Another week of online lectures go by, and we get a whole new bunch of tasty new tunes to listen to. Here are my thoughts on this weeks newest tracks!
TUNE OF THE WEEK: Taylor Swift – ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’
I’ll save my rantings on this in a music industry context for a feature piece that you should all keep your eye out for very soon (*wink wink*). ‘Love Story’ is a tune that I’m pretty sure everyone is familiar with at this point- it’s one of those roll your car windows down and scream it out on a long drive kind of songs. The newest version, a powerful stance against those that seek to control Taylor Swift‘s music career and discography, feels softer, and yet so, so, so victorious. There’s something so electrifying about seeing that ‘Taylor’s Version’ after the title, a mark of her resolve to not bow down to those that seek to control her and her music. It’s sweet still, following that classic Romeo and Juliet story we all know and love, and with no lyric changes from the original tune; it is a re-recording after all.
The newer version keeps the style of the old one, maybe with a bit more of an emphasis on the folk-ness of the original song (following the stylings of folklore and evermore), and of course, the tonal shifts in Swift’s voice are obvious. It’s strange and oddly emotional to hear this recording now and realise how much has happened to get to this point in Taylor’s timeline; she was 18 when she first recorded this, still new to the industry and to the preying talons of the media, naive and full of hope. This new Taylor, the one we all now know, is confident in herself, her style and musicianship, singing nostalgically of a love-dream that many of us idolised in our youth. It makes me feel old and soft in a very nostalgic way and is a song I know that’s going to stick in my mind for a long time, purely for the connotations of it.
‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ is available to listen to now.
Greta Van Fleet – ‘Heat Above’
I genuinely don’t know if there is a voice out there in the music world that I find as pleasing to listen to as Josh Kiszka’s stunning hard rock tone. He could sing out definitions from the dictionary and I’d still hang on to every word. ‘Heat Above’, the latest single from Greta Van Fleet‘s upcoming album The Battle at Gardens Gate, showcases Kiszka’s vocals with gusto, his voice fitting effortlessly with every rise and fall of the heavy strings and guitar of the track.
The single starts out with a cinematic building crescendo of electronica, organs, strings and the occasional triangle, before it peaks into a heavy drum solo, courtesy of Danny Wagner. It’s an epic opening for an epic song. Guitars pour in, and Kiszka breaks in, singing of tears pouring down and washing a burning earth free of its pain. The song tells of the still presence of love in the world, even if it may not always seem like it, and escaping to the rising stars above, away from pain, troubles and sadness. Like previous single ‘Age of the Machine’, ‘Heat Above’ is optimistic, hailing a freeing future and newfound hope, something we all need to hang on to in these troubling times. Once again it’s got me desperate for the new album, which will hopefully be filled with more rock bangers like this one. Also, I appreciate Greta retiring the word ‘Age’ for this single, after way too many iterations of it in their discography. Baby steps y’all.
‘Heat Above’ is available to listen to now via Republic Records.
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia: The Moonlight Edition
How many times can one artist re-release the same album, I hear you ask? For Dua Lipa, this is the third iteration of her 2020 album Future Nostalgia, and by the looks of things, she has no intentions of stopping. After the interesting addition to the Future Nostalgia timeline that was Club Future Nostalgia, a great collection of remixes to rebuild the world of the album in a technological 70s disco vibe, Future Nostalgia: The Moonlight Edition frankly felt unneeded. I don’t feel that it really added much to the original album unlike its predecessor; where Club Future Nostalgia was a reinvention, The Moonlight Edition just kind of feels like a way to generate more streams (maybe to pay for another mid-pandemic vacation, hm Dua?). The Moonlight Edition adds songs ‘Prisoner’, Lipa’s collaboration with Miley Cyrus on her 2020 album Plastic Hearts, ‘Fever’ ft. Angele, ‘Not My Problem’ ft. JID, ‘Levitating’ ft. DaBaby, ‘Un Dia’ ft. DaBaby, Bad Bunny and Tainy, and a smattering of B-sides. It’s essentially a deluxe edition of Future Nostalgia, but in my opinion, the B-sides don’t really add a lot to an already good album; The Moonlight Edition just feels kind of.. pointless.
Future Nostalgia: The Moonlight Edition is available to listen to now via Warner Records UK. Check out ‘Levitating (ft. DaBaby)’ down below.
Birdy – ‘Loneliness’
From her newest album Young Heart comes the latest track from Birdy, ‘Loneliness’. It’s a heartfelt and tender tune, following the classic stylings of Birdy’s indie-folk discography, and is nearly painful in its honesty; Birdy speaks of the heartbreak of losing someone, but also of the acceptance of this loss as the new normal. It’s a quiet fight of denial versus acceptance, and as per usual, the lyricism showcases Birdy’s talents, speaking of ”tainted lullabies” and cutting ties to let ”shadows fly”.My favourite part of the track is the numerous overlays that make up its a backing track. We get continuous synth, guitar, piano and strings, giving the overwhelming feeling as if you’re on a boat travelling over the waves, as it rises and falls with smooth comfort. It’s a great song to sit back and just listen to, as you let it carry you through its haunting tale of heartbreak, loss and uneasy defeat.
‘Loneliness’ is available to listen to now via Warner Music UK.
Other Selected Releases
Architects – ‘Meteor’
Aston Merrygold – ‘Overboard’
Carrie Underwood – ‘Softly and Tenderly’
Fratellis – ‘Need a Little Love’
Greta Van Fleet – ‘Heat Above’
Gabrielle – ‘Stop Right Now’
Kranium – ‘Toxic’
Kelly Rowland – ‘Black Magic’
Orlando – ‘Blue Ferrari’
Victoria Justice – ‘Stay’
Django Django – Glowing in the Dark
Pale Waves – Who Am I?
Pretty Reckless – Death By Rock and Roll
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.