NMF: Elton John and Britney Spears, Julia Wolf, and more
Here are some of the biggest and best music releases of the week.
Here are some of the biggest and best music releases of the week.
Text: Ellie Beeck
Happy Friday! The music world did not disappoint on the last Friday of August, with an influx of catchy, hit-worthy new songs. Of course, the big story of the week is Britney's return to music, via a duet with Sir Elton John himself. But beyond Britney, this week also brought about plenty of indie-pop songs and dance songs, from new Julia Wolf to new David Guetta and Bebe Rexha.
Lets get into this week's picks, and soak up the final days of summer:
"Hold Me Closer" by Elton John and Britney Spears
Britney’s back. The singer came back with a bang, releasing her first new song in six years with the one-and-only Elton John. The iconic duo reimagined John’s 1971 song “Tiny Dancer,” transforming the classic into a modern dance-pop track. John and Spears float back and forth between the song's unmistakable lyrics, and the synth-y track is elevated by John’s signature piano. The song represents a catchy, joyful, triumphant return to music for Spears.
“Virginity” by Julia Wolf
Indie-pop darling Julia Wolf is following up her punchy single “Hot Killer” with “Virginity,” a deeply personal and introspective track about coming to terms with the confusing, compounding feelings that can come with losing your virginity. “I ran home, the floor was lava / Cried in my dorm / I broke my promise / To my sister / Said I’d wait for the one,” she softly sings on the pre-chorus. A departure from her typical playful style, “Virginity” feels like Wolf’s coming-of-age song.
“Mushroom Punch” by Zella Day
Rising alt-pop artist Zella Day kicked off her new musical era with “Mushroom Punch,” the first single from her just-announced sophomore album, Sunday in Heaven. The quirky, explosive track takes listeners on a psychedelic trip, as Day bounces between soft verses and heavier rock elements. “And I drink too much and think too much, no self-control / I'm gonna mushroom-punch my way down the rabbit hole,” Day croons on the chorus, showing off her airy vocals.
“Handle with Care” by Francis Karel
The highlight from rising pop star Francis Karel’s debut EP, Handle with Care, is the raw, introspective title track, “Handle with Care.” Exploring the concepts of self-growth and identify, “Handle With Care” is broadly relatable. “I can't write a love song / Without feeling like a fraud / Convinced myself I'm someone / That nobody good would want,” he sings on the pre-chorus. With floating vocals and a stunning vocal range, Karel has primed himself to be the next big name of pop.
“Never Have I Ever” by MILES feat. Travis Barker
Alt-pop singer and rapper MILES finally released his highly anticipated debut EP, Never Have I Ever, which is filled with groovy, fun summer tracks. The title song “Never Have I Ever,” has an anthemic chorus and a strong bassline. “Never have I ever, never have I ever wasted even one shot (Like never, like never еver) / Never havе I ever got my shit together, still ain't missing one shot (Can't miss a shot, shot, shot) / I feel like my whole life on uppers now, get it started on a high note,” he sings on the chorus. Drummer Travis Barker lends his expertise to the track and infuses it with a tinge of rock, adding to MILES’ signature genre-bending sound.
“I’m Good (Blue)” by David Guetta & Bebe Rexha
David Guetta and Bebe Rexha’s “I’m Good (Blue)” already went viral on TikTok, and for a good reason. The track is the ultimate club anthem, fusing Rexha’s soulful vocals with Guetta’s signature dancefloor beats. “I'm good, yeah, I'm feelin' alright / Baby, I'ma have the best fuckin' night of my life,” Rexha sings on the chorus, an undeniable call to action. With compelling piano chords alongside the ever-dropping beat, expect to hear “I’m Good (Blue)” at nightclubs for years to come.
"Leave It On The Dancefloor" by Hope Tala
Another dance track, “Leave It On The Dancefloor” by UK singer-songwriter Hope Tala is less euphoric and more emotional. Truly about crying in the club, “Leave It On The Dancefloor” is urges you to put your troubles aside for a night. “So come on leave it on the dancefloor / Leave your worries all behind and let the night / Take the pain away / Come on leave it on the dancefloor,” Tala sings on the disco-esque chorus. Filled with glittering ‘80s synths and a head-bopping beat, “Leave It On The Dancefloor” is groovy enough to inspire anyone to dance.
“Cry” by FRENSHIP
“Cry” by FRENSHIP is a bright, bold electropop song, the perfect backtrack to dancing around with friends. The genre-bending duo infuse the innocence of ‘80s hyper pop with the experimental nature of ‘90s hip hop, making the song a funky, danceable earworm. The anthemic chorus is the highlight of the track with the duo belting: “Cry, let it out / Fuck the bigger picture / Cry, let it out / ‘Cause your money’s all gone / Cry, let it out / There’s no one left to listen.”
"Emotional" by Ashe
From her highly anticipated sophomore album, Rae, singer songwriter Ashe cranks up the volume with “Emotional,” a confident anthem for the girls who just want to let loose. “I don't wanna run you over heavy on the gas / I'm a million miles an hour and I'm never coming last,” she sings over the carefree, hand-clapping track. A departure from her typical crooning, ballad-style songs, “Emotional” shows a different side of Ashe, with sharp lyrics and staccato verses.
“Weird Goodbyes” by The National feat. Bon Iver
After teasing the song for weeks, The National finally dropped “Weird Goodbyes,” their latest track with indie star Bon Iver. “Weird Goodbyes” highlights all the strengths of both Bon Iver and The National, from the deeply smooth notes to the soaring bridge. “Memorize the bathwater, memorize the air / There’ll come a time I’ll wanna know I was here,” lead singer Matt Berninger sings in the opening line, setting up the overwhelming feelings of grief and moving on that the song explores.
“YUKON (INTERLUDE)” by Joji
Joji announced his newest album, SMITHEREENS, by dropping a new single, “YUKON (INTERLUDE).” “YUKON (INTERLUDE)” finds Joji embracing uncertainty, in a trippy, psychedelic reality. The fast-paced track has some of the same piano elements from his viral hit “Glimpse of Us,” but the similarities end there. “And my eyes get low in that all-white truck, I can barely see shit / Hit the gas like you wouldn't believe it / Thank God I was always healing,” he sings on the R&B infused track.