The days are getting shorter, nights are getting colder. You know what that means; the second lockdown is almost coming to an end. We can’t wait to go to the pub and listen to all of these new hits with a drink, oh and a meal of course (Tier 2).
Editor: Megan Hofman
King Princess – Pain (Columbia)
Brooklyn born and raised Mikaela Straus, better known as King Princess, is putting out hit after hit. After her debut single ‘1950’ became a massive hit with over 300 million streams, her covid-cancelled plans included a set at Glastonbury, Coachella and supporting Harry Styles on tour, which has been postponed to 2021. So, while everyone’s 2020 got put onhold Mikaela jumped back in the studio and put her hours in. She waited, however, to release music until last month. As it didn’t feel right to her to put out music in between the middle of a pandemic and a massive racial movement. Last month she released the amazing single ‘Only Time Makes It Human’ and this week she is back with another one ‘Pain’. Both singles are co-produced with Mark Ronson. She revealed that, yes there is another album in the works. ‘Pain’ starts with a 40-second intro in which it starts of acapella and every ten seconds another instrument is laid on top of the vocals, this returns post-chorus and makes the song 10 times more interesting. In contrast to that, the verses are more monotone, which is why it fits together so well. We are excited to hear even more new music from King Princess and can’t wait to see what her next album brings us.
Words: Megan Hofman
Sam Fender – Winter Song (Polydor)
Sam Fender has released a heart-wrenching cover of Alan Hull’s ‘Winter Song’, a song that deals with the issue of homelessness in the winter months. Fender has never shied away from tackling the more difficult issues having sung about depression and government corruption – and this one is no different. Although this isn’t your typical Christmas song, the lyrics are incredibly poignant as it describes the struggles of those without secure homes during the holiday season. This is a beautiful cover that Sam makes his own and you can hear the influence of his hero Bruce Springsteen, another one who does not shy away from tough issues, as he sings every word with passion and intent. Fender said that he wanted to cover this song as “it’s close to home” and close to his heart. The song is accompanied by a lyric video that was created in collaboration with People of The Streets with moving images of homelessness and poverty among urban areas. This may not be the most cheerful of Christmas songs, it certainly sparks conversations about homelessness and makes you more aware of the stories of those who aren’t as fortunate.
Words by: Hollie Sacket
Miley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts album (RCA)
One of the most exciting female artists at the moment has released her new album ‘Plastic Hearts’ which includes the top-charting singles ‘Midnight Sky’, her collaboration with Dua Lipa on ‘Prisoner’ and her covers of both the cranberries ‘Zombie’ and Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’. As the covers showed off a rocky side of Miley, we were hoping the album would as well. The album starts with ‘WTF do I know’ a song that, what we were hoping for, perfectly shows off her rocky vocals. This song gives you a confidence boost no matter what you are doing. Besides from Dua Lipa’s collaboration, Miley also collaborated with Billy Idol, Stevie Nicks and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. The lyrics “I wonder what would happen if I die I hope all of my friends get drunk and high” on ‘Hate Me’ refer to the thought of what would happen if she wouldn’t be here anymore and the constant negative attention from the media, which usually becomes positive if someone has passed. It shows her struggle with growing up in the public eye, especially when going through hard times. While she has been around in the music industry for quite a long time her sound has been through quite some different stages, but it seems like Miley has reinvented herself once again and found her place with her new, rockier sound and we are here for it.
Words: Megan Hofman
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – KG (Flightless Records)
Australian psych-rock dynamos King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard are back with new album, ‘KG’. A step-back and a step-up from 2019’s thrash metal effort ‘Infest The Rats Nest’. ‘KG’ is a more familiar and recognizable King Gizzard release with a psychedelic but still very experimental tone and their first without former manager and one of the two drummers Eric Moore. The band prove that they still very much have the broad musical palette and ability to pull genre after genre together on this record with songs like the microtonal acid house inspired banger ‘Intrasport’. King Gizzard have always been, and still are a bold, exciting and creative band and this album embodies that entirely. With a full-length movie release in April and ‘KG’ this month, it has been a somewhat slow year for the band, so we are excited to hear what’s to come next year.
Words: Thomas Bradey-Riseley
Monster – Shawn Mendes & Justin Bieber (Island records)
After months of speculations, Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber released their first collaboration called “Monster” on November 20th. Mendes calls Monster “one of the most special songs” he had ever written. The ballad is produced in a very simple way, just like the music video that was being shot in one single take – both of their voices are in focus, a prominent beat going along with them smoothly. In an exclusive interview for Apple Music, Mendes told Zane Lowe that the single is “about how society can put celebrities up on a pedestal and watch them fall”. As both of them experienced their rise to fame through social media and at an early age, they have been faced with the toxicity regarding rumours and cancel-culture that comes along with it more than once. Even though it might be entertaining to the audience to see famous youngsters go through difficult stages of their lives and making a lot of mistakes, Mendes and Bieber shed light on how hard it is for them to have grown up in the spotlight and with millions of people worldwide watching and judging their every move. No matter how famous a person is, how many followers they have and how many people might be swooning over them, they are still human after all and deserve to be treated with the same respect and integrity as everyone else.
Words: Victoria Madzak
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