Reaction videos are all the rage online, especially young folks listening to old tracks and being wowed. I’ve decided to flip the script, and start a new weekly stream/video series called New Music Friday, where I — a wicked old dude of 40 — will grab a half-dozen or more brand-new songs that are debuting today and give my unfiltered opinions.
Today, I did my first New Music Friday stream on my Twitch page, twitch.tv/duckthepianowire. It was a ton of fun. Because of the songs I played, I can’t keep the stream archived, but I did create a little highlights real, which you can check out here:
If you can’t be bothered to check out the video, I can give you a quick sum-up below of my final verdicts on each of the songs I played.
My verdict scale is as follows: SKIP!!, Add to Playlist, Play the Whole Album, BUY THE VINYL!! Skip!! is the worst designation and BUY THE VINYL!! is the absolute best. But they seem pretty self-explanatory.
Song 1: “Butter” by BTS
Final thoughts: A lot of Michael Jackson hero worship which feels kinda weird right now, but crazy catchy and the video is colorful and fun. Add to Playlist
Song 2: “Clingfilm” by PACKS
Final thoughts: Reminiscent of the reverb-y surf indie of a decade or so ago. Low-key but still driving. Interested to see if this band kicks it into high gear on other songs. Play the Whole Album
Song 3: “enough for you” by Olivia Rodrigo
Final thoughts: Not too slick, but the point of view is way too young. Also, her vocal affection (maybe modeled on Lorde??) reminds me too much of the guy from the Decemberists in a not-good way. Still, I wouldn’t be annoyed to hear it again. I guess I’ll Add to Playlist
Song 4: “enjoy the silence” by Fousheé
Final thoughts: The Depeche Mode original is an all-time classic. This version — while it doesn’t go the boring minor-key and super-slow route — will never be. That Decemberists voice is back too and really wrecks my enjoyment. SKIP!!
Song 5: “The Great Blue Heron (Song of Solomon)” by St. Lenox
Final thoughts: As I say in the video, this kind of a cheat. I am familiar with St. Lenox’s music. Heck, I reviewed his last album for Pop Culture Beast. But if you want to hear one of the best new songs of the week, this is clearly one of them. BUY THE VINYL!!
Song 6: “Medieval Femme” by Fatima al Qadiri
Final thoughts: Gothy and hypnotic with Middle Eastern elements. I was totally taken by this one. Recommended if you like Cocteau Twins. Play the Whole Album
Song 7: “Sun Goes Down” by Lil Nas X
Final thoughts: A great pop song and a charming music video where Lil Nas X goes back to give a pep talk to his high school self. It reminded me of Billy Joel’s “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)” video, but I don’t know that anyone else in the audience is making that connection. Play the Whole Album
Song 8: “I Know I’m Funny haha” by Faye Webster
Final thoughts: On the surface, it seems like Faye Webster’s music should be mopey. But it’s actually got a great groove, and Webster’s vulnerable vocals are goosed by sassy lyrics. Also, I dig the home video-music video. Reminds me of Invisible Touch-era Genesis videos like “Throwing It All Away.” I love this. The only things that are certain are death, taxes, and that I intend to BUY THE VINYL!!
Well, that was fun. If you want to check out the next New Music Friday livestream, it will be noon PT / 3pm ET on May 28 at twitch.tv/duckthepianowire. See you there?
Justin Remer makes movies, directs music videos, and plays in the bands Duck the Piano Wire and Elastic No-No Band when he is not writing movie reviews. His folk-rock documentary MAKING LOVERS & DOLLARS is currently streaming on Amazon.