With so much new music coming out every week, it can be hard to know what to listen to first. Every week, we highlight some of our favorite tracks to kick off your weekend. The best way to keep up with our selections is by following our ‘New Music On-Repeat’ playlist on Spotify. This week’s picks include tracks from Hayley Williams, CHVRCHES, Zoe Wees, and more!
1. Max Leone – “Untitled”
Rising singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Max Leone just released a new single “Untitled” from his debut EP ‘Malleable’, which comes out next Thursday, April 29th. Born in Portland Oregon, Leone was drawn to music at a young age, playing guitar at the age of seven and quickly beginning to compose his own pieces. Many have heralded the young artist as the next anti-pop prodigy, and this new track shows why Leone has gathered such acclaim even before the release of his debut. The song is heartfelt and tender, with Leone musing on his regrets and painful memories before acknowledging that he would rather feel those hard emotions than feel nothing at all. The production on this track really puts him in the room with you as you listen. It’s a triumphant song about perseverance with an intimacy that makes you feel as if it were written just for you.
2. Sasha Sloan – “When Was It Over?” ft. Sam Hunt
This is the first track from singer-songwriter Sasha Sloan in 2021. Collaborating with pop-country superstar Sam Hunt, this duet takes on the two perspectives of a couple ending their relationship. I remember going to songwriter nights in Nashville at some of those famous launching pads for country careers like Bluebird Cafe and the Listening Room. This song really embodies that atmosphere for me, where you are so struck by the raw emotion that you have to just sit there and take in every word.
3. Aziya – “Heaven For Me”
Azıya is an exciting new artist from the UK whose music blends elements of psychedelia, R&B, and pop to create a mature sound with a distinct groove. “Heaven For Me” is only the second single she’s put out, but really shows her prowess as a musician and a songwriter. This song explores how we romanticize toxic relationships, but maintains its catchiness and edge.
4. Salem Ilese – “About a Breakup”
We can all agree that 2020 was a whirlwind of a year. Between the coronavirus pandemic, a fraught election cycle, and mass protests in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it seemed as though we were in a constant state of anxiety about the state of the world. Despite that external anxiety, our daily lives carried on, and when interpersonal struggles arose, those deeply personal and particular woes were juxtaposed with the broader turmoil of the world. This is a phenomenon Ilese toys with, singing, “the world’s too fucked / to cry about a break up,”. I’m a sucker songs that examine a very particular aspect of love and relationships, and this song does just that. Not only is it an extremely catchy song, but the heavy hitting lyrics really elevate that initial pop hook.
5. Zoe Wees – “Ghost”
Zoe Wees has become somewhat of a breakout star with her hit triumphant song “Girls Like Us”. This new track talks about the ways we can let people get too close, even with the knowledge they will hurt us. Wees’ songs always have a deep emotional core, which is emphasized on this track in the epic instrumental and belting vocal. Wees is only 18, and we are excited to hear how her sound will mature with each new track she releases.
6. Jorja Smith – “Gone”
We are so excited to hear Grammy-nominated artist Jorja Smith’s new project ‘Be Right Back’ on May 14th. We have high expectations for this album, considering how masterful her work on her 2019 debut ‘Lost & Found’ was, and the quality of the singles she’s released thus far. This song has all of the best elements of Jorja’s sound: her smooth soulful voice, lush production, and a deep groove that carries the track.
7. Hayley Williams – “Colour Me In”
Just off the heels of her latest album “Flowers for Vases”, Hayley Williams has released a cover of Broadcast’s “Colour Me In”. Williams trades the industrial dissonance of the original for a smooth, storybook sound that transforms the song into a kind of lullaby. Williams’ voice builds upon itself to craft a hypnotic melody that is sure to transfix listeners.
8. Wolf Alice – “Smile”
Gearing up for the release of their new album ‘Blue Weekend’, Wolf Alice have released another single “Smile”. This song is packed with energy, and will definitely become a fan favorite when they are able to play shows again. Wolf Alice mix hard rock with new age synths and understated yet charged vocals to create a truly electric track.
9. CHVRCHES – “He Said She Said”
This new song from CHVRCHES is truly a testament to how the pandemic changed the music industry. This track was recorded almost entirely remotely, with band members collaborating from across the Atlantic Ocean using Zoom and audio sharing platforms. You would never guess the band was not in the same room, because the song is still so cohesive. This track employs some elements of hyperpop with pitched up vocals and industrial production elements, demonstrating the band’s keen awareness of musical trends. CHVRCHES takes these elements and makes them their own, creating an ecstatic song in the process.
10. aldn & glaive – “what was the last thing you said”
Even at the young age of 16, glaive is ushering in a new wave of experimentation in pop music. He has become one of the names used to describe the emerging genre of hyperpop, and for good reason. It seems as though his young age has made him uniquely tuned into how much experimentation he can get away with without repelling young listeners. We can’t wait for glaive to continue expanding our sonic palate.