What a beautiful week it’s been, it feels like everyone has been in a great mood the past few days, mainly because of the sun that has made many appearances this week. Some Vitamin D always gives us positive vibes, especially seeing as we spent most of our time indoors the past months. We are only ten days away from the reopening of pubs and a step closer to normal, life just seems to get better week by week. Something that is a highlight every week is the new music coming out, this week it’s no different. We picked our favourite new releases and can’t wait for you to hear them!
Editor: Megan Hofman
Olivia Rodrigo – déjà vu (Geffen Records)
Disney star Olivia Rodrigo released her second single ‘déjà vu’ on April first, a song she wrote right after her record-breaking debut ballad ‘drivers licence’ that dropped earlier this year. Even though the sound is completely different and more electronic, the lyrical topic stays the same – feeling hurt and disappointed due to being replaced by someone you once loved. But this time, Rodrigo is angry. She calls out her ex-lover’s dating behaviour, which consists of re-visiting places Rodrigo showed him, using phrases she used to say and doing everything they used to do together – with his new girlfriend. Regarding the new girl, Rodrigo is aware of the fact “she thinks it’s special”, simply because she doesn’t know any better. Rodrigo shows a certain kind of understanding and sympathy for her, as she used to be in the same position before. Yet it is a hard pill to swallow that the relationship that was so sacred to her, was just a temporarily game to her ex that he continues to play with someone else – and it’s that exact message of the song that makes it so relatable for every listener who has once been in Rodrigo’s shoes as well.
Words: Victoria Madzak
Brockhampton – COUNT ON ME (RCA Records)
After last week’s bombastic and mind-blowing Danny Brown collab, the Texas-formed hip-hop collective drop another out-of-nowhere collaboration with A$AP Rocky taking command of the first verse, and front man Kevin Abstract’s long-term crush, Shawn Mendes lending his soft, romantic singing for the choruses. Fellow Corpus Christi native, SoGoneSoFlexy also has the honour of featuring on this Ginger-reminiscent single for the second verse, and local talent, Matt Champion delivers an echoey, cold final verse.
The single is more contemplative and less rambunctious than last week’s BUZZCUT yet, booming beats and bouncing instrumentals persist, marking the track as a classic, despite out of the ordinary featured talent.
It’s hard not to feel ungrateful when voicing these kinds of ‘problems’, however, this sudden change of heart concerning features on the group’s projects is beginning to allude to a possible watering down of the group’s contagious synergy that has played such a vital role in their following so far. Where before, members were interrupting and contributing adlibs to each other’s contributions, the individual members feel separated and uninvolved. Fans were convinced that this is what they wanted but could it be possible that the group’s original decision was for the best?
Words: Doug Phillips
Lewis Knaggs – Dreaming When You’re Gone
Lewis Knaggs released his debut EP ‘Dreaming When You’re Gone’ today. The London based film maker/musician has been working in the creative industries for quite a few years now, even though he has been mostly focused on being a director/cinematographer, making music has always been his passion which is why him releasing his EP was inevitable.
The EP starts off with ‘Hold On’ a tune that’s absolutely perfect to blast in your car with the windows down when you need to forget about the world for a while. Contrasting to that, the single ‘Dreaming When You’re Gone’ makes me think of a lazy Sunday morning, when you’re feeling nostalgic of the past, wishing for a moment you could go back and experience it all over again. The perks of being a musician and film director? Making your own music videos of course. So far Lewis has released a music video for ‘Hold On’ ‘Runaway’ ‘I’ll Survive’ and another video for ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ will be out soon.
Words: Megan Hofman
Demi Lovato – Dancing With The Devil.. The Art of Starting Over (Island Records)
After years of battling her demons, Demi Lovato has released her cathartic and intensely confessional album, ‘Dancing With The Devil.. The Art of Starting Over’ which she has called the “non-official soundtrack” to her YouTube documentary of the same name that explores some of the traumatic experiences she has gone through including her years of substance abuse to cheating death in 2018 after a heroin overdose.
Opening with the track ‘Anyone’, the lyrics are a desperate cry for help from Demi for someone to help her from the troubles inside herself, heartbreakingly foreshadowing the next two tracks which describe her substance abuse – ‘Dancing With The Devil’ and her near-fatal overdose – ‘ICU (Maddison’s Lullaby)’ which are both incredibly raw and honest. Then, four tracks in, an interlude titled ‘Intro’ signals a new chapter of Demi’s life “Let me take you on a journey, one that sheds the skin of my past, and embodies the person I am today, this is the art of starting over.”
Going from heart-wrenching piano ballads to more upbeat and confident pop tunes, Demi explores her journey to self-acceptance and opens up on how far she has come from past eating disorders and toxic relationships. As always, Demi displays her gorgeous powerhouse vocals and even has a number of impressive collaborations on this album including Ariana Grande on the highly anticipated ‘Met Him Last Night’ as well as songs with Sam Fischer, Noah Cyrus and Saweetie.
Overall, the main idea of this album is the idea of growth and self-acceptance and there’s the feeling that many fans will be assured that not only is demi back and better than ever, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that everyone holds the strength to make it through a dark place.
Words: Hollie Sackett
Benny The Butcher – Spineless (T.C.F Music Group)
This Friday, one of the busiest indie record labels, Griselda dropped two singles from founding members, Westside Gunn and Benny The Butcher, the latter of whom only just releasing his last full length project, ‘The Plugs I Met 2’ in late March. The more interesting of the two, Benny’s ‘Spineless’ is a snappy, no-nonsense, club-entering hip-hop anthem.
The Sopranos sample is a clever device to separate the verses without a hook or chorus and matches the Griselda aesthetic perfectly as the members can’t help but reminisce, reflect and glorify their criminal past. That, partnered with the gruesome cover and hard-hitting vocal delivery from The Butcher and Ransom makes ‘Spineless’ a textbook Griselda banger, the counterpart of which would be a dark, grimy and sinister variant on their brutal brand of hip-hop. A perfect example of which being Westside’s latest addition, ‘TV Boy’, a lo-fi, grimy instrumental with breathless, spit-filled rapping from the high-voiced member. These singles perfectly display the two sides of the blood-splattered Griselda coin.
Words: Doug Phillips