The rugby wasn’t very good, was it?
Fear not, Monday is here. No amount of burly Australians can stop you getting your teeth into these four vaguely new pop songs.
Kacy Hill – Foreign Fields[video:https://youtu.be/KrKiNn55TuA align:center]
For fans of James Blake.
Actually no, there’s more to Kacy Hill than that.
For one, she’s the former backing dancer of Kanye West who now has the backing of the monster-star’s record label. Which is big acclaim – it really is – till you remember that that was once half true for forgotten future star Mr. Hudson.
Secondly, whilst the cold post-dubstep piano and wobbles are so James Blake they honestly could have been sampled, there’s an added exuberance to her work that sets the two artists apart. Kacy’s tracks are less 5am comedown and a little more… Joyful?
The gradual climax that comes at the end of ‘Foreign Fields’ could actually raise a smile – not the empty void that emerges after a James Blake emotion wrencher. Kacy Hill just seems a little more life affirming, or at the very least just appropriate for daytime listening.
Broken Back – Happiest Man On Earth[video:https://youtu.be/j01T8N7wVK0]
‘Happiest Man On Earth’ comes from a strange mixing pot of influences.
On the one hand there’s the slightly niche The Shins esc backing vocals and Scandinavian singing vibes, a random smattering of bongos too, then on the other there’s a refined, polished sense that this could have come from a mainstream radio band like Imagine Dragons or One Republic.
Personally I think this track sits on the right side of vanilla-pop – the weird components stand out just enough to make the song interesting whilst not just confusing the matter – but there is still a sense that if this is picked up by radio it could go big, Hoizer big. One for the future maybe.
Liam McClair – Someday
Liam McClair is a relatively new artist, hailing from the endlessly-artist-producing area of Manchester.
Predominately an acoustic singer person, on ‘Someday’ Liam promotes himself to leader and captain of a (seemingly) ten-piece soul band and gospel choir. The result is uplifting to say the least.
Building as the track progresses, from acoustic guitar to the aforementioned mega-band, the song drips of longing and wistfulness till the chorus hits with a big drop of cheerful simplicity;
‘Someday I’ll be yours/you’ll be mine/we’ll be safe’
Every singer/songwriter needs a selling point, hence James Bay’s hat, and to be honest even without a makeshift Arcade Fire as his backing band (maybe exaggerating a little far now) Liam has one in his lovely, breathy, honest, vocal chords. It might sound crazy, but he actually is just rather good at singing. No gimmicks, no cross-genre experiments, no hats, just him being good at what he does.
Etherwood – Light My Way Home[video:https://youtu.be/G-DhAxHC7q0 align:center]
Forgive me, for this final track is at least a month old now. There is however a distinct lack of drum and bass featured in New Music Monday so I think we can let this one slide.
Following the likes of Netsky and High Contrast, Etherwood is another of the Hospital Records crowd to try a more crossover sound. It’s something that’s been reasonably successful for other artists in the charts, most notably Rudimental, Wilkinson, Sigma etc.
‘Light My Way Home’ features all the drum-pop-and-bass hallmarks – trumpets, emotional piano chords, a relatively unknown female vocalist (see Becky Hill, Ella Eyre, Maiday) – whilst still holding onto the high tempo euphoric drive that makes drum and bass really good. In terms of credibility there’s also a sample of Hospital Records founder London Elektricity – can’t really argue with that.
What do you think of our song choices this week? Let us know in the comments below!