Of course there’s only one new song people are talking at length about this week… and it’s not Meghan Trainor feat. The Pussycat Dolls.
Dua has been everywhere over the last few days – at least for anyone whose social timelines are mainly populated by homosexuals – and rightly so; but there’s been some other good stuff out too.
Here are the songs I’ve added to my rolling 2020 playlist this weekend.
Physical – Dua Lipa
When I first heard of Dua – via Hotter Than Hell – my interest was piqued, but I never reaaaally connected with her on a ‘true fan’ level. She obviously had some good songs (Be The One and Electricity espesh!) but I couldn’t quite throw myself into being a Full Stan. But now? In big ol’ 2020 after Don’t Start Now has become a certified banger and she’s come out in unequivocal support of the Labour party? I’m very much open to reconsidering my stance, and I’m happy to confirm that Physical is the song that has truly – truly!!!! – given me no choice but to formally endorse her as one of our best pop girls.
There are a lot of “it sounds like X!” comparisons floating around (fwiw, the intro gives me big Gimme Gimme Gimme energy) but I don’t think that’s to the song’s detriment at all. The chorus gets better and better every time I hear it, there are so many smart little lyrics in there, and the video UGH the video does it full justice. This is the biggest-sounding pop song of the year so far and I hope it’s as big as New Rules. It really makes me want to run on the spot?!
Tonight – Kesha
The new Kesha album isn’t as relentlessly ~fun as I think it’s been built to be, but it is fantastic; a nice middle ground between the energy of, say, Warrior and the emotional introspection of Rainbow. This latest single encapsulates that balance, at least sonically: starting as a lighters-in-the-air piano ballad before caving into the kind of half-spoken, half-sung anthem that made Kesha famous more than a whole decade ago. I like.
Invisible – Grace Davies
I am/was a massive X Factor stan but even I didn’t quite keep up with the season Grace was on in 2017 (the one won by Rak-Su) – although I was very much aware of her potential as a pop powerhouse, and I’ve been excited to hear what she’s been cooking up since signing with Syco. Invisible is a promising start: the lyrics are clearly very personal (“It’s hard to show you something invisible/No tears, no scars, no bruises, it’s not physical”), and the bit at 2:41 when it finally all kicks off is a real Moment. It’s a gorgeous song, and I’m really excited to hear what else she has up her sleeve.
Anyone – Demi Lovato
18 months on from her near-fatal hospitalisation, Demi has returned with the song she recorded just four days before that happened. But unlike, say, Skyscraper (recorded shortly before her first rehab stint in 2011), this feels incredibly, uncomfortably raw. Phenomenally sung, of course, but I can’t help but hope she’s got a strong team around her now who will yank her right back out of the limelight should the need arise.
Lucky – Fleur East
Fleur has an album and tour planned for the first half of 2020, and this is a wise choice of single to get that momentum going. A simple catchy chorus, a ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ sample in the middle-8… it’s an infectious, unchallenging listen; and her best since last January’s Favourite Thing.
Only The Young – Taylor Swift
Released in support of the Miss Americana doc on Netflix, Only The Young matches-up well with the political awakening we see Taylor go through on screen; hopeful that the next generation of voters will pull the White House out of its current hardline conservativism: “They aren’t gonna help us/Too busy helping themselves”. The lyrics are a little on the… wet side in places, truth be told, but actually it’s grown on me the more I’ve heard it over the weekend, and I really like the production. I remain more excited for the rumoured remix of The Man, though.
Lemonade – Hannah Jane Lewis
You can always count on HJL for a good bop, and Lemonade joins Aftershock, Raincheck and Last Night Every Night as one of her more irresistibly effervescent efforts. The central lyric (“You hit me like the first sip of lemonade”) is fun, and the high pitching of the chorus gives things a real sugar rush feel. A tasty little treat.