V’s New Music Round-Up

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

Hello and 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. Why the direct start? Because this is an exciting list, filled with some relatively newer names, more interesting sounds and ideas, and so many returns and comebacks it’ll make your head spin. Everyone on here has a narrative, and we can’t wait to dive in!

Here are this week’s top picks:

lately I feel EVERYTHING by WILLOW

Image courtesy of MSFTS Music/Roc Nation

We’ve given WILLOW a bad rap all these years, it’s time we appreciate her for the rock goddess she actually can be, as evidenced on her album. There’s anger, there’s happiness, there’s pain, there’s an F you attitude about it that shows simultaneously how little and how much she cares about the sound she’s putting out to the world (more on that here, though).

Sob Rock by John Mayer

Image courtesy of Columbia Records

Listening to Sob Rock is like listening to one of your parents’ old cassette tapes from the early 80s (cassettes? Remember those?). The music on there is definitely way before your time, something you may not even vibe to. Down to the signature aspect of having your songs fade out at the end instead of ending abruptly, like they do now. But it’s so extremely comforting and inviting, and you have no problems listening to it over and over, even if it’s just in the background.

“Wild Side” by Normani ft. Cardi B

Image courtesy of Keep Cool/RCA Records)

You hear that? It’s the sound of everyone who’d been waiting for Normani to finally drop new music positively screaming at their notifications as they saw the song pop up this AM. “Wild Side” is a relatively slinkier and more low-key way for the singer to slide back into the public consciousness and even Cardi tones down her usual theatrics and spitfire to vibe with the song. It’s a clean chit for the duo, who would make great frequent collaborators down the line.

“Don’t Wait Up” by Shakira

Image courtesy of Ace Entertainment S.ar.I

Speaking of returns, it took years, YEARS for Shakira to come back with a true blue international (aka fully English) single. While it doesn’t have the usually explosive and truly encapsulating Shakira energy, what it does have is the Colombian icon’s ability to roll with the punches and hit audiences with a song that’s still danceable, still enjoyable, and remarkably current.

“It Gets Better” by Swedish House Mafia

Image courtesy of SSA Recording

Speaking of returns, WHAT! Who saw this coming (if you didn’t read any news about it, at least)? Nine years after their breakout hit became their last, Swedish House Mafia returns with an absolute thumper. The track has all the trademark progressive house sounds that made them such a phenomenon their first go round, and is one of those songs that seems like it’s for the club, but has several levels to it. Where will they go from here? Who knows, let’s just enjoy the ride for now.

“People Watching” by Conan Gray

Image courtesy of Republic Records

“People Watching” is kind of like a brew made using Gray’s last two singles, “Astronomy” and “Overdrive.” It has the slight carefree vibe of the latter, being able to just let the music take you on a journey and dictate the song’s direction, while also just taking over you, mind, body, and soul, with larger-than-life production and vocals like on the former. If all of that doesn’t make sense, try listening to all three in succession. Yep, you’re welcome.

“Cherry Flavored Stomach Ache” by HAIM

Image courtesy of Universal Music

HAIM is stinging, HAIM is smart, HAIM is one with the pen and the word. It’s so many different things and directions going on in this track, but all of it makes so much sense, it comes together in this biting track that still manages to sound like an effervescent piece of indie-art-bright-pop-rock-what have you. It’s nothing like a song you’d heard today, yet it’s everything like one. Some songs just can’t be described without listening to them, I guess that’s what I’m asking you to do.

“Give Me The Future” by Bastille

Image courtesy of Virgin Records

Bastille’s new sci-fi inspired single is a very different kind of sound to hear from them, at least if all you’ve heard is “Pompeii” and “Happier.” It’s this sort of 80s grunge and synth based track that has you feeling a little more melancholy, a little more lost and ambiguous than a Bastille track usually makes you feel. It’s a new idea of our perception of the group, one that could easily fit in given they continue to seamlessly pull it off.

“Advice from the Internet” by Dylan Conrique

Image courtesy of KYN Entertainment

Conrique’s new pop lullaby sound is the perfect accompaniment to this track about the trappings of the internet and what notoriety off there could mean. Life has always been meant to be validated by the people around you rather than people on the internet. For someone like Conrique, this is less of a generalized statement and more of a confession of guilt, given her online presence, and the personal touch is certainly welcome.

“Fast Car” by Syd

Image courtesy of Syd Solo

There’s so much funk on this track that it’s dripping, positively oozing with cool points. Syd has this effortless calm with her vocals and a sense of assurance that suggests a level of distinct comfort with her sound and voice. “Fast Car” really puts it on such great display, especially paired with its deep bass and electric guitar lines, a sort of feminine Prince alter ego, if you will.

“Bunny Is A Rider” by Caroline Polachek

Image courtesy of Perpetual Novice

There’s an absurdity in this track that is made refreshing by the fact that Polachek is absolutely aware of it. From the giggly cameos by producer Danny Harle’s baby, to the absolutely bonkers narrative of “bunny,” at once rabbit, at once human, there’s so many ways to look at Polachek’s track and shake your head. But given she’s in on the joke, you can’t help but enjoy the fact that she still made it, and still sounds like a bop.

“Honey” by Amaal

Image courtesy of Warner Music Canada

Amaal has the swagger and the flow of a woman with complete control, of her situation, of her music, of pretty much anything. “Honey” has the smoothness and inherent sexiness of any one of the biggest gems from 90s female-led R&B and hip-hop. Let’s just say, TLC would probably be quite happy to feature this song on one of their records at the height of their fame.

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