New music from Clairo, Lucy Dacus, Summer Cannibals, Chela, Plastic Picnic, and more!
Fresh Music Friday is here to give you a breakdown of new singles, EPs, and albums to check out as you make your way into the weekend.
Get ready to jam out with some of our favorite up-and-coming artists, plus celebrate new releases from those you already know and love.
1. Clairo - "Closer To You"
Pop Juggernaut and Flamin' Hot Cheetos enthusiast Clairo announced her forthcoming debut album, Immunity, back in May by sharing a luminous lead single called "Bags." This week, the Boston artist's second offering comes in the form of a new track called, "Closer To You," co-produced by former Vampire Weekend member, Rostam Batmanglij. "Closer To You" marks a departure from the twee sensibility of 2018's Diary 001 EP with a new sound wherein Clairo's voice is filtered through layers of syrupy autotune and punctuated by a moody, synthesized beat.
2. Lucy Dacus - "Forever Half Mast"
Over the past year, Lucy Dacus has been releasing songs that coincide with particular holidays––each equally or more poignant than the last––that will come together in an EP titled 2019, due out this Fall. For Valentine's Day, she put out "La Vie En Rose"; for Mother's Day, it was "My Mother & I." Her third single, "Forever Half Mast," is out this week and tackles America's fraught relationship with patriotism through the lens of the Fourth of July. Dacus adopts soft touches of Americana, bringing together a rootsy pedal steel guitar with a folksy melody, to drive home her point about the duality of shame and pride in the American experience on Independence Day.
3. Summer Cannibals - "Behave"
Portland's Summer Cannibals are putting out their anticipated fourth album, Can't Tell Me No, today via Tiny Engines. Ahead of the new LP, the band shared the album's third single, "Behave," a defiant reminder that no relationship should have you bend to fit another person's unrealistic expectations. Aligning with the album's theme of taking back power from manipulative situations, frontperson Jessica Boudreaux asserts: "Stop telling me to change / What if I can't behave / For you." Can't Tell Me No is out now via Tiny Engines.
4. Chela - "Losing Belief" Video
Melbourne's Chela (Chelsea Wheatley) recently announced an upcoming EP with a new gem of a synth-pop track called "Losing Belief" accompanied by wonderfully weird visuals. Built on a plinth of frenetic synths, "Losing Belief" is a heart-racing electro journey turned transcendent epiphany about regaining faith in yourself when you feel like you've lost hope in your artistic passions. The video––directed by Chela and produced by Tulay Dincel and Anthony Iacomella––invites the viewer into Chela's infectiously eccentric universe of workouts, surrealist costumes, and dance routines that fall somewhere in the intersection between Suspiria and Napolean Dynamite.
Chela says of the music video: "I wanted to convey the message of the song through the video and represent it in the form of religion. So I created an imaginary religion based on my logo and conceived the story of a friendship group losing belief/realizing the power of self together."
5. Plastic Picnic - "After You" Video
On Plastic Picnic's new single "After You," the band pairs glassy washes of '80s synth with breezy melodies and a heart-on-your-sleeve approach to lyricism. It only makes sense that the Hunter Airheart-directed visuals for the energetic yet melancholic track take place on a grey day at Rockaway Beach, interspersed with dramatic shots of crashing waves, sweeps of wind, and slow-motion close-ups. "After You" is the first in what is sure to be a string of beatific synth-pop tracks from Plastic Picnic's upcoming sophomore EP, Vistalite.
6. Little Slugger - "Impossible"
Brooklyn-via-Burlington powerpop duo, Little Slugger, is gearing up to put out a big, unabashed record, I Want To Live Here Forever, that tackles some of life's toughest existential transitions––from breakups to moving to a new city––and all of the ennui and excitement that trails along with it. Following the release of their first single "You're On Your Own," Little Slugger's second offering takes shape in a new, roomy track out this week called "Impossible." Their latest offering brings together sweeping vocal harmonies and crunchy guitars and showcases a killer ear for writing catchy hooks. I Want To Live Here Forever is out July 19th.
7. Jadu Heart - "Wanderlife"
UK Creative duo, Jadu Heart, is announcing a new album called Melt Away with the release of a dreamy new single, "Wanderlust." Jadu Heart––the moniker of masked twosome Dina and Faro––are melding together touches of electronica, folk, and soul to concoct incomparable and intoxicating ethereal sounds, at times reminiscent of the best of the early Beach House catalog. Their forthcoming LP was co-produced with Guy Sigworth (Bjork, Robyn), and it's the follow-up to their stunning 2016 debut EP, Wanderflower.
8. John Van Deusen - "Social Sucker"
Singer/songwriter John Van Deusen announced his new album (I Am) Origami Pt. 3 - A Catacomb Hymn with the new energetically honest song, "Whatever Makes You Mine," followed up by "Social Sucker." The latter is a bouncy power-pop anthem warning against the ills of social climbers looking for validation online; it's helmed by a sticky hook and fuses together the charms of '90s slacker rock with Van Deusen's easygoing vocal delivery. (I Am) Origami Pt. 3 - A Catacomb Hymn is out July 19th via Tooth & Nail Records.
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The song is loud and braggadocios, and as police assault innocent protestors across the country, YG once again says what's exactly on our mind.
As protests swell across the country demanding an end to police brutality and justice for the murder of George Floyd, YG once again releases a protest song in line with the current political climate.
YG - FTP (Official Audio) www.youtube.com
It's time to study.
Now that you've flooded Instagram with photos of black squares, it's time to hunker down for some real activism.
If you're a white person, you're sitting on top of about four centuries of institutionalized racism. In the wake of George Floyd's murder by police and countless Black Lives Matter protests across the nation, it's time to show up—with your body, with your voice, and with your brain.