It’s our first 20+ song New Music Friday playlist of what’s already feeling like a SPECTACULAR year for pop, so there will be no snark on today’s preamble because sometimes you need to shut up and count your blessings – and we have plenty of those today.
(The not-so-great stuff is still covered at the end – it’s just hard to acknowledge them while maintaining this new Prismatic outlook.)
- While the Kiss Me era wasn’t all that it could be – or that it deserved to be – the tail-end of it felt like a thrilling time to be a Kylie Minogue fan. The album’s reception seemed to inspire Kylie to re-examine where she wanted to steer her career, and the two little EPs that resulted from that were odd but beautiful creations that suggested bigger and better things were to come. Maybe that’s part of the reason ‘Dancing’ seems like a confusing next step; it’s essentially Kiss Me Kylie all over again, but this time with a cowboy hat and a hobby horse. Another reason it may feel jarring is because of the slew of supposedly authentic and supposedly country crossovers we’ve had to deal with from other popstars in the recent past – approximately zero of which actually enhanced them or their offerings.
But unlike those other acts, Kylie’s relationship with pop has always been simple and earnest – and it’s her unabashed appreciation for it that allows ‘Dancing’ to succeed despite any unmet expectations. So while ‘Dancing’ is undoubtedly country-influenced, it’s more of an added flavour than an entirely new recipe, and while it doesn’t induce the same thrills as some of her more adventurous era-starters, it doubles down on showcasing her ability to make multi-faceted experiences disguised as straightforward pop. And thus ‘Dancing’ is able to make you think about life as much as it does of death, and it sounds as much about charging ahead as it does about standing at a crossroads, hoping you make the right decision.
- Imagine if covers only existed to enhance songs, rather than dismantle them into tired, faux-introspective ballads. Imagine if more artists stopped to think, “Hmmm, how can I make this good?” instead of “HEY, now what’s the most obvious way I can make this different?”. Imagine if covers only existed out of absolute necessity, rather than as a lazy ploy to wrack up streaming points, or as a career strategy for Conor Maynard. WELL IMAGINE NO MORE – because Post Precious have very graciously transported us into such an alternate reality, and Grande Almighty, it’s a wonderful existence.
- It’s essentially impossible to find any information on Hello August outside of their (sparsely detailed) Facebook page – googling their name throws up plenty of We Heart It links and not much else – but we do know they’re a musical duo that comprises of a Rachel and a Laura, and it also seems safe to say that ‘Wrong Chick’ marks their official debut. And what a debut it is! The single sounds like a lost treasure from the minor strummy-synth-pop outbreak circa 2013 – and comes equipped with a chorus that’s instantly and effortlessly endearing.
- LIZ has released a double A-side thing, titled Queen of Me / Could U Love Me (after the two songs featured on it, as you may have figured). Both ‘Queen of Me’ and ‘Could U Love Me’ are terrific tunes, but if we’re meant to hand out rankings then the former might have the slightest edge – one that’s provided almost entirely by those brilliant little half-whistles that kick in during the second chorus. Still, we’ve whacked both of them onto the playlist, so there are only winners here.
- It says a lot about how low the bar is for men – and how aware The Chainsmokers are of how low the bar is for men – that Drew Taggart can still feel confident placing his vocals all over their music despite a fair chunk of the world suggesting otherwise. Lyrically, ‘Sick Boy’ has about as much depth as a soy sauce dish, but that shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone.
- Justin Timberlake’s ‘Supplies’ is an uncharacteristically brief three minutes and forty-five seconds, but in true JT fashion, it still manages to feel at least six minutes long.
- A new Rita Ora song has also arrived, albeit without the usual fanfare. ‘Proud’ is an alright song for a great cause, which you can read about here if you’d like.
And that’s that! You can follow the highly enjoyable playlist featured above by clicking right here, and make sure to check back next week to see what new tracks make it on.