With the Christmas and New Years break flying past, most of us are slowly heading back to work and diving into daily routines, and let’s be real it’s a bit of a struggle. And with the unpredictable nature of 2020 haunting us, we really need to kickstart 2021 with a bang, and what better what to do it with some new music.
The first major release week of January is upon us and will see some exciting new releases dropping on January 8, including new songs by Greyson Chance and Zara Larsson. But in the meantime there are some fiery tracks you may have missed over the past couple of weeks that really deserve your attention. Check them out BELOW;
Aly & AJ – Potential Breakup Song (Explicit Version)
Recently our favourite dreamy-pop duo Aly & AJ dropped the sway leaning ‘Slow Dancing’ and launched the beginning of a new era in their musical journey. But before they dive any deeper into this new musical soundscape, they’ve took a nostalgic route and reenvisioned their smash hit single ‘Potential Breakup Song’ after it went viral on TikTok.
This highly anticipated explicit version is everything you could have ever wanted from Aly & AJ. Injecting their new dreamy-pop synths into the production, it gets a sonical makeover that helps make it as relevant as ever before. And then they’ve rewritten the lyrics to give a snappier and explicit punch with “And normally, I would just forget that. Except for the fact it was my birthday, my fucking birthday”. YAS!!
SZA – Good Days
‘CTRL’ is still one of my favourite albums of all time, and something tells me that SZA may just drop another record to add to that list this year. With the official second single dropping on Christmas Day, ‘Good Days’ cements the fact that she will always find way to hit you right in the feelings in the most genuine and soulful way.
Reflecting on looking towards the future to steer away from past and present negativity in her life, she really lifts herself (and the listener) up with the hopeful hook “I still wanna try, still believe in good days”. The song has a very similar dreamy RNB soundscape to tracks like ‘Drew Barrymore’ and ‘Broken Clocks’, and will undoubtedly become a just as strong fan favourite.
Justin Bieber – Anyone
Let’s be honest; Justin Bieber had the most disappointing album release of 2020. ‘Changes’ was a vanilla flavoured affair of predictable RNB that somehow got a Grammy nomination, and we are still very confused about it. Since then he’s been dropping new songs that continue the flatline approach, and I was starting to get worried that the reign of Bieber was over. But ‘Anyone’ has just reinstated a glimmer of hope.
The anthemic arena-pop track is ready to be a mega singalong in his live show, with fans passionately reciting every romantic word back to him. “You are the only one I’ll ever love. Yeah, you, if it’s not you, it’s not anyone”. It’s a lot more pop directed than his previous releases, but it’s still got that prominent melodic RNB flow injected into the mix.
It’s the song that you’ve wanted and wished for from the singer-songwriter. ‘Holy’ walked so ‘Anyone’ could run.
Olivia O’Brien – Better Than Feeling Lonely
“Maybe fake love is better than feeling lonely” Olivia O’Brien honestly sings during her first release of the year, and it’s such a damn MOOD. We all have that one person in our life that could say anything to us, whether it’s true or not, and we would eat up every word because being with them feels like a holy experience in itself. And that’s what she explores during this candid track. She questions if hearing their white lies is better than being lonely because even though you know it’s not true, their touch is comforting enough.
The melodic pop track steers towards a slight RNB interpolation that is similar to Ariana Grande’s recent material, and it’s very mesmerising.
Ed Sheeran – Afterglow
Okay I know you’ve been patiently waiting, but Ed Sheeran is back… well, kind of. The English singer-songwriter has been busily preparing the release of his fourth studio album which is expected to drop later this year, and he wanted to give you a taste of what was to come as a thank you for being so patient. It’s not the lead single, but it’s just a song that he loved and wanted to share.
‘Afterglow’ is very minimalistic sonically with just an acoustic guitar and atmospheric pop production filtering through its duration. But the biggest shock with this song was the heavy autotune that lost the vulnerability behind his emotional storytelling. If it was just a clean delivery along with the minimalistic production then I think it would create a bigger impact. But in saying that, it is already comfortably sitting at number one on the charts… so I guess it’s done what he wanted it to do.
jxdn – Better Off Dead
In the second half of 2020 jxdn really made himself know as one of the biggest artists to watch in 2021. ‘Angels & Demons’ was a monstrous song that popped off in a huge way thanks to his following on TikTok, and it’s still doing the circles on social media. But now the Tennessee singer-songwriter has another epic track to add into the mix that could potentially be just as big, and if not even bigger.
‘Better Off Dead’ is a highly relatable track about getting stuck in a toxic relationship and the effects it can have on your mental health. “Cloudy with a chance of depression. Broke my heart and I learned my lesson” he honestly sings before confessing “It’s been cloudy with a chance of anxiety. Can’t keep out the demons inside of me. Maybe I’m just better off dead”. It’s a very dark and brooding track that is complimented by a trap-rock beat that transforms it into an arena ready anthem.