Lorde’s latest release is all about crystals, sage burning and horoscopes. Touching on ‘60s hippie lifestyle and astrology, the New Zealander satirically explores pseudo-spirituality and wellness culture. “I wanted to understand the commune life, dropping out from society and trying to start again,” says the singer in a statement. The soothing gentle beats of ‘Mood Ring’ echo late ‘90s/early noughties folk-pop tracks and go hand-in-hand with the ethereal vibes, pastel tones and the various new age practises featured in the video. The single is just a glimpse into the universe of Lorde’s new album Solar Power, out on August 20th.
‘Nothing Else Matters’ by Phoebe Bridgers
At the beginning of the month, Phoebe Bridgers officially released her cover of iconic Metallica song ‘Nothing Else Matters’, adding a personal touch of eeriness and baroque tunes. The alt-indie artist’s haunting rendition is the latest track from Metallica’s upcoming covers album The Metallica Blacklist.
‘One Night’ by Giff
After the release of mixtape ‘One Foot in Front of The Other’ back in June, Griff’s synth-led new single premiered on Charlie XCX’s BBC Radio 1 show on August 26th. “‘One Night’ is about feeling like you’re always carrying this darkness or burden,” said the British pop artist and songwriter in a statement. With the longing lyrics “Can I have one night, one night, one night/Where it’s just me alone?” the song depicts a craving for a one-night escape from feelings of anxiety and heaviness.
‘When You Were Mine’ by Joy Crookes
After lucky fans had the chance to hear it at a secret show in Hackney Wick, the South London singer-songwriter released her new single ‘When You were Mine’, reminiscing of a past love who ended up dating a man after their breakup. “It’s a song about accepting their love, but wishing the same for myself,” explains Crookes. Set in Brixton, the single exudes a bittersweet nostalgia, which the artist has identified as a source of inspiration and often reflected upon throughout her debut album Skin, out October 15th.
‘How Can I Help You’ by Self Esteem
A biting response to the misogynistic standards and objectification that women are subjected to, ‘How Can I Help You’ is a bouncy comeback to the sexist criticism that Rebecca Taylor received after touring her first album. “I guess I’ll be eternally angry for the way as a woman unless you’re sweet, nice, settled and quiet, you’re considered ‘different’ and ‘difficult’,” says the artist. The empowering feminist track is part of Taylor’s forthcoming sophomore album Compliments Please, set for release on October 22nd.
‘Future Starts Now’ by Kim Petras
Electro-pop princess Kim Petras is back with a banging glittery new single, serving 80’s-infused beats and capturing the artist’s love of Parisian house music – hence the Baguette-filled teasers and video. Debuted at Lollapalooza in Chicago, ‘Future Starts Now’ incites us to abandon anxieties and look forward to what’s coming ahead, giving us a great post-lockdown prompt with lyrics such as: “You’re more than just anybody / Don’t give up, the future starts now / Worry ’bout it in the morning / Take it to another level / You’re more than just anybody / Don’t give up, the future starts now.”
‘Enter Sandman’ by Rina Sawayama
Another rendition part of The Metallica Blacklist, Rina Sawayama’s cover of ‘Enter Sandman’ is a further confirmation of her unique talent in intersecting rock and pop, flying over the guitar with outstanding vocals and pushing the intensity of the track even higher. Profit’s of the cover will be split between Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation and Sawayama’s chosen charity Positive East, a London-based organisation working in HIV support and prevention.
‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ by Courtney Barnett
Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett contributes to the forthcoming The Velvet Underground & Nico tribute album with her personal rendition of ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’, incorporating her signature relaxed vocals and folksy acoustic riffs. In a press release, Barnett said of the lulling track, “When I listen to ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ and read the lyrics, I realise it’s a perfect song. I can relate to every inch of it. I just felt like I could get inside the world of this song.”
‘Wait’ by Nao
Continuing the release of her album And Then Life Was Beautiful, r&b artist Nao delights us with her new single ‘Wait’, a stripped-down ballad emphasising her mesmerising vocal skills and emotional lyricism: Oh, wait, we ain’t perfect, we ain’t perfect, wait / The only way to learn is through mistakes / Trying to run away is only human / But if we stay then we might make it home./ Surrounded by an idyllic flower composition, the singer incites to endure and withstand the difficulties of a relationship, instead of letting ourselves be overwhelmed by them and running away.
‘Mistress Violet’ by Violet Chachki and Allie X
BDSM, burlesque and Schiaparelli-branded latex – there’s nothing we don’t love about Drag Race winner Violet Chachki’s new single with underground pop darling Allie X. ‘Mistress Violet’ unapologetically shuts down haters through rhythmic ‘80s synths and decadent fashion. The iconic video, shot entirely on analog film, was directed by visual artist Jennifer Juniper Stratford with Chachki curating the costume design, featuring Archival Alain Mikli sunglasses, custom leather pieces from Zana Bayne, Louboutins heels, custom corsets from the House of Canney, and Schiaparelli couture looks.
‘Unlock It’ by ABRA feat. Playboy Carti and Boys Noize
“‘Unlock It’ means so much to me for more reasons than I can count, and as someone very sentimental and nostalgic, it is truly a blessing to be able to unlock the next level of my career with a friend,” says alternative r&b artist ABRA in a statement about her new single with fellow Awful Records alumni Playboy Carti. Recalling both Atlanta trap and ’80s synthpop, ‘Unlock It’ flaunts a bouncy production by ABRA herself and Boys Noize, making for an excellent comeback for the singer-songwriter.
‘Killing Me’ by Sasha Keable feat. Jorja Smith
The London-based songstress has released her first collaboration of the year with her stunning new single “Killing Me” featuring international superstar Jorja Smith. Both Sasha and Jorja’s soaring vocals pair beautifully together to make this heartbreaking offering, with them both bringing their own signature sonic flair. “Jorja and I were long overdue to write together, so we met up at Ben’s (our guitarist) house who wrote Killing Me with us and in 4 incredible hours we had the song, it was mad how easily it came,” she says. “We had both gone through difficult breakups and were clearly done with how we were feeling. Killing Me was the result of that and helped us both to move on.”
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