We’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t include that much-needed dose of dream-pop in Wonderlist every week, and on this grey-skied day it’s Japanese Breakfast who’s lifting our spirits. Admittedly more upbeat than the singer’s other wistful offerings, on “Be Sweet” Zauner blends 80s synths and plucky guitars into a cocktail of mixed emotions that glow and shine in full-on technicolour. Gliding beside a beach in a top-down Jeep with the speakers on full whack seems like the perfect way to appreciate this bop, so I guess we’re off to hire a car for the day…
Japanese Breakfast take us back to the eighties while Justin Bieber brings us on a heist in this week’s playlist.
Japanese Breakfast – “Be Sweet”
Justin Bieber – “Hold On”
Yes, the Biebs is back. The teen-prodigy meanders into blockbuster territory in the video for his new single “Hold On”, risking high-speed chases, bank heists and bullets to raise the funds for his beloved. The song itself is a catchy yet emotional pop number about healing the world that we can’t get out of our heads as much as we try, perhaps a teaser of what’s to come on his new album – JUSTICE.
Cody Frost – “Verbal Warnings”
Burnley-based singer-songwriter Cody Frost’s debut single is all about sticking it to the man – literally! Inspired by a brutish old-boss, on “Verbal Warnings” Frost vents about the shitty side of life everyone else tends to gloss over. From dealing with insomnia, depression and anxiety to a general disillusionment with the world, Frost’s fusion of punky electro-pop kicks a breath of fresh air into the lungs of the UK music scene, encouraging us to let loose and get in the face of anyone trying to bring us down.
Issey Cross – “Boys Make Promises”
Following up from her neon-streaked debut single “Who”, left-of-field pop star Issey Cross is back this Friday with some more musical splendour for us to sink our teeth into. With haunting, jewellery-box-esque production, “Boys Make Promises” spotlights Cross soft vocals, carefully erupting over punchy chorus lines that flair with orchestral drama. If you couldn’t guess from the title, the song is about those boys who only know how to communicate in lies and half-truths, and our girl is scrubbing them all out of her life, for good!
Baker Grace – “Be Ok”
Baker Grace plotting an escape from all of life’s negativity in “Be Ok”. Penning the subdued track at a time where she was both physically and mentally drained, the singer explains she was unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel until she let go of her ego and appreciated beauty in the little things life has to offer. “Be OK” serves as the motto for the angel on her shoulder, seeing the singer through the tough times and affirming all the good still yet to come, no matter how hopeless it all feels.
Remi Wolf – “Photo ID (feat. Dominic Fike)”
Remi Wolf gives her psych-infused disco track “Photo ID” the Dominic Fike treatment, featuring fast-paced flows and witty asides aplenty. Carried by a hedonistic, care-free spirit, the duo play into each other’s eclectic styles, producing an off-the-cuff banger you won’t be able to stop revisiting. As for the track’s accompanying video? It has EVERYTHING. We’re talking dirt bikes, vast desert spaces, and a disco ball-cum-bike helmet. At one point Fike even gets some acupuncture? It’s chaos really, but the best kind.
Emotional Oranges – “Body & Soul (feat. BIIG PIIG)”
Rising R&B duo Emotional Oranges add another carton to their JUICEBOX project this friday with “Body & Soul”. The duo reached out to their latest guest-star, Irish-Spanish singer BIIG PIIG in an Instagram DM, seeing if PIIG’s hazy vocals and their luscious funky melodies could ever make it work. Evidently, they did, really well, channelling the woozy, feel-good vibes of a dusky summer night. We could crack open a tinnie just thinking about it…
Amy Milner – “Could’ve Been Right Now”
Suffolk-based singer-songwriter Amy Milner rounds off the week with a sombre piano ballad, because for all the highs life gives us (albeit in sparse doses at the moment), someone has to deal with the lows too. Her voice is harrowing, with an instantly classic quality underscored by deep, deep. The song itself is about realising how much somebody means to you in the times when it really matters, be it when you’re temporarily apart or totally estranged, so don’t be surprised if it brings a tear to your eye – that’s kind of the point.