New Music Sunday

The Best Five Songs Released This Past Week Pt. 48

Happy Easter and Coachella Weekend to those who celebrate (we’ll be in the desert next weekend).

Noteworthy album & EP releases:

(Un)Commentary, Alec Benjamin
Versions Of Me, Anitta
Cavalcovers, Black Midi
Booty Call, Bülow
Whiplash, Grae
my blue room, Luke Royalty
The Outsider EP, Lyn Lapid
It’s 2016 Somewhere, Ricky Montgomery
Paradise Again, Swedish House Mafia

“2005” – Quinn Christopherson
Release date – April 12

I originally heard Quinn perform this at South By Southwest earlier this year and was super amped for its release. The performance I saw of it was more stripped down since it was only Quinn and a guitarist onstage with him, but I actually think I prefer this version.

I was 11-years-old in 2005, and it’s weird to hear someone else’s experience of what it was like to grow up during this time as a kid and how it’s comparable to mine. It’s a great song about the nostalgia for simpler times. Quinn’s lyricism is so simplistically beautiful and poignant: it’s hard not to relate to at least a sentence of what he sings about.

“Hunter Schafer” – Ray Laurél
Release date – April 13
I probably know what you’re thinking: who is Ray Laurél and why does he have a song about Jules from Euphoria? The artist, who has approximately 12,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, seemingly came out of nowhere and landed on the DSP’s New Music Friday playlist at #66, is a British-Asian musician: “Hunter Schafer” is his debut single.

According to an interview with The Line of Best Fit, the song was in fact inspired by Schafer’s character Jules: “During that time (summer of 2021) I was going through quite the identity crisis. the show really helped me feel comfortable in my skin again, especially with my newly realised sexuality…I decided to make a dramatic purple rain-esque bop almost as an ode to myself and my newfound freedom. It’s called Hunter, cuz Hunter is the embodiment of love.”

“GASLIGHT” – INJI
Release date – April 15

Ah, the tale as old as time: a TikTok success story. Musician Inji used the platform to gain buzz around a song she was working on, asking viewers if she should finish the song. Fast forward to April 15, and the song is included in Spotify’s New Music Friday at #36, ahead of artists like Mallrat, Ricky Montgomery, and Loote.

“GASLIGHT” is a total banger, a fun summer anthem that sounds like the lyrics were generated by AI (an actual comment left on this TikTok): a song that beautifully represents the power of an algorithm and how its influence can compeltely blow up a catchy song from an independent artist. One of Inji’s videos about the song has 2.3 million views, and was just featured on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show.

“About Damn Time” – Lizzo
Release date – April 15

If you think about it, it’s been awhile since an a-list popstar has released a single. Olivia and Billie are touring their 2021 albums, I have no idea what Ariana’s doing, Gaga is all over the place, Taylor’s MIA, you get it. So when I saw Lizzo was back to drop a single with no special feature, I was super amped. We surely got her track with Cardi B. (“Rumors”) towards the end of last year, but that song sorta flopped.

Taking cue (or maybe not) from the funk we heard on Silk Sonic’s “An Evening With Silk Sonic, “About Damn Time” feels fresh and ready for the summer: light and fun, and maybe a bit more radio-friendly than “Rumors.” After Lizzo’s appearance on SNL this weekend as the host and musical guest, it’s safe to say she’s gearing up for a new album soon.

“Sidelines” – Phoebe Bridgers
Release date – April 15

As a self-proclaimed h*e for Phoebe Bridgers, I can’t quite imagine a world where she drops a new song and it’s NOT featured in this post series. “Sidelines” was released for the new Hulu show “Conversations With Friends,” a TV adaptation from the book of the same name written by Sally Rooney. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Rooney also wrote “Normal People,” which was also turned into a Hulu show and featured Phoebe’s beau Paul Mescal. Everything’s connected!

I found it fascinating that this song was originally released by Phoebe’s frequent collaborator Marshall Vore and Ruby Henley (who both co-wrote it with Bridgers), and you can find that version on YouTube.

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