Friday, May 5, 2017

NMF Thoughts from May 5 - featuring Sigrid, FEMM, Niall Horan and more!

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Sigrid made song of the week AGAIN!

Marian Hill have decided to suck out all of the fun from Billie Eilish's "Bellyache". Wouldn't it have been interesting if they had just done a mashup with "Down" ? Very disappointing. 

I have never been a big fan of Terror Jr. but their chopped pop style and amazing marketing strategy makes them a very interesting pop prospect. Their new single "Caramel" is a much more chill and bass heavy version of their older sound, so we'll see where they go from here I guess.

"Hunter" by Galantis fails in having a chorus just like their last single. Remember when their music was the type of futuristic EDM that made it cool to like EDM again?

Alan Walker has remixed Julia Michaels' breakout debut "Issues" into an EDM-lite banger, something that makes you realize how special the original is. 

Lil Yachty has bizarrely decided to make an 80's inspired new wave song that sounds like Daft Punk. There is even a goddamn saxophone. 
Beth Ditto's new song "Oo La La" has a little more of the Gossip feel to it than "Fire" and sounds much more compelling so good job Beth. 

The first proper HAIM single since 2013 sounds like 4 different songs playing at once. While "Want You Back" is definitely a progression from their Days Are Gone era, it would be nice to see some of the charisma that caught my attention shine through. 

Harry Styles has released an acoustic guitar ballad called "Sweet Creature" this week. It's strange as normally I would hate all of his guitar heavy music but Harry has the voice to keep you locked in.

Niia has returned from last week's "Nobody" with a brand new album! My favorite track "Girl Like Me" is a chilled out soul anthem that is much more distinct than her other tracks. 

Singer songwriter Emily Warren has written many songs for stars like Little Mix, Sean Paul, and um The Chainsmokers... Regardless, she releases her debut single today called "Hurt By You". It's nothing that special but it's always exciting when a songwriter starts their own journey and who knows, Emily could be the next Julia Michaels given enough time. 

Apparently the last TLC wasn't the actual lead single even though it was more than qualified. Instead, the new track "Haters" has been launched as TLC's final lead single. It's pleasant mid-2000's R&B but I can't help but think "Way Back" would have been much more effective.

The new Tigerilla & Dominique Young Unique single sounds like and Nicki Minaj. Which is fairly fun and ridiculous pop music with a decent amount of auto tune.

ODEE has a new single that sounds like Major Lazer and that amazing "Taped Up Heart" song from last year. If it was a few bpm higher, I could see this being a club staple.

Paramore continue their transformation into the new Ting Tings with funky track "Told You So". They have indeed thrown a marimba in there but at least they use guitars for good so everything balances out. 

"Beads" by Saint Mesa is one of the weirdest songs you'll hear this week but in a sea of Spotify-sounding trop-pop, that can only be a good thing. 

Self-proclaimed grunge pop band Hey Charlie have chosen to release the self-referencing "Hey". It could use with a drum machine and a couple of synths but a hey-filled chorus can never go wrong. 

POWERS singles tend to be major hits or major misses. Their new laidback summer single "Closer" definitely lands on the better side of their discography, but it would be nice to hear Crista take the lead on more music. 

LP has released her millionth album today and while her brand of guitar-pop has never been my thing, there is something Tegan and Sara-esque about album track "Up Against Me" that is very poptastic indeed. 
After their rather mundane song from Melodifestivalen, the best boy band in the world right now FO&O have gone and made a chugging electropop love song called "So So Good". All I'll say is that Zara Larsson better watch out...

It should be blasphemous for anyone to name a track "Bad Romance" after Lady Gaga changed the course of history. But Retro Culture have done just that and I have to say, this shimmering anthem is indeed the second best "Bad Romance". 

After his cute performance at Melodifestivalen, Benjamin Ingrosso has also returned but with a pensive and beachy song that sounds far too wistful for him and yet somehow, Ben pulls it off on "Do You Think About Me?"

Swedish group Moment released one of the most epic songs ever with this year's "Indigo". And you know what? THEY DID IT AGAIN. "All This Time" trades in some of the drama for a groovy feel but that chorus is a solid 10/10. An album of these songs would be excellent. 

Loop made one of the most retro-tastic kiss offs this year with "As If". She returns with "Know Me Better" which puts her vocals at the forefront, detailing her frustration over an inattentive lover. She is definitely having an upward trajectory as a pop star, which can only be a good thing. 

Peg Parnevik sounds like the Swedish Halsey on her new single "Don't Tell Ma". It's quite a toe tapper for 2017. 

VÉRITÉ's new music leading up to her debut album certainly turns up the drama. Luckily the industrial beats over her silky smooth vocal remains solid in new promo track "Bout You". June is going to be an amazing month for albums. 

"Stella" by FOURS sounds more like HAIM than the new HAIM single. It also sounds like MAUSI and The Aces, so just stellar pop people's songs. 

LIAMOO is the newest winner of Swedish Idol and his first single after the show is the distinctly Swedish ballad banger "Burn". Have we discussed just how amazing ballad bangers are?

This LANY album is very slowly shaping up to be a massive synth-drenched love affair. The newest promo single "The Breakup" continues with the boys trend of being saccharinely romantic and honest. The "It's never the same love after the breakup" line is legendary. 

The new Blondie album is something of a rare masterpiece. Crafted by multiple songwriters and producers, its a Frankenstein of pop that is unified by Debbie Harry's trademark vox. Aside from singles "Fun" and the incendiary "Long Time", the best songs are the electroburst of "Too Much", the Sia-written pensive banger "Best Day Ever", and the Charli XCX-penned "Gravity". 

Liza Owen commands "Don't Call Me Baby" on her new single that positively erupts into one of the most euphoric breakdowns of 2017. For such a bitter song, it really hits the mark on making you feel good. 

Rein has decided to make a rave monster with "C.A.P.I.T.A.L.I.S.M". The kind of rave monster that shouldn't have a place outside of a German sex club but is one of the most exciting songs of the past 3 years. 

With "Eyes Closed", Halsey has decided to be the new Weeknd. It makes sense since he wrote the song, and it's a great song. However, we're two songs into the HFK era and all I can see are comparisons to other artists and not Halsey shining through herself like on her debut. Maybe it will make sense once the album is out...

In what is one of the biggest plot twists of 2017, Niall Horan has released the best post-1D single with "Slow Hands". Yes, better than Zayn and Harry's stuff. The country-esque funk is a surprisingly ingenious move by Niall and that strange "whoop" noise is the kind of master stroke in pop that we would expect from Harry. It's your turn Liam and Louis to see if you can beat "Slow Hands" but until then, congratulations to Niall for somehow being the best 1D member of 2017.

Japanese duo FEMM have recruited "When I Rule The World" hitmaker LIZ on their rap-pop-anime theme song single "Do It Again". Another one of the most unique songs to be made in the past 3 years, but it never veers away from being a pop masterpiece. 

We've had 2 and a half 10/10 songs from Norwegian goddess Sigrid this year and we have to add her newest to that list. "Fake Friends" from her debut EP starts off much more serene than her past output but her signature chorus explosion solidifies her as the most exciting Nordic pop star this year. The last chorus is especially earth-shaking. Hopefully we can get an album full of this stuff before the end of the year.

Here is a playlist of all the highlights of this week, with "Fake Friends" as the finale. If you want to catch up with the best of the best, here is another playlist for 2017 pop hits!

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