Must Listen, New Music: Week 3

My must-listen list of music containing songs and an EP all released between May 9th and 15th.

Fletcher- “Bitter” (single)

With “Bitter,” Fletcher paired up with Kito to bring us another empowering break-up anthem. The song is exactly how the title reads: Fletcher is bitter. She’s bitter about how the break-up feels like “kinda stupid” similes. She’s bitter about how someone new took her place in her ex’s life. She’s bitter that her ex moved on and found a new life now that they’re broken up. And she’s bitter that can’t stop thinking about her ex. The bridge hits particularly hard within this break-up anthem: “you’re still in my head, but you’re not in my bed now.” And at the end of verse two: “It’s like I don’t wanna hear it, don’t wanna hear about you. It’s like I don’t give a fuck (Yeah, I do).”

And while it is a bitter break-up song, “Bitter” also has a sexy edge through the chorus. “I know you think about me when you kiss her. I left a taste in your mouth, can she taste me now? I’m bitter.” Damn, Fletch.

[ ℗ Capitol Records; ℗ 2020 Snapback Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Inc. ]

Blake Rose- “Rest of Us” (single)

The 22 year old Australian singer, songwriter, and producer Blake Rose captures the essence of youth empowerment in this piano-based emotional track. Rose told Variance that it’s a “middle finger to anyone who doesn’t want you to live your dream.” What begins as simply vocals and a piano courageously builds throughout the progression of the track. The progression of the vocals and production matches the progression of the lyrics’ empowerment as he realizes we shouldn’t let other people dictate what dreams we should chase. Rose told Variance that the song is based off of his friend’s hesitance to pursue a career in music because his family didn’t support him. Rose states: “…there are so many people in the world whose art we will never have the chance to discover because some narrow minded folk decided to steer them away from doing what they love. F*** those people.” To prevent more dreams from being abandoned, his chorus sends an empowering message: don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big. It’s the perfect anthem for anyone who has big dreams that no one seems to understand. “Yeah we’re just kids, man, and we’re all fucked up. All these old guns, say that we dream too much. But though you wasted all your love. You can’t talk, talk for the rest of us.”

[ ℗ 2020 Blake Rose under exclusive license to AWAL Recordings America, Inc. ]

Tory Lanez- “Temperature Rising” (single)

[EXPLICIT WARNING]. Fitting to the title, the temperature rises and rises high with this sexy Tory Lanez R&B slow jam. “Temperature Rising” is Lanez’s first independent release since his split from Interscope Records earlier this year. Though the temperature rises, the pace stays slow to create the perfect sensual ballad. “My body pressed against your body, baby…I’m tellin’ you to lock the door…” It’s no secret that this song is meant to be played in the bedroom. For the record, the small snippet I chose to include is me keeping it relatively PG-rated…goes to show just how sexy this song is.

[ ℗ 2020 One Umbrella Records. ]

ADÉ- “Out the Way” (single)

“Out the Way” is the 5th track on Ade’s EP wyd after? which were released on May 15th. On this particular EP, “Out the Way” sticks out. On the surface, it’s a very modern, smooth R&B track about the anti-commitment, infidelity, and ‘side chick’ cultures in society. However, when you listen closer, it’s an important track about self-realization and eventual guilt. In the beginning, ADÉ expresses a toxic and reckless love story where he essentially keeps a ‘side chick’ available in case his ‘main chick’ is cheating on him. As the track progresses, you hear ADÉ’s guilt regarding his wrongdoings in terms of this double standard and his selfish treatment of the woman in his life. ADÉ does a great job telling a socially relevant toxic relationship and the guilt associated with it.

[ ℗ 2020 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. ]

Kygo, OneRepublic- “Lose Somebody” (single)

“Lose Somebody” is Kygo and OneRepublic’s 2nd collaboration together (“Stranger Things” is the 1st from 2017). The track expresses the realization that ‘we don’t know what we have until it’s gone.’ Kygo does not use any flashy or overly impressive production technique, but keeps the production just as simple as the lyric’s universal theme (and chorus): “sometimes you gotta lose somebody just to find out you really love someone.” The simple and incredibly relatable lyrics along with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder’s strong vocals make this song great. Having only been out for 3 days (as of May 18th), the track already has over 5 million listens on Spotify. Kygo revealed “Lose Somebody” is the final single from his upcoming album which will be released on May 29th.

[ ℗ 2020 Kygo AS under exclusive license to Sony Music International Ltd. ]

Noah Cyrus- The End of Everything (EP)

I don’t know about you, but I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the progression of Noah Cyrus’ career since her debut single back in 2015, “Make Me (Cry)”, which reached #1 on Spotify’s Viral Global Chart hours after its release. With every new project, I love Cyrus more and her latest EP, The End of Everything, is no exception. Despite being only 20 years old, she has embedded herself as one of the prominent, honest songwriters of this generation as she paves her own style within the pop genre. This latest release is her most beautifully raw and honest work yet. In “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus”, Cyrus writes about her marijuana-induced spiritual epiphany. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Cyrus further discusses the spiritual aspect of the track, “this song is not about or for one religion or belief system. Jesus basically represents a greater understanding and knowledge that everything has its purpose…” Cyrus also covers honest and important topics such as her own personal struggles with mental health and fitting in (“Lonely”), the guilt and repercussions associated with dishonesty (“Liar”), and feeling stuck growing up in her older sister’s shadow (“Young & Sad”). Personally, The End of Everything will probably go down as one of my favorite EPs of all-time…and she’s only 20 years old.

[ ℗ 2020 Records Label, LLC / Columbia. ]

Jonas Brothers- “Five More Minutes” (single)

The Jo Bros have blessed us with yet another sweet love song. In this harmonious ballad, the brothers are begging their respective wives for one simple request: “just give me five more minutes” because they’re “not finished loving” them. Nick sings the first chorus, Joe the second, and they duet the third. Now this is when Joe begins to beg “please say ‘yes'” 6 times in the bridge. Simple and sweet.

[ ℗ 2020 Jonas Brothers Recording, Limited Liability Company, under exclusive license to Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. ]

Gavin James- “Boxes” (single)

“Boxes” is an incredibly reassuring and optimistic coming-of-age story. In an endless amount of songs addressing topics of maturation, overcoming bullying, and personal growth, James’ positive and reassuring outlook celebrates individuality. Gavin James’ sweet, quirky track reassures the fact that it’s okay to not fit into society’s ‘box’ of how we are supposed to look or act. The resilience to avoid fitting into the box is highlighted in verse two: “and every time they caught me dreaming I’d say don’t wake me up.”

[ ℗ Capitol Records; ℗ 2020 GS AllPoints, under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Inc. ]

X Ambassadors (with K.Flay & grandson)- “Zen” (single)

X Ambassadors paired with K.Flay and grandson to bring society a very timely and cathartic anthem highlighting the struggles faced during the coronavirus quarantine. Sam Harris, lead vocalist of X Ambassadors, explained to Pressparty that the inspiration for the track was that “we wanted to talk about what stresses us out, what we wish we understood better. What we think no one else understands. We talk about finding peace in chaos.” Essentially, “Zen” captures the emotions, such as anxiety, loneliness, frustration, and isolation, that are becoming heightened during times of social isolation. In a frustrated tone, they highlight popular trends that have emerged during social isolation like meditation apps, texting exes, and FaceTime parties with friends. But in reality, they just want some “fucking zen.” K.Flay’s verse truly highlights and details what many Americans are feeling during this social isolation: “Gimme space, at least six feet…I got sex on my mind all the time, fuck. Scrollin’ through the internet, time suck. I’ve been feelin’ flat like a pancake. I could use a hug or a handshake.”

[ ℗ 2020 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records. ]

Honorable Mentions:

Polo G- THE GOAT (album)

Dijon- How Do You Feel About Getting Married? (EP)

Tkay Maidza- “Shook” (single)

Chantel Jeffries, Shaylen- “Come Back To Me” (single)

Justine Skye- “No Options” (single)

Katy Petty- “Daisies” (single)

Perfume Genius- Set My Heart On Fire Immediately (album)

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