Friday, we made it! Nice one. Let's breeze through them emails, the admin, the work that really should be done before you clock off, by listening to this week's best new music.
Music is good for you, but also, gives you some knowledge to flex at the post-work drinks later. The weekend is in sight.
Sour, Olivia Rodrigo.
This is the album of the week, as far as basically anyone is concerned. There's a new (and good) Gruff Rhys album too, if that's your bag, but this is the one for this week. The 18-year-old made her name in Disney before exploding on the music scene. Sounds familiar, right? It is, but Rodrigo might have set a new bar for actor-musician hybrids. Sour is fully of angsty, emotional records that make you feel like a teenager going through your first-breakup or nobody gets me!!! rages. The songs are very well written, though. There's an intelligence and range to the songs, from Paramore-esque pop punk to power ballad. Her ability as a singer means she smashes all of the varying instrumentals and moods across the album – it's low-key virtuosic. Rodrigo one of the most exciting debut artists in recent history. Give it a listen, you'll be missing a music milestone if you don't. The lyrics are great too. Taylor Swift has a songwriting credit on track four, quite a collaboration.
It's a bigger week for the '45s than the LPs this week, with releases from giants such as BTS, Lil Nas X, Lana Del Rey and more. Let's get digging, shall we?
A song named after everyone's favourite food. Butter sounds as happy as your tastebuds feel when you eat the stuff. This is straight-up pop, with chirpy and catchy vocals, some interesting synth, chanting backing vocals and a (pretty good actually) rap interlude. Potentially a song you're going to hear a lot on the radio in stores this summer.
'SUN GOES DOWN', Lil Nas X
Ye-haw. New Lil Nas X. His album is hotly anticipated, and this latest drop will keep the appetite more than keen. Autotune, trap beats and glittery keys come together to make a wistful track that doesn't sound unlike some contemporary Gym Class Heroes. A nice, light, new bit of record.
'Blue Banisters', Lana Del Rey
Here's a fun conversation to have that will really be fun until you get more and more heated, and then it isn't fun, and you have to buy an apology shot: Which of Lana Del Rey's three new singles is the best? Or, Shag Marry Kill but with the three singles.
First up, 'Blue Banisters', it's a little bit Janis Joplin sounding but mellow. A piano plays chords pretty sparsely, which along with some ambient shimmering noise makes up most of the instrumentals. On top of it, Lana goes between pacy spoken word, hushed whispers and bold vocals. In true Lana style the lyrics are about some banisters no longer being blue, but there's probably more to it than that.
'Text Book', Lana Del Rey
The longest of the songs (though they're all over four and a half minutes), this one is a bit more Nancy Sinatra sounding in the verses. There's deep string bass, violins and xylophones (or vibraphones, who knows the difference). The chorus picks up a bit with a simple drum track and backing vocals. It's a little more dynamic than 'Blue Banisters'. The lyrics are strong and narrative.
'Wildflower Wildfire', Lana Del Rey
The shorter of the tracks is no less moody than the previous two. It slots somewhere between the delicate and spare 'Blue Banisters' and the relatively upbeat and dynamic 'Text Book'. It starts quiet, slowly building up until booming drums come in toward the end of the track. As with the other two, it's a late-night emotion-driven retro sounding pop song with folk influence. It offers a good blend of what the other two tracks are doing. The artwork perhaps reflects this, as the background is a blend of the colours seen on the other two covers. This trio of songs will leave many wondering what Lana's next move will sound like.
Do you want to not just stream songs? Try these four record stores.
As for live music, well, here's what we know about the future of that.