Two days ago, I turned 20. Things were rather lovely until I realised that we were now stuck on the unerring path towards wintery stagnation in the world of Friday morning release scrambles. Aside from a brace of moderately big albums both this week and next (and hopefully a smattering of half-decent attempts at Christmas tracks WHEN IT ACTUALLY BECOMES DECEMBER), we’re pretty much done here, but don’t think we’ll be abandoning you – we’re already busy picking out our recorded highlights of this year and the prospective stars of the next. Before we head to the most enjoyable polls of the year, if you’ve got any suggestions for records I should catch up on or folks that we should check out, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Busted – Night Driver
Busted. New music. For the first time since 2004’s movie tie-in charttopping double A-side ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’/’3am.’ In an album. For the first time since 2003’s A Present For Everyone. By supposedly mature adult incarnations of James Bourne, Matt Willis, and Charlie Simpson. And, clearly not content with sending pre-teen me into an excited tizzy, they even went funky and robotic for ‘On What You’re On,’ the lead single after the frankly bizarre tour promo piece ‘Coming Home‘ and somehow their only proper single to ever chart outside the UK’s top 3.
Calum Scott – ‘Rhythm Inside’
Lots of flabbergastingly bad things have happened in the music world in 2016, yet there’s a strong chance that this tweet from a week ago may be reflective of the most upsetting of them all.
CHART FACT: Calum Scott's been on the #OfficialChart for 31 weeks, over 3 times longer than Robyn's version. It's been here 67% of 2016. 📈📚
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) November 18, 2016
Yes, that Britain’s Got Talent bloke who mauled Robyn with his soulless vacuuming of ‘Dancing On My Own’ before nudging it back up from the depths of
HELL musical mediocrity with a wispy, half-arsed Tiësto remix that continues to completely miss the point of it all has become one of pop’s biggest “breakthrough” folks and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. Mercifully, its successor leaves elusive Swedish pop deities firmly alone, instead mumbling along like a mopey Olly Murs off-cut.
The Weeknd – Starboy
Busted may have glanced in Daft Punk’s general direction in the process of building their first album in 13 years, but The Weeknd’s first since last August goes two better by plopping actual collaborations with Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo at either end and chucking them out as singles: the intense, braggadocious, cocaine-dusted title track and last week’s ‘I Feel It Coming,’ which swaps the opener’s moodiness for a seductive Michael Jackson-like approach. Aside from ‘Party Monster’ and the raucous dance-punk-spirited ‘False Alarm,’ what else Starboy has to offer us in full remains shrouded in a little mystery – despite being pencilled in for today since its lead single dropped two months back, it now appears to be trickling through on Sunday digitally before launching physically in time for the new week.
Kill The Noise & Dillon Francis – ‘Turkey On Wheels’
Happy Thanksgiving, USA! This year, I’m choosing to be thankful for Kill The Noise and Dillon Francis releasing something a little bit bonkers through Skrillex’s OWSLA imprint as a free download for your perpetually baffling pre-Black Friday day of celebration.
Kylie Minogue – Kylie Christmas: Snow Queen Edition[insert regular rant about Christmas things happening far too soon each year and nobody really bothering with new festive material anymore]
Selected Other Releases
Bright Light Bright Light – Cinematography EP
Flume – Skin Companion EP
Gavin James – Winter Songs
Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room: Special Edition
letherette – Last Night On The Planet
Møme – Panorama
Ashanti feat. Ja Rule – ‘Helpless’
Beyoncé feat. Dixie Chicks – ‘Daddy Lessons’
Bossman Birdie feat. JME – ‘My Yard’
Circa Waves – ‘Wake Up’
Emily Burns – ‘Take It Or Leave It’
G-Eazy – ‘Still’
G-Eazy feat. Danny Seth – ‘Bone Marrow’
James Vickery – ‘Epiphany’
Jessarae – ‘Done Try’na (Save A Life)’
John Legend – ‘I Know Better’
Lully – ‘Sans Chapeau’
Martin Solveig feat. Ina Wroldsen – ‘Places’
Metronomy & Robyn – ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’
NERVO & SAVI feat. Lauren Bennett – ‘Forever Or Nothing’
Otto Knows – ‘Not Alone’
Pitbull feat. Steven A. Clark & Ape Drums – ‘Can’t Have’
Rationale – ‘Prodigal Son’
Robin Schulz & David Guetta feat. Cheat Codes – ‘Shed A Light’
San Holo – ‘Light’
Scarlett Johansson – ‘Set It All Free’
Snoh Allegra – ‘Free’
Sub Focus – ‘Love Divine’
SuperGlu – ‘Dreams’
The Rolling Stones – ‘Ride ‘Em On Down’
Two Door Cinema Club – ‘Ordinary’
Wiley feat. Skepta & Bellz – ‘U Were Always, Pt. 2’
You Me At Six – ‘Swear’