WEEKLY NEW MUSIC WRAP UP REVIEWS: RAYE, Rina Sawayama, Sabrina Carpenter, Noah Dillon & Sampa The Great

RAYE – Hard Out Here

RAYE is finally free from her major label deal and has gone independent after a public battle where she pleaded release from her contract. ‘Hard Out Here’ marks the beginning of a new chapter for the British singer-songwriter, as well as acts as the first song she’s released in over a year. Detailing her experience in the industry, this song is a brutal eye-opener where she doesn’t hold back, and rightfully so. Over a gritty RNB beat, this song glides in and out of hip-hop and pop influences as she provides a lot of layering and contrasting in her delivery. Behind the strong melodies is vivid and honest imagery that will leave you with goosebumps, and noting how important this song actually is. 

RAYE has a lot to say on this song. So you need to be quiet and listen to the full 3 minute duration and take it all in. Here are some of the important lyrical moments in the song;

– “What you know about systems?. About drugged drinks, fucking nearly dying from addictions. You start to wonder why I’m Christian. Without the Lord, I’d take my life for all the times I’ve been a victim”

– “All the white men CEOs, fuck your privilege. Get your pink chubby hands of my mouth, fuck you think this is? I told my lawyer stand by (War), there is no wrath like a woman scorned”

– “After years and fears and smiling through my tears. All I ask of you is open your ears. Cause the truth ain’t pretty my dear”

– “Baby, I bounce back” 

Rina Sawayama – Catch Me In The Air

We have no choice but to stan Rina Sawayama. She is genuinely an artist that is in her own lane, and her sophomore studio album ‘Hold The Girl’ (out September 2) is shaping up to be one of the most exciting pop releases of the year. Following the anthemic lead single ‘This Hell’, which felt like a 2022 country-pop version of Born This Way, she has shared a contrasting anthem. ‘Catch Me In The Air’ is an empowering pop track about the complicated but beautiful relationships children have with single parents. Dedicated to her mother, this is all about the difficult times they’ve been there for each other, and it’s such an heartwarming listen. “Look at us now, way past the clouds that haunted your dreams. I hope that you’re proud” she sings. Influenced by The Corrs, the guitar led pop song is nostalgically tinged and has strong melodies that will have you ready to singalong and simultaneously throw your hands in the air. 

Sabrina Carpenter – Vicious

As she heads towards the release of her forthcoming record ‘emails I can’t send’ on July 15, Sabrina Carpenter isn’t holding back by consistently delivering the best pop releases of her career to-date. ‘Vicious’ is yet another surprising pop moment that has strong lyrics as the centrepiece with an off-beat production built around it that is equally addictive and intriguing. Heavily influenced by the likes of Julia Michaels, this song is one of those signature journey tracks. The one’s where you press play and are taken on a sonical exploration. Beginning with her soft vocals, a guitar riff and handclaps, the song then adds a pop beat before surprising listeners with a pop-rock transformation. Even though it gradually builds up to that point, you are still left surprised when she changes gears and gives you this electrifying delivery. And the lyrics are equally just as strong as she questions the manipulation she fell for from someone she dated. “Oh, you’re so vicious. I loved you, but I wish I didn’t. If you’re out there somewhere listening, why you gotta be so vicious?” She honestly sings. 

Noah Dillon – Nothing Matters

Noah Dillon is the name on a lot of tastemakers lips right now in Australia, and rightfully so.  The Fremantle based singer-songwriter has just come off a tour supporting Hope D, and is swinging into the release of his debut album ‘Kill The Dove’ on August 19, before then embarking on his biggest headline tour yet. And alongside all of these exciting announcements he’s also dropped the sun-soaked single ‘Nothing Matters’. Sonically reminiscent of the likes of San Cisco and Spacey Jane, this upbeat ear-worm filled pop-rock track is infectiously warm and will have you captivated by its rich guitars and melodies. Perfectly contrasting that sound with bubbly lyrics about being in a love bubble with someone special and feeling untouchable when you’re with them. “I can feel the ceiling coming down on me this evening. But with you right by my side, nothing matters” he blissfully sings. But it’s the lyric “And love can be as hard as hate if it means that much” that rings loud as a very special moment in the song. 

Sampa The Great feat Chef 187, Tio Nason & Mwanjé – Never Forget 

Sampa The Great is preparing the release of her highly anticipated sophomore album ‘As Above, So Below’ on September 9, and it’s already promising to be an impactful and special record. Alongside the announcement is her new single ‘Never Forget’ which features Chef 187, Tio Nason, and Mwanjé. After relocating home to Zambia during the pandemic, this song is an ode to her origins, her family, her identity, and especially to Zamrock and Kalindula music. “Who took fabric, made that shit classic? That shit ain’t average, we did! (Never forget). Who did music, made that shit language. African branded? We did! (Never forget). Who took movement, spirit included. Made it a movement? We did! (Never forget)” Sampa and Mwanjé sing. It’s a song that immediately draws you in with its heartfelt emotion and radiating warmth, and ushers in a new chapter for her with this new record.

Check out all of the #BLEACHED picks of the week BELOW;