Best new music of the week: John Mayer, Swedish House Mafia, Anne-Marie and more
Loud and clear
Shot in the Dark by John Mayer
It's all breezy romance with John Mayer's new single. Shot in the Dark offers a calming mood peppered with atmospheric guitar strumming. Emanating strong '80s vibes, the MV playfully makes references to cliches that defined the era. Think cheesy dance moves, drops of rainwater and a flying dove. We can't tell if Mayer is being sarcastic or sincere, but perhaps that's precisely the point. After all, he's known to be cheekily self-deprecating through his personality and music. Otherwise, Shot in the Dark is an artful mix of influences that makes for a sonically pleasing song. Listen to his full album Sob Rock for an extension of said good vibes.
It Gets Better by Swedish House Mafia
The gods of EDM have returned. After going on hiatus in 2013 at the height of their career, Swedish House Mafia is ready to dominate the industry again. It Gets Better, the Swedish trio's first single in almost a decade, is apt for the current times. The anthemic song is grounded in a soul-thumping beat and punctuated by rhythmic cowbells. Coupled with whooshing synth, It Gets Better packed with energy and hope for a post-pandemic future. Hopefully, we'll get to hear it injecting life into night clubs once the restrictions ease. In the meantime, look forward to their upcoming album Paradise Again slated for a late-2021 release.
Beautiful by Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie is going strong. Beautiful follows the pop singer's hit duet Our Song with Niall Horan just two months ago, and this new track sends a powerful message — that it's okay to be imperfect and we should love ourselves exactly the way we are. The self-empowerment ditty is co-written with Ed Sheeran and super producer Max Martin. It features uplifting lyrics like "Darling when they put you down like that/Yeah, you can reply right back/You are beautiful/I know, I know, you are." Beautiful will be part of her sophomore album Therapy due to drop this Friday.
Up to me by LANY
It's chill vibes aplenty with one of LANY's latest singles. The dreamy synth-pop tune, released together with their demo dna, comes barely three weeks after sharing dancing in the kitchen. Up to me is saccharine yet upbeat — perfect for popping on during your daily stretches or in the living room after a long day at work. Expect more good stuff from LANY soon; the Los Angeles threesome will be landing their fourth album gg bb xx on 3 September via Interscope Records.
People Watching by Conan Gray
Get sentimental with Conan Gray — People Watching is a heartfelt plea from the singer to experience the thrills of love. As a single person who has never dated anyone, his voice is laced with vulnerable sincerity as he sings about watching other couples fall in love. Gray revealed that the lyrics were inspired by conversations he overhead whilst sitting in cafes during his college years — which explains the format of the music video where he stumbles about as a lonely waiter.