Birdflipper – Come On!

“A fun and definitely not gimmicky 360º video.”

Tim: New Swedish group, EP out now, and here’s one of their tracks, with a fun and definitely not gimmicky 360º video.

Tim: I’ll be honest: I don’t like that video.

Tom: Media world: stop trying to make 360º video happen. It’s not going to happen.

Tim: No. And here’s the deal: I like the let’s have fun and party vibe, but the 360º thing ruins it. I want to be able to watch everything happening – I don’t want to be swinging my phone around wildly worrying about what I’m missing out on, when I should be paying attention to the music as well.

BUT ANYWAY, I do like the song, sounding as it does like an early Avril Lavigne track (by which I mean the ones she did before she got replaced by a lookalike).

Tom: The trouble with bands like this is they’ll always get compared to either Avril Lavigne or Paramore, and it’s difficult for the sound to stand on its own. This is pretty good, although… look, it’s basically a Paramore album track at best, and I sort of hate myself for making that comparison.

Tim: It’s fun, it’s rocky – I’ve always got room for decent female-fronted rock – so all in all I’m very much in favour. The whole EP’s in a similar vein, so if you like this it’s definitely worth a bit of your time. CHECK IT OUT.

Samir & Viktor – Kung

“Exactly what we’d expect from them.”

Tim: Viktor off these two had a solo song out recently; it was a bit rubbish to be honest, all gentle guitary and ballady and basically bollocks. HOWEVER, they’re back as a duo, sounding GREAT, and also a bit offensive: an English/Swedish f-bomb right from the get go, and a couple of Swedish ones in each chorus. And some spelt out in the video. Basically, if you’re a prude, come back tomorrow.

Tom: Okay, let’s got one thing out of the way: that’s a really irritating introduction, with what sounds like a tin-whistle and a rewind. But the mood’s pretty clear.

Tim: Indeed – PARTY PARTY PARTY because that track has got me enthused enough to clap my hands above my head, not a frequent occurrence. As with most of their songs. as long as the vocals have been tweaked for a studio recording it sounds really good. Well, good enough for what they want it to be, anyway.

Tom: I’m not sure any of the individual parts match together: the verse, pre-chorus, chorus and middle eight all sound like they’ve been brought in from different songs.

Tim: Hmm – there’s certainly different styles between them, you’re right. But regardless, it’s exactly what we’d expect from them – enthusiastic, getting everybody involved (particularly with De Vet Du joining them in the video for no apparent reason) and a fair amount of people getting their kit off.

Tom: I know very little about De Vet Du, but between Road Trip and this I seem to have taken an instinctive liking to them. They know they’re being ridiculous, whereas Samir and Viktor just seem to be trying a bit too hard.

Tim: When it gets results like this, though, I don’t mind extra effort. I’m very glad they’re back together and PLEASE don’t take a break again.

Saturday Flashback: Katrina & The Waves – Love Shine A Light

“And that’s how you do Eurovision.”

Tim: Tonight, the big night, the second biggest night of the year in European music television, and largely very disappointing indeed. Therefore, let’s not finish off with a similarly disappointing reject, but instead celebrate and think of what Eurovision should be, with one of the greatest winners. Ever.

Tim: And that’s how you do Eurovision.

Tom: With a live orchestra, a song that was designed as an anthem for the Samaritans, and one missing shoulder pad.

Tim: And a small ‘woo’ as the main guitar kicks in.

Tom: We’ll be that good again, someday, Tim. Someday.

Tim: Someday.

Moment – All This Time

“Well, that’s a pretty dull first v– oh.”

Tim: We featured their last tune about a month back and both enjoyed it; they’ve now pointed us in the direction of this, their new one.

Tom: Well, that’s a pretty dull first v– oh.

Tim: Yes indeed, and I will absolutely take that. Verses don’t do anything for me, same as you, but I’m guessing they’re not meant to – all about that chorus, and what an instrumental it is in the second part of it.

Tom: You can’t hang an entire song on just a chorus — well, okay, you can, but it has to be absolutely spectacular. Don’t get me wrong, though, this is a good chorus.

Tim: Proper banging, proper dancey, and there’s not a lot more to say about it. Two good tracks in two months, and that’s a good rate as far as I’m concerned. Though still, wouldn’t mind a bit more in those verses.

2 Blyga Läppar & Drängarna – Iskall öl & Captain Morgan

“Ridiculous, but brilliant.”

Tim: 2 Blyga Läppar are a band that specialise in party-esque tracks; Drängarna are a rock dansband. Right now, they’re singing about ice cold beer and a certain brand of rum. Prediction: you’ll smile.

Tim: And oh, the number of times I’ve pressed play on that since I first heard it.

Tom: I did smile. During that introduction, and during the chorus, and during that soaring guitar solo middle eight. How long has it been since we’ve heard a guitar solo middle eight? And what’s it about? Other than alcohol.

Tim: Well, they’re bored of the system, you see, cycling to work and back every day (like they do in Vietnam), but, as we get to the chorus, it’s the weekend, so come over, party, relax in the sun, drink the aforementioned drinks. We’re offering free spirits and sticks of dynamite, just as long as you’re happy. And boy, am I happy.

Tom: The string section taking the main melody is ridiculous, but brilliant. It’s worth nothing, too, that the modern pop song structure of the last few years — that you have two choruses, one vocal and one instrumental — has now gone back into dansband numbers like this.

Tim: This is, I think the most ludicrous song we’ve featured in a while, just for the beautiful combination of guitar rock, those string like you said, and the utter silly joy that emanates from every single second of it. And I love it. Get me a two song playlist with this and last week’s Drifters track, and I’ll be happy for a good few days.

Serlina – Puste Under Vann

“Hey, it’s an Alan Walker track!”

Tim: Hey, it’s an Alan Walker track!

Tom: It took me a while to realise why you said it, but yes, that’s an Alan Walker track.

Tim: And with it, I’ve realised exactly what tiny single component it is that makes me associate a track with him – yes, you’ve got the slightly disconcerting dipping of the synths for every other drumbeat, but more specifically than that: it’s that synthy beep noise instead of the expected piano in the post-chorus.

Tom: It’s worth noting that the second line of synths, though, under that main melody, are more like something you’d find in an early-2000s eurodance track. That’s pleasingly retro, as far as I’m concerned.

Tim: During the verses and vocal part of the chorus, where you’ve got your standard piano, it’s a good, pleasingly non-tropical piece of dance music, and you’re right, almost retro. It’s a standard sound, but it’s a good variant of a standard sound.

Tom: Yep, it’s by-the-numbers, but they’re good numbers Brent.

Tim: Excellent meme appropriation there, good work.

Tom: And now I feel like I’ve done a bad thing.

Tim: Oh, and now I feel bad as well, I’m sorry.

Tom: Anyway, yes, most of it’s standard.

Tim: Hit the second part of the chorus, though, bring that beep in, and suddenly there it is. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all, as it’s a sound that I like, and unlike Kygo’s tropical sound hasn’t yet been appropriated by what feels like 80% of all pop music that has ever existed. It’s a good track, and for now I enjoy it. Just, you might want to check in with me three years from now.

Niall Horan – Slow Hands

“That’s an improvement.”

Tim: On Friday we wrote about Katy Perry going from a great track to a terrible track. Niall’s debut track, as we’ve already detailed, was utterly atrocious, which leads me, pleasingly, to be able to say that there’s only (wait for it) ONE DIRECTION (hahahahahahah you see it’s funny because he used to– yep– oh, you’ve got– okay, fine) he can go from there.

Tom: Well, like you guessed, that’s an improvement. I don’t think it’s all that good — it’s one of those songs where the middle eight is the best bit, which isn’t a great sign — but at least it’s not a dirge.

Tim: Indeed, and so the question on everybody’s lips is WHY THE HELL wasn’t that the lead single? This Town, deservedly, barely scraped the Top 10; it was beaten comprehensively by James Arthur, for God’s sake. This, on the other hand, is an enjoyable track, with life to it, a funky personality, and a happiness to hear it again.

Tom: I don’t think the phrase “funky personality” has been used outside early-90s episodes of Blind Date, but you’ve got a point there.

Tim: Apparently he wrote about 70 tracks for his new album, so hopefully he took the lesson from last time and will be binning off all the dreadful melty ballads in favour of lively music like this. Come on Niall, do the right thing.

Lea Michele – Run To You

“She has a style, and it works.”

Tim: Lea (off Glee, and Cannonball) has a style, and it works. It is demonstrated by this, and also by all but two of the tracks on her new album.

Tom: Yep, that’s a rejected Adele single right there.

Tim: She has a strong voice, and she knows that. She doesn’t want any big instrumentation to take attention away from it, so beyond a piano line, occasional drumbeats and the odd string section, it’s all her, right up until the closing chorus when we’re all in for the big finish. And my word, does that work.

Tom: It does, and you’re absolutely right about her voice — and she’ll be able to do it live, too — but it’s impossible not to compare this against other Big Vocal Tracks, and I can’t help feeling that the producers should have gone for a big chorus on the first verse. The energy it has just slips away.

Tim: Perhaps, but that almost makes it better when it does come back at the end. And so while it does make for a same-y album, if same-y is this strength of ballads, I really don’t care.

Saturday Reject: Arnar Jónsson & Rakel Pálsdóttir – Again

“Eventually.”

Tim: Last week, I said that I wanted a Eurovision track to make me feel something other than lethargy. This one does. Eventually.

Tim: And it’s very much the eventually that is the key word there. This song spends a full three quarters of its running time almost willing me to go to sleep, as if it’s realised that yep, the time is now to head to the toilet or the kettle.

Tom: Don’t get those two confused, Tim.

Tim: Thanks for the tip. I think no, though, I’ll give it a bit of time to see if it improves, and I’ll wait a minute or so, at least until the end of the first chorus, or maybe until the middle eight gets going (or, in this case, completely fails to). But soon, I’ll think “sod this” and get up off my sofa.

Tom: It is definitely a builder — and with some very promising parts in it — but it’s also a very slow one.

Tim: Way, way too slow, because having left it that late, I’ll then entirely miss the good bit. The 45 seconds of this three minute song that is actually worth hearing. And that would be a real shame. So, I guess the moral here is, if you’re going to have a good bit at the end, either be really awful at the start so people go quickly, or just be good all the way through. I know which I’d prefer.

Tom: “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” is still good advice.

Tim: And never more than here.

Katy Perry feat. Migos – Bon Appétit

“It starts low with the mandatory school register, and never really improves.”

Tom: Chained to the Rhythm“, while we never wrote about it here, was a brilliant first single from the upcoming album, matched with a creative video. So surely the second one’s going to be at least clo– well, you can probably see where I’m going back to this.

Tom: Full marks for including the acute diacritic in “appétit”. No marks for basically any other part of this song.

Tim: Yeah. It starts low with the mandatory school register, and never really improves.

Tom: No melody to speak of. Repetitive as hell. Really dire lyrics that are just a series of bad food/sex metaphors. The unnecessary, but inevitable, rap middle eight.

Tim: You know it’s coming, you don’t want it to, because you know it’ll sound bad, but there it is anyway, adding absolutely nothing to the song at all.

Tom: The final chorus isn’t that bad, but by the time it arrives, I was more than ready to skip.

Tim: NEXT PLEASE.