With the sun sticking around longer and the official arrival of spring, we’ve definitely got a renewed pep in our steps—and with some of the freshest new tunes of the year dropping this week, it’s clear we’re not the only ones.
Not only did we have the pleasure of listening to beautiful new music from up-and-comers like Neela and Caroline Romano, but some of the biggest names in the biz also dropped new greatness, from Missy Elliott to BTS‘s Jimin and Ed Sheeran. This was one for the books, so just keep scrolling to discover the 10 biggest things that happened in music the week of March 24, 2023.
Canadian-born East Indian artist Neela has a powerful voice, perfectly matching the impact of the story she has to tell. Her latest single, “You’ll Never Know,” confronts the difficult topic of abuse with a sense of anger as well as empowerment, with a soulful R&B sound that channels her real-life trauma into a beautifully transformative track. Neela’s smokey, soaring voice is impossible to ignore, with an equally stunning self-directed music video. We can see some big things in Neela’s future.
Ever felt like you’ve been a little too open and honest with people about your true feelings and wished you could take it all back? Singer-songwriter Caroline Romano knows the sensation very well, and it’s the topic of her vibrant new single, “Guts.” Propelled by indie-rock vibes and the rawest of lyrics, there’s a frenzy and unbridled energy to the sound as she sings about oversharing to all the wrong people, and how she’s left feeling in the aftermath. “I’ve always had this thing in social settings—especially at house parties, bars or really anywhere with pretty strangers—where I feel like people can see right through me, like I’m completely transparent,” Caroline revealed in a press release. “In some terrible attempt at compensation, I’ll say too much or drink too much. I end up spilling my guts to people as a form of free therapy or self-sabotage, I’m not sure which it is. And then I watch them watch me dig myself further, with my guts on the floor in front of them. That’s how I end things before they’ve even started, and that’s what this song is about. It’s frantic and eager and frustrated all at the same time.”
Six-time Platinum-certified singer-songwriter gnash really hasn’t slowed down with new musical releases since October when he dropped “Seasons,” and it all comes to a head with his new album, The Art of Letting Go. The moody and introspective album collects his five most recent double-sided singles, plus two brand-new tracks, “Balance” and “Be Here Now,” to chart the artist’s own personal journey into learning to let go of the things holding him back, and we all have a bit to discover along with him. “Learning how to let go is something I struggle with, be it in relationships, with resentment, anger, friendships, stress, etc. (the list goes on!) and making the art of letting go led me to ‘Think it, say it, do it.’ I think it got me a little closer to that enlightenment we all strive for in one way or another. I believe we enter life with a set of lessons to learn, and while all on our own journey or path through life those lessons we learn along the way help our souls grow. The album is a reflection of that. I chose a cloud motif for the cover because they remind me of thoughts, feelings and emotions—how they come and go with the wind (or, our breath).”
We never know quite what to expect from Platinum-certified alternative artist grandson, but his new single, “drones,” might be our favorite from the artist yet. Its pulsing drum machines make for one of the best beats we’ve heard all year, with a sound that doesn’t neatly fit into any genre, combining a dance feel with progressive metal influences and a lyrical cadence you’d usually find in hip-hop. The song itself is about self-deception and survival, which matches well with an ever-changing sound you can never quite predict. “‘drones’ is a twisting, spiraling journey through the lies we tell ourselves to get through the day when the hard truth may bury us,” grandson said in a press relesae. “I wanted to pay homage to bands like Tool and System of a Down known for unpredictable time signatures but bring 808s and hip-hop into it.” The single also came with the announcement of his next album, I Love You, I’m Trying, which drops May 5.
We can never have enough neurodivergence anthems, and Catie Turner‘s “Hyperfixations” is one that, aptly, will be stuck in our heads all weekend. We love the way the smooth, almost leisurely verses contrast with the frenetic impulsivity of the choruses, just as someone can mask and appear completely calm on the outside when inside, they’re somewhere else entirely, running through all of their current anxieties in rapid succession. “‘Hyperfixations,’ for me, is a normal therapy session,” Catie shared in a pres release. “Semi-concerning lyrics, but with a beat that says, ‘Hey, she’s kind of doing something!’ It’s about living inside my head to the point it affects my ability to love and to perceive love; it affects my ability to perceive life. I really hope you enjoy it, whether as a down-to-enjoy-some-chaos type of person or a fellow neurodivergent over-thinker.” “Hyperfixations will appear on her upcoming two-part project, Comedy & Tragedy, and we’re anticipating the rest will be as deeply personal, yet undeniably relatable, as this track.
Artist and producer Felly is a master of laid-back, groovy tunes that often pose deeply philosophical questions, and in his new single, “Crying in Sunshine,” featuring the talented Arden Jones, he’s truly at the top of his game. The song is about all of the complexities of life and the disparities that come from seeking joy in a messed-up world, contrasted by the chill sound as Felly accepts the futility of it all. “‘Crying in Sunshine’ came after sitting at a tire shop for four hours,” Felly shared in an interview with Sweety High. “I had blown my tire and cracked the tire’s rim while on the way to a session— and had to delay everybody. Luckily, when I did arrive that night after a ‘what the f***’ day, everyone was still excited and inspired to create. I had something to surrender to, and I think you can hear that a bit in the song. I love blues music, but nobody likes actually going through bad times. I remember hearing a blues musician say, ‘blues music is struggle music, and if you ain’t struggled, just keep living.'”
Toosii‘s “Favorite Song” is already destined to be one of the biggest hits of 2023, with a romantic sound, and even more swoon-worthy lyrics that instantly drove it to become a viral hit. We thought it couldn’t get any better—but that was before its gorgeously heartbreaking new music video dropped this week. This track is going anywhere anytime soon, and we couldn’t be happier about that. “The story is about women having desires and needs for certain things that they look for in men to supply,” Toosii shared with Sweety High in an interview. “Growing up around women and being raised by women, I feel like I always knew those things. A situation someone close to me was going through is what inspired me to write the song.”
Also read about: Toosii Shares the Inspiration Behind His Viral Hit, ‘Favorite Song’
No one is doing it quite like British girl group FLO, and with the release of their new single, “Fly Girl,” featuring legendary rapper Missy Elliott, they’re evoking the very best in retro R&B. The song builds on the “fly gal” Missy introduced in “Work It” more than 20 years ago, also sampling the iconic single with a fresh twist as they confidently express their womanhood and beauty. “’Fly Girl’ is all about confidence, good vibes and feeling your best,” the group explained in a press release. “It’s a lively, feel-good song that still incorporates clever lyrics and fire vocals, if we do say so ourselves. It’s quite literally a perfect fusion of old-school-meets-modern-day-R&B, with a nod to and feature from the original fly girl Missy Elliott herself. We love it and are so happy to be putting out a song that can hopefully make whoever plays it feel confident and most importantly, fly.”
Also read about: FLO Takes It Back to the 2000s With Their Debut EP, The Lead
After becoming one of the most recognized celebrities in the world as a member of K-pop supergroup BTS, Jimin released his highly anticipated debut solo album FACE today, proving just how unstoppable he really is. As the title suggests, this album really is about Jimin learning to face himself as he honestly confronts his struggles during the pandemic, coming to grips with loneliness and accepting a type of superstardom that few have ever known. It builds over time, from pain and fear to eventually accepting a new sense of self-discovery as the album comes to a close. This truly is a solo venture, with Jimin and his incredible talents, as well as a truly unique voice, shining at every turn, and we can’t wait to see him develop even further on his own.
Ed Sheeran’s eagerly anticipated – album (pronounced “Subtract”) is out May 5, and its lead single, “Eyes Closed” is proof it’s going to be something special. Ed actually wrote the song years ago, beginning as a breakup song before eventually transforming into the song about a different type of loss that it is today. The track feels melancholic yet hopeful, and in its music video, Ed is followed by a huge Muppet-like blue monster who won’t leave him be, and who actually grows larger along with his grief. “This song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and everything just reminds you of them and the things you did together,” Ed shared in a press release. “You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss, but certain things just bring you right back into it.
Missed our favorite tracks last week? Click HERE to check out our top 10 favorite releases for the week of March 17, 2023.