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Exploring New Music

A guide on recent releases

Hannah Jackson

Staff Writer

September 22, 2021

There has been a lot of music released these past few months— in case you missed them, here’s a guide on what to listen to.

The first album I’ll be discussing is “Solar Power” by Lorde. This album was a genre shift from her typical larger-than-life electro pop to a more mellow, dreamy sound, and it works perfectly for her voice. Her songs transport you to a world without technology: just the light of the sun hitting your skin with nostalgia and ocean waves. The soft sounds and impactful lyrics hit you in just the right spot. The album ranges from an ode to her dog to a satirical song about wellness culture, all with poignant lyrics throughout. It closes with a sweeping six-minute song filled with sonic effects like laughter, cicadas buzzing, and ocean waves titled “New Zealand, my family, the past, the future.” This album is a poetic journey that sends you to a world of pure bliss.

Another notable release is “If I Can’t Have Love I Want Power” by Halsey. In the lead single of the album, “I Am Not A Woman, I’m a God,” she explores the contrasting ideas about femininity within society. Rather than being an empowering song as the title suggests, the song contains lyrics such as, “I am not a woman, I’m a god/I am not a martyr, I’m a problem/I am not a legend, I’m a fraud.” The song represents how society chooses to view women as either innocent or impure. The album as a whole is an exploration of Halsey’s raw feelings in relation to motherhood, love, and femininity. The way she explores these topics lyrically and sonically is compelling and brutally honest. It is an album that drips with rock, pop, and electronic beats, creating an intensifying sound that you’ll have stuck in your head for days.

Up next, “Star-Crossed is an album chronicling Kacey Musgraves’s divorce experience. It opens with soaring, melodic vocals, and, as the album progresses, Musgrave goes from trying to fix the relationship and holding onto hope to cold resignation and anger, closing with a song titled “Gracias A La Vida,” an ode to life itself and all it gives. The album holds a surprisingly mellow, calm sound. Even when she sings about her anger or heartbreak, she sounds relaxed, almost resigned. The album has catchy soft pop sounds while exploring elements of other genres throughout, crafting a calm and fun listen.

A few singles have also been released recently. “Silk Chiffon” by MUNA ft. Phoebe Bridgers is a light, airy summer anthem about having fun and being in a carefree relationship. Its lyric, “Life’s so fun, life’s so fun/got my miniskirt and my rollerblades on” fits the untethered, free vibes of the summertime.

Other new single-releases include Taylor Swift’s surprise drop of “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version).” She decided to release it after the original song had been trending as part of a TikTok trend. For those unfamiliar with what “Taylor’s Version” means, she is rerecording her first six albums because she no longer owns them due to a contract she signed when she was 16. In the re-recording, you can hear a difference in her voice and how it has matured through the years, as well as crisper instruments and sounds. Even though it's not a brand new song, it gives fans a chance to experience a song they know and love in a new way.

Overall, the music these past months has been a fun journey, from mellow dreams, to steel-edged rock-pop, to a carefree summer, and finally returning to an old-favorite revamped. I hope you find your next listening venture and enjoy the journey.

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