Sunday, July 14, 2019

Weekend Diversion: Rescued songs

Some of these “Weekend Diversion” posts have been harder to put together than others. They all require research, of course, but the whole process became more complicated earlier this month when the free-to-air music video channel that introduced me to many of the songs I shared went off air. As I said yesterday, though, I’ve since found a solution to help me keep up with new music. It’s also allowed me to finish this post (which I’d barely begun), and to do a post I’d only had in my head when the TV channel disappeared.

So, this is the first of those posts that I almost abandoned, but now can finish.

The first song today is the video up above, only one that I’d written down and done some research on. It’s called “I Don't Belong In This Club”, a 2019 single by US pop band Why Don’t We and US rapper and songwriter Macklemore.

I liked the sound of this song—though it was one of the few where I needed to read the lyrics to know what they were singing. Even so, I especially liked Macklemore’s opening rap, especially the “Mackle—who?!” part.

The song reached Number 80 in Australia, and Number 25 in New Zealand. It didn’t chart in any of the other countries I write about. This was Why Don’t We’s first single to chart in Australia and New Zealand.

Next up: Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don't Care”:

I knew both of the artists in this song, but I hadn’t written down the name of the song. So, that Top 40 list came in handy for me, though I could have found it since I knew the artists. I’ve done that before.

In any case, I like the sound of the song—and it’s just coincidence that it has a similar story to the song up above. I’ve been a fan of Ed Sheeran for years, and I also think that Justin Bieber is underrated by those who can’t accept that artists change, so they continue to mock him for his earlier pop songs, or the fanaticism of his young female fans, or because of all of that. He’s certainly grown up; some of his critics need to do the same. Yeah, yeah, I know—”meow!”

Anyway, the song was actually the fourth time that Sheeran and Bieber collaborated, and Sheeran co-wrote Bieber’s hit, "Love Yourself”. “I Don’t Care” hit Number One in Australia, 2 in Canada 2x Platinum), 2 in New Zealand (Platinum), Number One in the UK (Platinum), and 2 the USA. This week, the song is currently Number 4 in New Zealand, and was Number 3 last week (it was always possible for me to include chart information for songs currently charting in New Zealand, but the source I now use for researching new music makes that much easier to do…).

Finally this week, “Let Me Down Slowly” by Alec Benjamin:

“Let Me Down Slowly” is by American singer and songwriter Alec Benjamin. It was originally released last year, but I never saw the video above until earlier this year. I thought that maybe I’d just missed it last year, however, there’s more to it, something I learned when researching this post.

The video above was the original video, which was released on June 4 of last year. However, in February of this year a new video was released (video below) to go with a re-released version that came out January 7, 2019. The new version was a duet with Canadian singer Alessia Cara. This is the version currently on the charts in New Zealand (31 this week), but for some reason the defunct music video channel only played the older version. I have no idea why that is, but I’d never have known all this if I hadn’t had to expand my research for this post. A benefit of the change, maybe?

I think the new video is much better than the original, and I might have included it sooner if the channel had played the new one. That’s why I’ve done something I don’t normally do: I’ve included two versions of videos of the same song.

I noticed the song at all because Alec Benjamin has an unusual voice; to me, he sounds much younger than he is (he’s 25), and at first I didn’t think it fit him, but I got used to it. It’s one of those songs that grew on my over time.

I always include chart performance, when available, but this time it comes with a caveat: I don’t know if the numbers refer to the original release or the new version. In any case, it hit Number 56 in Australia (Platinum), 49 in Canada (Platinum), 23 in New Zealand (Platinum), 31 in the UK (Silver), and 79 in the USA (Platinum). So far, it’s his only charted single.

Here’s the music video of the newer version:

I said in last week’s “Weekend Diversion” post that “I have one or two of these posts to go, and by then I should know what I’ll do with these posts in the future.” This was one  of the posts I was talking about, and the new research source made it possible.

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