New music weekly


Here’s where to find all things new music

Austen Young, Staff Writer

Welcome to new music weekly.


  • The Smashing Pumpkins announced a sequel to “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness,” a 33-track, three-sided rock opera coming next year and clocks in at more than two hours. 
  • Also this week, Snail Mail and Mac DeMarco announced a new collaboration “Peppermint Patty.”
  • Jean Dawson’s “CHAOS NOW*” releases Oct. 17.


“I Don’t Think I Like Her” by Charlie Puth

Genre: Pop

Rating: [4/10]

I know I don’t like it. It’s another Charlie Puth song, just more contrived and whiny.  Same basic production and obnoxious vocal inflections are expected. What really puts the icing on this otherwise bland and distasteful cake are the awful lyrics.  The lyrics here are just corny and desperate, especially the hook, “Girls are all the same, all they wanna do is break my heart.” Puth just sounds childish, and it shows through all of his work.


“It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everyone” by Weyes Blood

Genre: Baroque Pop

Rating: [9/10]

This new song from Weyes Blood is such a beautiful ballad.  Her songwriting is on point as always, and the song has a wonderful instrumental backing.  At more than 6 minutes it doesn’t overstay its welcome but almost “understays” because I want to hear so much more from her upcoming record.


“Ovule” by Björk

Genre: Art Pop

Rating: [9/10]

The instrumental is less in your face than “Atopos,” and it gives Björk the perfect opening to show her vocals are still as fantastic.  That isn’t to say the instrumental isn’t equally serene.  This one deserves subsequent listens to pick up everything this track has to offer.


“Blue Sand” by Lil Ugly Mane

Genre: Lofi Rock

Rating: [8/10]

A new genre endeavor for LUM, this time it is lo-fi rock. Lil Ugly Mane has had a huge change as an artist as of lately, going from a rapper, to a really interesting producer, then a hypnagogic pop artist, and now a really depressing lo-fi rock artist.  “Blue Sand” is just a really great traditional lo-fi rock track that makes LUM sound like a seasoned veteran to the genre.


“Washed Away” by Kelela 

Genre: Ambient Pop

Rating: [8/10]

Smooth ambient pop will never get old, Kelela’s vocals just shine over this simple yet divine instrumental.  The little breakdown at the end just sounds spatial and beautiful, songs have a bit of a short feeling and might benefit from being a bit longer though.


“Drain Story” by Bladee

Genre: Experimental Cloud Rap

Rating: [7/10]

As a first single it is really offbeat, playful, and fun. Bladee pulls through with a track that is silly fun, the beat is bouncy, Bladee sounds as goofy as ever, the lyrics are catchy and boastful and it gets me super excited for his next album.


“PIRATE RADIO*” by Jean Dawson

Genre: Folk Pop

Rating: [8/10]

Absolutely wild change of pace for Jean, “PIRATE RADIO*” shows his pure range from the poppy tunes, to the harder rock tracks, and experimental rap songs, Jean is just a total juggernaut.  This is his take on folk pop and it works well. Jean’s voice is usually really powerful but he draws it back more to match the strings on the instrumental and it comes together very well.



“Four Songs” by Blood Orange

Genre: Alternative RnB

Rating: [7/10]

The title is just as it sounds, it’s a short four song EP from Blood Orange and it is a lovely listen.  At around 10 minutes “Four Songs” is a great teaser from Dev Hynes.  Every track has it’s distinctly beautiful uniqueness to it from “Jesus Freak Lighters” just all around slickness, “Something You Know” which is even more lowkey with more of a focus on Dev’s vocals, “Wish” is more muddied with the droning instrumental and drums, and “Relax and Run” which is a lovely collab between Blood Orange, Erika de Casier, and Eva Tolkin that weaves the 3 together seamlessly. 

Favorite Tracks: All

Least Favorite: None



“Hold the Girl” by Rina Sawayama

Genre: Alternative Pop

Rating: [7/10]

The 2nd album from Rina Sawama is an impressive display of pop potential, but also a disappointing follow-up.  Her debut “SAWAYAMA” released in 2020, was one of the most interesting and fresh feeling pop releases of the year.  It mixed Rina’s great vocals with cool heavy rock riffs and insanely catchy hooks for something that felt like a breath of fresh air.  I’m not trying to discredit “Hold the Girl” at all, it is a pretty good pop album that still has Rina and her great voice at the forefront while still dabbling in minor experimental segments.  There are a lot of super catchy songs here like “This Hell” but also more personal tracks like “Phantom” that give the album its balance that works in the albums favor to make it a decent enough follow-up. The bigger question I have from here on is where will Rina go from here?  She has already gained a lot of success from this album, so will she continue down this path or will she try something new?

Favorite Songs: “Hold the Girl”, “This Hell, “ Hurricanes”, “Send My Love To John”, “Imagining”, and “To Be Alive”

Least Favorites: None


“Decide” by Djo

Genre: Neo-Psychedelia

Rating: [8/10]

The second album from Joe Keery’s musical project Djo is brimming with catchy fun in this psychedelic pop trip.  In a time where the 80’s synth-pop is overused as it is, Djo shows how it is still very alive in heart.  Every song is catchy, sparkling and  incredibly strong from the sides of singing, production, and song-writing, it encapsulates the glitzy glamor of the disco filled 80’s.  Tracks like “Gloom”, “Fool”, and “Climax” all have these great hooks, smooth production, and decent enough song-writing to differentiate Joe from contemporaries of the genre.

Favorite Songs: “Gloom”, “Half Life”, “Fool”, “Climax”, “Change”, and “Figure You Out”

Least Favorite: None


“The Mars Volta” by The Mars Volta

Genre: Art Pop

Rating: [5/10]

The El Paso based former Progressive Rock duo turned Art Pop artists return after 10 years, and come through with a new album that falls flat on its face on what it wants to be.  The Mars Volta’s self-titled should be their defining album right?  Well, not at all actually.  The Mars Volta are at heart a Prog Rock band, their first two album “De-Loused in the Comatorium” and “Frances the Mute” are some of my favorites of the genre with how they mixed their dense instrumentals with catchy hooks and powerful vocals, so then why is this album how it is.  This album is nothing like the Prog of their youth, this is just a Yacht Rock influenced Art Pop album and not a very good one.  The band threw out their intense sound for a safe and unfun jab at a new genre, which shows through on tracks like “Vigil”, the instrumental is airy and beachy and Cedric’s vocals sound just plain bad.  Then there is “Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi Corazón” which is just a terrible take on a Salsa song, it really just doesn’t work for a band like Mars Volta.  The album comes and goes sluggishly and the ideas rarely stick for longer than a few minutes in this disappointing return for the duo.

Favorite Songs: None

Least Favorites: “Shore Story”, “Vigil”, “Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi Corazón”, and “Flash burns From Flashbacks”


“Demon Time” by Mura Masa

Genre: Electronic

Rating: [7/10]

The British electronic producer’s 4th album is a fun time with a cool cast of artists.  I’ve had my eye on Mura for a while now, his albums have never wowed me, but they’ve always had interesting ideas and Mura Masa has always had his own unique production with some really good songs thrown into them.  “Demon Time” is by no means a congruent project, it kinda just throws its ideas into a pot and stirs them around along with its diverse collaborators and out comes a short lived but very fun album.  Speaking of collaborators, there are a lot, from rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, Slowthai, and Shygirl to singers like PinkPantheress, Tohji, Erika De Casier, and Channel Tres, some coming together for really interesting combinations like “bbycakes” with Lil Uzi Vert, PinkPantheress, and Shygirl, to tracks where a single artist gets the spotlight like on the beautiful “e-motions” starring Erika De Casier or “up all week” featuring Slowthai.  Overall it’s fun and has something for everyone, and clocking in at a little under 30 minutes it’s a good little time.

Favorite Songs: “bbycakes”, “prada (i like it)”, “hollaback batch”,and “e-motions”

Least Favorite: “blessing me”