I am always very excited for Fridays, not only because of the weekend, but because new music is usually released then. Each Friday, I make sure to listen to many of the new releases across different genres. After keeping track of the new songs all month, here is a top five countdown of the best new songs from this past month.
5. Sunshine – Kyle ft. Miguel
Though this song is better suited for summer, Sunshine should help you get through the increasingly cold weather. The synths are light and bouncy, Kyle’s verses are cheery and while not lyrically complex, they keep the tone very positive and provide substance to the song, all while preventing Miguel’s smooth chorus from getting too repetitive. Kyle uses effects on his voice that prevent him from grounding the song and keeps it very airy. It feels slightly overproduced at times, as most of the production has a lot of effects, but the cheery and uplifting production prevent that from being a real issue.
4. Edition – Rex Orange County
Rex Orange County refuses to call himself a rapper, and this song shows his willingness to make songs l that separate him from that label. He sings and “sing-raps” his way through minimalist production, consisting of measure long piano chords and a drum loop, so that you are forced to listen to his voice. The song’s lyrics portray personal indecisiveness about a breakup, but Rex Orange County’s laid back vocals makes the song feel more relaxing than indecisive or anxious.
3. Don’t Take the Money (Organized Noize Remix) – Bleachers
Don’t Take the Money is Bleachers’ anthem about chasing a gut feeling and the remix conveys that emotion stronger than the original version. Lorde’s surprise backup vocals are relegated to the last chorus in the original, but in the remixed version they are a key part of the entire song, getting their own time in the spotlight after each verse. It is a quirky song, both in terms of the off-kilter instrumentation, especially the cowbell being featured more heavily than the guitar or keyboard, and the vocal melodies, particularly in the pre-chorus. However, this “quirkiness” is Bleachers’ hallmark, which is evident after listening to this song.
2. Jukai – Jhené Aiko
The melodic guitar and hypnotic vocals on Jukai are what makes the song so special. . Besides Aiko’s voice, the song only contains guitar, violins, and backup vocals done by her. The lack of complication on this song functions as a great framing device for her lyrical journey through the Jukai forest, located on Mount Fuji in Japan. It is a verbal meditation through musings on life and death, a theme that only reveals itself after many listens and one that Aiko illustrated beautifully.
1. Homemade Dynamite (remix) – Lorde, Khalid, SZA, Post Malone
The remix of Homemade Dynamite breathes life into what was a very repetitive song before. The combination of the four artists keeps the vocals on a rotation that prevents any stagnation of style, each vocalist owning a very different voice and providing diversity to the song. The highlight for me is Post Malone, not only is his “sing-rap” verse high quality, but he provides incredibly strong support on the final chorus in the form of harmonies to the other three artists, a great showcase for his versatility as a musician. There are no major flaws in this song, it never feels too busy even when all four are singing at the same time. The lyrics tell individual stories at a party, each artist singing their own experience.
All of these songs were found by sifting through the weekly new releases during September. I hope that you not only give these songs a listen, but that you start checking out the new releases so that you, too, are able to find great new music.