10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of February 24, 2023
It may have been a short week, but that didn't stop the music world from turning and producing some of the hottest tunes of the year. In fact, this may have been the most jam-packed yet!
Over the last seven days, we were blessed with stunners from up-and-comers such as Kenya Vaun, Durand Jones and Sam Free, plus a highly anticipated music video from Niall Horan and a collab remix between The Weeknd and Ariana Grande we never knew we needed in our lives. Want to listen to what we loved best? Keep scrolling to discover the 10 biggest things that happened in music the week of Feb. 24, 2023.
1. Kenya Vaun Calls Out 'Overrated' Love
We're calling it now—Kenya Vaun is going to be a star. The Philadelphia-based R&B rising artist has one of the most incredible voices in the business, and her soaring vocals and biting lyricism make her new single "Overrated" an instant classic. Driven by a buzzing beat and twinkling guitars, the new song calls out an overrated relationship, calling the whole concept of love into question. "For me, I feel like in this generation a lot of people are so ready to just move on," Kenya said in a press release. "When I was writing this song, I was going through my own situation, and I felt like a lot of times what you're feeling isn't unconditional love and it's just for that moment."
2. Durand Jones Goes Solo With 'Lord Have Mercy'
Durand Jones is best known for his work in Durand Jones & the Indications, but he's proving himself as a powerful artist with soul to spare in his debut solo single, "Lord Have Mercy." The vibrant track combines folk rock with R&B vibes and a healthy dash of church music to create a rousing anthem capturing his struggle. The music video is especially moving, cutting between the present day and the 1920s in Durand's native Hillaryville, and showing the difficulties that persist after all that time. "The interlude ends with my Grandmother telling us how she felt about Hillaryville back in the day," Durand shared in a press release. "Hillaryville is no longer a sanctuary town or 'place you'd most want to live'. Most people in my generation and younger dream of escaping a place like Hillaryville. And for many the dream never becomes something more. Life can find a way to keep you there if you will let it. I wanted to express this thought through sound in a raw, wild and raucous way. A build of a groove that feels like it is driving through a muddy swamp. Trapped."
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3. Sam Free Yearns for Lost Love in 'Fell in Love at 15'
Indie-pop singer-songwriter Sam Free is one to watch in 2023, with an upcoming appearance as a contestant on American Idol and the release of her shimmery new single "Fell in Love at 15." The Las Vegas-born, L.A.-based artist's new guitar-driven pop track is a yearning reminiscence on love, painting a dreamy narrative as Sam laments the past. It's about feeling like someone made you whole, and without them, you don't know quite who are you—and we've definitely been there ourselves.
4. Meet Me @ The Altar Crushes Hard in 'Kool'
Rock trio Meet Me @ The Altar are gearing up for some big things in the next month, with their debut album, Past // Present // Future, dropping on March 10, and their first-ever headlining tour to follow, and their new single "Kool" is the perfect encapsulation of everything we love about the group. With a captivating pop-punk sound calling back to the best Y2K artists, "Kool" is all about having strong feelings for someone and being eager to let them know what you think of them, and its '90s-inspired music video feels just right. "'Kool' is the love child of everything we're into musically," the band explained in a press release. "There's rock 'n roll guitars, heavy drums and a crazy, catchy, pop-inspired vocal melody on top. It's a fun, anthemic song about having a crush on someone, and wanting them to know how 'kool' you think they are."
5. Sun Room Put Their California Roots on Full Display in Their Outta Their Minds EP
It's difficult to put the California sound into precise words, but indie rock band Sun Room manages to get every sonic aspect of the SoCal vibe in each and every one of their unique tracks. Just listen to their brand new EP Outta Their Minds to see what we mean. Their bold garage band sound doesn't neatly fit into any genre, with the four new tracks feeling modern yet classic, and infused with sunshiney surf vibes. "Outta Their Minds is our newest EP that comes straight out of our garage," lead singer Luke Asgian revealed in a press release. "It's fun, loud and has a bit more of a bite to it than any music we've put out before. It has sounds that show our roots and influences from both '60s British Invasion garage rock, as well as surf punk. It also encapsulates our life, as a band, in San Diego right now; Being broke, surfing every day, pissing off our neighbors with loud house shows and falling in love with the girl at the local mechanic shop."
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6. GUNNAR Drops Debut Album, Best Mistake
As long-time fans of singer-songwriter GUNNAR, we'd been anxiously awaiting the release of his debut album, and Best Mistake is everything we'd hoped for. Across 10 tracks, GUNNAR crosses genres and explores his vast abilities as an artist, whether he's playing with country rock sounds in album opener "Bad Idea," tapping into his R&B side with "One Last Time" or reaching deep into his soul with "At Least I Tried." It feels like GUNNAR is truly stepping into himself as a musician—and this is just the start. "This album is a collection of music I started making almost two years ago," GUNNAR shared on Instagram. "I began writing these songs as a departure from what I had been thrown into doing at a young age. I wanted to write music that really just made me feel, and that I truly felt was apart of who I am. I believe this album is just the first step towards discovering myself as an artist and person and I couldn't be more excited about what is to come during and after this release."
7. Ingrid Andress Nurses a Broken Heart in 'Treated Me Good'
Breakups are rarely easy, but there's something about the end of a nurturing, loving relationship that hits extra hard, and Ingrid Andress explores that feeling in her angelic new single "Treated Me Good." The talented four-time Grammy nominee's latest track glows with an unapologetically romantic country music twang as she sings about how she wishes her ex had been a liar and a cheat, and not the perfect boyfriend, because it's making it impossible to get over him. It's one of the three brand-new tracks that will be featured on her upcoming Good Person (Deluxe) album, dropping next week, and is sure to be yet another hit for the star.
8. Paris Jackson Channels Her Top '90s Influences in 'bandaid'
Paris Jackson consistently manages to surprise and wow us with her ever-evolving sound, and her new single "bandaid" is the perfect Y2K throwback, feeling like it was ripped right out of that time. With a stripped-back opening riff evocative of Nirvana's "Lithium" and the song's '90s alt-rock and grunge influences worn on its sleeve, the song is about spending too much time thinking about an ex who hurt you, and feeling especially stuck on them in your darkest times. "This is the type of music I used to dream of making myself when I was 14 discovering Nirvana and Pixies for the first time," Paris shared in a press release. "Lyrically it's the most raw and vulnerable I've ever been in any of my songs. It's the first track I've truly let loose and yelled on in the studio, which you can hear in the third chorus, and I feel like that's why it had to be the title track for my next record."
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9. Niall Horan Shares Intimate Music Video for 'Heaven'
Niall Horan truly needs no introduction, and with last week's release of "Heaven"—his first single in nearly three years—he's fully back in the limelight, showing no signs of slowing down. It was our very first glimpse into his upcoming album The Show, and this week, he brought it all to life with the release of its cinematic new music video. The video makes Niall the central focus, bringing out the vibrance in his charismatic performance and silky vocals, as he croons about ignoring society's expectations, and simply basking in the glory of the love you share with someone. "One thing I've learned over the years is that society loves to pressure us into reaching certain milestones by a certain age," Niall shared in a press release. "Whether that's getting married or anything else that really should be based on our own instincts. As I've gotten older I've tried to let go of those expectations and just follow my heart. The chorus of this song is saying that what I have in my life currently is amazing. So it would be crazy to ruin that by giving into outside pressures."
10. Ariana Grande Joins The Weeknd for Iconic New Remix of 'Die for You'
We didn't think The Weeknd's "Die for You" could get any better, but the new remix, featuring a brand new verse and impeccable vocals by Ariana Grande, takes the song to the next level. It's one of the most striking duets we've heard, with Ariana using her voice to weave a brand-new story and work as a powerful backing instrument for the entire experience. The original "Die for You" has recently been topping the charts, and this one is soon to join it.
Missed our favorite tracks last week? Click HERE to check out our top 10 favorite releases for the week of Feb. 17, 2023.