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Going Steady: New Singles 1-7-22 – 1-13-22 Reviewed

(The busiest first week of a New Year I’ve seen, not so when it comes to albums by the way.. Five songs are already in my best of 2022)

mememe – 100 gecs – the hyper pop duo make it look like child’s play but it is in effect the start of a sound that continues to morph into the mainstream, like this very big sounding clever-clever witty buzz. If you don’t start listening to 100 Gecs you aren’t gonna get pop in 2022 – A-

Hard Drive Gold – alt-J – once considered Radiohead for beginners, they’ve cut out their own art rock position with a whole world of electronics. Here they are their most populist, a catchy little obtuse dance number with a cresting and falling sound – B+

Most Men – A COLORS SHOW – Amber Mark – a sweet sliver of r&b with a fine rhythmic hook – B

Agolo – Da Capo’s Touch – Angelique Kidjo – The Mzansi (I mean South African) Da Capo certainly does have the touch on a superb remix of one of Kidjo’s earliest songs (it dates from 1994), a beautifully crafted update that will have you brooding and dancing – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

Flights – BandoPop, Lil Baby – Bando has been circling commercial success for a few years, his 2021 album didn’t make much noise but Lil Baby adds the gutsiness required here – B

No Drama – Bankroll Hayden – if there was one rapper who seemed capable of breaking big in 22, the nineteen year old Hayden (he killed at Gov Ball here) and this move from emorap to trap won’t hurt – B

Fyodor Dormant – Beirut – culled from the upcoming obscurities album, per Zach Condon this uses the Balkan sax as well as anything on his first album plus the vocals sound like Rufus Wainwright – B+

Who Has Seen the Wind? – David Byrne, Yo La Tengo – off the upcoming Yoko Ono tribute album, there leaves little doubt that Yoko’s lack of commerciality was based singularly upon Yoko’s singing. “Who Has Seen The Wind” (pace the Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band album), and if she had let her husband sweeten it it would have been a hit. The Byrne-Yo La version is gorgeous – B+

Amateur Hour – Eels – enormously catchy classic rocker – B

Brave – Ella Henderson – lovely slice of pop EDM and it will be HUGE in the UK, I wouldn’t mind if it broke US as well – A-

Farewell, OK – Elvis Costello, The Imposters – the third single off the upcoming album is a classic rock the Attractions update, and I went back to the first single, “Magnificent Hurt” and it ain’t bad either… Hey, maybe this is where we get El back? – B+

Heart Of A Child – Eric Clapton – one day, there will be a major reassessment of Clapton, and he will be reinstated as one of the great white blues guitarists. No one will mention this acoustic track – C+

Unsung Hero – for KING & COUNTRY – unspeakable CCM Americana – MUST TO AVOID – D

Funny Girl – Father John Misty _ yes, it’s true, I can’t really stand his opaque, musical satire and I dislike him more when he is being sincere. This song belongs in a Stephen Schwartz Broadway musical – C-

Love & War – Kodak Black – a very lovely, brooding emo-rap with a great piano hook, really, already a hit on Tik-Tok, Kodak takes on romance – B

Dear Fear – Kota the Friend – the first rate Brooklyn rapper with a beautiful piano backing track and a dream of love – B+

Chitty Bang – Leikeli47 – FINALLY this week, art rap that sounds like art rap with thundering bass, a hyperpop hook, and the clipped great rap off a pro. I wonder if this heralds her first album since 2018… – B+

Happy New Year- Let’s Eat Grandma – what is going on? These women are art rockers, electronic, sound massagers who use synths like horns, but for all its weirdness this is close to ear candy – B+

Take a Bow – InDaSoul Edit – Madonna, Jessie Leavey, Susie Katiyama – Susie last performed with Maddie on Ray Of Light, and she adds her arranging skill on one of Maddie (plus Babyface) greatest songs -unfortunately, some songs deserve to be left alone – B-

Circles Around This Town – Maren Morris – country pop, co-written by Julia Michaels – C+

Run – Morgan Wade – could this be the song to break her pop? Or at least country, classic rock, guitar based pop – B+

Trying To Find A World That’s Been And Gone: Part 1 (Demo) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Here is the Noel story: everything he did with Oasis up to and including Be Here Now were world beaters, and everything else not so much. But I don’t mean to piss on his chips, this new demo is beautiful – A-

Let England Shake (Demo) – PJ Harvey – I may have missed the boat on the song first time around, as always the demo is just a lo fi take on a completed song and yet for some reason it rings clearer and the “take me back to Constantinople” rides right through the track – A-

LA FAMA (with The Weeknd) – ROSALÍA – Rosalia jumped on a “Blinding Lights” remix and The Weeknd returns the favor on this lovely little Spanish dance number – A-

Green Goddess – Sea Power – FKA British Sea Power… I haven’t been that crazy about British rock since Brit Pop, but we don’t mind this, a big ass, overwhelming rock anthem that soars upward on strings – B

Amor Pasajero – Sebastian Yatra – fresh off “Encanto”‘s “Dos Oruguitas,” the ever popular Yatra is mainstream Latin pop here, so much so it is borderline bachata – B-

Bruises On All My Illusions – Soft Cell – Marc and the boys return with their third single off their highly anticipated

Cut – Sondre Lerche – “I originally wrote ‘Cut’ imagining a love affair between actors on a film set, where the lines are constantly blurred between what is real, what’s performative. I saw it as a film noir, but during the recording it no longer felt black and white, it felt colorful and erotic…” so the cut is like on a movie stage – C+

Turns Out I’m Sentimental After All – Sondre Lerche -indie guy as delicate singer songwriter – B

Welcome to the Playhouse – Steve Aoki – Shaquille O’Neal – I wonder if Aoki paid Shaq in script from Benihana? – C

Coming for You (feat. A1 x J1) – SwitchOTR -The rap is grime, the electronics is a hyperpop, or at least electronic, backing tracks, and the song is very good – B+

Everybody (feat. Jenny Lewis) – The Cactus Flowers – the song is bland out but the singing ain’t bad – C+

Birth of the Butcher – The Last Ten Seconds of Life – wild and barn burning screamo – B

You Will Never Work In Television Again – The Smile – the new Greenwood-Yorke band, who along with Tom Skinner (and Nigel Godrich) with calamitous wall of toney instrumentals and Yorke rocking it out – B+

The Killing Womb – Vein.fm – screamo wall of sound cracker – B+

Drinking Song – Walker Hayes – not “Fancy Like” but not bad – B-

It’s Only Dancin’ – Young Guv – the former Fucked Up guitarist with a classic rocker – B

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