10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of December 10, 2021
It's hard to believe that the holidays are only a couple of weeks away, and it seems that some of our favorite stars are getting the festivities started early by dropping new seasonal tracks.
This week, we saw a new Christmas-themed single from Masego, plus an incredible (and unexpected) holiday collab between Jimmy Fallon, Megan Thee Stallion and Ariana Grande. But that's not all, because MONSTA X, Ruel, MAX and so many more artists also blessed us with incredible new music this week. Want to find out what we'll be listening to all weekend? Keep scrolling for 10 big things that happened in music the week of Dec. 10, 2021.
1. Anna Shoemaker Goes Easy on Herself in 'Change My Mind'
Indie-pop hitmaker Anna Shoemaker is one of our favorite rising artists at the moment, and we love her honest approach to songwriting, which is on full display in her new single "Change My Mind." The new song is an ode to growing up, and the growing pains that come along with it, while you learn to treat yourself with kindness. "It's about being hopeful while also accepting and welcoming your emotions as they come," Anna revealed in a press release. "Writing this song really changed a lot for me."
2. Emerging Pop Artist JAKE $ING Drops His Debut Studio EP, UPS & DOWNS
Shanghai-born pop artist JAKE $ING has made a big mark on the music scene this year, and his new debut EP, UPS & DOWNS, gives the perfect taste of what he's capable of as a creator. It features four new tracks—"MAKEUP," "TILL IT HURTS," "LET DOWN" and "TOO MUCH"—which highlight the rollercoaster of emotions that's life. He revealed in a press release that writing these songs, "made me realize that part of what it means to be a human is to go through those ups and downs," as well as that "these moments of ups and downs is what make us who we are." That's something we can all relate to.
3. Bahari and Cody Lovaas Team Up for the Stunning 'All Around Me'
We can't get enough of pop duo Bahari, consisting of Kenya-raised Ruby Carr and Nashville native Natalia Panzarella, known for their ethereal, soul-baring tracks. Their latest release, "All Around Me" featuring Cody Lovaas, is an especially powerful song that tells the story following a breakup, with both sides still thinking of each other and being unable to forget the other's presence.
4. Guitarist Cole Rolland Releases His First Original Single, 'Ignite'
Toronto-based Cole Rolland is a professional guitarist with an avid following on YouTube, but while he's best known for his covers, he's just taken the next big step in his career with his first original single, "Ignite." "I want listeners to feel empowered and inspired when they hear 'Ignite,'" Cole revealed in a press release. "It's been a tough last couple of years for many, a large number of which are still struggling to relight their fire and kickstart their momentum once more. You create your own reality and are fully capable of achieving your wildest dreams." With its roaring guitars and strong vocals, the new song proves Cole is just as skilled as a frontman as he is as an instrumentalist, and we think this is just the start of something big.
5. BENEE Gets Tongue Tied With 'Doesn't Matter'
If you've ever wished you could open up to someone but just couldn't find the words, BENEE's dream-like new single, "Doesn't Matter," will speak directly to your soul. The New Zealand singer-songwriter opens up about her struggles with mental health and her OCD diagnosis in the track, and its emotions are something we can all relate to. "'Doesn't Matter' is about how hard it can be to explain your feelings and emotions to people," BENEE said in a press release. "Sometimes friends just being there for you is such a help." The music video was influenced by classic French indie films, and we love the message it gets across.
6. Masego Puts a New Spin on an Old Classic With 'Favorite Tings'
The Sound of Music's "My Favorite Things" has long been a traditional holiday fave, but Grammy-nominated artist Masego's new version of the song, "Favorite Tings," injects new life to make it a modern classic. We can't get enough of the jazzy R&B spin he's added to the track, complete with a slick sax solo, and we plan to listen to a lot of it, come Christmastime.
7. MAX Joins Forces With FLETCHER for a Gorgeous New Rendition of 'Butterflies'
We couldn't stop listening to MAX's "Butterflies," featuring Iraqi-Canadian singer-songwriter Ali Gatie, when it was released earlier this year, so we couldn't have been more delighted when we heard a new version was coming out—especially since, this time around, the song would feature pop sensation FLETCHER. The new version of the song seems to showcase a romantic back-and-forth, reflecting both sides of the sweet, butterfly-inducing relationship. "FLETCHER has such a beautiful voice and is truly just a total badass," MAX explained in a press release. "It was a pleasure to have her join 'Butterflies,' add her own story to the song and really make it her own."
8. Ruel Returns With Expressive New Track, 'Growing Up Is _____'
19-year-old British-Australian artist Ruel hasn't let us down yet with his cutting, insightful pop tracks, and "Growing Up Is _____" might be his most infectious yet. The shimmering pop track is all about that hard-to-place period between childhood and adulthood, and navigating all of the surprising aspects of what it means to really grow up, with a chorus you won't be able to resist singing along to.
9. MONSTA X Release Their English-Language Debut Album, The Dreaming
MONSTA X are one of the biggest K-pop groups on the planet, and this is a very exciting time for their English-speaking fans, because they've just released their debut English-language album, The Dreaming. The album features 10 incredible new tracks, all fully in English and featuring the band's signature upbeat and feel-good sound. Check out the music video for "You Problem" for your first taste of the bold collection of songs.
10. Jimmy Fallon Recruits Ariana Grande and Megan Thee Stallion for the Cheeky Holiday Collab, 'It Was A… (Masked Christmas)'
We'd be lying if we told you we were expecting a holiday song collab from Jimmy Fallon, Ariana Grande and Megan Thee Stallion this year, but now that it's here, we couldn't imagine Christmas 2021 without it. It's a surprisingly catchy comedy song about holiday Zooms, masking up at holiday parties and getting booster shots, featuring Ariana's angelic vocals and a memorable rap break from Megan Thee Stallion. It's also painfully relatable. Who isn't hoping that this Christmas will be far less lonely and socially distanced than last year's?
Missed our favorite tracks of last week? Click HERE to check out our top 10 favorite releases the week of Dec. 3, 2021.