“Work, work, work, work, work, work.”

“Work” by Rihanna featuring Drake | Well, all right, this is a lazy post. Today I camp to a hotel for a big event for the next couple of days – that explains the lack of thought in the past few weeks. So consider this thing on autopilot until Friday, at least. I have reviews pre-written for this occasion alone. Now, to be like Mamamoo[NB]

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“Let me try to measure up to you.”

“Good For You” by the Keymakers | Let’s stick to the groovy lane – out of necessity, for I am pre-writing everything because I will be very busy this week. This one’s from the inbox, released last week: some lovely, old school, not-at-all-annoying R&B from Boston-based brothers (Rome Alexander and Rederic) the Keymakers. I did say old school (even the name feels so 80s) but it doesn’t really feel like it – there are some modern touches here – but I think you’ll appreciate how melodic this is, how it does not rely on tricks to feel “now”. It’s good, chill, melodic… if I wasn’t that busy, it would really floor me, how it picks up. But good one, this. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“그냥 좋다 싫다 한마디가 어려운 걸까?”

“Right?” by Primary featuring Soyou | My next K-pop obsession is this, because it’s such a chill groove. Do I have to prolong that? Is that enough? I have lots of things to do – you want me to elaborate on that? Okay, then. Primary is a producer, mostly for hip-hop, but his latest mini, Pop, goes the chill groove route. It got a bit of attention for the first new music from EXID‘s Solji, who was sidelined from her group’s last release for medical reasons – but then the single was this one with Soyou, formerly of summer mavens Sistar. Well, she can be relied on for those breathy, sexy, yet quite coy songs – see another K-pop classic, her duet with Junggigo, “Some” – but this has this little bit of magic that means I have to play it at least once a day. That enough? I have work to do, excuse me. [NB]

Review: Antisocialites by Alvvays

Antisocialites by AlvvaysWell, this one was fun. Sure, Alvvays don’t really trade exclusively on fun. In fact, teir songs always have this tinge of melancholy – an acknowledgement that things aren’t really going as well as they should be – but, well, keep your head up, soldier on. Antisocialites is the second album from the Toronto band, and if one thing stands out, it’s that it’s so tight. Every single song is, well, fun. The hooks land just right, the songs build up nicely, and there seems to be something new with Molly Rankin’s vocal – it feels more awash in reverb. If anything Antisocialites aims more keenly towards the jangle pop template it previously set, feeling more retro than its predecessor. But I’m very much willing to take it, because it feels even more affecting this time. The melodies soar, and the album is, again, fun. [NB]4/5

Review: Sleep Well Beast by the National

Sleep Well Beast by the NationalWe’ve turned to the National for being, well, moody: Matt Berninger’s baritone, sometimes (perceived to be) droning but often emotive nonetheless, powering a rumbly backdrop. We’ve come to expect nothing less from their seventh album, Sleep Well Beast, but then they pull a surprise on us: they try new things. A lot of new things. Things kick in suddenly, and often, and you get climaxes you don’t expect. We should’ve gotten the hint from “The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness”, which sounds as glitchy as the title suggests, not yielding to the National’s sweeping trademark. And that’s what the album is. There is no yielding, despite the “disruptive” new elements. It still sounds like a National record. You learn to enjoy, or perhaps live with, those little details. It’s like, “you know, fuck this, we’re still doing what we’re doing.” The lyrics say as much, even. [NB]4/5