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.
For more than a century, proportional time has been a constant presence in philosophical and psychological studies of thinkers such as Paul Janet and William James who have formulated the concept to explain why and how the sensation of time accelerates as we age. Days, months, and years become smaller and smaller fractions of our existences, while new experiences fade into those that came before and after. Reminiscing about the onset of the pandemic in 2020, this effect is magnified tenfold. That initial period of ‘new normal’, which sometimes appeared to bring an exciting break from mundanity, today feels like a memory lapse, a nondescript progression of events whose reality you might even be tempted to question. Like Proust’s madeleines, Kali Malone’s Does Spring Hide Its Joy serves to remind us of those times.
Recorded with Stephen O’Malley on guitar, Lucy Railton on cello, and a skeleton crew of technicians in Spring 2020 at the then empty spaces of Berlin’s Funkhaus & MONOM, the hour-long composition – presented here in three variations – feels like an echo and half-forgotten memory of those moments spent in isolation and lethargy. As on Malone’s The Sacrificial Code, the music is again a monumental, texturally and harmonically rich drone that moves in waves, maintaining a dynamic presence despite its languid pace. But where that 2019 release saw the Swedish musician and composer rely solely on pipe organs, on Does Spring Hide Its Joy she turns to sine wave generators. Tuned to her own system, the oscillators allow a wider and finer range of control, from vibrating motifs not far removed from acoustic organs to microtonal scintillations that gesture towards primordial electronic synthesis. One can imagine that both Olivier Messiaen and Iannis Xenakis would admire these expressions that sit equidistant from the organ explorations of the former and the electronic inventiveness of the latter.
While Malone’s compositional touch is what ultimately dictates the shape and flow of the pieces, Railton and O’Malley’s contributions are just as important in building their mesmerising fabric. Although they surface from disparate, experimentally tinged backgrounds – Railton’s roots are in contemporary classical, O’Malley is best known for his drone and metal work – the three musicians play with a shared musical language and ardour. Especially during the opening sequence of ‘Does Spring Hide Its Joy v1’, the reverberations of Malone’s sine waves and O’Malley’s e-bowed guitar are almost indistinguishable from one another as they forge layers of humming sound, then let them drift like blue whales in the gelid waters of the Antarctic. Meanwhile, Railton’s cello circles above them akin to a dancing spider, leaving behind trails of glistening gossamer. Each of these repeated, dynamic fluctuations on the micro level contributes to a whole that shifts so patiently as to almost appear still, reminiscent of tectonic plates moving through aeons.
This heavy meandering takes the music on a journey from plains of brighter, sustained ambient soundscapes to peaky mountains that resemble harsh noise and doom, before ultimately settling into a thrilling interplay of murmuring guitar riffs and quavering electronics. Although sonically similar and composed with the same fundamental elements, each of the remaining two takes carries a distinct impression. ‘v2’ is narrower in its oscillations, but all the more incisive, with zither-like textures and guitar screams that morph into sharp pulses and tinnitus-evoking tones. ‘v3’ radiates with a sense of melancholy and loss, and makes for a fitting final manifestation of what is another triumph for Kali Malone.
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”
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.”
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.
Yesterday, Audible announced Origins, a new audio series that will feature music stars sharing stories about their early days. Billie Eilish is among the participants and in a statement about the project (via Billboard), she said how people perceived her early work was surprising.
“It was so weird to me when I was first coming up and, and the thing everybody said was, like, ‘Billie Eilish’s music is so depressing and it’s so sad and it’s too dark,’ and I was like, ‘What are you talking about? Have you listened to The Beatles and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ and ‘Yesterday’ and Lana Del Rey? Like, what the hell?’ It was so surprising to me that people thought anything I was creating was dark. I mean, it’s real.”
Audible’s description of the Eilish episode reads, “Billie Eilish challenges origin, resists definition, and rejects the very idea that who she was yesterday is who she has to be tomorrow.”
Doja Cat also has an episode and she said in her own statement, “I’ve always tried to bring my fans into my world. I am more interested in being myself than what others want me to be. I want people to get a real understanding of who I am, and I think Origins will help them do that.”
October is ending with arguably the wildest week for the best of new pop music. Two of the biggest pop stars released brand new albums on the same day. One of the previously-mentioned powerhouse performers broke a ton of records with said album, and even released a special 3am Edition with seven new songs as a surprise. In addition, a certain Disney actor returned with another single this week. (It rules.)
Continue scrolling to see everything pop-focused that Uproxx loved this week. Here’s the best new pop music this week.
Taylor Swift — “Sweet Nothing”
On Taylor Swift’s Midnights album, “Sweet Nothing” serves as the soft side to all the hints of Reputation-era energy early on in the tracklist (“Karma” and “Vigilante Sh*t”). Co-written with her longtime partner, the two find comfort in one another and the little moments as they manage to ignore all the external drama surrounding them. However, as most Swift songs go, the bridge stands out as the most heartbreaking part. “And the voices that implore, you should be doing more / To you, I can admit, that I’m just too soft for all of it,” she notes, tying it with “You’re On Your Own, Kid” and “Would’ve, Could’ve Should’ve” as the album’s saddest.
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Surrender My Heart”
Carly Rae Jepsen opens her new album with “Surrender My Heart,” a song that sparkles as the arpeggiating synths propel it forward. Despite being one of the shortest run times on the record, it sets the tone for the themes to come. “I’m trying not to f*ck this up,” Jepsen declares just before the pre-chorus kicks in. There’s tinges of sadness, but at its core, it is a carefree dance anthem about craving openness in a relationship.
Ellie Goulding — “Let It Die”
“Let It Die” carries a similar dance floor energy, just with the production over Ellie Goulding’s vocals giving the song more of an EDM feel rather than pure pop. As a single, it’s not quite Goulding’s strongest — compared to her past hits of “Love Me Like You Do” and “Lights” — as the electronic style seems to take over the track. She has a powerful and recognizably unique voice, which deserves the chance to shine. It is, however, perfect if you take it as a quick-paced party play, earning it a spot on this list.
Blu DeTiger — “Elevator”
Bass queen Blu DeTiger is back with a new single, “Elevator.” Gritty and incredibly catchy, she brings a blend of retro indie rock vibes with a story about a nighttime party scene. “Call your mama, call your karma, I don’t wanna dance with you,” DeTiger detests before recognizing, “I can be a big shot too.” It’s one of those nights where you just want to do your own thing, and won’t let anybody stop you.
Joshua Bassett — “I’m Sorry”
Opening with a somber acoustic guitar line, Joshua Bassett’s latest weekly single, “I’m Sorry,” is a sympathetic message to someone he used to love. He paints pictures, from writing songs after a few drinks late at night to wondering whether someone’s mother hates him. At the end of all of it, he takes the blame and is incredibly apologetic to the unnamed person.
Caroline Polachek — “Sunset”
“Sunset” is a fast-paced, flamenco-inspired single from Caroline Polachek that shines on the instrumental and production style. The music video finds Polachek at a party, driving through the streets of Barcelona, and wandering the beach… just as the sunset comes. Through it all, she encapsulates wanting to run away with a relationship — all while providing some fun claps in the background.
Katherine Li — “Miss Me Too”
Katherine Li opens “Miss Me Too” with a sample of a voice recording, where she warns listeners that she “just woke up” and “it might be a little rough.” The exact opposite proves true, as Li glides through the song, despite the emotional detailing about her feelings of reminiscing on a relationship. Her message boils down to one line in the chorus: “I hope that you still miss me too.”
Emlyn — “Girl’s Girl”
Bringing the pop-rock fire, “Girl’s Girl” is Emlyn’s take on supporting fellow women when it comes to handling toxicity. Each line is biting, bringing a unique rhyme as it digs at a certain type of man. “So, she broke your PS4 / But didn’t you go and break her to her core?” Yeah.
Bishop Briggs — “Superhuman”
Bishop Briggs’ “Superhuman” places her powerful vocals at the forefront, with a soft piano ballad about making it through tough times. By the chorus and second verse, Briggs transforms the song by introducing layered harmonies and percussion. The enthusiasm she has for someone surviving “the eye of the storm” explodes by the end, truly carrying home the message.
Kenzie — “100 Degrees”
Kenzie might be most recognizable for her past appearances on Dance Moms. However, her new single “100 Degrees” proves she has the power to propel her career in music forward. A synth-heavy pop hit-in-the-making, Kenzie weaves in autobiographical lyricism to piece together the picture about missing someone. “Tell me, is your halo heavy?” she poses on the second verse. Sleek and seamless, there is serious potential for this one to go far, especially with TikTok’s popularity.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.