Platform's May Playlist recommendations - Maneskin, Rina Sawayama, Royal Blood

Platform Playlist – Our May 2021 Recommendations

Carrying on a fine tradition from editors before me, I wanted to revive the eternal spirit of collaboration for a celebration of the month past – and what a month it was.

There were exam pressures and deadlines, before the end of years, if not entire courses for some of us.

Yet it was the month in which indoor hospitality returned, the first pilot events for outdoor gigs went ahead with success, and artists nailed down their tour schedules for the summer and autumn months.

Oh, and the small matter of Eurovision, the BRIT Awards and several monumental album releases.

Here are the Platform team’s picks of what music has provided the soundtrack for such a month…

Måneskin – VENT’ANNI

Maneskin's album cover for 'Teatro d'Ira'

Image Credit: Sony Music, RCA Records

Since Måns Zelmerlöw’s Eurovision win in 2015, I have not really been obsessed with any Eurovision songs. But then Italian band Måneskin decided to remind us this year that “Rock and Roll never dies” with ‘Zitti e Buoni’ and so I started listening to their latest album ‘Teatro d’ira’.

My favourite song on that album, and by far the one I have been listening to the most these couple of weeks, is ‘Vent’anni’; a ballad about being in your early twenties and feeling anxious about the future.

The song feels rather melancholic at the beginning and then slowly starts to build up, kicking off completely once the first chorus starts which makes it feel like the perfect liberating anthem for the summer.

Rating: 10/10

By Rucsandra Moldoveanu

Rina Sawayama – XS

The cover image for Rina Sawayama's self-titled album

Image Credit: Dirty Hit, Avex Trax

I have not been able to stop listening to Rina Sawayama this month.

‘XS’, one of the singles from her debut album ‘Sawayama’, has been playing on a constant loop in my head. It’s a mixture of 2000s pop and R&B, split up by aggressive guitar riffs.

The song itself is a satire of consumerism and capitalism, that jumps around sonically to demonstrate what Sawayama describes as “the chaos of this post-truth climate-change-denying world”.

Genre hopping is what makes the song so addictive, the constant changing meaning you can play it three times, back-to-back, and not be tired of it.

In fact, Sawayama’s whole album is like that and spans a wide variety of genres. It’s a great and versatile album, and XS is just one of the songs from it you should go out of your way to listen to.

Rating: 8.5/10

By Robbie Nichols

Assorted Editorial Goods

The cover for Royal Blood's third album 'Typhoons'

Image Credit: Warner Records

I was also enamoured by a few Eurovision entries this month. While my vote ultimately went to Måneskin, the likes of Barbara Pravi’s ‘Voilà’, Tusse’s ‘Voices’ and Daði og Gagnamagnið’s’10 Years’ also earned their places on my already star-studded Eurovision playlist.

Straying back into the realms of normality, Royal Blood’s third album ‘Typhoons’ – released on 30 April – was a release worthy of establishing my fellow Brightonians back at the top table of British rock.

Tracks such as ‘Oblivion’, ‘Trouble’s Coming’ and ‘Limbo’ are new classics for the Worthing duo, and I can’t wait for more searing live performances like their Radio 1 Big Weekend shin-dig on Brighton Pier.

Finally, after her richly-deserved BRIT Awards Best New Artist gong, I’ve been returning to the perpetually comforting ditties in Arlo Parks’ back catalogue.

‘Hope’, her pick of tracks from debut album ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ to perform live at the BRITs, serves as a warm hug, reminding us all that it is going to be okay.

As we return to a world that’s been shut off for far too long, it’s good to know that vulnerability is natural and that we can’t always win. What’s important is how we react, and how we treat others.

By Will Hugall

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