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Week 5 of our New Music Friday series! Every Friday, we’ll share ten new releases you should know. Last week, I attended Pitchfork Fest, so here are twenty releases to know. Read New Music Friday 005:
Lil Nas X – Montero
Lil Nas X has finally unveiled his hotly-anticipated debut album, MONTERO, and it’s an epic spectacle. Led by the album’s inescapable title track, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow, and additional collabs with Elton John, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Miley Cyrus, the 15-song debut effort is a must-hear.
Unusual Demont – HUES.
Wisconsin-born, LA-based supernova Unusual Demont reveals his stellar debut EP, HUES, which effortlessly flows within R&B, indie, and alt-pop. Led by the massive track “AMBER,” the project reveals some new gems like “IVORY” and “BLUSH.”
Rêve – “CTRL + ALT + DEL”
Pop-EDM songstress Rêve is back with a bouncy new track, “CTRL + ALT + DEL,” produced by Montreal duo Banx & Ranx. The track draws inspiration from the heydays of 90s sophisticated Euro sound while the rising artist dishes lines on shaking off the people vying for her attention on the dancefloor.
Marc E. Bassy – “Bowie”
Marc E. Bassy returns with a striking new single, “Bowie.” Guitar-driven and an absolute groove, the cosmic track captures the aftermath of love gone awry. Having already released must-hear like “Trouble” and “Free Like Me” with Cory Henry, the October 8th release of Bassy’s new album, Little Men, on his independent label NEW GOLD MEDAL, could not arrive soon enough.
Macca Wiles – “too dead to save”
Versatile newcomer Macca Wiles hits the scene with his single, “too dead to save,” an infectious cut laced with chaotic dark undertones and a fresh take on the punk-hop scene exploding globally. The genre-bending track, co-produced alongside Mati Schwartz (Yungblud, Massive Attack, Halsey), marks Wiles as an exciting talent to watch.
VARLEY – Smalltalk & DMCs
Berlin-based three-piece Varley have unveiled their debut album, Smalltalk & DMCs. Led by the alt-pop track “Feel It,” the album has a few gems worth discovering like the previously unreleased “Calypso.” The project features the band’s latest hit “Disease,” which has already accumulated over 3.5 million streams on Spotify.
Jeremy Zucker – “Therapist”
Jeremy Zucker recently announced his new album, CRUSHER, which he shared is the response to his “doomed love letter” debut album. Now, he’s unveiled the soaring track “Therapist,” and he’s clearly not mincing words. Co-written and co-produced with Ethan Gruska [Phoebe Bridgers, Fiona Apple], the song finds Zucker at his best while unleashing his deeply-rooted lyrics.
Dreamer Boy – “KEEP THE PACE”
“Are you entertained?” asks Dreamer Boy on his latest single, “KEEP THE PACE” and the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Taking fans through a dizzying journey around New York City, the genre-bending artist fuses energetic alt-pop with a frenetic delivery you won’t be able to take your eyes and ears off.
Hanne Mjøen – Emotional Fever
Earlier this year, Hanne Mjøen released the relatable bop “Too Tired (Don’t Feel A Thing)” and is now back to serve up her latest EP, Emotional Fever. Led by the new single and video, “Hurt Like Heaven,” and highlighted by previous hits “Hell With You,” Mjøen proves why she’s quickly becoming one of Scandinavia’s must-hear voices.
iann dior ft. Lil Uzi Vert – “V12”
iann dior and Lil Uzi Vert are back with the heat on their new collab, “V12.” The long-awaited track, produced by Nick Mira, Cxdy, and Taz Taylor, arrives with a music video directed by Rudy Grazziani and iann dior.
Kacey Musgraves – star-crosssed
Country-pop sensation Kacey Musgraves is going through the motions of grief on her long-awaited follow-up to Golden Hour. Gone are the dreamy numbers about butterflies and budding romances. With Star-Crossed, Musgraves is ready to tell the story of when the ‘Golden hour fades to black’, following an emotional divorce from songwriter Ruster Kelly. Nevertheless, the record is surprisingly full of joy, as Musgraves strays further and further away from her country roots to deliver an album filled to the brim with guitar-led pop brilliance. ‘simple times’ is a poignant, 90’s fueled anthem for those missing the joys of youth, while “there is a light” is a certified country disco banger, bordering the line between genres with dazzling results.
LISA – “LALISA”
BLACKPINK’s own LISA released her very first solo single, “LALISA” this Friday, and it is already the biggest selling single ever by a Korean female artist. Following massive hype and a promotional campaign that rivals that of full-length albums, “LALISA” is a bombastic banger that certainly does not disappoint. Whilst its earworm hooks, distorted bass, and blaring horns are not too dissimilar to her work with BLACKPINK, it is LISA’s attitude that is the selling point here, as she switches effortlessly from singing to rap with the finesse of a true pop superstar.
Aly & AJ – “Get Over Here”
Aly & AJ have been consistently dropping gem after gem since their comeback in 2017, so much so that their Disney work seems like a totally different band. After slowing things down with ‘a touch of the beat…’, it is nice to hear the duo return to a catchy 80’s inspired sound this time around. “Get Over Here” bounces and glides with the same ease as their acclaimed synthpop e.p. ‘Ten Years’, but with a rockier edge. The bassline here is ridiculously infectious, as Aly & AJ desperately long for a lover ‘night or day’.
J Balvin – Jose
J Balvin proves why he’s the Prince of Reggaeton with his highly anticipated latest record, Jose, serving us both party bangers and a surprising amount of introspection. “In Da Ghetto” is a relentlessly fun collaboration with Skrillex that is destined for the clubs, whilst “Querido Rio” is a heartwarming letter to his son. Thanks to Balvin’s undeniable charisma, the contrasting themes of ‘Jose’ work, and its 80 minute running time never feels bloated. J Balvin also just announced a 28-date North American tour in support of the album, kicking off in 2022.
Rachel Chinouriri – “If Only”
Rising star Rachel Chinouriri released her latest single “If Only,” a gorgeously layered track that explores the importance of gratitude. Speaking about the single, Chinouriri explains, “Ever since I wrote this song, whenever I feel frustrated about situations, I just remind myself I am doing what I love (music), and this is ‘good stress.’ I have always been taught to be very grateful for everything. Seeing how hard my mum worked to care for 5 children, cousins, and my sick dad all whilst being an immigrant made me aware of the sacrifices that were made for me to be where I am today.” “If Only” is the kind of thought-provoking track that reminds us of what’s truly important in life, and it seamlessly follows Rachel’s 8-track EP, Four° In Winter, a collection of tracks equally as moving. Go take yourself on a walk and listen to “If Only.”
KALI – “Lucy” (Gentle Dom Remix)
16-year old artist KALI enlists the help of Gentle Dom (otherwise known as Andrew VanWyngarden from MGMT) for a brand new remix of her single, “Lucy”. Foregoing the original track’s indie-pop breeziness, the Gentle Dom remix incorporates scattered rhythms and psychedelic guitars, creating a dance track that sounds like it’s straight from Mars. “Lucy” is a single taken from KALI’s acclaimed EP, CIRCLES. After being named as an artist to watch in 2021 by NYLON, the EP marks the young prodigy’s emergence onto the music scene, and it is certainly not one to miss.
Homeshake – Under The Weather
Toronto-based musician Homeshake releases his new album, Under the Weather, a 12-track collection that reflects on life and depression. Documenting a period of great sadness for the singer, the album is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking, filled with lo-fi gems that are not as happy as their glittering synths would suggest. Homeshake has unleashed a multimedia campaign for the record, releasing clothing merch (in collaboration with LA streetwear brand, Brain Dead), a “Homeshake Hotline” where fans will be able to talk to the artist directly, and a weather forecast app in which fans can type in their location to find an appropriate song for the weather they’re experiencing.
Des Rocs – “Hanging by a Thread”
NYC-Native Des Rocs is not holding back with “Hanging by a Thread,” the third single from his highly anticipated debut album, A Real Good Person in a Real Bad Place. Combining intentionally harsh production with fiery vocals, Des Rocs is bringing back classic rock for the 2020s. Having already toured as a supporting act for The Rolling Stones and Muse, Ros’s new tour, DES ROCS ALIVE, is an entirely solo effort, hitting over 20 iconic venues across the United States. If his current singles are anything to go by, it’s sure to be a whirlwind of a show. A Real Good Person in a Real Bad Place comes out September 24th, but for now, make sure you give “Hanging by a Thread” a listen.
Lana Del Rey – “Arcadia”
Goddess Lana Del Rey has returned once again with “Arcadia,” the latest taste of her impending eighth studio album, Blue Bannisters. Contrasting the minimal, stripped-back nature of Chemtrails Over the Country Club, “Arcadia” feels anthemic in nature. Jazz chords and classic strings ebb and flow around Lana’s vocals as she provides one of the greatest vocal performances of her discography. Along with the three previous teasers, Blue Bannisters is shaping up to be another quintessential experience into the world of Del Rey.
María Isabel – i hope you’re very unhappy without me
Dominican-American artist María Isabel is a star on the rise with her latest EP, i hope you’re very unhappy without me, a bilingual collection of tracks that combine Isabel’s Latinx roots with contemporary pop and R&B. The EP picks up where 2020’s Stuck in the Sky left off. However, this time María Isabel has truly honed in on her sound, creating tracks that are equally as impressive lyrically as they are musically. It is an awe-inspiring body of work that deserves widespread recognition. i hope you’re very unhappy without me precedes Isabel’s North American tour next week, which includes dates in DC, Toronto, Chicago, and more.