V’S NEW MUSIC ROUND-UP
Here are some of the biggest and best releases of the week.
I wasn’t sure if this week could compete with last week’s hit-filled round-up, but I was pleasantly surprised. Led by Maggie Rogers, who is making her music comeback after 2019’s “Heard it in a Past Life,” this week’s list is filled with indie-pop releases, from the upbeat to the soulful to the just plain sad. Of course, this week is also the week of Jack Harlow, after his TikTok teaser of “First Class” sent the entire world (a.k.a me) into a frenzy.
Without further ado, here are this week’s top picks:
“That’s Where I Am” by Maggie Rogers
Maggie Rogers is back! “That’s Where I Am,” the first single from her recently announced sophomore album, highlights Rogers’ unique voice as she comes to terms with falling for a friend. “It all works out in the end/ Wherever you go/ That’s where I am,” she sings on the high-powered chorus. Staying in tune with her signature poppy sound, “That’s Where I Am” is backed by drums, guitars, and a distorted, slightly psychedelic synth beat. This song was made to be performed at festivals, which is perfect, because Rogers will be playing the festival circuit this summer, starting with Coachella later this month.
“First Class” by Jack Harlow
Of course, TikTok’s favorite song had to make an appearance on this list. Everyone’s crush, Jack Harlow, finally dropped this song after teasing it on the app all week. The chorus, sampled from Fergie’s 2007 hit “Glamourous,” is insanely catchy: “I been a (G)/ Throw up the (L)/ Sex in the (A.M.)/ Uh huh/(O-R-O.U.S)/ And I can put you in (First Class, up in the sky).” The song is low key, groovy, and thanks to a lovely piano tune, a little bit sultry.
“The Kitchen” by Briston Maroney
Indie singer-songwriter Briston Maroney released another rock-tinged song, with melancholy lyrics like “Where’s my cellphone, where’s my soul? / Am I choked by the truth or this new diamond necklace?” Maroney hides his somewhat depressing thoughts behind infectious drumbeats and guitar riffs. Known for his introspective songwriting, Maroney is poised for a big year as he finishes off his first world tour for his album, “Sunflower.”
“Clarity” by Vance Joy
Vance Joy’s new song, “Clarity,” is bubbly and bright, a departure from his typical folk-pop sound that brought us hits like “Riptide” and “Saturday Sun.” “When the road began to crumble in front of my eyes/ There was only one person I wanted to find,” Joy sings. “It was you, it was you, it was you.” Groovy bass, sharp drums, and Joy’s usual guitar blend together with uplifting horn solos to create the perfect summer tune, setting the tone for Joy’s forthcoming album, “In Our Own Sweet Time,” out June 10.
“Soccer Dad” by ScHoolboy Q
In a rare single, ScHoolboy Q lives out his soccer dad fantasies, with lyrics like “The soccer dad, my real life too wavy/ While I cheer the stands.” Kicking off with loud horns and inspiring beats from a marching band, the rapper and father reflects on his upbringing and celebrates how far he’s come in life. “Soccer Dad” is uncharacteristically optimistic and uplifting for ScHoolboy Q, who has been open about his struggles.
“hate to be lame” by Lizzy McAlpine ft. FINNEAS
Moving in a totally different direction, “hate to be lame” by Lizzy McAlpine finds the 22-year-old singer-songwriter coming to terms with fact that she fell in love, despite love being “lame.” The soft pop song builds to up an epic, head-banging crescendo, where McAlpine questions, “If I love him, if I need him/ Maybe that will make him stay/ If I lie, will I still feel this way? The song abruptly falls after the bridge, with a single verse from Grammy AND Oscar-winner FINNEAS. “hate to be lame” might prove to be McAlpine’s big break into top 40 radio.
“Good Advice” by Peach Tree Rascals
Peach Tree Rascals are back with a confidence-boosting new song. Staying true to their funky, indie-pop sound, “Good Advice” sounds like summer, with handclapping beats and a catchy bass line that almost begs to be blasted in a speeding car with the windows down. The hook does all the talking: “If I take my own advice, I know I’ll be okay / On my own side, Me I won’t fade away.”
“Lola” by Maude Latour
Columbia University senior Maude Latour is quickly becoming the indie-pop girl to know. Her newest single, “Lola,” fuses synth-heavy beats with her signature breathy vocals as she sings about being young and having fun. On “Lola,” Latour also celebrates femininity with lyrics like “Keep my girls protected/ I’m turned on when I’m respected,” and “So I watch you do your magic/ You’re so cool, so charismatic.” Clearly, Latour, a cool girl herself, makes music for all the other cool girls to sing along to.
“That’s Hilarious” by Charlie Puth
Born out of “the worst breakup” of his life, “That’s Hilarious” sees Charlie Puth feeling bitter towards an ex. Puth’s powerful vocals and perfect pitch are backed by a floaty chorus of laughs and a strong beat. He hits his stride on the pre-chorus, singing: “You took away a year of my f–king life, and I can’t get it back no more/ So when I see those tears comin’ out your eyes, I hope it’s me they’re for.” Seems like Puth might get the last laugh here.
“I Burned LA Down” by Noah Cyrus
On “I Burned LA Down,” Noah Cyrus proves why she was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2021 Grammys. A true breakup song, Cyrus channels her pain and bitterness into a beautiful pop song that highlights her pure talent (it runs in the family). “Oh, I wish I hadn’t burned this city down/ ‘Cause you didn’t care, no you didn’t care/ Yeah, I burned LA down and you left me there,” Cyrus rasps on the chorus, shining a light on her pain while also alluding to the fears that come with living in California during wildfire season.