This week is certainly an exciting one for music. We’ve got the next single from Twenty One Pilots’ upcoming album, Scaled and Icy, the start of a new pop-punk era for megastar Willow, and, of course, some new music from superstar Billie Eilish, ahead of her upcoming album, Happier than Ever. Keep reading to get the details on what you should be listening to this week!
TUNE OF THE WEEK: Jessie Ware – ‘Please’
Jessie Ware‘s What’s Your Pleasure? was probably one of my top three favourite albums of 2020, so when this newest single was released, I was beyond excited to hear it. ‘Please’ continues the heady disco vibes of the aforementioned LP, with the addition of gospel-sounding backing vocals and a heavier backing beat. The track continues the theme of body positivity, romance and sex from Ware’s previous works, with the singers soft delivery aiding the dreamy vibe of the whole piece, especially when set against the intense backing vocals. Lyrics speak of a paradise away from everything, a ”vision” of a world made up of ”golden moments”; something I’m sure all of us crave after the intensity of the last year.
The beat of this song is just indescribably good; parts of the backing track remind me of the ‘shimmying sound of moving glittery dresses, allowing for a complete immersion in Ware’s disco world when you sit back and close your eyes. You can just imagine a club full of people, straight out of the mid-70s, dancing along to this. Of course, this praise goes to producer James Ford, who’s known for his works in the disco scene; the mixing is just impeccable, with the bouncing bassline, sparkling instrumentals and wavy synths. ‘Please’ lived up to my expectations, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the upcoming Deluxe Edition of What’s Your Pleasure?.
‘Please’ is available to listen to now via Universal Music Operations Ltd.
Billie Eilish – ‘Your Power’
TW: Mentions of s*xual ab*se
I don’t think any new single this week has as much hype behind it as Billie Eilish‘s ‘Your Power’. The introduction to a follow up from critically acclaimed 2019 album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, ‘Your Power’ definitely takes a softer vibe in its tone (no doubt the influence of Eilish’s brother FINNEAS‘s softer works of the past, who also produced the track), but the lyrics remain as Eilish as ever. The song takes on a protest theme, speaking of sexual abuse against young innocent girls in Eilish’s classic figurative language; ”How dare you?/How could you?/Will you only feel bad when they find out?’. Eilish, despite her exceedingly young age, is sadly no stranger to sexual harassment both online and in-person (with the singer rarely showing her body in form-fitting or revealing clothes before this era for this exact reason), so this song certainly feels like a very personal address to those who objectify and hurt both her and girls like her. With the accompanying Vogue cover article, wherein Eilish blatantly states that ”Showing your body and showing your skin – or not – should not take any respect away from you.” and ”Don’t make me not a role model because you’re turned on by me.”. ‘Your Power’ is an angry song, the epitomisation of years of frustration of being taken advantage of, being praised for wearing modest clothing whilst equally as empowering women are scrutinised for not doing the same, and anger at a world that so easily jumps on the opportunity of objectifying women. I hope that the rest of Happier than Ever follows suit in the hard-hitting honesty of this first track because if it does, it’ll easily eclipse the brilliance of Eilish’s debut.
‘Your Power’ is available to listen to now via Interscope.
Willow ft. Travis Barker – ‘t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l’
I genuinely think that Willow could tackle any genre and still come out sounding fantastic. Pop, rap, R&B, soul, EDM and now pop-punk with her newest single, ‘t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l’, she just seems to be able to smash it all, despite her incredibly young age of just 20 years old. It helps that this newest single is produced by Travis Barker, who, if you’ve been living under a rock, is a pop-punk legend in the scene as the drummer of Blink-182 and producer for numerous artists, from MGK to Fever333 to +44. Pretty much any song he’s involved with producing has that classic pop-punk sound with either emotionally innovative or big ‘I don’t care’ vibes lyrics. ‘t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l’ is no different; it’s got that signature repetitive guitar riff and rolling drums that come along with the pop-punk genre, both of which matching perfectly to Willow’s spoken word lyrical delivery. I’m kind of obsessed with the low tones of Willow’s voice, especially in the scream/sing of the chorus of this track, with the singer shouting out ”transparent soul, I can see right through, just so you know”. The lyrics themselves are angry, speaking out against ”snakes” that have wronged the singer in the past. Overall, it’s just a really good track, and I’m so excited to see what else might come out of Willow’s new interest in this genre. Not to mention, I am OBSESSED with the 90s fishbowl-lens style of the accompanying music video.
‘t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l’ is available to listen to now via Roc Nation Records.
Twenty One Pilots – ‘Choker’
Like with the two previous singles released by Twenty One Pilots in the last year, ‘Level of Concern’ and ‘Shy Away’, ‘Choker’ took a minute to grow on me. It definitely echoes the sound of their 2013 album Vessel, very much giving me a mixture of tracks ‘Screen’ and ‘Car Radio’, with the signature Tyler Joseph rapping and singing against an unmatched beat. I will give the track this; it’s broken away from the same-y sound of their last two releases, which after a few listens, begin to sound suspiciously similar to one another. The title ‘Choker’ itself clearly refers to the act of ‘choking up’ when feeling anxious in social situations, with Joseph singing of ‘self-sabotage’ and merely being a shadow of a person in other peoples lives. It’s got that classic Twenty One Pilots lyrical theme of mental health and social anxiety, and will more than likely speak to many of us out there finding it difficult to reintegrate themselves back into the world of socialising following lockdown. ‘Choker’ hasn’t necessarily got me excited for Twenty One Pilot’s upcoming album, Scaled and Icy; I’d say curious is a better word. I’m interested to see if other new singles will catch my attention more than this one has.
‘Choker’ is available to listen to now via Fueled By Ramen.
Other Selected Releases
Hayley Kiyoko – ‘Found My Friends’
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘We’
Alfie Templeman – ‘One More Day’
Counting Crows – ‘Butter Miracle, Suite One’
21 Savage – ‘Spiral’
Little Mix ft. Saweetie – ‘Confetti’
Royal Blood – Typhoons
girl in red – If I Could Make It Go Quiet
Birdy – Young Heart
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.