“I was lightning before the thunder.”

“Thunder” by Imagine Dragons | I’m not really up to date with new music of a particular persuasion these days, so I am writing about this new Imagine Dragons tracks a month behind. I am irritated by this song. Quite irritated. I don’t know why either. Imagine Dragons are a band I never loved or hated, but rather have learned to tolerate, but never further. I never sought out their songs, never was compelled to listen to them (despite what I wrote here) and have learned to live without them. But then I hear this song, which seems well-intentioned, but strikes me as a group of guys taking the piss off everyone with a riff that is, well, quite irritating. “Thunder!” like you’re being mocked. Luckily, I can move on. [NB]

“There’s more hidden inside of me.”

“Hidden” by Bianca Rose | We’ve had good words for No Fear Here, the album from British singer Bianca Rose, a few months back, so when she dropped the new music video for another one of the tracks in there, “Hidden”, we’ve had to feature it. We all need a tonic even in the middle of the week, don’t we? Perhaps we also need the song’s message, but, you know, it’s been so noisy lately, so I’ll just leave this here, as is. Enjoy. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“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]

“I keep running but it’s never clear.”

“Pioneer” by Common Tongues | This one’s weird. The good weird, I must clarify. When I first pressed play on this I got Joel Potts (he of Athlete) vibes, but then it drove its way further towards the middle and it gave me some strong Imagine Dragons vibes, but without the annoying bits. The band is called Common Tongues, yet another one of the many acts from Brighton that interestingly find me, a pretend blogger from eight time zones away. “Dancing on the boundary between acoustic and synthetic” is a line in a press release that could seem overly heavy, but “Pioneer”, from their just released album Divisions (and I mean just released; the album launch was last Friday) does not press this point too far. I like how natural it feels. Not chasing for trends, just going for the feel. It seems to work. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“왜 자꾸 그녀만 맴도나요 달처럼 그대를 도는 내가 있는데?”

“Destiny” by Lovelyz | To borrow an oft-used term in these circles, I slept on “Destiny”. I definitely slept on “Destiny”. This song was released almost fourteen months ago and the first time I chanced upon it I just brushed it through. Now I play this constantly, relatively. Lovelyz is one of those girl groups that appear in many places but aren’t quite hitting their peak yet. The specialty, as expected from members their age, is cute and innocent, but this song somehow feels much more… essential. (I’d use “gravitas” but the song does use gravitational orbit as a theme, so no.) I can imagine them taking the place of APink someday: their seat of purity, slowly evolving to maturity; their vocalists, quietly powerful. (If you’re stuck with comparisons between Kei and Eunji, you must listen to this song on repeat, too.) That is, if they play their cards right. [NB]