We’re all desperately in need of a break from 2020, the pandemic, and lockdowns. Luckily the holidays are getting closer, and we hope you’ll be able to celebrate it safely and in good company. What’s better than starting off the final weeks of this turbulent year with new music? We have reviewed some of our favorite songs that have been released the past two weeks; hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as we do. Whether you want to get in the Christmas spirit or are looking for some R&B-tunes, our New Music Friday has it all! Stay safe and look after yourself and your loved ones, and enjoy the holidays. We’ll be back next year with brand new reviews – see you in 2021!
Peace by Piece – Jordan Mackampa
The newest release of England-based singer Jordan Mackampa once again shows that he cannot be assigned to merely one genre. In ‘Peace by Piece’ the Black singer blends pop music, R&B, and gospel into a rhythmic and expressive tune. Music magazine Wonderland reports on the singer’s EP ‘Tales From The Broken’ that it is comprised of “tracks that can equally tear at your heartstrings and fill you with joy”. This also applies to the lyrics of ‘Piece by Piece’, as Mackampa talks about his younger years when he got bullied and went through quite a rough patch – “A little Black boy always running from the oldest / They were picking on me ‘cause my fingers looked shiny / Carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders”. However, the lyrics convey the strong and clear message that we can grow and heal from the anguish of our past and that we can pick ourselves up again and find inner peace – “I’m building my peace by piece / Every scar is a lesson / I’m changing the inner me”. With this powerful message and the groovy, soulful rhythm of the song Mackampa conveys an encouraging and hopeful atmosphere to his listeners.
Text by: Alexa Zsigmond
Kissin’ In The Cold – JP Saxe ft. Julia Michaels
If there’s one thing JP Saxe and Julia Michaels can do better than writing songs, it is reminding people who are single how great being in love must feel and sound like. For their latest release ‘Kissin’ In The Cold’, the Grammy-nominated couple let the lockdown blues of a hot Californian day in July get to them enough to write what sounds like the perfect winter wonderland anthem. ‘Kissin’ In The Cold’ feels like a warm hug; like you’re sitting by a fireplace as snow is slowly falling down outside of your window, like you’re living inside a pretty snow globe. It’s comforting and reassuring despite its remarks on time going by too quickly, growing up, and growing apart. Looking back on their first collaboration ‘If The World Was Ending’, ‘Kissin’ In The Cold’ appears to be an obvious continuation: melodic similarities that immediately connect the two songs aside, the latter comes off as a happy ending to its older sister – the world almost ended, they did come over, and now they get to kiss in the cold as they reflect on everything that’s happened in the meantime. A happy ending, though just as nostalgic as their previous hit. All in all, it feels less like a Christmas song and more like a seasonal treat, which means there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be blasting it – or at least give it a listen – for the rest of the month regardless of how you will spend the 25th day of December.
Text by: Benedetta Borgese
Better Off Dead – jxdn
Jaden Hossler aka jxdn, former Tik Tok creator who set foot into music earlier this year, released his new single “Better Off Dead”. It’s the fifth single of his upcoming debut album “Tell Me About Tomorrow” – which will be out January 2021 – produced by Blink-182’s drummer Travis Baker. Just like his earlier releases, it brings back a 2000s punk-pop vibe and can remind you of the early musical stages of the Australian band 5 Seconds Of Summer. Lyrically, mental health is an important topic for Hossler as he himself has been struggling with depression and anxiety for years and wants to focus on shedding light on the illnesses with everything he puts out. In “Better Off Dead” he talks about the toxicity of a relationship and how much it can affect an already troubled mind, leading to a downwards spiraling thought process that can result in the darkest of wishes. His message definitely comes across; you never really know what’s going on inside of another person, so you should try to be considerate at all times. And most importantly: it is okay not to be okay.
Text by: Vicky Madzak
Easy – Kacey Musgraves & Troye Sivan (feat. Mark Ronson)
‘Easy’, Kacey Musgraves’ latest effort sees her team up with Troye Sivan with a feature from Mark Ronson. The electro-pop track moves the beat to a heartbreak tale that serves a hopeful note and questions if love might be enough after all. Previously Musgraves and Sivan collaborated for Musgraves’ and Amazon’s Christmas special yet this time around they have gone in for a completely different tone. Kacey Musgraves southern touch and Troye Sivan’s pure pop falsetto complement each other so well that together with Ronson’s producing magic they have created a dance track that belongs in a Nashville honky tonk or a dance club in London to everything in between. ‘Easy’ will warm up your soul in this cold winter-y time and will make you long to be back on the dance floor, jumping up and down and scream singing in the late hours.
Text by: Lauren Dehollogne