10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of May 12, 2023

New Music Friday is our favorite day of the week, every week, and with a new album from the Jonas Brothers out today, this NMF is even more special than most.

Of course, that wasn't the other magic that graced our ears over the last seven days, with a surprise new BTS track, an all-time great Latin collab led by Sebastián Yatra and so much more. Wondering what we loved most? Just scroll to discover the 10 biggest things that happened in music the week of May 12, 2023.

1. Sekou Makes a Stunning Debut With 'Better Man'

Listening to Sekou's "Better Man," you'd never know this is a debut single—or that the artist is just 18 years old. The rising English star has already made a name for himself with his powerful voice and songwriting abilities well beyond his years, and his first single encapsulates what makes him stand out, with a deep richness in both tone and emotion. It's a song about looking inward and coming to understand your own flaws, as well as working to improve yourself, no matter what. "Growing up I had a bad relationship with my dad, but I never knew I could write a song out of it," Sekou shared in a press release. "I wanted to write half of it to myself, telling myself what not to do, but then also telling my dad a message as well. When I started the writing process that was the only thing I could really relate to and be honest about."


2. GALE Gets Confessional on Debut Album, Lo Que No Te Dije

Puerto-Rican singer-songwriter GALE has always had a special place in our hearts, with her silky voice and massive crossover appeal, and her first-ever album, Lo Que No Te Dije, is about to put her on the map in a big way. The title translates to "What I Didn't Tell You," with a confessional feel across its 13 tracks. Its most vulnerable song, "La Mitad," also dropped a new music video today. It's a gorgeous, shimmering pop ballad, with a hint of reggaeton, that's powerfully moving, even if you don't speak a word of Spanish. "It's saying, I need to let you go, but a part of me is going to stay with you," GALE said in a press release, and we can't get enough.


3. LØLØ Explores Her Emotional Highs and Lows in 'omg'

Pop-punk artist LØLØ never ceases to surprise us, and her new single "omg" is a fascinating journey through her own psyche. The track feels like a running stream of consciousness, with LØLØ recounting her worries, hopes and dreams over emotional acoustic verses, punctuated by its explosive, sung-screamed punk choruses. As it fluctuates between the two wildly contrasting styles, it never stops feeling raw, vulnerable and real, and the music video's frenetic imagery brings it to life in the most perfect way. "'omg' was written by blurting out a bunch of intrusive thoughts,"  LØLØ revealed in a press release. "The song aims to capture what the hell is going on inside my head at any given moment. I wanted the production to match the extreme highs and lows of feeling okay, and then really not okay only a moment later. The feelings of being lost in a dream and then feeling like the biggest failure to grace this earth a second later. Of happiness and awesomeness and of disappointment & insecurity. Buckle in and enjoy the ride. XOXO."


Also read about: LØLØ on the Meaning of 'debbie downer' and Collaborating with Maggie Lindemann


4. Amelia Moore Is Haunted by Remnants of Her Ex on 'name everywhere'

Back in October 2022, Amelia Moore dropped a bone-chilling teaser of her latest single, "name everywhere," on TikTok, passionately crying out, "Swear I see your name everywhere/ Even if it's not there." Today, Amelia completes the rest of the story with painful specifics—unable to see vowels without association and poor sleep schedules—wrapped over a wobbly electric guitar that eventually climaxes into a deafening strum. As usual, "name everywhere" is colored by Amelia's colorful vocal runs and shimmering tone that is somehow both soft and commanding.


5. Sarah Kinsley Begs for Love in 'Lovegod'

Sarah Kinsley's highly anticipated EP, Ascension, arrives in less than a month, and her latest single, "Lovegod," gives us confidence that it will be her best collection of music yet. Sarah self-produced the track and mixed it herself, and with its dream-like piano instrumentation and pure, evocative vocals reminiscent of Kate Bush, it's unlike anything else we've heard this year. The song is a bit like a prayer, calling out to a god of love to give her what she's sorely lacking, and we adore the sense of longing and nostalgia in every note.  "'Lovegod' is the most devious I think I've been in my writing," Kinsley explained in a press release. "My own 'lovegod' is a perfect lover, an answer to a prayer, an antidote for romantic pessimism. Where can one find love these days? Why do we need it? Why do I find myself begging for some spiritual deliverance?"


Also read about: Sarah Kinsley Breaks Down Every Track of Her New Cypress EP


6. viisi Reveals the Next Step of His Musical Evolution With Episode II: Red Windows

viisi is an artist we're watching very closely in 2023, and his latest project, Episode II: Red Windows, will have you just as hooked. It consists of two tracks, "one day" and "i lost who i am," and both vibey earworms that allow us to peer right into viisi's soul, while showing the next step in his ever-evolving musicality. "one day" features singer-songwriter Kayla DiVenere in an incredible duet about no longer being invested in a relationship. It was recorded at the end of a 10-hour session, and the weariness works flawlessly in this song's favor. "i lost who i am," on the other hand, is a track about feeling isolated from the people he left back home when he came to L.A. to pursue music. "Episode II: Red Windows deals with a lot of internal monologues that I feel as an emerging artist," viisi explained in a press release. We're excited to see what he comes up with next.


7. ONEUS Feels the Pygmalion Effect in Latest Mini-Album, PYGMALION

The Pygmalion phenomenon says that with high expectations come improved results. On ONEUS' eighth mini-album, PYGMALION, the K-pop quintet uses their positive thoughts to bring their most meaningful project to date. In just five tracks, ONEUS chronicles the ups and downs of reality, from the moments where life feels like a movie ("Unforgettable") to heartbreak and vengeance ("ERASE ME").


Also read about: ONEUS Gives Us the Inside Scoop on Their 7th Mini Album, TRICKSTER


8. Sebastián Yatra, Manuel Turizo and Beéle Join Forces for Summer Bop 'Vagabundo'

When Colombian powerhouses Sebastián Yatra, Manuel Turizo and Beéle team up, you know you're going to get something good, and their new collaboration "Vagabundo" may be the ultimate summer party beat. With its playful merengue sounds, all three artists' strengths are on full display from start to finish. It's a song addressing an ex who might pretend they've moved on when really, their feelings remain just as strong as ever. It's carefree, expressive and just a good time, and we dare you not to move along to the beat.


9. BTS Share Surprise Song 'The Planet' for BASTIONS

Is there anything that beats a surprise drop from BTS? Their latest release is a track called "The Planet," which will serve as the theme song for BASTIONS, an animated 3D superhero film about rookie heroes who fight baddies out to destroy the environment. The upbeat and optimistic track is all about saving the world, starting with the planet itself, and we seriously wish we were in South Korea to catch BASTIONS when it airs on SBS on May 14.


10. The Jonas Brothers Explore Love on The Album

The long wait is finally over, and after nearly four years, the Jonas Brothers have released their highly anticipated The Album. Across these 12 new tracks, the trio explores musical depths they never have before, with songs full of nostalgic '70s yacht rock vibes, even as they cross genre after genre. Love is a major theme across the album, whether it refers to romance, love for the family or simply the love between three brothers, and the hit single "Waffle House" feels like the ultimate distillation of The Album and its story.


Missed our favorite tracks last week? Click HERE to check out our top 10 favorite releases for the week of May 5, 2023.