“It’s the very thought of you that gets me through the night.”

“Birdsong” by Rosie Lowe | I know little about Rosie Lowe, even if I’ve heard about her in passing somewhere someplace. I’ve recently read this is her some of her new songs after a long break. Again, I have no context. But I heard this on the radio and, well, that caught my attention: a steady, entrancing build that you thought would stay that way (because it’s cool) but it instead leads to some epic conclusion, like Florence Welch but freakier. Okay, this is a warning for me, too: start listening to new music again! It’s a nice world out there. [NB]

“You used to be the melody, but now I play the song.”

“Stages” by David Ngyah | All right, all right, one more from the Belgian stretch, then I’ll go back to the inbox. I can’t find much about David Ngyah, apart from the fact that he’s based in Antwerp and that he was part of this track from a couple of years back, also impacting mostly within Belgium. So not much to work with, really, considering I’m still in the middle of recovering my MP3s and I can’t do much with this computer while it does so. But it seems “Stages” – this nice groover that stays in its toes – is just a prelude to a bunch of new stuff. Maybe if I stick around with the Belgians I’ll hear more. But we’ll see… [NB]

“Nobody moves the way you do.”

“Faraway Look” by Yola | All right, one more I found through Belgian radio, but, sure, Yola is British. And her debut album, out tomorrow – maybe I should review it? – is produced by Dan Auerbach, whose sound is, I’ll have to say, reasonably American. But still, wow. This is such a big song, both because her vocals are quite distinctive, and because the production around it just ties in very nicely. I probably have heard this song many times this past week, but I’ve been so busy I forget to make mental notes. Today, however, my worst nightmare happened: the external hard drive containing all my songs has gone corrupt, so, while I’m off hoping I can recover everything, well, this song feels apt. [NB]

“외모만 보고 내가 날라리 같대요. So what?”

“Dalla Dalla” by Itzy | K-pop followers know that popularity in the scene is almost always down to luck: that explains all the “you’re sleeping on…” comments on YouTube from desperate fans. Still, you’ll have to admit anything the Big Three agencies debut gets a bit more attention. So, say hello to Itzy, the new girl group from JYP Entertainment, aka the guys who brought us Twice (and miss A and the Wonder Girls previously). Originally this is where we’d ponder about whether Jeon Somi, Produce 101 first placer whose career virtually stalled – and who since moved to a YG sublabel for a debut later this year – would’ve fit this concept. Instead, we’re coming in here after Blackpink made their American television debut, which makes us more sure Itzy is also aiming for that sound… kind of. I’d call them a Blackpink-ed Twice. Shalla’s got a better description: they’re a bit like CLC, that girl group that also has a big label backing them (Cube, in this case) but can’t quite break through in both their original configuration and their HyunA-ed up girl crush one. See, it is all down to luck. And perhaps personal preference, too. Have I said I like the debut from Cherry Bullet? Have I also said it’s seeing IZ*ONE’s Chaeyoung’s sister here takes some getting used to? [NB]

“I’ve got a million and one things running through my mind.”

“Tell Me So” by Paola Mauricio | Paola’s back, after a little over a year, and this music video (which dropped last night) couldn’t have come at a better time. Well, partly because it’s our last week of new posts for the year, but also because I’ve been grappling with these very thoughts lately. I feel left behind by my peers, and I am turning 30. Paola’s got these very thoughts too. After a horrific accident which she came out of surprisingly unscathed, she decided to quit her day job and try music one more time. “It’s not particularly easy for me to be pursuing music now while my friends are moving up the corporate ladder or getting opportunities I could only dream of,” she said. “But then I thought, ‘I almost had my life taken from me. I have nothing to lose from giving this another try.'” So, a cautiously optimistic angle. The further you get into this, the more you think you can’t catch up. But it’s nice to know it’s not just you – because you do tend to think you’re alone in these things. A nice reminder, even if at the moment, in your particular circumstances, you don’t think you could use it. [NB]