V’s New Music Round-Up

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

This week, the music world has been focused on Kendrick Lamar, who made his triumphant return following 2017’s smash hit album, DAMN. Five years later, he’s back with Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, an 18-song album with 11 features, from artists like Kodak Black and Summer Walker. But, this week also brought about a few new releases from some pop artists like Arlie, who is also back from a long hiatus, and Bazzi, who released his first song since last summer’s “I Like That.”

Let get right in to this week’s top new songs:

“Michael” by Remi Wolf 

Image via UMB Recordings.

“Michael” finds Remi Wolf craving the high she gets from someone named Michael, despite the toxic and extreme lengths she must go to to get it: “Michael, hold my hand and spin me round until I’m dizzy / Loosen up my chemicals.” “Michael” is slightly understated for Wolf: less psychedelic, more dizzy and vibey. However, it does include a few classic Wolf touches, such as an ear-splitting scream and a high-powered electric guitar backing.  

“laurel” by BETWEEN FRIENDS 

Image via 10K Projects.

Brother-sister duo BETWEEN FRIENDS found themselves learning how to cope with breakups on their newest single, “laurel.” The somewhat distorted bedroom-pop tune literally finds them driving down an ex’s street, looking back at a relationship in the rearview mirror: “I always wait for you to call me / But you’re never on time / And every night I’m on your old street you’re the one on my mind.” “Laurel” is the third single off their new EP, cutie.  

“landline” by Arlie  

Image via Atlantic Recording Corporation.

Guess who got a landline / Don’t bother with the internet / Call you like a gentleman / Yup I got a landline,” lead singer Nathaniel Banks croons on Arlie’s newest tack, “landline.” The indie-pop song expands upon the bands’ saturated, highly produced sound heard on their 2018 EP, Wait, taking them to a groovier and more upbeat level. “landline” is the fourth single off their debut album, BREAK THE CURSE, which comes out June 3.  

“Seeing Someone Else” by Ingrid Andress 

Image via Warner Music Nashville.

On “Seeing Someone Else,” country-pop singer Ingrid Andress hits a new level of introspection, ruminating on the challenges and complexities of self-growth, especially while in a relationship. The 3x Grammy nominee flexes her vocal prowess, hitting an anthemic stride on the chorus, singing: I think you’re seeing someone else / I think you’re seeing who I used to be / I bet you wish I was the girl that you met / Out at a bar making a mess of 23.”  

“2step” by Ed Sheeran feat. Budjerah 

Image via Warner Music UK.

Ed Sheeran has released several remixes of his song “2step,” most recently joining forces with rising Australian singer Budjerah (other musicians featured on Sheeran’s remixes include Lil Baby and 1. Cuz). “2step” takes Sheeran back to his rap(ish) roots, with an upbeat tempo: “And then we’ll go all night / Two-stepping with the woman I love / All my troubles turn to nothing when I’m in your eyes.” Budjerah, who just embarked on a world tour, brings some much-needed R&B coolness to the track. 

“Cooped Up” by Post Malone feat. Roddy Ricch 

Image via UMG Recordings.

The second single from his upcoming album, Twelve Carat Toothache, “Cooped Up,” is classic Post Malone. Vibey and moody yet upbeat, the track is tied together with a strong beat and a Roddy Ricch verse, where he raps about his rise to fame: “And Posty took me on his first damn tour date / He had me rocking every night sold-out arenas.” Expect Post to sing “Cooped Up” live for the first time this weekend, as he performs on Saturday Night Live.  

“Purple Haze” by Joy Oladokun 

Image via UMG Recordings.

Indie-folk singer Joy Oladokun puts her heart on her sleeve in “Purple Haze,” strumming her guitar as her powerful yet silky smooth voice makes the song soar. “Purple haze in the sky / And they say maybe we’re running out of time / But I don’t care ‘cause you and I / Know that love is all we need to survive,” she sings on the chorus, urging listeners to hold on to the things that they love. Naming a song “Purple Haze” is risky, but Oladokun’s version is decidedly different than Jimi Hendrix’s.  

“Roman Candles” by Death Cab for Cutie 

image via Atlantic Recording Corporation.

The first single off the group’s 10th studio album, Asphalt Meadows, “Roman Candles” is appropriately angsty, filled with existential dread and anxiety. However, the song takes a turn, with the band deciding to let it all go: “But I am learning to let go / Of everything I tried to hold / Too long ‘cause they all explode / Like roman candles.” Explosive, anthemic, and straight to the point, “Roman Candles” encapsulates our collective feelings about life these past two years.  

“Die Hard” by Kendrick Lamar feat. Blxst, Amanda Reifer  

Image via Aftermath/Interscope Records.

Kendrick Lamar is finally back: he dropped his follow-up to 2017’s smash hit DAMN., Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, on Thursday night. From the 18-track album, “Die Hard” stands out for its vulnerability, as Lamar sings about losing his way and “setting his demons straight”: “Do you love me? / Do you trust me? / Can I trust you? / Don’t judge me / I’m a diehard.” Blxst and Amanda Reifer help on the chorus and the post-chorus, adding more dimension to the groovy song. 

“Will It Ever Feel The Same” by Bazzi 

Image via Atlantic Records Group.

On “Will It Ever Feel The Same,” Bazzi is stuck reminiscing on a past relationship, wondering if it’ll get better. “Will it ever feel the same? / Said, I need to know / Do the memories wash away?” he asks on the chorus, which is backed by a strong beat and floating layered vocals. “Will It Ever Feel The Same” is about as raw and emotional as Bazzi has ever been on a song. His pain is evident as he rasps, “She’s always touching my skin / I’ma touch back then she’ll leave / And I’m alone again.”  

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