V's New Music Round Up
Text: Ellie Beeck
Happy May! The first week of the month was yet another big week in the music world, with the release of several highly anticipated (and very different) albums from Jack Harlow, Ella Mai, and Alison Wonderland. The already busy week came to a head on Thursday, when Taylor Swift surprised everyone (as she does) and dropped "This Love (Taylor's Version), sending TikTok and Twitter into a frenzy.
Lets get into this week's songs, starting with Miss Swift herself:
“This Love (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift
Social media was set ablaze with the news that Taylor Swift was releasing “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” after the song showed up as a part of the trailer for “The Summer I Turned Pretty” video series on Amazon Prime. Originally released on the 1989 album in 2014, “This Love” has been a fan-favorite for years, with lyrics like “This love is good, this love is bad / This love is alive back from the dead, oh-oh, oh.” Swift only made a few changes on the rerecording, making the track sound a bit breathier and more cinematic. Does this mean 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is next???
“Cate’s Brother” by Maisie Peters
After teasing fans for months, Maisie Peters finally released “Cate’s Brother,” a song that sounds like it was taken right out of a coming of age movie from the early 2000’s. Peters’ voice is soft and sweet, contrasted by a ‘80s synth beats and rhythmic guitar. The songs follows a relationship between Peters and the cooler, younger brother of a friend named Cate: “If it’s gonna hurt will it be worth it and will I recover? / Are you gonna feel the way I feel, are you for real Cate’s Brother?"
“How” by Ella Mai ft. Roddy Ricch
Singer Ella Mai finally released her sophomore album, Heart On My Sleeve, after a four year hiatus. One of the standouts from the album is “How,” a classic R&B song that highlights Mai’s vocal range. Her sugary sweet voice stands out in the chorus: I'm, I'm just gon' drive / Just me, myself and time / Before I lose my whole mind thinking,” before dropping back down for the verses. Rapper Roddy Ricch has a solid feature on the song, too.
“Hope You’re Not Happy” by Ashe
“Hope You’re Not Happy” finds Ashe talking to an ex, coming clean about hoping they actually aren't doing well post-breakup. “I hope you're not happy without me / I hope that it's hard to get out of bed / I hope you get angry about me /I hope you're not happy ever again,” she sings on the chorus. The strong drumbeat makes the song slightly more high-powered than usual for Ashe, but she still flexes her floaty, soft vocals throughout. “Hope You’re Not Happy” comes just in time for her Is It Me or Is It Hot summer tour, which kicks off in June at Bonnaroo.
“Dua Lipa” by Jack Harlow
If you’re going to shoot your shot with Dua Lipa, you might as well do it in a song off your highly anticipated sophomore album. “Dua Lipa” is one of the best songs on Come Home the Kids Miss You, with a trap-heavy beat and a hefty amount of classic Jack Harlow confidence. “I need some Dua Lipa / I’m tryna do more with her than do a feature,” he raps. Fingers crossed that this track leads to a collaboration between the two.
“Something Real” by Alison Wonderland
From her third studio album Loner, Alison Wonderland shared her first ever loved-tinged song, “Something Real.” The track is something new for her, coming from a place of sincerity. She focused on channeling her emotions into song and ended up with a bonafide love song that still includes her classic experimental sound, almost like a deconstructed dance song: I wasn’t looking for love / But here we are, here we are / You’re breaking down all my walls, yeah / You’re looking right through me / I keep on rolling the dice.”
“No One Dies From Love” by Tove Lo
Tove Lo is entering a new musical era, releasing her first song under her own label, Pretty Swede. “No One Dies From Love” is about overwhelming feelings post-breakup, and sees Tove wondering whether she can actually die from a broken heart: “No one dies from love / Guess I’ll be the first / Will you remember us? / Or are the memories too stained with blood now?” Despite the lyrics, the song is definitely a dance track, perfect for summer.
“Something to Someone” by Dermot Kennedy
On “Something to Someone,” Dermot Kennedy sings about how great it is to love someone and feel that love in return, even if the relationship fails in the end: “Oh I wish I could’ve known / That forever was a lie / But once upon a time / I was something to someone.” Kennedy’s anthemic voice is backed by a steady kick drum and acoustic guitar riffs, taking the song to soaring heights. It’ll be the perfect song to play on his upcoming world tour, which includes a few opening gigs for Shawn Mendes.
“Vegas” by Doja Cat
“Vegas” interpolates Elvis Presley's “Hound Dog,” which is fitting, because “Vegas” is Doja Cat’s contribution to Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic, "ELVIS." Doja brought her classic rap sound to the song, singing about a man who didn’t deserve her time or energy: “Hound dog, come find a treat / I’m a bad bitch but /You ain’t nothing but a / Dog? Player, I get it.” “Vegas” is the first single from the "ELVIS" soundtrack.
“Tru Religion” by AG Club
“Tru Religion” is a groovy, high energy summer song, backed by a guitar and drum-heavy beat. The chorus is straight out of the ‘90s: “It feels so good, so good, don’t it?” the band sings as they move away from their Hip Hop roots. With lyrics like “Okay, summertime, look at our faces / Back when it was easier to be in different places,” this song was made for summer drives or dance parties.