Sunday, October 15, 2017

NMF Thoughts from FRIDAY THE 13TH- featuring Dagny, St. Vincent, Fickle Friends, and more!

Dagny returns to form and makes the SONG of the week!

After "Just Like You", it's safe to say Louis Tomlinson is the one from One Direction who should just quit music. 

Consistent house music makers The Knocks team up with hitmakers themselves Captain Cuts on "House Party". It's a cool enough dance song but never really goes off like you want it to. 

There is a weird mix of old man screaming with a guitar/piano and trop-pop on the new Tom Walker song. 

Dillon Francis wins the creepiest cover art of the week prize for "Hello There". Too bad the track itself is another trop-pop piece of shit. 

It's been a minute since we heard from kiiara but "Wishlist" is a generic departure from her past choppy glitch-pop. Oh well. 

Apparently every dance producer made a song this week. Peking Duk return with "I Love It" superstars Icona Pop on "Let You Down". It's too much of a Spotify-ish single for me to get behind it no matter how much the girls try to save it. 

The amazingly titled band Laser Dreams have an amazingly titled debut single called "Stupid Lovesong". It's the most un-2017 song you'll hear all week, and that's mainly because it's straight from the 80s. Thank god for the Swedes. 

The new Ella Vos single about crying mothers is not as boring as you would expect. 

Rihanna collaborator Mikky Ekko is back to promote a new album with new single "Blood On The Surface". There is a pleasant Beach Boys quality about it before it erupts into an industrial mess. But at least the lyrics are spot on. 

For those in the spooky mood this Friday the 13th, the new Tears for Fears song "I Love You But I'm Lost" has some ghost-like synths in there, but it's quite anthemic in its own right. 

It's around the time when new acts try to release good music so they are tipped for big things next year. Bishop Briggs definitely fits this category, as her stomping new single "Dream" makes quite evident. We would love to see pop artists like Dagny and Ralph on some lists but they're too unpredictable to hope for too much. 

Mahalia has a song called "Hold On" that feels perfect for the autumn weather that is creeping up on us. Aka it's a chill R&B lite pop song. 

Mabel has gone and done a cool upbeat pop song that sees her move beyond the synth-drenched R&B she is known for. "Begging" is the first taste of her MIXTAPE, which in 2017 terms means we got a Mabel album. 

Leo Kalyan is back with another banger that actually puts him as more of an ethnic-leaning Hurts-type artist. "No Man's Land, Pt. 1" hopefully has a dance remix as part 2. 

"Hide Away" songstress Daya is back with a "New" single, called "New". Did we mention it's NEW?! Beyond the puns, it's your standard Daya track, uninteresting until the chorus when everything falls into place.

As I feared, that new P!nk album is quite inessential. The only real highlight is the Max Martin-written Kylie-esque "Secrets", which does a pretty good job of mixing elegant electropop with P!nk's wailing. 

MNEK has sort of let me down with his last couple of releases featuring his voice. UNTIL TODAY. The Riton collaboration "Deeper" is the deep house song I needed in my life and the addition of a FUCKING GOSPEL CHOIR is the cherry on top. 

Emily Warren's singles continue to get better and better, with "Poking Holes" having some real moments of brilliance in the chorus. Considering she helped to write Charli XCX's "Boys", Emily as a solo star may not be a bad thing after all. 

As far as boys with guitars go, the new Will Joseph Cook song is quite bouncy for a Friday afternoon. 

So the last Niall Horan single wasn't up to much, but luckily Lana's favorite remixer Cedric Gervais has put a drum machine and chopped vocals to the ballad and made it a solid 7x better. 

Sorry to Harry Styles, but the dream-pop cover of "Sign Of The Times" by LANY is the type of single I wanted Harry to come out with when he went solo. 

Silk Cinema might have the best band name I've heard in a while and their new song "Disappear" feels like the perfect come down song for winter. 

GRANT, VIGGO, and ABISHA have used capital letters to stand out from the CROWD. Luckily, their new music is on the spectrum of good to great so it's all for the benefit of us. 

The nostalgic romance of the new Band of Gold single warms my Piscene heart. 

In a complete turn around from their terrible Demi Lovato collaboration, Cheat Codes have a wonderfully heartwarming new single called "Feels Great". As Fetty Wap puts it, "it feels great motherfucker" to be surprised during NMF. 

After releasing and re-releasing the same singles, budding pop singer FRANKIE is finally back with something new. "Paper Doll" is pretty immediate in how awesome it is but in-your-face pop is in rare quantities at the moment so good job FRANKIE for not being your stereotypical Spotify singer. 

In strange pop news, one of the best and most forward-thinking pop songs of the week comes from Beck. It goes to show pop can come from anywhere. 

The Vamps have returned to being a proper good boy band with new single "Personal". It helps that Youtuber-turned-proper popstar Maggie Lindemann helps out. But the best part of the song is the actual PROPER chorus. Good job to everyone involved. 

I don't mean to alarm you but the new Mallrat single has a COW ON THE COVER. "Better" also happens to be better than most songs this week. 

Steve Angello and Pusha T's collaboration "Freedom" is the type of song stadium speakers were made for aka it's a galactic banger.

Your favorite mystery Swedish rave-pop outfit Stockholm Noir is back with another BANGER with a capital B. "Frozen Ground" features Peta & the Wolves, starts off sparse and ominous (to match the date obviously), but once that drum machine kicks in, you know it's about to get wild. If anyone deserves to be on the Next Big Thing lists for 2018, it's Stockholm Noir. 

One of the best bands of this decade is Fickle Friends. They have outdone anything on their last EP with "Hard To Be Myself" which sees them refine their electropop to the best I've heard them. An album from this lot would be quite enjoyable.

Just like the excellent MY song from last week, Scavenger Hunt pay homage to our lord and slayviour Carly Rae Jepsen on their new single "Eyes Wide Open". If this is a trend for 2018, pop will be at an all time high. 

Brazilian superstar Anitta continues her English takeover on the new Alesso single. It's a breezy tropical-ish dance hit that has a lot of unexpected twists and turns for a post-EDM song. If anything breaks her into the world market, it should be this song. 

There is always one Q4 album that comes out of nowhere from a non-pop singer that completely destroys the bar on how amazing pop can be. This year it goes to St. Vincent and her absolutely brilliant album Masseduction. It's the Ladytron meets Clare Maguire album we never knew we needed to happen. "Pills" is one example of how bonkers she has gone for music and I love every second of it. 

We all know Dagny is one of the best pop singers/human beings on the planet, but in all honesty her past couple of singles did not have the same magic that her EP had. I had almost lost hope, seeing someone so amazing fall below the high bar she set herself. Until today that is. As if feeling the imbalance in her pop output, Dagny just released a song that could count as three 10/10 songs. "Love You Like That" is such a simple yet powerful song telling the age old sentiment that nothing else matters but LOVE. It's good that see Dagny go back to the basics and return to the amazing standard of "Fool's Gold" and "Too Young". And that's all you want from your favorite singer: wow moments.

Here is a playlist of all the highlights of this week, with "Love You Like That" 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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