In which I ramble on a bit about some new tunes and videos which have caught my eyes and ears. This week: Mamamoo, Justin Timberlake, Warm Digits and Manic Street Preachers.
Mamamoo, “Paint Me”
This K-Pop group is a new one on me, but this piano-led ballad has the kind of soaring, universe-piercing chorus not heard often in pop of today, and manages to be entirely heartbreaking and moving despite the fact I’ve no idea what they’re singing. Bonus points for a video comprised of the four Mamamoo ladies standing gravely in a series of magnificent frocks around a piano which is apparently playing itself.
Justin Timberlake, “Filthy”
In my previous life as a PhD student, I attended many academic conferences, and I must say they would have been considerably livened up if speakers were obliged to leap upon the stage with confetti and dancing robots and deliver their lecture through the medium of pop. I am a somewhat fairweather fan of the Timberlake, have mainly paid attention during the era of sparse futuristic classics like “Sexyback” and “My Love”. While not quite soaring to the same heights, this tune seems to bode well for a return to that approach.
Warm Digits featuring Sarah Cracknell, “Growth of Rainbows”
Though this video was apparently published in August, it has only come up my attention this week when I heard the song on 6 Music and immediately thought ‘how have I never heard this fab song when Sarah Cracknell is singing it?’ The psychedlic swirls of the video perfectly accompany the hypnotic circling tunefulness of the song, and Sarah is as ever, the embodiment of perfect pop. A glorious discovery.
Manic Street Preachers, “International Blue”
The Manics are back, and all is right in the world. This is so very Manic, in the punch and sweep of its keyboards, in its huge chords, an anthem at an angle. Makes me nostalgic for a future in which I am going to be shouting along to it at arenas around the country. The video, with the three boys standing in meaningful poses around Nice while a Japanese women races around in search of the perfect blue of which to take a polaroid snap, is simultaneouly earnest and silly and very, very beautiful.