New Music Sunday

The Best Three Songs Released This Past Week Pt. 63

Happy Lollapalooza weekend…if you’re like me and not attending this year, check out the most recent music released this past week instead!

Noteworthy album & EP releases:

Take It Like A Man, Amanda Shires
Renaissance, Beyoncé
Hold On Baby, King Princess
The Character, Lilyisthatyou
PANORAMA, Hayley Kiyoko
Surrender, Maggie Rogers

In chronological order:

“Gloom” – DJO
Release date – July 25

Similar to the intro I wrote on Beyoncé’s latest album above, the temperature of your interest in pop culture may or may not tell you that DJO is the latest project of Joe Keery, the actor and artist best known for his work in Stranger Things as Steve Harrington. Keery was previously the guitarist in the Chicago-based band Post Animal as well.

“Gloom” comes ahead of Keery’s sophomore album as DJO, set to release in September. If you’re a fan of ’80s-pop or artists like Dayglow or Arlie, I have a feeling that you’ll also DJO’s cheeky, fast-paced pastiche sound as well. Also, I can’t be the only one that thinks of the B-52s when I hear DJO’s music…? Maybe a bit of Queen, also?

“PURE/HONEY” – Beyoncé
Release date – July 29

If you follow pop culture to any sort of extent, it’s likely that knew that Beyoncé’s newest LP was dropping last Friday. Well, if you are a bit more in tune with pop culture than just knowing it was expected, you may know that it was leaked a couple days early. I was curious enough to want to listen before Friday, but decided to hold off, since I consider listening to albums an experience, and I wanted to listen to it when I had the time and focus to do so. Well, I’ve listened to the full project about three times now, and I am absolutely obsessed with it. Each listen, I find a new detail to excite me, which is the sign of a masterclass album.

I’ve probably listened to “PURE/HONEY” the most, and on repeat, so it was a no brainer to add it to this week’s roundup. There’s something so deliciously satisfying about Beyoncé’s (seemingly) adoption of sounds that I associate with Drag Performances, specifically in the lyrics, the beats, and the enunciation of some of the lyrics throughout the album, but the most so in “PURE/HONEY” (“It should cost a billion to look this good“).

Don’t even get me started on the breakdown halfway through the song where “PURE/HONEY” completely changes lanes and becomes a disco funk record, something that sounds a bit like Lizzo’s “Juice,” and a song off of Silk Sonic’s debut 2021 album.

“Anywhere With You” – Maggie Rogers
Release date – July 29

Despite Mitch’s glowing review on Maggie Rogers’ sophomore album, Surrender, I’m still working through how I feel about the project as a whole. I tend to prefer Maggie’s more produced songs, and that’s something I feel is lacking on this album compared to Heard It in A Past Life. However, I was instantly convinced when I heard “Anywhere With You,” the fourth song off of Surrender.

It’s no coincidence that the song is one of the few co-written and co-produced by S. Holden Jaffe, also known as the front man of Del Water Gap, one of Rogers’ good friends and frequent collaborators. I can definitely hear his influence in the lyrics of the song: one that tells the story of two lovers deciding to essentially “fuck it all” and get away from the pressures of life.

And I said, “Listen, oh, I know it’s been a long, long year
But I think we should go and get you out of here”
I’ll go anywhere, anywhere with you
Pack up all your shit and put it in the back
Maybe the miles can make up for the things you lack
I’ll go anywhere, anywhere with you

The hook brings me back to Maggie’s earlier music, with remnants of the “feel good, cruising down the highway” vibes that we heard on Aly and AJ’s most recent release as well. The bridge is one of my favorites Maggie’s written, and I’m hoping that this is one she plans to sing live whenever she decides to tour the album.

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