Sometimes you listen to new songs back to back, other times you pick a few and let them stew. Some of my recent favourites have been out for some time now, while some are fresh from the kitchen. Either way, Listen 2021 is growing into a fairly eclectic but not too far fetched mix of songs. It is ultimately a collection of my pure unadulterated favourites from here there and everywhere – whether that be the new and upcoming with fresh and exciting hits, or the well established with straight up undeniable bangers. Essentially, it’s a little bit of me and that means almost anything goes.
James Humphrys – Three Weeks
There is something just immediately loveable about James Humphrys. Smooth, straight talking vocals transition into a sweetly sung bridge in new track ‘Three Weeks’. Though it explores “new found vulnerabilities and loneliness exposed by current events”, this is nothing short of upbeat and cheerful. Paired with a music video featuring Jessie Mei Li from Netlix’s upcoming Shadow and Bone, it details relatable and intimate moments in a beautifully tender way, echoing the song’s vibes in every which way. It is a big old earworm that perfectly lifts the mood and gets you dancing around the house non-stop – a sure essential right now.
Island – Octopus
This was very much an instant addition – the kind of song you hear three seconds of and know it is going to be up your street. ‘Octopus’ has everything a sweet indie pop song should have, with a little something extra. It explores nostalgia in a daydream state – memories of teenage rebellion simmering to the surface. Island have mastered an ideal balance of rhythm and melody here as ‘Octopus’ carries those energetic memories in a soothing swing, as if uniting that feeling of wanting to grow with the desire to stay young.
Gal Go Grey – Flama
Let’s talk about sax, because this track has a lot of it, and boy does it ooze rich and sensual energy. The London based duo, saxophonist Gal Go (Ignacio Salvadores) and experimental producer Tom Grey, create a wonderful soundscape with Flama, resulting in something that you just can’t get enough of. A smooth unification of brass instrumental and electronic music comes with the announcement of a self-titled album to be released 16th March. If this atmospheric new track is just a taste of what is to come, I am so ready for the whole thing. I can just imagine playing it one evening and simply blissing out.
ĠENN – Feel
Now I love me some psychedelic guitar rock, so this new track from Brighton’s ĠENN just struck every chord in my heart. Deep brooding guitars and bass lines travel towards a shoegaze shimmer of a trance. It is a track about drug dependency and escapism, so pretty much wraps itself up in a neat little cliché bow, from the sound, the name and visual – but clichés are not always a bad thing. This is one hell of an addictive song and is a great sign of things to come from their upcoming Liminal EP out on 30th March.
United Kingdolls – UK Hun?
If you think I came in to writing this post without considering mentioning the most infectious, catchy banger to come ever out of Drag Race, then you are sorely mistaken. Who gave those Queens in United Kingdolls the right? My brain has not stopped going bing bang bong, my love for Bimini has multiplied more than ever, and I am absolutely certain of my top four – that’s for sure. I think it is fair to say that their performance on the show really sold the song and one of the stand out lyrics for me personally is “I like it rough, but my lentils tender”. This song is just pure fun and brings me so much joy – I couldn’t not include it. Bing bang bong.
All of these tracks plus many others can be found on my Spotify in the Listen 2021 playlist, which I will be updating frequently. Let me know your favourite new track!