On The Stereo: January 2021
A new year and a new format as we switch to a monthly playlist, starting with these 15 fantastic songs
MORE DEEPLY (IN LOVE WITH YOU) BY BOYS MEET GIRL
Kicking off our official listening this year is More Deeply (In Love With You), the first new single in 18 years from pop duo Boys Meet Girl. Their hallmark of massive and uplifting hooks remains fully intact, exactly what is needed right now.
LEARN BY DRONES
“Is this heaven or hell?” laments vocalist Lois McDougall on Learn, the latest impassioned release from post-hardcore band Drones. It’s a track which twists and turns as it trails a failing relationship, the band battling their hardest to keep things going.
RISING BY MARIE DAHLSTROM, DAN DIGGAS, ALIGO
Rising is the latest collaboration between Marie Dahlstrom, Aligo and Dan Diggas and it’s a dreamy pop number that reflects the fluttering feeling of being deeply in love. The trippy feel brings out the best in all three.
POWER CUT BY NIGHTSHIFT
Recorded remotely, and separately, during lockdown, Nightshift’s Power Cut lands on a groove which shows that connection doesn’t have to be physical. For those who like their music reviews to come with comparisons, imagine Nico fronting Deerhunter.
OVERSHARERS ANONYMOUS BY WILD PINK
Ramping up the lush production and expanding the instrumental space without losing any of the lyrical charm, Oversharers Anonymous is the latest sign that the upcoming album from Wild Pink is going to be an early highlight of 2021.
WALK WITH ME BY GOLDFORD
Walk With Me by Goldford is a unifying anthem which is as soulful as it is powerful. Channelling the greats like Sam Cooke, the LA-based singer-songwriter has come up with a song which cuts to the heart of the matter, “We’re all in this together.”
STUPID THINGS BY MARIIA TSVETKOVA
The inspiration for Stupid Things came from Mariia Tsvetkova mining past relationships and the mistakes she keeps making. Even so, the song itself, driven by catchy acoustic guitar, manages to sound fresh and light.
MODERN YUPPIES BY HOME COUNTIES
Modern Yuppies by Home Counties find the band evolving their indie sound into synth-heavy post-punk reminiscent of a funkier Fall or poppier PIL. Eccentric the track may be, but it’s also catchy as hell and a needed injection of squelchy fun.
BEAUTY IN THE SPACES BY RXTH
Beauty In The Spaces is the debut single from alt-pop chanteuse RXTH and it’s a confident start. The song broods and bubbles away as it burrows into your psyche, her soulful vocals an engaging contrast to the modern production.
ONCE BY ANNA LEONE
On Anna Leone’s Once there is strength in simplicity and power in peacefulness. The singer-songwriter from Stockholm ruminates on being stuck in familiar behaviour patterns as the backing track grows in intensity, helping her break free.
TO YOU, MY FRIEND BY HUNTER SHERIDAN
On To You, My Friend Canadian singer-songwriter Hunter Sheridan brings his lyrical honesty and stirring vocals. Chiming guitars and the thunder of drums are also on hand to ramp up this ode to the people who help make life beautiful.
ALTAR BY CHERRY DRAGON
Altar by Cherry Dragon is a gospel-powered anthem which demands your attention. A veritable bric-a-brac of percussive noise and SFX provide additional intrigue, and marks this Nigerian-Irish songwriter as someone to keep a close eye on.
WALK ME HOME BY SUNGLASSES FOR JAWS
On Walk Me Home, London duo Sunglasses For Jaws bring back the squelchy, psychedelic fun of early MGMT. Otherworldly synths and obfuscated vocals help this tale of temptation lift off to another dimension.
ONE DAY BY VIVII
One Day was born on a rainy Brooklyn rooftop two years ago and its mantra has been carried by Swedish dream-pop trio Vivii ever since. Now a single, we can all enjoy this ambrosial delight as it drifts across the sky.
OH WHAT A GODAWFUL STUPID IDEA BY JOSIE PROTO
Already big fans of Josie Proto’s idiosyncratic pop music, new EP Oh What a Godawful Stupid Idea has us certain she’s destined for big things. It’s impossible to pick a standout song, but Kids TV has our attention right now.
Words: Duncan Haskell