Saturday, June 22, 2024

Can't Stop The Music

I've been trying to get a What I've Been Listening To Lately post up for the best part of a month now - the last one was all the way back at the end of May - but I just haven't been able to fit one in. So much going on. Shouldn't complain but...

Also, there's a structural problem with this feature: if I can't put one up at least every other week, the title's just plain wrong. It ought to be Stuff I Listened To A While Back And Now I've Moved On

Maybe I should call it that...

There's another problem with the format I've started to notice, too. I alluded to it last time, when I said "Bunch of friends of the blog dropped tunes since last time...They're all good. I guess we can't have 'em all, though.

The songs I post these days break down to two types - brand new tracks I've had pushed at me by the likes of Stereogum, Pitchfork and NME and older tunes I've scratched up, digging through YouTube late at night. When I first started doing music posts, I used to include quite a lot of stuff I already knew but mostly I've moved on from that. 

Not sure why. It's not as though I ran out of ideas. I think at some point I started to see dragging things out of my memory or my record collection as the easy option and I wanted to do better.

I've been thinking I should maybe split the music posts into a New Fads And Fancies feature that I might do as often as every week and a What We Missed When We Weren't Paying Attention column for the older stuff. Then I could do a Covers post every so often, like maybe once a month, sprinkle in those journalistic features I like to indulge myself with every once in a while, throw in a random theme post now and again and top it all off with the odd lucky dip from my ever-growing archive, just because that's fun for me.

And look! A whole new blog!

Maybe I'll do it, one day. When I retire, perhaps, which is technically in about five months from now, although I'm not planning on giving up work right away.

It's the old question: should I cram everything in the one blog, regardless of whether it fits, or should every obsession have its own space to grow? Another topic for Blaugust, I guess. 

Meanwhile, let's just carry on as we are for one more time. I think this one's going to be mostly people we already know, promoting their new record, but can I help it if they all release good ones at the same time?

Right Now - New Jeans

Or in the case of New Jeans, if they put out three pretty much all at once? The music biz sure has changed a lot since I was buying albums and singles. Back then even the most hyperactive pop acts waited for one 45 to hit or miss before they spat out another. Now its all bang bang bang.

Last time I did this I linked - but didn't post - a new New Jeans number called How Sweet. Look, there it is again! Since then they've released Right Now, apparently for the Japanese market, since it's sung partly in that language, and also Supernatural, produced by Pharrell. They're all good but Right Now is my favorite, possibly because it has that great Powerpuff Girls video.

I really need to watch the Powerpuff Girls some day.

The girl, so confusing version with Lorde 

Charli XCX feat. Lorde

Don't look at me that way. That's what it's called. 

Stereogum made me laugh out loud last week when they posted their regular Friday feature The 5 Best Songs Of The Week. I've only been following the site for a couple of years so maybe this wasn't the first time they've picked all five from the same person but even if it did feel a little like a situationist prank,  honestly it makes total sense. 

I could have done the same. This feature you're reading is called What I've been Listening To Lately and if I was going to make it mean what it says, this post would just be all the tracks from BRAT because that's what I've been listening to all week. Most of the posts from the last seven days were written to it. There's another great remix of 360 with Robyn and Yung Lean I could have featured, too, but I'll show a little restraint, for once.

Beryl loves the album, by the way. Every time I play it, she comes into the room and jumps in the old swivel chair I keep here for her and spins it around. I think she's dancing.

Please, Please, Please - Sabrina Carpenter

Oh, you think I won't go there? Let me quote the first line for you: I know I have good judgment, I know I have good taste...

Really, though, it was the stellar use of the word "motherfucker" that sold it for me. Pop music has changed, hasn't it? I assume there's a radio edit.

Supersad - Suki Waterhouse

Here's someone we haven't had for a while. From the upcoming album with the wonderful title "Memoir of a Sparklemuffin". I'm going to steal that for a character name sometime. 

It's three minutes long and the video plays right through the credits so we probably have the whole thing but it does kind of end as if someone just flicked a switch at the wrong time. Then again, whoever posted the clip on Suki's official YouTube account couldn't even get the name of the album right. That's not how you spell memoir...

Favourite - DC Fontaines

Yes, alright, I know. I was wrong. Sometimes resistance isn't just futile, it's stupid. This is just merciless, the way it goes and goes. And still goes. That guitar figure is relentless. You can argue with it all you want but you're never gonna win.

En Forma - Hinds

And if we're talking relentless...

Hinds are so much better since half the band quit. This is apparently the first song they've ever done with the lyric in Spanish, too, which is peculiar, given that's what they are. 

Just about every music review I read these days goes on and on about the lyrics and what they mean. I've just finished reading one hundred and fifty pages of Ezra Furman deconstructing the lyrics of Lou Reed's Transformer and brilliant though his analysis is, I'm not sure it makes the songs sound better in my head. 

Sometimes I think songs sound better when you can't understand what they're about.

90 Down The Block - XavierSoBased

Here's something a little older. Like three months. Really doesn't outstay it's welcome, does it? Treat it like one of those palette cleansers you have in the middle of a meal. Not that I've ever had one but I've heard about them.

I Am The King - Fat Dog

The cult starts here. Join early and avoid the rush.

We're All Losing It - Everyone Asked About You

...or When Subgenres Collide.

As someone says in the YouTube comments, "the kids are calling this tweemo... but I'll be damned if this one doesn't go hard."  

Yeah, it does!

This is Tweemo. You heard it here first. Probably.

The End (Diary) - Halsey

Halsey's been ill. Very ill. They wrote a song about it. It's what great artists do and Halsey is a great artist. Get well soon, Halsey. Make more music.

Smack Snack - Terry Poison

Okay, let's bring it on home. I have Syp to thank for this one, albeity indirectly. He constantly suprises me with his Sunday music posts, which have a strange consistency while still seeming almost random at times. His picks often remind me of people I'd forgotten I like or send me rifling through the back catalogs of acts I'd always meant to listen to but somehow never did. 

Last week he had Heavenly in there, a band I've constantly seen mentioned but who I'd somehow never bothered to investigate. The week before, he somehow picked Petite Mellor, doing what I think must have been her biggest stateside success, Baby Love.

That got me to wondering what Petite was up to now. One thing I don't do nearly enough is keep track of old favorites, once they drop out of the news cycle. 

It seemed ike the best place to look would be on Petite's own channel, where the latest video she's posted was for a song called The Drummer, a year ago. But that didn't satisfy me. I started to wonder just who Petite Meller was, something I hadn't really bothered to find out before because I can be pretty lazy. 

Not that I made much of an effort this time, either. I just read her Wikipedia page, from which I learned that before she went solo, she was in "the Israeli synth-pop band Terry Poison."

I wanted to know what they were like and now I do and so do you. I guess Petite is kind of like a Polish/French/Israeli version of Björk, if you want to be reductive about it. Also nothing like that at all.

blu - Girl Ultra

Another lyric I don't understand. I may be half Spanish (Have I mentioned that before? I can't remember...) but I don't speak the language. Oh, I can pick my way through a newspaper article and trot out a few stock phrases in an accent good enough to have people think I'll understand them when they reply, which of course I don't, but picking out more than a word here and there in a song lyric is way beyond me.

Don't need to know what it's about to know what it's about, though. That's kinda the point of music.

Good Luck, Babe - Chappell Roan

Let's end with the woman of the moment, Chappel Roan. She's blowing up so fast it's almost knocked her off her feet. Ten years for an overnight success. I guess we've heard that one before.

Sabrina Carpenter, who just blew up herself (That sounds weird. Maybe add a comma in there somewhere...) just covered Good Luck, Babe for Radio 1's Live Lounge, which seems like the pop version of one of those speeded-up videos, where you see a flower grow from a seed in a few seconds.

Life moves pretty fast. Never been truer.

1 comment:

  1. Damn, you hit several artists that I like, such as Charli and Halsey. Happy Summer to you too!


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