“God knows I’ve tried to be good.”

“God Knows I’ve Tried” by Kelsy Karter | All right, Monday – first day of the second busiest week of my year. (The busiest is next week, but you know how things tend to blend together.) As a bit of a warning, I’ll go on a slight autopilot in the coming days, and complete autopilot next week. We’ll still post stuff – that’s how crazy I can be. But with this song in the background, I don’t think I’d mind that much. Kelsy Karter is born in New Zealand and raised in Los Angeles, and “God Knows I’ve Tried” is her new single – and “rousing” puts it way too simply. This one is powerful and heartfelt and it does not lean too hard on you. And to her, it’s personal, a song about fighting to be herself in a world that asks her not to be – and yet, she manages to make that feel universal and unintrusive. That can be a difficult balance to make, and she pulls it off. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

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“…but it’s nothing compared to what we once had.”

“Temporary” by Wayi | Still on the inbox, because we’re too busy to find our own stuff now, and also because it’s getting stockpiled, and also because there’s actually this song on there, which I find refreshing first thing in the morning. Wayi, from Belgium, has this soulfulness I can always get back on, and she does not need to pile it on. Considering this is a song about jealousy, I understand there’s the temptation to be all high and mighty, but here, the 25-year-old stays her ground. Nice one, this. “Temporary”, her second single, is part of her upcoming EP Love In Progress, which is looking soulful already. More, please. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“I’m sure there’s much to rediscover.”

“New York” by David Ayscue | I like myself a simple track, one where you don’t really have to think about an angle to make things special. So, here’s one. Unlike what the name suggests, this isn’t a paean to a hometown, but rather, one about rediscovery, about catching up. That, and David Ayscue is actually from Los Angeles, and he grew up in San Francisco. “New York” is simple but colorful, with evocative storytelling that doesn’t need to do too much to prove itself. That said, this song reminds me very much of Jeany, come to think of it. She grew up in the west coast before moving to the east coast, and now, when we get to talk, there would be a random invitation for me to come over. She’d take me to gigs, she says. Well, going to New York would be nice, but then, I live in the Philippines, and immigration laws are not nice even to well-meaning vacationers like me. I’ll always have to say pass until I die, I’m afraid. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“We’re soulmates, half-connected brains.”

“Cotton On Your Skin” by Morse | Start with the music video. Just watch it. Done? All right, now listen to the song. It’s such a creeper. This was sold to me as a bit of a groover, but I was expecting something to come up, and it didn’t. But this is a song that does not need to make a grand statement to fulfill its mission. It’s a good time to bring out the “wriggles its way into your head” line I often use in this song. It’s really evocative, this. So, this guy is named Morse, he’s from Lausanne (hello to the Swiss again) and he released this, alongside another single “Terrace Hill”, just this Friday. Everything about this is sparse, from the actual sound to the fact that he worked on almost all of this himself. You can hear the isolation – and you can hear the groove in the isolation. Who would’ve thought? [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“We’re looking for somebody to love.”

“Only Human” by Maggie Szabo | This came in the inbox at a pretty good time, because Sierra Burgess is a Loser just dropped on Netflix and half of everybody seems to be talking about it. It’s not the sort of thing I’d watch (if you’re curious, Shalla’s roped me into watching House of Flowers) but this song is something I could get behind on. Maggie Szabo was born in Ontario but is now based in Los Angeles; her music’s of the glittery yet gritty electro pop mold that surprisingly appeals to me. I don’t know where this song comes in, but outside the movie it’s a strong track that some headstrong yet sweet sentiments. I told you, I could get – and have gotten – behind this. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)