“…and no one can save me from drowning in you.”

“Torrential River” by Jylda | We’re writing about Jylda again. The London-based (via Berlin) singer-songwriter also known as Gianna Gehlhar has been featured on this blog a couple of years back, and now she’s preparing to release a new EP, Twitch, sometime in the northern hemisphere’s spring. “Torrential River” is the first track off it, and while it still has that cold, mysterious feel we got from “The Body” a couple of sun cycles back, this one feels just a little poppier, dare I say a little sunnier? I don’t trust myself with these terms anymore. But it’s still as enchanting as you’d expect – or not, if you haven’t listened to her the first time. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)


“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]

“Where you go, I’ll follow, no matter how far.”

“Best Part” by H.E.R. featuring Daniel Caesar | See, I am terribly behind on things. When I first heard this song, I honestly thought this was an old track. Shalla introduced me to it, in a conversation about a completely different song together: “Written in the Stars”, a collaboration between John Legend and Red Velvet‘s Wendy. (No pizza?) The latter (which was released just last October) reminded her of the former (which was released a whole year prior). Not that we’re saying it’s a rip-off; it just reminds us of things. And then it turns out it’s a new song, with recent Manila visitor Daniel Caesar collaborating. It even won a Grammy yesterday. And, it also turns out, H.E.R. – aka Gabi Wilson – is part-Filipino. Not that I’m a #PinoyPride person; you just expect people to be all over it. [NB]

“I’ve been dreaming, hoping, wishing…”

“Desperately” by Jegs Benedict | Apparently, I have written about this song. Sort of. We first mentioned Jegs Benedict on this blog almost two years ago, on an installment of the Local Outsider. I didn’t spotlight this song, but I mentioned it. “If you’re looking for something more, um, conventional, there’s ‘Desperately’,” I wrote, “which does calm me down after frantic, yes, cramming.” But then, Jegs Benedict is now a band of four, and this single – which they released a couple of months back, but hey, it’s Valentine’s week, so why not today? – has inevitably gotten a do-over. (Okay, I’m writing about this in part because Jegs tweeted me. I miss a lot of things, I told you.) There’s some extra magic in this version: I’m sure the vocal harmonies did the trick. Now I imagine the band serenading some girl in some sort of high-stakes pre-prom moment. Oh, right, it’s prom season! This fits. [NB]

“I ain’t never gonna let her go.”

“Never Gonna Let Her Go” by Katey Brooks | I was sold this song on the basis of the vocal harmonies. It’s standard PR stuff, but sometimes I feel the press release knows me, because I’ve been getting these songs in the past few years more often. But it’s more than that. There’s a lot – there’s a lot – going on in “Never Gonna Let Her Go”, the new single from London-based singer-songwriter Katey Brooks. There’s a faint hint of the mystical. There’s a strong undercurrent of the rowdy blues. There’s this bassline you can’t exactly place, but you definitely know it’s there. And, again, her voice, which somehow manages to traverse all that and combine what could be a mess into something pretty coherent. And yes, I know, “a lot going on” has been done well before. I’m thinking of ELO and Queen, for some reason. Is this worthy of the comparison? Perhaps. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)