The temperature is going up and so come the summer anthems. And although many are trying to claim the spot of summer song of 2021, the variety of artists and genres have made it nearly impossible to pick just one. So here’s a list of all the tracks that have captured us this week, starting with the ethereal comeback of alternative-pop favourite Lorde to Michaela Jaé’s debut. Other entries that we have been amazed by are Kelsea Ballerini and LANY’s ‘I Quit Drinking’, John Mayer’s ‘Last Train Home’, Clairo’s ‘Blouse’, Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Thot Shit’ and Olivia O’Brien’s newly released EP.
Lorde – Solar Power
‘Solar Power’ Lorde’s riveting comeback is here just in time for summer. The New Zealand native enjoyed her time away from the media, making everyone wonder when she’ll go back to releasing music and surprise her legions of fans with a new track. The silence of Ella Yelich-O’Connor otherwise known as Lorde brought in a new generation of artists that embraced her signature dark-emotional-alternative-pop sound, and with this newest addition to her repertoire, Lorde shook things up and proved that she is still an innovative musical genius whilst leaving her old sound behind.
“Forget all of the tears that you’ve cried, it’s over – it’s a new state of mind, are you coming, my baby?”, captures the evolution of the 24-year-old’s music the best. ‘Solar Power’ is so undeniably filled with blissful, no worries and intense joy – that if it wasn’t for Lorde unique voice people might have had to backtrack and see if this is actually the same person who wrote ‘Liability’. Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo sing the backing vocals, harmonising perfectly with Lorde’s soft, almost hushed tone.
The music video for ‘Solar Power’ visualises the exact feeling of the light and breezy track, white beaches, delicate dancing, high power frequencies that radiate a gleeful, relaxed state of mind. Lorde’s return to music has been on the forefront of everyone’s mind for years now, making the 24-year-old’s upcoming third album, one of 2021’s highly anticipated projects. And with her title track, ‘Solar Power’ Lorde proves to actually be “prettier Jesus”, leading us all to the new phase in her career.
Written by: Lauren Dehollogne
Kelsea Ballerini & LANY – I Quit Drinking
This week California based pop trio LANY and country princess Kelsea Ballerini released their – for them unusual – collaboration single ‘I Quit Drinking’. “We found the sweet spot between rock, pop and country for the song. It’s a little different for the both of us […]”, Ballerini confessed months prior to the release when she was writing in the studio with LANY-frontman Paul Klein.
The ballad starts off with a simple piano and Ballerini’s powerful voice and is joined by dreamy guitar strumming and Klein’s soft voice in the second verse. Their mixed sounds as well as their voices compliment each other extremely well. The lyrics deal with an ex-relationship between two lovers that started off by loads of partying, drinking and having fun and them being known as “the life of the party”, but lead to both of them drifting apart and putting the bottles down as being drunk brings back way too many memories, without fixing the initial problem of a broken relationship. Due to growing up, the party eventually ended, and their love for each other did as well.
Written by: Vicky Madzak
Michaela Jaé – Something to Say
Michaela Jaé better known as MJ Rodriguez has ventured into a new project, music. The Pose star, debuted her first track ‘Something To Say’ on the 3rd of June. It provides us all with a perfect summer anthem. The 30-year-old actress and singer brings a high energy song to life with a message of love and acceptance, encouraging everyone to speak up and choose love over everything.
From the first note of harmonising backing vocals to the very end, Michaela Jaé lets us into her world filled with immense joy, making it hard to not let a big smile creep up on everyone who listens to ‘Something to Say’s faces. Rodriguez’ euphoric debut shows us “that we should speak the way we’re feeling” and that “we don’t have to do this alone if we try”. The overarching message of the song doesn’t get lost in the upbeat melodies and high tempo beats but just gets amplified.
Michaela Jaé has already shown the world what a magnificent actress she is but with ‘Something To Say’ she also proves to be an artist of many talents. And if everything she does is bursting with this much magic, the future can only be brighter and better.
Written by: Lauren Dehollogne
John Mayer – Last Train Home
One of America’s most iconic singer-songwriters, none other than John Mayer, has released the single from his upcoming eighth album ‘Sob Rock’. ‘Last Train Home’ is a song about Mayer hoping to find a woman to marry with whom he can start a new chapter in his life. The notion of a ‘last train home’ is being used as a metaphor for finding someone who is in it for the long run and willing to start a life together with him: “So if you’re coming with me let me know / Maybe you’re the last train / Maybe you’re the last train home.”
The album’s lead single stays true to Mayer’s signature sound of electric guitars and pop/soft rock touches. The backing vocals in the song are performed by country singer Maren Morris, whose voice comes out beautifully in the musical universe created by Mayer in ‘Last Train Home’. The anticipated album has been a long time coming, as one of the songs ‘New Light’ had already been released in May 2018, followed by ‘I Guess I Just Feel Like’ and ‘Carry Me Away’ both released in 2019.
Although all four songs released so far from ‘Sob Rock’ are in line with Mayer’s already existing discography, the lyrics imply that this album will be a very honest one in which he is not afraid to share with the world any doubts and fears he is dealing with.
Written by: Ine Vanvuchelen
Clairo – Blouse
‘Blouse’, Clairo’s first single to upcoming second album ‘Sling’ showcases the artist’s fragile voice in an introspective tale brought along by her dog. “Joanie, my dog, opened up my world in ways I didn’t think were capable. By Caring for her, it forced me to face my own thoughts about parenthood and what it would mean to me. … It’s a glimpse into a world where I found that domesticity that I was missing,”, is what the 23-year-old singer shared on her Instagram post announcing ‘Blouse’ and ‘Sling’.
A touch of everlasting sadness is prevalent in ‘Blouse’ yet the hopefulness of future bliss and possibilities of comfort balance the track into being a true reflection of the spectrum of human emotions. The rhetoric questions that frequently reappears is “Why do I tell you how I feel?”, a state of mind that testers almost everyone. As all of Clairo’s projects before ‘Blouse’ balances the perfect ethereal realm of alternative bedroom pop and sad, emo-pop.
With Lorde’s vocals on the single and co-produced by Jack Antonoff, Clairo has further established her indie-pop reign. And with ‘Blouse’ she proves her importance even more. Making the mundane public, and being ever-so personal brings out the honesty in all of her listeners – making them feel as if that their feelings are important – and worth investigating. Clairo’s power is in her vulnerability enlightened even further by her angelic voice.
Written by: Lauren Dehollogne
Megan Thee Stallion – Thot Shit
Megan Thee Stallion is back after her short break from social media and with ‘Thot Shit’ she proves to still be the most captivating artist that has risen in these past couple of years. The Texas native brings quick-witted lines and a powerful backing track to ‘Thot Shit’.
In the single’s music video Megan Thee Stallion emerges as her alter ego, Tina Snow, this time getting revenge on a middle-aged white man who trolls her on social media. Therefore ‘Thot Shit’ works as the best metaphor for Megan Thee Stallion owning her own individuality without feeling that she or anyone woman ever has to apologise for enjoying themselves in any way they want – proving to be above the critics who might not have agreed with her along the way.
The 26-year-old’s music has been charming listeners all over the world, pulling in more people with every track she drops. As all of her previous songs ‘Thot Shit’ doesn’t just have a wonderfully addictive beat and underlying beauty but also owns up to a perfect female role model that gets more innovative with each project she releases.
Written by: Lauren Dehollogne
Olivia O’Brien – Episodes: Season 1
Olivia O’Brien has established her image as one of Gen Z´s most influential singer-songwriters – and she keeps on getting better. Her unique way of speaking on rising up after heartbreak, self-confidence and finding love has made millions of teens and young adults feel like a – bad ass – independent Individual.
On June 11th, she released her EP ‘Episodes: Season 1’, which includes six songs. All the promotion she did beforehand did not disappoint: ‘Keep It Movin´’ has proven that no one can control their own self-worth, “I got my own thing going, I don’t need no help.”
On ‘No More Friends’ none other than Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon makes a special appearance. The rock-ish song seems to be quite different to O´Brien´s usual music genre. Sykes and O´Brien “don’t need no more friends” and just want to move on, while their significant other can’t seem to leave them alone but “don’t need to pretend like you really give a shit about me”
With ‘We´re All Gonna Die’ the 21year old wants everyone to know that she doesn’t need a therapist even though she admits that “texting in my group chat doesn’t count as therapy”.
With her newly released EP Olivia O´Brien has proven to be the epitome of what a Gen Z´s role model embodies and we all need to strive to gain her level of “Bad Ass Mentality”.
Written by: Hannah Lipfert