when another person truly values you. A brief hiatus has clearly done the songstress a world of good, as since her comeback last September she has been bolder and better than ever. Somebody Special clings onto her guitar roots but introduces an injection of pop, making it the perfect re-introduction to who she is as an artist. Nesbitt said that this is the ‘happiest’ track on her upcoming sophomore album, and I’m very ready to get all up in my feels.
6. EDEN – Crash
21-year-old musician EDEN, otherwise known as Jonathon Ng, released crash, the second single from his debut album vertigo last month. His moving, and sentimental music feels completely present and real, whilst the unspoken and intimate quiet in his production demands close attention. crash is emotive and raw, and definitely one of my favourite tracks from vertigo.
7. Prides – Born To Be Whole
Scottish synth-pop duo Prides revealed the first single from the second half of a Mind Like the Tide earlier this month with Born To Be Whole, a track that feels like one of the most honest and intimate songs they’ve released so far. “This is a song about a relationship I once had, and that feeling of finding someone whose brand of weird fits yours perfectly,” lead singer Stewart Brock explains. “The yin to your yang, the back to your forth, the Callum to your Stewart.” Anyone who knows Prides will tell you how close the two band members are – they’re two sides of the same coin. Whilst this certainly differs from their usual catchy sing-a-long anthems, it doesn’t lessen the listening experience, which if anything is only enhanced by the carefully crafted and emotive lyrics. Prides can do no wrong, and this isn’t the first time they’ve put the danceable crowd pleasers aside for a minute or three and had ya girl crying *cough* The Kite String and the Anchor Rope *cough*.
8. First Aid Kit – Fireworks
Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit released their fourth album Ruins this month, and it’s a beautiful showcase for their sweet sibling harmonies. I’d never listened to First Aid Kit before now, and my first listen was like being welcomed home to a soft comfort blanket and it made for a truly gratifying listening experience. Fireworks was the third single to be released from the album, and is emotionally charged and tinged with nostalgia, complete with First Aid Kit‘s soft, melodic vocals.
9. MGMT – Hand It Over
Everyone’s favourite kaleidoscopic indie’s MGMT revealed another new track from their upcoming and HIGHLY anticipated fourth album Little Dark Age, which is set for release early February. Hand It Over is a dreary, slow-moving psychedelic rock jam, an enticing and gloomy blend of synth-pop and distant, trailing vocals. MGMT are doing what they do best – carefully crafted, immersive psychedelia that meanders a hazy world.
10. James Blake – If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead
Electro-pop’s favourite elusive sadboy James Blake released an unexpected new single in the form of If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead, and is very reminiscent of his early experimental material. Dizzying and disembodied like his EPs and 2011 self-titled debut, and less cohesive than his 2016 stunning sophomore album, on ITCBYMA, James Blake successfully mangles and distorts his own voice, obscuring it behind the sonic fragments of the production. It’s hypnotic, ambiguous and moody, with the track’s title being the only really distinguishable lyrics. ITCBYMA follows the release of his beautiful cover of Don McLean‘s Vincent, which was unveiled on Christmas Eve. James Blake is one of the most talented yet greatly underrated artists in the music industry right now, and is set to support Kendrick Lamar on his 2018 UK tour, an opportunity he is more than deserving of.