Music Monday: Blue Neighbourhood, Natalie Cole, and more!

It's the first Music Monday of the year, and this week we're all about heartfelt ballads and moody pop.

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It's Music Monday and we're all about heartfelt ballads and moody pop.

What Lena Dunham, Head Lenny, is listening to:

Troye Sivan - YOUTH
Troye Sivan - TALK ME DOWN (Blue Neighbourhood Part 3/3)
Troye Sivan - Happy Little Pill
Troye Sivan - WILD (Blue Neighbourhood Part 1/3)
Troye Sivan - FOOLS (Blue Neighbourhood Part 2/3)
Troye Sivan - YOUTH Acoustic (Sydney Session)
for him.
Sam Smith vs Drake - Hotline Bling (AXB Remix)
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I can't stop talking about Blue Neighbourhood, Troye Sivan's debut album- this is moody teen pop with a touch of radical queerness and a soupçon of 80s British club kid. Sivan started as a YouTube sensation but this dreamily familiar, soul stirring debut is the work of someone who has a lot to say beyond that space.

What our Editor-at-Large Doreen St.Félix is listening to:

About four years ago, Natalie Cole appeared on an episode of Larry King. Her posture still carried the grace that had originated with her father, that found place again in her the sixty-one years she'd already lived, but it was clear she was frail. On December 31 2015, Natalie Cole died of renal failure. She was 65, the age my mother turned two weeks ago. I, like so many daughters who'd grown up with Cole unassuming voice filling their living room, dreaded telling my mom the news. As the legends of our parents' youth die, we necessarily consider their own mortality. There were many of her songs I thought I would play for my mother when I heard the news, the lilting, full ones like Our Love or Unforgettable. My mom suggested we celebrate instead, and I invite you to start off the first work week of 2016 by listening to the Cole classic, (This will be) An Everlasting Love.

What our Editor-in-Chief Jessica Grose is listening to:

My family got bronchitis on our Christmas "vacation" (which was not much of one), and the Counting Crows song "A Long December" kept echoing in my head. Because our December felt REALLY LONG. I will also defend Counting Crows more generally. My sense is they're considered lame '90s relics by most, but their first two albums were really fucking great.

What our assistant Dianca London is listening to:

Bethany Cosentino's brand of fuzzed out pop is lifeblood for girls like me. Equal parts lo-fi and yearning, Best Coast's Crazy For You is the successor of greats like The Ronettes, The Shangri-Las, and Lesley Gore. Jangly and brooding, tracks like "Our Deal" and "When the Sun Don't Shine" set the perfect tone for winter nights spent consuming  pizza while pining away for former lovers and hypothetical baes. This album manages to feel like summer and winter at the same time. It's sun-drenched moodiness is also a welcome reminder that: a) I'm a total romantic (and that's okay) and b) I'm not alone in wishing that my cat could talk.  

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