10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of January 20, 2023
While life may be full of ups and downs, there's one thing we can always count on—and it's that each and every week, we'll be blessed with unbelievably good new music to lose ourselves in.
Of course, this week was no different, with so many great new releases of hot tracks, great EPs and incredible albums that it left our heads spinning. From up-and-comers such as Phoneboy and Sydney Rose to established names including Young Thug and The Kid LAROI, everyone was bringing their A-game. Want to hear our latest faves? Keep scrolling to discover the 10 biggest things that happened in music the week of Jan. 20, 2023.
1. Idman Reflects on a Broken Heart With 'Hate'
We're new to Somali-Canadian singer-songwriter Idman, but the instant we heard her stunning voice on her heartfelt new single, "Hate," we knew we were in for a treat. The smooth R&B track reflects on the intense heartache that can last long after a breakup, with all of the makings of a classic. "'Hate' is the most honest song I've ever written," she shared in a press release. "After a breakup and seven months of no contact with an ex, 'Hate' highlights feelings I contemplated as I came to terms with the ending of my last relationship. This song is a part of the story we began to tell with 'Good Life'—I almost ran away from telling it until my collaborators gave me the courage to continue."
2. Phoneboy Realizes Fame Isn't All Fun and Games in 'Ferrari'
New Jersey indie rock trio Phoneboy is gearing up for a very big year, dropping a new album, Moving Out and starting a big U.S. tour on March 24, with their new single "Ferrari" acting as the perfect tease of everything to come. The song has '80s coming-of-age movie vibes with a pop-punk edge, as the guys sing about the unintended consequences of growing up and getting famous. "'Ferrari,' like many of our other songs, began in our friend Jake's shed," the group shared with Sweety High in an interview. "We were thinking about how fame can be a double-edged sword, giving someone a lot of freedom but also a bunch of responsibilities and problems at the same time. Obviously, we're not at the point of being on Carpool Karaoke, but we certainly would love to party with all of our friends with no strings attached."
3. Sydney Rose Longs for a Time Long Gone in 'Tell Him I Miss Him'
Ready to have your heart broken in two? Look no further than Sydney Rose's "Tell Him I Miss Him." The 19-year-old singer-songwriter has one of the most unforgettable voices in pop today, making this aching, wistful lament a tear-jerker from stop to finish. There's such a pure longing in Sydney's voice, bringing to life a story of poignant loss that's open-ended enough to make it incredibly meaningful to anyone who listens. "'Tell Him I Miss Him' was initially written from the perspective of a fictional character who has had a best friend all his life, but over time the friend changed in ways he couldn't control," Sydney revealed in a press release. "The song can be about a parent, loved one or friend. People grow and change constantly and sometimes all you can do is sit and watch. You wish for things to be as easy as they were when you were younger."
4. LULLANAS Creates a New Anthem for the Overthinkers With 'Cheap Silver Lining' ft. Luke Sital-Singh
LULLANAS is an indie folk-pop duo consisting of twin sisters duo Atisha and Nishita Lulla, and they're another new (to us) group that has us positively enchanted this week. "Cheap Silver Lining" was co-written with talented singer-songwriter and producer Luke Sital-Singh, who is also featured on the song, with absolutely stunning harmonizations against a soothing, vibey soundscape as they sing about the struggle of constantly overthinking and second-guessing themselves. "One of the many thoughts that loop in the anxious mind is doubt," the duo explained in a press release. "'Am I overanalyzing this?' or 'Are we hanging on by a thin thread of hope?' 'Cheap Silver Lining' is a song for the over-thinkers… for the people who read in-between, above, below and around the lines right in front of them. We were lucky enough to have our schedules align with one of our favorite artists, Luke Sital-Singh, while we were in Los Angeles. He co-wrote and produced the song, and we couldn't resist asking him to be a feature on it!"
5. Blur's Dave Rowntree Shows a New Side of His Musical Prowess With Debut Solo Album Radio Songs
We've been listening to Britpop band Blur for practically our entire lives, but when we heard that drummer Dave Rowntree would be releasing a debut solo album, we didn't know what to expect. The album, Radio Songs, dropped today, and it's unusual, artful and stunning from start to finish. Its 10 songs have the soul of Blur without ever feeling like an imitation, blending electronica with pop ballads and epic orchestral creations, creating a sound that's unpredictable yet cohesive—as if you were tuning through radio stations and losing yourself in the music. "I had a radio by my bed when I was a kid, and I would lie awake at night tuning, especially on medium wave and long wave, where you get stations from a long way away, from all over the world," Dave shared in an interview with Sweety High. "I would just be tuning through the stations, and all these exotic, different kinds of music and language came through … I would drift off to sleep dreaming of all these kinds of faraway places I was listening in on." Those influences show in every song—including our personal favorite "1000 Miles."
6. Emei Drops the Music Video for Viral Hit 'That Girl'
Singer-songwriter Emei's "That Girl" has been squarely stuck in our heads ever since it dropped last summer, and with 2.5 million streams, it's clear the track has resonated with a lot of people. We adore the way the song's cool, collected verses describe the effortlessly flawless "that girl" Emei wishes she could be, while that steady demeanor breaks down in the hectic chorus as she describes who she truly is, and the new music video starring Emei and her live band captures it all to perfection. "I moved to L.A. about a year ago and this was a session that occurred after the first time I drove to Malibu," Emei shared of the song in an interview with Sweety High. "I brought a poetry book and my journal, thinking I would have this beautiful day with the sun on my skin and a smoothie in hand. It ended up being so cold and I spent the entire two hours on the beach on my phone. When I walked into my session the next day, I ended up spending the day venting in song form about that day and how I try so hard to be 'that girl' but fail consistently."
7. Restless Road Gets Vulnerable in 'On My Way'
We've been swooning about Restless Road ever since we met them in their early days on the set of The X Factor, and the country trio is only getting better with every new release. Their latest, "On My Way," might be their best yet, with a warm, optimistic sound and a message of self-acceptance as we all work on ourselves through the work-in-progress that is life. The sweet music video combining performance footage and adorable baby videos of the band is also heart-melting in all the best ways. "'On My Way' is a song we wrote as a reminder to ourselves that it's okay to be a work in progress," the group's Zach Beeken said in a press release. "It's okay to not have all of the answers. It's okay to fail."
8. Rebecca Black Channels the '80s in 'Sick to My Stomach'
With her debut album right around the corner, Rebecca Black has spent the last months showing us what she's truly made of and making the world rethink any preconceptions they might have about her—and she's doing it in style. Her latest single, "Sick to My Stomach," channels all of the romance and nostalgia of the '80s in the form of an aching pop ballad about the jealousy and pain that can linger long after a breakup. "I'd run into my ex just before the day I wrote this song," Rebecca revealed in an interview with Sweety High. "It's so crazy, and even jarring sometimes, how fast a feeling can rush into you when seeing someone from your past, no matter how much you'd thought you'd moved on in your life. I'd just found that my ex was now seeing someone new, and that hit me like a brick at the time. I couldn't shake how overwhelming the feeling was, and it just flowed out into a song so quickly."
9. The Kid LAROI Teases Debut Album With 'I Can't Go Back To The Way It Was'
After last week's news that The Kid LAROI will be dropping his debut album, The First Time, early this year, we got a first taste of the album today in the from of "I Can't Go Back To The Way It Was," and we already know it's going to be phenomenal. The new song feels like the next step in his artistry, with a more stripped-back sound, and introspective lyrics that look back on the past, and the moments he wishes he could relive—and do-over. If the rest of the songs are half this good, we're in for a real treat.
10. Philmon Lee Recruits Young Thug for 'Baby Don't Cry'
Not familiar with Philmon Lee? We promise you'll only have to hear a few notes of his incomparable vocals to be a fan. The Georgia singer-songwriter's latest single is "Baby Don't Cry," featuring a thrilling rap interlude by Young Thug and a catchy chorus that's sure to get stuck in your head thanks to Philmon's soaring voice. It's a song about being a listening ear to a girl after a painful breakup, while making your feelings for her clearly known, and it's destined to be a hit. "Thug heard a couple of my tracks and wanted to meet me," Philmon explained in a press release. "I went to the studio, and I played him a bunch of records. A couple of weeks later, we got together again, and he hopped on 'Baby Don't Cry.' Honestly, he's one of the nicest people I've ever met. He's really humble, and he gave me a lot of gems about the industry. Lyrically, it's about a girl whose feelings are hurt by another dude, and you're trying to relate to her and let her know you're the better option."
Missed our favorite tracks last week? Click HERE to check out our top 10 favorite releases for the week of January 13, 2023.