Another lovely week for releases coming at you just a little late this week, but hey, it’s exam season. Luckily, there’s been a lot of good songs to get us through even the most horrible exams, with the highly-anticipated release of Halsey’s third album, Manic. As well as that we have singles from Green Day and The 1975 as they get ready for the release of their respective upcoming records, and a new song from up-an-coming indie pop artist Lauran Hibberd.
Halsey – Manic
Halsey has been well and truly killing it with single releases lately, with ‘You should be sad’, ‘clementine’ and ‘Finally // beautiful stranger’, so this is an album I was really looking forward to this year. And she’s really lived up to fans’ expectations with this one. Much like her debut, Badlands, Halsey has stolen the hearts of listeners with her impeccable songwriting skills, and Manic is more raw and emotional than anything else we’ve heard so far. Starting out with some of the singles we’ve heard, these tracks find their place in something bigger within the record. Then, we get into some of the brand-new stuff, with ‘Forever…(is a long time)’ which is a musically rich look at her own personal flaws. It’s an emotional journey that ultimately descends into simple piano instrumentals that gets moves into a more startling distortion that tells a story only Halsey could tell.
This is revisited in ‘Dominic’s Interlude’, one of three interludes named after an artists that she collaborated with on the album: Dominic Fike, BTS’s SUGA and Alanis Morissette. A lot of the tracks blend into each other effortlessly, so Halsey has encouraged that the album is listened to in order – which really adds to the effect of Manic. ‘I HATE EVERYBODY’ follows on the deeply personal themes that she explored in ‘clementine’ and ‘You should be sad’, and is yet another highlight of the album. As I write this, I realise that it’s one highlight among many.
Which brings us to another treasure to be found on Manic, as I struggle to keep my love for this album under control: ‘3am’. Written as a stream-of-conscious and featuring some fabulous drums and a hint of electric guitar, this is one of the more high-energy tracks which ends with a very supportive voice mail from John Mayer.
I’ve already written too much so I’m going to try and condense some of my feelings. Manic features a lot of different sounds and inspirations that are unified by Halsey’s beautiful writing coming together to get personal in a way that few artists manage to be. It may only be January, but Manic is going to stand out as one of the best records of the year.
Halsey’s Manic is out now via Capitol Records.
Green Day – ‘Oh Yeah’
Buckle up music fans, it’s time for my opinions. You may know that I have rather anxious feelings about the unexpected upcoming Green Day record, Father Of All… but this is the first track that has me genuinely excited. You might recognise the rock-n-roll as Joan Jett’s cover of ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)’. It’s interesting to note that the band have said that since a certain original writer on the song is “a total asshole”, they’ve donated the royalites to charities supporting victims of sexual assault.
This is a genuinely fun, classic rock track with a fantastic sound. Although the lyrics and the music video verges on the get-off-your-phones message which has been done to death, this has me hyped for the rest of the album, while ‘Father Of All…’ and ‘Fire, Ready, Aim’ had me a little nervous. Early reviews have been good so far, so consider my hopes raised.
And a note to YouTube commenters: sampling is a thing and no they did not just boldly steal a song.
Green Day’s ‘Oh Yeah’ is out now via Reprise Records.
The 1975 – ‘Me & You Together Song’
The new 1975 song isn’t…awful? That doesn’t mean I’m going to listen to it a lot, I just don’t hate it for once. But, as I find myself frequently saying, I still haven’t the slightest clue what kind of sound Notes On A Conditional Form is going to have. Environmental-piano? Screaming punk? Dull ambient chill? Or noughties indie rock that sounds like the theme song to a random teen TV show, which is what we got with ‘Me & You Together Song’. To be quite honest, I’m too tired to try and keep up.
The 1975’s ‘Me & You Together Song’ is out now via Dirty Hit.
Lauran Hibberd – ‘Bang Bang Bang’
Lauran Hibberd is one of the artists to look out for in 2020, and she’s already off to a good start with the release of indie-pop-rock single ‘Bang Bang Bang’. Her energy is infectious, and if you get a chance to see her perform these songs live you should definitely take it. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is poppy, with enough electric guitar and fantastic drums to make it something really unique. She’s a super interesting artist that we should be looking out for this year – she has a few festival slots lined up and some fabulous singles out on Spotify that you really should be listening to.
Lauran Hibberd’s ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is out now via Lauran Hibberd.
Other Selected Releases
BTS – ‘Black Swan’
Hayley Kiyoko – ‘she’
Louis Tomlinson – ‘Walls’
Orla Gartland – ‘Heavy’
Sea Girls – ‘Ready For More’
Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
Courteeners – More. Again. Forever
Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By
Mac Miller – Circles
Mura Masa – R.Y.C
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Need a weekly music fix of all the songs you should care about? We’ve made a super handy playlist of all of this week’s biggest releases, so just sit back and listen to the good stuff. Updated every Friday.