This week sees the release of some excellent summer tunes from the likes of Lorde, Megan Thee Stallion and Jessie Ware – check out my picks from this week for my first ever This Week In Records below.
Track of the Week: Lorde – ‘Solar Power’
Lorde has returned from her 4-year-long slumber with her new single ‘Solar Power’, an effervescent celebration of summer and optimism. It starts with a laid-back acoustic guitar, with Lorde’s soft vocals layered over the top as she sings of leading ‘the boys and girls onto the beaches’, eventually building into a 90s-style outro that is reminiscent of George Michael‘s ‘Freedom! ’90’. The lyrics are full of life and confidence – she even blesses us with the iconic line ‘I’m kinda like a prettier Jesus’, which will be sure to show up in many Instagram bios soon. It’s a glorious track that sees Lorde step into a new direction, one which signifies change and maturity.
‘Solar Power’ is available to listen to via Universal Music New Zealand.
MARINA – Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land
Pop princess, or perhaps even pop royalty at this stage, MARINA released her fifth studio album Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land on Friday. It saw her make a sonic return to her roots, sounding more like The Family Jewels in style than her previous albums, yet with the updated lyricism and style of MARINA today. Ancient Dreams discusses MARINA’s worries about the modern world – misogyny, racism and politics are all the heart of the highly spirited release. However, MARINA’s identity as a musician is also core to the record – tracks like ‘Venus Fly Trap’ discuss how she feels that she ‘never quite fit into that Hollywood thing’, referring back to the themes of glamour and Hollywood that are scattered throughout her earlier work. While the lyrics and melodies might border on cliché at times, Ancient Dreams is MARINA at her pop star best.
Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land is out now via Atlantic Records. Watch the video for ‘Venus Fly Trap’ here:
Megan Thee Stallion – ‘Thot Shit’
Megan Thee Stallion’s latest single ‘Thot Shit’ is an unapologetic celebration of body and sex-positivity, and it comes with one of the best shock-value music videos of the year (no spoilers, just watch it). As always, Megan’s flow and lyricism are unbeatable and impeccably slick, as she retorts back against misogynist ‘puppets’ who speak about women in vulgar ways. The chorus is as fast and catchy as ‘Body’, and will most certainly be stuck in your head for weeks. Tina Snow is back at it again.
‘Thot Shit’ is available to listen to via 300 Entertainment.
Jessie Ware – ‘Hot N Heavy’
Jessie Ware‘s Platinum Pleasure Edition of What’s Your Pleasure? was also released this week, which includes many new tracks including ‘Hot N Heavy’. ‘Hot N Heavy’ features all the classics of Ware’s sound; smooth synths, funky basslines and sultry vocals. It’s a shimmering, addictive dance track that is full of the classic soulful talent of Ware.
‘Hot N Heavy’ is available to listen to via Universal Music.
Jessie J – ‘I Want Love’
From one disco Jessie to another; Jessie J made her comeback this week with ‘I Want Love’. It sees Jessie join in on the disco revival that many artists have been embarking on recently. Although perhaps not as soulful as Ware’s release, ‘I Want Love’ features an excellent buildup which is created by a guitar that sounds surprisingly familiar to Survivor‘s ‘Eye Of The Tiger’, and a chorus which holds heartfelt lyrics full of optimism and love.
‘I Want Love’ is out now via Republic Records.
Other Selected Releases
Doja Cat – ‘Need To Know’
Amber Mark – ‘Competition’
Clairo – ‘Blouse’
Lauren Hibberd – ‘Bleugh’
Denzel Curry feat. PlayThatBoiZay – ‘Bad Luck’
Garbage – No Gods No Masters
Slayyyter – Troubled Paradise
Smoothboi Ezra – Stuck
This Week In Records: Playlist
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.