Single-Play Stretch

Happy belated new year! 2016 started out with a huge loss with David Bowie’s death. But Bowie left his fans with some truly strange music for his final farewell — but not all of it. However, one should not be all boo-hoo if music still continues to entertain and surprise. And this week’s line up does both. So here we go with Teddybears, Shy Shy Shy, Marie Munroe, and Bowie.

Teddybears, “The Best You Ever Had” (Featuring Gorilla Zoe)

In the info sheet sent with this song, it has this intriguing sentence: “Teddybears have not forgotten about their “anti-pop though we make pop” vibe.” That does sum up “The Best You Ever Had.” It has some dissonant elements going on, but at bottom it’s more married to pop music than maybe the group wants on this tune. Give it at least 3-4 listens, and whatever anti-pop Teddybears intended quickly melts away into a satisfying pop glow.

Shy shy shy, “Do Not Ask”

Astrid Cordes and Simon Kjeldgaard are the Copenhagen, Denmark duo who make up Shy Shy Shy. The band’s name refers to the band’s personality and how shyness is a big theme in their music. Okay, that being said, it’s very difficult to be shy about the pop hooks in “Do Not Ask,” but underneath that insouciant whistle is a more withdrawn vocal that clearly indicates Cordes and Kjeldgaard aren’t entirely comfortable being in the spotlight.

Marie Munroe, “Can’t Go Back”

Marie Munroe is HUGE in her native Norway. The upcoming tour in her country in support of her album Under My Skin is sold out. Born Hilde Marie Kjersem, Munroe started singing jazz, and with her name change, is now venturing into the world of full blown pop. “Can’t Go Back” packs an emotional punch with her earnest delivery coupled with stellar production and solid hooks in the chorus.

David Bowie, “I Can’t Give Everything Away”

With the devastating passing of David Bowie on January 10th — though most of the world found out on the 11th — interest in his final record has surged. Blackstar is clearly more experimental than anything Bowie has released in decades, but tucked in at the end is probably the most conventional song in the collection. “I Can’t Give Everything Away” has many pop elements Bowie excelled in, but instead of going over the top, he’s much more subtle and somewhat withdrawn.