New Track Jukebox – 9/20/21

A jukebox themed weekly recap of notable new releases

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CONTRIBUTIONS FROM: John Peterson, Will Kirkpatrick, and Grace Dulin

Add to Queue:

Alice Longyu Gao knows how to make the most out of hyperpop, with high-octane vocals, quirky lyrics, and a beat that goes hard. – John Peterson

Barrie’s breakthrough album, Happy To Be Here, was a treasure trove of indie pop-rock. “Dig” sees her moving in a slightly different direction, but nonetheless wows, with bizarre lead vocals and delicate guitar. – John Peterson

In his self-titled album MONTERO, Lil Nas X continues with the themes of self-acceptance and personal growth from “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” and “INDUSTRY BABY.” The album includes eleven new tracks and features from other acclaimed artists such as Elton John and Megan Thee Stallion. The songs range in style and tempo but maintain the quality and personality that Lil Nas X brings to his music. The album highlights his ability to turn emotional hardship and backlash into pop hits. – Grace Dulin

Dijon is back with an absolutely bonkers single. The drums are raw and driving, the vocals are passionate and catchy, and the piano solo is ridiculous. Seriously, don’t miss this one. – John Peterson

This is one of the most unique albums to come out of 2021. It’s not for everyone, but By the Time I Get to Phoenix is paving new pathways for rap, experimenting with noise, indie-rock, and psychedelia to form a beautiful cacophony. – John Peterson

Hatchie channels her inner Cocteau Twins with this shoegaze-influenced synth pop. The piano that opens the song is a bit corny, but it gets mostly drowned out by a wall of much more engaging sounds. – John Peterson

By the time you reach the chorus of “Time to Melt,” the song turns into some sort of neo-disco track. Psychedelic and groovy: a combination sent down from heaven to please the masses. – John Peterson

After an almost two-year long hiatus Lindsey Jordan returns with a more mature sounding version of herself. The slow somber verses and angry almost desperate choruses contrast each other well while capturing Jordan’s feelings of lost love. – Will Kirkpatrick

José González has been making the same music for 15 years. It’s beautiful and anthemic in its own small way; acoustic folk that feels close to the earth. – John Peterson

Magdalena Bay manages to upgrade their usual synth pop with a punk edge and pounding kick drum. YOU LOSE! – John Peterson

Up for Debate:

Honestly, I think post-partum releases are not cool. Unless I write that shit in my obituary do not show anyone what I never got to finish. Who knows how Mac’s last album (as well as this single) would have turned out if he’d gotten the chance to finish them, but I’m sure he would’ve done them differently. – John Peterson

Bruce Springsteen meets Tears for Fears in the Philly band’s latest single. It almost works, but is marred by too much reverb (especially in the background chorus vocals) and slow pacing. – John Peterson

With refined synth construction, insane rhythmic experimentation, and unmatched mixing quality, What We Call Life parallels the outstanding production of Rakei’s previous album, Origin. Unfortunately, the overall aesthetic is beige, and even stand out tracks like “Illusion” can’t measure up to Origin’s most mediocre songs. – John Peterson

This jazz-fused funky pop track feels like riding your bike on a nice day. The vocal delivery is smooth, and the synths soft and plush–but that’s how you could describe any Mild High Club song. The hook is catchy and sticks in your head and the little accordion outro is charming, but if you’re not into this style of “poppy jazz” you will not like this song. – Will Kirkpatrick

Kyle has a pretty voice, but his obsessions with sex and himself make his music feel like a vanity project. No Rules has all the makings of a big hit, but it lacks the bounce and energy needed to be a true chart-topper. “I don’t write them anyway. Let’s break the rules.” I’m not gonna lie the chorus is going to be stuck in my head for a few days. – John Peterson

Musically, The Jo Bros are not breaking any new ground here and their new revival makes me miss the days of watching Camp Rock sing- and dance-alongs on the Disney channel. Still, the song is fine and has a nice little groove which makes it listenable. But I cannot tell if my leniency towards them is the nostalgia talking or not. – Will Kirkpatrick

In her quest to gain full control over her work, Taylor Swift has rerecorded another fan favorite, “Wildest Dreams.” The updated Taylor’s Version is deeper and less breathy than the original, showing how her sound has changed in the seven years since the original. While the song is unlikely to convert any new Taylor fans, it is a great addition to her catalog for any current Swifties. – Grace Dulin

Get off the Aux:

There really is not anything exceptional about this song or iann dior’s style of music. If you have heard one of his songs before you could probably guess what this sounds like. Lil Uzi’s verse did not save this song, but it did not make it any worse. – Will Kirkpatrick


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