New Music Friday – 17/8/18

It has been a BIG week in terms of new releases, with collaborations, highly anticipated albums and unexpected single drops aplenty.

Ariana Grande unleashes her fourth ‘baby’ on the world

It has easily been one of, if not the most anticipated pop album to be released this year. After the release of ‘no tears left to cry’ all the way back in April, Grande’s fans, or Arianators, have been hyping up the album to anyone who will listen. The three singles released prior to the album highlighted the vast style range that Grande was clearly going for in this album, with each song showcasing her skills as an artist across genres. With the release of the whole album, it’s clear that Grande’s sound is starting to progress down a more R&B influenced avenue, most clearly evidenced by production credits from the likes of Pharrell Williams. Given this small change in genre direction, one thing continues to shine throughout the record; Ariana’s pitch perfect vocals. The harmonies in ‘raindrops (an angel cried)’ and ‘pete davidson’ are testament to Grande’s skill and power as a vocalist, something which she has been developing since her beginnings on Broadway and Nickelodeon. Now that the album has been released, her fans will move to hyping up her tour, which has been pegged to begin early next year, and will no doubt be a stellar showcase of the pop princess’s vocal ability and stage presence.

Sounds like: the love child of Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Missy Elliot (funnily enough, she even features on a track, ‘borderline’!)

Listen to when: getting ready for a girls’ night out

Highlights: ‘breathin’, ‘successful’ and ‘get well soon’

The 1975 continue their ‘attack’ of the digital age

Announced only a week before its release, The 1975’s latest single “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” dropped on Thursday as the Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 World Record. This track steers away from what many have come to consider as the typical The 1975 sound, with lead singer Matt Healy saying in an interview that he objectively listens to it as “not necessarily a ’75 song“. When listening to it, this opinion becomes clear; apart from Healy’s distinctive voice and the social utility of the lyrics which has become so indicative of The 1975’s music, the overall style of the single is definitely more ‘boppy’ and upbeat than a lot of their music. The lyrics analyse the affect of the digital age on relationships, specifically when it comes to ‘two-timing’ your significant other. While the actual song may not necessarily fit into what many have come to expect of the band, it is definitely an indication of the direction that their forthcoming album is headed, and by all accounts, its a positive direction.

Sounds like: The Wombats x Arctic Monkeys x Chvrches (on steroids)

Listen to when: social media is getting you down and you just wanna say “f- you” to it all and have a dance

Calvin Harris drops another surprise collaboration

Following the incredible success of Calvin Harris’s collaboration with Dua Lipa, ‘One Kiss’, Harris has come out with new single ‘Promises’ with the help of first time collaborator, Sam Smith. The track highlights what we’ve come to expect of Smith, in the form of his silky smooth vocals, soaring range and soulful vibes. Smith is no stranger to collaborations, having previously joined forces with the likes of Disclosure and Naughty Boy, however Harris’s signature style has done nothing but bring focus to Smith’s voice in the best way. The poppy, dance track is sure to become a regular on airways, especially in Australia as we move into the summer cycle.

Sounds like: Summer. That sums it up basically.

Listen to when: You’ve had a few drinks and are ready to start dancing

That’s all for this week

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

July Musical Moments

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 Rendevousto 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

Jess x