Mostly Pop August 2017

More pop, more style as MrMoth digs once again into the “New Releases” boxes at the record store. Yeah, this one is pretty good but you probably don’t know it? They’re pretty obscure.

Perfect Places

Oh shit, you guys, this is so good. It is SO GOOD. I know it’s been out a while, but the video just, uhh, dropped and so I get to rave about it HERE, in my favourite place. Hello. Hi, sorry, welcome back. This is Lorde. Please listen to this RIGHT NOW or I’ll just die.

Huh? Huh? Yes. It’s good. Isn’t it? The little “ch-chh” at a minute in is my favourite moment in pop this year, and I’ve liked a fair bit of it so far. It just shows someone in absolute control of the song (singer or producer, Idgaf, whoever put this in the right place at the right time with the right verve is brilliant and it doesn’t matter), giving the very slightest tease before launching into the chorus which… it doesn’t so much soar as glide. Go with me. It’s like letting the water close over your head. It’s lush, it’s so luscious. And now it has a video, yay.

OK, look, is the video problematic? I think it might be. It’s definitely playing with colonial imagery, even fucking slavery, which is not cool, at all. And that is a shame, because it makes the whole thing somewhat uncomfortable to watch – and yes I do recognise the inherent privilege in that being the extent of the trouble I’m having with it. HOWEVER, toward the end when the lights swirl and the fires burn and it all gets overwrought it is spine-tingling.

Charli XCX

Woah no way you’re not going to believe this because THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT, TOO. I know, right? What are the odds? But here we are, the year of our Lord 2017 is bestowing some absolute treats on lovers of the popular music. Nice, that. A lovely distraction. Whatever. So.

Well, I mean I love  dreamy pop music and I really fucking love collecting coins in Super Mario games so this is the best of both worlds. I also think objectifying men is pretty cool, so I’m down with the video. WHAT, NO, THOM, HOW CAN YOU BE DOWN WITH THIS IT IS TERRIBLE AND DEGRADING TO SEE MEN ACT LIKE… LIKE, WELL, LIKE… anyway, it’s not about dragging everyone down to a bad level, it’s about dragging everyone up. Which, yes, I can see that but for now we’re at the top of this shit heap so shut your mouth and eat your pancakes, fuckboy.

Julia Michaels
Uh Huh

Well, we had a nice run but now we’re back to OH NO NO NO FUUUUUCK THIS IS GOOD TOO. Ok, ok, I can say that it’s not quite in the league of Lorde or Charli but it’s an understated little… sorry, something’s bothering me, can I just cut and paste from Wikipedia? I’m interrupting this review to go back to the last one because look at the Pitchfork extract on Boys, look at the STATE of this:

a reminder that [Charli XCX is] one of the best at knowing how to have fun; her convivial bop sounds as effortless as something dreamed up between lunch and dinner.

“Convivial bop”. Look, I’m in a glass house with a pet trebuchet but fuck me, who talks about “Convivial bops”? If you’re going to use “Bop”, you need to be using it with a word a lot less…. from the 1930s. And anyway, Charli didn’t even write Boys (which is weird, cause it’s very her, so whoever did write it has a good ear for her voice, well done them)>


Don’t watch the video. Go and listen to it on Spotify or iTunes or Napster or the official Julia Michaels MySpace. I almost booted this song on the strength of a) It’s a grower and I didn’t click with it at first and b) the video is shit-awful, just apocalyptically bad. But persist with the song, I implore you. It’s got a skew-whiff energy I’ve been enjoying a great deal since I graciously allowed it to stay. Admittedly it could have been released in the wave of 90s singer-songwriters following Alanis, but I’m old enough to say that’s cool with me. It’s a perhaps unconvivial, but nevertheless affable enough, bop.

Straight Facts

The streak ends here. This is not a bop. This is a man whining and snarling out an heartfelt mea culpa that falls painfully on its face. You might, in a charitable moment, be impressed by someone being capable of taking responsibility for the shittiness of their life. And, yeah, I guess some kudos is due. But.

Well, first off, it’s Dappy. Dappy, mate, you’re not good at this. I tried to tell you. But secondly at one point (during one of the more boastful sections), he tells the listener to “Check my wikipedia”. Which I, never one to disobey a direct order, duly did. I mean, turns out that was a massive self-own because his wikipedia entry makes it very clear that this fella is a diiiiiick, and I do not accept his apology.

Not that this is an apology.

It’s a series of excuses.


Looping back round here. You’ll see. So this is Skepta’s newie. I’m not as familiar with Skepta as I probably should be but this feels a bit more done, a slightly smoother production, a bit slinkier than I’ve heard before. And the chorus is actually a chorus, yeah? Tell you what, why don’t you have a look at the video and we can talk about why we’re really here.

Now. Is that a 100% perfect Eurotrash pastiche or what? From the wobbly panels to the slowly filling in subtitles and the awkward studio dances. It’s spot on. And it even serves a purpose, as about halfway through Skepta jumps on you with a series of half-seen images of slaves, chained an miserable. Real images. Not just a white girl playing dress-up. As the flames rise in the Eurotrash studio the meaning of it as imagery, as it relates to the title, becomes clear. Yeah, the song slinks low on its belly instead of soaring, but it’s got a real hard sting.

About Thom Willis

Thom is the curator of #microwrites - - and writes his own stories for He lives in London because, given the choice, who wouldn't?

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