Must Listen, New Music: Week 2

My must-listen list of music containing songs and albums all released between May 2nd and 8th.

The Aces- “My Phone is Trying to Kill Me” (single)

“My Phone is Trying to Kill Me” is the 3rd single The Aces have released from their upcoming album Under My Influence, which is scheduled to be released on June 12th. “MPITTKM” explores our attachment to our phones during this digital age, specifically referencing our tendency to cyber-stalk our exes. Sometimes we can’t help but “check the screen just one more time” as we impatiently wait for a reply and feel “hopeless” when we’re left on read. This song is a complete BOP and extremely relatable to anyone with a phone and an ex.

[ ℗ 2020 Red Bull Records Inc. ]

Cold War Kids (feat. Wesley Schultz)- “1 x 1” (single)

Cold War Kids, with help from The Lumineers’ Wesley Schultz, co-wrote this acoustic track with One Republic’s Brent Kutzle. The track was initially inspired by the heartbreaking family separation stories occurring every day at our nation’s border. The band further emphasizes the song’s message by using the lyrics as the cover image specifically mentioning the “gate” that separates the families: “we will come / you make me wait / at the gate / to see your face again.” In an interview with Spin, Cold War Kids’ vocalist Nathan Willett mentioned the new meaning of the song formed by the Covid quarantine: “…one by one each of us are staying apart to help the whole of us.”

[ ℗ 2020 CWKTWO Corp. under exclusive license to AWAL Recordings America, Inc. ]

chillpill (feat. GOLDN)- “FUCK THE CLUB” (single)

“FUCK THE CLUB” is chillpill’s first official release. According to chillpill’s shiny new Spotify page, “it’s about staying at home and making the best out of whatever we have around us.” Instead of going out to the club, he chooses to take time for himself away from all the drama caused by a failed relationship. The song doubles as a break up anthem as he sings “someone let that fucker know she missed out” as he “flush[es] the feelings down the sink.” Based off this banger, I’m excited to see what the brand new artist chillpill does next.

[ ℗ 2020 DEFI Records, LLC under exclusive license to Atlantic Recording Corporation. ]

Hayley Williams- Petals For Armor (album)

Hayley Williams, known for her lead vocals in the mega-punk rock band Paramore, released her 3-part debut solo album Petals For Armor on May 8th. She released the 1st and 2nd parts of the album as EP’s earlier this year, but rounded out the full album with the part 3 EP this week. Williams began writing the tracks for Petals For Armor to reclaim her sense of self as she was receiving therapy for a decade-long depression and battling a heavy divorce. Through the 3 part-album, she unpacks trauma related to shame, depression, her childhood experiences, and her personal relationships.

In an interview for Pitchfork, she breaks down each song off of the album. Her sheer vulnerability regarding extremely personal topics and experiences is notable and honorary. She’s truly taking back her life and sense of self in Petals For Armor.

[ ℗ 2020 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States. A Warner Music Group Company. ]


SEBASTIAN PAUL’s “IMPATIENT” is about choosing to leave someone in your life behind in order to better yourself. The song is heard as a conversation and personal proclamation as he directs the lyrics in 2nd person “I couldn’t wait for you for my entire life.” PAUL told Flaunt “waiting on someone you love to have a change of heart can be maddening. Time passes like sand and you find yourself constantly wondering if the grass is greener elsewhere. ‘Impatient’ takes place when the desire to seek those greener pastures outweighs the comfort of normality.” In this case, he got caught up in a comfortable routine with a person who could never seem to change, but he needed a change.

[ ℗ 2020 SEBASTIAN PAUL. ]

lovelytheband- “i should be happy” (single)

“i should be happy” is a somber, tortured, extremely vulnerable track addressing the topics of depression and loneliness. Lead singer Mitchy Collins told ABC News Radio “it touches on my ongoing battle with depression and the constant dark cloud it puts on my life. I am living my dreams, I’ve gotten everything I’ve wanted in life and still, for some reason, it’s hard for me to smile about it most days.” Depression places a burden and weight on even the supposedly happiest of experiences. Those who face this mental illness feel tortured not knowing why they feel this way or how to cope, which you can hear in the echoed and somber tone of the track. Unfortunately, this song bears true for far too many around the world today. lovelytheband released the song now in response to the mental health concerns occurring because of the stay-at-home orders and in honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month being the month May.

[ ℗ 2020 The Century Family, Inc. ]

Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber- “Stuck with U” (single)

With this iconic pop collaboration single, Grande and Bieber will be donating all proceeds to 1st Responders Children’s Foundation that ensures the children of First Responders receive necessary resources. Not only are they donating the proceeds to a Covid-19 relief organization, but the song is also assumingely based on a couple being quarantined together during the pandemic. While we are seeing, and will most likely continue to see, rises in the global divorce rate due to the forced quarantine situations, Grande and Bieber’s collaboration presents a sweet and uplifting take on couples quarantining together in Spotify’s #1 ranked Global Top 50 song.

[ ℗ 2020 Silent Records Ventures, LLC, Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc., and Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. ]

Daniyel- “MOM” (single)

18 year old up-and-coming artist, Daniyel, released this loving tribute to his mom just in time for Mother’s Day today. He sings about his sweet relationship with his supportive and uplifting mother, who has played the roles of mother and father during his upbringing. When he felt low, his mom “gave him wings” and “numbed [his] pain.” He also goes on to apologize for the times he caused drama. You should definitely play this for your mom, especially today.

[ ℗ 2020 COR/TAN Records. ]

Kehlani- It Was Good Until It Wasn’t (album)

Where to even begin with this jaw-dropping R&B album. Kehlani’s album reached top 10 on Apple Music’s Top Album chart before it was even released. Following its official release on May 8th, the album reached #1 on Apple Music’s and iTunes’ Top Album lists, which marks her first time reaching the top of these charts in her career. As of May 4th, the album has accumulated 5 #1 spots on iTunes worldwide and 19 #1 spots on Apple Music worldwide. The 25 year old R&B superstar posted on Instagram “I pushed thru this album. Thru new motherhood, postpartum issues, heartbreak, loss, grief. I lost 2 people I called sister. I lost love I considered unbreakable. I cried. I wiped my tears. Everyday there was effort to heal. I’m still trying” — the album’s track list and title reflect this personal journey– parts of life truly are good until they aren’t. During her YouTube live stream about the release, Kehlani mentions this project is “moodier and more melancholy” than her other projects as she was writing about these ups and downs occurring in her personal life. I simply cannot emphasize this album and this artist enough.

[ ℗ 2020 TSNMI / Atlantic Recording Corporation. ]

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