When looking back on all the important times in my life, one thing that remains a constant is the importance of music. Whether it be as new music released at the time, important throwback songs that just ‘felt right’ at that point in time or significant events in the music world, music and the people who make it can trigger memories, emotions and reactions. Sometimes these ‘musical moments’ can get lost or forgotten; enter ‘Monthly Musical Moments’, a recap of each month through the music that created its soundtrack.
A One Way Ticket to ‘Palo Santo’ please
After bursting into the music industry with their 2015 debut album ‘Communion’, Years & Years have sought to go one better through the creation of the fictional world of ‘Palo Santo’ which forms the basis of their new album of the same name. Described as a concept album, every song is co-written by lead singer Olly Alexander, with most of them drawing on his personal experiences with relationships, religion and his sexuality. After becoming somewhat of an LGBTQ+ icon after the release of their first album, Alexander has taken this status in his stride and created a coherent world and album that perfectly captures his own experiences as a gay man and allows others to draw on and learn from these experiences. It truly is an album with everything; from the pulsing beat and accusatory lyrics of lead single ‘Sanctify‘, to the brooding, latin-esque ‘Rendevous‘ to the emotional pop-like ballad ‘Hypnotised‘, Alexander’s silky smooth vocals take listeners on a journey through Palo Santo, especially when accompanied by the short film of the same name released along with the album. Honestly, just do yourself a favour and jump on the ‘Palo Santo’ train ASAP.
‘God is a Woman’ and her name is Ariana Grande
Never let it be said that Ariana Grande is not one to hype up the release of new music. After a two year break following the release of her last album ‘Dangerous Woman‘, the excitement surrounding the release of new Ariana music is higher than ever, most of which is fuelled by the woman herself. Grande has been tweeting and posting tiny references to each of the songs on her upcoming album, particularly the lead single ‘No Tears Left to Cry‘ and her latest offering ‘God is a Woman‘. Released only a month out from the release of her next album ‘God is a Woman‘, often shortened to ‘GIAW’, is all about female empowerment and shattering the glass ceiling, both metaphorically and physically (Check out the music video here). Grande’s powerful vocals hit home as she laments about ‘telling you the way I like it, how I want it’ in terms of women taking control of their own desires in a society that tells them not to. As well as already cementing its place as one of the great empowerment anthems of 2018, GIAW only generates further excitement around the release of the album from which its taken, ‘Sweetener‘, to be released in the coming weeks.
You should see Billie Eilish in a crown
The 16-year-old pocket dynamo from Los Angeles continues to make music with a maturity years beyond her physical age. With the release of her latest moody offering, ‘you should see me in a crown‘ (which is the first single from her highly anticipated debut album), Eilish’s self-assurance as a musician continues to grow. In an industry that has become increasingly more about beats and melody, Eilish proves that the lyrics of a song will always be integral to its success and lasting impact. As far as the future of pop music goes, as long as it is in the hands of artists such as Billie, the future looks incredibly bright.
Modernity isn’t failing The 1975
Following the June release of their first single in two years, ‘Give Yourself a Try‘, the social anthem ‘Love It If We Made It’ continues to create hype surrounding the upcoming release of The 1975’s very highly anticipated third album. What makes The 1975 (led by chief lyricist and lead singer Matt Healy) stand out is the fact that they are not afraid to tackle the social and political issues that many musicians avoid, often reflecting the current climate in their music. The latest single is no exception, with lyrics referencing quotes from Donald Trump and current issues such as brutality against African Americans, cementing the song as one which will continue to have social utility for years to come. With their next album, ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships‘ slated for release in October, the social evolution of The 1975’s sound is nowhere near complete and we’re all in for a treat.
Splendour in the Grass continues to make its mark
As any Australian who listens to Triple J knows, Splendour in the Grass is the highlight of the yearly music calendar. With tickets becoming increasingly more sought after year after year, those who manage to obtain a ticket are amongst a group of elite who aren’t afraid to brave the horrors of the Moshtix green room. This demand becomes even higher when presented with a lineup that includes rap god Kendrick Lamar, pop princess Lorde and a collection of Australia’s finest musical exports to emerge in the last few years. With a weekend filled with highlights (read more about my top 5 acts of the weekend here), for many, the countdown has no doubt already begun for next year’s festival.
That’s all for July,
Catch ya on the flip side