10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of May 26, 2023
Drop everything, because Taylor Swift just dropped a deluxe version of Midnights (the Til Dawn Edition), and we know it's about to make up the majority of a lot of people's Memorial Day weekend playlists.
Of course, her surprise release is far from the only incredible new music we were gifted over the last seven days, making it so hard to narrow down our faves this week. Somehow, we managed, so keep scrolling to discover the 10 biggest things that happened in music the week of May 26, 2023.
1. Christian Koo Continues Further Demonstrates His Solo Strengths as Yueku With Sophomore Single 'Paradise'
Pop singer-songwriter Christian Koo made his solo debut with the stunning "Catch Me If You Can" in 2021, and we think his artistry is stronger than ever on his second entry,"Paradise." The track is his sophomore single, showcasing his dreamy brand of bedroom pop and putting his clean, airy vocals and ultra-relatable songwriting front and center. It's a track about the kind of love that makes you feel at peace and makes all of your troubles disappear, and we can't think of anything sweeter.
2. DYLVN Shares His Story So Far in 'Tell Them Stories'
SoCal singer-songwriter DYLVN has been making quite the name for himself since he released his first single, "Dust of Love," in 2020, and his latest release, "Tell Them Stories," shows us all just how far he's come. It's an optimistic, guitar-driven pop-rock track with an especially anthemic chorus, serving as a kind of love letter to all of the people who supported him along his journey, believing in both him and his music. "This song is about living every moment to the fullest," DYLVN shared in a press release. "Although there are some nights you might regret, they make for great stories and ways to grow throughout life. I wanted to stress the importance of telling people my story so when I die, they tell other people for me. I can't really go throughout a day without telling someone what's on my mind, good or bad, as it relieves all my worries. Subliminally it shows who you are, not someone else. Let loose and make some damn stories!" He's also releasing an EP in the near future, and we can't wait to see what else he has in store for us.
3. Olivia Dean Celebrates Her Grandmother's Strength With 'Carmen'
If you're not already obsessed with U.K. soul-pop singer-songwriter Olivia Dean, "Carmen" is the perfect introductory track to get you hooked. The powerful single is a celebration of her grandmother, Carmen, who moved to the U.K. from Guyana to begin a new life, which eventually put Olivia on the path she's on today. Driven by Olivia's soaring vocals, the track combines calypso-inspired steel drums with regal horns and a modern pop beat to create something truly unique. "Carmen is a love letter to my granny and an ode to the wind rush generation," Olivia shared in a press release."I wanted to write a song of celebration that encapsulated the beautiful cross-culture that was created by the Caribbean community in the U.K. Steelpan is such a powerful and emotional instrument for me, so having that feature throughout the song makes it that extra special. I am a product of her bravery and I want her to be remembered forever!"The single will also close out her upcoming debut album, Messy, which has to be one of our most highly anticipated albums for June. We can't wait to see just how messy Olivia can get.
4. Linsey Urrea Accepts the Pain of a Breakup in 'Still in Love With U'
If Linsey Urrea's name sounds familiar, that may be because she comes from a musical family, with little brother Noah Urrea (formerly of Now United) growing up under her wing. Her latest single, "Still in Love With U," is all about the slow process of healing after a breakup, and how it's okay to still love someone while understanding all of the hurt they put you through. The playful pop-rock track comes complete with a music video featuring bandmates Emi Grace, Alexa Rae and Jordyn Krenkel, who all met through TikTok, while paying tribute to Linsey's Brazilian fanbase with the country's flag featured in the music video. "Still in love with you tells of a time in my life when I wasn't being honest with myself and my friends about how much I was hurting after my ex broke up with me for the first time," she shared in a press release. "I kept repeating to everyone that I had gotten over it because I was embarrassed to still cling to someone who wanted nothing more to do with me."
5. BENEE Creates the Ultimate Good Vibes Soundscape With'Bagels'
Feeling stressed? BENEE's innovative and one-of-a-kind new single, "Bagels," has a good chance of helping. The New Zealand singer-songwriter teamed up with mental health charity Youthline and leading neuroscientists at Auckland University of Technology to create the ultimate soothing track, with a sound scientifically designed to support mental health and well-being. The single lyric of "You are not alone" comes across as a hummed melody, making it feel almost subliminal against the atmospheric and calming soundscape. It was crafted specifically to ease feelings of anxiousness by changing brain activity and relaxing the nervous system. According to AUT's studies, "Bagels" lowered the short-term anxiety listeners felt in reaction to stressful situations and soothed the parts of the brain associated with a fight or flight response to stress. "I've always seen music as a kind of therapy, but it was fascinating to learn why certain sounds move your mood," BENEE revealed in a press release. "'Bagels' was a totally different creative process for us: every aspect, from the beat, the natural soundscape and harmonies, to the subtle message in my lyrics, 'You are not alone,' is designed to take away feelings of anxiousness. I've huge respect for Youthline's work, so it's been awesome to partner on this track, to show young people that it's okay to talk about mental health and to provide them with another tool to try when stressed. We all need to find what helps us, and one way I find calm is swimming at the beach and having a bagel—I've made a nod to this in the song and obviously its title, 'Bagels.'" We don't know about you, but we feel its effects working in just seconds, and it's about to become our go-to track anytime we need a few minutes to ground ourselves and let go of anxiety.
6. Cat Burns Begs for a More Dramatic End to Love in 'you don't love me anymore'
English singer-songwriter Cat Burns was the best-selling female British artist of 2022, and 2023 is destined to be even bigger for the sensation. She just released her heartbreaking new track, "you don't love me anymore," and it's easy to see why it's been a fan favorite show-stealer during her live performances opening for Sam Smith on their GLORIA Tour. The soulful ballad is about a relationship that's slowly coming to an end and wishing it could happen dramatically and painfully, rather than simply fizzling out because they no longer love her like they once did. This summer, Cat is embarking on a run of her first-ever solo shows in North America, and this is one we cannot wait to hear in person.
Also read about: Cat Burns Shares the True Story That Inspired Her Breakout Song 'Go'
7. Lauren Spencer Smith Dreams of the Future and Everlasting Love in 'That Part'
It's hard to believe that Lauren Spencer Smith is just 19 years old, because the pop singer-songwriter's craft goes way beyond her years. We're not at all surprised that her epic and romantic new love ballad "That Part" has been blowing up on TikTok, telling a story of falling madly in love and envisioning your future together while wishing you could skip right to it. Lauren's debut album, Mirror, also releases in July, and we couldn't be more excited for its 15 tracks, reflected in the bathroom mirror that's been the constant throughout all of the ups and downs of her young life. In the meantime, prepare yourself, because you're going to hear this song at every wedding this summer.
Also read about: Everything You Wanted to Know About 'Fingers Crossed' Singer-Songwriter Lauren Spencer-Smith
8. LE SSERAFIM Bring 'Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard's wife' to Life With an Unmissable Music Video
K-pop superstars LE SSERAFIM dropped their must-listen debut album, UNFORGIVEN, earlier this month, and we hope their brand new music video for "Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard's wife" makes new fans of anyone who missed the iconic release. The album entered the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart faster than any other K-pop girl group release in history, and this track shows precisely why it's been such a hit. The pulse-pounding song is named after three famously shunned women from mythology, with the five members singing all about the expectations pushed onto them as young women and how they plan to fearlessly live their authentic lives, breaking all of the rules in order to live freely. The choreography for the music video is absolutely captivating, and in just three days, it's been viewed more than 5.2 million times. We believe that number is only going to grow as we move into summer.
Also read about: LE SSERAFIM on UNFORGIVEN, Disrupting K-Pop and FEARNOT
9. Dua Lipa Lives Our Barbiecore Dream in 'Dance the Night'
As if we couldn't be more excited for the Barbie movie to drop in July, the soundtrack details for the film were released this week, with Dua Lipa's new single "Dance the Night" serving as the perfect tease for everything else to come. The Grammy-winning superstar also makes an appearance in the film, and this danceable disco-infused track is overflowing with Barbie vibes, making it the perfect match for the new trailer that was released this week. BARBIE THE ALBUM will also feature Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice, Lizzo, Khalif, The Kid LAROI, GAYLE, FIFTY FIFTY and so many more, but until it arrivs, we can bide our time basking in the pink-hued glory that is the "Dance the Night" music video.
Also read about: How to Copy Dua Lipa's Iconic Style
10. Taylor Swift Proves Midnights Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving With the Til Dawn Edition
Taylor Swift just keeps on surprising us in the best ways, and this week, she stunned us all with Midnights (Til Dawn Edition), a deluxe version of her latest studio album. In addition to the base album and the 3am tracks, it includes three new releases, including the brand new song "Hits Different," a new version of "Snow on the Beach" featuring way more of co-writer Lana Del Rey and a new take on "Karma" brought to life with help from Ice Spice to make it dreamier than ever. "I'm a massive fan of this brilliant artist and after getting to know her I can confirm: she is THE ONE to watch," Taylor wrote in a post on Intagram. "So delighted to say that 'Karma' featuring the incredible @icespice will be out tomorrow night at midnight ET as a part of the new Midnights (Til Dawn Edition) deluxe album."
Missed our favorite tracks last week? Click HERE to check out our top 10 favorite releases for the week of May 19, 2023.