No matter how much time passes, David Byrne is always cool. Last year, the Talking Heads leader collaborated with Mitski for “This Is A Life” for an A24 film; he also praised Rosalía saying her concert “had very innovative staging consisting of eight dancers and a video cameraperson on stage.”
Now, he teamed up with rising superstar Maggie Rogers who unveiled her latest album Surrender last year. The two were together last night when Rogers’ tour stopped by Radio City Music Hall in New York City. He joined her to perform his song “Strange Overtones.”
This follows Rogers including Byrne in her music video for Surrender single “That’s Where I Am.” About that, she told NME that she “cold-emailed him” to invite him into the music video. She continued: “We’d never met. I’m a massive fan. And ‘Strange Overtones’ was a song in the pandemic that I just deeply connected to and played over and over and over again. So he feels a part of this record in my brain because I was so connected to that song…”
She said his response was, “Yeah, I’m getting my haircut downtown tomorrow. Where? What time?… Yeah, great. I’ll ride my bike over. I think I can hang for like 20 minutes.”
Watch their performance of “Strange Overtones” above.
Yes, we know it’s hard to believe January is already over but if there’s something to look forward to, it’s the newest releases coming from K-pop in February.
January brought us songs that are already fighting to become some or our favorite songs and albums for our year-ender lists. From NewJeans‘ OMG to NCT 127‘s repackaged album Ay-Yo (check out our interview), to even TWICE‘s second pre-release English single “Moonlight Sunrise,” last month’s releases have set the tone on what’s to come for the rest of the year. So who knows what February entails.
Without further ado, here are the top releases to look forward to this month.
Epik High – Strawberry
They may not be exactly K-Pop, but Epik High’s status in the industry deserves a place on this list. After being on the road last year and seeing fans in real life, Epik High forgot about contemplating taking a break. Set to release on February 1, the trio’s Strawberry EP symbolizes the group’s direction towards a fresh, vibrant sound. The newest EP houses two lead singles — “Catch” featuring Hwasa of Mamamoo, and “On My Way” featuring Jackson Wang.
Seventeen BSS – 1st Single-Album ‘Second Wind’
Arguably the biggest release of the month goes to SEVENTEEN’s subunit BSS, short for BooSeokSoon, consisting of members Boo Seungkwan, DK, and Hoshi. The single-album, releasing on February 6, features the unit’s collaborations with Korean rapper Lee Youngji and Peder Elias.
KEY – The 2nd Album Repackage “Killer”
The concepts from Key continue to deliver. Following the success of Gasoline last year, Key is celebrating Valentine’s Day Eve with his repackaged album including a leading single of the same name — “Killer.”
STAYC – Teddy Bear
After days of cryptic posts of random strangers saying “teddy bear,” High Up Entertainment confirms STAYC’s first project of the year. Though there may not be any more information yet, besides the name of the single-album, everyone knows it’s going down with STAYC on Valentine’s Day.
TripleS – 1st Album: Assemble
One of the trending K-pop girl groups from last year are set to finally make their highly-anticipated debut and unveil their full potential with their first studio album on February 13. The 24-member girl group under ModHaus will reportedly promote 10 of the 24 members for this round of promotions.
TRI.BE. – 2nd Mini-Album [W.A.Y]
Short for “We Are Young,” TRI.BE’s second EP, [W.A.Y], will drop on Valentine’s Day (February 14). The project will consist of five new tracks including the lead single of the same name.
LIMELIGHT – Debut EP “LOVE & HAPPINESS”
It’s pretty cool to debut on Valentine’s Day. It’s a flex only some can have. LIMELIGHT being one of them. Dropping their first EP, the trio from 143 Entertainment will unveil their music video to their lead single “Honesty” on February 14.
JAYB – Special CD [Season Hiatus]
After concluding 2022 with various projects and concerts, GOT7’s leader JAYB will release a special album. Pre-orders of the album were previously held last month from January 11 to 24 ahead of its February 15 release.
The Boyz – The 8th Mini-Album
Well-versed in their storytelling, The Boyz returns with their eighth EP. Though no further detail has been provided, a cryptic teaser that shows a darker side of the group’s lore is captured in its concept teaser.
This week, a potential landmark case in the music industry was filed against Universal Music Group for allegedly withholding over $750 million of royalties from its artists over streams. Meanwhile, in Fulton County, a recording artist who was included in a gang indictment using his lyrics as evidence will face the legal fight of his life later this month, while his record label lies in ruins as a result.
It’s clear that, when the law crosses paths with the business of making and selling music, the course of one or the other can shift dramatically. In response to Young Thug’s case above, several states have introduced bills protecting artists’ freedom of speech whose lives and livelihoods can be wrecked by overeager prosecutors looking to score political points. Meanwhile, if Black Sheep’s class action suit against UMG proceeds, it could change the way streaming profits are shared with musicians, effecting broad-ranging changes in the way labels do business.
There have been plenty of other court cases that defined the course of the music industry. Some were copyright fights that caused new rules to be adopted — whether formally or informally — about how artists use and credit past works. Others are legal fights between artists and their labels, which prompted the latter to work out new types of deals in efforts to protect profits and attract savvier recording partners. And at least one seemed to be about artists and labels against the oncoming seismic shift caused by new technology. Here are ten of the court cases that defined the music industry.
1944 — Olivia de Havilland vs. Warner Bros. Pictures
One of the court cases that had the biggest impact on the recording industry wasn’t even about music. In 1944, actress Olivia de Havilland sued Warner Bros. Pictures after the term of her seven-year contract with the studio expired. However, much like with record contracts today, back then, actors signed to studios for a certain number of “pictures” over the course of a given term, and if they didn’t deliver, they couldn’t leave.
However, de Havilland argued that this was a violation of California labor law and that seven years means seven years. The courts agreed, forcing WB to release her; since then, numerous recording artists have used the same statute to end contracts they deem unfair, from Courtney Love and Metallica to Luther Vandross and most recently, HER. Even Kanye cited the rule during his feud with EMI and Roc-A-Fella, although a 1980s amendment allows labels to sue artists for damages if they don’t deliver the full number of contracted albums — even after seven years.
1960s — Chuck Berry vs. The Beach Boys
When the California rock band The Beach Boys basically plagiarized Chuck Berry’s 1958 “Sweet Little Sixteen” to create their 1963 hit “Surfin’ USA” (an event that was parodied in the 2006 adaptation of Dreamgirls), they inadvertently kicked off what nearly became the first copyright lawsuit in recording industry history. Although a lawsuit was never actually filed, all the royalties for “Surfin’ USA” go to Berry’s publisher Arc Music after the Beach Boys’ manager Murray Wilson struck a deal.
1990 — Queen vs. Vanilla Ice
This infamous case wound up being settled out of court, but it also laid the groundwork for future cases in which older artists expressed resentment for hip-hop’s proclivity for sampling their past hits. In 1990, upstart white rapper Vanilla Ice lifted the bassline from Queen’s 1981 song “Under Pressure.” The resulting single, “Ice Ice Baby,” became a monster hit and was hugely profitable, despite its later reputation as a novelty song.
However, the British band wasn’t too happy about it and sued Vanilla Ice over the song. Years later, it was revealed that the rapper paid for part of the publishing rights for “Under Pressure,” while giving credit to the original writers. Although he claims he bought the rights from the band outright, they refuted it, saying that a profit-sharing agreement was reached.
1990 — Roy Orbison vs. 2 Live Crew
Another landmark case revolving around the use of sampling in hip-hop, this one went all the way to the Supreme Court before all was said and done, and laid down some ground rules about how sampling can work. After requesting the rights for Roy Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman” and being denied, the group went ahead and released their parody track, “Pretty Woman” anyway in 1989. 2 Live Crew argued that their version constituted “fair use” which allows for parody.
After going through a federal district court and an appeals court, the Supreme Court ruled that 2 Live’s “Pretty Woman” does fall under fair use. However, not many artists have tried to use this defense in the years since — in part because parody tracks have fallen out of favor in hip-hop (although Weird Al is still cranking them out) and in part, because no one really wants the headache.
1990 — 2 Live Crew vs. Decency
Poor Uncle Luke. The 2 Live Crew spent a massive part of their early career battling legal enemies when they should have been enjoying the sort of debauchery that defined much of their creative output. In this case, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office had issued an edict that any stores selling 2 Live’s 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be would face arrest on the grounds of obscenity. 2 Live fought back, filing suit in federal district court. Although an initial judge agreed with the Sheriff, an appeals court overturned the ruling, and the Supreme Court backed it up by refusing to hear a second appeal. Despite the raunchy material, the appeals court decided that the music itself had artistic value and that the band being “nasty” wasn’t enough to ban them outright.
1994 — Tupac Goes To Prison
This was impactful less as a matter of how it changed the rules of the game and more as how it changed the substance — even if indirectly. When Tupac was sentenced to 18 months in prison on rape charges (he eventually served just eight), he became something of a folk hero to a fanbase that felt he was railroaded by a racist system, emerging from prison more popular than ever. This set a precarious precedent in hip-hop, but it also helped to solidify what the genre looked like and represented. “Thug life” more or less became the default expression of the art form and Tupac became its avatar.
So many artists now have at least a little of his DNA in their flow, business moves, and public personas and this was arguably the start of his iconic status. After his prison stint, fans were so ravenous for new music that his final two albums, released during and after his sentence, both went No. 1 after he’d previously only managed to peak at No. 24. We certainly see echoes of that in artists such as 21 Savage and the support for Young Thug.
1994 — Prince Vs. Warner
Also in 1994, Prince waged his infamous one-man war on his label, Warner, for control over his music. By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard of how he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in an attempt to free himself from his contract, or how he wrote “Slave” on his face to protest his inability to release music how and when he wanted under those contract terms. Ever since then, artists have spoken out about how they disagree with label practices — whether they’re practical or not — and ownership of their creative output, and any number of them, from Kanye to Megan Thee Stallion to New Jersey rapper Russ, have taken the Prince route to freeing themselves from the constraints of the major system.
2000 — Metallica vs. Napster
The first case of an artist suing a peer-to-peer file-sharing company, Metallica’s victory over Napster not only effectively ended Napster’s reign over the distribution of music, it basically opened the door for the whole streaming era in which we currently find ourselves. P2P sharing was never effectively ended, but it was forced underground, eventually evolving into the download sites that fueled the so-called “blog era.” It also demonstrated the viability of digital distribution, first in the form of .mp3s, and later, as streams, as fans had demonstrated that they were willing to adopt the new technology in lieu of only purchasing physical media.
2000s — MusicNet and PressPlay
Of course, the above transition wasn’t quite as smooth as that sentence may have made it out to be. In the early 2000s, the labels’ early attempts to get into the music-streaming game, MusicNet and PressPlay, weren’t quite as user-friendly as Spotify and Tidal would later turn out to be. But that wasn’t the only problem. The US Justice Department investigated the apps for antitrust violations, suspecting that the labels were suppressing competition and inflating the price of downloads.
Once iTunes hit the scene, though, the labels closed up shop on MusicNet and PressPlay, instead shifting their business models from trying to dominate the streaming space with their own propriety platforms in favor of partnering with tech companies who could do the concept justice.
2014 — Marvin Gaye Estate vs. Robin Thicke & Pharrell Williams
In a case that changed the standards for just what constitutes copyright infringement, the estate of Marvin Gaye alleged that Robin Thicke’s Pharrell-produced hit “Blurred Lines” illegally reproduced Gaye’s 1977 soul staple “Got To Give It Up.” A court agreed that, even without direct plagiarism of sheet music or lyrics, the later song certainly reproduces a lot of the sound of the original — enough that $5.3 million and 50 percent of all future royalties of the song were awarded to the Gaye estate.
This opened the door (and a couple of windows) for all kinds of copyright cases, with everyone from upstart rappers to established producers alleging plagiarism for even the slightest similarities in tone, style, lyrics, or instrumentation. And while a significant portion of those is getting chucked out, they’re likely to keep coming until another ruling draws firmer boundaries around what’s protected and what isn’t.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
Justin Bieber has a lot going on. The “Peaches” singer just called out H&M for copyright infringement over an unauthorized merch collection; he’s also amongst The Weeknd, Snoop Dogg, Post Malone, and more celebrities serving as defendants in the lawsuit against Bored Ape Yacht Club’s NFT creators.
Luckily, it looks like the most recent news is exciting. The star is reportedly approaching a deal to sell his music rights to Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital for about $200 million, according to sources who told Variety.
Justin Timberlake sold his entire catalog to Hipgnosis in May.
This follows the postponement of Bieber’s Justice World Tour this year. In June, he revealed his Ramsay Hunt syndrome diagnosis, which causes partial facial paralysis. He resumed his tour in Europe and performed six shows from July 31 to August 12, but he announced another postponement following his record-breaking set at Rock In Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 4.
“After resting and consulting with my doctors, family and team, I went to Europe in an effort to continue with the tour. I performed six live shows, but it took a real toll on me. This past weekend I performed at Rock in Rio and I gave everything I have to the people in Brazil,” his statement read in September. “After getting off stage, the exhaustion overtook me and I realized that I need to make my health the priority right now. So I’m going to take a break from touring for the time being. I’m going to be ok, but I need time to rest and get better.”
The tour has been postponed through at least March 25, 2023.
How does one make sense of every single pop music hit from 2022 in less than 4 minutes? Mash-ups baby! California’s DJ Earworm has been presenting his “United State of Pop” mash-ups every year for quite some time, and now the 2022 “United State Of Pop (I Want Music)” has arrived.
Pretty much guaranteed that you won’t hear Steve Lacy‘s “Bad Habit” woven in and out of Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” and Harry Styles’ “As It Was” quite like this. The mix feels like one big walk of shame…err..triumph, through the year in pop and you can hear it above. Meanwhile, checkout the listing of the 25 tracks that appear on DJ Earworm’s “United State Of Pop (I Want Music)” in alphabetical order below.
Bad Bunny – “Tití Me Preguntó” Bad Bunny and Chencho Corleone – “Me Porto Bonito” Beyoncé – “Break My Soul” Cast of Encanto – “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” Doja Cat – “Woman” Elton John and Dua Lipa – “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)” Future – “Wait for U (feat. Drake & Tems)” Gayle – “Abcdefu” Harry Styles – “As It Was” Harry Styles – “Late Night Talking” Imagine Dragons – “Enemy (feat. JID & League of Legends)” Jack Harlow – “First Class” Justin Bieber -” Ghost” Kate Bush – “Running Up That Hill” Kodak Black – “Super Gremlin” Latto – “Big Energy” Lil Nas X – “Thats What I Want” Lizzo – “About Damn Time” Morgan Wallen – “You Proof” Nicky Youre and Dazy – “Sunroof” OneRepublic – “I Ain’t Worried” Post Malone and Doja Cat – “I Like You (A Happier Song)” Sam Smith and Kim Petras – “Unholy” Steve Lacy – “Bad Habit” Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero”
Indie music has grown to include so much. It’s not just music that is released on independent labels but speaks to an aesthetic that deviates from the norm and follows its own weirdo heart. It can come in the form of rock music, pop, or folk. In a sense, it says as much about the people that are drawn to it as it does about the people that make it.
Every week, Uproxx is rounding up the best new indie music from the past seven days. This week we got new music from Weyes Blood, Phoebe Bridgers, Fred Again.., Andy Shauf, and more.
While we’re at it, sign up for our newsletter to get the best new indie music delivered directly to your inbox, every Monday.
Weyes Blood — And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow
Weyes Blood makes music for people who want to transcend. Somehow she never misses. And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is a stunning, sprawling dive into a new world. “Hearts Aglow” feels like slow-dancing on another planet; “Twin Flame” has the texture of an electrifying love. Every song soars with ambition and sincerity.
Phoebe Bridgers — “So Much Wine”
It’s the holiday season, which means we get new covers from Phoebe Bridgers that will break our hearts. “So Much Wine,” a Handsome Family cover, accomplishes this off the bat: “I had nothing to say on Christmas day / When you threw all your clothes in the snow / When you burnt your hair, and you knocked over chairs / I just tried to stay out of your way,” she sings.
Tennis — “One Night With The Valet”
In 2020, Swimmer, the latest Tennis album, was a bit overshadowed by the pandemic. But it was full of beautiful, timeless tracks like the enchanting “Need Your Love” or the mesmeric “Runner.” They just announced a new record for next year, Pollen, and previewed it with “One Night With The Valet.” It’s a breath of fresh air, swirling with beauty, atmospheric and sweet.
DIIV — “When You Sleep” (My Bloody Valentine Cover)
DIIV are paying their dues with this cover of My Bloody Valentine’s classic hit “When You Sleep,” which was performed live at Murmrr Theater in Brooklyn. Somehow they make the words decipherable, trading in heavy noise for lighter instrumentation. They bring a new sense of clarity to the song, making it their own.
Andy Shauf — “Wasted On You”
In “Wasted On You,” Andy Shauf opens the new song by asking, “What happens when they die? / Maybe eternal life.” His voice is soft and thoughtful against tame instrumentation, accompanied with a playful music video taking place in heaven in the clouds. The four-minute ballad is a reprieve, but it also has a subtle layer of darkness.
Maz — “Maybe Love”
“Maybe Love” by Maz is a skittish pop song, compelling with her ethereal, curious vocals and a sputtering rhythm. An unexpected, electrifying guitar solo halfway through jolts the listener into an even more intrigued state; at fewer than three minutes, “Maybe Love” doesn’t waste a single second.
The Wombats — “Dressed To Kill”
The Wombats are celebrating 15 years since their classic debut A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation, which contains their timeless hit “Let’s Dance To Joy Division.” They haven’t lost any of their spark since then; their newest track “Dressed To Kill” is as ebullient and infectious as ever, determined and still dedicated to chaos: “Let’s have the best worst night / We’ve ever had in our lives,” sings bandleader Matthew Murphy.
Phantom Youth — “Stay And Run”
“Stay And Run” by Phantom Youth is a nice dose of disorientation. The song moves freely, interspersed with jittery sounds and hypnotic vocals. It makes time stop; all that exists is the boundless music.
Fred Again.., Romy — “Strong”
Fred Again.. is having a good year with the release of his new album Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022). Now, he’s teamed up with Romy for this atmospheric earworm that’s buoyed forward by an infectious rhythm and stunning vocals, putting the listener in a trance.
King Isis — “4Leaf Clover”
King Isis is an up-and-coming artist whose new song “4Leaf Clover” is enough to convince a listener of her expertise. Her vocals are sincere and compelling as she sings vulnerably against the sparse chords of an acoustic guitar; her lyrics hit the sweet spot: “What’s the rush? / You do too much / Or not enough.”
Fred Again.. is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
From Bad Bunny to BTS, we’re in a golden era of global sounds dominating American culture. There’s never been a more diverse moment in pop music, but it is always important to remember that the artists involved in this movement are not a monolith. They all represent their own paths, their own narratives, and their own ambitions. Even in the K-pop world, the swoony funk-pop of recent BTS hits has a very different appeal than the more cutesy bubblegum of Twice, who in turn stand apart from the fierce confidence of Blackpink. It’s easy for casual music listeners to lump them all together, but on Saturday night at Los Angeles’ Banc Of California Stadium, Blackpink demonstrated themselves to be a singular talent that can’t easily be boxed in.
For one, Blackpink’s music and aesthetic is less defined by K-pop as many of their peers. While their affiliation with YG Entertainment as well as their formation and years of training follow the same path as many of their K-pop counterparts, at this point, their interests seem to be more about putting their own spin on an American representation of pop, rather than the other way around. This puts the four women — Lisa, Jennie, Rosé, and Jisoo — in a unique position, where they can push boundaries and forge their own path in both their music and the way that music is portrayed. On Saturday night, that included everything from all four artists having a twerking competition to Lisa showing off her pole dancing skills. It was hardly R-rated, but definitely stood in contrast to their more all-ages-appropriate contemporaries.
Their push for Western appeal has been a smashing success. After being the first female K-pop group to perform at Coachella in 2019, they’ve found themselves playing at this year’s VMAs, covering Rolling Stone, and with their recently released Born Pink, topping the Billboard 200 chart. Saturday night was another milestone that the women noted: their first US stadium gig. The quartet was emotional throughout the set when they’d reflect on their journey, so much so that Jisoo had to turn to her native Korean to properly express herself. But with the expert choreography, pyrotechnics, and a guest appearance from Camila Cabello (performing her own “Liar” with Jisoo), Blackpink proved more than up for the task.
Whereas many K-pop groups feature more members than you can count on one hand, the focused nature of Blackpink (much like one of their inspirations 2NE1) allows for each of the women to hold their own in the spotlight and stand apart. Jennie has been maybe the most visible presence in American culture so far, something that will only increase when she appears with The Weeknd in HBO’s The Idol, where Jisoo holds the distinction of being the member who has yet to release a solo single yet — and feels most rooted in Korean heritage. But live, it is Lisa and Rosé who are the biggest standouts. Lisa’s dancing skills impress in their ease, with the Thai singer/rapper able to hold her beaming smile while making the moves look effortless. Rosé, on the other hand, was clearly the strongest vocalist of the bunch, oftentimes handling the reaching pre-choruses before the entire group would join in for a refrain. While no one wants to think about an eventual breakup, there is already movement from most to have their own solo careers, and all seem to have their own unique formula that could find standalone success.
But the best moments of the performance were when their camaraderie showed. During a between-song banter session, the four women strolled from one side of their stadium-spanning stage to the other, seemingly offering an off-the-cuff acapella version of the just performed “Typa Girl.” It was playful and kind of snowballed on itself, with Blackpink laughing through it and eventually noting “I just love that song.” And in the encore, the carefully scripted performance became loose, with the stars galloping around the stage with cameras following them, playing both to the audience in front of them and those watching on the massive screen. The strongest songs, including “How You Like That,” “Heartbreak Girls,” and “As If It’s Your Last” all went over perfectly, but it was often these moments between the songs and outside the choreographed perfection that best brought their fans into their world.
With these being the final dates of a relatively brief American tour, Blackpink could still find more peaks to hit in their continued quest for world domination. They still haven’t landed that ubiquitous smash hit in America or Grammys success or many of the other benchmarks that come with the level they are operating on. The ingredients are there, though. It all feels inevitable.
Though BTS has announced plans to go on hiatus until 2025, in order to complete their mandatory military service, we certainly won’t have a shortage of music from the boys anytime soon. Today, the band announced through their official Twitter account that BTS’ Jung Kook is set to perform at the World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar.
“Proud to announce that Jung Kook is part of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Soundtrack & will perform at the World Cup opening ceremony,” read the tweet. “Stay tuned!”
방탄소년단 ‘정국’이 2022 FIFA 카타르 월드컵 공식 사운드트랙과 월드컵 개막식 공연에 참여합니다. 많은 기대 부탁드립니다! Proud to announce that Jung Kook is part of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Soundtrack & will perform at the World Cup opening ceremony. Stay tuned!#FIFAWorldCuppic.twitter.com/MwJ2kdNRBp
Though the band is on hiatus, each of the BTS members are gearing up for solo releases. Though it may be awhile until we hear solo material from Jung Kook. In a recent interview with Weverse, Jung Kook admitted that he is a perfectionist with his music, and has scrapped several songs as he wasn’t satisfied with the final products.
“That’s why there’s so many songs I’ve written that I haven’t been able to release,” he said. “After making the effort to write them, I should have realized I should just edit them as much as I can and release them, but when I heard them again after a while, they didn’t sound good, so I just deleted them all.”
George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s relationship was like a country song. Sad, rough, and melodic with two divorce filings. “Mr. and Mrs. Country” dominated airwaves throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and their marriage was profoundly intertwined with their success on stage and in the recording booth.
Director Abe Sylvia (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) is harnessing that artistic genius and relationship drama for the Showtime series George & Tammy. Sylvia, firmly entering the Tammy’s Only phase of his career, has a unique eye for real-world tragedy illuminated by the spotlight of intense fame. And since he’s pulled in Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon in the lead roles, the fuse of the dynamite is already burning.
Cut to a stirring rendition of Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man,” the trailer is an outstanding look at a very bumpy ride filled with iconic tunes, despair, and second chances.
The series, which launches December 4th, also features peerless character actors Walton Goggins (was there a doubt?) and Pat Healy, as well as Hell Or High Water breakout Katy Mixon.
It looks fantastic. The only question is whether their budget allowed for the hair to get as large as necessary. The trailer boasts some good looks, but there’s still room to go even higher.
For those who might be feeling blue following Halloween weekend, have no fear. The musicians below have proven there’s truly no shortage of pop music during the winter months. So, prepare your holiday decorations, gather some treats, find a spot to stay warm, and scroll below to see some of this week’s best new pop tunes — because we all could use something to dance to… Or cry. Or both. You might even find a certain artist who puts the “R” in return. (Spoiler: She’s in the photo above. It’s Rihanna.)
Find the rest of Uproxx’s Best New Pop weekly roundup below.
Rihanna — “Lift Me Up
Queen RiRi is finally back with her first new song in years. “Lift Me Up” is a powerful tribute to the late actor Chadwick Boseman on the soundtrack for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Allegedly, it appears in the film’s end credits, which is the perfect placement for Marvel stans and Rihanna Navy alike to clap for this captivating ballad. She’s also set to headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show next year, so here’s hoping this is her way of easing fans into a potential fall takeover.
Dove Cameron — “Bad Idea”
“Go ahead and tell me something you learned in therapy,” Dove Cameron dishes on “Bad Idea.” She notes it encapsulates “the moment before diving into what could potentially be a severe crash-and-burn but deciding to take the risk anyway,” according to a press release. The risk, in this case, is running back to a questionable relationship — which was rumored to be about her ex-boyfriend. She seems to have lots planned for this era, including a possible music video filmed at the Moulin Rouge and even more new music on the way.
Holly Humberstone — “Can You Afford To Lose Me”
Holly Humberstone’s “Can You Afford To Lose Me” has been making the rounds on all of my friends’ Instagram stories and for very good reason. If there’s any track to cry to this week on this list, it would be this one. It’s a breakup ballad with piano notes that will hit directly to your core. It also doubles as the title track from her recent collection, which she described (via NME) as “a heartbreaking ode to a relationship hurtling toward its conclusion.”
Kailee Morgue — “Arizona Pretty”
“Arizona Pretty” is one of my personal favorites from Kailee Morgue’s new album, Girl Next Door. Sonically, it feels straight out of the early 2000s. Or part of a soundtrack to a road trip with the girls. Lyrically, it takes on a somewhat darker tone about re-learning to love yourself with the impossible beauty standards of Los Angeles. “I’m going Hollywood insane / And everyone out here just starts to look the same,” she notes towards the song’s end.
Mae Muller — “I Just Came To Dance”
Mae Muller has been turning out hit after hit during the pandemic, and “I Just Came To Dance” is no exception. From the first second the synth beat starts, Muller makes an incredible impression on new and returning listeners alike.
Rachel Chinouriri — “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Trying)”
“I’d walk on water if I could / To be lovеd, to be understood / What’s it worth, was it for the good, for the good?” asks Rachel Chinouriri on her new single, “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Trying).” Dealing with everything from indecisiveness to forgiving yourself for past mistakes, her masterful vocals carry the emotional track forward for listeners.
Ella Jane — “Warhol”
While Ella Jane told Flood Magazine that she intended for “Warhol” to be “about this guy who told me I reminded him of his girlfriend—something kind of fun and stupid,” the writing process of her new song made her realize it was actually a personal one. It’s about an identity struggle: the public persona vs. a private one — and the attempt to figure out who you are between them.
Gus Dapperton — “Wet Cement”
Dapperton’s latest starts as a somber, calming single before transforming itself. By the time the beat changes, listeners realize “Wet Cement” is something different entirely, without ever feeling jarring or abrupt. There’s even a psychedelic guitar solo toward the end.
Gia Woods — “Cruel Intentions”
Another new album not to miss this week is Gia Woods’ Heartbreak County, Vol. 2. “Cruel Intentions” closes out the record on a high note, as Woods’ vocals blend perfectly with the soft, synth instrumental. An emotional tale about encountering an ex, she describes it as “twisted nirvana” — and the drums on the final chorus carry the point home.
Christian French — “Karma”
While Christian French might have titled his new song, “Karma,” the message is about choosing your own fate — rather than relying on outside forces. “We’ll work it out if we wanna / Don’t matter what the universe says,” he concludes in the chorus, seemingly addressing a past relationship that went downhill.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.