“How do your thoughts feel when they are drowning?”

“In Colour” by Wooing | “You know Rachel Trachtenberg?” Jeany asked me during one of our chats this week. Now I realize I have mistaken her for Michelle Trachtenberg. Jeany and I are of the same age but our references are quite different, understandably. At least me saying Rachel is an actress isn’t false. (Whew.) We were talking about her new band Wooing, another reference lost to me because now it’s clear I have not heard of Rachel before, but “In Colour”, off their just released EP DayDream Time Machine, is a boozy, woozy thing that drives while bending. I would drive fast to this but then the road would buckle and I would be upside down the next moment, with my tires still on the road. Quite interesting, this. Now, to get both our references straight. [NB]

“How do I look now? Am I a beauty?”

“Girlhood” by the Preatures | Proof that I am woefully out of the loop lately: I missed this. The Preatures – my other favorite Aussie band, but then again there are many – have returned with a track that focuses squarely on their revving sound, but still has that romp through rock history that they did the first time. But listening to this right now, as I write this, makes me harried. I have lots of work to do and I am rushing this to post because I actually scheduled nothing. Again. Here we go. Again. How do I look now? Am I clearly harangued? [NB]

“I lost my mind. I don’t mind.”

“Bellyache” by Billie Eilish | Spot the theme? Well, perhaps it’s all in my mind, that one about today’s song and yesterday’s having titles that start with a B and evoke a narrative of overconsumption and its aftermath. And then there’s me finally catching up on my recording of Triple J’s Good Az Friday this week – it’s been sitting on my queue for weeks, and I finally got to listen to their annual stand-up comedy special a couple of nights ago, with this song in between. I’ve read about how Billie will supposedly set the world on fire considering she’s just 15, but then, that’s hyperbole of the sort you often see from the spin cycle. That’s not to discount her; “Bellyache” is actually quite good, the way it starts from a warm guitar-led bit before going all trap on us. (Is it really trap? I am 28, I was never cool, and I can never be cool.) Like yesterday’s song it also wriggles its way into your head, but in a sublime way. And sparse, like most western pop seems to be these days. The aesthetic just feels so vaguely American. [NB]

“I wish I had somewhere to dance alone.”

“Bubblegum” by Confidence Man | Well, this was fun. Really fun. This is me sort of returning down under, to the really catchy Aussie group (Brisbane in particular) Confidence Man. Funky but not stereotypically so, catchy in a very sublime way, they just… bounce alone. Okay, I don’t really have the words as I write this, so I’ll just leave you “Bubblegum”, as well as their previous song “Boyfriend (Repeat)”. Must. Return. To the Aussies. [NB]

“Gonna take you down and laugh when you cry.”

“Hard Times” by Paramore | I was not supposed to write about this song, but one, I haven’t had time to go through the inbox this week (I have six album reviews tomorrow!) and two, I’m flying to Cebu today for the day job. Well, there’s a third reason: people seem to be split over this song. Those younger than me like how Paramore – with Zac Farro returning on drums – has somewhat embraced the 80s-flavored indie pop sound of the past few months. (“Anyone hear the 1975?” “No, I hear Two Door Cinema Club!”) Those my age are struggling to like it. Some call it mediocre; others think it’s desperate. Me, well, I’m torn. One, Paramore can do good pop songs. (“Ain’t It Fun” still remains a favorite from that era.) But two – and this is not me clinging to old sounds, because I wasn’t into this group like my peers – tropical sounds just don’t fit Hayley Williams. But we’ll have to wait for the new album, After Laughter, to drop in three weeks’ time. Part of me thinks this is all an aberration, that there’s still the old, crunchy Paramore when you dig into the record. Then again, they represented a sound that became homogenous as it went on – and now, it seems, they’re latching on to another sound that has being homogenous as it goes on. [NB]