Welcome to another New Music Friday list, where we celebrate all the best new outings from the past weeks presented to you by the glistening world of music.
The Joker and the Queen – Ed Sheeran & Taylor Swift
“And you know you could fall for a thousand kings / And hearts that would give you a diamond ring / When I fold you see the best in me” Ed Sheeran swoons as we get entranced by the soft melody that has features of a classic ballad. Not long after that Taylor Swift lends her vocal talents to ‘The Joker and the Queen’ and we’re once again in the musical landscape that was created by these modern pop icons.
A slightly more melancholic and depressing tune seems to be the follow up to a song the duo had earlier collaborated on ‘Everything Has Changed’. 10 years later and the same kids that performed in the original music video returned for ‘The Joker and the Queen’. This time no longer in elementary school but rather two young, a little less naive and definitely more struggling people in the early stages of college.
As the two characters have grown up, so have Sheeran, Swift and all the listeners who first dawned to get entranced by the magical combination of these two masters.
‘The Joker and the Queen’ doesn’t reinvent the game but is a nice song to add to your collection. It will make you emotional, let you think of days past and is perfect for a droopy day while the rain is streaming down.
Written by Lauren Dehollogne
Congratulations – Boyish
Sometimes love can be a tricky game – either too feeble to grasp or too real for it to not be scary.
Brooklyn-based indie newcomers Boyish have taken on the rollercoaster that love can be once more and turned it into their long-awaited new single ‘Congratulations’, a heavenly track inspired by the moment of wanting more and longing for what might happen next.
Musically, the song continues the duo’s penchant for dreamy indie-pop soundscapes, fuzzy guitar riffs, and candid lyricism. Made up of vocalist India Shore’s alluring melodic explorations and guitarist Claire Altendahl’s addictive riffs, ‘Congratulations’ creates a home embedded in raw vulnerability and the trials and tribulations of love and relationships when you’re young and (hopefully) carefree. Lyrics-wise, the track shines with earnest confessions and stories of heartbreaks, Shore confessing, “I wanna tell you I’m scared / Of the way you’re holding me so fucking close / Remember when I dared you / Remember when I cared for you / Sometimes I think I still do.” As explained by the band themselves, the song “is about falling for someone who you are close to. It’s the moment when you cross the line between friends and something more and the fear that once you cross that line there’s no going back. It’s written from the present day after things have fallen apart but reflects back to the moment when you become more than just friends.”
Raw and emotive in all the best ways, Boyish’s latest outing sparkles just like the rest of the group’s discography and gives a first taster of their upcoming EP ‘My Friend Mica’, which is set to come out on May 6th, promising more of their heartfelt narratives infused with striking guitar sonics and dreamlike melodies.
Written by Laura Weingrill
dying on the inside – Nessa Barrett
At midnight, Nessa Barrett released one of her most anticipated songs of her career yet — ‘dying on the inside’. The song was first played to her audience in Mexico on her tour last year and later teased on her Instagram and Tik Tok. Barrett herself called the song her most personal and vulnerable piece and explained that she has “been struggling a lot recently about stupid beauty standards”, which is also the reason she developed an eating disorder at a very young age — the main topic of the song. Lyrically, ‘dying on the inside’ is written in different perspectives, the first verse and the bridge are comments other people have made about her appearance before, not knowing how they can affect her, or any other person for that matter. The chorus and the second verse are from Barrett‘s perspective, where she talks about her secretive unhealthy behaviour towards her own body and how hard it is to be perceived by everyone in the first place. She talks about being scared that people would like her less if she wouldn‘t look her best, which – in her opinion – she only does when she is “dying on the inside”.
Instrumentally, the song carries a dark vibe, the intro being kept simple and her voice being in focus. The chorus is surprisingly upbeat, loud E-guitars and a catchy beat supporting her soft vocals, working as a juxtaposition. As people have previously been comparing Barrett and her sound to Billie Eilish, this song is different and Barrett seems to have found her own niche now.
Regarding the topic of the song, we think it is very important and definitely not talked about enough as everyone – especially now with social media – can feel pressure to look a certain way and fear to be disliked/excluded or fail if they don’t. The song hopefully opens people‘s eyes, those struggling and those unsolicitedly commenting on other people‘s appearances as there are so much more important things to life than beauty standards.
Written by Vicky Madzak
Fast Times – Sabrina Carpenter
What do you get when you blend together an upbeat kick drum, unexpectedly necessary strings – spoiler: violins! And a catchy chorus?
If your answer is Sabrina Carpenter’s latest single ‘Fast Times’, then you are correct. Released on February 18th, the song serves as the second single off the artist’s upcoming album – title yet to be announced.
Staying true to its title, the track maintains a fast-paced tempo throughout most of its runtime, featuring a perfectly fitting set of violins from the second chorus and leaving the listener with just one single to catch their breath: as the bridge slows down to seemingly ease into the outro, the tracks pick back up its pace thanks to an infectious and track-defining guitar solo. Another winning asset to the song are its lyrics: crafted once again with the help of co-writers Julia Michaels and JP Saxe, they help paint an extremely vivid picture through images – both visual and metaphorical – such as “sky looks so purple, I can taste it” and “my feelings used to be serrated / but you speak in such a perfect cadence”.
Along with the single was released a music video directed by Amber Park in which Carpenter unleashes the SCU (Sabrina Cinematic Universe) as she takes on multiple roles: from the mysterious dark-haired spy to the blonde mechanic, the singer hints at multiple pop culture classics – Fast & Furious, Kill Bill, and Britney Spears’ iconic sparkling bodysuit to name a few.
With ‘Fast Times’ unexpectedly swerving from the path set by the previous single ‘Skinny Dipping’, no assumptions can be made on what Carpenter’s album is going to sound like – all that’s left to do is wait for these times to go by faster, but after all, wtf is patience?
Written by Benns Borgese
Lone Survivor – The Wrecks
The Wrecks are back and this time with a tune that tumbles them into the pop category. Yes, it still has a drum beat to follow its rhythm, and some drops to excite their fans. But with Lone Survivor they are definitely trying to appeal to a broader audience.
Lead singer Nick Anderson’s voice was always interesting but with this new direction it has found its footing. This no longer sounds like trial and error but rather a single put out by an established pop-rock band.
Will 2022 be the year that we’ll find The Wrecks on the top 40 hit list or score a TikTok hit? They are definitely on the right track and it won’t be much longer before this hidden gem becomes a worldwide phenomenon.
Written By Lauren Dehollogne