It’s the most wonderful time of the year - end of year lists, obvs! - and while we at DIY gave our opinions of what songs we were cranking out in the WFH office over here, for our last Have You Heard? of the year, we thought we’d get someone else to give it a shot.
As we call time on another 12 months of musical missives, we asked comedian Nish Kumar to pass judgement on what 2021 had to offer. From Eurovision winners Måneskin, to winner of DIY’s Best Tracks of 2021 Self Esteem, back to the return of Adele, Nish has told us what he thinks of the biggest songs of the year. And he even provided his own scoring system too.
You’re welcome, world.
Adele - Easy On Me
You know what? I’m genuinely thrilled she’s finally getting some air time. She’s been bubbling under the surface for a long time, and I think this could be her year. [‘Easy On Me’] sort of is Adele-by-numbers, but if your numbers are as good as Adele’s why would you do anything different?
Verdict: 3 crying ladies at 11pm out of 5.
Little Simz - Woman
She’s the best, I’m a huge, huge fan. I thought ‘GREY Area’ was phenomenal and everything she does pushes her sound forward in really interesting ways. ‘Woman’ is one of the more lowkey efforts [on the album] in terms of the sound of it, but her flow is insane; she’s such a brilliant rapper, and so lyrically dextrous and musically ambitious. I don’t think there’s anyone in music that we should be more excited about than Little Simz.
Verdict: The aesthetic on the last tour was all white uniforms, so it’s 5 all white uniforms out of 5.
Self Esteem - I Do This All The Time
There’s something very clever and very arch about this album, and there’s a nice bit of light and shade to this track. Someone really discovering that they love themselves is a nice thing to hear! I relate to earnestness - in spite of the fact I’m a comedian, at my core I’m quite an earnest man - so it made me feel good and positive.
Verdict: 4 ladies complimenting each other in a nightclub toilet out of 5.
Wet Leg - Chaise Longue
I think they were recommended by Iggy Pop on his 6Music show and anything that’s good enough for Iggy is good enough for me - musically I mean, other stuff in the past that was good enough for Iggy, I don’t think would be good for me at all. I like this track a lot; there’s something very charming and witty about it and I’m excited to see what they do next. It feels like a really interesting calling card for a new type of funny, smart indie rock - and definitely there’s a huge gap to be filled there.
Verdict: 4 long French chairs out of 5.
Måneskin - ZITTI E BUONI
There’s something of The Darkness about it - not the metaphysical concept, the band - and it’s not the most original sound in the world, but when it’s done this well, does it really matter? I kind of want to have sex with all of them. And I think its tongue is firmly in its cheek - or their tongues are firmly in each others’ cheeks. It’s some people having some very self-aware group sex, is the best way I can put [this song].
Verdict: 3 entirely unused condom wrappers out of 5.
Olivia Rodrigo - good 4 u
People over 30 should legally not be able to give their opinions on Olivia Rodrigo. I think my generation is starting to age out of relevance and we are not doing it in a dignified way. I truly believe if you can clearly remember September 11th, no one cares about your opinion on Olivia Rodrigo.
Lil Nas X - MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)
Lil Nas X is everything that a pop star should be. He’s funny, subversive, playful, sexy - he’s a perfect pop star. This is what pop music exists for and it’s what it should be delivering. It’s provocative at a time when that word is largely used to mean a white man being transphobic on Question Time; I’m very happy that a generation of young people are being exposed to a pop star as smart and talented as Lil Nas X. We’re all very lucky to live in his world.
Verdict: 5 devil dicks out of 5.
Nish Kumar is touring the UK and Ireland with his Your Power, Your Control tour in 2022.
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