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

Welcome back to V’s New Music Round-Up! After a long break, this is the perfect week to delve back into the music scene. If brand new releases from Vance Joy, Halsey, and Kid Cudi weren’t enough, both Post Malone and SZA (!!!!) dropped deluxe versions of their albums.

I, like many others, have been patiently waiting for the deluxe version of Ctrl since SZA first teased it in 2017. Though it took five years, I’d say it was worth the wait. With that being said, lets get into this week’s picks:

“Tread Carefully” by SZA 

Image via RCA Records.

After five years, SZA finally blessed us all with the deluxe version of 2017’s Ctrl, complete with seven brand new songs. She hits her stride on “Tread Carefully,” a sultry R&B song that is so unmistakably SZA. With lyrics like “I can’t see nothin’ but you, starin’ down my headlights,” and “Scared of your feelings, livin’ in whiteout,” the song easily matches the vibe of the original album, with SZA crooning about relationships and feeling wanted. What I want: another album (and in less than five years).

“Do What I Want” by Kid Cudi  

Image via UMG Recordings.

After teasing it in the first look trailer for his Netflix series, Kid Cudi officially dropped the first single from his upcoming Entergalactic album, “Do What I Want.” The song is about feeling empowered and confident, with Cudi rapping: “Feel like writin’ a movie, yeah, that shit would be groovy / Anything that I want, anything that will move me.” With a vibey, steady track produced by Take a Day Trip, “Do What I Want” is a promising opening track for Entergalactic, which Cudi has called his “greatest piece of art.”  

“So Good” by Halsey  

Image via UNG Recordings.

“So Good” was worth wait (and the drama). With an anthemic, rock-tinged sound, Halsey flexes their vocal range all throughout. Singing about a lost love who came back, Halsey sings “Do I think about the one that got away/I know his name, I think about him every day.” “So Good” comes as Halsey is continuing on a tour for their latest EP, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.

“Waiting for Never” by Post Malone  

Image via UMG Recordings.

Post Malone literally just dropped Twelve Carat Toothache, but he’s already back with the deluxe version, featuring two new songs. “I will never look back, you’ll be in thе same place / I keep tellin’ mysеlf if I wanted you to change / I’d be waiting for never, waiting for never,” Posty sings on “Waiting for Never,” detailing a failed relationship. “Waiting for Never” is classic Post Malone: well-produced and slightly depressing, but with a strong enough beat that it still makes me want to dance.

“Old Her” by YDE  

Image via Warner Records.

Former Nickelodeon star-turned indie pop darling YDE put the pains of growing up into words in “Old Her,” while keeping the song relatively upbeat with a poppy sound and some piano licks. ““She miss the old her / even though the new her is better than the old her,” YDE sings on the chorus. The rising star perfectly channeled the angst and malaise of Gen Z in the line, “Cause when you get older, you realize the answers aren’t out there maybe / There ain’t someone holding out a hand to save me.” 

“Catalonia” by Vance Joy 

Image via Atlantic Recording Corporation.

One of the highlights of Vance Joy’s third album, In Our Own Sweet Time, is the upbeat, ukulele-laden track “Catalonia.” As he told VMAN in an exclusive interview, Joy wrote the song in Spain, and it’s influence can be felt in both the lyrics and the energetic instrumentals. “Catalonia” sounds like a personal account of falling in love, with stories of stumbling down the streets of the Gothic Quarter and “stroll[s] to nowhere under olive trees and arches.” 

“Only You” by Eddie Benjamin ft. Alessia Cara 

Image via Sony Music Entertainment.

Justin Bieber’s influence is evident in his protégé, Eddie Benjamin’s new song with Alessia Cara, “Only You.” The funky piano track has strong R&B influences, and even a little bit of flute action. “Slowly, chasin‘, fallin‘ into your dreams,” croons Benjamin on the pre-chorus, queuing up the songs’ intent to be a modern, Gen Z love song. Benjamin is currently supporting Bieber on his sold-out world tour.  

“Too Bad” by King Princess  

Image via Zelig Records.

King Princess is singing a different tune on their upcoming album Hold On Baby, singing about acceptance and understanding in the chaos, rather than pure heartbreak: “Well my god it’s hard to be loved / But that’s life.” The indie-pop star, known for their relatable lyrics and alternative rock influences, sings at a steady pace throughout the song, despite the kick drums and occasional distortion.

“Alpha Zulu” by Phoenix  

Image via Glassnote Entertainment Group LLC.

French band Phoenix is back with their first song in over two years. “Alpha Zulu” is a departure from their earlier sound, which catapulted them to fame with hits like “1901” and “Lisztomania.” With trippy a trippy, disco-ish backtrack, “Alpha Zulu” is undoubtably a summer festival song, which is perfect because the band is set to perform at several festivals in 2022. The bubbly chorus just invites you to dance: “Woo ha / Singing Hallelujah / Pray to your God / Cover your lies / God or Guru.”  

“Whales” by flipturn  

Image via flipturn.

With a highly anticipated album expected to come out in August and upcoming performances at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, flipturn have come a long way from the Jacksonville, FL backyard they were formed in. “Whales” is the indie pop group’s most tender song to date, though it ends rather abruptly with their classic breakdown style. The melodic, steady bassline on “Whales,” is contrasted with its achingly relatable lyrics about internal turmoil and feeling emotionally drained. 

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