Graphic by Nick Hardin / Contributing Writer
One of the most exciting parts of every week is “New Music Fridays.” Every Friday, new albums and singles are released across all streaming platforms for music lovers to consume. The goal of this weekly column is to break down a number of singles that are released on a given Friday and distinguish which tracks I think are the best, the ones that are average and the ones that are simply not good at all. The good thing about this column is that it will not just cover a single genre of music, but it will explore many different realms of the music world, giving you a chance to come across new music discoveries.
Best Tracks of the Week
These are the tracks that I enjoyed the most out of all the singles I listened to this week and can see myself playing on repeat.
- “Snowed In” by Conor Matthews – I just recently discovered Matthews a few weeks ago when I came across his song “Forever Right Now,” which I featured in my Best Tracks Of The Week back in week two. Matthews, a Nashville native, has a very good voice and has a way of writing songs that really stand out and stick with you. This new track is a Christmas song, in a sense. It is a gorgeous piano ballad where Matthews sings about wanting to be snowed in on Christmas with his special someone. A super laid-back, cute song for the holiday season, indeed, this one is.
- “In My Bag” by Ollie Joseph – The funny thing about this song is that I was actually directed to it by Conor Matthews’ Instagram story, the artist previously mentioned above. I figured if Matthews was a fan of this track, there was a chance I would be too, and the track definitely did not disappoint. I had never heard of Ollie Joseph before this track, but this is a song that has me interested in diving deeper into his music catalogue to see what Joseph is all about. The song is upbeat and extremely catchy with a memorable hook sure to get stuck in your head.
- “Don’t Call Me Back” by LA WOMEN – Another group I was unfamiliar with before this article, LA WOMEN is a pop trio from New Zealand whose members include Zach, Jesse and Jake. I will not lie, when I first started to listen to the track, the last thing I expected to hear was a male vocal, but, low and behold, it turns out the whole band consists of men. But, I dig the name nonetheless. “Don’t Call Me Back” is super vibey and wavy. The hook is easy to latch onto, and the vocals are super impressive. Like I mentioned when talking about Ollie Joseph, this song definitely has me interested in digging into the rest of the LA WOMEN music catalog. This song will likely be on repeat for a while. This song is easily my favorite discovery of the week.
Meh Tracks of the Week
These were the tracks that I did not hate but I also did not love. Some of these tracks I may revisit at some point, and others I may not.
- “California” by Jackson Penn – This week’s column is full of artists I had never heard of prior to now, and Jackson Penn guy is no exception. “California” is a super laid-back guitar ballad, talking about the beauty that is California and the lifestyle of living there. As an artist and vocally, Penn reminds me of Jeremy Zucker, who actually is one of my favorite artists, so I definitely enjoyed what I heard from “California.” The hook is another catchy one and is easy to get stuck in your head. This is a song that though I was not absolutely in love with, I will definitely be returning to in the near future and might grow on me the more I listen to it.
- “Reel It In (Remix)” by Amine x Gucci Mane – The original version of this track was released on Amine’s album, ONEPOINTFIVE, back in August. “Reel It In” was by far one of the highlight tracks off of the album, so having this remix released with a Gucci Mane feature just makes it even better. Just when I thought the track could not get any better, they go and drop this version, and I am more than satisfied.
- “Hope You Found What You’ve Been Missing” by Cults – I am not really sure what it was about this song that drew me in. I guess it was the subtle intro of the vocals in the beginning of the track. It starts off with a nice, soft, almost Christmas-sounding instrumental with bells ringing in the background, and then, out of nowhere, around the forty-second mark, you get blasted with gorgeous autotuned vocals that find great balance over the loud, vibrant instrumental. This is not necessarily a song I will have on repeat, but it was enjoyable regardless and is a song I could see playing in the background as I try to study for a big test or put up the Christmas tree at my parents’ house.
Worst Tracks of the Week
These were the tracks that just were not doing it for me. I simply did not enjoy the tracks listed below, and I will not be revisiting them anytime soon.
- “Better Together” by Boston Run – Every week I seem to come across tracks that are hard to sit all the way through, and this was one of them. The entire almost first minute is nothing but repeating of the phrase “better together” and then out of nowhere, an overly repetitive, simple instrumental appears and almost makes it worse, just when you think that is not possible. Do yourself a favor and avoid this supposed “dance” track.
- “Doorman” by slowthai x Mura Masa – This song sounds like it belongs in a terrible skateboarding video game from 2005 on PlayStation 2. That may not resonate with some of you, but others can probably imagine the exact sound of this cut. It is loud, rough and features a lot of terrible guitar riffs with rusty vocals. This was another song I almost could not finish and am not sure what the objective of this track was.
- “Cool Being You” by Dynamite Dylan – Holy cringe, this is not the one. To tell you the truth, I knew I might be setting up myself up for disaster when I saw the artist’s name was “Dynamite Dylan.” I think this guy is one of those long-lost Vine kids that decided to try and become a singer before the app became nonexistent. Maybe 13-year-old girls will like this, but outside of that demographic, I cannot see this song reaching the masses and finding an audience that is actually entertained by it.
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