New Music Sunday

The Best Five Songs Released This Past Week Pt. 57

Happy Father’s Day and Juneteenth!

Noteworthy album & EP releases:

Farm To Table, Bartees Strange
Honestly, Nevermind, Drake
Life Is Yours, Foals
Summer Nights, Hazel English
ONE SIZE FITS ALL, Heather Sommer
Orange Blood, Mt. Joy
Supernova, Nova Twins
Ugly Season, Perfume Genius

In chronological order:

“Choose Your Fighter” – Nova Twins
Release date – June 13

Endorsed by one of rock’s largest influences—Tom Morello of Rage the Machine—London duo the Nova Twins released their debut album just three weeks before lockdown in 2020, and have climb the ladder to success in a highly white male-dominated space.

However, my hopes are high, considering thee genre-bending, rock-leaning artists like Rina Sawayama, Sasami, and Bartees Strange have been dominating the “indie” space recently. Though I’m newly introduced to the Nova Twins—who aren’t actually related—I look forward to seeing where they go next.

“Flavor Of The Month” – Hailey Haus
Release date – June 14

Though it seems like TikTok success stories are a dime a dozen nowadays, getting over 10 million views on a SNIPPET of a song you post on the internet before it’s even released is no easy feat. Singer-songwriter and producer Hailey Haus, who was recently signed to Arcade Records (a joint venture with Elektra Records) did exactly this, officially releasing her debut single “Flavor of the Month” this past week.

Hailey speaks on the song, mentioning that it’s “A story about taking the power back in a sense. At the time, I was single, and I was trying to find the right guy. Behind my back, some girl said, ‘Oh my Gosh, Hailey always has a flavor of the month.’ One day, I thought what she said would be a hilarious concept for a song, so I made it my own.”

“I Was Neon” – Julia Jacklin
Release date – June 14

Whatever type of “hard time” you’ve been through, it’s safe to say that once you’ve come out of that dark place, you’ve probably questioned if you’re ever going to get back to the way you once were prior. And once things are “back to normal” again, it’s likely that you’re going to wrestle with some level of anxiety that you may face those hardships again in the future. So basically, we’re all living in a state of panic. Or is that just me?

Kacey Musgraves tackled this feeling in “Happy and Sad,” as does Julia Jacklin in her newest single, “I Was Neon.” 

“I first wrote ‘I was neon’ for a band called rattlesnack, a short-lived much loved 2019 side project that I played drums in,” Jacklin shared in a statement. “I rewrote it for my album in Montreal, during a time when I was desperately longing for a version of myself that I feared was gone forever. I was thinking of this song when I made the album cover, this song is the album cover really.”

“I Was Neon” comes ahead of Jacklin’s next album, Pre Pleasure, set to drop on August 26.

“killer” – FKA Twigs
Release date – June 16

If you’re remotely familiar with FKA Twigs as a pop culture figure, you probably know that she’s had her fair share of public relationships and breakups. Her new song “killer,” which is her first release since the drop of her mixtape, Caprisongs, this past January, exposes the dark side of being in love and how the demise of it can cause long-term trauma.

“When at its worst the effects of heart break can define one’s trajectory much more than the beauty of the love itself.”

“The death of promises, dreams and the future that was once promised. But like the wildest plucked roses, I find myself more beautiful delicately wilted, in shadow, forced solace, darkened at the edges and achingly thirsting to be tended to again,” FKA explains in a press release.

“killer” feels particularly personal, considering she filed a lawsuit against here ex Shia LaBeouf at the end of 2020, accusing him of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease. The case is set to go to trial next year.

“Wretched” – Bartees Strange
Release date – June 17

As our writer Brittney pointed out in her write-up for Bartees Strange’s 2020 LP, Live Forever, which we placed at #9 on our Best of 2020 list, Strange has an uncanny ability to seamlessly mix genres, from indie rock, to rap, to electronic, and more, somehow making it cohesive. It’s almost as though through the music, Strange is “asking listeners of one genre to understand other distantly connected genres, much like the way we ask others to embrace the complexities in ourselves.”

This style is further developed in his sophomore album Farm To Table: the standout track after one listen comes in “Wretched,” an electro pop banger that somehow builds in a way that reminded me of early Mumford & Sons (a band I will forever be an apologist for), then billows into a electronic chorus that rivals artists like Chvrches or Sylvan Esso.

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