10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of January 6, 2023

If this week's new music is any indication, 2023 is going to be a very good year.

January's already off to a powerful start, with hot new tunes from everyone from Lauren Cimorelli to Queen Naija and Mckenna Grace, with a very unexpected collab between Cheat Codes and Dolly Parton as the cherry on top. Curious about all of the new music we loved this week? Just keep scrolling to discover the 10 biggest things that happened in music the week of Jan. 6, 2023. 

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1. Kathleen Revisits Creativity From Lockdown Live From Highland Park EP

L.A.-based singer-songwriter Kathleen is a rising artist we'll be watching very closely in 2023, but her latest release is actually a blast from the past. The new Live From Highland Park EP was recorded in the midst of the pandemic in 2020, and we're so glad these evocative and dreamy tracks are finally getting the chance to breathe. "'Dark Side of the Moon' is like a baby born and raised in captivity," Kathleen explained in a press release. "I wrote it in segments on my drive home from California to Colorado to stay maybe for a little or maybe forever—at the beginning of lockdown we just didn't know. I recorded the original in my childhood basement in lieu of a studio, and we recorded this live version in a backyard in lieu of a live show. As much as I don't want to remember lockdown, we did have fun building this show, and I'm delighted to be putting them out on streaming services now."


2. Cat Clyde Explores Connection and Empathy With 'I Feel It'

Canadian indie-folk artist Cat Clyde's soulful voice and contemplative approach to songwriting have us hooked, and her new single, "I Feel It," is sure to win over many new fans, too. The track touches on the ups and downs of being an empath, featuring Cat on the piano to create a soundscape that feels both isolated and powerful. Her brand new studio album Down Rounder drops next month, and we're confident it's going to become a fast favorite. "Connecting with the natural environment around me inspired a lot of these songs, and sonically I feel like this record is very grounded as a result," Cat shared in a press release. "I wanted these songs to sound raw and rough, but also placed-together in a way that created—a simple beauty, like the changing seasons or a setting sun."


Also read about: Wyn Starks Talks Life Beyond AGT and the Growth of His Hit 'Who I Am'


3. Juliana Tucker Finds Happiness Within 'The Great Indoors'

Newcomer Juliana Tucker is already making quite the impact, and her new single "The Great Indoors" feels like the triumphant anthem to self-discovery we've been waiting for. With its inspiring piano and Juliana's incredible vocals, it's all about looking within yourself to find the truest kind of happiness—and we're not at all surprised that Juliana's upcoming debut EP uses it as a title track. "'The Great Indoors' is my most meaningful song to date," Juliana revealed in a press relesae. "Not only is it the title track off my debut EP, but it's the only song I wrote within the confined walls of my one-bedroom apartment during the peak of the pandemic. This song encompasses what my entire EP communicates: the journey of growing up. 'The Great Indoors' is about finding comfort in solitude and learning how to look within ourselves for happiness rather than finding it elsewhere. It's a song for anyone who lives life for themselves rather than living life to please someone else. It forces you to look within yourself. When I first wrote this song, it made me emotional. When I sing it now, I'm reminded of all the difficult days and moments I endured in the pandemic and how much stronger I am today. To be able to have written something so meaningful and bright from something so dark is exactly why I started writing music to begin with. I'm grateful I was able to tell my story and am honored to have the opportunity to share it with the world."


4. Violet Saturn Gets Lovey-Dovey With 'Love U Madly'

With their playful yet poetic brand of pop-punk, brother-sister duo Violet Saturn is quickly becoming a standout in the genre. Their new single, "Love U Madly," was written and sung by 17-year-old Lauren Carr Reed, and perfectly captures the thrill of young love, with references to some of our favorite movie romances. We love the frenetic feel and the unexpected change to the beat of the chorus, giving us some high expectations of their debut album, All the Cool Kids, which drops Jan. 27.


5. sad alex Gets More Relatable Than Ever With songs that you'll probably never hear pt. 4

Indie artist sad alex has consistently wowed us with her powerfully relatable and endlessly listenable pop tracks, and today, she dropped three new songs in the form of songs that you'll probably never hear pt. 4. As always, the tracks are self-deprecating yet personal and deeply authentic, and our favorite has to be "buying a sandwich." It's about those times in life when a sense of pervasive sadness won't leave us, but simple acts, like treating yourself to an expensive, tasty sandwich, can bring a tiny bit of joy to your life.


Also read about: XO Team Founders Gary Grey and Mary Senn Dish on the Team and Their 'Reason' Music Video


6. Lauren Cimorelli Continues Her Journey With 'All in My Head'

We've loved watching Lauren Cimorelli pave her own path as a solo artist, and over the past couple of weeks, she's been creating a fascinating new story, consisting of narrative music videos, starting with "Mustang" and "Lockbox" before leading into this week's new release of "All in My Head." The latest track seems to be all about the struggle with expectation vs. reality and overthinking, while having your feelings dismissed by others. Next week, she'll continue the story with a new song called  "Ended Up In Arkansas," and we cannot wait.


7. Mckenna Grace Tackles Insecurity and Doubt on New Track 'Ugly Crier'

We firmly believe that there's nothing that Emmy-nominated actress and singer-songwriter Mckenna Grace can't do, and she's truly outdone herself with the new song "Ugly Crier." The song starts out with a dreamy, otherworldly sound before diving into a driving rock sound as she recounts the embarrassing moments that keep playing out in her head and the self-doubt they bring. "I wrote this song after I went to this Hollywood party with a bunch of celebrities and felt completely out of place," Mckenna explained in a press release. "I didn't know it was more of a black tie type of party and I showed up in my Taylor Swift cardigan with a bright lime green slimer purse. It was humiliating. All of these older, cool girls that I look up to were laughing and running around together and I was literally in the corner hiding out and feeling like a clown. That feeling of mediocracy and not being able to quiet that constant voice in my head that repeats my worst insecurities and feelings over and over and over. I know I'm always an advocate of saying that you should be who you are and love yourself, but it's easier said than done and some days it's just really hard!"


Also read about: Mckenna Grace on New Song 'do all my friends hate me?' and the 'Work in Progress' of Her Life


8. FLETCHER Drops the Stunning Video for 'Better Version' featuring Kelsea Ballerini

"Better Person" might be our favorite FLETCHER track of all time, with the duet version with country superstar Kelsea Ballerini serving as the epic finale to her recent album Girl of My Dreams (Deluxe), and its beautiful new music video has us somehow even deeper in love with the song. The moody folk-pop ballad is about the unique pain and reflection that come after a breakup, especially in seeing your former love move on, with FLETCHER and Kelsea's voices joining together to create an intimate and soul-baring sound we can't resist. The heartbreaking video also stars Sabrina the Teenage Witch's Gavin Leatherwood and Do Revenge's Ava Capri.


9. Queen Naija Takes on Men's Egos Head On in 'Let's Talk About It'

Multi-platinum R&B singer-songwriter Queen Naija has never let us down, and with her slow and smooth new single "Let's Talk About It," she's as bold and in charge as ever. It's a song about being totally over dealing with men's egos and drama and embracing her own power, asking the men in her life to step up and deal with their trauma instead of making the women in their life put up with it instead. The sound will leave you utterly hypnotized, and we adore the music video, starring Lil Meech as the man being confronted for his past wrongdoings.


10. Cheat Codes Tease Epic Country Album With 'Bets on Us' Featuring Dolly Parton

We can't say that we expected multi-platinum EDM trio Cheat Codes to announce a country album this month, but with the release of their new track "Bets on Us," featuring Dolly Parton, we're fully on board for the journey. The soothing, romantic track has an almost R&B feel with a bit of country twang and one of the catchiest choruses we've heard in a long time, made even better by Dolly's iconic voice. "Having Dolly on this album is so surreal and a full circle moment for me personally," the group's Matthew Russell shared in a press release. "As someone who grew up in the Midwest my family and I would go to her event in the Great Smokey Mountains. Her larger than life photos were everywhere and now having song with one of the biggest music legends of all time and especially in the county space is incredible." The album, One Night in Nashville, is out Jan. 27, and we are already counting down the days.


Missed out on our end-of-the-year faves? Click HERE to check out our top 10 favorite releases for the week of Dec. 16, 2022.