New Music Sunday

The Best Songs Released in April 2023

Happy end of April! Summer is almost here.

Buckle up, cause the amount of albums and EPs you should check out from April is an astoundingly long list.

Noteworthy album & EP releases:

SEA/SONS, Abraham Alexander
Drop Cherries, Billie Marten
Blondshell, Blondshell
High & Low, Caitlyn Smith
Penny (Extended), Chloe George
Jesus At The Gay Bar, Cub Sport
NEVER ENOUGH, Daniel Caesar
Stereo Mind Game, Daughter
Thank You For Attending, Deb Never
Drunk On A Flight, Eloise
Big Picture, Fenne Lily
Multitudes, Feist
Speed Run, Frost Children
Catching Rabbits, Genevieve Stokes
How To Catch A Falling Knife, Gigi Perez
i heart the internet, Harriette
Wasteland, Hippo Campus
All of This Will End, Indigo De Souza
That! Feels! Good! Jessie Ware
superglue, Joan
The Sun, Joseph
Star Eaters Delight, Lael Neale
Universe, Lindsey Lomis
Guilty, Loren Gray
mini mix vol. 3, Magdalena Bay
Driving Just To Drive, Matt Maltese
First Two Pages of Frankenstein, The National
Winner, Overcoats
Calico, Ryan Beatty
The Weakness, Ruston Kelly
Powerlines, Sam MacPherson
I Don’t Know What Love Is, Stacey Ryan
Henry St., The Tallest Man on Earth
Intellectual Property, Waterparks
Rat Saw God, Wednesday
Genesis, Whyte Fang
chapter of me, Wrabel
With A Hammer, Yaeji

In chronological order:

“Bruise” – Between Friends
Release date – April 7

It’s safe to say I’ve been living under a rock, because I had never heard of the DIY indie pop duo Between friends before this month, which is surprising, considering their biggest song “affection” is at nearly 163 million Spotify streams, and they have a steady listenership on the DSP with just over 1.8 million monthly listeners. But that’s fine!

“Bruise” has been stuck on my head on a daily basis since I first heard it, reminding me of music from artists like spill tab and early Clairo (who I’m wholeheartedly convinced sings the closing lines on this song, though she is not credited as doing such – can anyone confirm or deny for me?) – Kristin

“Salad” – Blondshell
Release date – April 7

One of my favorite up-and-coming artists of the last six months, Blondshell, just dropped her debut project earlier this month, and this is the song that absolutely floored me when I heard it for the first time and continues to do so with every additional listen.

As someone who admittedly consumes as much true crime content as I possibly can, I constantly struggle with the idea of finding entertainment with this type of content: as I’ve never had a personal experience being a victim or knowing one of violence or murder. “It doesn’t happen to women I know / I put it in a box on a TV show,” as Sabrina Teitelbaum sings on “Salad.” But her imagination runs wild on “Salad,” telling the story of a close friend falling victim to one of these predators, as she envisions what it’d be like to hurt the person who hurts others, acting upon her rage like they do. It’s a complex listen: an exemplary form of storytelling: a song that I think everyone needs to hear. – Kristin

“Probably” – Hippo Campus
Release date – April 14

This song broke me. I appreciate the rawness and self-awareness of a song about your ex moving on, but goodness gracious, was it necessary to explain the feeling in such a painful way? Apparently for my favorite Minnesota band it was. The fourth track on Hippo Campus’ new EP Wasteland is a perfect depiction of what happens once a former significant other finds a new person. It addresses the uncertainties that come along with entering a new relationship; the possibility that they might break your heart, that they will eventually share similar feelings and moments with someone else, that they will love someone else, and that the “likelihood’s high but [we’re] here for it anyway.” Ugh.

Jake Luppen’s voice softly sings excruciatingly sad phrases like “it was nice calling you babe for awhile,” and “probably should’ve known the cost / of gambling all of myself on all of you” on top of a mellow acoustic guitar and piano arrangement. It’s so delicate and sweet, evoking the innocence and naivety that falling in love entails. It feels like a hug but like the kind of hug someone gives you when you’re finally getting out of bed after months of being curled into a ball. This song destroyed me and I love it. – Javi

“Begin Again” – Jessie Ware
Release date – April 14

I just want to start off by saying I hope that 2023 gives Jessie Ware the love and success she deserves. I was a huge fan of her quarantine album What’s Her Pleasure, and I may even be a bigger fan of her newest project That! Feels! Good!, which just dropped this past Friday. “Begin Again” is the absolute encapsulation of an earworm—with fun guitar riffs, addictive melody, and perfectly-written, thought-provoking lyrics (Why do my realities take over all my dreams?
Why does all the purest love get filtered through machines?
) wrapped up in a shiny bow of an absolute dance banger.

If you’re a fan of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia or Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer, I invite you to check out Jessie Ware’s catalog. Move quickly: she just announced several US dates this fall and they’ve already started to sell out. – Kristin

“Next Exit” – Vacations
Release date – April 14

This is my monthly jump-around-the-room song, and also the kind of song that reminds me that even though I’m not a teenager anymore, I’m still incredibly young. If this single is in any way their first step towards their new era, the Australian five-piece seems to be moving closer to a Dayglow-like guitar pop, instead of the heavy Mac DeMarco influence they’ve shown before. Their woozy guitars remind me of Wallows’ signature style, and the lyrics (“Can I trust what I know? I know nothing”) make me think that they’re willing to evolve and redefine themselves as a band.

The song focuses more on the sound and the general feeling around it more than the actual lyrics, as it only consists of two very simple verses and repeats the same short chorus three times. It is very much something you want to hear live, and as they approach festival season with some destinations booked, it is the perfect new sound. The music video is also incredibly pretty and paints a perfect picture of the direction Vacations are taking on their next exit (get it?) – Javi

“Sad To Breathe” – The Japanese House
Release date – April 18

The Japanese House is back! Earlier this month, frontwoman Amber Bain announced the new project In the End It Always Does, her sophomore album and first multiple-song release since 2020’s Chewing Cotton Wool. “Sad To Breathe” is the second single ahead of the new album, and if the song is any indication of the sound that’s to come, I am unbelievably excited.

Bain’s heavy use of production is still prevalent in the track, but this time, “Sad To Breathe” takes a new route in an even more poppier direction, starting off slow and intimate, like most of her work does, but transforming into a full-fledged pop song right before the second verse. You can hear the influence of George Daniel, drummer of the 1975, who also co-produced this track (he co-produces much of The 1975’s music as well). This isn’t too shocking though, considering Bain is signed to Dirty Hit, and has toured extensively with the British band in the past.

In the End It Always Does is set to drop on June 30th and features Katie Gavin of MUNA, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and more. – Kristin

“We All Gotta Find a Reason” – Laundry Day
Release date – April 21

With a significantly less chaotic production than we’re used to hearing from them, the NYC-based boyband Laundry Day dropped the first single of their new era. The song invites us to reflect on why we do what we do, is it because we are expected to? Because it’s what we’ve always been doing? Or is there a much greater purpose on why we decide to follow certain paths? They even acknowledge the “call” to be a fangirl, which is not only hilarious but it’s also the line that makes me feel seen.

Although lyrically the track feels a little simplistic, the sound and message feels a bit more mature than some of their latest releases. There are some old school sprinkles here and there, like the electric guitar riffs and the way the voices are layered like a high school choir (matching their whole new aesthetic—they’ve been using uniforms for everything). But we shouldn’t get too used to it because the LAUNDRY DAY boys have been known to drop misleading singles before a project. – Javi

“Bruises Off The Peach” – Ryan Beatty
Release date – April 28

Maybe April is just the month of painfully heartbreaking songs. Ryan Beatty’s new album Calico is a complete masterpiece as a whole, but this track in particular is as earnest as it gets without saying much. Let me explain the metaphor for you just in case you missed it: relationships are a peach. Peaches sometimes have little dark brown areas that most people don’t want to eat because they’re not as good. But since we still want the rest of the fruit, the good part of it, we just eat around it, we cut out the bruises. In other words, we don’t want to have to deal with the less pleasant parts of being with someone, but we still want the sweetness that’s left when you ignore those things – “not as beautiful, but still as sweet.”

Unfortunately for us though, that’s not how life works! Ryan is trying to work through it, trying to move on past the potential red flags or fundamental disagreements, but he can’t. “I’m gonna give it until August” he sings (by the way, I got broken up with last August after asking for my peach to be an official peach, even though I was already eating around the bruises), and he wants it to work, he wants to believe that “love will always last”, but also realizes that it is the one thing that’s holding him down, keeping him with the wrong person. A much more tender sound, in a way similar to that of Harry Styles’ debut album, this is my favorite project from Beatty since Boy in Jeans. -Javi

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