V’s New Music Roundup: Tove Lo, blink-182, and more
Here are some of the biggest and best music releases of the week.
Friday has rolled back around, which means there’s new music ashore. It’s a big week for the long-form project, with new albums from Tove Lo, The 1975, Noah Kahan, Lil Baby, and more. Plus, some fantastic live recordings from MUNA and Florence and the Machine.
Let’s get into this week’s best releases:
“Homesick” by Noah Kahan
Noah Kahan’s new album “Stick Season” proves that the neo-folk revival is coming. A contemporary of bands like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers, Kahan infuses this woodsy rock sound with some gutting heartfelt emotion. For a shallower entry point listen to “Homesick,” but the whole album deserves your attention.
“Wintering” by The 1975
Masters of that woozy pop sound, The 1975 have struck gold once again with their new album “Being Funny In A Foreign Language.” The music is remarkably fuzzy, feeling wholly comforting in its mellow sounds. Check out “Wintering” for some quaint storytelling that’ll make you look closer at the small joys in your own life.
“Suburbia” by Tove Lo
Were you expecting a mainstream pop song about suburban living? Tove Lo once again reinvents the mold, singing over a dance-pop beat about how she “can’t be no Stepford Wife.” The joyous irony of Tove Lo is how she combines present social dilemmas with raucous pop beats. “Suburbia,” as well as much of her new album “Dirt Femme,” is a prime example of that ingenuity.
“Russian Roulette” by Lil Baby
Prolific rapper Lil Baby proves his sheer skill on his new album “It’s Only Me.” This is his spotlight, his moment. The album isn’t overloaded with features or gimmicks; no, it’s a complete showcase of Lil Baby and his talents. It’s utterly refreshing to pull back and have some unadorned rap verses, ones that empower the basic talents of the artist.
“August – Recorded at Electric Lady Studios” by MUNA
A crossover made in heaven: MUNA and Taylor Swift. MUNA’s live cover of Taylor Swift’s “August” is ethereal, lifted, and raw. Everything you’d ever want in MUNA record, plus the stunning lyricism of Taylor Swift. What a way to celebrate one week till “Midnights.”
Rae by Ashe
Ashe’s highly anticipated sophomore album Rae, is finally here. With fourteen fresh tracks, the California-based musician ushers a new era–characterized by unapologetic confidence and unseen intimacy. “Since my debut is called Ashlyn and Rae is my middle name, it seemed like the only name for my sophomore album,” the artist says in a press release. “I’ve inevitably created a trilogy. Rae reminds me of California sunshine, but it also has a Western grit.” The new album also features a collaboration with the artist’s hero, Diane Keaton, in “Love is Letting Go,” a song that will go down in the books.
“EDGING” by blink-182
Now this one’s a little silly. Sure, “EDGING” screams of that whiny punk pop that only could’ve been made in the Y2K era. But isn’t that what you want from a complete blink-182 reunion? A callback to that ringing nostalgia? “EDGING” isn’t a sonically brilliant piece, but it sure is fun.
“Whatever Fits Together” by Skullcrusher
Helen Ballentine, better known to some as Skullcrusher, releases an emotionally-charged ballad that draws inspiration from her past. “Whatever Fits Together,” part of her highly anticipated debut album, Quiet The Room sees the artist at her most intimate–sharing tales of her childhood and hometown. In describing the song’s impetus, Ballentine says, “I wrote “Whatever Fits Together” while reflecting on my past and wondering how I might begin to explain it to someone. As I looked back, I saw my life in pieces: some moments blacked out, some extremely vivid, some leading nowhere. Through the song, I attempt to piece it together in some non-linear form and accept my disparate story.”
“Last 2 On Earth” by Plains (Waxahatchee and Jess Williamson)
Something for the country fans! Combining forces for their new album “I Walked With You A Ways” is Waxahatchee and Jess Williamson, coming together to form their new band Plains. Twanging harmonies and an almost bluegrass sound remind us all that country need not be all about tailgating and denim jeans. Listen to Plains to fill that Dolly Parton craving.
“SHE SAID HE SAID SHE SAID” by Joshua Bassett
Just weeks after the release of his EP “Sad Songs for a Hotel Room,” Joshua Bassett returns with a new single of heartbreak and loss. This time, though, it’s not a mellow, acoustic response to that heartache. Laid over a suave synth beat. “HE SAID SHE SAID HE SAID” responds to that pain with anger and release.
“ONE OF US” by Betty Who
Sometimes we want some plain old dance-pop! Betty Who seems best set to feel this need, releasing music that smacks of electronic drum fills and guitar riffs. Maybe Betty Who’s new album isn’t meant for the club, but it’s perfect for the pregame.
“Morning Elvis – Live At Madison Square Garden” by Florence and the Machine
The symbolic nature of this song is frankly enormous. “Morning Elvis,” first released on Florence and the Machine’s album “Dance Fever,” is all about the sense of sadness and loss that comes with the inability to perform during the pandemic. Florence croons away, “if I make it to the stage / I’ll show you what it means / To be spared.” For this live recording, she’s made it to the stage. The song itself embodies the fulfillment of that need. How beautiful.