V's NEW MUSIC ROUND-UP

V's NEW MUSIC ROUND-UP

V's NEW MUSIC ROUND-UP

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

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

Text: Ellie Beeck

It's been a busy week in the music world! This post-but-also-pre-Coachella week brought about a bunch of great new songs, from Daniel Caesar's first single since joining in on Justin Bieber's "Peaches," to Justine Skye's song addressing her breakup with Giveon, to a Swedish mega-collab from Alesso and Zara Larsson. But, today is also Earth Day, and some of our favorite musicians are celebrating in big ways. George Ezra, whose new single "Green Green Grass," came out today, donated to the National Trust to help them plant nearly 17,000 trees across the UK. As for me, I plan to celebrate by going on a long walk, listening to some good music, and appreciating our planet.

Here are this week's top picks:

“Please Do Not Lean” by Daniel Caesar ft. BADBADNOTGOOD 

Image via Republic Records.

Daniel Caesar is back with his first single since 2019’s CASE STUDY 01 album (his many features don’t count...I'm talking about his own songs). On “Please Do Not Lean,” Caesar flexes his vocal range, delivering a soft yet powerful tune about instability and complications in a relationship. Vulnerable lyrics like “It'd break my heart but I'd understand if you'd / Leave me for another man with a little / Less on his mind, less on his plate,” could point to Caesars’ new musical direction. Here’s hoping he performs it at Coachella this weekend!  

“Free” by Florence + The Machine 

Image via Universal Music Operations.

“Free” is the latest single from Florence + The Machine’s upcoming album, Dance Fever. It’s a high-powered, high-energy song about anxiety, fitting perfectly with the rest of the their discography. The catchy hook touches on moments when anxiety is under control: “But I hear the music, I feel the beat / And for a moment, when I’m dancing, I am free.” Co-written and co-produced by Grammy-winner Jack Antonoff (think Taylor Swift, Lorde), I can see how “Free” could become their next big anthem.  

“American Teenager” by Ethel Cain 

Image via Daughters of Cain Records.

Personally, I can’t wait for Ethel Cain’s debut album, Preacher’s Daughter (out May 12), and the 24-year-old singer/songwriter gave us another piece of it with “American Teenager.” The song has an anthemic feel to it, with Cain’s ethereal voice echoing between a classic 80s drumbeat. Kicking off with “Grew up under yellow light on the street / Putting too much faith in the make-believe / And another high school football team,” it becomes clear right away that this song is not your typical song about growing up in America, with Cain alluding throughout to the increasingly impractical concept of the “American Dream.”  

“What a Lie” by Justine Skye 

Image via Justine Skye.

On “What a Lie,” Justine Skye calls out an ex over being unfaithful. Her inspiration for the song is fairly obvious  – Skye was in a relationship with fellow R&B artist Giveon when she took to Instagram last year to talk about catching someone cheating on her. The lyrics certainly point to that: “Couldn't believe I caught you that night / Saw the messages in plain sight,” though they also point towards feeling used: “What kind of a man makes you part of their marketing plan?” Despite the flaming lyrics, “What a Lie” is a pretty mellow tune, highlighting Skye’s silky smooth voice.   

"Skin and Bones” by 070 Shake 

Image via UMG Recordings.

070 Shake preformed this song at a concert a few months ago, and fans went crazy for it, for a good reason. “Skin and Bones” is classic 070 Shake. Low key and groovy, it takes a page from her hit song “Guilty Conscience.” The song finds her reminiscing on the good, romantic parts of a failed relationship that seemingly ended amicably: “My skin and bones against the color of your aura / On a Sunday / Walkin’ slow while time was still runnin.’” Very vibey, just in time for long summer drives.  

"Consequences" by Rozzi ft. Nile Rodgers 

Image via BMG Rights Management.

“Consequences” is a groovy, up-tempo song complete with a major guitar solo from the iconic Nile Rodgers to close it out. “Consequences” comes off of Rozzi’s third album, Berry. The chorus kicks off with a classic funk beat, as Rozzi belts out “Loving me has consequences / I get possessive, maybe overprotective, woo.” The neo-soul artist also infused a little bit of R&B groove into the song, making it infectiously catchy.  

“Words” by Alesso ft. Zara Larsson  

Image via UMG Recordings.

Swedish stars Alesso and Zara Larsson teamed up for “Words,” a radio-friendly dance song that is sure to be played at clubs everywhere this summer. “Words” sits more in the house-pop category (just like Alesso’s other new single, with Katy Perry), as the DJ attempts to fuse his house roots with a more mainstream pop sound. Zara Larsson hits at feeling scared of vulnerability in the high-flying chorus, singing “I got the words ‘I love you’ sitting on the tip of my tongue.”   

“Green Green Grass” by George Ezra 

Image via Sony Music Entertainment UK.

On “Green Green Grass,” Ezra’s signature crooning voice and upbeat style touches on a less-than-upbeat topic: death. But it’s not sad. In fact, Erza is urging people to throw a party for him when he dies, as opposed to a traditional funeral, singing “you better throw a party on the day that I die.” It’s an optimistic way to look at life, a reminder not to take things too seriously. “Green Green Grass” is the second single off Ezra’s forthcoming third album, Gold Rush Kid.   

“Bad Life” by Sigrid ft. Bring Me The Horizon  

Image via Universal Music Operations.

“It’s just a bad day, not a bad life,” is the overarching message of Sigrid and Bring Me The Horizon’s new song, “Bad Life.” BMTH frontman Oli Sykes brings a rock-tinged energy to the song, and his classic rasp comes through during his solos. Sigrid, who usually sticks to classic synth-pop tunes, shines on this higher-energy song, showing off her vocal range.  

“Kick Back” by Taylor Bennett ft. Matt and Kim 

Image via Tay Bennett Entertainment.

From Taylor Bennett’s new album, Coming of Age, “Kick Back” encapsulates all of the distinct sounds of the genre-breaking album in one song. Bennett finds space to rap (of course), but at some points, the beats sound suspiciously rock-y, and duo Matt and Kim bring some pop elements, too. The first pre-chorus is the catchiest part: “I had big dreams at fifteen / Like most kids with problems.”  

Credits: Cover image courtesy of Republic Records.

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