This week brings lots of new synth pop, indie rock, and anticipated new albums from Cate le Bon and Faye Webster.
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. - HÅN - "gymnasion"
Hailing from a small, lakeside town in Italy, singer/songwriter HÅN crafts spacious synth pop that's as magical as the Italian countryside. 2017 saw the release of HÅN's cinematic debut EP, today she delivers another enchanting new track called "gymnasion." This time around, HÅN employs much of the same intricate songwriting skills––pairing delicate synth work with warm, wistful vocals to a gorgeous effect.
2. micki maverick - "HE/ART"
Los Angeles-based musician micki maverick (real name: Dylan Neil) is sharing her debut single, "HE/ART" today. Her new song provides a glimpse of what's to come in the future from the 22-year-old California native. "HE/ART" has a laid-back vibe; Neil puts a bedroom-pop spin on R&B to create a sound equal parts chilled out and compelling, influenced by Kehlani.
Here's what Neil had to say on the track: "'HE/ART' is really a complete look into my life, my past, and my insecurities. Society expects perfection, but that standard is completely unattainable. Not everything in life can be fixed, some things remain broken. And that's what I believe should be the new standard: broken pieces that form something new, something more beautiful."
3. Cassidy King - "I Can't"
Cassidy King's infectious pop is the perfect accompaniment to the recent spring sunshine. Her new single, "I Can't," melds crisp production with the 21-year-old's dazzling vocals in a sound that's reminiscent of E•MO•TION-era Carly Rae Jepsen. She explains that the release is "about going along with the warm summer feeling, that same feeling of warmth represents the honeymoon stage of a relationship to me. This song captures that stage where you just became intrigued by that certain someone and you're doing absolutely anything to get their attention."
4. Sorcha Richardson - "Don't Talk About It"
Dublin-born, Brooklyn-raised singer/songwriter Sorcha Richardson shares the first single, "Don't Talk About It," from her debut album, First Prize Bravery, due out in the fall. The song starts off with a grooving guitar line under Sorcha's evocative vocals before building beautifully into a bright, full-bodied chorus that's hard not to sing along to: "Hey, okay, we don't have to talk about it / It's only love, I guess we'll live without it."
5. Alien Tango - "Friends!"
The zany, technicolor world of London-based band Alien Tango is extra vibrant on their new single, "Friends." There are layered modulated vocals that zig-zag over playful, upbeat instrumentation, and from the first second of listening it feels like you've entered a surreal funhouse. "Friends" is the perfect kind of chaos that sounds like an intersection of Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion and an 8-bit video game soundtrack; plus, there's a trippy video to match.
Chicago rapper Calboy shows how much he's grown as a rapper, singer, and storyteller on his forthcoming project, Wildflower. He recently tapped Moneybagg Yo for his reflective cut, "Unjudge Me." Here, Calboy flexes his dexterous bars and off-kilter melodies, and he continues to dip between songs that feel loose and hard at the same time.
7. Middle Kids - New Songs For Old Problems EP
The Australian rock trio has been sharing a slew of excellent singles like "Real Thing" and "Beliefs and Prayers" in anticipation of their mini-album. Now their new EP, New Songs For Old Problems, is full of anthemic, indie rock gems. This is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed LP, Lost Friends.
8. Faye Webster – Atlanta Millionaires Club
Faye Webster finds harmony in the juxtaposing textures of country, R&B, and folk. Her sound is fully-realized on her new album, Atlanta Millionaires Club, the follow-up to her 2017 self-titled record. On the new LP, Webster's wistful vocals nestle perfectly in between woozy steel guitars and swanky horn parts, as she sings of heartbreak and lovesickness.
9. Honeyblood – In Plain Sight
On Honeyblood's new record, singer/guitarist Stina Tweeddale takes the Glasgow-band-turned solo-project in a new, grittier direction. There's still the same fuzzy post-punk guitar lines that defined Honeyblood's sound on their earlier albums, but this time around, with the help of producer John Congleton, In Plain Sight takes on a spookier, more futuristic territory. It's exciting to see Tweeddale expand her artistic vision, signaling the mark of a new era in Honeyblood's story.
10. Cate Le Bon - RewardCate Le Bon's fifth full-length album, Reward, is a revelation. Recorded while Le Bon stayed in a remote house in Cumbria and took furniture classes by day and played piano by night, Reward is a minimalist meditation on the isolation that unfolds slowly and softly, becoming one of Le Bon's most conventionally accessible--and rewarding--listens.
Animation is lame and live-action is awesome.
Everybody loves Disney live-action remakes.
In a world plagued by racism, disease, and a seemingly endless bounty of spiraling misfortune, at least we can all agree that Disney knocks it out of the park every time they dredge up an old, animated movie for a live-action makeover because cartoons are for babies.
Sure, some of us thought the original Beauty and the Beast was fine, but could lame, 2D Belle ever hold a candle to 3D Emma Watson? And yeah, the original Lion King was okay, I guess, but there's nobody in the world who preferred cartoon Scar's rendition of "Be Prepared" to the incredible feat of getting a real lion to sing it in the live-action remake.
Being a Disney fan can be hard sometimes, as you have fond memories of beloved childhood movies but also don't want people to make fun of you for liking cartoons. That's why, out of all the corporations in the world, Disney is undoubtedly the most selfless, willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to bring their old, outdated movies into the modern age—all for the fans.
Plus, a new Charli XCX track featuring Lizzo.
RELEASE RADAR is here to give you the breakdown of the top singles, albums, and videos of the week so you can head into your weekend with a new list of killer tunes.
Charli XCX - "Blame It On Your Love" (Feat. Lizzo)
Few things are more blessed than a Charli XCX/Lizzo collaboration. The new song is an un-remixed version of Charli XCX'S "track 10" which was featured on her acclaimed album Pop. "Blame It On Your Love" is out now via Atlantic.
The Habits – "Love You"
Alt-pop duo The Habits shared an infectious new single this week called "Love You." This is the first single off of the duo's new EP, out June 14.
Juan Wauters – "Dos"
This week Juan Wauters shared a playful new song called "Dos," sung in his native Spanish via Captured Tracks. Wauters said of the song "On this particular version of 'Dos,' I hear the sound of music that describes Montevideo, the city where I was born. The harmonium solo was done in a way to emulate the sound of a bandoneon in the way Astor Piazzolla would play it. The song talks about the complexities of a love story." Juan Wauters will release his latest, Introducing Juan Pablo, on May 31 via Captured Tracks.
Hatchie – "Obsessed"
Hatchie reveals yet another fuzzy gem of dream pop with her new single, "Obsessed," from her forthcoming debut album, Keepsake, which is shaping up to be one of the most exciting releases. Keepsake is due June 21st via Double Double Whammy.
whenyoung – "The Others"
London's whenyoung are gearing up to release their debut album Reasons to Dream, through Virgin EMI on May 24th. They continued to show off their deft songwriting this week in their evocative new single "The Others," inspired by the Grenfell Tower fire in London.
The Beaches - "The Professional" EP
Toronto alt-rock outfit The Beaches are back with a new EP called The Professional out May 16 on Island Records, their first release since 2017's Late Show. The new collection of jams features fan favorites "Snake Tongue" and "Fascination."
Inner Wave – "wya" EP
The L.A.-based Latinx psych-rock band just dropped a wavey new EP titled wya, the followup from their previous LP Underwater Pipe Dreams.
Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated
Pop princess and purveyor of glossy bops, Carly Rae Jepsen returns to navigate love and loss on her fourth studio album, the follow-up to 2015's cult favorite E•MO•TION.
Tyler the Creator - Igor
Igor is Tyler the Creator's fifth album, but it feels like he's been at the forefront of our cultural purviews for much longer, considering his impact on the popular rap landscape. 2017's Flower Boy presented a much more eclectic and well-rounded version of the artist, and now, we see him grow even more on Igor.
Sara is a music and culture writer. Her work has previously appeared in PAPER magazine and Stereogum.
POP⚡DUST | Read More...