Sunday, December 18, 2016

New Good Song: "So Close To Magic," Aquilo 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "So Close To Magic" by Aquilo, one of my favorite discoveries of the past five years. They've done it again with another song that sounds like such an instant classic I almost can't believe it's not a remake. These guys are just incredible at capturing mood with music. They had my 17th favorite song of 2014, "I Gave It All," and my 28th favorite song of 2015, "Good Girl," which has a terrifically conceived, acted and directed video to boot. Enjoy "So Close To Magic"!

New Good Song: "Hypnotizing," Aaron Camper 12.18.16

Here's a new good song" Hypnotizing" by Aaron Camper. When I first came across it, I liked what I was hearing but wasn't necessarily transported ... until about 45 seconds in, then I was like, "Wait, what is this?" and then when those harmonies come in at 00:57 I just about went insane. This is an absolutely grade-A example of what electro-influenced R&B can achieve when care is taken to pull the pieces into a cohesive arc, and have a message that isn't trite or disgusting. This is just fantastic work by Camper; he should be very pleased with how it came out. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Oceans Away," Arizona 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Oceans Away" by Arizona, sometimes stylized as A R I Z O N A, which is dumb. But this song has a pleasant, classic chord progression and instrumental arrangement. Nice job. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Romantic Soul," Jhameel 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Romantic Soul" by Jhameel. I don't love all of Jhameel's music -- there's a lot to choose from, because he's very prolific -- but I do respect the artistry and hope he becomes more successful, because he's clearly talented, hard-working and passionate about what he does. Wish he could get some financial backing, or a generous collaborator, to make his songs sound a little more professional. But at the base of it, "Romantic Soul" is his best song to date, with a very pretty melody and relateable sentiment. Jhameel had another good song in 2014 called "Lion's Den," which was my 85th favorite song of that year. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Sunset Skies," Tw3lv 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Sunset Skies" by Tw3lv. A bit more sunny than what I typically care for, but I think the chord progression and arrangement are wonderful. The voice has a bit too much helium for my taste but I think the joyousness it emotes fits with the song well. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Hung Up," S.J. & Tritonal f/ Emma Gatsby 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Hung Up" by S.J. & Tritonal f/ Emma Gatsby. It has nothing to do with the Madonna song by the same name. It's great. Reminds me quite a bit of "Catching On" by Elephante f/ Nevv, my seventh-favorite new good song of 2016. Great melodic dance-hall pop. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "I Go Where You Go," Bell X1 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "I Go Where You Go" by Bell X1. This act had a new good song back in 2013, a gorgeous ballad called "Careful What You Wish For," which was my 53rd favorite song of that year. This one is similarly light and piano-based but has more of a mild Blues sensibility. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Heart Of Mine," Firefox AK 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Heart Of Mine" by Firefox AK. Really like the instrumental arrangement in the verses. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Slow," The Chain Gang of 1974 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Slow" by The Chain Gang of 1974, the group responsible for my No. 1 favorite song of 2016, "I Still Wonder." That's an insurmountably high bar to surpass, but "Slow" is pretty good as well. It keeps right in that New Wave, '80s sound I do love so. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Love On The Weekend," John Mayer 12.18.16

Here's a new good song: "Love On The Weekend" by John Mayer. Surprised he's still making music? Surprised it's good? Don't be -- although he's an easy target for detractors, Mayer is full of skill and has a portfolio peppered with good songs, including but not limited to: "No Such Thing," "Bigger Than My Body" and ... actually, that's it. The rest is pretty dumb. But this new track is nice; he keeps it simple and straightforward, not preachy, not cheesy, to great effect. Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2016

50 Best New Good Songs of 2016

Drumroll ... Here is a countdown video I made of my 50 favorite songs of 2016, from 50 to 1. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Good Song: "Cranes In The Sky," Solange 11.22.16

Here's a new good song: "Cranes In The Sky" by Solange (Knowles). Gets better on repeated listens. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Miss You," Gabrielle Aplin 11.22.16

Here's a new good song: "Miss You" by Gabrielle Aplin. Great instrumental track even without any vocals. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "The Space Between Our Eyes," SayWeCanFly 11.22.16

Here's a new good song: "The Space Between Our Eyes" by SayWeCanFly. Think it would have been better without the screaming background vocal but it's nevertheless a nice moody little rock song. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "No Vacancy," Nightly 11.22.16

Here's a new good song: "No Vacancy" by Nightly. A moody, mid-tempo '80s jam, totally up my alley. Great chord progression in the verses. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Dust My Shoulders Off," Jane Zhang f/ Timbaland

Here's a new good song: "Dust My Shoulders Off" by Jane Zhang f/ Timbaland. Always nice to see Timbaland credited on new songs. He should be doing more now and be more popular. But this is a cute, "nothing can hold me back" type of song. Inconsequential maybe but nicely done. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Thumbs," Sabrina Carpenter 11.22.16

Here's a new good song: "Thumbs" by Sabrina Carpenter. A somewhat odd juxtaposition here, because the lyrics to "Thumbs" are wise and discuss what a pity it is that some people waste their lives on fruitless, routine nonsense. But yet Sabrina is only 17. What does she know? Cute song, though. Fun lyrics. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Loveless," Lo Moon 11.22.16

Here's a new good song: "Loveless" by Lo Moon. It comes in two sizes: Venti (7 minutes 4 seconds) and Grande (4 minutes 18 seconds). Reminds me of "Careful What You Wish For" by Bell X1, the 53rd best new good song of 2013. It's slow and pretty, and builds into a cool climax. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2016

New Good Song: "Not Above Love," AlunaGeorge 10.21.16

Here's a new good song: "Not Above Love" by AlunaGeorge. I kinda dig this act. "Attracting Flies" was good, as was "You Know You Like It" with DJ Snake. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Blended Family (What You Do For Love)," Alicia Keys 10.21.16

Here's a new good song: "Blended Family (What You Do For Love)" by Alicia Keys. Keys is someone I acknowledge is talented, and I think I should like her music more than I actually do, because she's a good singer with some nice sensibilities, and I always enjoy the incorporation of piano on a single. But generally her output annoys and underwhelms me. This one's pretty good, though. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "A.I.," OneRepublic f/ Peter Gabriel 10.21.16

Here's a new good song: "A.I." by OneRepublic f/ Peter Gabriel. OneRepublic is now 2 for 2, with some truly superior releases off their new album, Oh My My. Their best stuff yet. And I have a soft spot for Peter Gabriel and was excited to see his name attached to this track. His album So was the first tape I ever owned, and it's still among my favorite albums. "A.I." has a lot going for it, and the segue into Gabriel's slower denouement is welcome throwback to So. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Bad Thing," The Mowgli's 10.21.16

Here's a new good song: "Bad Thing" by The Mowgli's. So catchy and fun. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Countdown Video: 50 Best New Good Songs of 2015!

A bit late to the game here, but here's a countdown video of my 50 favorite songs of 2015. Enjoy! The original post and complete list.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

New Good Song: "Send Them Off!" Bastille 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Send Them Off!" by Bastille. They did that song "Pompeii," which was OK. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Somebody Else," The 1975 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Somebody Else" by The 1975. Apparently this isn't new at all, it's several months old, but a cover version of it by Verite was new a couple days ago, and that led me to discover this original, which I'd missed upon it's initial release. One of the benefits of remakes, I suppose. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "I Still Wonder," The Chain Gang of 1974 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "I Still Wonder" by The Chain Gang of 1974. Straight-up, I'm a complete sucker for this (over-used) chord progression, but this group does a lot of neat things with it. Great lyrics, too. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Errors," K.I.D 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Errors" by K.I.D. In lyrics, it's similar to "Habits" by Tove Lo (i.e., "I'm a screwed up woman). Great song, lots of fun. By the way, it's frustrating when a combination of title and artist are not search-friendly, like in this case. If you Google  "Kid" plus "errors" you get everything but this song. Reminds me, in that way, of a great 2013 song called "One" by Dearest. It was the artist's debut single, but she made it essentially impossible for anyone to find her online. In fact I just tried for five minutes and couldn't find a trace of her ever having existed. Sigh. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Strange World," Fallulah 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Strange World" by Fallulah. That chord change in the third line of chorus is absolutely captivating. Not sure the lyric video needs to be quite so '80s, given how transparently '80s the sound is. Seems a bit obvious and un-creative. But a fantastic song nevertheless. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Laid Low," The Naked and Famous 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Laid Low" by The Naked and Famous. This group was responsible for the 32nd best new good song of 2013, "Hearts Like Ours," and the 72nd best new good song of 2014, "I Kill Giants." "Laid Low" is very similar. "T / N / A / F," as they're currently stylizing their name, is a bit one-note, but it's a nice note. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Gold," Kiiara 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Gold" by Kiiara. This isn't particularly new, granted, but after hearing the clip of the spliced-together Frankenstein chorus many times and immediately being turned off, this song was played for me from the beginning at a barbecue recently. And in the context of the evening, with friends and food, it struck me that this is a great song, once you get used to that innovative/peculiar chorus. Very Lorde-ish. Not really sure what the message is, though. She has gold fillings and therefore had sex with her lousy boyfriend's brother in a basement? All right. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Animals," Ben Hobbs 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Animals" by Ben Hobbs. Certainly deserving more views than it currently has received (102 as of this writing). Very solid pop production with some unexpected melodic twists. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Fallout," Young Summer 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Fallout" by Young Summer, the stage name of Bobbie Allen. Very beautiful '80s-inspired ballad, reminiscent of Lavender Diamond or Levv. Everything here is superior -- lyrics, vocal performance, melody, arrangement, production. It's sincere and intensely catchy at the same time. One of the best songs of the year so far. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Come With Us," Sophie Ellis-Bextor 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Come With Us" by Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Thanks to LuisMa for this suggestions. It has a cute disco vibe with a slightly threatening underlying message that I interpret to be about a prostitution or porn ring: "Come with us. If you give us all your money, we'll give you your dreams. It’s all soft focus. You'll never want to turn away." I dunno, maybe I'm misinterpreting. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Sudden Feeling," HalfNoise 9.11.16

Here's a new good song: "Sudden Feeling" by HalfNoise. It's actually somewhat similar to the last song I featured, "Move" by Saint Motel, but it's quieter. Just a nice piece of mildly moody alt-pop, nice (albeit repetitious) chord progression, good melody. Reminds me a bit of Paper Kites. Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2016

New Good Song: "Move," Saint Motel 9.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Move" by Saint Motel. This band was responsible for 2012's 33rd best new good song, "1997." Move is less muddled and a bit easier to understand, a more straightforward horn-fueled alt-pop song. The video's "360 Virtualizer" technique, which allows the view to control the point of view, is cool, and new to me (but may be old news to everyone else). Enjoy!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

New Good Song: "Brand New Moves," Hey Violet 8.20.16

Here's a new good song: "Brand New Moves" by Hey Violet. It's fun and sexy. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Fire Fallin," Polly A. 8.20.16

Here's a new good song: "Fire Fallin" by Polly A. As of this writing, it has fewer than 100 views, so you're getting on the ground floor. If people have taste, this will be a hit. They don't, though. The highlight here is an unusual, unexpected chord progression in the chorus. All around very nicely done, other than the too-sudden ending (a pet peeve of mine; fade-outs, unexpected denouements and interesting breakdowns are always better than cutting the song off at the end of a chorus ... it's jarring and lazy). Anyway, enjoy!

New Good Song: "Kids," OneRepublic 8.20.16

Here's a new good song: "Kids" by OneRepublic. This band's output has been a firehouse of material since they came onto the scene nearly 10 years ago with "Apologize," a sleeper hit (shamelessly credited to Timbaland, who remixed the track, "featuring" OneRepublic) that peaked at No. 2 and was No. 5 for the year on Billboard's 2008 year-end chart. (Here's the original.) They put lots of material out in the subsequent years and later exactly matched the success of their debut, when "Counting Stars" peaked at No. 2 and was No. 5 for the year on Billboard's 2014 year-end chart. It happens that those two hits also are their two best songs, although a few others have been OK. Now they're back with "Kids," their best effort at least since "Counting Stars" and possibly since "Apologize." Remains to be seen, of course, whether the public agrees. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

New Good Song: "Give Me Tonight," Dustin Tebbutt 8.14.16

Here's a new good song: "Give Me Tonight" by Dustin Tebbutt. Enjoy!

New Good Songs: "Bleeding Heart" and "Small Bill$," Regina Spektor, 8.14.16

Here're two new good songs: "Bleeding Heart" and "Small Bill$" by Regina Spektor. Spektor is the latest in the great line of "Look me, aren't I quirky?" female singers like Kate Bush andTori Amos. She had the third-best new good song of 2006, her breakthrough and best-known track, "Fidelity." More recently she had the 45th-best new good song of 2012, "All The Rowboats," which I just re-listened to and think may have been better than I gave it credit for. She's got something for sure. These new songs are pretty good, too. Enjoy!

"Bleeding Heart":

"Small Bill$":

New Good Song: "Cheap Thrills," Sia f/ Sean Paul 8.14.16

Here's a new good song: "Cheap Thrills" by Sia f/ Sean Paul. I'm being a bit facetious by including this one because it's neither new, nor obscure enough to need to be called out in this way. It's currently the No. 1 song in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100. But I did want to go on record as saying that this track, which I originally dismissed, has grown on me. Sia had the second-best new good song of 2015, "Elastic Heart," as well as the 16th-best new good song of 2012, "Titanium," credited to David Guetta with Sia as a featured vocalist. "Cheap Thrills" is perhaps the most positive thing Sia has released, about not needing money to have fun (although I'm not sure how she got into the club without cash; and what is she drinking, water?). Sean Paul, incidentally, does music that generally isn't very good, although he was featured on Beyonce's "Baby Boy," the 10th-best new good song of 2003. Guess he's better in small doses. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Cry Baby," Fickle Friends 8.14.16

Here's a new good song: "Cry Baby" by Fickle Friends. This English '80s throwback band was previously responsible for "Velvet," the 26th best new good song of 2015. "Cry Baby" is a bit faster with higher energy, but is in keeping with "Velvet" stylistically. Lead singer Natassja Shiner has tremendous capabilities on these tracks to be vulnerable while delivering performances as clear as glass. Enjoy!

New Good Songs: "Geeks," Hailey Knox 8.14.16

Here's a new good song: "Geeks" by Hailey Knox. It's a cute self-affirmation song, employing an appealing and slightly oddball chord progression and string arrangement, about outcasts getting their comeuppance. She's done a live video featuring people playing board games, but I prefer the studio version below. Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2016

New Good Song: "Iron In The Fire," Tall Heights 7.22.16

Here's a new good song: "Iron In The Fire" by Tall Heights. Fantastic classic chord progression and a great bassline and use of drums. Also wonderful melody and rhythm. Very catchy. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Friends," Francis and the Lights f/ Bon Iver 7.22.16

Here's a new good song: "Friends" by Francis and the Lights f/ Bon Iver. It is electro magnificence buttressed by originality and an earworm hook. A great accomplishment. The video features Kanye West, but the song doesn't appear to give him credit. His contribution is nebulous, but whatever, it's great stuff. Bon Iver had a new good song back in 2012 with "Beth/Rest" but has, to me, been relatively low-lying in recent years. This is the best thing he's done of which I'm aware. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

New Good Song: "Catching On," Elephante f/ Nevve 7.16.16

Here's a new good song: "Catching On" by Elephante f/ Nevve. It has some Sia influences and a great build. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Gabriel," Bear's Den 7.16.16

Here's a new good song: "Gabriel" by Bear's Den. This is tremendously beautiful -- touching lyrics, wonderful arrangement, and a distinctive vocal delivery that brings it together. Great effort. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

New Good Song: "Body Say," Demi Lovato 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Body Say" by Demi Lovato. I really liked her 2012 song "Give Your Heart A Break," and 2013's "Heart Attack," but have been less enamored with her output since then, even though it's been pretty popular in the general public. But this one's an improvement. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Firechild," Coleman Hell 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Flowerchild" by Coleman Hell. This person has turned out to be one of my favorite acts of the past couple years. He's done some great music, like "Thumbalina," "Take Me Up" "2 Heads" and, most recently, "Fireproof." This one is good, too, and like many of his other songs, it has some welcome humor. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "If You Should See," Wye Oak 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "If You Should See" by Wye Oak. I can't understand any of the lyrics, but I like the music. Reminds me a bit of Scenic. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Lazy Lover," Lonely Benson 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Lazy Lover" by Lonely Benson. This person was responsible for "Was Something Else There," which was my 32nd favorite song of 2015. "Lazy Lover" is much more upbeat, sort of Jason Mraz-ish. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Steal The Night," Kitten 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Steal The Night" by Kitten. Reminds me a bit of The Naked and Famous, or Deluka. Has a bit of an alternative '90s feels. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "I Will Love Again," Bat For Lashes 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "I Will Love Again" by Bat For Lashes, the stage name for a singer named Natasha Khan. I'm a pretty big fan of this singer; she's put out lots of great songs, including but not limited to "Daniel," "Laura," "A Wall" and "In God's House." Her latest album is a concept piece called The Bride, with all the songs telling the story of someone left at the altar. Sad stuff, but "I Will Love Again" is a highlight, and it's gorgeous. Simple. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Leaving You," Maria Mena 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Leaving You" by Maria Mena. If her name sounds vaguely familiar, it may be because you remember her minor 2004 hit "You're The Only One," which was in semi-heavy rotation on MTV. She's had some continued success in her native Norway but has been relatively silent and unknown in the U.S. "Leaving You" is not nearly as upbeat but it has some nice instrumental touches. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Crash," Usher 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Crash" by Usher. This is similar to his hit from a few years back, "Climax." It won't be successful because it takes some patience and repeat listens to appreciate how lovely this track really is. It's one of his best ever, in my opinion. Give it a chance, and enjoy!

New Good Song: "Japanese Blossoms," Marie Hines 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Japanese Blossoms" by Marie Hines. Cute, pretty and light. Enjoy! Some really nice touches. I happened to discover this song while on a trip to Europe and listened to it while sitting in a beautiful English garden on a perfect day. It's that kind of tune. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Nothing Can be Changed," William Fitzsimmons 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Nothing Can Be Changed" by William Fitzsimmons. It's light folk fare, in the spirit of John Denver or Paul Simon or James Taylor. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Love You With The Lights On," Morgxn 7.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Love You With The Lights On" by Morgxn. After discovering this song a few weeks back I "liked" Morgxn on Facebook, as I do with most artists who release things I like. And I can tell you Morgxn is trying really hard to promote this single. Like harder than I've ever seen anyone try to promote anything in the history of things. Here's hoping it catches a bit more fire than it has so far because it's a nice effort. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New Good Song: "Unsteady," X Ambassadors 6.15.16

Here's a new good song: "Unsteady" by X Ambassadors. It's better than their earlier, better-known release, "Renegades." Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Tiny Cities," Flume f/ Beck 6.15.16

Here's a new good song: "Tiny Cities" by Flume f/ Beck. I played this for a Beck fan recently and asked him to guess who the vocal was, and he couldn't. So this isn't very Beck-y. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Committed," Matt Wertz 6.15.16

Here's a new good song: "Committed" by Matt Wertz. "Committed" is easily one of the best songs of the year, and I've been wanting to feature it here for several weeks but have been frustrated not to find it available as an embed anywhere on the World Wide Web. I still can't. So here's a different song by Wertz off the same album, the inoffensively bland "Unexpected Love." If you at all dig the style, check out "Committed," which is much better.

New Good Song: "Mona Lisa Smile," f/ Nicole Scherzinger 6.15.16

Here's a new good song: "Mona Lisa Smile" by f/ Nicole Scherzinger. This is an updated remix of a track called "Smile Mona Lisa" off's #willpower album, released in 2013. It's peculiar, in keeping with's style and sensibilities, but catchy as all get-out, with a tremendously attractive (if perhaps too literal/obvious/on-the-nose) video. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

New Good Song: "Life Itself," Glass Animals 5.22.16

Here's a new good song: "Life Itself" by Glass Animals. This is just awesome. An eclectic but beautifully created instrumental underneath amusingly candid lyrics ("I can't get a job, so I live with my mom / I take her money, but not quite enough.") Enjoy!

New Good Song: "She Burns," Foy Vance 5.22.16

Here's a new good song: "She Burns" by Foy Vance. At first listen, this seems a bit too slow and sparse for my taste, but upon closer repeated listens, there's a lot of excellence here, and it's really grown on me. Great production effects, great lyrics and melody, very catchy and meaningful. The bass that comes in at 1:40 is especially unexpected and compelling. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "So Special," Muna 5.22.16

Here's a new good song: "So Special" by Muna. This group is creating fantastic music. Their song "Loudspeaker" is one of the best songs of 2016 so far (perhaps the very best), and this tune, "So Special," also is excellent. Just great music. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "What Am I Becoming?" Pop Etc 5.22.16

Here's a new good song: "What Am I Becoming?" by Pop Etc. This group has had some fantastic songs of the past couple years, including "Running In Circles," which was the eighteenth-best new good song of 2015, and "Yoyo," the thirteenth-best new good song of 2012. They're very into '80s new wave pop rock. Here's another good one. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Fireproof," Coleman Hell 5.22.16

Here's a new good song: "Fireproof" by Coleman Hell. Mr. Hell is proving to be one of the best acts to emerge in the past 18 months. He had the third, fortieth and ninety-second best songs of 2015, with "Thumbalina," "Take Me Up" and his breakout hit "2 Heads," respectively. He's a genuine genre-blender, plucking elements of dance, rock, pop, bluegrass and country. His newest song also is great. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

New Good Song: "Paris In Spring," Tara Kemp f/ D'Wayne Wiggins 4.30.16

Here's a new good song: "Paris In Spring" by Tara Kemp f/ D'Wayne Wiggins (of Tony! Toni! Toné!). It's such a joy to include Tara Kemp on this blog, as I've been hoping she would release something new for over 20 years. She's the voice behind two of the best pop songs of all time, 1991's "Hold You Tight" and "Piece Of My Heart." Kemp has been toying with her fans for years about putting out new music, and finally, here it is. And it's really catchy! This track is an acoustic duet, not at all what I was expecting from her, but it's got some great harmonies and gets stuck in your brain, in a good way. Very nice job, and there's great remix potential here, if she decides to go that route. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Haze," Amber Run 4.30.16

Here's a new good song: "Haze" by Amber Run. It's a capella and very Imogen Heap-ish. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Call It Love," Paige Monroe 4.30.16

Here's a new good song: "Call It Love" by Paige Monroe. It's a rock-pop song that reminds me of Katie Cole's "(We Started A) Fire," the 14th best new good song of 2014. Very catchy, nicely arranged and performed. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "It Just Happens," Roxette 4.30.16

Here's a new good song: "It Just Happens" by Roxette. This duo is best known for their string of chart-toppers in the late '80s and early '90s, but they went on to do some great stuff in the years that followed, including (and especially) 1999's "Wish I Could Fly," one of my favorite songs of all time. "It Just Happens" is stylistically similar to "Wish I Could Fly." Enjoy!

Friday, April 15, 2016

New Good Songs: "Loudspeaker," Muna 4.15.16

Here's a new good song: "Loudspeaker" by Muna. Every few months, at best, a song comes along that's so utterly amazing that after one listen you're all, "OMFG every few months, at best, a song comes along that's this utterly amazing." Then you listen to it on repeat for hours. That's this. It reminds me of the best new good song of 2014, "The Other Ones" by Deluka. It's sort of a pop-punk '80s throwback, like Indigo Girls meets Bananarama meets Paramore meets the Go-Gos? Enjoy!

Update -- a video!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

New Good Song: "Youth," Troye Sivan 4.3.16

Here's a new good song: "Youth" by Troye Sivan. It's catchy and doing well. It is not to be confused with "Youth" by Ben Khan, which was the 33rd best new good song of 2014. This isn't that. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "It," Christine and the Queens 4.3.16

Here's a new good song: "It" by Christine and the Queens. This group was responsible for the 21st best new good song of 2015, "Saint Claude." Great stuff. This is about being transgender maybe? Not clear. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Close," Nick Jonas f/ Tove Lo 4.3.16

Here's a new good song: "Close" by Nick Jonas f/ Tove Lo. The video is certainly Sia-inspired. Catchy tune. And, yes, if you're patient you eventually get to see Nick's arms. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

New Good Song: "Five More Days," JP Cooper f/ Avelino 3.26.16

Here's a new good song: "Five More Days" by JP Cooper f. Avelino. Thematically, there are echoes here of Prince's  "Money Don't Matter 2 Night," and musically there are whispers of Arrested Development -- blues, hip-hop, soul, gospel and pop. It''s about running out of money each and every pay cycle, and counting down the days until the next paycheck comes so that you can, you know, eat. Very relatable, especially these days, unfortunately. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "No Time," Different Sleep f/ Jarell Perry 3.26.16

Here's a new good song: "No Time" by Different Sleep f/ Jarell Perry. It's a bit peculiar, with its unexpected audio samples, but it all works together in an innovative salad of dance, soul and techno. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Electric," Brett 3.26.16

Here's a new good song: "Electric" by Brett. Boy is this beautiful. It reminds me of the similarly titled "Electric Indigo" by Paper Kites, which was the fourth-best song of 2015. Cool, sweet, groovy throwback light rock with liberal use of reverb. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

New Good Song: "Bourbon," Gallant 3.24.16

Here's a new good song: "Bourbon" by Christopher Gallant, who professionally goes only by his surname. Like the opposite of Cher. "Bourbon" is great atmospheric R&B, like The Weeknd but with more appealing vocals. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Where The Hell Are My Friends?" Lany 3.24.16

Here's a new good song: "Where The Hell Are My Friends?" by Lany, a synth-pop trio who may be the best thing to happen to America in the past five years. They had the third-best song of 2014, "ILYSB"; the 80th-best song of 2014, "Walk Away"; and the 13th-best song of 2015, "Someone Else." Just such great songwriting -- simple arrangements and effective vocals. Their new track, "Where The Hell Are My Friends?" kicks the tempo up a bit. It's very fresh. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "In God's House," Bat for Lashes 3.24.16

Here's a new good song: "In God's House" by Bat for Lashes, the stage name of Natasha Khan. Natasha does wonderful, synth-driven moody pop music. She had the seventh-best song of 2009, "Daniel"; the 40th-best song of 2012, "Laura"; and the 42nd-best song of 2013, "A Wall." Now she's back with "In God's House," a song about a woman who's left at the altar. It's a real downer, but very pretty. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "No," Meghan Trainor 3.21.16

Here's a new good song: "No" by Meghan Trainor. Before winning Best New Artist at the Grammys last month, Trainor was best known for releasing four annoying Top 20 hits in 2014-15, the first of which was "All About That Bass," a song that celebrates being out of shape. Now Meghan is back with "No," an attitudinal reject-that-man-in-the-club song that's pretty darn catchy. The production leans modern-R&B, rather than toward the retro-R&B she explored on her debut album ("Title"). It's a welcome change of direction. Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2016

New Good Song: "Mad At You," 3OH!3 3.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Mad At You" by 3OH!3. This duo is best know for their 2008 hit "Don't Trust Me," which wasn't a very good song and was somewhat offensive. "Mad At You" is also somewhat offensive but less so, and the chorus is really catchy. Both are super immature. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New Good Song: "Already Love," Great Good Fine Ok 3.9.16

Here's a new good song: "Already Love" by Great Good Fine Ok. I knew I loved this song in about 6 seconds. It's absolutely beautiful, catchy, well-produced. Great job. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Good Song: "Running Out," Matoma & Astrid S 2.25.16

Here's a new good song: "Running Out" by Matoma & Astrid S. It's a mid-tempo pop song with touches of house. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Midnight River," Vault 2.25.16

Here's a new good song: "Midnight River" by Vaults. What a curious little song -- sort of '80s, with whispers of Southern gospel and dance. The video, seemingly inspired by Sia, is over-dramatic but clever nonetheless. Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2016

New Good Song: "Love Is Blind," Låpsley 2.5.16

Here's a new good song: "Love Is Blind" by Låpsley. Låpsley is the middle name of British teenager Holly Fletcher. Her voice is low. In fact, I confess that the first time I heard this song I thought the singer was a man with a feminine touch to his voice. But no, it's Holly, a girl half my age. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Good Song: "Pillowtalk," Zayn 1.31.16

Here's a new good song: "Pillowtalk" by Zayn. I don't have any problem with boy bands per se. I think *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees had some good songs, as did some boy bands not as well known in the U.S., like Take That and Scouting for Girls, who had my favorite songs of 1995 and 2010 respectively -- "Back For Good" and "This Ain't A Love Song." There's no inherent reason why a boy band can't have a good song. In fact, the combination of vocal ability and access to talented writers and producers should guarantee some nice output.

There are two big exceptions to this, however. The first is New Kids on the Block, who from 1988 and 1990 produced nothing but terrible music, although I'll concede that their 2008 semi-comeback hit "Summertime" was fine. The second exception is One Direction. It doesn't take a genius to see the appeal of this group, because teenage girls and gay boys like cute boys who sing love songs. That's always been true and always will be, and that's fine. But their music is so bad it actually surprises me. And it's not just bad, it's also forgettable. At least NKOTB's bad music was memorable. Maybe I've just grown cynical. But whatever the reason, One Direction's shtick doesn't work for me, even though I'm sure the members are talented and work hard for their success, and I wish each of them well.

That said, former One Direction member Zayn Malik has just released his debut single, and I think it's pretty good. See what you think below. I'm put off by the pointless and cliched use of all-caps, but whatever. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "They Don't Give," Jordin Sparks 1.31.16

Here's a new good song: "They Don't Give" by Jordin Sparks. This is a slower, smoother and much better track than the first two singles she released off her latest album, "Right Here, Right Now." This is a lovely '90s throwback jam, and it won't be successful because nobody but me has any taste. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Not Above That," Dawn Richard 1.31.16

Here's a new good song: "Not Above That" by Dawn Richard. As a solo artist, Dawn, perhaps best known as a former member of Danity Kane, is fantastically innovative, although I don't always care for the results. Her song "86" was my favorite song of 2013, but I've been generally let down by her other output. Her latest, "Not Above That," is a bit repetitive but I'm finding it sufficiently catchy to log it here. It's no "86," but what is? Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Death Of A Bachelor," Panic! at the Disco 1.31.16

Here's a new good song: "Death Of A Bachelor" by Panic! at the Disco. This band is best known for mid-00s punk-pop, and this song has flavors of that but is primarily a jazz-vocal song in the vein of Frank Sinatra, over a pop beat. It's a mildly peculiar combination but one that works, in my opinion, better than the recent attempts by Fall Out Boy to blend genres. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

New Good Song: "No Time For It," Fantasia 1.16.16

Here's a new good song: "No Time For It" by Fantasia. Since winning "American Idol," Fantasia hasn't revisited the Top 20 of Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart, although she's had some success on the R&B tally, and has had a couple releases I thought were quite special. "Truth Is" is a masterpiece, and was my third-favorite song of 2005. I also liked "Bore Me (Yawn)." And I appreciated her recent track "Lose To Win," 78th favorite song of 2013. Her new single, "No Time For It," is reminiscent of "Lose To Win" but is more tightly crafted and less heavily reliant on a sample to move it forward. Nice job. Enjoy.

New Good Song: "Heartbeat," Carrie Underwood 1.16.16

Here's a new good song: "Heartbeat" by Carrie Underwood. I'm neither a Carrie Underwood fan nor a Carrie Underwood hater. She's an exceptional singer with general serviceable songs. As I browse through her discography I can't say there's much of anything I find particularly special, although "Last Name" is funny. She seems like a decent person, so good luck to her. This latest song, "Heartbeat," is pretty and a nice mid-tempo addition to a playlist. Enjoy.

New Good Song: "Sax," Fleur East 1.16.16

Here's a new good song: "Sax" by Fleur East. This is yet another find I made through the musical ying to my yang, LuisMa. This is a joyous soul-dance track that's an obvious echo to "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson f/ Bruno Mars. It's loud and proud. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Good Song: "Hallucinations," dvsn 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Hallucinations" by dvsn. I'm not sure if that's a person or a group, but this track creates a cool electronic-alt-R&B atmosphere. This is what I think The Weeknd's music might sound like if it were capably sung and not littered with lyrics about taking drugs and fucking bitches. This song reminds me of Miguel, and Majid Jordan. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Open Your Eyes," School of Seven Bells 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Open Your Eyes" by School of Seven Bells. What a beautiful track. This group is from New York City, where I live, and they had the 50th best song of 2012, "Faded Heart." It's too early for me to weigh in on whether I think "Open Your Eyes" is a better song, but I do detect some growth and maturity, particularly in the production, which feels more natural and sophisticated. It's a great effort. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Never Seen You Get So Low," Aquilo 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Never Seen You Get So Low" by Aquilo. This English duo had the 17th best song of 2014, the very slow and haunting "I Gave It All," and they had the 28th best song of 2015, the faster and almost disco-influenced "Good Girl." Their newest is in between the two, tempo-wise, and it's very nice, with what I think is the best vocal performance of the three tracks. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "I Took A Pill In Ibiza (SeeB Remix)," Mike Posner 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "I Took A Pill In Ibiza (SeeB Remix)" by Mike Posner. As a reminder, Posner is responsible for a string of commercially successful singles in 2010-11 -- "Cooler Than Me," "Please Don't Go" and "Bow Chicka Wow Wow," all of which were great songs. I remember reading back then that Mike went to my alma mater, Duke, and graduated with a 3.6 GPA while his music career was getting off the ground. So he's no dummy. And I suspected his music, which is straightforward, belied some real depth. Since that debut, he's put out a few flops. Now he's back with an EP called "The Truth," which, as the name implies, is confessional. It's also stripped down, raw and acoustic. It's pretty nice, and a surprising departure, although I don't expect it to revive his career because he doesn't quite have the legacy behind him to generate widespread interest in his introspection, i.e., I'm not sure the average listener is particularly curious about "the truth" about someone they did not know much about in the first place. But for those who discover this EP, they'll lean in to hear what Posner is sharing. The clip below is the first song on that EP, with a poppier remix that I slightly prefer to the original, even though I certainly appreciate acoustic music. It's full of self-reflective observations that humanize Posner and set him up for what may be a longer, fruitful career, even if this particular release doesn't garner much radio play. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Crying In Public," Chairlift 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Crying In Public" by Chairlift. It's sort of a wacky track, blending jazz, synth pop and soft rock. As if Manhattan Transfer collaborated with Lavender Diamond or something. Lots off interesting touches, and sweet, buttery vocals by Caroline Polachek. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "When We Were Young," Adele 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "When We Were Young" by Adele. In both this song and in her previous release, "Hello," Adele makes references to being old, which she will look back on and laugh at when she is my age. "When We Were Young" is particularly vintage, and sounds as if it's right off a Roberta Flack album in the '70s. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Stressed Out," Twenty One Pilots 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Stressed Out" by Twenty One Pilots. I purchased Twenty One Pilot's debut single, "Holding On To You," when it was released in 2012. It didn't last too long on my playlist before I deleted it, because it's sort of annoying. "Stressed Out" also is a little annoying, but it's admittedly catchy, and on a recent trip during which I did quite a bit of driving and listening to the radio, I have to admit I turned up the volume each time it came on. So, good job. Enjoy!

New Good Song: "Simple Song #3," BBC Concert Orchestra, Sumi Jo & Terry Davies 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Simple Song #3" by BBC Concert Orchestra, Sumi Jo & Terry Davies, who play the instruments, sing and conduct respectively. This is from the film "Youth," starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel. The film is not one I particularly cared for, but it's nominated for two well-deserved Golden Globes, including Best Original Song for "Simple Song #3," composed by David Lang, as well as Best Supporting Actress for Jane Fonda. "Simple Song #3" is mentioned throughout the film, with very small bits played here and there, and this performance is presented at the end of the film as the credits begin to roll. This is a classical song, but broaden your horizons, won't you?

New Good Song: "Another Trip Around The Sun," Lowrie 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Another Trip Around The Sun" by Lowrie. This track has been on my playlist for several weeks but not featured on this blog because I felt like Lowrie was laying it on a little too thick -- such depressing lyrics, over such dreary music, with such melodramatic mini-climaxes. And, believe me, I love me some depressing music. But after repeated listens, the song has really grown on me, and now I find it effective and a special achievement. The songwriting is clever and has some lovely details, and the vocals also work well. Yes, it's sad, and it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but give it a listen!

New Good Song: "Echoes," Lauren Aquilina 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Echoes" by Lauren Aquilina. I've featured Lauren on this blog before, but as a quick recap, she's a young English singer-songwriter-pianist with a penchant for very slow, melancholy ballads, released on EPs with single-word titles (e.g., "Fools," "Sinners,"  "Liars," "Ocean"). Some of my favorite songs by her have been:

  • "Sinners," my 46th favorite song of 2013, off the "Sinners" EP
  • "Irrelevant," my 70th favorite song of 2014, off the "Sinners" EP
  • "Broke," my 78th favorite song of 2014, off the "Liars" EP
  • "Ocean," my 111th favorite song of 2015, off the "Ocean" EP

The song "Ocean" was a departure for Aquilina because, although it starts off with her traditionally minimalist atmosphere, it breaks into a raucous instrumental halfway through, a move that I imagine was somewhat experimental and a desire to avoid being pigeonholed as a balladeer. I personally found it distraction and not altogether successful, but it seemed like an unearned climax. Now here's "Echoes," which was released in December and is not included on the "Ocean" EP, which was released in October. In "Echoes," Lauren is experimenting with even more of a pop instrumental sound, and again I think we're witnessing evolution, not yet her best work. See what you think, and keep your eye on her!

New Good Song: "Roses," The Chainsmokers f/ Rozes 1.10.16

Here's a new good song: "Roses" by The Chainsmokers f/ Rozes. I'm mildly late to the game on this one, as it's already ascended into the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, as of this writing. That's mildly peculiar to me because there's a quirky, choppy alt-electronic influence to this song that makes its radio-friendliness questionable. But there's lots of tasty elements in here, particularly the repeated second interval on the poky synth during the bridge. It's all in the details! Enjoy.