Explore the freshest sounds in music with our handpicked selection of the top 7 new songs. Featuring the empowering melodies of Emily De Nando ‘s “Signora,” and the striking tunes of Hurray for the Riff Raff‘s “Alibi,” each track is a testament to the dynamic nature of modern sound. From Tems‘ inspiring “Not an Angel” to Danny Brown‘s reflective “Jenn’s Terrific Vacation,” dive into a world where melody meets storytelling. Join us on this journey, showcasing the diverse spectrum of contemporary soundscapes.
1. Hurray for the Riff Raff: “Alibi”
Hurray for the Riff Raff‘s latest single “Alibi,” from their upcoming album ‘The Past Is Still Alive,’ set to release on February 23, 2024, through Nonesuch Records, showcases the band’s profound storytelling and melodic prowess. The track, penned by Alynda Segarra, is a reflection on the impermanence of life and the choices we make. Its lyrics weave a narrative of self-preservation, suggesting that one doesn’t have to succumb to fate. Segarra’s voice, combined with the evocative melody, creates a hauntingly beautiful soundscape that lingers long after the song ends.
The music video for “Alibi,” directed and produced by Eric Stafford with creative direction by Alynda Mariposa Segarra herself, complements the song’s thematic elements with striking visuals. Additional footage by Kat Sotelo adds layers to the narrative, portraying a journey of self-discovery and confrontation with one’s demons. The imagery of thawing hearts and East River Park scenes, interspersed with references to life’s unpredictability and challenges, echoes the track’s introspective lyrics.
2. Wishy: “Spinning”
Wishy’s single “Spinning,” from their EP ‘Paradise,’ released via Winspear, captures the essence of self-discovery with its melodious rhythm. The lyric video, crafted by Reed Brown, visually encapsulates the song’s introspective nature, adding a layer of depth to the listening experience. The track stands out for its honest portrayal of self-reflection. This theme of searching for one’s identity is beautifully portrayed through the metaphor of spinning around on the kitchen floor, symbolizing the dizzying journey of self-exploration and the ups and downs that accompany it.
The track skillfully intertwines feelings of loneliness and the desire for connection, resonating with the universal longing for understanding and companionship, further highlighting the song’s emotional depth. Wishy’s ability to convey complex emotions through simple yet powerful lyrics, combined with captivating melodies, makes “Spinning” a memorable track from the ‘Paradise’ EP.
3. Tems: “Not an Angel”
Tems’ song “Not an Angel” is an empowering anthem about self-realization and moving on from a relationship that no longer serves one’s best interests. The lyrics convey the journey from feeling undervalued and overwhelmed in a relationship to a place of strength and independence. Throughout the single, the narrator recognizes her own worth, declaring that she is not an angel but a girl who understands the truth of her situation. This realization empowers her to leave behind a partner who couldn’t appreciate her struggles and contributions.
The song’s theme is about letting go of what holds you back, cutting losses in peace, and moving forward without regret. It resonates with anyone who has experienced a transformative journey of self-discovery, especially in the context of a challenging relationship. The chorus, with its repeated assertion “I’m not an angel,” becomes a mantra of self-acceptance and resilience.
4. English Teacher: “Mastermind Specialism”
“Mastermind Specialism” by English Teacher is a captivating and introspective track that delves into the theme of decision paralysis. The song, a part of their first LP, follows their debut EP ‘Polyawkward’ and singles like “The World’s Biggest Paving Slab” and “Nearly Daffodils.” Lily Fontaine, the band’s bandleader, expresses a personal journey through the lyrics, reflecting on her struggles with making decisions about crucial aspects of life such as career, religion, and personal identity.
The song resonates with the feeling of being caught in-between, a sentiment stemming from Fontaine’s experiences of constant relocation and being mixed-race. The lyrics, rich with metaphors and references, paint a vivid picture of the internal conflict and uncertainty that comes with life’s myriad choices. This track stands out for its minimalistic approach yet packs a profound emotional punch, speaking to those who find themselves at life’s crossroads, pondering the paths not taken.
5. Danny Brown: “Jenn’s Terrific Vacation”
Danny Brown’s “Jenn’s Terrific Vacation,” a standout track from his album ‘Quaranta’, delves into the stark realities of urban gentrification and the displacement it causes. Through his vivid storytelling, the rapper paints a picture of a neighborhood undergoing drastic change. This song is a commentary on the social and economic shifts in urban communities, highlighting the tension between old residents and new developments. The artist’s observations, coupled with his unique delivery, make this release a reflection of the broader changes in urban America.
The song also touches on personal struggles amidst these changes. Danny Brown’s narrative skillfully intertwines the macro-level societal transformations with the micro-level impacts on individuals who find themselves marginalized by these shifts. “Jenn’s Terrific Vacation” resonates with listeners who have witnessed or experienced the effects of gentrification, making it a voice for those often unheard in the rapid evolution of cityscapes.
6. Emily De Nando: “Signora”
Emily De Nando‘s “Signora,” is a tribute to the spirit of the contemporary self-reliant woman. This unique fusion of English pop music interlaced with a classic Italian phrase encapsulates the essence of feminine empowerment. The song’s stunning video is set against the awe-inspiring Italian landscapes, adding a layer of visual poetry to the celebration of women’s independence and self-identity.
In this song, the term ‘lady’ is redefined as a symbol of strength and self-respect. Through her debut single, Emily seeks to pay homage to women who assert their independence, making conscious and resolute life choices. She hopes the track resonates with audiences, inspiring them to appreciate the blend of different cultural elements and the underlying message of empowerment that it conveys, reflecting the joy and passion she poured into its creation and artistic expression.
7. Allison: “Blue Christmas”
Allison, a gifted singer-songwriter hailing from Canada, revitalizes the beloved holiday classic “Blue Christmas” with her unique and refreshing interpretation. This song, historically dominated by male voices with Elvis Presley’s iconic version being the most renowned, experiences a creative shift in the emerging artist’s rendition, marking a significant departure from the conventional.
Drawing inspiration from a diverse range of musical legends, including the likes of Elvis, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, and Charles Aznavour, Allison infuses her music with a blend of their unique styles and emotionally charged performances. Her goal is to evoke profound feelings in her audience, and with her innovative cover of “Blue Christmas,” she is poised to make an unforgettable impact this festive season.