Playlisted 2020, week 13: The bangers we can’t go out and dance to

 Playlisted 2020, week 13: The bangers we can’t go out and dance to

I mentioned last week that we’ll hit a point – presumably fairly soon – when artists will either run out of music that they’ve been stockpiling, or postpone big releases until they can do more promotion (Gaga – disappointingly but unsurprisingly – has already pulled the plug on Chromatica for the time being).

With that in mind… there is a surprisingly large amount of good stuff out this week. Will this be our last truly fruitful New Music Friday for a while? Maybe so!! But it’s a good’un. Lots of excellent pop songs that… er… we can’t go out and dance to for at least a couple of months.

Here’s everything I’m adding to my rolling 2020 playlist (on Spotify here); and as ever, album tracks that aren’t singles are omitted. So I’ll be listening to the full Dua and 5SOS albums later 🤓

I Love You’s – Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee started the year with a stark little ballad – perhaps released in light of the success of Selena’s Lose You To Love Me – but this is muuuuch comfier territory for her. On I Love You’s we return to the gentle, bubbling midtempo pop that made the Haiz EP such a triumph back in 2015 (this is giving me big Rock Bottom/Hell Nos And Headphones callbacks); and I love it. The Annie Lennox sample is lush, and it’s the second half of the chorus (or is it the post-chorus?) when it really takes flight. She picked a crowded week in which to do it, but she’s back on form.

Wildflower – 5 Seconds of Summer

I’m VERY excited to dig into the full Calm album, which I totally forgot was out today. No Shame remains one of my favourite songs of 2020 so far, and Wildflower is just as infectious: perfect for this current burst of summer weather, brimming with lusty energy, and with a big earworm of a chorus. Their hot streak continues!

Break Up Song – Little Mix

A new era from Little Mix will do quite nicely right now, thanks very much!! And to make it even sweeter, they’ve gloriously hopped aboard the 80s camp-pop revival as well. Gabriella Cilmi would be proud.

Woman Like Me kinda dropped the ball for me, as far as their lead singles are concerned – but Break Up Song is *Cheryl voice* riiiight up my street. The girls sound great on their individual verses (Perrie and Leigh-Anne especially) and I can’t wait for the video.

Like It Is – Kygo, Zara Larsson, Tyga

We, as a music-consuming general public, spectacularly failed Zara Larsson last year, considering Don’t Worry Bout Me and All The Time both deserved to be huge (well, you failed her, I certainly didn’t!!! Tbh!). But with a collaboration like this, she could get just the commercial top-up she needs; and Like It Is is a nifty little bop. Zara always sounds really at home on this sort of dance track, and I truly hope it’s a hit.

Break My Heart – Dua Lipa

Sidenote: Break My Heart is a great old-school Hilary Duff deep cut, just FYI.

For Dua, it’s another ace for her growing collection: not quite as instant as Physical or smart as Don’t Start Now, but still a slick, bass-heavy floorfiller with a topline that feels like the lovechild of INXS and Another One Bites The Dust. And really gay.

Terrified – Emily Burns

I LOVE Emily Burns, and Terrified is my favourite song of hers since Too Cool. It would’ve sounded perfect on the soundtrack of a mid-00s high school movie, and it’s another one that’s arrived just in time for the Spring sunshine. I’m adding “see Emily Burns live” to my post-lockdown to-do-list.

Love + Attention – KAMILLE

Big fan of the piano on this, and continuing to be a big cheerleader for songwriter-to-the-stars KAMILLE to get some breakout success of her own. I dismissed Love + Attention when I first heard it last night but it’s grown on me today: I love the bravado of the chorus, the aesthetic of the artwork… she’s yet to have a chart hit for herself, and I really hope this is The One.

Hold Me Close – Sam Feldt feat. Ella Henderson

Banger by numbers? A little. But I’ll take it. This is much better than that “this is reaaa-ayayayaaal” song Ella did last year, and Hold Me Close will do nicely on my running playlists. Extremely unlikely to stand out as one of 2020’s finest come December, but a distracting little bop for now.

Shaun Kitchener

Scriptwriter for the theatre and TV (currently Hollyoaks) and freelance entertainment ~reportage.