The days are starting to be longer, the nights shorter and Spring is almost here so what would be a better way to celebrate the changing of the weather than new music? After a hopeful few weeks a future of normality is coming near. Therefore, we want to show you the songs that have made us celebrate life in all ways and forms. From laughing and dancing in your living room to being a crying mess in your bedroom after the acclimation of emotions, March is here and so are we. This list is made for you to enjoy and we sincerely hope you do.
Zara Larsson – Poster Girl
She may not be the poster girl of feelings, but with her newest release Zara Larsson surely is on the right path to become the poster girl of pop. ‘Poster Girl’, her second internationally released album, is what feels like a compilation of classics from the very first listen.
Off to a great start, with the powerful opening track ‘Love Me Land’, Larsson welcomes the listener to a world where love is the focal point, something that’s made even clearer when the intense beat eases into the softer tones of its follow-up track. The only collaboration on the record – which ironically could be said to be the weakest part of the song –, ‘Talk About Love’ sets the pace for the tracks that come right after, creating an effortless flow of catchy bass-driven tunes.
We get a break from nostalgia once we land on ‘WOW’, a strong Marshmello-produced release which glory revamped last summer after being featured in a jaw dropping dance scene between actors Sabrina Carpenter – whom, fun fact, was featured on a remix of the song – and Jordan Fisher on Netflix’s original movie ‘Work It’. The title track ‘Poster Girl’ brings back the consistency shown in the project this far, all while asserting itself as the perfect choice to carry the album. “Somebody stop her” sings Larsson in the pre-chorus as she finds herself caught up in her feelings, a line which most definitely isn’t something that could be said about her work on the album this far; please, no one stop her.
‘I Need Love’ is the closest thing we get to a ballad on a project filled with dance-y tunes, a powerful piece with noteworthy production by Starsmith. ‘Look What You’ve Done’ sounds like your typical Zara Larsson release, but upgraded. Somewhat reminiscent of another iconic piece of Swedish music, ABBA, the song is your new go-to empowering breakup song. What comes right after is ‘Ruin My Life’, a track that holds out its freshness and replay value despite being an over-two-years-old release.
Nearing the end, ‘Stick With You’ is your staple of nostalgia, a true homage to those classic early 00’s r&b vibes. ‘FFF’ is an interesting track that draws you in with its neatly produced beat and persuades you to settle in thanks to its consistency and well-crafted lyrics. The closing track ‘What Happens Here’ may be one of the strongest features of this record. Strong intro, great production, in this song Larsson gets to showcase her trademark tone.
An honourable mention goes to the deluxe track ‘When I’m Not Around’, the only ballad on the entire record that makes not wanting to settle for the standard version of the album truly worth it – even when the other deluxe feature Famous resembles the second track on the record. ‘Poster Girl’ proves to be a cohesive project both visually and musically, a successful attempt at conveying the nostalgia that so many artists have been chasing over the past year.
All in all, thanks to a great team of producers – Steve Mac, Ian Kirkpatrick, The Struts to name a few – and a noteworthy ensemble of songwriters – Max Martin, Amy Allen, Michael Pollack, and duo Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter amongst others –, Larsson proved yet again that if there’s one thing Swedish people are good at, that’s making music.
Written by: Benedetta Borgese
Ashe, FINNEAS – Till Forever Falls Apart
‘Till Forever Falls Apart’ by American singer and songwriter Ashe featuring FINNEAS is an explosive ballad about two people sticking together through thick and thin, and overcoming hardships as a team, “’Cause you’ve got me and you know / That I’ve got you and I know”. The song expresses that love can conquer all misery and illustrates the obstacles life throws at one by metaphorically referring to the end of the world – “If the tide takes California / I’m so glad I got to hold ya / And if the sky falls from Heaven above / Oh, I know I had the best time falling in love”.
The eruptive chorus removes the softness of the almost lullaby-like verses through its captivating drumbeats, creating an epic sound. ‘Till Forever Falls Apart’ transmits a nostalgic atmosphere as it discusses the nearing end of the world, and Ashe even mentioned in a live stream that the 1930s dance duo, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, inspired the song’s music video. The two voices harmonise and complement each other beautifully as both Ashe and FINNEAS have a delicate and moving voice. Even though the song talks about love, it does not necessarily imply a romantic relationship between two people. It could also merely be interpreted as a close friendship, “I guess there’ s nothing more romantic than dyin’ with your friends”.
‘Till Forever Falls Apart’ feels like a rollercoaster of emotions – from desperation to gratitude, from sadness to love. It’s worthwhile to cherish the atmosphere the song communicates through its lyrics and its musical composition.
Written by: Alexa Zsigmond
Maroon 5 & Megan Thee Stallion – Beautiful Mistakes
Following Maroon 5’s course of the last years ‘Beautiful Mistakes’ is a recent effort in their stretch of singles that is aimed to be another hit. Using the formula that the California band have been relying on for the last ten odd years we see them team up with Megan Thee Stallion, one of the best rapper of the moment and use her current fame to elevate their aging status.
‘Beautiful Mistakes’ is another mellow broken-love song that have all the trademarks Maroon 5 started out with yet more generic and overproduced. Megan Thee Stallion is the one making this track stand out. With her verses she overpowers the pop-rock magnets and proves once again why she is the one everyone needs to be looking at. After a few listens Adam Levine’s vocals get stuck in your head which will make you come back to ‘Beautiful Mistakes’ time and time again to get lost in a pure-pop loop. ‘Beautiful Mistakes’ is to become a hit yet to be forgotten in the mase of content after a few months if it were not for Megan Thee Stallion’s talent giving it a kick.
Written by: Lauren Dehollogne
No Rome, Charli XCX, The 1975 – Spinning (with Charli XCX & The 1975)
The supergroup of pop fans’ dreams is here and they’re bringing the cutest mismatched song of the year with them.
When Charli XCX, No Rome and Matty Healy all announced that a collaboration single was to be released, it was easy to assume what it was going to sound like. Although the combination of Charli’s hyperpop sound, No Rome’s indie-pop vocals and The 1975’s now iconic production don’t necessarily sound like a perfect fit for one track, a synth-heavy easy listen was expected.However, ‘Spinning’ is definitely confused in where it wants to go.
Charli’s vocoder and electronically emphasised vocals are a staple of all her recent releases, whether that be on the critically-successful ‘how I’m feeling now’ or her earlier fan favourite mixtapes. This is the strongest aspect of the supergroup’s single, carrying the track alongside No Rome’s own layered vocals in a questionably repetitive chorus and a beautiful but terribly short bridge.
However, ‘Spinning’ unfortunately falters mainly due to the expected 1975-isms of George Daniel’s production, drummer and go-to producer for the band’s previous albums. Although Charli and No Rome’s vocals are the focus of the single, it does feel like a sickly sweet throwaway track from The 1975’s ‘A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships’ was briefly handed to the other artists and then taken away before they could truly make their own mark on the song.
Written by: Leo Dawson
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – Leave The Door Open
After smash hits like ‘Grenade’, ‘24K Magic’, and ‘Uptown Funk’, Bruno Mars is back – and better than ever. Only a week ago he announced the release of his newest single ‘Leave The Door Open’, which is a collaboration with R&B-star Anderson .Paak. The duo has formed a band together called Silk Sonic, named after the legendary American singer Bootsy Collins. ‘Leave The Door Open’ clearly carries Mars’ musical DNA, though Paak’s R&B-touch does not go unnoticed. Teamwork makes the dream work and Silk Sonic is an excellent example of that. The singers are planning on releasing a 70s inspired album later this year and ‘Leave The Door Open’ makes a perfect teaser for what is yet to come. We can’t wait for Silk Sonic to reintroduce us to the 70s and to blow us away with some astonishing live performances.
Written by: Ine Vanvuchelen