Q1 of 2016 is winding down this week. But now that I think about it, did Q4 ever really end?
It's been a pretty good year so far in music, with a decade-in-the-making comebacks from All Saints and Gwen Stefani to new stars making strides in the industry like Dua Lipa and Phoebe Ryan.
However, the best single of the year so far has been pretty easy to identify. That is mainly because it comes from one of the best talents in pop of the past 7 years.
It's Florrie's new song "Real Love."
I've been pretty apparent with my love for Florrie for a while, as evidenced by this, and this, and this.
Her level of amazingness starting off as a drummer for Girls Aloud, through her time releasing stellar EPs as an independent artist, and now releasing killer singles has never wavered. Her lack of global superstar status is honestly the biggest injustice that the music industry has ever done. Worse than Lady Gaga and Beyonce not performing "Telephone" live. That's how amazing Florrie.
But that's all about to change (hopefully). Florrie has taken some time to do some writing in Los Angeles, expanding her work to producers outside of Xenomania (I'm going to need at least 6 Xenobangers in the next year Flo), and seems to be releasing her album this year (we'll believe it when we see it Ms. Arnold.)
The first taste of her new material is the remarkable single "Real Love". Produced by Twin, the track starts off as a sparse yet immediately romantic synth-driven hit before going into an insanely catchy chorus shouting "IF THIS IS / REAL LOVE". It captures all the best bits of pop music in the mid-2010's, essentially filling every expectation for your typical Taylor/Carly banger ballad.
But Florrie exceeds those expectations as the songwriting here is really strong. Like Sia-level storytelling good, with metaphors everywhere. The best line is either "you make me laugh out loud / lying in your underwear" or the chorus metaphors of being hit by hurricanes and fire running through your veins in love. And the dreamy delivery is, of course, signature Florrie, the same talent we've seen on "Call 911", "Little White Lies", and the immaculate "I Took A Little Something."
With a radio hit on her hands, Florrie needs a little chart push to finally get her out of the studio and release her debut album. From all of the songs off her EPs, stand-alone singles, and large amount of unreleased material, she could have made at least three albums of the year by now.
Which is why the prospect of a curated, 6 years in the making album is so exciting and would honestly be one of the albums of the millennium. Nonetheless, we have "Real Love", which will likely end up somewhere in the top 3 songs of 2016.
It's good to have you back in the game Florrie!
In honor of Florrie's amazing banger ballad, here is a playlist of all the 10/10 banger ballads released before the majesty of "Real Love" combined all of them into one song (includes Swift's "Style" but you know how she is with Spotify, apols).