A round-up of the week’s hottest releases.
Two of the year’s most anticipated albums are included on this week’s New Music Fridays with Charlie XCX and Rosalia both staking a claim for 2022’s queen of pop.
Elsewhere, we have indie and psych-rock sounds from New Zealand and Texas, plus a few singles to get your weekend up and running.
Charlie XCX – CRASH
British singer-songwriter Charli XCX has been steadily establishing herself for almost a decade now, but really burst onto the international scene with her last two projects – Charli in 2019 and How I’m Feeling Now in 2020, both receiving widespread critical acclaim.
Just in time for spring, her latest record CRASH was one of the most anticipated albums of the year and it doesn’t disappoint. Lots of self-care anthems that are suitable for dancefloors, bedrooms, solo car journeys and everywhere in between. Described by herself as her “selling out” album, CRASH embraces major label pop music and hints towards a future as one of the leading pop artists for the next few years, up there with the likes of Ariana Grande, Doja Cat and Dua Lipa.
Rosalia – MOTOMAMI
Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalia has been building hype for a while and could be about to level up to the global pop superstar tier after the release of her third studio album MOTOMAMI. The record sees her move away from Spanish rap and grime and moves towards poppy reggaeton and bachata.
She effortlessly blends elements of rap, R&B, and pop with a Spanish twist to create a truly unique global sound; in the same bracket as FKA Twigs, Rosalia has carved out her own groove in pop music and transcends traditional genre categorization.
Yumi Zouma – Present Tense
New Zealand alternative pop band Yuri Zouma released their fourth studio album this week, a classic 2010s wispy indie record that champions the sound they have been homing in on for years now. Present Tense is the kind of record that would go well with long drives at night or when you’re heading home from a party; it’s light and easy but also heavy with emotion and feeling.
As we emerge from our two-year hibernation and are met with yet more uncertainty in the world, this record and its title are reminders to remain present and try to enjoy what’s directly in front of you.
Midlake – For the Sake of Bethel Woods
For the Sake of Bethel Woods is Texas folk-rock band Midlake’s fifth studio album and their first in six years. The record was reportedly inspired by a dream that keyboardist Jesse Chandler had, in which his late father urged him to reform the band.
The record definitely has that dreamy psychedelic prog-rock feel to it, particularly within the keyboard solos and wistful lyricism. Its thoughtful direction takes listeners on a hazy journey through explorations of loss, memory and reclamation.