It’s that time again folks! This week brought us a plethora of new singles and albums, from cracking new tracks from K-Pop superstars BTS and BLACKPINK, to a long-awaited Halsey live album and Disclosure‘s newest album Energy after a 5 year wait (it’s FINALLY HERE GUYS!). girl in red supplied us with some peak sad-girl indie-pop, and Sleeping at Last released another instrumental track, following their tradition throughout the whole of quarantine. And, of course, so much more, all of which you can check out in our playlist down below!
TUNE OF THE WEEK: girl in red – ‘rue’
If you haven’t jumped on the girl in red fan train yet, you really have got to join the ride. Though perhaps unfamilar to most bar a few tiktok users (with ‘does she listen to girl in red?’ becoming the new slang for asking if someone is attracted to women), girl in red has taken the internet and world by storm with her specific brand of sad girl bedroom pop. Tunes like ‘summer depression’, ‘we fell in love in october’, ‘i wanna be your girlfriend’ and ‘girls’ have racked up millions of plays on spotify, and I don’t doubt that this newest track ‘rue’ will be any different.
Marie Ringheim, the mastermind behind girl in red (who is simply just a girl with a pen and a guitar), is known for the sapphic energy that permeates throughout her songs, and ‘rue’ is no different. It’s refreshing to hear so many love songs that don’t conform to the heteronormative ideals that we see in the charts; it’s sadly rare for a wlw song and artist to get this much attention. The debut single off of her upcoming first album, World in Red, ‘rue’ is a song about heartbreak and regret. Ringheim sings of a frustration with mental health, lamenting how quickly it can ruin relationships as your other half inadvertedly becomes both your carer and your lover. It’s a frustration that many poor mental health sufferers go through; the fear of being a burden to those that you love. She sings of trying to ”carry the weight”, and trying to get these thoughts ”off her mind”, but failing still. She is sabotaged by her own mind, a sad reality that many face. The brutal honesty of this song, it’s relatability, and girl in red’s perfect musicality, with the intense backing track that dips and rises and her soft, honest voice, makes it my tune of the week.
‘rue’ is available to listen to now via AWAL Recordings.
BTS – ‘Dynamite’
Coming in at an INCREDIBLY close second for tune of the week is BTS’ newest single, ‘Dynamite’, which proves once again that BTS just can’t make a bad song. Catchy, upbeat, and rocking that classic BTS charm, ‘Dynamite’ is SUCH a banger. Following the commonly done theme of a great night out, speaking of ‘booming bass’ and being down to dance all night, , ‘Dynamite’ is a pretty good escapist song for quarantine, where I know that I personally am suffering from a severe withdrawal from clubbing. The bridge with it’s repeating ‘Dy-na-na-na-na-ay’ will be stuck in your head for days. On an interesting note, it’s also the first BTS song recorded entirely in English, and it’s music video is officially the fastest to reach 10 million views ever, achieving the viewcount in a mere 20 minutes. Perfect for that at-home dance party, ‘Dynamite’ shows once again that BTS are a band that just can’t go wrong.
‘Dynamite’ is available to listen to now via BigHit.
Halsey – BADLANDS (Live From Webster Hall)
American singer Halsey has been teasing at a live album for years, and now we finally have one. A farewell of sorts to the Badlands, a world Halsey created that is referenced frequently in her music, being the main theme for her first album of the same name, and a reoccurring location in the world of Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, it’s something that fans have been long yearning for. The ‘Badlands Era’ as it has become known, was a defining stage in Halsey’s career, as outlined in a message she left on her website upon the live LP’s release, and so a live recording of the album in full feels like the perfect send-off.
My favourite thing about live albums will probably always be the opening. You can just FEEL the excitement of the crowd, with their cheers and chants, and BADLANDS (Live From Webster Hall) is no exception. It genuinely gives me goosebumps every time, and makes me miss gigs all the more in quarantine. Halsey’s voice live sounds great on the album too; it’s deep and passionate, and she sounds just as excited to be there as the crowd does. I’ve got to hand it to the sound mixing as well, because the quality of the live recording is a solid 5 stars in itself. As someone who has never seen Halsey live, but desperately wants to, the album is something I can use to live vicariously through in the meantime. Even if you’re not necessarily a fan, I implore you to give it a listen.
BADLANDS (Live From Webster Hall) is available to listen to now via Capitol Records. Check out ‘Castle (Live From Webster Hall)’ now down below.
Disclosure – Energy
Well, it’s finally here. After 5 years of waiting, Disclosure’s newest album, Energy, is out and available to listen to. However, I will say, I don’t think it’s a perfect album.
Energy is great, don’t get me wrong, but I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s missing something. With features on near enough every song, from Amine to Kelis to Fatoumata Diawara, it’s an impressive collection of tracks, that all work together with the addition of not one but two interludes. The album flows well, and has some memorable songs; my favourites being ‘Douha (Mali Mali)’, ‘ENERGY’ and ‘Watch Your Step’. The top track of the album remains to be ‘My High’, an absolute cracking tune that won the prime spot of tune of the week a few weeks back. The songs in between these favourites, however, fall a bit short for me. One of my favourite things about Disclosure’s previous albums that even the ‘filler’ songs, the ones that weren’t ever released as singles, like ‘Molecules’ from 2015’s Caracal and ‘January’ from 2013’s Settle, were still great songs. This sentiment, however, doesn’t seem to apply to Energy, with the songs between the big bangers merely leaving you waiting for the fun to start again.
Energy is still a good album, of which I’ll certainly be blasting on loud a fair few times over the summer, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed.
Energy is available to listen to now via Island Records. Check out ‘ENERGY’ down below.
Other Selected Releases
Sleeping at Last – ‘Five (Instrumental)’
Tiwa Savage ft. Sam Smith – ‘Temptation’
Nothing But Thieves – ‘Unperson’
Rudimental ft. Anne Marie & Tion Wayne – ‘Come Over’
Ty Dolla $ign ft. Nicki Minaj – ‘Expensive’
Calvin Harris ft. The Weeknd – ‘Over Now’
Blackpink ft. Selena Gomez – ‘ICE CREAM’
Celeste – ‘Little Runaway’
Billie Joe Armstrong – ‘That Thing You Do!’
The Neighbourhood – ‘Pretty Boy’
The Knocks ft. Muna – ‘Bodies’
PVRIS – Use Me
Jaden – CCTV3: Cool Tape Vol. 3
5 Seconds of Summer – Calm
Jason Mraz – Look for the Good
Dua Lipa – Club Future Nostalgia: The Remixes
Metallica & San Francisco Symphony – S&M2
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
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.