Tai Verdes – A OK
A-O-K falls in line with many songs meant to uplift one’s morale. But it isn’t here to preach that everything is going to be fine. Rather, it is about making do with what one has. Verdes sings that he’s going to be “a-o-k” because that is the attitude he has chosen to deal with whatever kind of lemons life throws at him. He’ll just “be making lemonade,” even if it ends up tasting not so great.
Ben Rector – Range Rover
Co-written with Mark Trussell and Devin Dawson, the rollicking track conjures images of the open road as Rector croons about finding love with a woman who’ll look past his beat-up Honda Civic with “blown speakers and a broke A/C.” “My genuine hope is that it’s a fun, three-and-a-half-minute road trip,” Rector said of the song.
Japanese Breakfast – Be Sweet
Written with Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing, the song rattles with energy, trading previous influences like shoegaze and Pacific Northwest indie rock for danceable ’80s synth-pop. The music video is sure to put a smile on your face!
Lorde – Solar Power
Lorde talks about writing the new single: “I was on Martha’s Vineyard with my good friend, Cazzie, staying at her house. We had just been for a big swim, all day,” she recalled of the day she began the song. “My hair was wet, and when I came back into my room, I had my a little Yamaha DX keyboard, and I just started singing… and kind of figuring this thing out.”
The Neighbourhood – Stargazing
The vignette finds frontman Jesse Rutherford as the metallic-painted man, Chip Chrome, traveling with girlfriend Devon Lee Carlson in an airstream, going door-to-door at celebrities’ houses attempting to entertain them. Lana Del Rey, Blake Griffin, Jaden Smith, Mac DeMarco, Benny Blanco and Alexa Demie all open the door, reacting in every way from slamming the door in his face or embracing the new visitor.
Billie Eilish – Lost Cause
In her self-directed video for new single “Lost Cause,” the 19-year-old and her co-stars just wanted to have “the time of our lives being hot,” as she put it on her Instagram. The crew is in full sleepover mode, playing Twister, having water gun and silly string fights, and eating late-night snacks.
John Mayer – Last Train Home
Mayer revealed that the single was inspired by the “security blanket” of his nostalgia for 1980s music. I asked myself, ‘What music makes me feel like everything’s going to be OK?’ ” he said. “And it’s the music I listened to growing up in the ‘80s. There’s a security-blanket aspect about that sound that reminds me of a safer time.”
Joy Oladokun feat. Maren Morris – Bigger Man
“In my life, I sometimes experience being the youngest and the most inexperienced, and yet I have to conduct myself as though I am way above my years or my maturity. I think it’s an old feeling, especially for women and people of color, of having to be stronger, better, brighter and harder-working at everything just to get a shot. We wrote from that place and the song was born.”
Noah Kahan – Part Of Me
“‘Part of Me’ is a song about someone looking back on an almost-romance and realizing that what felt like simply a passing moment of connection between two people was actually far more significant and represented a larger loneliness within. Drifting through life and avoiding feelings for anyone or anything is something I’m far too familiar with, and sometimes one experience with somebody can open somebody’s heart and force them to be vulnerable again.”
Leon Bridges – Motorbike
A light departure from the deep fried southern soul that Bridges is famous for, ‘Motorbike’ is a smoother, more electronic effort. It’s not like this is a techno song, but its gently trippy drum loop and greater reliance of synths and keyboards is a departure from the horn sections and wide open live sound of his past work.
Vance Joy – Missing Piece
“I wrote this song during one of the lengthy lockdowns in Melbourne in 2020. I was at that time, like a lot of people, separated from someone I love due to travel restrictions and the lyrics tell that story. The lyrics come from a hopeful place. Whatever the time and distance apart you’re both gonna keep holding the line.”
Chvrches – He Said She Said
The track features lead singer Lauren Mayberry recalling horrific statements made to her by men — “He said, ‘You need to be fed, but keep an eye on your waistline’” — over looming synthesizers. The track was made in quarantine, while Mayberry and Martin Doherty were in Los Angeles and Iain Cook was in Glasgow, Scotland.
Coldplay – Higher Power
The British band initially premiered the Max Martin-produced song and its video in space, first sharing it with French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who is currently onboard the International Space Station. After listening to the track for the first time onboard the ISS, the song was then released via Parlophone/Atlantic to more earthly listeners.
Modest Mouse – We Are Between
Modest Mouse have released a visualizer for their first new track in six years. The song, entitled “We Are Between,” comes from their forthcoming album, “The Golden Casket.” Epic Records sent over the following details: “The Golden Casket heralds another new chapter in the band’s unpredictable evolution. Produced with Dave Sardy and Jacknife Lee in Los Angeles and in Modest Mouse’s studio in Portland, the album hovers in the liminal space between raw punk power and experimental studio science.”
Aurora – Runaway
Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora released her breakthrough single “Runaway” over six years ago, but thanks to TikTok users taking a liking to the track, it has seen a huge boost in streaming numbers.
The Black Keys – Crawling Kingsnake
“Kingsnake” is a cover of the 1920s Delta blues song, “Crawling King Snake.” It was famously covered by John Lee Hooker in 1949, who reimagined Big Joe Williams’ country-blues version from 1941. The music video was filmed at Jimmy Duck Holmes’ Blue Front Café — the oldest active juke joint in America.
Kaleo – Break My Baby
The music video for this song was filmed on top of Þrídrangar in Iceland. Þrídrangar, which translates to “three rock pillars,” is a beautiful rock formation surrounded by crystal blue Icelandic waters.
Lake Street Dive – Hypotheticals
Produced and directed by Oskar Peacock, the video for “Hypotheticals” is inspired by the 1998 Jim Carrey film The Truman Show as bandmembers appear on a myriad of screens. Before a background reminiscent of the black-and-white floors of Twin Peaks, the band’s performance is indicative of a more corporal world.
Beabadoobee – Last Day On Earth
The song was co-written and co-produced by the 1975’s Matty Healy and George Daniel.
Beach Bunny – Cloud 9
The song came about when singer-guitarist Lili Trifilio wanted to write a “true, gushy, genuine love song” during a “questionable point” in her relationship. “I hope that anyone who listens to this song can feel the love in the lyrics and give love a chance, as well as remember to always love themselves first and foremost,” she said.
The Knocks (featuring Foster The People) – All About You
It’s been two years since The Knocks teamed up with Foster the People on “Ride or Die,” their unforgettable first collaboration which wound up being 2018’s undisputed Song of the Summer and streaming over 100 million times. The Knocks are thrilled to follow it up with the release of “All About You” feat. Foster the People.
Clinton Kane – Chicken Tendies
After overwhelming fan demand for the track, Norwegian-Filipino singer/songwriter Clinton Kane has shared “Chicken Tendies,” his first single of the New Year. The 21-year-old multi-instrumentalist backs the bittersweet song with such soul and emotion, demonstrating remarkable talent beyond his years.
Lord Huron – Not Dead Yet
“Not Dead Yet” is an uplifting expression paired with a video finding the band performing in the Whispering Pines studio. The setting forms a place where time seems to blur and the long-lost musicians who previously occupied the studio merge with the present day.
Imagine Dragons – Follow You
Imagine Dragons first shared “Follow You” alongside another single, “Cutthroat.” The pair of tracks, which will be featured on a forthcoming album, are the band’s first new music since 2018’s Origins.
Dayglow – Close to You
Building off of the continually mounting success from his debut album Fuzzybrain, Sloan Struble (aka Dayglow) enters 2021 with “Close to You,” his first song in two years.
Olivia Rodrigo – Deja Vu
“Deja Vu” was always going to be the second single, even before Rodrigo saw that her first single went viral. “In my Notes App on my phone, I have all of these poems and little song concepts,” she says. “One of the little hook lines that I had was ‘When she was with you do you get deja vu?’”
Elle King & Miranda Lambert – Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)
Elle King and Miranda Lambert have teamed up for this exhilarating new duet, which marks the former tourmates’ second recorded collaboration after the CMA-winning cover of “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”
Passenger – Sword From The Stone
Written during lockdown, “Sword From The Stone” is in keeping with the breakup record feel of the new album. Lyrically, it sees Mike Rosenberg (aka Passenger) struggle with feelings of loneliness during these isolating times and reflecting on a past love.
carolesdaughter – Violent
This striking single sheds light on a rugged relationship the artist had with personal memories attached to the lyrics. The single was released along with a captivating and nostalgic lyric video that features her in a black spiked necklace, scissors in hand as she coolly cuts through an array of teddy bears.
21 Pilots – Shy Away
Possibly indicating a slightly new direction for the group, “Shy Away” acts as a litmus test for the band as they wade into new waters with a more upbeat, electronic pop style.
Zach Bryan – Heading South
First comment on YouTube: “You know it’s good when no one is bitching about it being filmed vertically.”
Chet Faker – Low
Nick Murphy is back with new music, except this time it’s under his Chet Faker alter ego. After five long years, the Australian artist has revived the old moniker for this new single.
Manchester Orchestra – Bed Head
“‘Bed Head’ is two old friends existing in two separate realities,” the band’s Andy Hull said. “It’s a conversation about the lives they lived, the consequences of life’s decisions, and finding purpose in trying to be better.”
The Strumbrellas – Greatest Enemy
This song is about how sometimes the toughest battle is the one you have with yourself. The Strumbellas had a rough start to 2020 with canceled tours and mental health struggles, and then the pandemic happened. This is a song about facing the one fight you can’t run from.
HAIM (featuring Taylor Swift) – Gasoline
About working with Swift on “Gasoline,” HAIM wrote, “when we were thinking about ways to reimagine some of the tracks from the record, we immediately thought of her. She brought such amazing ideas and new imagery to the song and truly gave it a new life.”
Tom Odell – Another Love