New Music Sunday

The Five Best Songs Released This Past Week, Pt. 30

Happy Red (Taylor’s Version) Week! I’m certainly not done being obnoxious about it, but here’s the rundown on some other new music to check out.

Noteworthy album & EP releases:

Things Take Time, Take Time, Courtney Barnett
This Is What It Feel Like, Gracie Abrams
The Walls Are Way Too Thin, Holly Humberstone
Rebels of The Neon God, Julian Lamadrid
Subject To Change, Katelyn Tarver
An Evening With Silk Sonic, Silk Sonic
Red (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift
Happiness Is, Trousdale

In chronological order:

“The Only Heartbreaker” – Mitski
Release date – November 9

Another Mitski shoutout? Absolutely. I was hooked after the first 10 seconds of the song, totally convinced that it was Mitski’s turn to work with Jack Antonoff this time around (I immediately looked at the credits, he did not work on it). This is arguably Mitki’s most pop record she’s ever done: so much so that I was shocked to hear it the first time I hit play.

In a press release for the song, and the new album Laurel Hell, Mitski speaks on the meaning of the song, being about “the person always messing up in the relationship, the designated Bad Guy who gets the blame. It could simply be about that, but I also wanted to depict something sadder beneath the surface, that maybe the reason you’re always the one making mistakes is because you’re the only one trying.” 

“Blondes” – Blu DeTiger
Release date – November 11

When I saw Blu DeTiger’s headlining show at The Roxy this past September, we were given the treat of hearing “Blondes” live, ahead of its release. The hook was stuck in my head and knew what was coming immediately when Blu announced the song as an official new single.

It feels to me like “Blondes” has a bit more of a chance finding commercial success than her other music, specifically on the EP she dropped earlier this year (How Did We Get Here?), seemingly to take some inspiration from artists like Dua Lipa and Silk Sonic (who I shout out below) for ’80s influences creeping back into their music.

“777” – Silk Sonic
Release date – November 12

I don’t even have anything quality to say about this song other than I am completely obsessed. I remember at the turn of the summer, it was up for debate who was going to release the party anthem for the first (sort of) covid-free summer: and I’m still not convinced anyone successfully did this. If Silk Sonic dropped their album earlier, I think they could have taken the title.

More than anything, this song makes me want to go to Vegas and gamble: which is a feeling I’ve never actually experienced, so take my word on the song being a banger.

“All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” – Taylor Swift
Release date – November 12

In a first for our revamped version of New Music Sunday, I’ve added two songs by the same artist. Can you blame me? What seems like a year of promo for the new version of Red finally gave us Taylor Swift’s 10-minute masterpiece of her already incredibly-praised song “All Too Well,” decked out with even more heartbreaking lyrics than the original: a whole 10 minutes and 13 seconds that tells the story of a relationship from start to end.

I would pay a VERY large sum of money if I had the opportunity to go back to the writing and recording sessions of this song: how did they even attempt to edit the song down? What was the process like taking out some of the most powerful lyrics Taylor has ever written? Did she always hope to release the full version? Let’s just take a look at some of the lyrics included in the 10-minute version:

And there we are again when nobody had to know
You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath

The idea you had of me, who was she?
A never-needy, ever-lovely jewel whose shine reflects on you

And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punch line goes
“I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age”
From when your Brooklyn broke my skin and bones
I’m a soldier who’s returning half her weight

“Nothing New” – Taylor Swift ft. Phoebe Bridgers
Release date – November 12

I don’t think I’m the only one who was a little nervous for this song to come out (though incredibly excited, nonetheless) because Taylor has a habit of featuring incredible female artists on her songs and only having them do backup vocals: which is something that has always frustrated me. But when I heard this song for the first time and realized Phoebe had her OWN VERSE, I was completely speechless.

I’ve been a big fan of “The Lucky One,” a single off of Red, and this song feels like her jaded older sister in the best way possible. What will happen to Taylor Swift when the next new 20-something pop artist is on the rise? Is that happening now? If this song was in fact written in the Red era, I would be so shocked to know that Taylor was already having these fears at such an early stage in her career. I think what makes the song even more meaningful is Phoebe’s feature on it: though I certainly believe Phoebe will be around for as long as Taylor has been, and that she still has a long way to go ahead of her, it’s possible that Phoebe’s already starting to have the same fears and anxieties as a young artist, and being able to hear the song from these two perspectives was absolutely breathtaking.

I know someday I’m gonna meet her
It’s a fever dream
The kind of radiance you only
Have at seventeen she’ll know the way
And then she’ll say she got the map from me
I’ll say I’m happy for her, then
I’ll cry myself to sleep

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