10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of May 19, 2023
While Lewis Capaldi's stunning sophomore album Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent has absolutely been the highlight of our New Music Friday, we don't want to spend the entire weekend sobbing.
Thankfully, the week graced us with a ton of incredible new music to listen to, from new singles and albums from our favorite rising stars to huge drops from Prateek Kuhad, Past Malone and so many more. Want to know what we're listening to? Just keep scrolling to discover the 10 biggest things that happened in music the week of May 19, 2023.
1. dba James Tries to Get by in '7*'
If you're not yet familiar with rising indie artist dba James, it's time to get introduced with the vibey "7*." It's a track about a struggle with burning out, feeling like you're getting everything wrong and wishing you could get a do-over. We love how he gets the point across with his smooth yet somewhat somber vocal tone contrasting against the big, bright sound of the instrumentation. "I love this song so much," James shared on Instagram. "So many people helped me get this to you so thanks to them. The video is out too."
2. Leith Ross Drops Their Profound and Confessional Debut Album, To Learn
Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leith Ross's music is truly something special, and that's never been more clear than on their debut album, To Learn. With melodies evocative of Elliott Smith, the entire vulnerable, confessional album feels so personal you almost don't know if you should be listening, as if you're reading someone's diary. "This record documents a lot of change, a lot of lessons, a lot of learning, a lot of life," Leith shared in a press release. "It's been mine for so long, I can't wait for it to be everyone else's as well. What can I say! I'm learning to die, but I'm living to learn!"
3. Thomas Headon Writes the Perfect Vibey Summer Bop With '2009 Toyota'
Indie-pop sensation Thomas Headon never misses, and with "2009 Toyota," he proves he can take literally any topic and transform it into a certified smash hit. The London-born, Melbourne-raised artist's latest single is a feel-good track about just hanging out with friends and having a great time, with perfectly witty lyrics and an irresistibly catchy chorus to match. "I wrote 2009 Toyota in Australia with my friend Taka and not gonna lie, we went into it with no aim other than we wanted to write a song that was just pure vibes," Thomas explained in a press release. "We started playing around with different sounds and random lyrics that don't mean a lot, but when we put them all together it sounded really cool, and I'm really proud of the outcome. I've never actually driven a 2009 Toyota, I was 8 in 2009! But, my friend Charlie really does live in an apartment with a rooftop, so there is some truth in it."
Also read about: Everything You Wanted To Know about Musician Thomas Headon
4. Zeph Gets Led on in 'you don't like me like that'
If you've ever been led on by your biggest crush, let us introduce you to your new anthem in the form of Zeph's "you don't like me like that." The alt-pop singer-songwriter and producer's new track combines pop-punk instrumentation with orchestral strings to create a playful soundscape, paired with Zeph's silky vocals as she belts out all of the things she refuses to say to the one who just doesn't like her like that. "you don't like me like that" will also be the opening track on her upcoming debut album, coming later this summer. "It's about a time I liked a guy and I think he kind of liked me, too, but I felt like he was leading me on, and I just wanted him to tell me to f*** off so I would stop believing I had a chance," Zeph shared in an interview with Sweety High. "I feel like this song is very self-explanatory and one of my simplest songs lyrically. It's just me being frustrated, shouting into the void."
Also read about: zeph's 'you don't like me like that' Is the Ultimate Anthem for Anyone Getting Led On
5. Wé Abi Lets Go of Dead Weight on '175 Pounds'
One of our favorite weeks of the year is when the American Idol top five finalists release their own original tracks, and you only have to listen to Wé Abi's "175 Pounds" to see why. The 23-year-old artist is famed for her unusually high-pitched speaking voice that gives way to deep and soulful vocals when she sings, and that finely tuned voice is especially powerful on the single, all about finally cutting a toxic man out of her life to "lose 175 pounds." "'175 Lbs' is so dope because it speaks to such real moments," Wé shared in a press release. "It's relatable because everybody has that really heavy weight that they want to get off, whether that is emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. But in this context, it is really about setting boundaries for yourself and nixing somebody from your life. Sometimes having a lot less noise gives you so much peace of mind."
6. Blur Teases Reunion Album With First Single in 8 Years, 'The Narcissist'
Britpop legends Blur are one of our all-time favorite bands, so to say we were excited when they surprised the world with their first single in almost eight years would be an understatement. The new track, "The Narcissist," manages to be classically Blur without feeling like a blast from the past. It serves as a thoughtful reflection on narcissism from the point of view of someone who's been squarely in the spotlight, with frontman Damon Alban (also of Gorillaz fame) spilling out his soul. It's just a first taste of their upcoming album, The Ballad Of Darren, out July 21—and that date seriously can't come soon enough.
Also read about: Blur's Dave Rowntree Discusses His Early Radio Influences and Debut Solo Album Radio Songs
7. Iam Tongi Pays Tribute to His Late Father With 'I'll Be Seeing You'
Iam Tongi is another American Idol top-five finalist we're rooting for this season—and it's clear we're far from the only ones. He's been a viral fan-favorite ever since we all heard his singing voice during his first audition, and all of his musical strengths are on full display in his original single, "I'll Be Seeing You." It's a touching and emotional tribute to his late father, who was one of the biggest supporters on his Americal Idol journey, but unfortunately passed away before he could sing in front of the judges. "This song is very beautiful, and it resonates with me," Iam revealed in a press release. "It means a lot to me. It is about my father, and if you think about it, this song talks about 'I'll be seeing you wherever I go' because when a loved one passes away, you are going to remember them in everyday life. My dad had to go to dialysis, and every time we drive past the place he had to get it done, we always point and say, 'Oh, look, Dad.' We never say, 'Oh look, that's where he used to get it done.' We always just say 'Dad.'"
8. Prateek Kuhad Celebrates The Way That Lovers Do With a Deluxe Edition
There's a good Prateek Kuhad is known as India's most beloved singer-songwriter, and today marks the one-year anniversary of his debut album with Elektra Records, The Way That Lovers Do. He's celebrating with the release of a deluxe edition of the album, featuring eight brand-new songs. Among them is an alternate version of the popular track "Bloom," this time featuring guest vocals by R&B artist Raveena, and the song is somehow even more iconic as a duet. In a press release, Prateek shared that Raveena "came over to my home in New Delhi and we talked for hours over tea—after which she took about 15 minutes to write the prettiest verse on 'Bloom.'"
9. Post Malone Explores the Darker Sides of Fame in 'Mourning'
The biggest music news of the week may have been Post Malone's announcement of his highly anticipated next album, Austin (dropping July 28), and if the new single "Mourning" is any indication of its quality, we're all in for something big. The new track combines a pulsing beat with yearning, atmospheric instrumentation and some of Post's best wordplay to date as he examines his own relationship with addiction and the "friends" who only care about his wealth and star status. It's Post Malone at his best, and it's a sign of many more good things to come. "I love y'all so very much and I'm so excited to get out and do some more shows for y'all," Post said in a press release. "Help me put a baby through college and come on out. Some cool new production, new songs, and a very very handsome man up on stage. Sending love to you and yours."
Also read about: Use These Deep Lyrics From Post Malone's Twelve Carat Toothache as Your Next Instagram Captions
10. Lewis Capaldi Jerks Every Tear With Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent
After the smash success of Lewis Capaldi's debut album, there's a lot of pressure on his sophomore album, Broken By Desire to Be Heavenly Sent, but after listening, we're confident it's going to be an even bigger hit. These 12 tracks are rawer and more personal than ever before—and don't blame us if you're tearing up by the end of it! If the music video for "Wish You the Best" left you crying ugly tears, the new video for "Haven't You Ever Been in Love Before?" might do the same—but this time around, they'll be happy tears.
Missed our favorite tracks last week? Click HERE to check out our top 10 favorite releases for the week of May 12, 2023.