Long time no see everyone! After a break for the joys of exam season, I am back with another This Week in Records for you all to check out. We’ve got some great new exciting tunes this week, with new albums from both Paramore‘s Hayley Williams and legendary rock band Foo Fighters, not to mention new singles from Bristol-based band Bad Sounds (my personal favourites), the Godfather of shock-rock Alice Cooper, and rapper Cardi B. Keep reading to get the latest on the tunes you all should or shouldn’t be listening to!
Hayley Williams – FLOWERS for VASES / descansos
Now, when Hayley Williams‘ debut solo album Petals for Armor came out last May, I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t absolutely obsessed. It had some really good beats, lyrics, and some of the songs were massively catchy (looking at you ‘Cinnamon’ and ‘Simmer’) and stuck in my head for a long while. Petals for Armor was a good debut, leaving me wanting a little bit more frontwoman I loved so dearly. FLOWERS for VASES / descansos, however, didn’t deliver on that desire.
Sure, the album is alright, but it’s so painfully one-note. The songs blend into each other easily, and none of them really capture me the way some of the tracks for Petals for Armor did. Of course, the lyricism is brilliantly raw and personal, and the sound pensive, reserved and quiet. A la similarly quiet LP folklore, FLOWERS for VASES / descansos was recorded entirely in lockdown, just Williams, a small array of instruments, and a microphone. Unlike the previously mentioned album, however, Williams’ record just didn’t pull me in at all; I felt like the whole time I was waiting for something to happen, and as the final seconds of last track ‘Just a Lover’ came to a close, my first thought was ”Is that it?”. Once again, Williams has left me wanting, but perhaps even more so than before.
FLOWERS for VASES / descansos is available to listen to now via WEA International Inc. Check out ‘Inordinary’ down below.
Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
After the rock wonder that was Concrete and Gold, I was worried that Foo Fighters’ newest album, Medicine at Midnight, wouldn’t live up to its predecessor. Medicine at Midnight certainly brought something new to the table but was still a massively enjoyable listen.
The thing about each new Foo Fighters record is that they’re always using the same ingredients, but just remixing them in a different way to get something new every time. You get those classic Foos elements that we all know and love, like Dave Grohl’s long drawn out notes, the heavy drumming, the twangy guitar, but they’re mixed together slightly differently to get something to blow you off your feet yet again. Medicine at Midnight is different, but it’s still Foo Fighters through and through. With 10 albums under their belt, you’d think the world would be bored of Foos by now, but we’re far from it. Medicine at Midnight gets a little funky, giving off some David Bowie Lets Dance vibes with its punchy notes and slinky instrumentation, not to mention the variation from track to track, giving you a little taste of something different every time. ‘No Son of Mine’ is a definite favourite (I’m a sucker for gospel, not to mention the cracking guitar), but honestly, every track is a great listen. The Foos have yet again delivered another brilliant album.
Medicine at Midnight is available to listen to now via Roswell Records, Inc. Check out ‘No Son of Mine’ down below.
Bad Sounds ft. Broods – ‘Move Into Me’
I’ve been a big fan of Bad Sounds for a few years now; I really think they’re one of the most underrated indie-pop bands on the scene right now. Their newest single, fitting nicely amongst their splendid discography, proves this. ‘Move Into Me’ follows their classic lo-fi, funk beat vibe, with the addition of vocals from the lovely Broods. It’s a chilled out and laidback tune, and honestly gives me a bit of a London Grammar vibe, with Broods’ deep vocals, the heavy beats and synths. The lyrics are soft, speaking of a yearning to get closer to someone, and just being drunk in love and comfort, wanting someone to ‘move into’ you because of how close they want you to be to them. It’s a wonderfully silky tune, perfect for laying on your bed and vibing out to, and despite being produced in lockdown, still upholds the precision that I’ve come to expect from Bad Sounds’ work.
‘Move Into Me’ is available to listen to now via Theory Records.
Alice Cooper – ‘Social Debris’
With his 21st studio solo album Detroit Stories on the horizon (yep, you heard me right, 21 albums), Alice Cooper has returned with his latest track, ‘Social Debris’. Released on his birthday as a gift to his fans, the song starts out with some hard rock heavy drums, before a headbanging guitar solo jumps in, the exact sound that the shock-rock Godfather is known for. ‘Social Debris’ follows Cooper’s classic I-don’t-care-screw-society line of lyricism, talking about ”losing the plot” amidst a world full of spies, racked with disease, and needing to break out from imprisoning social reality, out of ”social debris”. It’s very typical Cooper, from the lyrics to the instrumentation to the theatrics, and I’m very glad to say that his voice hasn’t changed a bit from his glory days in the 70s/80s. Known for being adamantly anti-political throughout his whole career, ‘Social Debris’ continues this tradition, yelling about the evil of the world, and encouraging anarchy to escape from it. It’s a good rock song, very classic rock, perhaps implying a revival of sorts, especially with the release of ACDC’s Power Up a few months back.
‘Social Debris’ is available to listen to now via Edel.
Cardi B – ‘Up’
Every time Cardi B releases a new song, I sit back before I listen to it and think ”I wonder how Cardi B this newest Cardi B song is going to be?”. If you’re familiar with literally any of her discography, you know what I mean. ‘Up’ maybe isn’t the Cardi-B-est song I’ve encountered so far (that place still belongs to ‘WAP’ ft. Megan Thee Stallion), but it is pretty darn close. A classic raunchy Cardi number, it’s got the signature bad bitch energy she throws into every tune, with the typical sex references throughout. The main chorus is ”If it’s up then it’s up”… I’ll let you imagine what that could insinuate. Not to mention the straight-up line about a certain sexual position and *ahem* finishing line that doesn’t leave anything (and I mean ANYTHING) to the imagination; I’ll let you google that yourself. All in all, ‘Up’ is an alright song, but the chorus is super repetitive with the constant aforementioned lyric, and although Cardi’s flow is great, the lyrics are nothing to write home about. As per usual, the beat is sick, but this definitely isn’t the best we’ve seen from Cardi for a while; it’s quite forgettable once the song, and the novelty of it, is over.
‘Up’ is available to listen to now via Atlantic Records.
Other Selected Releases
FINNEAS – ‘American Cliche’
Daya – ‘Bad Girl’
Jordin Sparks – ‘You Still Think of Me’
The Lazy Eyes – ‘Where’s My Brain???’
Picture This – ‘Things are Different’
Sam Fischer ft. Demi Lovato – ‘What Other People Say’
Marina ft. Pablo Vittar – ‘Man’s World (Empress of Remix)’
Dolly Parton – ‘5 to 9’
David Keenan – Isolation Tape Vol. 3
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – Shyga! The Sunlight Mound
John Carpenter – Lost Themes III
The Weeknd – The Highlights
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.