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This week sees some new albums such as RAYE’s ‘My 21st Century Blues’ as well
as the Deluxe version of Ella Mai’s 2022 LP ‘Heart On My Sleeve’.

New tracks this week state the arrival of a new shift in worldview this year. Gone are the days of singing of sadness, and toxic and unfulfilling relationships. Anne-Marie and Ellie Goulding lead the march to a joy-affirming pop style. However, Irish band Inhaler and Stephen Sanchez are still in their Sad Boy era, and that’s okay too.

  1. Stephen Sanchez – Evangeline

Nashville-based musician Stephen Sanchez’s fame skyrocketed last year when his song “Until I Found You” went viral on social media. Now, the singer-songwriter has dropped “Evangeline”, a sadly romantic ballad accompanied by a tambourine; it’s in the same lane as his previous music. The track originated after playing around with a sample from the 1968 hit “Honey” by Bobby Goldboro. 

“This song really made music fun for me again”, gushed Sanchez. “It’s opened a world and lore I’m excited to invite fans into.”

  1. Anne-Marie – SAD B!TCH

British pop girl Anne-Marie has made a by-the-numbers dance tune called “SAD B!TCH”. With this, the Essex-born performer declares a shift in her attitude to life. “Being sad is so last year, I’m over it”, she sings, “everyone so down round there, the sight of it. I just wanna be with my friends, and f–ked up, very rich”. Clearly, the Sad Girl era is over.

  1. Ellie Goulding – Like A Saviour

The “Love Me Like You Do” hitmaker is set to release her studio album ‘Higher Than Heaven’ on March 24. The latest single from the record is “Like A Saviour”, an ode to the kind of love that heals. “Tired of holding on to the memories. How I used to bleed for love”, the lyrics go. “Got sick of the battle. Cleaned myself, I hoped for the better”.

  1. TeaMarrr – Stunt Double

Artist TeaMarrr can not make a single bad song. And part of the reason why is her unique voice which is so refined that it needs no autotune. In the marvellously inventive “Stunt Double”, the Haitian-American songbird zips between singing and rapping against a jazz-y piano sound.

  1. Olivia Dean – UFO

Londoner Olivia Dean is known to make soulful pop music. Her 2022 single, “Danger” was a great example of that. But the succeeding single by her is more muted.

“I wanted it to feel intimate and existential and so we kept it simple with guitar and a vocoder ”, Dean commented on “UFO”. The song paints a poignant picture of being lovestruck and it’s adorable. 

The songwriting is also one of the best writing this week. “If love’s the drug then I’m a mug. And I’ve tried plenty of them”, the 23-year-old croons. “You’re the best version that I’ve seen”. “I need somewhere to land. I might as well fall into your earthly hands. So let me know, UFO”. Brilliant.

  1. Inhaler – If You’re Gonna Break My Heart

The Dublin-based band is like a cross between late Arctic Monkeys and The Smiths. The song has hints of toxic relationships, co-dependency, and limerence. It’s the kind of situation many have been through in the past but are moving forward from. So it’s still painful to listen to.”

If you’re gonna break my heart, smash it to pieces. ‘Cause I’m not gonna need it as much as I do right now” Inhaler is set to release their sophomore album, ‘Cuts & Bruises’, on February 17.

  1. PinkPantheress, Ice Spice – Boy’s a liar Pt. 2

British TikTok sensation PinkPantheress released “Boy’s a liar” as part of her ‘Take Me Home’ EP last year. And now, she has remixed it by featuring Bronx rapper Ice Spice. 

“When it comes to collaborations, I’m quite picky: I always want someone who can match me well on a track,” PinkPantheress said to NME. “Even though Ice Spice does drill, her flows are super unique and the beats she chooses are different”. 

A commenter on the internet observed that the track “is so Y2K Myspace Internet pop rap and I live for it”, and I agree. Rapper Ice Spice recently dropped her debut EP “Like.. ?” which, to me, was underwhelming and overhyped. But let’s see where she and Pink go next.

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