The latest release from Brooklyn-based four piece Pom Pom Squad ‘Head Cheerleader’ is a cathartic punk song about the intricacies of young love. Keeping up with the band’s cheerleading theme that’s also featured on the cover image, frontwoman Mia Berrin recounts falling in love with “the scariest girl on the cheerleading team”. Full of juvenile infatuation and adolescent uncertainty, the track reminds us of classic American High School Dramas with a queer twist. You can listen to more of the Pom Pom Squad and their refreshingly candid lyrics and catchy melodies on their upcoming album Death of a Cheerleader, dropping 25th June.
KUČKA – ‘Wrestling’
The opening track ‘Wrestling’ of the newly released debut album of the same name by EDM artist KUČKA grips the listener’s attention with its electrifying sound. Known for her emotionally driven electronic style, KUČKA produces her own work and has also collaborated with a diverse roster of talents including Flume, SOPHIE and Kendrick Lamar. Her inspiring musical journey began organically in her Liverpool home before she moved to Perth at 16 years old where she invested all her time in her budding career. The long-awaited debut album follows the multi-talented artist on a liberating ride of self-emancipation as a songwriter and young woman. Listen to Wrestling this May to delve into KUČKA’s world.
Self Esteem – ‘I Do This All The Time’
This latest single by pop artist Self Esteem tells an empowering, heart-warming and inspiring story about female emancipation, millennial struggles, fears and self-acceptance. Her candid lyricism in lines such as “Stop trying to have so many friends / Don’t be intimidated by all the babies they have / Don’t be embarrassed that all you’ve had is fun / Prioritise pleasure” establishes Self Esteem as a relatable and passionate singer with a message. With many influential singers today being Gen Z it is refreshingly fulfilling to see Self Esteem, real name Rebecca Taylor, representing the millennial voice in music. If throughout May, or ever you feel self-consciousness creeping in, have a listen to Self Esteem and immediately feel comforted.
Willow feat. Travis Barker – ‘t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l’
Teen icon Willow is back with an electrifying pop-punk sound and rock persona we haven’t heard or seen from her before. The latest track ‘t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l’, which features rock band Blink-182’s famed drummer Travis Barker, is a manifestation of the young singer’s desire to branch out into a different genre. Inspired by her mother Jada Pinkett Smith’s own nu-metal background, Willow has written a song reminiscent of a young Avril Lavigne and punk-rock icons Paramore and Fall Out Boy. The “transparent soul” songstress is belting in the chorus refers to a quote from Hindu guru Radhanath Swami about being able to see right through someone’s mirror-like soul. Dynamic beats and introspective lyrics are Willow’s signature and what we can expect from her upcoming album dropping later this year.
Number One Popstar – ‘Forever 21’
A few seconds into the song and you find yourself bopping to the upbeat sound of ‘Forever 21’ by LA-based pop artist Number One Popstar. The singer behind the ironic self-proclaimed ‘number one popstar’-name is Kate Jean Hollowell, also part of LA punk band Slut Island, embarks on a solo journey with her new pop sound and comedic undertone. The newest track tells the familiar story of not wanting to grow up and stay 21 forever uncertain of what’s to come once you leave that glorious age (I can relate to that). No need to worry though — a song as lively and buzzing as this is fun to dance to at any age.
Wolf Alice – ‘Smile’
Unhinged, bold and fearless — the latest song ‘Smile’ by alternative rock band Wolf Alice is a proud message about not letting people make assumptions about you. The brazen honesty in lines such as “I ain’t ashamed in the fact that I’m sensitive” and “And you don’t like me, well that isn’t fucking relevant” highlight the band’s powerful stance on pride and self-worth. Formed in 2010 and spearheaded by lead singer Ellie Rowsel, the grammy-nominated band has received international acclaim and accolades for their thrilling sound. The four piece is releasing their third studio album Blue Weekend on 11th June. Until then, jam to ‘Smile’ and “Take a minute and remember who you are”.
Finn Askew – ‘Cherry Bomb’
The newest single ‘Cherry Bomb’ by indie-pop musician Finn Askew is a sweet and honest declaration of love to a significant other backed by softly hued piano beats. The 19-year-old is still on constant replay with his 2020 hit single ‘Roses’ and has now released another romantic track fit for anyone deeply in love this May.
Billie Eilish – ‘Your Power’
Billie Eilish is not just back with a surprising and jaw-dropping new look but with new music too. ‘Your Power’ is an honest and deeply personal song alluding to the young singer’s past abusive relationship and admits how another person can hold too much power over you. In signature Billie Eilish-fashion the song is backed by a slow and dreamy melody that lets her candid words and husky, ethereal voice shine through. In an Instagram post, Billie reveals: “i feel very vulnerable putting this one out because i hold it so close to my heart. ” The mesmerising songwriter stresses how she feels empathetic to everyone who has experienced any form of abuse and hopes her message of “Try not to abuse your power” can inspire change. Her upcoming album Happier Than Ever comes out on 30 July.
Gaff – ‘Friday on a Tuesday’
‘Friday on a Tuesday’ is the first release of the year by Irish alt-pop singer Gaff. The song incorporates elements of both indie-pop and hip-hop that back the emerging artist’s mellow and honey-sweet vocals. The message of ‘Friday on a Tuesday’ couldn’t have been more relevant since Tuesdays do really feel like Fridays again since we’ve been released from lockdown. Perfect in time for the summer months – the single will serve as our musical backdrop in May.
HMLTD – ‘DON’T LEAVE ME’
Following the release of their debut album last year mere weeks before pandemic lockdown began, London hooligans HMLTD have released new single ‘Don’t Leave Me’ (Chapter 1: Despair). The track comes as part of a trio, alongside b-sides ‘Love Is Not Enough’ (Chapter 2: Grief) and ‘Do This By Yourself’ (Chapter 3: Wrath). Released in conjunction with a programmable and dynamic musical artwork ‘Leaving’, the release shares three of 6,400 potential combinations the ever-evolving song could create, allowing fans to determine the creative direction of a uniquely collective artistic composition, in collaboration with digital art space async.art. The London-based five-piece accompanied the single with the announcement of an ambitious, high-concept immersive concert experience at famed queer venue Heaven in mid-November inspired by The Stanford Prison Experiment.
CHAV – ‘Totally’
For those desperately missing flooded dance floors and sweaty strangers, NYC-based conceptual artist CHAV is inspiring our imagination with their PC-pop, R&B and dance-infused debut EP, Totally. Comprising five tracks including one of the same name featuring Kola Rai, the vibrant tracks are fiercely queer and flamboyantly authentic, reminiscent of LGBTQIA+ icons Todrick Hall and Ru Paul, but with the rap sensibilities of Azaelia Banks and Ashnikko, making the EP fit for the perfect night out in Heaven (catch this as the new Porn Idol track). “THIS is how we broaden the scope of what a popstar is – ‘They don’t see me like I see me but believe me it gets good‘ – let’s change the industry together!” the artist said on their social media following the EP’s release.
LUMP – ‘Animal’
Three years on since the release of their self-titled debut album, LUMP, – better known as ethereal songstress Laura Marling and Mercury Music Prize-winning producer and Tunng member Mike Lindsay – have released their highly-anticipated follow-up Animal will be released in July. The duo has teased the new project with the release of the album’s title track, an electro-indie tune scattered with synth beats and lost thoughts, creating an out-of-universe audio experience. “LUMP is so the repository for so many things that I’ve had in my mind and just don’t fit anywhere in that way,” Marling says. “They don’t have to totally make narrative sense, but weirdly they end up making narrative sense in some way.”
Remi Wolf – ‘Photo ID’ feat Dominic Fike
Fresh off the stratospheric success of ‘Photo ID’ on TikTok and Instagram, LA cool girl Remi Wolf has announced a new remix EP, ‘We Love Dogs!’, containing remixes of tracks from the artist’s back catalogue. With other acts involved including Beck, Free Nationals, Hot Chip, Little Dragon, Nile Rodgers, Kimbra, Polo & Pan, Panda Bear, L’Impératrice, Tune-Yards, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Phony Ppl, and Porches, Remi says, “This is very sick. Half of these artists are ones I studied in school and have admired since I was a teenager. Needless to say I’m shook! I hope you dance, vibe, shower, and chill to these remixes! I hope you make a lasagna or an eggplant parmesan while you listen to them, too!”
MARINA – Purge The Poison feat Pussy Riot
MARINA has collaborated with protest art group Pussy Riot on ‘Purge The Poison’, sharing their concerns regarding the climate crisis, with the chorus being sung from Mother Nature’s perspective. The track follows her earlier release ‘Man’s World’, and shows a new pro-political direction for the pop singer’s lyrics. She’s joined by Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, who says, “Political pop has always been my dream genre. Catchy and contagious, ‘Purge The Poison’ is an ear-worm, and it feeds your brain with the right questions and encourages you to think. I was blown away by this track, and it’s my pleasure to be on ‘Purge’’s remix. In my part, I reflect on topics of sisterhood, female and queer power, matriarchy, Christianity and female sexuality.”
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