WEEKLY NEW MUSIC WRAP UP REVIEWS: Carla Wehbe, Baby Queen, The 1975, morgen, Hope D, Ciara, Bipolar Sunshine, & ioakim

Carla Wehbe – is forever off the table?

Sydney based rising singer-songwriter Carla Wehbe is back with her most defining pop moment yet. ‘is forever off the table?’ is what I like to call a “journey song”. It’s one of those tracks that immediately guides you through a vivid exploration of lyricism and production that manages to reach exciting heights. Beginning with moody piano, a dark reflection introduces the roots of the song before she switches gear and contrasts it with a bouncy-pop production. It’s very Taylor Swift ‘Lover’ era meets Lily Allen, and she uses light and shade well with her ethereal vocals. The lyrically honest track hears her clinging onto the idea of something and trying to find a light even when its dimming. “Is forever off the table? Cause I’m on the edge of fatal. Why can’t we try? Tell me you might” she sings. 

‘is forever off the table?’ is Carla Wehbe’s moment of arrival. If she wasn’t already on your radar, then she is now with this special pop moment. 

Baby Queen – Nobody Really Cares

Baby Queen has been a tastemaker favourite for the past two years, but now the whole world is very much acquainted with her thanks to the spotlight given to her music in the acclaimed LGBTQI+ Netflix show, Heartstopper. With her songs ‘Want Me’, ‘Dover Beach’ and ‘Buzzkill’ featured, as well as ‘Colours Of You’ which was written especially for the show, she has quickly become one of pop’s newest anti-hero’s. Her newest single ‘Nobody Really Cares’ continues the build of her anthemic discography with a song that feels like the perfect montage moment in a coming-of-age teen movie. With crunchy guitars, big drums, and her signature dreamy vocals, she really gives you the classic Baby Queen pop moment. Reminding listeners that everyone is a little selfish, she encourages them to do what makes them happy and just continue to make as many memories as possible. “Crash your daddy’s car. Get kicked out the bar. Tell your boyfriend that it’s over. Write a song for Jodie Comer. Cut your hair. Nobody really cares” she proclaims. 

The 1975 – Part Of The Band 

The 1975 have made themselves one of the biggest bands in the world, and rightfully so with their emotional, political and honest lyricism that invokes genuine conversation between listeners. Their fifth studio album ‘Being Funny In A Different Language’ is set for release on October 14, and they’ve just given listeners the first taste of what’s to come with the lead single ‘Part Of The Band’. Opening with an orchestra, they weave their alt-rock sound into a mix that echoes the likes of Bleachers and Bruce Springsteen. The four minute track is a grower that packs less of their usual bold hooks, and focuses more on the storyline that forms within the song. The vivid imagery is a whirlwind, and will have you imagining all of the details that are described within the lyrics. But lead vocalist Matty Healy leaves the listener with some introspective thoughts where he questions; “Am I ironically woke? The butt of my joke? Or am I just some post-coke, average, skinny bloke calling his ego imagination?”. 

‘Part Of The Band’ may have not been what fans expected from The 1975, but it intrigues and leaves you pondering the direction this record will take. 

morgen – Mom Jeans

Don’t tell someone what to wear. It’s simple. Just don’t do it. And rising Los Angeles based singer-songwriter morgen has written a song dedicated to all of the people that have tried to tell her what to wear in the past. Body image, and body dysmorphia is something that so many people experience, and ‘Mom Jeans’ is her statement to the world of what makes her happy, and what doesn’t. “In my baby blue mom jeans and a baggy shirt, cause I don’t feel like me in a miniskirt. But in my blue mom jeans I’m the king of the world, and man I feel like a pretty girl” she honestly sings. The song has already began resonating with listeners on TikTok, and we’re not surprised. The brutal honesty behind her lyrics is what we need more of in pop. And then you add her slick melody and contrasting vocal delivery over the top and you will be just obsessed. Like, let’s talk about this verse; “Stop telling me what I should wear. Yes, I just woke up and yes, I don’t really care. Cause I’m too cool (That’s a lie). I hate you (All the time). And I don’t wanna talk about it ’cause I’m gonna cry”. – A queen. We are HERE for it. 

Hope D – Emerald 

Hope D is entering an exciting new chapter in her musical journey, with the announcement that her debut album ‘Clash Of The Substance’ will be released on October 21. New track ‘Emerald’ follows in the footsteps of recent singles ‘Happy Hangover’ and ‘Hate Goodbyes’ as the first official taste of what’s to come from the record. Within a flurry of alt pop-rock production, this feels like a signature Hope D track. The Brisbane based singer-songwriter leads with her speedy half spoken/rap verses that adds to the honest and chaotic tone of the song. She glides from these fast verses into these smooth and punchy choruses, that are ultimately infectious. 

Reminiscing on the time when she changed her personality for a crush, she laughs at herself for the movies and music she pretended she liked just so this girl would think she was cool. “Yes, she’s… wearing a t-shirt of a band that I don’t know, so I pretend that I’m their number one fan, but she’s talking about a song I haven’t heard. Oh damn, this isn’t going as planned” she sings during the opening moments of the song. It’s a quirky and classic Hope D take on something that a lot of us often do, even if we aren’t as self-aware as she is.

Ciara feat. Coast Contra – JUMP

Ciara is the queen of infectious tutorial bops that make you just want to dance, and she’s back to remind you so. Ahead of her forthcoming eighth studio album, the Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter has dropped a bouncy new single, appropriately titled ‘JUMP’. The signature RNB-pop track is classic Ciara, and takes me back to her ‘Fantasy Ride’ and ‘Basic Instinct’ albums. She lays down a playful beat that slides between smooth bridges and attitude filled choruses that will have you on the middle of the dance floor and ready to drop it low. “You like it when I make the thang jump. You go wow when I make the thang jump. It get loud when I make the thang jump. It’s a party when I make the thang jump, jump” she sings. This song is just pure fun. It doesn’t mess around in being anything else but confident, and euphoric, and I personally cannot wait for more Ciara bangers on the way.  

Bipolar Sunshine feat. KYE – FOCUS 

British born and Los Angeles based artist Bipolar Sunshine is really out here delivering a nice string of synth-laden bangers. Following the recent The Weeknd inspired ‘TOO YOUNG’, he’s returned with the tropical bop ‘FOCUS’. Teaming up with Australian based singer-songwriter KYE, he steers the song into a more straight-fire pop-RNB direction instead of the moody synth lane he is usually found in. The groovy track is immediately infectious and draws you in with its tropical tones that takes you to heart of summer. Contrasting the bubbly nature of the production with a sincere lyrical honesty, they explore a love story where one side regrets, and the other endures. “Now I’m lonely and hopeless. It’s all ’cause you provoked these emotions. Was so shallow, still you dived in. Reactin’ to the scars I left open” he sings during the pre-chorus. 

ioakim – Mess

ioakim is one of Australia’s most criminally underrated newcomers. The South Coast based singer-songwriter has just come off playing his first ever shows with MAY-A and Flowerkid to rave reviews, and a growing fanbase who are infatuated by his bedroom pop stylings. His debut EP ‘feel something or nothing at all’ is slated for a September 16 release, and he’s just given us another slick earworm. ‘mess’ is an honest depiction of the bittersweet feeling of a break up. It captures the honesty of the situation where he is sad to let that person go, but is also self-aware that it was the right decision to make. “What a lovely little mess I made, trying to hide the pain” he sings before admitting “I don’t want to go back, maybe you should know that”. The thing I’ve loved about listening to ioakim’s journey to date, is that every song has been a moment, and ‘mess’ definitely adds a shiny pop polish to that growing collection. Also, if you are new to discovering ioakim, then you need to immediately put the summer anthem ‘tongue tied’ on repeat. #JusticeForTongueTied

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