New Music Sunday

The Five Best Songs Released This Past Week, Pt. 34

We made it to 2022! Welcome to the first New Music Sunday of the new year. We’re excited to get started!

Noteworthy album & EP releases:
If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (Extended Release), Halsey
Dawn FM, The Weeknd

In chronological order:

“Happy New Year” – Let’s Eat Grandma
Release date – January 3

I’ve been a casual fan of Let’s Eat Grandma’s music over the past few years, but after this release, I feel 100% on board and ready to hear their new album later this year.

In a press release for the single, one half of the duo, Rosa Walton, expresses the meaning behind the lyrics:

I wrote ‘Happy New Year’ after a breakdown between us that lasted for a long period of time, to communicate to her how important she is to me and how our bond and care for each other goes much deeper than this difficult time. I used the setting of New Year as both an opportunity for reflection, looking back nostalgically through childhood memories that we shared, and to represent the beginning of a fresh chapter for us…as the song and time progresses I come to accept that it couldn’t stay the way it was when we were kids forever, and start to view it as a positive thing – because now we have been able to grow into our own individual selves.” – Kristin

The new album drops on April 8.

“j’s lullaby (darlin’ i’d wait for you) – Delaney Bailey
Release date – January 7

Indiana University student Delaney Bailey has been making her rounds on TikTok with her original music, usually played on guitar and ukulele. I must not be on the right corners of TikTok, because I hadn’t heard of her or seen her account on my FYP until my friend explained to me that the release of this song was a long time coming: it also landed on the 23rd slot on last week’s New Music Friday.

The track is already on its way to landing one million streams in under a week since its release. – Kristin

“in the wake of your leave” – Gang of Youths
Release date – January 7

I already wrote about this song in our first post of the new year, so I’ll just share an excerpt of that here. Can you tell I really want you to listen to this song?

“in the wake of your leave” is about the death of Le’aupepe’s father, who passed away from cancer in 2018. Speaking on the song, Le’aupepe says “I wanted to reflect on how I became dependent on grief for solace and inspiration. The cycle from numbness to acceptance to yearning plays a role in my approach to grieving my dad’s death. As a result, most of the time, I feel a bit futile as a person.”

“in the wake of your leave” has larger-than-life melodies and a radio-friendly hook that reminds me of the ghosts of stadium rock’s past (or present?): specifically artists like Muse, The Killers, and U2. One amazing detail that deserves recognition: the Auckland Gospel Choir is featured on backup harmonies and the percussion is provided by drummers from the Cook Islands. – Kristin

“PHUCKBOI REJECTS” – Royal & The Serpent
Release date – January 7

I know I’ve talked about the the rise of pop punk music making its way back to the mainstream, and I’m here again to echo my excitement and how it has manifested in Royal & The Serpent’s new song, “PHUCKBOI REJECTS,” a track that reminds me of Gayle’s current smash hit “abcdefu,” but on steroids.

We’ve all dealt with the cycle of dating the same version of our exes, and questioning why we’re continuously participating in destructive behavior when we know it will end in the same way yet again. Putting that in a song takes a special amount of self-awareness! – Kristin

“Sacrifice” – The Weeknd
Release date – January 7
One word encapsulates The Weeknd’s recent chart-topper Dawn FM: transitions. The Weeknd’s hour-long spin blends effortlessly and seamlessly. Listeners should play this album from start to finish to appreciate The Weeknd’s genius and creativity, but if you don’t have time for that, listen to “Sacrifice” right now. Yes, I want you to pause whatever you’re doing and play this track, right now.

Recently resurgent electric-dance ensemble Swedish House Mafia (the “Save the World” guys, remember?) lay an infectious framework for The Weeknd to stunt on. SHM worked with The Weeknd on “Moth to a Flame” at the end of 2021, but wow. That was just the warm-up. This track will have you grooving for months to come. It’s early, trust me, I know, but I’m calling it now: “Sacrifice” is going to be this year’s anthem. – Sean

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