V’s New Music Roundup: Kim Petras, GloRilla, and more

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

After a long week of 4 PM sunsets and November cold, we’ve finally made it to the most illustrious day of the week: New Music Friday. Having survived the barrage of big-name album drops, it seems like a great opportunity to center back in on some of the best underground, independent music out there. Sure, the Rihannas of the world are chugging away, but let’s give some listening time to the little guy. Indie music is back and better than ever, you just have to look for it. 

Let’s get into this week’s best releases: 

“If Jesus Was a Rockstar” by Kim Petras

Image courtesy of Amigo Records, LLC

Fresh off her #1 “Unholy” fame, all eyes are on pop icon Kim Petras. The idea of “radio pop” seems to be almost derogatory, an allusion to that cookie-cutter, thoughtless genre. Petras completely reinvents this, creating classic pop music that feels fun and bubbly in a fresh way. Kim Petras may just be the most interesting, creative souls in the pop music field right now. 

“Born Again” by Rihanna

Image courtesy of MARVEL

Let the Rihannassance reign! With her second single release after a far-too-long hiatus, “Born Again” cements this new era for Rihanna. Once again set for the Wakanda Forever soundtrack, “Born Again” sounds cinematic and thrilling. Where “Lift Me Up” was a lullaby, “Born Again” is an epic. 

“Out Loud Thinking” by GloRilla

Image courtesy of CMG/Interscope Records

GloRilla is one to keep your eyes on. Coming up in this class of new-age rappers like Flo Milli and Latto, GloRilla brings a certain sense of grunge to her music. With her new album Anyways, Life is Great…, GloRilla proves that her star is on the rise. Give it a year and everyone will be saying GloRilla’s name, or better yet rapping her verses. 

“Bag of You” by Mahalia

Image courtesy of Warner Music UK

In the era of SZA and H.E.R., it seems like soulful R&B is on the rise. Mahalia is one of the stars of this genre resurgence, releasing some of the best R&B tracks out there. “Bag of You” is chill and heart-warming, putting a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. And those classic Mahalia riffs shine. 

“Jersey Giant” by Elle King

Image courtesy of RCA Records

One for the country fans! No, we’re not talking about honky-tonking and whiskey-shooting. Elle King’s “Jersey Giant” is a bit more nuanced, bringing that country twang to a more emotional undersetting. Strumming country guitar lines and interspersed fiddle solos make the piece fun, but the meat of “Jersey Giant” comes from its poignant lyricism. 

“Once a Man, Twice a Child” by Nas

Image courtesy of Mass Appeal

Nas was instrumental in the rise of modern rap; now, he’s coming to take it back. His new album King’s Disease III is a stellar, R&B-infused rap feature with an infectious sense of rhythm. “Once a Man, Twice a Child” stands above, with its suave, synth guitar underscoring, but the whole album deserves a spin. 

“Georgia” by Thomas Headon

Image courtesy of Such a Good Company Limited

While boybands may be out of favor at the moment, we still need some happy, love-filled songs from our favorite heartthrobs. Enter Thomas Headon, a British pop star on the rise. His single “Georgia” is unstoppable in its spirit and fervor, with joyful screams perforating its electric chorus. Thomas Headon is sure to make you grin. 

“Too Well” by Reneé Rapp

Image courtesy of Interscope Records

You’ve likely seen Reneé Rapp somewhere, whether it be her storied theatre career, starring role in HBO’s The Sex Lives of College Girls, or heartwrenching music. And all this at just 22 years old. Now, with the release of her first EP Everything to Everyone, Rapp proves her genuine musical prowess. Her emotional clarity is astounding, while a love of the craft makes for deeply streamable music. 

“4 Minute Warning – Live at Electric Lady” by Perfume Genius

Image courtesy of Perfume Genius under Matador Records

There must be something in the water at Electric Lady that leads artists to create jaw-dropping covers. First it was MUNA’s cover of “August” by Taylor Swift, and now comes Perfume Genius’ take on Radiohead’s “4 Minute Warning.” The live recording is utterly cathartic, almost mesmerizing in its beauty. 

“Let Me Go” by Sophia James

Image courtesy of Sophia James

Does anybody remember that crazy riff over Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” that blew up on TikTok? The artist behind that death-defying run, Sophia James, has been putting out some incredible singles over the last few months. “Let Me Go” is indie pop perfection.

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