“All I feel is emptiness without you by my side.”

“Don’t Talk About Paula” by Tremorheart | In recent weeks Monocle 24‘s been digging up its crates, perhaps to make up for the fact that they’re playing less music across the day. (It means EXID’s “Up & Down” gets played a lot now, but not their new single, which I love.) It also means I’m hearing songs I haven’t heard on the station before, but turn out to be old, relatively. This one, for instance, came from Tremorheart, a band from Oxford that seems to have gone off the radar since 2015 – around the time they released this. It’s unusual, this history: it seems the group didn’t move out of the unsigned phase, or at least the obscure indie one. This song, however, is quite catchy, in a sublime, funky way. It lingers nicely. And then, like the band, it somehow ends. [NB]

“내 전부를 터트리는 이 순간.”

“Ready! Get Set! Go!” by Peppertones | My cousin Jeanna was a bit dismayed to learn that I was building a K-pop playlist when we flew to Seoul back in 2015. “No Korean indie?” she asked. I wanted some, but back then I was really reliant on the stuff in Shalla’s library. Fast forward to today and there’s a fair amount of indie on there, but not this song. I have one Peppertones track, but not this song. I only heard it on South Korean radio last week – I was tuned in because my mother was in Busan and I had to set the mood somehow. It’s a duo – Shin Jae-pyung and Lee jang-won – with some sort of Shibuya-kei dreams, if only a bit more forward, with more of an 80s vibe. But this song feels very Monday morning-esque, especially if you’re the positive kind. (I’m not, so to Tuesday morning it goes.) Trying to figure out the thinking behind the “I’m a new black star” lyric, though. I have just rewatched Cosmos, after all, so… black holes? Dark energy? [NB]


「ラビリンス’97」 by Chelmico | I am writing about this song solely on the strength of one publicity photo, stumbled upon while lamenting (still) the inability to listen to the bigger Japanese radio stations online, and this song, stumbled upon in pursuit of said publicity photo. We can be shallow here. We can also be fans of catchy pop. Chelmico is Mamiko and Rachel, two rappers from Japan that give me the very same vibe I got when I first stumbled upon Korean rapper Kisum. This one’s glittery, though, this and their other tracks; they released an eponymous debut record last year, and “Love Is Over” soars in a nice way. But I’ll square in on their debut (I think) because it’s catchy and sublime and, well, glittery. And it’s the first one I saw. [NB]

“We may never really know how equally impactful and unimportant we are.”

“Doomsday Clock” by Abbe May | Don’t tell me you aren’t drawn to this song on the basis of its opening words and nothing more. And don’t tell me you did not bop your head, or do some involuntary motion based on rhythm, throughout this song. And yet, “the world is going to end!” is an undercurrent you don’t exactly want to live with. Abbe May is another Aussie artist (yes, clearly I’m listening to a fair amount of Double J lately) and, despite the gravitas in her voice, is just 29. Perhaps that is my hook. I expected her to be a veteran, but then, I know little about Aussie music (despite listening to relatively high amounts of it). There’s just something convincing about how she sings about our doom, like she’s seen it all. But then, being young doesn’t mean not having seen it all. Maybe she has – perhaps she has seen enough to know we ought to be grooving when the world goes dark. [NB]

“I’ll check with my boyfriend and see if it’s fine.”

“Ruby” by Charly Bliss | Once again, a song I am a year behind on, but, you know, I should stop making excuses for this behavior. I think I should return to paying close attention to European alternative radio stations again – but, yes, this band is from New York, and, yes, their debut full-length just dropped a few weeks ago. Most interesting bit about Charly Bliss, perhaps, is how chunky their guitars sound, but how clear Eva Hendricks’ vocal is – like the best of two worlds, if both worlds clearly came from the 90s. I heard this in isolation on Monday (I was having a pedicure – yes) and wasn’t sure which era this was from, which, according to some standards, is good. Chunky good. [NB]