Here’s a new thing I’m doing every month. I’ll collect ten songs that I really like and put them in a playlist. I’ll then write about each song. Finally, I’ll shoehorn the name of the month into the word ‘playlist’.
Here’s the Maylist:
Natalie La Rose – ‘Somebody’ (feat. Jeremih)
Natalie La Rose’s debut single is ‘Somebody’, which samples both ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and ‘Shots’ by LMFAO (it’s not as bonkers as it sounds). Yes, it does sound like a Eurovision version of ‘2 On’, but it’s super catchy and sometimes you need a bit of basic, right? You know how really cheap coleslaw is often the most satisfying? ‘Somebody’ is the basic coleslaw of pop.
KStewart – ‘Keeping You Up’
Another new popstar who is very excellent is KStewart. Her next single is ‘Keeping You Up’, which is three minutes and forty-one seconds of sugary pop amazingness. Think Samantha Jade’s (underappreciated) ‘Sweet Talk’ by way of East London and you won’t be far away. She has an excellent voice too, with a light tone not too dissimilar to Ariana Grande, but with better enunciation. She’s doing a gig in two weeks, which should be at least an 8/10.
Aminata – ‘Love Injected’
I haven’t got to this in my Eurovision thing but oh well. The Latvian song this year is called ‘Love Injected’ by Aminata, and it’s really cool. It’s a brave song; there hasn’t been an off-kilter electro song that has smashed across Europe. That’s why it’s so good though. Some of the best entries in the last few years haven’t been too mainstream (think Anouk or Margaret Berger), but have done well because they’re good songs that are confidently performed.
Jack Ü – ‘Where Are Ü Now’ (feat. Justin Bieber)
Yes, this song has been around for a while, but it’s still really good. ‘Where Are Ü Now’ is not too dissimilar to ‘Lean On’, straddling being both a Saturday night banger and a Sunday morning bop. Justin Bieber sounds amazing here too; this is probably his first ‘grown-up popstar moment’ (it has that ~coolness that ‘Believe’ lacked, and is better than ‘Journals’). This will only get bigger.
Ben Khan – ‘1000’
Remember when Jessie Ware released ‘110%’ and it sounded like nothing we’d heard since ‘Millionaire’ by Kelis (what a song)? Ben Khan is that to Jessie Ware. ‘1000’ marries bluesy vocals with icy, hip-hop production. Much like ‘Where Are Ü Now’, ‘1000’ is the kind of song you can lose your shit to but equally I imagine this would be good to write a dissertation to.
Little Boots – ‘Better In The Morning’
Little Boots has a new album coming out! The ‘instant-grat’ track is ‘Better In The Morning’, which is her best song since ‘Remedy’. It harks back to the pop of the early-noughties; it’s fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously (it’s not too far away from ‘I Really Like You’ and ‘Sparks’ in that sense). The whole release ‘strategy’ is great too (there’s a voicemail thing).
Shamir – ‘Darker’
Shamir’s next single is ‘Darker’, which is the complete opposite of his other singles. Unlike the hyper pop of ‘On The Regular’, ‘Darker’ is a brooding ballad, which sounds like it’s about wanting to work on a relationship, even though it would be easy to let it go. Shamir’s high-pitched vocals are the real ‘air-punch moment’ here though; he sounds like a man who has just spent an hour crying (in the best way possible).
Becky G – ‘Lovin’ So Hard’
In complete contrast, Becky G’s new single ‘Lovin’ So Hard’ is about falling in love with someone (more specifically: Austin Mahone). It’s such a cute song; the kind of thing you can listen to whilst driving to the beach with your hun but can equally relate to other kinds of love (I’m just appropriating because I love pizza). It’s a shame she hasn’t had a proper push here cos she’s so good.
Brandon Flowers – ‘I Can Change’
Who knew Brandon Flowers was so good? (you all did, didn’t you?). The next teaser single from ‘The Desired Effect’ is the Bronski Beat-sampling ‘I Can Change’. It sits somewhere in between The Killers and Girls Aloud, managing to take the shimmering electro-pop of ‘The Loving Kind’ and making it anthemic. Please don’t change, Brandon Flowers hun.
Ciara – ‘Give Me Love’
The centerpiece of ‘Jackie’, ‘Give Me Love’ is one of Ciara’s best songs of all time. It has both a subtlety to it, yet it’s perfect to yell at people in the street (I have refrained as of right now but it’s coming). It’s incredibly instant (thanks Dr Luke), but it keeps getting better. It took me a week to dive right into ‘Jackie’ (gross) because I was so taken with this song. Now, if she can promise this at Wireless…