V’s New Music Round-Up

Here are some of the best and biggest releases of the week

Hello and welcome! Have you ever wondered what I, the person who makes this, listens to? Or how I find new music to add to my own playlists each week? Then welcome to V’s new music round-up, where we tune you into some of the week’s biggest and best releases, whether they be singles or albums, and which I use as my own source, too.

Here are this week’s top picks:

Pretty Summer Playlist: Season 1 by Saweetie

Image courtesy of ICY/Warner Records

Saweetie kicks the early vestiges of summer off with a new seven track EP featuring collabs and assists from up-and-comers. The rapper gets her moments to shine on the two solo tracks, but the diverse sounds of her collaborators are the real stars of the show, plus Saweetie’s ability to capably bounce between them all and maintain her own style.

Still Here by iann dior

Image courtesy of 10K Projects

iann dior continues the trend of mini EPs on this list with, although this one is simply two tracks long, more of a double-sided single. Both songs, “shots in the dark” and “don’t wanna believe,” feature several elements prevalent in many of dior’s most popular hits — love songs, pop-rock and trap hybrids, with familiar guitars and drum machines, sings that dior’s already found a sound to stick to and grow off of.

Lamentations by Sufjan Stevens

Image courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty Records

This one is very different from everything else on this list, being a completely instrumental album that’s part of a five LP set coming in May. However, each of the “lamentations” on the keyboard-heralded album takes the listener to such different places and has them feeling varied sensations. It’s gothic, medieval, extra-terrestrial, dystopian, arena rock, all at once. It’s one of those things you only understand when you actually listen to it and let it wash over you.

“Phone Dies” by Andra Day

Newly minted Golden Globe winner and V128 cover star Andra Day releases her first single since the music for her turn as Billie Holiday. The Anderson .Paak produced “Phone Dies” is an R&B and electro-soul production that radiates off of Day’s sweet and sultry vocals, as she croons “I’ll let you feel these vibes until my phone dies” with complete abandon.

“Sabotage” by Bebe Rexha

The emotional “Sabotage,” a song about being vulnerable and sabotaging relationships, is the kind of showcase Rexha needs for her vocal ability and emotional heft, which she brings in spades. She has already displayed a knack for conquering the traditional mainstream pop song, but tracks like this  are necessary for reminding people of the artistry that lies behind the music. 

“Gone Are The Days” by Kygo ft. James Gillespie

The Norwegian DJ’s return to original music since his last album in 2020 finds him going in a new direction, embracing orchestral grandiose and vocal-heavy tracks. “Gone Are The Days” is the perfect way to start that off, as Gillespie’s raw and powerful vocal performance takes center stage and the piano-championing production simply elevates it further.

“Love is Weird” by Julia Michaels

Following the alt-rock angsty romance of “All Your Exes,” Michaels continues the lead up to her debut album with a dose of sincerity. “Love is Weird” takes the more contemplative approach to romantic allusions, using a slower pace and fuller melody to talk about the odd moments of love, wondering whether it’s all worth it. Given her rocketing stances on it, it seems like the album itself is set to answer that question for her.

“Purge the Poison” by MARINA

A guitar hero dream of a track, “Purge the Poison” is MARINA telling humans, from the POV of Mother Nature herself, it’s time to wake up and cleanse the earth around us, learn from our mistakes, and improve the system. Referencing the pandemic, capitalism, Harvey Weinstein, and Britney Spears’ 2007 incident, the track rattles through all that’s gone off the rails for humanity and how we can rise up above by “purging the poison.”

“Repeat” by Grace VanderWaal

Grace VanderWaal continues her journey into alt-pop and grunge, a symbolic burning of the yellow-haired bob of the past, if you will. But it’s a testament to her talent that she sounds just as comfortable in this new sound of hers, running through vocal registers like a slick guitar riff and blasting off like she’s having the most fun she’s had in years. 

“You” by Regard, Troye Sivan, and Tate McRae

Regard’s synthy, stringy, electro-dance-y production confection is the perfect accompaniment to Sivan’s airy and smooth vocals, as a lot of his discography has proven. But McRae is the surprise on the track, really letting her coos come into their own and blend seamlessly with Sivan’s, resulting in a buoyant and fun track that’s now probably stuck on endless loop at the part where both sing “it’s you” in your head, whether you like it or not.

“Do I Fit in Your Shoes?” by BabyJake

This is one of those songs that has such a smooth groove that you’d just end bopping with no actual regard for what the song says. But that would be an error, lest you miss out on BabyJake’s story about rising up against all odds and expectations, staying on top and proving himself despite all the naysayers who question him. The slick guitar work and his earnest vocals do their job too, selling you on the song hard.

“15 Minutes” by Julian Lamadrid

Julian Lamadrid’s “15 Minutes” is the sort of jubilant pop song that you’d associate with a person who’s usually termed as the one with the “infectious energy” or “that contagious laugh.” It’s a hypnotic and purely joyful dance track that feels like it was made expressly for the purpose of driving up the energy in the room, which it does.

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