Last year Praa graced us with the otherworldly minimalist soul ballad “Modeling Clay”, a song so fine, Prince would surely have tipped his hat in unabashed approval of it. Well guess what,”Y”, her latest single, is even better. A lamentation on human facades in the form of straight up 90’s style R & B, it’s a modern day cousin soundwise to a couple of classics from that royal era of soul, “Kissin’ You” by Total, and “Love’s Taken Over” by Chante Moore, both of which are absolute perfection. And know what, can’t pay higher compliment than that: it’s just magical.
There is something kind of wonderful about “Good When I’m Done” the new single from Hull’s Hubbards. Featuring a semi-strangulated vocal full of anxiety and passion (not a million miles away from those of Suede’s Brett Anderson) and counterbalanced by a very neat and tidy bit of harmonizing, it spits desperation and flays itself open from the start, literally serving up it’s heart ( “on a plate for you”). God is a girl and this is shiny, bright and Britpop in all the right places.
What you are looking at is the back cover photo of the sleeve of Sting’s “Love is the Seventh Wave” single from 1985. Note the tactful placement of the right hand and coquettish yet assertive head tilt. All that’s missing is the speech bubble saying ” you know you want this”. Fact is everybody did want this at that time so it wasn’t like he was wrong. Anyway, have always wanted to celebrate the brazen beauty and complete ridiculousness of this photograph, a true vintage “New Wonder”. And now here are some desirable and foxy new songs to stare at with your ears. You can listen on Spotify or Soundcloud and hey, the lists are slightly different as there are a couple of songs only on Soundcloud as of this writing. Eee-yo-oh…
Katherine Paul aka Black Belt Eagle Scout’s just released debut album is a beauty and “Sam…” is it’s most beauteous track of all. What’s surprising is how something so subtle could be such an insidious ear worm: it’s literally one sung verse followed by a lengthy, repetitive, hypnotic guitar line. Heartbreakingly special.
Having your song described as “Beatle-esque” can be a mixed blessing. The main thing it implies is of course that the song will be melodic and have an incredible hook anchoring it…but it also suggests that it’s derivitive and follows a very particular and unoriginal blueprint (that can’t be improved upon at this point). Which is to say all tunes that fall into the “Beatle-esque” category are not created equal. “Hourglass” is one of the former. There are some really fine and clever hooks within it that McCartney himself would approve of, as in it’s really good. And hey also check out Harvie’s “In My Lonley Hour”, another utterly infectious and damn good bit of guitar pop below.
This past week I had an actual dream where Mariah Carey and I decided to drive around Long Island, where we both grew up, and revisit our old haunts. No, we didn’t pick up fellow “Strong Islanders” Billy Joel or Chuck D along the way, it was just us. Can’t remember what I ate that would’ve caused this fantastical vision, and it didn’t inspire me to throw on a Mariah record the next morning. In all honesty the last Mariah record I voluntarily listened to was…okay, it was the “Glitter” soundtrack about 10 trillion years ago…I recollect liking a song on it…okay, that was “Never Too Far”. Anyway, it was weird but we think about pop music 24/7 around here and that includes slumber time. And with that in mind here are even more swell new tunes to soundtrack your best dreams. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below…
It’s not easy to sneer with sadness but “Jungle” somehow manages it in the most gorgeous, echoey, anthemic way possible. It’s a little Garbage, a little Breeders and just ass kickingly good. This one features on Jeen’s forthcoming album, due for release this very week and all signs indicate it will be loud and really damn good.
It’s raining, raining, raining in NYC and there’s actually a cool breeze happening which, after what feels like weeks of solid unbearable heat, is an absolute blessing. During those aforementioned weeks I found myself endlessly listening to and watching “fake” rain. Or rather, watching the endless supply of “rain videos”, in all their manipulative hypnotic glory on YouTube. There it is, falling on leaves, rocks, forest paths, highways and streams. For hours and hours. Listening to “fake” rain instead of listening to actual music…but thankfully there’s a breeze and now less of a need or impulse to do that and there’s a whole lotta FINE NEW MUSIC to take it’s place (for you, me and everyone). Okay, so enjoy the latest Weekly New Wonders Playlist right here. You can listen on Spotify or Soundcloud below. Dig in…
Okay bear with me for a minute here, ready ? The title of Jennifer Lopez’s 1999 debut album was “On the 6” which at the time probably, or at least initially, only made sense to New York City residents with its reference to, you know, the 6 train. With that kind of title it’d be cool to say the album intrinsically captured the feeling, and unpredictable energy of NYC but, of course, it did not. It was typical dance pop circa 1999, the title merely an autobiographical wink from J-Lo to her hometown. The end. Whatever. Okay, come now and meet it’s polar opposite in every way, “On the 5”. Yeah, that’s the 5, as in the West Coast’s ubiquitous freeway/highway/endless road. This thing’s blood is literally made of California, and reeks of suntan lotion, gasoline, blue skies, flowers, and the breeze rushing through the windows of a ’92 Subaru . It longingly dreams about the legendary Summer of Love ( 1967) and references both Revolver, and Pet Sounds in the most romantic and wistful way possible. This isn’t hyperbole I swear, all this stuff is in the actual song which is as sweet and swell as can be.
Yeah, it’s manipulative to use this baby owl with his pleading expression to persuade you to listen to the latest Weekly New Wonders Playlist but there’s no level we won’t sink to around here. A lot of POP features within the list, it was just one of those weirdly concentrated weeks, but like Prince said ” Life it ain’t real funky unless it’s got that pop, dig it”. And on that note, just press play below ( you can listen on either Soundcloud or Spotify), stare into these dark and magical orbs, and meet (hopefully) your new favorite song.
Spotify (click on link):