New Music Friday 10.02.2017

Hey, you like music? Me too. Here are some thoughts on the new stuff, the good stuff, the love stuff: it’s New Music Friday!

Sigrid – Don’t Kill My Vibe

This is the first single from Norway’s Sigrid and its defiant proclamations are perfect. It’s not just her slightly accented vocals and those concise evocative lyrics, but also the production. At points her vocals are almost peaking, at times instruments swap in and out for solos – always ramping up to something cathartic. I’m really excited to hear more from her – please tell me there’s an album on the way!

Marika Hackman – Boyfriend

When Boyfriend landed in my inbox this week I was pretty hyped. I’ve been a fan of Hackman for a while – I reviewed her 2015 debut LP We Slept At Last and I love her mix of poetry, melancholy, and fantasy. Boyfriend is a departure from her earlier work – on the surface there’s more of an indie pop vibe, with The Big Moon backing her up – but dive a little deeper and it’s as dark as ever. I particularly enjoyed the cover art’s symbolic message 😉

Really excited for the prospect of a new Marika Hackman album now – according to The Line of Best Fit we won’t have to wait long – there’s a promised 31 March release date.

Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – As You Are

This single is all sorts of soothing, taken from Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s debut LP Human, which is also out this week. He was named BBC’s Sound of 2017 and for once I agree with their choice. I love the balance between drum machines and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man (Rory Graham)’s vocals – there’s a slight tension but also calming effect. Just have a listen and feel your soul settle down.

Katy Perry feat. Skip Marley – Chained to the Rhythm

On first listen this felt like a standard generic (albeit decent) club hit, but hang on, is something going on here? Co-written with Sia and pop mastermind Max Martin, there’s a strength to it that taps into something more. It’s nostalgic yet innovative, and the addition of Skip Marley is refreshing. There’s even a bit of political commentary, a demand for something better when Perry sings “Are we tone deaf? Keep sweeping it under the mat / I thought we could do better than that, I hope we can.” I know I’ll be dancing to it this summer and I challenge you not to do the same!

The Magic Gang – How Can I Compete

A jaunty bop of a single from The Magic Gang – surely their first LP must be on the way soon? I enjoy the balance of slightly bored/depressed vocals with those riffs – it feels so representative of the current British indie scene and I’d really like to see these guys do well. But how can they compete?

Sia – Helium

YES. Sia, how come you can make a song from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack amazing? That’s genius right there. I’m a sucker for a good ballad, and this is practically Celine Dion levels. Sia’s use of metaphor is great – she creates these images that seem like such obvious comparisons once she’s made them, but prior to that you’d never even considered them – beautiful.

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