I’ve compiled all the tracks I’ve mentioned this week into a mixcloud track, which you can listen to through the player above, and follow along with the post, I guess? The first track is the new Carly Rae Jepsen! Specifically, one of two new tracks from the new Japan-only remix album. “First Time” is great, could easily have been a track from Emotion, except that the extra-punchy synths are more reminiscent of Kiss. The other new track, “Fever,” is less immediately striking, but the lyrics are wonderful (“well that could work but I’m still hot for you”); the remixes are mostly whatever, although there’s a good disco version of “Your Type.”
New song from Ladyhawke, who I guess has been tilling the synthpop furrow recently made popular by Jepsen and Taylor Swift for a long time.
A slightly different 80s sound from Chinah, less synthpop and more… synthsoul(?), the sort of sounds that influenced Jessie Ware.
Also fairly Jessie Ware-esque is “Touch,” by Shura, which apparently first came out a couple of years ago, but has more recently acquired a version featuring a guest rap from, of all people, Talib Kweli. It’s not his best work (the reference to solitary confinement in particular is a bit jarring), but he’s better than your average shoe-horned in guest rapper.
Shura also features on “Love for That” by Mura Masa, which I like a lot, especially for its curious genre positioning, as it sounds something like a tropical house remix of The Gentle Waves.
Doyen of EDM bangers DJ Snake seems to have gone a bit soppy on his new track, “Middle,” which turns out to be a good move, and an even better move is the even soppier remix by Mija, which takes the remains of the banger in an ethereal direction and ends up sounding a bit cloud rap.
Also a bit cloud rap, among many other things, is Kilo Kish’s album Reflections in Real Time. I’m really impressed by the wide range of styles on the album (I mean it’s broadly R&B, but that’s a broad genre that Kilo Kish is happy to interpret in a bunch of ways). What ties the album together, though, is Kilo Kish’s personality expressed through an intimate, narrative, performance, that reminds me of both Kehlani and Kitty.
HQFU’s “Good Reason” reminds me a lot of late 90s dance pop, specifically DJ Rap’s “It’s Good to Be Alive” (and hyperspecifically of the Judge Jules remix of “Good to Be Alive,” which doesn’t seem to be on the internet anywhere).
I don’t know why I don’t imagine Germans making pretty, folky indie, but that’s a stereotype I evidently held which I’m glad Sara Hartman has disabused me of.
Banoffee’s “With Her” is a gorgeously melancholy bit of piano house.
“Nightingale” by Sigma seems to be an attempt to move into the sentimental EDM space captured by Galantis, but without Galantis’s at the same time subtle and exuberant mastery of the form. This track inspired me to listen to Sigma’s album, which turns out to be the 3o-second D&B clip they play over Goal of the Month on Match of the Day, looped for two hours. There are worse things.