Slightly Used New Music 17/04/2018

Posted: April 17, 2018 in music, New music 2018, Uncategorized

Well, it was inevitable that I would miss a week here or there. I think I’ve done well to get this far into the year without a break, not to brag or anything like. And that gave me a much larger pool to draw from, which may have resulted in an even stronger list than usual, and one that has a few more songs on it. You will have to let your own ears determine whether they are for you.

(Spotify link below)

Plastic Hamburgers—Fantastic Negrito

Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz (try pronouncing that) says that he makes “black roots music for everybody”. That could be true, because to my ears this track sounds like blues-ROCK that, between the riffs and the voice, puts me in mind of a certain band named after a heavy dirigible.  From the album “Please Don’t Be Dead”, out June 15th

Sweet Sensation—Flo Rida

Yes, OK, it’s unashamedly a hit pop song, but it’s got such a great “get up and dance” groove to it, which to a large extent is aided by a first-class pumping production job. Sometimes it’s OK to just let go and enjoy the sounds.

Philly Forget Me Not—Hall & Oates (with Train)

Millennials will be saying “Who???” but those of us of a certain age will remember this once auspicious hit machine which was much better than the long overplayed “Maneater” would have us believe.  This one is more in line with their Philadelphia soul roots than that other aforementioned hit. It’s their first new track in 15 years but, alas, it isn’t a prelude to an album, or even another single. For now anyway.

Change—Charlie Puth, James Taylor

A June-December match that is more Charlie than James in vocals, I think, but definitely has a James Taylor feel to it. Lyrically it’s basically about accepting each other for who we are, which some would say is a modern message, but being old enough to remember the 60’s I can assure you is not. From Puth’s upcoming, collaboration filled album “Voicenotes”.

that was then—Isaac Gracie

Isaac sure can hit those high notes. This song takes a few seconds to get going, but once it does it pulls you in with a decent melody  and a feeling of longing and regret.

the broken hearts club—gnash

There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to like this song because of the subject matter, which is basically come join us because misery loves company. But it is kind of a catchy song. So I’m hoping this is at least partially tongue in cheek.

By the way, what’s with all the lower case song titles?

Lost in Paris—Tom Misch, GoldLink

Kind of jazzy,  with some slinky guitar work. Feels pretty smooth.

Lash Out—Alice Merton

Alice sounds a bit frustrated, but she’s rocking it in an Indie sort of way.

Sugar & Spice—Hatchie

A nice mix of girl-group, 60’s style, Indie sensibilities with hooks, harmonies, and a nice production wash that’s full sounding without being overproduced.

The Walking Wounded—Roseanne Cash

Roseanne Cash is surely country, but as this song suggests it’s more country in a Springsteen sort of way than her daddy Johnny’s way.  The lyrics try to cover so many bases they’re nearly generic, but there are some good lines. Ultimately it feels quietly anthemic

Unusual Boy—Bernie and the Believers

Singer/songwriter Bernie is looking for love with someone who is as much of a misfit as she is. A lot of yearning going on, but the song does get under your skin. Someone did a great job with the string arrangement, which does a great job of building up the song dynamically as it goes along.

Start Over Again—New Hope Club

The New Hope Club’s singer wishes he had put just a little more effort into making that all-important first impression with his date. That sounds like a downer, but the lyrics are decent enough, and we’re talking about not splitting the bill and saying you look beautiful instead of nice, as opposed to say getting wasted and dancing naked in the fountain, so it wasn’t a horrible first impression. Musically the song really pops along with a semi-acoustic guitar-band arrangement and a light touch on the lead guitar.

In My View—Young Fathers

The Young Fathers have an interesting album out, “Cocoa Sugar” that has had tracks coming dangerously close to making the list over the past month or two. This is the first I’ve picked, and considering this list is compiled from two weeks it’s fair to say it’s not cause the competition is weak. Also, some of the other stuff on the album, while being different, hasn’t really connected with me on an emotional level. This song is a bit cynical like some of the others, but the groove caught me, the’re a nice melodic shift going into the chorus, and the singer’s voice is just the right kind of off-kilter to pull of the track.

Shiggy—Stephen Malkmus

I’ve come to like this guy a lot over the last couple of years. This one is mid-tempo heavy without being overbearing, and an alt-pop sensibility to the lyrics and the melody supported by Stephen’s enjoyable but not ready for X-Factor vocal style. Think Todd Rundgren meets Nirvana. Plus it’s another track with some decent, melodic lead guitar. It’s a banner week for that, relatively speaking.

Raining in Kyoto—The Wonder Years

I should warn you that you will have an urge to turn up the volume as soon as this track starts, but the volume will kick in and rock this out shortly into this track, so be kind to your ears, or speakers and neighbors, and wait it out. When it gets going it’s like standing under a downpour of sound


The intro almost feels like David Crosby to me, but it soon opens into a smooth, mid-tempo, guitar band arrangement of a nice melodic track that might be more Christopher Cros than Crosby, now that I hear it again.

Sweet Coffee—Mullaly, Bassette

A love song, or possible a mutual lust song, that floats along like two might if they were able to enjoy that first cup of coffee with the luxury of watching each other instead of the clock.

Ultralight Beam—Naaz

There’s something seductive from this track from female, Dutch singer Naaz. It’s essentially a slow rap track that seems to have a dreamlike free-association quality to it, supported by a solo piano that sometimes punctuates the track at rhythmically odd but appropriate angles

Here We Are—Lowes

I think it’s really the soaring chorus with all those drums that caught my attention, but it’s a good enough hook to make the list.

Love is Madness—Thirty Seconds to Mars (feat. Halsey)

You’re not good for me, I’m no good for you, let’s get together and be perfect for each other in what is probably an unhealthy but totally obsessive way, and be possessive of each other while not wanting to be possessed, or perhaps even faithful. And now you know why love is madness. It’s a heavy sounding mid-tempo pop song that might cross over to rock despite the lack of guitars, But it has drums that are probably a prelude to the inevitable breakup.

We Can Do Better—Matt Simmons

This is a happy little, big sounding, pop song about relationships, and not making the same mistakes as the couples who you’ve observed previously. And you can sing along to the chorus.

Velvet Elvis—Kacey Musgraves

It’s kind of a cotton candy pop/rock track, appropriately enough, since it’s a young woman comparing her boyfriend to a velvet Elvis, as a compliment of course. But it’s pleasant and poppy with a good backbeat. So kinda Shania Twain. Could do well with the masses.

Over It—Bullet for my Valentine

And here is the heaviest song of the week, or at least the heaviest one allowed on the list. Unlike some people, I suppose, I prefer having some melodic elements mixed in with the screaming. And like the Ed Norton version of the Incridable Hulk, the screaming is only there when absolutely necessary.


Counter-intuitive as it is, we’ll close with “Opener”, which might not be to everyone’s liking, but I find has a certain hypnotic presence. For me Hookworms have made a journey from what I would call ambient psychedelic rock to ambient psychedelic rock with actual songs in it, which is far more interesting. It does go on a bit though, so if you don’t make it to the end I’ll understand.





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