This week’s haul is a strong mix of soul-pleasing jams and UGH MY FEELINGS!! ballads; and frankly both subgenres are welcome in my house any damn time!
Here are the eight new releases I’m adding to the rolling best-of-2020 playlist, which now has 98 songs on it and can be found here.
Somebody – Dagny
No but seriously, how fucking good is Dagny?! Come Over was an extremely amiable banger earlier this year, Love You Like That remains a solid-gold masterpiece, the Seeb collaboration (Drink About) is still one of my most-played… and now here she is with another utterly lovely, uplifting, uptempo love song. Somebody is an injection of serotonin; a sparkly floorfiller that knows exactly when to drop everything out and when to rush it all back in for maximum results. Lush.
Amsterdam – Grace Davies
Meanwhile…! Amsterdam is the polar opposite of Somebody in FEELINGS terms, but it’s also an exceedingly good song. Thematically it reminds me of Paloma Faith’s New York (10/10), and affecting lyrics remain Grace’s forté: “There’s a bigger world out there than me, and I’m scared it’s where he’ll want to be”, for one, punched me square in the face. The instrumentation is also supreme: that simple piano riff turned my insides to mush within seconds of pressing ‘play’, and that moment towards the end where everything gets a bit more DRAMATIC is also very well executed. Grace is three-for-three!
Julianna Calm Down – Dixie Chicks
I liked Gaslighter, but never really felt like going back to it. I doubt I’ll have the same issue with Julianna Calm Down. A love letter to young people trapped in toxic relationships, it’s a triumph all round: Natalie Maines’ writing is perfection, and it’s aided beautifully by Julia Michaels and Jack Antonoff.
Savage Remix – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé
Two words: BEYONCÉ RAPPING. And a few more words: A Beyoncé feature delivered this brilliantly is exactly what I needed this week.
Hell Or High Water – Florrie
It’s always a treat to hear from Florrie, and Hell Or High Water – about trying to salvage an ultimately ill-fated relationship – is a thing of beauty. Side-bar: can’t believe it’s been SIX OF THE YEARS since she released one of my evergreen faves, Little White Lies!!
Be Kind – Marshmello with Halsey
Gosh, remember the new Halsey album?! It only came out in January and already feels aeons old. Aeons!!! Anyway, Be Kind is a pleasing enough bop: Marshmello obviously knows his way around a playlist-friendly dance-pop number, and Be Kind – while not quite a stand-out (especially against the new Dagny track) – passes 2 minutes and 52 seconds pleasantly enough.
Backwards – Moyka
A tight slither of Scandi-pop, Backwards comes hot on the tail of the also-great Spaces earlier this year, and fits into my favourite category of pop music: danceable angst. High recommend.
Don’t Call My Name – KAMARA
I’ve got into the habit of scrolling through the Swedish New Music Friday playlist on Spotify because… well, Sweden, obviously… and this cute little number really stuck with me. I love Kamara’s voice, I love the toe-tappable simplicity of the production… I’m pleased I found it!