Want to hear all our previous New Music Friday picks? You can check them all out on our Spotify playlist, found here.
White Lies - I Don’t want To Go To Mars
White Lies’ ‘FIVE V2’ was released back in 2019, and fans have been eagerly awaiting new tracks from the pop-rock group. Their newest release, titled ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Mars’, is the second single to be released from the band’s upcoming record, ‘As I Try Not To Fall Apart’, and looks existentially at day to day life, taking their sound in a slightly darker direction than their past output. This theme contrasts the rather upbeat, New Order tinged nature of the song. It sounds pretty powerful, laden with retro synth, distorted guitar and percussive, shuffling drum patterns combined with White Lies’ signature deep vocal courtesy of singer Harry McVeigh. The structure of the song is simple, yet it is remarkably effective, a testament to White Lies’ songwriting ability. ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Mars’ is certainly a great introduction to the band for those who might not be following them, albeit a rather melancholic one. It displays the classic sound of the band, and is written and produced to perfection.
Arca - Born Yesterday (feat. Sia)Arca has been incredibly busy over the past couple of years, and has cultivated a respectable name for herself within the music production scene. Her heavily industrial and eccentric tracks have influenced artists from Kanye West to SOPHIE, and she has just dropped a whopping 47 new songs across four new records, each named ‘KiCk’, following up 2020’s album of the same name. The latest artist to collaborate with the avant garde industrial producer is pop vocalist Sia in ‘Born Yesterday’, the first single to be released off Arca’s ‘KiCk ii’ back in October. Together they create an ethereal and spacey atmosphere, enveloping Sia’s vocal in echoes whilst wrapping the track in flickering, glitchy synth. Arca uses silence in a superb way, knowing just when to take away from a build up to leave listeners wanting more. ‘Born Yesterday’ takes a while to kick off, but does so in such a teasing and interesting way sonically that the wait adds to the song’s evolution, before it concludes in a speedier and more danceable crescendo.
Genesis Owusu - Waiting on Ya (Jono Ma Remix)‘Waiting On Ya’ was originally released in March of this year, on Genesis Owusu’s record ‘Smiling With No Teeth’, but has been revisited and rereleased with help from producer Jono Ma. The song was originally a more reserved and smooth, slow burning track, but the new version is now way more upbeat and danceable. The song features both rapping and soulful singing from Owusu, which is at the forefront of cascading electronic instrumentation ranging from tinny, trap-style hi-hats and shakers to deep 808 kick sounds. Vocally, Owusu showcases his malleability, able to rattle off rap verses with ease whilst also giving smooth singing performances during the track's catchy choruses. The artist has managed to re-release a track in a form that is just as good, if not better than the original version, which is a somewhat rare talent.
Earl Sweatshirt - 2010
As one of the most recognisable musicians in hip-hop for the past decade or so, you would expect Earl Sweatshirt to be in the limelight much more than he is. The rapper has been known to embrace the more expressive and experimental as of late. His last record, ‘Some Rap Songs’ was as interesting as it was difficult to grasp, looking at the world in a more abstract and introspective way than prior works. ‘2010’ is similarly thoughtful, but is more palatable both in rhyming scheme and instrumental this time around. The song’s backdrop is simplistic, with just occasional synths and a casually classic hip-hop drum groove. The meat of the track is found within Sweatshirt’s lyrics, where he reminisces upon his childhood through relatability. His lyrics are as vague as they are complex, expertly woven in a way that makes listeners think, and his relaxed approach to delivery enforces a thoughtful, scholarly aura around the song.
Wet Leg - Too Late Now
A newer band to emerge over the past year, Wet Leg have been gaining traction over 2021 after releasing the singles ‘Chaise Longue’ and ‘Wet Dream’. Their newest release comes in the form of an EP, which includes the prior releases alongside new tracks ‘Oh No’ and ‘Too Late Now’. The latter is the strongest of the bunch, although fairly sparse instrumentally, although Wet Leg are able to engage listeners with soft spoken lyricism and lo-fi style indie instrumentation. ‘Too Late Now’ uses reverb on guitar throughout, as well as drum patterns that comfortably sit in the background. Where the band shine is in their relaxed vocals and personal lyrics, in conjunction with the more dispersed background instrumentation – the singing has some breathing room, and a more intimate feel. This intimacy turns into immediacy by the song’s halfway mark, where the track’s tempo speeds up into a more punk style, exacerbated by the added distortion on guitars and noisy ambience