New Music Sunday

The Best Five Songs Released This Past Week Pt. 58

Happy Sunday…or not? It’s been a rough weekend for women’s rights in America.

Click here for some resources on how to help if you feel so inclined.

Noteworthy album & EP releases:

Lavender Days, Caamp
Superache, Conan Gray
Pastlife, Day Wave
Give or Take, Giveon
Dripfield, Goose
UNIVERSE, Moore Kismet
MUNA, Muna
Home, before and after, Regina Spektor
Sometimes, Forever, Soccer Mommy
Arkhon, Zola Jesus

In chronological order:

“BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyoncé
Release date – June 21

I will be first to admit that I was unsure of how I felt about this song when I first heard it, but it’s grown on me immensely within the past five days. Sonically, it’s pretty different than what Beyoncé has released previously, but I do think the sentiment of the lyrics resonate in the same way that the ones did in the songs on Lemonade: an album that’s hard to believe is six years old. It doesn’t hurt that the song’s title lyrics (“You won’t break my soul”) feels apt to the news currently rocking the United States.

“BREAK MY SOUL” features a sample from thee 1992 hit “Show Me Love,” by Robin S., along with a vocal sample of “Explode” by Big Freedia. Beyoncé’s seventh solo album Renaissance drops on July 29.

“Angry Woman” – Ashe
Release date – June 22

Back with another incredibly relevant track to feature this week! A 2022 version of “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles, “Angry Woman” speaks on the frustrations that women face in regards to having to “behave” in order to be likable or accepted by others (primarily men). In a press release for the song, which comes ahead of Ashe’s sophomore album Rae, she discusses the inspiration for the song:

“There’s always been this sense that as a woman in this world I’ve needed to ‘behave’ and ‘play nice,’ cutting off all this power and confidence that as women we should be demonstrating on a daily basis. ‘Angry Woman,’ in many ways, is about being fed up with abuse of power and that it sometimes takes a little righteous anger to make a change. Especially in today’s climate, I want to see women getting a little angry, because we should be.”

Rae drops on October 14.

“Blur” – dhruv
Release date – June 22

Hear me out: “Blur” by rising artist Dhruv sounds like what I imagine a collaboration between Charlie Puth and Lauv: Charlie’s production and Lauv’s lyrics and vocals. In my humble opinion, this combination can’t be beat: and “Blur” is a leap in a new direction for dhruv, who has released more lo-fi, R&B leaning songs in the past. 

Working on something as grand and lush as ‘Blur’ was a challenge, but really rewarding.”  The London-born artist says in a press release. “‘Blur’ is about the initial high of falling for someone new and those surreal moments where life begins to feel like a dream.” 

“engravings” – Ethan Bortnick
Release date – June 24

When I first heard this song, I thought that the artist, who I had never heard of, must be someone pretty interesting. Turns out, 21-year-old Ethan Bortnick has been making music since he was a toddler, discovering he had perfect pitch on a toy keyboard, eventually becoming “The World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Headline His Own Concert Tour” at just age NINE.

Fast forward to 2022: Bortnick is now signed to Sony Records and has released an EP and several singles, the latest with “engravings.” The track features an extravagant piano solo and a solid, upbeat rhythm that elevates the song to a full out pop masterpiece: sort of what I would imagine a song by Isaac Dunbar to sound like if it was produced by Finneas.

I’m curious to see what’s next for Bortnick, who clearly has the chops to make it big(ger) than he already has at such a young age.

“No Idea” – MUNA
Release date – June 24

An ear worm if I’ve ever heard of one…holy crap. If you missed my review on MUNA’s third album, well, one big takeaway is that a creative pairing between the members of MUNA and the queen herself, Mitski, is a collaboration for the books.

Sonically, “No Idea” is arguably the most interesting on the new album: sounding (to me) so different from anything else that’s popular right now but still taking inspiration (or at least, I hear it this way) from artists like Lizzo and Dua Lipa: there’s really nothing better.

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