With the second lockdown lifted and the end of the year nearing we are hoping for some good news, which in some way we got. The UK is, from next week on, starting with the COVID vaccine. Does this mean we’ll come full circle and this weird year in our life ends in March? We shall see. In the meantime, take a seat, make yourself a brew because we have plenty of new music to get distracted by.
Editor: Megan Hofman
Yungblud – Weird! (Interscope records)
Yungblud released his second album ‘Weird’ and it screams 90’s nostalgia, just what we need in this weird time of life. Yungblud, the alter ego of the 23-year-old Dominic Harrison describes this album as a story of coming-of-age, self-acceptance and liberation, in terms of sex, gender, drugs and heartbreak. Which sounds like it’s a record about life, the life of a 23-year-old.
‘Weird’ starts off with the emotional ‘Teresa’ which starts small and acoustic but quickly speeds up to turn into the familiar Yungblud punk rock sound. It’s followed by sex pop anthem ‘Cotton Candy’ which was the second single released and has been played by many radio stations. It’s a song you will get stuck in your head for about two days, before deciding you want to listen to it again. Although it may not be as punk rock as you’d expect from Yungblud, it suits his voice well and shows he is much more than just one genre.
‘God save me, but don’t drown me out’ really show the ability of Dom’s vocals, it starts with a familiar electric guitar intro. It’s a sound we heard before but brings along that feeling of nostalgia to the 90’s era. As does the extremely danceable track ‘Ice Cream Man’ which very cleverly starts with a cute intro before jumping from 0 to 100 to the familiar Brit pop-punk sound.
Of course, we can’t forget to mention the collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly on ‘Acting like that’ which is a nice sing-along which for sure will do well on radio as the lyrics are easy to remember but is lacking something interesting. However, ‘It’s quiet in Beverly hills’ definitely makes up for that. We all know that life in Hollywood can be difficult and especially lonely. You can feel this was written in a time where life was getting a bit overwhelming which results into lyrics like ‘I’m crying in Beverly Hills’ and ‘I’ll love you all of my life until you close your eyes for good’. The album comes to an end with ‘Freakshow’ perhaps the most Yungblud song on this album. A great way to end a great album.
Words: Megan Hofman
Shawn Mendes – Wonder (Island records)
Shawn Mendes’s eagerly anticipated fourth studio album drops today and it did not disappoint. Wonder is Mendes as you’ve never seen him before, he is redefining his sound from predictable bubbly pop songs to something that transcends anything you could have expected from the Canadian singer. Despite only being 22 years old, Mendes seems to have found his sound and demonstrated that with styles and soul. The album opens with an intro that ends on the lyric “So give yourself a chance to get lost in wonderland” – and Shawn allows us to do just that.
It seems he has swapped the slick guitar riffs for more profound and dazzling production, which has a balance of upbeat tunes such as 305 which has a sort of Rex Orange County feel to it, and some more melancholy tracks like A Song For No One which starts off with just him and an acoustic guitar but then develops into an extravagant bridge full of sound – a trope that is a huge part of this album. The sound design on this album is immense, something that I was expecting after the release of the albums leading single “Wonder” with an array of sound and texture which takes you to a ‘wonderland’ as soon as you put your headphones on. This is definitely an album that needs to be experienced live – which hopefully isn’t too far away.
Words: Hollie Sackett
All Time Low – Monsters (Fueled by Ramen)
After posting very cryptic messages on social media, the fans got what they were hoping for. The American pop punk band All Time Low have released a new version of their single ‘Monsters’ from their latest album ‘Wake up, Sunshine’, this time it features not only Blackbear but also Demi Lovato, who bring a new sound to the song. It’s not until after the second verse where her vocals are heard, but it’s clear how well harmonised her voice is together with Alex Gaskarth. ‘Monsters’ has been a huge hit for the band earning their first radio chart NO.1. Now, with Demi’s new added vocals to the song it might even receive more attention.
Words: Megan Hofman
Fabz Pi – Earthlings
On ‘Earthlings’ Fabz Pi, links up with Meru on a trap-driven track. The sound selection is typical for the Dutch-Ethiopian artist: a lot of soundscapes and ethereal foley. His flow matches that of the hyped beat, with a rhythmic cadence that’s here to stay. On the record he talks about how he stays connected and grounded in a hectic world. After backing Fabz up with her melodic backings throughout the second Meru sings on the second verse. I feel like it loses some energy, and her vocals sound a little distanced from the track mix-wise. Nonetheless, she has an important message to share, that of female empowerment. After that Fabz Pi picks it back up with the catchy chorus and a moody, slowed down outro. Overall, another fun single by Fabz Pi to put on repeat this weekend!
Words: Lu-Hao Veritas
You can listen to the NMF playlist here: