Some waffle about new music. Brought to you by the letter ‘P’ rollerskating through the 1980s with Pale Waves, Paramore, Paul Draper, Poliça and the (Manic Street) Preachers.
Pale Waves, “The Tide”
Pale Waves are one of many new pop groups who, in a just world, would be storming the top 10 on a regular basis. This tune has all the best bits of 80s guitar pop – a jangly riff, a yearning tune full of harmony-soaked hooks, and a video full of the band looking emotively eyeliner-drenched at a storming gig. If Pales Waves are not surfing the top of the charts by the year’s end there’s no justice in the world.
Paramore, “Rose-Colored Boy”
Here is a jaunty bop with cheerleader shouts and a video parodying the optimistically shoulder-padded excesses of 80s TV. It’s full of the kind of heartfelt tunefulness not seen much this side of the millennium, and the chorus is all harmonies and glitter and basically, it would have been number one for weeks in 1982, but alas, it’s 2018 so the charts are full of Autotune Boyz ft Mumble MC. Or maybe I’m just too old for this.
Paul Draper, “Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion”
This is my favourite song from Paul Draper’s “Spooky Action” album of last year, a spooky, synth-driven ode to the mesmerising, soul-shredding force of jealousy. It’s a re-recorded, trimmed down version, and as such loses some of the hypnotic quality of the epic album version, but still a top electropop ballad to blow up your chess set to. And if you like this, I urge you to experience the full album version here.
Poliça and Stargaze, “Agree”
This is a mellow tune, yet it is somehow disjointed and jarring, a mellow melody disrupted by unexpected chords and melodic turns. The video evokes a dark urban fairytale, with odd body parts frozen in random static scenes, perfectly evoking the strange melancholy of the tune. An odd and captivating discovery.
Manic Street Preachers, “International Blue” (The Bluer Skies Version)
I have just been re-reading my diary entries for my first three Manics gigs of 1996, in preparation for their upcoming All The Gigs Of My Life entries, and so I am full of Manics-inspired joy & alienation & love & despair. This is an acoustic version of their recent single and is perfectly pleasant and tuneful, unless you’re someone who has lived and breathed for the Manics as long as you can remember, in which case, the mere fact that the Manics are still here in 2018, releasing wonderful acoustic versions of their amazing recent singles, is reason enough to leap about the room with heart-bursting glee. (Possibly after a few glasses of wine.) (It is Friday night, after all.)