Best new music of the week: Nathan Hartono, Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, and more
Loud and clear
I'm Fine by Nathan Hartono
The track might have garnered an early release and dropped in Feb, but it's accompanying music video is only here now — a three-minute nostalgia-tinted piece which draws its inspiration from the '80s synth wave. Its light, lilting tune is at odds with the emotional lyrics, its effect haunting as Hartono is continually pummeled while assuring listeners he's fine. Its heart-wrenching visuals conveys the strain of having to fake normalcy even on our worst days; an accurate depiction of the debilitating effects incurred from having to present a strong front even when we're at our wits' end. Uh, we're not okay — and neither is Nathan, it seems, but we're glad that at least he's talking about it.
Kiss Me More by Doja Cat ft. SZA
E-girl and Internet sensation, Doja Cat, has made a triumphant comeback with Kiss Me More; a flirty, disco-inflected ditty performed in collaboration with SZA. The video features Grey's Anatomy heart-throb, Alex Landi, crashlanding onto a foreign land inhabited by said songbirds — who, judging by the lyrics, want him to put his lips on theirs. Fair. We suspect that its infectious beat and playful lyrics is going to make it a real hit within the TikTok realm, so keep an eye (or, well, ear) out for a splice of this track in the next viral trend.
Wave of You by Surfaces
There's been a flock of grim love songs released within the music sphere as of late. We suppose it's precisely what makes Wave of You so enticing; an upbeat, optimistic tune that captures the vitality and wholesome quality of young love. Lyrics such as "I think I'm caught in a wave, I feel 'bout you/ I don't know how I can be so drawn into you" serves as a reminder of the great emo-rock hits from the 2000s, a throwback to lighthearted tunes in the vein of We The Kings and Boys Like Girls. #TBT? You betcha.
Déjà Vu by Olivia Rodrigo
The highly-anticipated follow-up to legendary breakup anthem, Driver's License, is finally here — and yes, it is as much of a tear-jerker as its predecessor. And while no automobiles are involved in this one, it is about an ex who's, essentially, driving in circles and living the "same life" he had with her — just, ya know, with someone else instead. Ouch. Rodrigo doesn't stray too far from her M.O. for this one: think brutally raw lyrics; addictive hooks; and a killer high note that is likely to be butchered in a variety of karaoke sessions all over the world. Bet on it.
Like Water by Wendy
It seems to be solo season within the K-Pop sphere. Following Blackpink's Rosé comes Red Velvet's Wendy, who takes a markedly different course with a piano-led power ballad. According to Wendy, Like Water is about "how people need one another and how we help to fill each other up... just as a person should not be without water". It is a sentiment clearly reflected in its lyrics, teeming with vulnerability and feeling. In short: the perfect tune to put on blast if you're looking to wallow in 'em feelings.
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