New Music Friday: Everything out today you need to listen to
Olivia Rodrigo supremacy rages on
New Music Friday can be so overwhelming. Where to start? Where to stop? Not everyone’s got a spare hour to sift through their Spotify release radar to find their new favourite songs. With that in mind, we’ve been charitable enough to do it for you. Here’s a quick roundup of the 10 best new songs out this New Music Friday and the albums released that are definitely worth a spin:
Elton John and Years & Years – It’s a Sin
Fresh off the back of the EXCELLENT live debut performance at the Brit Awards on Tuesday, Elton and Olly Alexander have put their cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ classic on streaming services. It strikes an amazing balance between the ballad version Olly released earlier in the year as the Russell T Davies’ show of the same name premiered and the uptempo 80s queer dance music of the original – and features career best vocals from Olly.
Listen if you love: Going to gay clubs and having the best nights of your life
Olivia Rodrigo – good 4 u
The third single from Olivia Rodrigo’s incoming debut album is another reminder of why she’s the biggest new name in music right now. A full 00s inspired pop punk explosion, it’s a departure from mega-hit Driver’s License’s Taylor Swift-esque balladry and Deja Vu’s surfy love song energy and shows Rodrigo is as diverse as she is exciting. Her debut record, Sour, drops next Friday.
Listen if you love: Taylor Swift or Avril Lavigne – take your pick
COBRAH – GOOEY FLUID GIRLS
Should be illegal for a song that bangs this hard to come out whilst clubs remain shut, but alas, that’s the world we live in. COBRAH dropped her self titled EP this week, and this new track is a hyper pop dance explosion that interpolates Pretty Girls by Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea and twists that lacklustre song to new heights.
Listen if you love: Charli XCX, SOPHIE, Britney Spears on acid
Katy Perry – Electric
Didn’t have Katy Perry collaborating with Pikachu on my 2021 bingo card but here we are. Released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon, it’s a power pop moment in the same vein of her last lead single Never Really Over. Don’t spend the song wondering when Pikachu is gonna sing his verse though because you’ll be disappointed.
Listen if you love: Carly Rae Jepsen and trying to catch a Charizard on Pokémon GO
Wolf Alice – No Hard Feelings
Following the Bowie-esque wow of The Last Man on Earth and the frenetic rock energy of Smile, Wolf Alice’s third single release from their incoming album is a softer acoustic effort in the same world as their debut record. It’s a really gorgeous and gentle affair that lets the plucking of the guitar and lead singer Ellie Rowsell’s breathy vocals speak for themselves.
Listen if you love: Phoebe Bridgers
Au/Ra – Bite Marks
Au/Ra has had huge commercial success with her dance influenced earlier work such as Panic Room and I Miss U (with Jax Jones), but this year, her direction has veered to synthy pop with a dark, horror-esque vibe that is really hitting hard. This follows Dead Girl! from earlier in 2021 and is bursting with personality.
Listen if you love: Kim Petras and the Twilight soundtrack
Laura Mvula – Got Me
2021 is shaping up to be pretty excellent for Laura Mvula. Got Me is the third single off her upcoming album that’s set for a June release – and continues her veer into a full 80s electro pop sound that works brilliantly for her.
Listen if you love: Watching vintage workout videos from the 80s and pretending you’re in a film
Priya Ragu – Forgot About
Priya Ragu’s sublime Chicken Lemon Rice from earlier this year has been on loop, and today she is BACK! It’s a soulful affair that echoes the early work of the Sugababes and is just an amazing showcase for her vocals.
Listen if you love: Jorja Smith
Sugababes – Run For Cover (MNEK Remix)
The OG three are back! MNEK brings a new lease of life to one of their most underrated singles and adds in his own verse. It’s the first single from their upcoming rerelease of their debut album One Touch. The album is turning 20 and is still their best, and is an absolute artistic feat – written and recorded when Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan were just 13.
Listen if you love: 00s girl groups still being icons in 2021
Lxandra – Sideways
If you haven’t heard of Lxandra, then make sure this is your introduction to her. The Finnish singer-songwriter is about to drop her debut album in June, and has used today’s New Music Friday to give us her best song yet. Funky, 80s bassline and scandipop vocals are a match made in heaven.
Listen if you love: Sigrid and Dua Lipa
St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home
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One of the most anticipated albums of 2021 is finally here, and it’s already gaining the critical acclaim that’s become synonymous with pretty much every St. Vincent release. Annie Clark produced her sixth album with Jack Antonoff, who also worked extensively on her last release – 2017’s sublime MASSEDUCTION. Sound wise, it’s a dreamy haze of New York City inspired woozy 70s rock, and the concept of the album was influenced by Clark’s father’s prison release in 2019. Arguably the coolest sounding album of the year so far.
Standout tracks: Pay Your Way In Pain, Down, Live In The Dream
Nicki Minaj – Beam Me Up Scotty
— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) May 14, 2021
Big day for the Barbz this New Music Friday – Nicki’s iconic 2009 mixtape, largely credited for establishing her devout fanbase and ushering in her mainstream breakthrough, is finally on streaming with a 2021 rerelease including NEW SONGS. Nicki opens the mixtape with the huge new track Seeing Green that reunites her with Lil Wayne and Drake. The whole tape feels so nostalgic – and reminds you why she established herself so quickly as the queen of rap.
Standout tracks: Seeing Green, Boss Ass Bitch, I Get Crazy, Envy