10 Big Things That Happened in Music the Week of October 22, 2021
There's nothing that gets us in the fall mood like crisp, cool weather and dreamy, romantic new tracks. And this week, our favorite artists really delivered.
From rising artists including Hastings and Hope Tala to superstars such as Macy Gray and Khalid, the best musicians in the business were very busy this week dropping chill new tracks. If you're curious about the songs we'll be blasting all weekend long, keep reading to discover our top 10 favorite releases for the week of Oct. 22, 2021.
1. Hastings Makes His Mark With Sophomore Single 'Chapstick'
Nashville-based singer-songwriter Hastings made his musical debut with the single "Heart's Not in It" in August, and ever since, we've been eagerly awaiting the follow-up. His second single, "Chapstick," does not disappoint. With its irresistible chorus and unusual percussive beat, it's sure to get stuck in your head—and get you very excited about hearing even more from the artist. "I still remember the day I wrote 'Chapstick' with my friends, and the feeling we had while writing it was surreal," Hastings shared in a press release. "It's always had this energy about it that has become a standard for me, and playing it live makes it that much more exciting."
2. Hope Tala Impresses Yet Again With the All-Too Relatable 'Tiptoeing'
If you've ever had feelings for a friend but been slightly terrified of taking that next step with someone and ruining everything, have we got a track for you. London-based singer-songwriter Hope Tala's new single "Tiptoeing" is about that sentiment exactly, and it's not just ultra-relatable but also undeniably smooth, with a sophisticated bossa nova sound. "'Tiptoeing' is about the dance we do when we're at the threshold of romance," Hope explained in a press release. "It's about treading carefully when you're not quite sure what the other person is feeling, but desperately wanting to take a risk because you're young and life is short."
3. The Voice Winner Carter Rubin Reveals Debut Single 'horoscope'
If you've been anxiously awaiting new music from Carter Rubin ever since he won the 19th season of The Voice, that wait ends now—and your patience has definitely paid off. The 16-year-old singer-songwriter's first single, "horoscope," doesn't just display his phenomenal voice but also his clever writing as he croons, "I don't check your horoscope anymore,"—an obvious lie, among many others. It's a track about a relationship that wasn't meant to be, and yet the memory of the object of his affections still lingers all around him.
4. LÉON Releases Dreamy New Single 'Soaked'
Indie artist LÉON's unique voice has always captivated us, but her new single, "Soaked," just might be our favorite song yet. With its dream-like, melodic synth riff reminiscent of The Cure and her gorgeously raspy vocals, the song evokes the rainy weather she sings about on the track. We especially love the evocative imagery of the song, waiting for the pouring rain to soak her to the bone and wash away all of the negativity and loneliness she's been experiencing.
5. Vella and Macy Gray Join Forces for the Uplifting 'Blue'
We've always adored 18-year-old Vella and her powerfully soulful voice, and we think that her new collab, "Blue," featuring Macy Gray is a match made in heaven. Their duet is gorgeous, and really accentuates the uplifting message of the sunshiny song. "Whenever I hear 'Blue' it gives me such a happy feeling! I hope when listeners listen to this song it puts a smile on their faces!" Vella explained in a press release. "Working with Macy was such a treat! I learned so much from her, especially song-writing-wise. She's the best of the best and the sweetest! It's always a pleasure working with her."
6. Dean Lewis Channels Angst and Anguish in 'Looks Like Me'
Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis always seems to put his all into his tracks, and his latest single, "Looks Like Me," is no exception. The song is based on a relationship that never came to pass, and the pain of seeing the person you love with someone else—especially when it seems like you're just the person they're looking for. And not only is it full of emotion, but it's ridiculously danceable, and just destined to become a hit. "It was just one of those relationships that never quite came together—no matter how much I wanted it to," Dean said in a press release. "One night on the phone, we were living in different cities, she told me she was hanging with a guy who looked like me. So you'd rather be with someone who looks like me—than the actual me!"
7. Katelyn Tarver Drops Delicate and Haunting New Single 'Hurt Like That'
Few artists wow us quite as consistently as Georgia-born singer-songwriter Katelyn Tarver, and her new single "Hurt Like That" meets all of our expectations, and then some. The track's gentle sound and raw lyrics help the message cut straight to the core. It's a breakup song about finding out what you thought was love wasn't as meaningful to them as it was to you, and that wanting the other person in the relationship to be as heartbroken as you are when it ends. That's rarely possible, but at least we now have this song to soothe our souls.
8. keshi Teases His Debut Album With New Single 'SOMEBODY'
If you're not already familiar with Houston-based alt singer-songwriter keshi, you should know that he hasn't even released an album, and yet his tracks have already been streamed more than a billion times. Those are some seriously impressive numbers, but a single listen to his music will show you that those stats are well-deserved. His new single, "SOMEBODY," is sexy, romantic and incredibly smooth, and you won't be able to stop listening. It's also our first taste of keshi's upcoming debut album, and based on the sound of things, it seems we're in for a treat. "With 'SOMEBODY' and the upcoming album as a whole, I felt like it was time to shift the tone to something more well rounded," keshi said in a press release. "It all exudes a newfound confidence that I think fans will be refreshed to hear and see in all the new videos."
9. Tems Releases a Daring Music Video for 'Crazy Tings'
Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems seems to effortlessly blend new and old styles in all of her musical releases, and we are so excited that she's finally dropped a music video for "Crazy Tings," off her recent EP If Orange Was a Place. With its slick, danceable beat and a sound evoking the reggae classics, it's a song about realizing someone's been dishonest and bad for you, and telling them off while letting them know they're not so special.
10. Khalid Gives a Mindful Gift to Fans With New Song 'Present'
Is there anything that Khalid can't do? The singer has us swooning with his romantic new song "Present," which isn't just about love, but also about being as present and mindful as you can in a relationship in order to feel that love to the fullest. And, if the song wasn't enough of a "present" itself, Khalid will also be releasing his next tape Scenic Drive on Dec. 3. "I've had the chance to listen to a lot of music and also push myself creatively while I'm recording," Khalid said in a press release. "My mom raised me on R&B and whether it's the harmonies or melodies, it will always be a part of my music. 'Present' is just the beginning and I love that it has a dual meaning. It feels good to be more 'present' after such a trying year in the pandemic and it's also a 'present' for my fans that have been with me every step of the way."
Missed our favorite tracks of last week? Click HERE to check out our top 10 releases the week of Oct. 15, 2021.