With brides, angelic visitations, and ghosts, Bat for Lashes’s The Bride seems to be aiming at the territory of gothic romance (as does the tendency of the lyrics to use romantic commonplaces like “this heart of mine,” which is arguably appropriate, but which I found distracting). But if the gothic is always about the body, the music on The Bride suggests something else: early morning, shafts of light through curtains, and a delicacy that makes me want to use words like “transcendent” or “ethereal.”
I thought that Kitten’s last EP was if anything a bit too ethereal, lacking the bodily impact of their earlier stuff. So I’m pleased to see a return of that intensity of feeling in their new track.
Little Jinder showed up in my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist last week, in a triumph for algorithmic curation, in that she’s someone I’d never heard of who is absolutely bang on my tastes. Her album, Allting Suger, is the Platonic form I imagine when I think of a Swedish pop record, and “Puzzel” is probably the apotheosis of that: catchy, exquisitely crafted, and with a sucker punch of emotion in the chorus.
I first heard of Phoebe Ryan shortly before she released her previous single, “Boyz ’n’ Poison,” so I was disappointed when that track didn’t live up to the back catalogue I’d just got so excited about. Thankfully she seems to be getting back on track with her very cute (and, arguably, historical materialist) new single, “Dollar Bill.”
Wonder Girls swerve sharply from the synthpop of their last album to their new K-Rocksteady single.
I’m always here for inappropriate and faintly creepy metaphors of impossible physical closeness being used to imply emotional closeness, so I approve of Atom Tree’s “Body”.
You can definitely hear the tastefulness that lead the BBC to include Mabel in their Sound of 2016 poll, but thankfully “Thinking of You” isn’t as boring as that accolade tends to imply; it’s a rather lovely (and, especially in the middle-eight, very 90s) bit of R&B.
Ji Nilsson’s “Make Me Blu” is also pretty lovely, and maybe more on pop trends than her previous records.
Chart-friendly dance banger from Redlight and (occasional Nicola Roberts collaborator) Taya.
Back when drum and bass first became popular, it spawned an offshoot known as “intelligent” drum and bass. I kind of feel like (terribly named) band Thanks for the Nymphos could be described as doing something similar for contemporary (i.e., Skrillex-y) EDM. I always preferred stupid drum and bass; luckily, EDM is so dumb that even its “intelligent” offshoot isn’t.