Welcome back, music enthusiasts! We trust you’ve all enjoyed a wonderful break and are ready to dive back into the rhythm of fresh tunes. We must confess that while we took a well-deserved week off to recharge our batteries, the world of music didn’t pause. It kept on spinning and churning out fantastic new releases, which means we’ve got a double dose of delightful tunes for you this week. So let’s rewind a little and delve into the standout releases from last week, the gems that dropped while we were off enjoying some sun, sand, and sea. Brace yourselves, because we’re about to journey through a veritable treasure trove of musical gold, with every genre from indie-pop to alternative hip hop, and everything in between. Let’s get started, shall we?
Hannah Wicklund – “Hide and Seek”
Hannah Wicklund’s latest offering, “Hide and Seek,” feels like a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the early, fiery days of a burgeoning relationship. From her upcoming full-length album, “The Prize,” this captivating track stands as a testament to the emotional vertigo that accompanies the volatile mixture of infatuation, anticipation, and anxiety. Wicklund’s signature powerhouse vocals, paired with her hauntingly evocative lyrics, seize the listener’s attention, inviting them into a world where love teeters on the edge of exhilaration and fear. Her ability to articulate this complex emotional landscape marks a sharp departure from her usual focus on the ends of relationships, signifying a promising new direction in her songwriting journey.
At only 26, Wicklund has already amassed an impressive resume, with over 2,600 shows to her credit. Her innate talent and dedication to her craft are evident in the raw, emotive power of her music. Drawing from the wells of rock and soul, Wicklund infuses her sound with a freshness and vitality that simultaneously respect and rejuvenate these timeless genres. “Hide and Seek,” characterized by its gripping dynamism and emotional candor, showcases Wicklund’s maturity, not just as a songwriter, but also as a multi-instrumentalist and vocal powerhouse. With such a strong lead single, “The Prize” promises to be a rich, introspective exploration of Wicklund’s journey from girlhood to womanhood—an auditory testament to her growth as an artist and a human being.
Daisy The Great – “Looking U Up”
In their latest offering, “Looking U Up,” Daisy The Great encapsulates the poignant paradox of contemporary dating: the oscillating tension between the desire for connection and the struggle for independence. Set against the backdrop of today’s social media-fueled dating landscape, the song captures the relentless cycle of online fascination, with lyrics that expose the emotional turmoil of clinging to a digital persona. The track, filled with evocative verses and heart-wrenching choruses, resonates with the unsettled longing of an age that simultaneously craves intimacy and autonomy.
Daisy The Great, helmed by Brooklyn-based duo Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker, have long been recognized for their idiosyncratic blending of indie pop aesthetics with profound lyrical observations. Their sound—a whimsical marriage of First Aid Kit’s angelic harmonies, Kimya Dawson’s poignant plucking, and Lucy Dacus’s raw sincerity—feels both comforting and electrifying. “Looking U Up” exemplifies the duo’s songwriting prowess and their ability to sculpt lush, emotive soundscapes that mirror the fluctuating emotional terrain of their lyrics. As they navigate the labyrinth of modern love, Daisy The Great continue to craft music that resonates deeply with listeners, serving as a stark reminder of the beautiful, chaotic dance between solitude and connection, independence and longing.
Nanuk – “Paint you like a picture”
In a musical landscape often dominated by trends and fads, Nanuk’s latest release, “Paint You Like a Picture,” is a refreshing ode to authenticity and individuality. Echoing the introspective lyricism and poignant acoustics of artists like Sufjan Stevens and Gregory Alan Isakov, the track unfolds like a serene dreamscape. Nanuk’s heartfelt confession—”Let me paint you like a picture, hold on till the dawn comes”—suggests a longing for emotional intimacy that is beautifully captured in the song’s minimalistic yet soulful melody.
Nanuk has always maintained that music is an intensely personal endeavor, and “Paint You Like a Picture” is no exception. The song carries an aura of gentle melancholy, an exploration of the ebbs and flows of love conveyed through raw, emotive lyrics. The track is a tender call to bask in the present moment, with lines like “And we can watch the sunrise, you can spend your whole life laying in my arms” serving as a poignant reminder of love’s ephemeral nature. In a world constantly rushing towards the next big thing, Nanuk invites listeners to slow down, to feel deeply, and to find beauty in the intimate moments that often pass us by unnoticed. In “Paint You Like a Picture,” Nanuk offers not just a song, but a place of solace where the heart can take refuge and find resonance in his soothing melodies and earnest confessions.
Glou-Glou – “Drink Slowly”
In “Drink Slowly,” the debut single from Glou-Glou, a captivating blend of jazz-infused indie-pop captures the listener’s imagination. Born from the musical prowess of Cam Hovsepian, formerly known as mAsis, Glou-Glou – a term borrowed from French oenology signifying the sound of a swiftly emptied bottle – presents a sonically rich composition that takes one on an immersive auditory journey. Similar to the slow appreciation of a fine wine, the song requests listeners to slow down and appreciate the moment, the music, the melody. Cam’s multifaceted musical expertise shines as he demonstrates his skill on guitar, bass, and piano while also providing the vocals and producing the track.
From a narrative standpoint, “Drink Slowly” weaves together a rich tapestry of sensory experiences. The lyrics evoke vivid imagery, encouraging the listener to savor the moment. Phrases like “Slow it down, savor now, close your eyes, tell me, do you taste those flavors?” encapsulate this theme perfectly, drawing parallels to Cam’s dual love for music and winemaking. The song’s deliberate tempo and sinuous melody mirror the act of enjoying a glass of wine, capturing both its instant appeal and the deep satisfaction that arises from a slow, considered appreciation of its subtleties. With his artistic prowess and distinctive sound, Glou-Glou offers an enticing invitation to embrace a slower, more thoughtful rhythm of life and music. Here, the sensual and the sonic blend seamlessly, creating a unique musical experience to be savored and enjoyed – slowly, of course.
Rebuilder – “Another Round”
With their latest release “Another Round,” Rebuilder dives headfirst into the fervor and frantic energy of pop-punk, pairing crunching guitars with a synth line that takes flight in full vigor. This four-minute nonstop musical juggernaut is a testament to the band’s ability to encapsulate raw emotion and reflection into a sonic whirlwind. Rebuilder’s dual songwriting personalities, Sal Ellington and Craig Stanton, continue to shine, with Stanton’s introspective lyrics on “Another Round” contemplating the impact of decisions on the course of one’s life.
Much like the unpredictable ebb and flow of life’s circumstances, “Another Round” features a narrative that fluctuates between poignant self-reflection and unyielding resilience. Stanton sings of forks in the road, both momentous and seemingly insignificant, and the reverberations these choices have on his personal journey. The track also speaks to the band’s origin story, harking back to a 2012 gig in Somerville, Massachusetts, a pivotal point that led to the formation of what we now know as Rebuilder. Such thematic richness is wrapped in the band’s signature gnarly-punk sound, with searing guitars and propulsive rhythms driving the narrative forward.
Not only is “Another Round” a standalone powerhouse, but it also serves as a tantalizing precursor to Rebuilder’s upcoming album “Local Support.” Set for an August 11th release via A-F Records, the album promises a collaborative endeavor featuring various talents from the band’s extended musical family. The spirit of community and camaraderie seeps through “Another Round” and hints at what’s to come on “Local Support,” making this track not only a pop-punk anthem but a testament to the strength and unity of Rebuilder’s musical journey.
Anna Rose – “Already Gone”
Anna Rose’s latest single “Already Gone” treads the intriguing intersection of alt-rock and country-folk, culminating in an emphatic classic-rock crescendo. At once familiar and surprising, the song brings a narrative of introspection, illustrating the emotional turmoil of lingering in a situation long overdue for closure. As the melody unfurls, it becomes clear that “Already Gone” is Rose’s raw and vulnerable confession, a testament to her strength as an artist and her courage to delve into uncharted personal territories.
The magic of “Already Gone” lies in Rose’s profound lyrical candor and the way she encapsulates complex emotions into beautiful metaphors. With lines like “Oh, you really messed me up this time” and “I’m already gone,” Rose confronts the pain of a turbulent relationship, while also acknowledging her self-growth amidst the chaos. This unapologetic self-awareness is a thread running through Rose’s work, showcased in earlier releases like “Pray To The Trees,” “Alameda,” “Back On My Bullshit,” and “Whatever Gets You Through The Night.” Each song in this forthcoming collection reveals another facet of Rose’s journey, with “Already Gone” illuminating her determination to move forward despite setbacks.
Raised in the musical hotbeds of New York and Los Angeles and now calling Nashville home, Anna Rose, the daughter of renowned composer Alan Menken, displays an incredible knack for creating immersive, genre-bending soundscapes. “Already Gone” is no exception, proving yet again her ability to transcend boundaries and weave compelling tales of resilience and redemption. As a precursor to her upcoming album, “Last Girl of the Rodeo,” “Already Gone” is an intoxicating brew of emotion, melody, and raw, unfiltered talent. If this track is any indication, listeners can eagerly anticipate a tour-de-force of musical and emotional depth from Anna Rose’s forthcoming record.
mini mielk – “Slowly Dying”
“Slowly Dying,” the latest single from the multitalented DIY alternative pop artist mini mielk, serves as an enigmatic and haunting exploration of mortality and mental health. The track, a compelling blend of indie dance arrangements and dark pop aesthetics, exposes listeners to the harrowing contemplation of our mortality and vulnerability. Kate, the Ukraine-born, U.S.-based artist behind mini mielk, cloaks these profound themes in a mesmerizing, bewitching vocal performance, resonating with an eerie beauty that is hard to shake off.
The track is further enhanced by the cyberpunk-style official mood video, seamlessly integrating real footage of mini mielk with AI-generated visuals to enhance the song’s brooding atmosphere. Accompanied by two remixes by electronic artist and producer Alexi Action, “Slowly Dying” is a compelling multi-sensory experience. Lyrics such as “Do you think you’re slowly dying?” and “I’m suffocating in my own dream” echo throughout the song, encapsulating a sense of dread, vulnerability, and the often torturous journey of self-discovery. Yet within this darkness, mini mielk manages to find a semblance of relief in the depths of the unconscious, a paradoxical sanctuary from the world’s harsh realities. This haunting paradox solidifies “Slowly Dying” as a poignant testament to mini mielk’s unique brand of somber, introspective pop music that leaves listeners both haunted and deeply moved.
Anna Grillmeir – “Raum”
“Raum,” the title track of Anna Grillmeier’s newest EP, is a deeply introspective and emotionally candid reflection on distance and closeness. Embracing her trademark German-language neo-soul pop style, Grillmeier’s music speaks from the heart, encapsulating a complex spectrum of emotions — life-affirming yet reserved, joyous yet introspective. As the song unfolds, Grillmeier illustrates a profound understanding of the delicate balance between space and intimacy in relationships, giving listeners a unique perspective on the ebbs and flows of love.
Lukas Lautenbacher’s description of the track as “dreamy piano lines with a touch of jazz meet hypnotic drum rhythms with a psychedelic flair” succinctly captures the song’s sonic journey. These rich musical textures serve as the perfect backdrop to Grillmeier’s emotive lyrics, which explore themes of fear, trust, forgiveness, and the delicate dynamics of emotional space in relationships. The lyric “Du hast gesagt, vielleicht brauchen wir noch Raum, Aber will ich das? Wohl kaum” (You said, maybe we still need space, But do I want that? Hardly likely) resonates as a powerful statement on the struggle between our instinctual desires for closeness and the necessity for distance in certain relationships. Overall, “Raum” is a compelling showcase of Anna Grillmeier’s ability to intertwine her heartfelt lyrics with intricate musical arrangements, offering a moving reflection on love’s complexities.
Cortnë – “Angel”
The bittersweet acoustic ballad ‘Angel’ is the second release this year from Cortnë, a rising alt-pop singer-songwriter hailing from Glasgow. Through a heart-wrenching arrangement and a narrative many of us know all too well, Cortnë tells the story of a love interest moving on to what they perceive as their soulmate. Delicate vocals blend with warm, wistful harmonies and gentle acoustic guitar to form an auditory tapestry that fans of Leith Ross, Gabrielle Aplin, and Daughter will find familiarity in. The song’s emotional potency is a testament to producer Jamie Holmes’ finesse at Castle of Doom Studios.With roots both in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Cortnë draws from a deep well of inspiration, including past relationships, feminism, and religious imagery. Her songs, adorned with dreamy harmonies, airy guitars, and driving drums, have found a solid footing on platforms like BBC Introducing Scotland, BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal, and Amazing Radio. Cortnë’s rich and authentic voice, coupled with her heartfelt storytelling, solidifies her place in the alt-pop scene. Having supported acts such as Medowlark, Lauren Hibberd, and ROE, and with a series of high-profile performances under her belt, Cortnë has proven her mettle as an artist to watch. ‘Angel’ solidifies her reputation as a passionate and profound songwriter, one who takes the common pains of romantic infatuation and weaves them into a moving, universal narrative.
Girl As Wave – “Floating”
“Floating,” the second single from Girl As Wave’s forthcoming EP, Time Is Never Shy, is an enchanting anthem of release and liberation, crafted meticulously by the artist Marci Elizabeth and producer Jimmy Deer. For fans of Beach House, Still Corners, and Chromatics, this track provides a familiar yet fresh, ethereal soundscape steeped in dark synth pop, lo-fi indie rock, and dream pop influences. Each note and lyric works in harmony, creating a dreamy panorama that mirrors the ebb and flow of the ocean and our often tumultuous relationship with our own thoughts.Girl As Wave, the brainchild of New York-based artist Marci Elizabeth, showcases a talent for pairing hushed, ethereal vocals with moody, relatable lyrics that are at once deeply introspective and universally empathetic. In “Floating,” she offers a soothing narrative about the power of nature to absorb our anxieties and fears. Her words are a gentle whisper against the sonic backdrop of the track, “I listen to the ocean / Drown out the commotion / All the voices in my mind / Disappearing in the tide.” The song taps into our shared desire for peace, for a moment of respite amidst the chaos, making it a poignant addition to her growing discography. As the song progresses, the sense of weightlessness becomes more pronounced, leaving listeners feeling adrift in the vast expanse of the ocean, “floating” under a “golden sun.” A listen to “Floating” is indeed an immersion, a dive into the depths of Elizabeth’s introspective artistry, buoyed by the transformative power of her music.